This means that Tsuyoshi Wada sticks around for a few more days, at least, and likely available for long relief. It also saves Blake Parker's job for a short time.
The last time a Cubs team lost more than six straight games was September 22-29, 2012, when they lost seven in a row to the Cardinals, Rockies and Diamondbacks.
Losing four games in a row to the Reds is no shame recently, because the Reds have been beating just about everyone. After a mediocre-to-poor start to their season, Cincinnati is 26-13 since May 30 and has moved to within 2½ games of first place in the N.L. Central. They've won five in a row and since the Cubs defeated them 7-3 at Wrigley Field June 24, they're 11-4.
Kyle Hendricks will thus have his hands full in his big-league debut. Here are today's particulars.
Coghlan LF, Alcantara 2B, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Sweeney CF, Schierholtz RF, Baker C, Hendricks P
Heisey CF, Schumaker RF, Frazier 3B, Pena 1B, Ludwick LF, Santiago 2B, Cozart SS, Barnhart C, Bailey P
These lineups really do look like spring-training split-squad lineups, both of them.
Today's Starting Pitchers
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.