Instead of looking at this game -- which is likely to be another defeat -- I thought I'd do a This Day In Cubs History review, of games they actually won.
10 years ago today, June 18, 2003: The Cubs defeated the Reds in Cincinnati 4-1. Kerry Wood threw a complete game and struck out 10. The Cubs were in first place, 1½ games ahead of the Astros.
15 years ago today, June 18, 1998: The Cubs defeated the Phillies at Wrigley Field 12-5. Brant Brown had a career day, hitting three homers and driving in five runs. The Cubs were 41-30, in second place, two games behind the Astros.
20 years ago today, June 18, 1993: The Cubs defeated the Cardinals, 8-3 at Wrigley Field. Dwight Smith and Sammy Sosa homered for the Cubs, who evened their record at 32-32.
25 years ago today, June 18, 1988: The Cubs shut out the Expos 3-0 at Wrigley Field. Greg Maddux threw the CG shutout, allowing only five hits.
30 years ago today, June 18, 1983: The Cubs crushed the Cardinals, 10-1, in St. Louis. Mel Hall and Bill Buckner homered for the Cubs and Steve Trout threw a complete game, allowing only four hits.
So... June 18 has been successful in the past, including wins over the Cardinals. Today? That'd be nice. But I don't expect it.
Valbuena 3b, Castro ss, Schierholtz rf, Soriano lf, Sweeney cf, Ransom 1b, Castillo c, Barney 2b, Samardzija p
Anthony Rizzo gets his first day off this year... against a pitcher who he's 3-for-6 against. Cody Ransom last started a game at first base August 3, 2010, when he was with the Phillies (he played a couple of innings there last year with the Brewers. Good luck with this one, Dale.
For those of you clamoring for a day off for Starlin Castro, he's 5-for-14 lifetime against Adam Wainwright with two walks.
Carpenter 2B, Beltran RF, Holliday LF, Craig 1B, Molina C, Freese 3B, Jay CF, Kozma SS, Wainwright P
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Jeff Samardzija||3-7||14||14||1||1||0||0||91.0||77||39||35||8||33||104||3.46||1.21|
|2013 - Adam Wainwright||10-3||15||14||3||2||0||0||103.0||95||27||25||2||9||97||2.18||1.01|
Jeff Samardzija has begun to get more consistent, and in 2012 he faced the Cardinals twice and threw 12⅔ total innings, allowing just two earned runs... but issued eight walks. This isn't good. If he can harness his command tonight, maybe he can keep this game close, because...
Adam Wainwright has always been a very good pitcher. This year he has been outstanding. Look at that walk number: nine walks in 103 innings. Do you really think the Cubs will stand any chance against a guy like this? Clearly, we are doomed. On the other hand, several current Cubs, including Darwin Barney (5-for-15) and Castro (see numbers above) have hit Wainwright well in the past. So who knows?
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
Please visit our SB Nation Cardinals site Viva el Birdos.
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.