- As noted above, the season series between the Cubs and Dodgers is tied at three wins each. Today's winner takes the season set. The Cubs have not won a season series from the Dodgers since 2008.
- The Cubs need two wins in the four remaining home games to have a winning record at home for the first time since 2009.
- The Cubs need four wins in the seven overall remaining games to avoid losing 90 or more games for the first time since 2010.
Win some games this week, Cubs. It would be a step in the right direction.
One individual number note: unless Arismendy Alcantara somehow steals six bases in the season's last seven games, the Cubs will be led in steals by a player who didn't finish the year with the team, for the second straight season. Emilio Bonifacio stole 14 bases before he was traded. Last year, Alfonso Soriano led with 10. The last time the Cubs had two straight years with their stolen-base leader having a total that low was 1970 (Don Kessinger, 12) and 1971 (Kessinger, 15).
Here are today's particulars.
Coghlan LF, Baez SS, Rizzo 1B, Valbuena 3B, Castillo C, Alcantara CF, Valaika 2B, Szczur RF, Turner P
If you're wondering where Jorge Soler is today, don't forget they are being cautious with his hamstrings -- this is just a scheduled day off. Also, Welington Castillo returns after missing a couple of days with a rib contusion.
The Dodgers lineup was not available at the time I wrote this post. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Dodgers lineup.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jacob Turner made two starts against the Dodgers as a member of the Marlins earlier this year and trust me, you do not want to click on these links to find out how he did. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Turner still has talent and is still just 23. I think he can still become a good major-league starter, but it would be nice to see him turn things around soon. He's not been very good as a Cub. It'd be great to see his year end on a positive note.
Originally, Dan Haren was supposed to start this game for the Dodgers, but manager Don Mattingly has pushed Haren back to start against the Giants Monday. Instead Jamey Wright, a reliever who's started exactly one game since 2007 (in a similar situation, September 1, 2013 for the Rays), will start. Wright threw a scoreless inning in relief Friday at Wrigley and his longest outing of the year has been three innings and 48 pitches -- on May 1 against the Twins. That means this will likely be a "bullpen day" for the Dodgers, which is kind of a diss to the Cubs, wouldn't you say?
Make them pay, Cubs.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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.