Now, on to tonight's preview. Through the season's first two weeks, there has been just one interleague series at a time.
Now, we're going to begin seeing the real effects of the odd-numbered leagues. In addition to the Cubs/Rangers series -- the Cubs' first interleague matchup -- we also have Diamondbacks/Yankees and Royals/Braves (and for the Royals, that means that over a 13-day period, April 4-16, they will have traveled from Chicago to Philadelphia to Kansas City to Atlanta).
The Rangers are off to a decent 8-5 start, but had trouble scoring runs in their last series, a four-game split at Seattle. They didn't score more than four runs in any of the four games, although neither did they allow more than four. With chilly and wet weather expected this week at Wrigley, I'd think these games will also be low-scoring. For Cubs fans it's another chance to boo former White Sox nemesis A.J. Pierzynski, who is off to a hot start (.342/.366/.553 in 38 at-bats) and who has always loved hitting in Wrigley Field (.303/.364/.475 with five home runs in 99 career at-bats there).
Since the Cubs were off Monday on Jackie Robinson Day, they (and the Rangers) will honor Robinson tonight; all players will wear No. 42 and there will be a pre-game ceremony. It's too bad, though, that this wasn't an afternoon game; it was beautiful and sunny all afternoon with temps in the mid 50s and light winds. Tonight? Temps in the 40s and a chance of showers.
I'm saving the best for last. There are changes coming to the SBN commenting system later this week. I won't ruin the surprise -- read all the details here. I guarantee you will like what you read.
Sappelt CF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Hairston RF, Castillo C, Barney 2B, Gonzalez 3B, Wood P
Once again, the all-RHB (and Anthony Rizzo) lineup vs. LHP. Hasn't worked so far. But Darwin Barney is back!
The Rangers lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post. Check the BCB Twitter feed for the Rangers lineup.
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Travis Wood||1-0||2||2||0||0||0||0||12.1||8||3||2||0||5||10||1.46||1.05|
|2013 - Derek Holland||0-1||2||2||0||0||0||0||15.0||11||4||4||1||4||9||2.40||1.00|
Travis Wood has never faced the Texas Rangers. He has faced three players on their team: A.J. Pierzynski, Lance Berkman and Geovany Soto, who have gone 11-for-23 against him with three home runs (two by Berkman, who is 7-for-11 lifetime against Wood). This isn't good, but Wood has thrown quite well so far this season and we hope that's a much better indication of how he'll do tonight.
Derek Holland has made two starts this year, with pretty good results: 2.40 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, although his W/L record is 0-1. He has one career start vs. the Cubs: May 22, 2010 at Texas, in which he threw six decent innings in a game the Cubs eventually won in extras. That really doesn't tell us much. What you're probably thinking about is that ridiculous-looking mustache he keeps insisting on wearing. It makes him look like a 16-year-old trying to grow facial hair. Give it up, Derek.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
Here's the scoop on game threads for 2013. You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.
As has been the case during spring training, you will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.