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Cubs vs. Marlins Preview, Monday 9/2, 1:20 CT: The Return Of Koyie Hill

You just can't keep him away.

Scott Cunningham

Before you start hyperventilating, Koyie Hill is not going to be playing for the Cubs again.

However, as you can see here, he is now the backup catcher for the Marlins. So far, in seven games played, Hill is hitting .182/.182/.227 (4-for-22, one double). He has an OPS+ of 11, which is actually better than the OPS+ of 4 he had playing 11 games for the 2012 Cubs. The photo above is of him scoring one of the two runs he's got to his credit this year.

Somehow, I don't think there will be anyone giving him a standing ovation for his return to Wrigley Field.

Meanwhile, the Marlins are bad. How bad? They have lost 10 of their last 12, and they were 27½ games out of first place before that string began. They are last in the National League in runs scored -- by 85 runs. They're also last in doubles, triples and home runs; two players -- Giancarlo Stanton (18) and Justin Ruggiano (16) -- have combined for 44 percent of the Marlins' total of 78 homers. Pitching-wise, they are actually a bit better than league average (546 runs allowed; league average is 554, and the Cubs have allowed 578).

The Cubs took three of four from the Marlins in April in Miami. The Cubs really should be able to win this series.

Cubs lineup:

Castro ss, Valbuena 3b, Rizzo 1b, Navarro c, Schierholtz rf, Sweeney cf, Lake lf, Barney 2b, Wood p

The Marlins lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Marlins lineup.

Today's Starting Pitchers

Travis Wood

Travis Wood


vs. Henderson Alvarez

Henderson Alvarez


vs. Mia


vs. Cubs

2013 - Travis Wood 8-10 32 27 0 0 0 0 172.0 134 63 59 15 56 122 3.09 1.10

2013 - Henderson Alvarez 2-3 11 11 0 0 0 0 64.2 62 29 28 1 17 37 3.90 1.22

Travis Wood faced the Marlins April 27 in Miami. He gave up two solo homers -- one to Miguel Olivo and one to Giancarlo Stanton. IIRC, Stanton's home run hit the left-field video board at Marlins Park, a colossal blast. That's about all Wood gave up, though; he allowed just one other hit in six innings and the Cubs won.

Henderson Alvarez came to the Marlins in the massive, 10-player deal that sent Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes and Josh Johnson to the Blue Jays. Alvarez, who is just 23, has made 11 decent starts for the Marlins. He has never faced the Cubs; the only Cub he's faced is Ryan Sweeney, who is 5-for-12 with four doubles against him. Perhaps we're not doomed.

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 Marlins site Fish Stripes.

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.