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Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds Preview, Sunday 5/8, 1:20 CT: Happy Mother's Day!

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Mother's Day used to be known among many Cubs fans as a day when there was almost always awful weather for the Cubs to play in. The worst of those was May 11, 2003, when the Cubs and Cardinals played four innings in absolutely appalling conditions -- 48 degrees with a 30+ MPH wind. The Cardinals had an 11-9 lead (and the teams had combined for seven home runs) when the umpires finally stopped play one inning short of an official game. St. Louis' Eli Marrero suffered a severe ankle injury and though he did return to play three more seasons, he was never quite the same player after that day. The game was eventually made up as part of a split doubleheader in September; that five-game series, of which the Cubs won four, is generally credited as giving the Cubs the push they needed to win the NL Central that year. Those of us who sat through the awful weather on Mother's Day 2003 remember that as the "Typhoon Game".

Today, though, after one of the worst springs in recent memory, the weather forecast is much better:

Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 62. Northeast wind between 10 and 15 mph.

Sounds great. Meanwhile, regarding the no-hitter that the Tigers' Justin Verlander threw yesterday against the Blue Jays (and it could have been a perfect game; the ball-four call on the only baserunner of the game was borderline), the Cubs hold the MLB record for the longest time without being no-hit. The last pitcher to no-hit the Cubs was Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax on September 9, 1965, more than 45 years ago.

Can you name the team with the second-longest streak of at least one hit in a game? The answer, after the jump, may surprise you.

Cubs lineup:

Fukudome RF, Castro SS, Byrd CF, Ramirez 3B, Baker 2B, Soriano LF, Peña 1B, Soto C, Dempster P

Hmmm. Barney isn't the infielder who needs a day off.

Reds lineup:

Stubbs cf, Renteria ss, Votto 1b, Phillips 2b, Bruce rf, Gomes lf, Hernandez c, Cairo 3b, Cueto p

Another Hall of Famer is involved in this one; Bob Gibson of the Cardinals no-hit the Pirates on August 14, 1971. Nearly 40 years later, the Pirates have not been no-hit since then.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
Cubs
vs. Johnny Cueto
Johnny Cueto
Reds
1-3 W-L making
8.05 ERA his
34 SO 2011
18 BB season
9 HR debut
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Ryan Dempster 1-3 7 7 0 0 0 0 38.0 48 35 34 9 18 34 8.05 1.74

Ryan Dempster's 8.05 ERA looks unsightly, but it was 9.58 before his outstanding outing against the Dodgers on Tuesday. Another 1.5 run drop today would be great. Last year Dempster lost to the Reds twice (and issued way too many walks in those starts, eight in 13.1 innings). Edgar Renteria is the Red who hits him best (8-for-24, .333, two HR).

When last we saw Johnny Cueto, he was throwing eight solid innings vs. the Cubs last August 27 in Cincinnati. He's been on the DL this year since March 20 with biceps/triceps inflammation; Alfonso Soriano loves to hit against him (8-for-23, .348, three HR).

Random question: is it a requirement to be in the Reds' starting rotation to have a weird hairstyle?

Today's game is back on "real" television channels, WGN and FSN Ohio. 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 Reds site Red Reporter. Be careful over there, though.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 1:15 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.