I don't think I can put much of anything here that you don't already know.
Win this game, and there will be another one tomorrow.
Lose this game, and we'll be doing post-mortems for this team starting tomorrow.
I know which one I'd prefer. Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Soler RF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Castro 2B, Schwarber LF, Baez SS, Hammel P, Ross C
Granderson RF, Wright 3B, Murphy 2B, Cespedes CF, Duda 1B, d'Arnaud C, Conforto LF, Flores SS, Matz P
Today's Starting Pitchers
One of Jason Hammel's best starts this year was May 13 at Wrigley Field against the Mets. Of course, pretty much every Cubs starter had a good regular-season outing against the Mets offense, which was a far different animal than it appears to be now.
The bottom line is this: Hammel hasn't really been good since the injury that forced him out of a game against the Cardinals on July 8 (5.10 ERA in 14 regular-season starts after that, and two runs allowed in three innings in a Division Series start vs. the Cardinals, although he did have an RBI single in that game). If the Cubs are going to extend this series, Hammel will have to be good. It's just as simple as that.
Current Mets are hitting .248 (26-for-105) with four home runs off Hammel, two by Curtis Granderson, two by Kelly Johnson.
Steven Matz has made six regular-season starts in the major leagues and also made one in the Mets' Division Series win over the Dodgers. He has pitched once in the last four weeks -- that being the Division Series start, in which he allowed six hits and three runs in five innings. He has never faced the Cubs nor anyone on the current Cubs roster, unusual for a postseason matchup within the same league. He was the No. 33 prospect before this season on both the Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus lists. What this all means for tonight is anyone's guess.
Today's game is on TBS. Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling, Cal Ripken, Sam Ryan and Matt Winer.
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The 2015 Game Thread procedure has changed a bit. Here's how it will work going forward. (And a reminder that a "Rapid Recap" will be posted here by Josh shortly after the game ends, with my own recap at the usual time, 8 a.m. CT tomorrow.)
You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap 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 the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.