What, you again?
The Cubs face the Pirates for the second time in a week. By the time this series is over the Cubs will have played 20 games -- seven of them against the Pirates, more than a third. And then the Cubs won't see the Bucs again until August. Thanks, schedule-makers.
It will be interesting to see the progress on the bleachers from inside Wrigley Field. This game preview will post just about the time the gates open; I'll tweet some photos when I get inside the ballpark. Two weeks from today, the left- and center-field bleachers are supposed to be open.
Here is your once-a-series reminder about SB Nation's partner daily fantasy game, FanDuel. If you want to participate, here's the link.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Soler RF, Rizzo 1B, Bryant 3B, Montero C, Castro SS, Coghlan LF, Hammel P, Russell 2B
Harrison 3B, Polanco RF, McCutchen CF, Walker 2B, Marte LF, Alvarez 1B, Cervelli C, Mercer SS, Worley P
Today's Starting Pitchers
The Cubs tweaked their rotation for this series so that Jason Hammel could go on regular rest. Hammel has had a bit of a rough go of it in his first three starts, the last of which was against the Pirates last Wednesday at Pittsburgh. The home run Hammel allowed to Gregory Polanco in the fifth inning turned out to be the difference in a one-run loss. Hopefully, better results today.
This game, then, turns into another pitching rematch, as Vance Worley was the Pirates' starter in the game last Wednesday, too. Worley threw 5⅔ innings and allowed just one unearned run, striking out five. Dexter Fowler left that game with a minor groin tweak which is now not an issue, so perhaps his presence in the lineup can make a difference.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus (changed from the main CSN channel due to the Bulls playoff game).
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.