The Cubs' curious little road trip to Anaheim will end sometime around 9 p.m. CT today, barring extra innings, meaning they'll have come 2,000 miles to play two games in less than 24 hours and then head home. Thanks, MLB schedulers.
This game will start at 4:05 p.m. PT -- so when you are watching, pay close attention to the shadows on the field, presuming it's sunny. These would be similar conditions to playing a 3:05 p.m. game at Wrigley during the summer. It's not optimal for hitters at all. This is just one of the reasons I think late-afternoon games are a bad choice.
ICYMI earlier this afternoon -- and it went kind of under the radar -- the Chicago City Council approved the night-game ordinance:
Without any debate, the City Council gave the Cubs the go-ahead to play up to 46 night games per season, start six Friday afternoon games at 3:O5 p.m. and stage four concerts.
It's unclear whether that will permit the Cubs to schedule four 3:05 starts this year, as is their current wish.
Barney 2B, Ransom 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Hairston RF, Castillo C, Castro SS, Navarro DH, Sweeney CF
Well, that's different. Darwin Barney leading off -- that's only the sixth time in his MLB career that he's started in the leadoff spot and the first time since this game, almost two years ago.
Aybar SS, Trout CF, Pujols DH, Trumbo 1B, Hamilton RF, Kendrick 2B, Callaspo 3B, Iannetta C, Shuck LF
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Matt Garza||1-0||3||3||0||0||0||0||16.0||11||6||6||1||7||16||3.38||1.13|
|2013 - Jason Vargas||5-3||11||11||2||1||0||0||72.2||72||27||27||7||26||48||3.34||1.35|
Matt Garza hasn't faced the Angels since May 10, 2009, quite a different Angels team than the one he'll face today. Current Angels are a small-sample-size 15-for-54 against him; Albert Pujols is 2-for-9 with no home runs. Maybe that's a sign that today will be better than yesterday.
The well-traveled Jason Vargas last faced the Cubs June 22, 2010, when he was with the Mariners; of course, just two current Cubs (Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro) played in that game. He's barely faced anyone on the current roster; current Cubs are just 9-for-41 against him. Vargas has had a pretty good year so far and has helped stabilize a shaky Angels rotation. In short, doom could be on today's menu.
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.