What, you again?
The Brewers were at Wrigley Field for a four-game series just three weeks ago. But here they are again, in the final trip they'll take to Chicago this year. The Cubs will also see them in Milwaukee for the last three games of the 2014 season, games that could be quite important to the Brewers for playoff position.
After having horrific Augusts in 2012 and 2013, the Cubs went 16-14 in the month after this year's non-waiver trading deadline, their first winning August since 2009. It's also the first year they've had two winning months (also had a winning June) since 2009, when they had three over-.500 months. They can do that again by having a winning September, something that would also set a positive tone for 2015.
Meanwhile, the Brewers come into today riding a five-game losing streak; they were just swept by the Giants and are now tied with the Cardinals for the top spot in the N.L. Central. Fortunately, the Pirates, who are two games out of first place, are playing the Cardinals as the Cubs meet the Brewers; if Pittsburgh can win its series and the Cubs can take care of the Brewers, the Pirates could find themselves in first place when they arrive in Chicago Friday.
Finally, here's your once-a-series 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.
On to today's particulars.
Coghlan LF, Baez 2B, Castro SS, Valbuena 3B, Soler RF, Castillo C, Alcantara CF, Valaika 1B, Turner P
Jorge Soler makes his Wrigley Field debut, and Anthony Rizzo is still out of the lineup. Also, Blake Parker has been recalled from Triple-A Iowa; so far, that's the only September callup. There should be more starting tomorrow.
The Brewers lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Brewers lineup.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jacob Turner didn't fare too well in his first Cubs start, last Wednesday against the Reds, but he is getting another shot to show he belongs in the Cubs rotation. The potential good news for today is that Turner's only start against the Brewers this year was probably his best outing of 2014, May 24 in Miami, where he allowed no runs on eight hits in 6⅓ innings. A repeat of that would be nice.
I don't understand how a comic-book character who played a "cub reporter" could wind up as a pitcher for the...
Oh, wait. That's Jimmy Olsen. This is Jimmy Nelson. He was the Brewers' second-round pick in 2010 and has made nine starts for them this year with middling results. He has never faced the Cubs or anyone on the current Cubs roster.
Besides, Turner looks happy in his photo and Nelson looks like he has to go to the men's room.
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.