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Bring Rain Gear Again Today: Cubs vs. White Sox Preview, Thursday 6/18, 1:20 CT

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And I wonder, still I wonder, who'll stop the rain -- Creedence Clearwater Revival

I woke up this morning just before 7 am... and it was raining again in Chicago. That rain should be out of here before game time, but the forecast once again doesn't look so good:

Today: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 10am, then showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1pm. Some of the storms could be severe. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 77. Southeast wind between 5 and 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Both teams have "endorsed" (the word used in Toni Ginnetti's Sun-Times article) September 3 as the makeup date for Tuesday night's rainout, and:

The plan has to be approved by the players association and Major League Baseball, which is expected to be a formality.

Expect that to be a day game, as the Cubs are heading to New York for a weekend series with the Mets beginning the next day. But if there are any rain problems with today's game, what do they do? I wonder if anyone knows.

Meanwhile, Bruce Miles agrees with the take of many of us here in writing that Alfonso Soriano needs a day off, at the very least. Soriano claims he's healthy, but he sure isn't playing like he is. I can't imagine why Lou hasn't made the "tough decisions" he claims he might make "soon" up to now. The run Soriano "drove in" yesterday -- with a meek groundout to 3B -- was his first RBI on anything other than a solo homer in a month (since May 16), and he only had two solo homers and two RBI in that time. Since May 19 he is hitting .146/.214/.252. That's right, the guy who can carry the team when he's hot has a .466 OPS in the last month. He's got to sit on the bench for at least a couple of days, if not go on the DL. Jake Fox can hardly be worse out in left field.

Oh, and get Aaron Miles out of there, too. Since his season "peak" at .220 on May 16, he is 6-for-36 (.167). No walks (and only six walks the entire year). And his double yesterday was his only XBH among those six hits. Could we really be any worse off with Andres Blanco out there every day? At least Blanco can field. Look at this photo taken by BCB reader Damen Jackson for an idea of how tall Miles really is. (Hint: there's no way he is his listed height of 5-8.)

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
Carlos Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Gavin Floyd
Gavin Floyd
White Sox
4-2 W-L 4-5
3.39 ERA 4.94
56 SO 71
28 BB 31
4 HR 8
vs. Sox -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Carlos Zambrano 4-2 15 10 0 0 0 0 63.2 55 26 24 4 28 56 3.39 1.30


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Gavin Floyd 4-5 13 13 1 0 0 0 82.0 83 47 45 8 31 71 4.94 1.39

Like his lefthanded counterpart, John Danks, Gavin Floyd is off to a rough start this year after being a big reason the White Sox won the AL Central in 2008. In his last five starts, however, he is 2-1, 1.67 with 36 strikeouts and only eight walks in 37.2 innings. This is not a good sign for the anemic Cub bats. Floyd has never faced the Cubs and has faced only one active Cub while he was on another team: Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4). Floyd has a 7.97 ERA in six road game starts this year.

The rainout from Tuesday allows me to repost this preview of Z from Tuesday night: the best thing about Z's season is that he hasn't given up HR as in the past -- only four this year. As I wrote about him after his last couple of starts, when he has his heavy sinker working, he gets hitters to beat the ball into the ground and is usually much more effective that way. Paul Konerko is a Z nemesis -- 7-for-22 (.318) with four homers. As he was on the DL during the Cubs/Sox' two series last year, Z hasn't faced the Sox since June 22, 2007, one of his best performances; he allowed three hits and a walk and struck out 12; the only run allowed came on a Konerko homer.

Today's game is on two Chicago channels -- WGN once again today has Len & Bob. Those "other" guys will be on the Sox broadcast on CSN Chicago. For other games today see the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Overflow comment threads will post today at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.