This morning, a friend sent me the link to Jeff Passan's Things You Didn't Know About Baseball.
There are a couple of items of interest relating to the Cubs:
Contenders for the Vladimir Guerrero Award, given to the player who turned the worst pitch into a hit, include: • The Cubs' Anthony Rizzo swinging at a Stephen Strasburg fastball more than 4½ feet off the ground and somehow grounding it into center field. Not many hitters can get around on a neck-high Strasburg fastball.
This happened back in May. Here it is:
Also, scroll down to item 6, where it indicates that Welington Castillo leads all major-league catchers in Defensive Runs Saved. Yes, more than Yadier Molina. And Darwin Barney leads all second basemen in Ultimate Zone Rating.
So there's some good news from this year's team after all. Try to remember that when you're considering tonight's game; the Cubs are 3-13 against the Reds this year. They have actually won more games against them in Cincinnati than in Chicago: 2-4 at GABP, 1-9 at Wrigley Field.
Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Rizzo 1B, Navarro C, Schierholtz RF, Sweeney CF, Bogusevic LF, Barney 2B, Wood P
Choo CF, Phillips 2B, Votto 1B, Bruce RF, Frazier 3B, Ludwick LF, Cozart SS, Hanigan C, Arroyo P
Today's Starting Pitchers
|2013 - Travis Wood||8-11||33||28||0||0||0||0||179.0||143||67||63||17||58||125||3.17||1.12|
|2013 - Bronson Arroyo||13-10||28||28||2||1||0||0||179.0||176||75||72||22||27||112||3.62||1.13|
Travis Wood has made four starts this year against his former team, three of them good ones. Overall he's posted a 3.67 ERA and 1.000 WHIP against the Reds, but it hasn't mattered, because the Cubs have scored a total of just seven runs in those four games, all losses. Thus, Wood probably has to throw a shutout and hit a home run tonight to win. (Could happen, I guess, but it's not likely.)
Bronson Arroyo has started twice against the Cubs this year, both Reds wins, and has allowed three earned runs in 13 total innings. Arroyo has been quite consistent this year; he puts up the occasional clunker of a start, then follows it up with four good ones. He's in the "four good ones" range, so doom? Probably.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus (check your cable/satellite system for the channel).
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
Please visit our SB Nation Reds site Red Reporter. Be careful over there, though.
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.