The Cubs last won a series in Los Angeles in May 2011. Check out who the winning and losing pitchers were in the game at Dodger Stadium that clinched that series win. Seems like a long time ago, doesn't it?
Since that game, the Cubs are 2-6 in Los Angeles and 4-11 overall against the Dodgers. Obviously, this reflects the Cubs being a poor team and the Dodgers being a good team in that time span.
It does seem as if the tide is turning, albeit slowly. The Dodgers are still likely going to the playoffs this year. But the Cubs are starting to play better, and they can help put a dent in the Dodgers' postseason hopes with a win this afternoon.
Here are today's particulars.
Coghlan LF, Alcantara 2B, Rizzo 1B, Valbuena 3B Sweeney CF, Valaika SS, Schierholtz RF, Baker C, Jackson P
Well. People have been begging for Starlin Castro to get a day off, and here it is. Kind of odd to give it to him after back-to-back three-hit games, though. Unless Castro gets into this game as a substitute, it will end his consecutive-games-played streak at 195.
Turner 2B, Puig CF, Gonzalez 1B, Ramirez SS, Kemp RF, Ethier LF, Uribe 3B, Butera C, Beckett P
Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez are back in the Dodgers lineup, but Dee Gordon is sitting. Good -- he went 3-for-8 with three stolen bases in the first two games of this series. Andre Ethier, who hasn't started since July 22, is 5-for-15 with two home runs off Edwin Jackson. Ugh.
Today's Starting Pitchers
I am still refusing to write anything here about Edwin Jackson until he has a good outing. His last one was most emphatically not one.
Josh Beckett has four career starts against the Cubs -- but none since 2005, when he was still with the Marlins. I pass along the last such start for amusement value only. It should be noted that the only players who were in that game, nine years ago, who are still active are Beckett and Miguel Cabrera.
After some struggles the last few years, Beckett is having an excellent 2014 season, his best since 2011. He threw a no-hitter in April, but has had a rough time since July 1 -- a 6.50 ERA and 1.778 WHIP in four starts. Current Cubs are a small-sample-size 4-for-23 against him, and most of that is Ryan Sweeney (3-for-10, two doubles, a home run).
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.