One note in addition to the usual notes about game threads that you'll find at the bottom of this post: all of today's game threads will be in ONE StoryStream, so look there or in the game-thread section at the bottom of the front page. If there's time between games, I will recap Game 1. Then Game 2's preview will post about an hour before the scheduled game time (6:10 p.m. CT).
There are chances that both games today could be interrupted by rain, but if you believe this forecast, most of those rain chances will be between games:
Today: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 82. Southwest wind 15 to 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. Tonight: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 8pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 65. West wind 5 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Let's hope so. This is the third split doubleheader the Cubs have played this year, and they were swept in both of them, by the Yankees in New York in April and by the Nationals at Wrigley Field 10 days ago. There will be one more split DH this year (barring further rainouts), August 30 in St. Louis.
The Cubs were also swept in their only doubleheader last year, July 30, 2013 at Wrigley Field, by the Brewers. The last time the Cubs won even one game of a doubleheader was in Cincinnati, the second game of a twin bill August 18, 2012. The last time the Cubs swept a doubleheader was August 13, 2008, against the Braves in Atlanta.
Coghlan LF, Sweeney CF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Schierholtz RF, Baker C, Barney 2B, Wood P
Hamilton CF, Frazier 1B, Phillips 2B, Bruce RF, Mesoraco C, Heisey LF, Santiago 3B, Cozart SS, Cueto P
Today's Starting Pitchers
This is your "experienced major-league pitcher" matchup before Game 2 has rookies pitching against each other. Oddly, even though the Reds and Cubs have played three previous series, neither Travis Wood nor Johnny Cueto has faced today's opponent this year.
Wood has struggled recently, to be charitable. He's had only one start that can be described as "good" in his last seven outings. His All-Star form of 2013 seems mostly gone. I hope he can recover that; he'll need to, since he's now the Cubs' No. 2 starter.
Cueto, on the other hand, has been very, very good all year. His ERA has been under 2.00 after every one of his starts save one, and then it was 2.14. At 1.99 overall his ERA ranks second to Adam Wainwright, and his WHIP of 0.868 is first. Cueto was selected to his first All-Star team this year, though he probably won't pitch in the game because he's scheduled to go for the Reds this coming Sunday.
He leads the major leagues with three complete games and has thrown two CG shutouts.
We're probably doomed.
Today's first 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.