The weekend interleague series with the Rangers (and all the other interleague series played this weekend) was dictated by Fox-TV, who wants an interleague series to promote during the rating sweep month of May -- presumably, creating some interest and some ratings for them. They actually got two really good games last night -- the Cubs game, and the near no-hitter in Philadelphia.
After today, the Cubs go back to NL-only action until June 11, when the White Sox invade Wrigley Field. The Cubs have a chance today to finish this brief five-game road trip with a winning record against two good teams. And, if you like Starlin Castro hitting second (I do), it looks like we'll see more of that in coming days and weeks:
When he delivered a third-inning homer -- his first since his first big-league at-bat -- and the Cubs went on to beat the Texas Rangers on Saturday night, it made the Cubs 5-0 when Castro bats second. He's hitting .381 (8-for-20) with three runs scored from the two-hole.
We are all concerned about the lack of production from Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. Hey, look! The national media has noticed!
Rick Morrissey on the possibility of Ryne Sandberg as the next Cubs manager. If you can figure out the point of Morrissey's column, let me know.
And, before you head off to today's pitcher preview, check out what Randy Wells said about his manager's beard growth:
"It's kind of sweet," starting pitcher Randy Wells said of Piniella's thicker version of the fairly common stubble look. "I might put a little Just For Men in his locker tomorrow."
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2010 - Carlos Silva||5-0||8||8||0||0||0||0||48.1||48||20||18||6||10||30||3.35||1.20|
|2010 - C.J. Wilson||3-1||8||8||2||0||0||0||53.0||42||17||15||2||19||39||2.55||1.15|
C.J. Wilson started a handful of games when first recalled to the Rangers in 2005, but since then has been in their bullpen, until this year when moved into the rotation. He's been surprisingly good, posting seven quality starts until getting pounded in his last outing against the Angels (4.1 innings, 7 earned runs). His only career appearance against the Cubs was two scoreless innings of relief on June 20, 2007. The only Cub to have a hit off him is his former teammate, Marlon Byrd (1-for-2).
And yes, that's a very strange photo of him. (Nice teeth, buddy.)
Carlos Silva, having spent most of his career in the AL before this year, has a long history against the Rangers -- 13 starts, 4-4, 5.20. He has not faced them since 2008. He has held current Rangers to a .235 BAA (32-for-131). You really don't want to know his career ERA in Rangers Ballpark, though. If your curiosity is overwhelming you, it's on this page. I don't really want to post it. On what is supposed to be a hot and humid afternoon, Silva will really have to have his sinker working to succeed.
Today's game can once again be seen by everyone -- on WGN. It's also on FSN Southwest. Here is the rest of the MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
Please visit our SB Nation Rangers site Lone Star Ball.
Tonight's first pitch thread will be up at 1 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 2, 3 and 3:45 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.