As I mentioned the other day, when this four-game series ends the Cubs will have played the Reds 13 of their first 64 games. They are currently 2-9 against Cincinnati and, unfortunately, have a very good chance of being 2-11 against them by the time this series is completed.
So that's 2-9 against the Reds and 23-28 against everyone else. The Cubs' run differential in games against Cincinnati is -27 (34 runs scored, 61 allowed); against all other teams, then, it is +10 (despite being five games under .500 against teams not named "Reds").
It's frustrating to watch as a fan; imagine what it's like for the players. This Cubs team is, from all statistical measures, better than last year's squad. The record says they're just four games better after 62 games, but it feels better than that. If only the bullpen had been a bit better, this Cubs team could be lurking close to .500. The overall run differential of -17 is just one run worse than the Giants... and San Francisco is 33-30.
It's not likely to get better until this homestand ends. And yes, it's bad. How bad is it? This bad:
The @reds have won 11 straight vs Cubs at Wrigley Field - marking first time Cubs have ever dropped 11 straight home games to same team.— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) June 12, 2013
And, ICYMI earlier this morning, here are the Cubs' roster moves for today:
Brooks Raley up to take Putnam spot. On DL with sore elbow. Rodriguez not here til Friday.— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) June 12, 2013
DeJesus CF, Valbuena 3B, Rizzo 1B, Sweeney LF, Schierholtz RF, Castro SS, Castillo C, Barney 2B, Wood P
A day off for Alfonso Soriano... but still none for Starlin Castro.
Robinson LF, Choo CF, Votto 1B, Phillips 2B, Bruce RF, Frazier 3B, Mesoraco C, Izturis SS, Leake P
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Travis Wood||5-4||15||12||0||0||0||0||78.0||53||24||23||5||26||56||2.65||1.01|
|2013 - Mike Leake||5-3||12||12||0||0||0||0||73.2||80||26||24||6||17||53||2.93||1.32|
Travis Wood has faced his former team twice already this year, thrown 12 innings and allowed seven earned runs. The second of those starts, May 25 in Cincinnati, was Wood's worst of the season. Don't know what else to say. Wood has been the Cubs' most consistent starter all year; this might be their only real chance to win a game in this series.
Like Travis Wood, Mike Leake has also faced the Cubs twice this year. The Reds won both those games; Leake has thrown 12⅔ innings and allowed four earned runs, with just one home run allowed (David DeJesus). Truth be told, the Cubs should have won the first of those games (April 22 in Cincinnati), when they scored two runs in the top of the 13th inning. Bad bullpen work... but you've heard this one before.
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.
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.