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Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies Preview, Saturday 4/16, 7:10 CT: A Little History

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Just for comparison and nothing more, here are the records of Cubs teams after 13 games since 1998 (since the NL went to 16 teams):

2011: 6-7 2010: 5-8 2009: 8-5 2008: 8-5 2007: 5-8 2006: 8-5 2005: 6-7 2004: 7-6 2003: 7-6 2002: 5-8 2001: 8-5 2000: 6-7 1999: 5-8 1998: 8-5

What does this mean? Basically, nothing. Good teams started out poorly (2007). Bad teams started out well (2006). Good teams started out well (2008). Bad teams started out poorly (2002). It is interesting, though probably not significant, that all of these teams started out in a two-win range (6-7 to 8-5); none was horrific, none started out on fire.

The point is that even though there are clear warning signs that the 2011 Cubs might not be a playoff caliber team, the record through 13 games tells us little. Win this game tonight and, at least, you haven't been swept by a Rockies team that's on fire. (Yes, I'm reaching.)

Cubs lineup:

Castro SS, Barney 2B, Byrd CF, Ramirez 3B, Pena 1B, Soriano LF, Fukudome RF, Hill C, Coleman P

There are actually two reasons -- decent ones -- for starting Hill tonight. One is that there is a day game tomorrow. The other can be found after the jump.

Rockies lineup:

Fowler CF, Herrera 2B, Giambi 1B, Tulowitzki SS, Smith RF, Wigginton LF, Stewart 3B, Iannetta C, Hammel P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Casey Coleman
Casey Coleman
Cubs
vs. Jason Hammel
Jason Hammel
Rockies
0-0 W-L 1-0
7.20 ERA 4.91
2 SO 5
1 BB 4
2 HR 2
vs. Col -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Casey Coleman 0-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.0 9 4 4 2 1 2 7.20 2.00


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jason Hammel 1-0 2 2 0 0 0 0 11.0 12 8 6 2 4 5 4.91 1.45

Well, maybe this will be the game the Cubs can steal in this series. Jason Hammel has made two career starts vs. the Cubs; he's 1-0 with a 5.11 ERA. Current Cubs are hitting .366 against him -- 15-for-41. And within that is found the other reason for starting Koyie Hill tonight: Hill is 3-for-3 against him.

Casey Coleman will be making his first career start against the Rockies tonight. He's never faced anyone on their roster before. Good thing? Bad thing? Who knows? We'll find out tonight.

Today's game is on WGN and ROOT Sports, the newly-named Denver sports channel. 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 Rockies site Purple Row.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 7 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 8 pm, 9 pm and 9:45 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to rain delays or extra innings, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.