If you haven't done so already, please check out Russ La Croix's excellent Cubs vs. Reds series preview. He'll be doing these for every series from now on. Here are a few more particulars about tonight's game.
Since the start of 2010, the Cubs are 21-51 against the Reds. That's bad enough, but even worse is their weird home-road split:
At Wrigley Field: 10-29 At GABP: 11-22
And that record could have been even better in Cincinnati if the Cubs hadn't lost four one-run games there last year, including this one, in which they had a two-run lead in the 13th inning.
Given the fact that the Cubs won one of three from the Reds at Wrigley earlier this month, and the .333 mark at GABP since 2010, you'd think they could take one of these three, at the very least. Tonight is probably the most favorable pitching matchup of the set.
Weather permitting, of course, and given this forecast, it might not permit.
Bonifacio CF, Kalish RF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Castillo C, Sweeney LF, Barney 2B, Samardzija P
The slumping Nate Schierholtz gets the day off.
Hamilton CF, Votto 1B, Phillips 2B, Bruce RF, Frazier 3B, Ludwick LF, Pena C, Cozart SS, Simon P
The Reds' regular catcher, Devin Mesoraco, is on the DL. Good thing for the Cubs, too, because he went 6-for-11 with three doubles during the Wrigley series.
Today's Starting Pitchers
This game is a pitching rematch of 10 days ago, April 18 at Wrigley Field. Shark gave up just one earned run in seven innings; unfortunately, the two unearned runs he allowed were enough for the Reds to win behind Simon, who has been very, very good so far this year. So has Shark. I would expect another low-scoring game this evening.
Today's game is on WCIU. WCIU games can also be seen on the following channels: Springfield/Decatur/Champaign, WCIX 49.2; Peoria, WAOE 59.1; Des Moines, WHO 13.2; Quad Cities (Davenport/Moline), WQAD 8.2 or 8.3; Ft. Wayne, WANE 15.2; South Bend, WMYS 69
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.