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Cubs vs. Yankees Preview, Wednesday 5/21, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs look to have a 4-1 homestand. Who would have thought that last Friday morning?

Brian Kersey

After Tuesday night's surprising win, it's hard to predict what might happen this afternoon. Jeff Samardzija hasn't won all year, as you know, and the Cubs are 1-8 in games he's started, this despite his major-league-leading ERA.

Baseball! It sometimes doesn't make any sense at all.

The Cubs have not won four straight home games on a single homestand since July 24-27, 2009, when they won three in a row from the Reds and one from the Astros. In fact, the Cubs haven't won four games in a row at all in nearly a year, since May 26-31, 2013, when they had their longest winning streak of last year (five games).

Four in a row. Sounds good to me. Go Cubs!

Cubs lineup:

Bonifacio CF, Lake LF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Valbuena 2B, Castillo C, Schierholtz RF, Olt 3B, Samardzija P

The Yankees lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Yankees lineup.

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija


Cubs

vs. Chase Whitley

Chase Whitley


Yankees

vs. NYY

--

vs. Cubs

Jeff Samardzija made one relief appearance against the Yankees in 2011, but current members of the roster are just 3-for-16 against him. Oddly, all three hits are by backup shortstop Brendan Ryan (3-for-6, one double). As noted in the recap to last night's game, Shark enters today with the MLB lead in ERA (1.62 to Johnny Cueto's 1.86). Perhaps today is the day he finally gets that elusive "win."

Chase Whitley -- yet another Yankee name that sounds like a blueblood from one of the wealthier New York suburbs. Should be "Chase Whitley III," I think. Whitley is making his second major-league start and obviously has never faced the Cubs nor anyone on the current roster. He threw 4⅔ scoreless innings against the Mets in his first start, though appeared constantly in trouble, which is why he didn't make it to finish the fifth inning.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. In some areas this game will be seen on MLB Network.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Yankees site Pinstripe Alley.

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.