Partly sunny, with a high near 82. Southeast wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph.
... is welcome news today. Because:
The Cubs have had 15 games delayed by weather this season with delays amounting to 21 hours, 56 minutes.
21 hours, 56 minutes. At the average length of a game this year, that's seven extra games' worth of time just... waiting. Enough.
As noted above, the Cubs go for a sweep today. Their last one was also over an A.L. East team, the Red Sox, in Boston. The Orioles are a better team this year than the Red Sox. Sweeping them would be mighty impressive.
Coghlan LF, Baez SS, Rizzo 1B, Valbuena 3B, Castillo C, Alcantara CF, Watkins 2B, Szczur RF, Wada P
Transition time: of the nine players in the starting lineup today, seven of them spent time playing for Triple-A Iowa this year. (Of the nine, only Anthony Rizzo and Luis Valbuena have spent all year with the big-league Cubs -- Welington Castillo played a couple of games at Iowa on a rehab assignment.)
The Orioles lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Orioles lineup.
Today's Starting Pitchers
For the second time this series, the Orioles will face a Cubs pitcher who used to work for them. In the case of Tsuyoshi Wada, he never pitched a single big-league inning for Baltimore after being signed to a two-year, $8.15 million contract before the 2012 season. You know the rest of the story: Tommy John surgery, a minor-league deal from the Cubs and midseason promotion this year. Wada didn't get to finish his last start, the suspended/protested game against the Giants, in which he threw five shutout innings. Wada has a 2.08 ERA and 1.022 WHIP over his last five starts, with just five walks in 30⅓ innings. He's obviously never faced the Orioles or anyone on their roster.
Miguel Gonzalez has had a decent season, though it was interrupted in May with an oblique injury and recently with a stint in Triple-A that the team said was "not related to performance." This is his first big-league start since August 7 and, in fact, he hasn't pitched in a game at all since August 13 (and that one was just three innings). He'll either be strong and ready, or rusty. He has never faced the Cubs nor anyone on their roster, either.
And he looks way too happy in that photo, doesn't he?
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.