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Cubs vs. Phillies Preview, Friday 8/30, 1:20 CT: The Non-Sandberg Preview

The Cubs come home to start a nine-game homestand, riding an 8-22 stretch. Will things get any better?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Had enough hype about Ryne Sandberg yet? If so, here's another thing about today's game.

I'll have a bit more about Roy Halladay below, but first let me tell you a little story about him. He had shoulder surgery in May, and last Sunday was supposed to pitch for Lehigh Valley in a rehab assignment start. But the Phillies played an 18-inning game Saturday night (and note how they saved one of their relievers so he could go multiple innings!) and so didn't have a starter available for Sunday's game. Instead of having him throw that rehab start, the Phillies activated Halladay, and he threw six solid innings.

If a Cubs pitcher -- say, Scott Baker -- were called upon to do the same thing, on the very first pitch he threw, his arm would fly off and go into orbit around Saturn.

That's just the way things happen to this team.

Also, I was interviewed by the "From The Phans" show via 98.1-HD4 radio in Philadelphia (mostly about Sandberg); you can hear the whole interview here (note: the link is the little arrow below the text, not the YouTube video on that page, which is an ad). You'll have to scroll about ⅔ of the way through the audio to find my portion.

Cubs lineup:

Castro SS, Lake CF, Rizzo 1B, Navarro C, Schierholtz RF, Murphy 3B, Bogusevic LF, Barney 2B, Samardzija P

Phillies lineup:

Young 3B, Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Brown LF, Ruiz C, Ruf 1B, Mayberry RF, Bernadina CF, Halladay P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija


vs. Roy Halladay

Roy Halladay


vs. Phi


vs. Cubs

2013 - Jeff Samardzija 8-11 27 27 2 1 0 0 176.1 167 85 79 18 65 175 4.03 1.32

2013 - Roy Halladay 3-4 8 8 1 0 0 0 40.1 37 35 35 9 19 37 7.81 1.39

The worst start of Jeff Samardzija's season -- in fact, the worst of his career -- came against the Phillies three weeks ago in Philadelphia. It was bad in just about any way you could think of. The good news is that Shark has thrown 23 innings in his three starts since then -- averaging more than seven per start -- and posted a 2.74 ERA and 1.087 WHIP. That's good. It would be nice to see that continue.

Beyond the little story above, Roy Halladay has made seven career starts against the Cubs and posted a 3.68 ERA and 1.159 WHIP (although worse at Wrigley: 4.68 ERA, 1.16 WHIP in four starts). More important, in 44 total innings in those starts, he has issued four walks. His teams have won only two of those five games, but with this Cubs team not usually a very patient team, I'm thinking doom.

Today's game is on WGN.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Phillies site The Good Phight.

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.