Here's a good Edwin Jackson story.
He was running in the outfield before Thursday night's game and I heard a fan yell down to him, "Good luck tomorrow, Edwin!"
Jackson stopped, smiled up at the fan who said that, acknowledged the good wishes with a "Thanks" and continued his pregame work.
Edwin Jackson seems like a really good guy. He works hard, never makes excuses, is always accountable after games and he's the type of player you'd really like to see succeed. The Cubs have two years' worth of his contract left and it would be a great turnaround story if he could make them worthwhile. I hope he has the game of his life this afternoon. That alone would be a great story.
Random observation: it would figure, wouldn't it, that the third-longest nine-inning Cubs game of the year would be on the night before the final night-game-to-day-game transition of the year. Guessing a lot of players are going to be pretty tired today.
Here are today's particulars.
Alcantara CF, Baez 2B, Rizzo 1B, Soler RF, Castillo C, Olt 3B, Valaika SS, Lake LF, Jackson P
Regarding this lineup: good to see Arismendy Alcantara back. Anthony Rizzo continues on his every-other-day schedule. And it's a bit odd to have Javier Baez at second base and Chris Valaika at shortstop rather than the other way around, but... I guess it'll work. Junior Lake gets just his third start since being recalled.
The Dodgers lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post -- too late of a night for the visitors from the West Coast? Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Dodgers lineup.
Today's Starting Pitchers
I don't think you really need any details here, where I usually put pitcher information for today's matchup. If you do, there's more here.
Today's game is on WGN. It will also be shown on MLB Network.
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.