Believe it or not, split doubleheaders aren't a newfangled thing at Wrigley Field. During the 1920's, the Cubs would occasionally do so by having a morning game, then a midafternoon game. This could be done easily even without lights because games in those days were almost always less than two hours, and often 90 minutes. One famous such DH was played on May 30, 1922; between the morning and afternoon games the Cubs and Cardinals made a trade. The Cubs sent Max Flack to St. Louis for Cliff Heathcote. The players switched clubhouses and played for their new team in the second game. (It was a good deal for the Cubs; Flack was out of baseball after 1925, while Heathcote had several decent Cub years and was a useful bench player for the 1929 pennant winners.)
The practice of split DH's ended after 1931; it took 71 years for the next split doubleheader to be played at Wrigley, and the first in the lights era, on August 31, 2002 vs. the Cardinals. That awful Cubs team lost the day game and the night game of that twinbill en route to a 95-loss season.
It was a far different story the following year, with yet another day/night doubleheader vs. the Cardinals -- and that DH, played in the heat of a pennant race on September 2, 2003, saw the Cubs split, winning the first game 4-2 on a Sammy Sosa walkoff HR in the 15th inning, and losing the second game 2-0, the only game they lost in that five-game series which is widely credited for giving the Cubs the impetus for the great September (19-8) they had that year on their way to the playoffs.
And the last doubleheader of any kind at Wrigley Field was on August 3, 2006, a regular DH makeup of the previous night's rainout vs. Arizona; that also resulted in a split, a first-game loss followed by a second-game win.
Enough of the history lesson. This is the biggest day of the year so far in many ways, and a sweep would put the Cubs in great position for the second half. Here's how it's going to go at BCB today: this thread will be the only preview thread posted. Overflow threads and first pitch threads will be up at the normal times -- see below the fold for details. There won't be a recap or "inter-game" thread posted after game one since I will be out all day and who knows when game one will end? (The first game of the 2003 DH went 4:47. Here's hoping today's games are way shorter than that!) A recap of BOTH games will post on Monday morning as usual, as we enter the All-Star break.
|Game One Starting Pitchers|
|2009 - Carlos Zambrano||4-4||21||15||0||0||0||0||96.0||85||40||37||7||41||75||3.47||1.31|
|2009 - Kyle Lohse||4-4||10||10||0||0||0||0||56.1||53||28||25||6||16||39||3.99||1.22|
|Game Two Starting Pitchers|
|2009 - Randy Wells||4-3||11||11||0||0||0||0||69.0||61||20||19||5||14||49||2.48||1.09|
|2009 - Adam Wainwright||9-5||22||18||0||0||0||0||122.1||114||47||42||12||45||110||3.09||1.30|
Kyle Lohse has been on the DL since June 4 with forearm problems. He has made several good starts this year but got hit pretty hard by the Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 18. This would be a real good day for some Cubs who have hit Lohse hard in the past to do it again: Alfonso Soriano (14-for-37, .378, 3 doubles, 2 HR); Ryan Theriot (10-for-19, .526, 2 triples), and Aramis Ramirez (7-for-13, 3 doubles, a HR). Players on the current Cub roster are hitting .381 vs. Lohse (59-for-155).
Z gave up a ton of runs to the Cardinals at Wrigley Field on April 17, but the Cubs won that game in extra innings. Albert Pujols has hit five HR in 56 AB vs. Z, but only averages .250 against him. Skip Schumaker, of all people, hits Z the best of those who are likely to play today -- 8-for-22 (.364, 2 doubles, a triple, a HR).
Adam Wainwright has already started three times vs. the Cubs this year; St. Louis won all three games and Wainwright is 2-0, 2.49 in 21.2 innings. The only game of the three in which the Cubs hit Wainwright well was April 16 at Wrigley Field, a game won by the Cardinals, but the Cubs got six hits, four walks and four runs off Wainwright that day. Aramis Ramirez -- who has started to hit the ball hard, and the power, I think, is coming -- is 10-for-25 (.400) vs. Wainwright with four doubles and a HR.
Randy Wells made one relief appearance vs. the Cardinals last September 21, the day after the Cubs clinched the NL Central. This will be his first start against our division rivals. For the record, he did face Pujols and got him to hit into a double play.
Today's first game is on WGN; today's second game is on ESPN. For other games today see the MLB.com Mediacenter.
Overflow comment threads will post today at the following times: for the day game at 1 pm, 2 pm and 2:45 pm CDT; for the night game at 8 pm, 9 pm and 9:45 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.