The Cubs have the worst road record in the major leagues entering Sunday's game: 12-25. They have not won a road series since September 9-10-11, 2013, at Cincinnati. That makes the current series at Philadelphia the 16th one since then; the other 15 have all been series lost or split. Overall the team record on the road since that series win over the Reds is 14-34.
Every other team in the major leagues has won at least two road series this year -- even the Rays, who are 12-23 on the road, second-worst to the Cubs this season. The Rays, in fact, have won four road series in 2014, including series in both New York and Boston. The Rays' horrific road record is due to them going 2-11 on the road since they won a series in Seattle in mid-May.
So it's way past time for the Cubs to win a set on the road. Perhaps today will make that reality.
Valbuena 3B, Ruggiano LF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Sweeney CF, Schierholtz RF, Barney 2B, Whiteside C, Wood P
Revere CF, Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Byrd RF, Ruiz C, Brown LF, Mayberry 1B, Cedeno 3B, Burnett P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Travis Wood is having a rough year. His ERA over his last seven starts is 6.52, he's allowed five home runs over that span (38⅔ innings) and his WHIP is 1.603. He needs to right this ship, and soon. He did have a decent outing against the Phillies April 4 at Wrigley Field, posting a quality start (three earned runs in 6⅓ innings), striking out eight. Here's hoping the rough month and a half he's had don't mean he's injured.
The photo of A.J. Burnett is one of my favorite Photo Day pictures. Good for him for having fun with it. After many, many starts against the Cubs during his career in which he dominated, Burnett got hit around pretty good by the Cubs April 6 at Wrigley Field. He allowed eight hits and issued six walks. Walks have been a problem for Burnett this year, as his 43 free passes leads the National League by a considerable margin. If the Cubs can be patient this afternoon, perhaps they can defeat Burnett again.
Today's game is on WGN.
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.