As you certainly know, the Cubs have won five consecutive games. I mentioned in Saturday's recap, and it bears repeating, that it has been more than six years since the Cubs have swept an entire homestand of six games or longer -- May 26-June 1, 2008, when they took three from the Dodgers and four from the Rockies.
The last Cubs six-game winning streak of any kind was July 31-August 6, 2011, when they won seven straight from the Cardinals (one game), Pirates (four-game sweep) and Reds (two games). And the last time the Cubs won six consecutive home games was in June and July 2012, when they swept the Astros in a three-game set, then went on a road trip, then returned home and swept the Diamondbacks in another three-game series.
So a win today has been a long time coming. The Cubs leave after this game for another 10-game road trip, so it would be a real positive thing for this group, which has been playing well in almost all phases of the game, to complete the series and homestand sweep.
Bonifacio 2B, Lake CF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Schierholtz RF, Coghlan LF, Baker C, Arrieta P
The Marlins lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Marlins lineup.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jake Arrieta has never faced the Marlins, and has faced only three players on their current roster (Garrett Jones, Jeff Mathis and Casey McGehee). Jones has homered off him. Arrieta drives you crazy by throwing dominantly in one start, then struggling in the next. He's got good stuff. Maybe he just needs to trust it.
Henderson Alvarez has one career start against the Cubs, September 2, 2013 at Wrigley Field. He allowed three runs in the first inning, but nothing after that. This year he's off to a great start and leads the major leagues with three complete games, all shutouts, and hasn't allowed a run in his last 21 consecutive innings. Clearly, we are... doomed?
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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.