There's not a whole lot about this team that I can say that hasn't already been said. This is going to be a rough series; the Cubs have played poorly in Milwaukee the last few years, and the Brewers are off to a great start.
So let's talk about the transfer rule. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal has details about the rule being clarified:
Major League Baseball made its first major adjustment of the replay era on Friday, going back to a less strict interpretation of the transfer rule, effective immediately. Starting Friday night, umpires will rule on catches the way they did in the past, using more of a common-sense approach rather than following the letter of the law, according to major-league sources. A catch, forceout or tag will be considered legal if a fielder has control of the ball in his glove, but drops the ball after opening his glove to transfer the ball to his throwing hard, sources said. No longer will the fielder be required to successfully get the ball into his throwing hand.
Which is to say -- going back to the way this has been called since time immemorial. It's a good thing, actually, that MLB is willing to be this proactive regarding things that have been somewhat changed due to replay review. Took less than four weeks to fix this one.
If only they could work as quickly on other things.
Bonifacio 2B, Valbuena 3B, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Schierholtz RF, Lake LF, Sweeney CF, Castillo C, Villanueva P
Gomez CF, Gennett 2B, Braun RF, Ramirez 3B, Lucroy C, Davis LF, Overbay 1B, Segura SS, Garza P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Villanueva is a former Brewer who made one start and two relief appearances against the Brew Crew last year. The start wasn't great, but it was better than any of his starts so far this year. Current Brewers are 14-for-57 (.246) against Carlos with three home runs. Let's hope Carlos is headed back to the pen after this start; he is much better in relief.
Matt Garza has never faced the Cubs. He has faced four members of the current Cubs roster: Emilio Bonifacio, Ryan Kalish, Ryan Sweeney and Luis Valbuena. They have gone 8-for-29 (.276) against him. But the key to beating Garza tonight: bunts. Lots and lots of bunts.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus 2 due to the Blackhawks and Bulls playoff games taking up the CSN and CSN Plus channels. Here's some info on the games and here's a channel list for the Chicago area and if I'm reading that right, it means this game is not in HD in Chicago if you have Comcast, Mediacom, RCN or WOW.
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.