Here's how long it's been since the Cubs have played in Anaheim -- in the last game they played there, almost nine years ago, a great, game-saving catch was made in the 12th inning by a man who's now one of the pre- and post-game TV analysts for the Cubs on CSN Chicago, Todd Hollandsworth.
The boxscore of that game should amuse you, anyway, so go have a look. I'll wait.
All right, you're back. The Cubs won two of the three games they played in Anaheim in that series; the Angels took two of three from the Cubs at Wrigley in 2010, the only two times these teams have met. Due to the weirdness of the interleague schedule in 2013, they'll meet twice this year -- these two games, and again in a three-game set at Wrigley next month.
Thus begins a two-game series, which is also a two-game road trip. I thought that was pretty odd, so I set out to find out if or when the Cubs had ever had such a short trip before. I didn't have to look too far, actually -- the Cubs had a two-game trip to Atlanta April 18-19, 2007, in between a seven-game homestand and a six-game homestand. This one's a little stranger, considering the distance and the two off days this week, one on either side of this short visit to Anaheim, where the Angels are coming off having been swept in a four-game series by the Astros. No, that is not a misprint. The very expensive Angels have lost six of their last eight, following an eight-game winning streak. The Angels scored just eight runs in being swept by Houston; -- that's Astros pitchers, who have allowed the most runs of any pitching staff in the major leagues.
It'll be the Cubs' first look at Albert Pujols since he left St. Louis. Truth be told, Pujols, apart from a few more doubles and RBI, is having a worse offensive season than Luis Valbuena. (Don't believe me? Go look.)
Anyway, here's the game info for the game you won't be watching because the Blackhawks are playing tonight, also in the Los Angeles area.
DeJesus CF, Valbuena 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano DH, Schierholtz RF, Sweeney LF, Castro SS, Castillo C, Barney 2B
Interesting. Starlin Castro dropped to seventh and Valbuena bumped up to second. Based on their recent performances, that makes a great deal of sense.
Aybar SS, Trout CF, Pujols 1B, Trumbo DH, Hamilton RF, Kendrick 2B, Callaspo 3B, Iannetta C, Shuck LF
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Scott Feldman||5-4||10||10||1||0||0||0||60.2||52||26||19||7||19||51||2.82||1.17|
|2013 - Jered Weaver||1-1||3||3||0||0||0||0||17.0||14||7||7||2||6||13||3.71||1.18|
Scott Feldman is quite familiar with the Angels from his years in the A.L. West; he has 20 career appearances against them (11 starts) with a 5.50 ERA and 1.521 WHIP. However, he has not faced them at all since 2010; thus, just four current Angels have ever faced him, and combined they are 20-for-56 (.357). Let's hope Feldman forgets about all that and keeps pitching the way he has this year.
Jered Weaver threw seven shutout innings with 11 strikeouts against the Cubs June 19, 2010 at Wrigley Field. Of course, just one Cub who played in that game is still on the team -- Starlin Castro. David DeJesus is 11-for-36 (.306) against Weaver in his career with two doubles and two home runs. Weaver has made just three starts this year due to an elbow injury; this is just his second start back after nearly two months on the DL.
No, Feldman is not taller than Weaver -- they're actually the same height, 6-foot-7. That's just the way the photos came to me.
Today's game is on WGN.
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
Please visit our SB Nation Angels site Halos Heaven.
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.