The Cubs close out their first foray into 2015 interleague play with the game against the Twins this afternoon. They're 4-5 in the first nine such games, so a win today would put them at .500 in interleague play, as well as win this series and give them a winning road trip.
At 36-30 the Cubs are still on pace for a good year; that percentage would give them 88 wins, and such a pace would keep them in the wild-card race, if not get one of the wild-card spots (three of last year's wild-card teams won 88 games and the other had 89).
Remaining on the interleague schedule are home-and-home three-game series with the White Sox, one in July (at Wrigley), one in August (at the Cell); a two-game set with the Tigers at Wrigley in Augut, and rainout-makeup single games against the Indians (August 24 at Wrigley) and Royals (September 28 at Wrigley).
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Rizzo 1B, Bryant 3B Montero C, Castro SS, Coghlan LF, Denorfia RF, Schwarber DH, Russell 2B
Dozier 2B, Rosario LF, Mauer 1B, Plouffe 3B, Hunter RF, Nunez DH, Herrmann C, Escobar SS, Buxton CF
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jake Arrieta hasn't pitched against the Twins since April 5, 2013, not a good outing. But that was before Bosmosis. Current members of the Twins are a small-sample-size 11-for-33 (.333) against Arrieta with no homers. Jake wasn't good his last time out (six walks in five innings), so it would be nice to see him turn that around.
Kyle Gibson is having a pretty good year in his second full season in the Twins rotation. However, he isn't having a good June (three starts, 19 innings, 5.68 ERA). He has never faced the Cubs, and only two Cubs (Dexter Fowler and Miguel Montero) have ever faced him. Fowler is 3-for-4 with two walks in his limited time against Gibson; perhaps that's a good sign. Fowler's in a bit of a mini-slump, going 5-for-his-last-35, so it would be nice to see him start turning it around.
Today's game is on ABC7 Chicago. For coverage info in other Midwest markets click here (link opens .pdf).
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The 2015 Game Thread procedure has changed a bit. Here's how it will work going forward.
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.