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The Beginning Of Playing Out The String: Cubs vs. Brewers Preview, Monday 8/2, 7:05 CT

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Technically, that's not true -- that really started on Saturday, after the trade. But tonight begins the first homestand after the deal; we'll see if that has any effect on attendance. It's a pleasant day and supposed to be a pleasant evening in Chicago, the kind of day that in past years would have generated a decent walkup sale, if the game hadn't already been sold out. But times are different now.

There are 57 games remaining this year. If the Cubs play .500 ball (29-28, say, one game over, since it's an odd number of games), they'll be 75-87.

The Cubs haven't played .500 ball all year in a stretch that long. They have been at .500 for the entire season twice: 4-4 and 13-13. They almost played at .500 from May 16-July 26 (just before the current losing streak began) at 31-32. They have not won more than three in a row since the end of April, and that was the longest streak of the year at four.

It's been done before. The 1986 Cubs, a bad team that lost 90 games, managed to finish that year 15-10 after looking like they were a 100-loss club until early September. It would just be nice to see some of the future contributors like Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin, Andrew Cashner, Blake DeWitt and perhaps some others recalled soon, begin to show us production from what's likely to be the core of the next Cubs winner.

Now doesn't look very good. But the future is, I believe, brighter, because the farm system is about to produce. In the meantime, let's beat the Brewers. In fact, let's start by taking a lead. The Cubs have not had the lead in any game since the top of the sixth last Wednesday, when they led the Astros 1-0.

Lineup via tweet from Carrie:

#Cubs lineup vs #Brewers for Mon nite is RF Colvin, SS Castro, 1B Lee, 3B Ramy, CF Byrd, LF Sori, C Soto, 2B DeWitt (the new guy), P Wells
Today's Starting Pitchers
Randy Wells
Randy Wells
Cubs
vs. Yovani Gallardo
Yovani Gallardo
Brewers
5-8 W-L 9-5
4.10 ERA 2.77
99 SO 130
38 BB 50
9 HR 6
vs. Mil -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Randy Wells 5-8 21 21 0 0 0 0 125.0 136 58 57 9 38 99 4.10 1.39


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Yovani Gallardo 9-5 22 20 2 2 0 0 120.1 108 47 37 6 50 130 2.77 1.31

Yovani Gallardo threw seven shutout innings vs. the Cubs on June 8 at Miller Park. Current Cubs are hitting .288 (21-for-73) against him, but with only one HR (Geovany Soto).

Randy Wells has a win and a no-decision in two starts against the Brewers this year, and a 4.05 ERA in 13.1 innings, just about equal to his season ERA of 4.10. Current Brewers are hitting .333 against Randy (28-for-76), again, with only one HR (Prince Fielder).

Tonight's game is on WCIU -- which means a lot of you won't be able to see it. Maybe that's a good thing. It's also on FSN Wisconsin. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball. As always, be careful over there.

Tonight's first pitch thread will be up at 7 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 8 pm, 9 pm and 9:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.