Small sample size alert!
There have been only two years in Cubs history in which they have scored fewer runs over their first three games than they have in 2015 (three).
In 1947, the Cubs lost their first three games 1-0, 7-1 and 4-1. That team went 69-85.
In 1962, the Cubs lost their first three games 11-2, 2-0 and 2-0. That team set the franchise record for losses, 103, that still stands.
Obviously, three games don't mean that much. In 1935, the Cubs scored only four runs over their first three games, winning 4-3 and then losing 1-0 and 4-0. That team won the National League pennant and is the last Cubs team to win 100 games.
So -- this lack of offense in the first three games probably means nothing. The Cubs could score 10 runs today and we'd probably stop worrying.
Just for grins I looked up the Cubs team that scored the most runs over its first three games. That happened in 1954. The Cubs won the opener 13-4, then lost 11-5, then won 23-13 (!). That team went 64-90.
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Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Soler RF, Rizzo 1B, Montero C, Castro SS, Coghlan LF, Olt 3B, Hammel P, Alcantara 2B
If you have not yet seen the Cubs' official lineup tweets, here's today's -- I think these look pretty cool:
.@HammelTime39 takes the mound tonight against the #Rockies. Preview: http://t.co/4erLGKoVyJ pic.twitter.com/51e0ABYbQD— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 11, 2015
Blackmon CF, Gonzalez RF, Tulowitzki SS, Morneau 1B, Arenado 3B, Dickerson LF, Hundley C, Lemahieu 2B, Kendrick P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jason Hammel pitched for the Rockies for two seasons and posted decent numbers, considering Coors Field (100 OPS+ and 3.5 bWAR those two years despite a 4.63 ERA). He has never pitched in Colorado as a visitor, though, and he was traded to the A's before the Cubs faced the Rockies in 2014. Thus he has pretty much no track record against anyone on the Rox. Hammel had a solid spring and apart from some struggles in his first few Oakland appearances, had a very good year last year. I look for more of the same in 2015.
It's really a shame that Kyle Kendrick couldn't have faced Kyle Hendricks (who will start tomorrow). Now that would have been fun! Maybe the next time these two teams meet. Kendrick threw seven shutout innings against the Brewers in his first 2015 start. He did not face the Cubs last year so has little career experience against anyone currently on the Cubs roster.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus (check local listings for the channel).
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
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Once again for 2015, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as the last couple of years. 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 most 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.