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Cubs vs. Rockies Preview, Wednesday 8/6, 7:40 CT

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It's Javier Baez's second big-league game. How will he top the first?

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Javier Baez will be making his second big-league start tonight.

Just for fun I looked at what significant Cubs had done in their second big-league start (in the case of Ron Santo, his second day because he debuted on the day of a doubleheader). In all cases I did the player's second start, rather than their second appearance, since some had PH, PR or defensive-replacement games first. Also, this is limited to position players.

Ernie Banks: September 19, 1953 vs. Cardinals at St. Louis: 2-for-5, two RBI, one walk

Billy Williams: August 7, 1959 vs. Pirates at Wrigley Field: 0-for-4, one strikeout

Ron Santo: June 28, 1960 vs. Braves at Wrigley Field: 1-for-4, a single

Ryne Sandberg: April 7, 1982 vs. Reds at Cincinnati: 0-for-3, one walk, one strikeout (I included Sandberg even though he played the first 13 games of his career with the Phillies, because his first two games started were with the Cubs)

Shawon Dunston: April 11, 1985 vs. Pirates at Wrigley Field: 0-for-3, two strikeouts.

Mark Grace: May 3, 1988 vs. Padres at San Diego: 2-for-4, one double, one walk, three runs scored

What will Baez do tonight to follow up on his game-winning homer? Here are the particulars for tonight's game.

Cubs lineup:

Coghlan LF, Baez 2B, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Alcantara CF, Castillo C, Sweeney RF, Arrieta P

Rockies lineup:

Blackmon CF, Rutledge SS, Morneau 1B, Arenado 3B, Gonzalez RF, Dickerson LF, McKenry C, LeMahieu 2B, Lyles P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta


Cubs

vs. Jordan Lyles

Jordan Lyles


Rockies

vs. Col

--

vs. Cubs

Jake Arrieta faced the Rockies July 31 at Wrigley Field and allowed just three hits in seven innings. Things could be different at Coors Field, of course; Arrieta has never pitched there. Keep the ball down, Jake, and good things will follow.

Jordan Lyles made his major-league debut against the Cubs May 31, 2011 at Wrigley Field, and threw seven good innings. Since then he's been back and forth to the minor leagues, has been traded and is just off a DL stint (broke his non-throwing hand)... and is still just 23 years old! He was having a solid year for the Rox before the injury. Current Cubs are a small-sample-size 8-for-33 (.242) against him with no home runs. So who knows?

Interesting Rockies fact that didn't really fit anywhere else: they defeated the Reds 11-2 on May 10 and were 23-16, one game out of first place in the N.L. West. Since then they have gone 21-52, which is 9½ games worse than any other N.L. team in that time period. The Cubs are 36-40 since then.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Rockies site Purple Row.

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.