What, you again?
If not for the callup of Javier Baez to make his major-league debut this evening in Denver, this series would be another dull matchup of the two worst teams in the National League, the second such series in the last 10 days.
Instead, now all Cubs fans anxiously await Javy's first major-league at-bat. Will he take advantage of lefthanded pitching and the mile-high altitude of Coors Field and maybe smack a home run in his first at-bat? You might remember the last Cub to do that -- a 20-year-old kid named Starlin Castro, in this game. It's been almost two years since any player homered in his first big-league at-bat. That was someone hyped just about as much as Baez -- Jurickson Profar, who did it at age 19, September 2, 2012.
I'm not expecting that. Just hoping for Javy to play well, and settle in, before his debut at Wrigley Field this Friday.
Finally, just a reminder to check out (if you haven't already) SB Nation's partner fantasy site, Fan Duel, where you can win real money. Here's the link.
Now, on to tonight's particulars.
Alcantara CF, Baez 2B, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Ruggiano RF, Valbuena 3B, Castillo C, Lake LF, Wood P
Well, that's an interesting choice. Second. Those of you who have watched more Iowa games than I have can tell me where he hit in that lineup, but given the rest of the starting lineup today, second makes a great deal of sense to me.
Blackmon LF, Rutledge SS, Arenado 3B, Morneau 1B, Stubbs CF, Rosario C, Barnes RF, LeMahieu 2B, Anderson P
Today's Starting Pitchers
This game features a pitching rematch of the game last Wednesday, July 30 at Wrigley Field. Wood pitched reasonably well, though he had an "Edwin Jackson outing" (six innings, four runs). Wood did strike out 11, a career high, that night. Anderson struck out nine Cubs while allowing 11 hits (though just two runs) in seven innings.
The question that you really want to have answered is, "How will Javier Baez do against Anderson?" It's impossible to know, of course. Anderson has allowed just one home run in 40⅓ innings this year. Baez seems like just the type of hitter who could take a lefty like Anderson deep. We'll see.
Anderson still looks unhappy and/or sad in that photo. Maybe next year he can take a happy one on photo day.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus (check your cable/satellite listings for the channel).
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
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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.