This game feels wrong.
Why? First, because it's the first time in Cubs history that they will play the last Wrigley Field game of a season at night (regularly-scheduled game, that is; the 1998 wild-card tiebreaker game, technically a regular-season game, was a night game).
Second, because this will be the last time we'll see Wrigley Field without a video board. When the Cubs open the 2015 season April 6 -- also against the Cardinals -- the bleachers and the outfield vista will look different.
Don't get me wrong. I have always been on board with the concept of a video board at Wrigley and I have no problem with what the Cubs are doing. I'm simply saying this is the end of a long era of having Wrigley look and feel one way, and next year it will be changed. It'll still be Wrigley, it'll still be going to the same place 81 times a year, but the experience will be somewhat altered.
Let's send the old view and old bleachers (well, not so old, they date from 2006) out with a memorable Cubs win.
Here are today's particulars.
Coghlan LF, Baez SS, Rizzo 1B, Soler RF, Valbuena 3B, Castillo C, Lake CF, Watkins 2B, Arrieta P
Carpenter 3B, Wong 2B, Holliday LF, Adams 1B, Peralta SS, Molina C, Taveras RF, Bourjos CF, Lackey P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Cool fact about Jake Arrieta: he has gone at least seven innings and allowed three or fewer hits in a game six times this year. He won't show up on the ERA leaders list for 2014, as even if he throws a complete game he'll fall about three innings short. But Arrieta has had one of the best years for a Cubs starter in some time, has been consistent and stayed healthy since his season was delayed by a month due to shoulder issues. Here's hoping for a strong finish leading into a great 2015.
John Lackey faced the Cubs August 31 in St. Louis and gave up five runs in 6⅓ innings, though only two of those runs were earned. Luis Valbuena homered off him. Lackey has been up and down since he joined the Cardinals in the deadline deal with the Red Sox -- some really good starts, some in which he got pounded. One of the latter would be great tonight.
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.