The interleague series with the Mariners this week is the Cubs' first visit to the Pacific time zone during the 2010 regular season; it will feel odd to be up so late watching them. Fortunately, only two of these games are being played at night; the third, on Thursday, is at 2:40 Chicago time, since the Cubs then have to get on a plane, arrive in the wee hours of Friday, and play the White Sox on Friday afternoon. Why this series wasn't played Monday-Wednesday with Thursday off as a result, is another mystery of the wacky way MLB schedules are now made out.
This series is a reunion of many kinds. Lou Piniella, of course, managed the Mariners for ten seasons, had four playoff appearances and in 2001 his team tied the 1906 Cubs for the most wins ever (116) in a season. Carlos Silva, who had two bad, injury-plagued years with Seattle, returns (and pitches that Thursday game) having had a start to 2010 that might place him on the All-Star team.
What's that, you say? There's another Cubs reunion that will take place this week? Oh, right, I forgot. Mariners closer David Aardsma used to pitch for the Cubs. And there's also Garrett Olson, who was a Cub for 10 days in January 2009 without ever putting on the blue pinstripes.
Wait. You were thinking of someone else? Oh, yes. [name redacted]. I'm going to see if I can get through this series without writing [name redacted]'s name.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2010 - Ryan Dempster||5-5||15||14||0||0||0||0||95.2||79||40||39||13||34||89||3.67||1.18|
|2010 - Jason Vargas||5-2||13||13||0||0||0||0||84.1||72||29||27||7||22||53||2.88||1.11|
Jason Vargas floated around the NL with the Mets and Marlins for a few years and was pretty bad -- a 5.81 ERA in 131 innings between 2005 and 2007. Now, somehow, he's seventh in the AL in ERA and tenth in WHIP. In his NL time, he made three starts vs. the Cubs with a 4.91 ERA. Still, as with all the AL West pitchers the Cubs have seen in the last week, the Cub he's faced the most is Marlon Byrd (2-for-11, one HR).
Ryan Dempster made two relief appearances (with one save) vs. the Mariners when he was Cubs closer in 2007, covering two innings. The Mariner he's faced the most is SS Jack Wilson (from his Pirates days, 8-for-28); Wilson was just activated after spending more than a month on the DL with a hamstring problem. Other current Mariners are hitting just .158 (3-for-19) against Dempster, who has gone at least six innings in 13 of his 14 starts this year.
Today's game is on cable, CSN Chicago Plus, and FSN West. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
Please visit our SB Nation Mariners site Lookout Landing. Be careful, though, if you mention [name redacted].
Today's first pitch thread will be up at 9 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 10, 11 and 11:45 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.