The Cubs have been genuinely fortunate with baseball weather this year. It has been the eighth-warmest summer in Chicago history and the Cubs have had no postponements and only three delayed starts (June 11 vs. the White Sox, June 15 vs. the Athletics, and Tuesday night against the Giants). The only in-game delay was when the lights went out for 20 minutes on May 26 when the Dodgers were in town.
Nevertheless, attendance is down, significantly. The total attendance so far is 2,949,047, meaning the Cubs will pass the three million mark tomorrow. The per-game average of 37,808 is nearly 2,000 per game lower than last year's 39,623. About half the major league teams are down in attendance this year, and overall attendance is off slightly (118 fewer per game, a total of 269,079 fewer for all 30 teams combined). That number would be down more if not for the Twins' new stadium; Minnesota is up 11,397 per game.
It will be interesting to see how many Cardinals fans make the trip to Chicago this weekend, given that they have likely already bought the tickets but their team is nearly eliminated from playoff contention. The no-show count this weekend, for a series that before the season started figured to pack the house, could be a sign of what might happen in 2011.
Today's lineup via tweet from Carrie:
#Cubs lineup for Fri vs #Cardinals is LF Fuld, SS Castro, CF Byrd, 3B Ramy, 1B Nady, 2B DeWitt, RF Snyder, C Hill, P Gorzelanny
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2010 - Tom Gorzelanny||7-8||27||21||0||0||1||0||127.0||126||63||55||10||59||112||3.90||1.46|
|2010 - Adam Wainwright||19-11||36||32||5||2||0||0||224.1||180||67||61||14||55||206||2.45||1.05|
The Cubs got 12 hits off Adam Wainwright and beat him in St. Louis on September 14. A repeat of that this afternoon would be much appreciated. Aramis Ramirez, who's been in a bit of a slump lately, has a .359 lifetime average (14-for-39) against Wainwright. The Cubs could also deny Wainwright his 20th win today.
Tom Gorzelanny returns to the rotation today for the first time since that scary accident on September 1 when a ball hit his pitching hand when he was throwing well against the Pirates. He has only one start against the Cardinals since he has been a Cub -- July 24 at Wrigley Field. He threw six decent innings and the Cubs won. We'd take that today, too.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago and FSN Midwest. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
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.