One thing that Anthony Rizzo is doing this year that's an improvement, that hasn't been mentioned much, is walk.
Yes, Rizzo finished fifth in the NL in walks last year with 76, but he is doing even better this year. He ranks fourth as of today, with 24 walks. That's a pace (now that we are far enough into the season for paces to be meaningful) for 105 walks, an excellent total.
He's struck out 26 times, which is a pace for 114. Here's a partial list of players who have both walked and struck out 100+ times in a single season since 2007:
Joey Votto, Mike Trout, Shin-Soo Choo, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, David Ortiz, Adam Dunn, Carlos Pena, Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Swisher, Pat Burrell
Pretty eclectic list, but all good players in one way or another. Only two Cubs have ever done this: Pena in 2011, and Sammy Sosa in 2000 and 2001. Over the last 100 years, only six Cubs have walked 100+ times in a season: Woody English and Hack Wilson in the offensively-charged season of 1930, Richie Ashburn in 1960, Gary Matthews in 1984, and Sosa and Pena.
Rizzo could join that list this year, and maybe do it multiple times. That'd be nice, and we'd take the strikeouts (and home runs) in return, I think.
Bonifacio CF, Valbuena 3B, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Schierholtz RF, Castillo C, Lake LF, Barney 2B, Arrieta P
Carpenter 3B, Peralta SS, Holliday LF, Craig RF, Molina C, Adams 1B, Bourjos CF, Ellis 2B, Wainwright P
Today's Starting Pitchers
What can we expect tonight? Somewhere in the middle, I suppose. Arrieta has not gone six innings yet, so the bullpen should be ready to go even if he throws well.
The Cubs hit Adam Wainwright hard May 2 at Wrigley Field, scoring six runs in five innings, including a home run by Anthony Rizzo.
Do you expect this to happen again? Especially after the 17-run outburst last night?
Me either. Wainwright shut down the Braves in his last start (eight innings, one run), and that's likely the Wainwright we get tonight.
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; Rockford, WTVO 17.2; Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City-Dubuque KCRG 9.2.
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.