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Who'll Stop The Rain? - Cubs vs. Braves Preview: Wednesday 7/8, 1:20 CT

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The National Weather Service forecast says there's only a 30% chance of showers this afternoon, but you know how that goes. Haven't we had enough rain this spring and early summer already? If for any reason today's game cannot be played, it would have to be held till the end of the season. The Braves and Cubs have only one common off-day: August 24, and playing on that date would force the Cubs to play 34 days in a row, something they'd never approve.

We are promised warmer weather beginning tomorrow. And more rain chances by Friday.

While Kevin Hart has never started a major league game, he has 99 minor league starts over the last five and a half seasons, including six this year for Iowa. His Triple-A numbers were good this season: a 3.10 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 52.1 innings. He last started June 16 vs. Oklahoma City, and threw six innings, allowed six hits, three walks and one run, and struck out seven.

Hart may turn out to be a Randy Wells-like godsend, or he could be... not so good. So with Ryan Dempster out for what may be an extended period, should the Cubs go after Toronto's Roy Halladay? He might, and I emphasize "might", be available. Who would you give up? And be realistic, don't say "Aaron Miles, Aaron Heilman and some other minor league dregs not named Aaron."

Today's Starting Pitchers
Kevin Hart
Kevin
Hart

Cubs
vs. Kenshin Kawakami
Kenshin Kawakami
Braves
0-0 W-L 4-6
1.59 ERA 4.46
1 SO 66
5 BB 34
1 HR 9
vs. Atl -- vs. Cubs

Kenshin Kawakami faced the Cubs on June 2 in Atlanta. He allowed four runs (three earned) in seven innings, but didn't get the decision in a 6-5 Atlanta win. Alfonso Soriano homered off him -- Soriano has hit only one HR since then.

More on Kevin Hart: he threw a scoreless inning of relief in the rainout makeup game in Atlanta on June 22, issuing a walk but allowing no hits. That's his only career appearance vs. the Braves, and this is his first major league start. Often, pitchers the Cubs face in their first ML starts do well. Perhaps the Cubs can turn the tables today.

Today's game is on cable only in Chicago (CSN) and Atlanta (SportSouth). 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.