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The Scorecard Cover Jinx: Cubs vs. Braves Preview, Sunday 8/22, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs sell a scorecard at Wrigley Field for $2. Wrapped around it is a small magazine that has information on upcoming opponents, Wrigley Field, and other features.

The team changes the cover subject each month; there's no specific article in the magazine about the person featured on the cover. Recently, it has occurred to me that the cover subject each month over the last two years has, for the most part, either had a tough month in the month he was featured, or shortly thereafter.

Don't believe me? Here's the list:

April 2009: Lou Piniella. Lou didn't have a particularly bad month in April '09, but that was the month Cubs players began to go down with injuries.

May 2009: Ryan Theriot. Theriot had his best month of the year, actually: 5 HR and an .865 OPS. He followed that by having his worst month in June with a .658 OPS.

June 2009: Ted Lilly. Ted had a good June, but got hurt the next month and spent some time on the DL.

So far, this isn't too bad, but read on:

July 2009: Reed Johnson. Reed fouled a ball off his foot in late July and missed two months.

August 2009: Carlos Zambrano. Z posted a 10.13 ERA in two starts in August 2009 and spent some time on the DL.

September 2009: Kosuke Fukudome. Fukudome hit .200/.338/.286 in 130 PA after 9/1/09 following a pretty good July and August.

It doesn't get any better this year:

April 2010: Derrek Lee. Lee got off to a horrible start, hitting .205/.327/.352 in April, his worst month of the year.

May 2010: Ryan Dempster. Dempster was 1-4 with a 4.54 ERA in May (six starts) after going 2-1, 2.78 in five April starts.

June 2010: Marlon Byrd. Byrd managed to avoid the cover jinx; his bad month was May.

July 2010: Tyler Colvin. Colvin hit six home runs in July, but his batting average dropped.

August 2010: Sean Marshall. Marshall has an 8.18 ERA since July 30 (not officially part of August, but close enough).

Here's my modest suggestion: instead of putting photos of Cubs on the magazine cover, why don't the Cubs put photos of key opponents there? Let's try to jinx Albert Pujols, Ryan Braun and Joey Votto instead of our own guys.

Just a thought. (And yes, I'm joking about all this. Mostly.)

Today's Starting Pitchers
Randy Wells
Randy Wells
Cubs
vs. Mike Minor
Mike Minor
Braves
5-11 W-L 1-0
4.44 ERA 3.75
115 SO 10
46 BB 3
14 HR 0
vs. Atl -- vs. Cubs

Thanks to our SB Nation Braves site Talking Chop and CB Wilkins for the photo of Mike Minor.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Randy Wells 5-11 25 25 0 0 0 0 148.0 162 76 73 14 46 115 4.44 1.41


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Mike Minor 1-0 2 2 0 0 0 0 12.0 10 6 5 0 3 10 3.75 1.08

Mike Minor, who was the Braves' 1st round pick in 2009 out of Vanderbilt, is making his third major league start. Obviously, he has never faced the Cubs before. We know what that generally means.

Randy Wells threw six shutout innings against the Braves on April 8 in Atlanta, the only game the Cubs won in that series. He also threw seven solid innings (one earned run) against them in Atlanta on June 2, 2009, one of those massive bullpen failures we saw so often last year (and this year, too). Current Braves are 5-for-36 against Randy, who has been up and down this year.

Today's lineup via tweet from Carrie:

#Cubs lineup vs D-Lee & #Braves: 2B Barney, SS Castro, CF Byrd, 3B Ramy, LF Sori, RF Baker, 1B Nady, C Hill, P Wells

Today's game is on WGN and Fox Sports South. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 1:15 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.