The 97th season of baseball at the corner of Clark & Addison in Chicago begins today (yes, 97 -- two years of the Federal League Chicago Whales before the Cubs moved there in 1916). The Cubs have gone 77-55-2 in previous home openers; the most recent of those two ties, an 11-inning, 10-10 tie with the Cardinals exactly 45 years ago today, on April 12, 1965, began calls to suspend games at still-lightless Wrigley Field, though that didn't begin until 1969.And for once, the weather forecast is pretty good:
Today: Partly sunny, with a high near 64. Southeast wind between 10 and 15 mph.
That's better than 95% of the home openers since I started going in the 1970's.
Sean Marshall helped his teammates out yesterday off the mound:
Cubs players huddled around pitcher Sean Marshall's laptop on Sunday morning to watch a video tour of the renovations at Wrigley Field. The leather sofas in the lounge and clubhouse kitchen caught their attention.
Those things don't win ballgames, obviously. Scoring runs and preventing the other team from doing so does that. But if having better facilities helps the Cubs play better, I'm all for it. Starting a long winning streak today would be nice.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
The mere mention of Doug Davis appearing against the Cubs can send some Cubs fans into nervous shock. The soft-tossing lefty seems to baffle Cubs hitters; career, he's 9-6, 3.20 in 16 starts. Surprisingly, that's not his best record against any team; he's done better vs. the Padres and just about as well vs. the Reds. Derrek Lee has homered three times off Davis, but overall is just 6-for-30 (.200). Last year he beat the Cubs twice, posting a 1.20 ERA in the two starts, while he was a member of the Diamondbacks. He will have the odd distinction of being a visiting pitcher to start consecutive games at Wrigley Field, since he was Arizona's starting pitcher in the last game at Wrigley in 2009, last October 4. The only runs the Cubs scored off Davis that day came on a two-run homer by Sam Fuld.
Oddly enough, Ryan Dempster was Davis' opponent in that October 4 game. Dempster had 10 K's that day, but gave up five runs in five innings and took the loss. In his first 2010 start last Wednesday, Dempster had a fine six-inning outing, but the bullpen blew the game, as you know. Jim Edmonds is the current Brewer who hits Demp best -- 8-for-23 (.348), 2 HR, but also 10 strikeouts.
Today's game will be on WGN, and also on FSN Wisconsin. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
This afternoon's first pitch thread will be up at 1:15 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 2:15, 3:15 and 4 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.