'Twas the night before Wrigley's 100th birthday, and all through the house...
Nah. Not doing that. Not the right time of year.
Of note: The Cubs' all-time record against the Diamondbacks, through Monday, is 54-65 -- and 31-27 at Wrigley Field. That means that in Phoenix, the Cubs are 23-38 against Arizona, and that doesn't include the two NLDS losses there in 2007.
At least the Cubs have a chance to win games against the D'backs at Wrigley. In Phoenix? Not so much.
There are, as of today, 17 position players who have had at least one at-bat in 2014 without any hits. Cubs catcher John Baker, who is starting tonight, has the most at-bats of any of those 17 -- he's 0-for-14.
All right, enough random notes. On to the lineups.
Valbuena 2B, Ruggiano CF, Rizzo 1B, Schierholtz RF, Castro SS, Olt 3B, Lake LF, Baker C, Hammel P
Well, that's... different. At least Mike Olt and Junior Lake are playing.
Campana CF, Prado 2B, Goldschmidt 1B, Chavez 3B, Ross LF, Parra RF, Owings SS, Gosewisch C, McCarthy P
Tony Campana leading off! So this must be the 2012 Cubs. Right?
Also, "Tuffy Gosewisch" has to be a made-up name.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jason Hammel has made three starts this year, all good ones. If he keeps this up, his trade value will be quite high come July 31. He used to face the D'backs quite often when he was with the Rockies, but the last such game was September 6, 2011, when the D'backs had quite a different lineup than they do now. Current D'backs are 22-for-94 (.234) against Hammel with three home runs.
I had forgotten about this, but Brandon McCarthy made his major-league debut against the Cubs, in Wrigley Field, as a member of the White Sox, almost nine years ago. Here's the box score, for amusement value.
McCarthy's on his fourth team, and has recovered from several injuries. He's off to a terrible start, leads the major leagues with 20 (!) earned runs allowed, and has faced only three current Cubs, just one of whom (Ryan Sweeney, 3-for-12) has more than three at-bats against him.
So what do we get tonight? Who knows?
Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus (original schedules said CSN's main channel, but the Cubs game has been bumped for the Bulls playoff game).
For 2014, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as 2013. Here's how it works.
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.