Hey, the honest truth is: I got in from Lansing about an hour before this preview was scheduled to post, was able to get the lineups in for you, but don't really have anything else to say about tonight's game. Go Cubs, and stay safe if you're in the Chicago area because strong storms could happen just about any time this evening.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soler RF, Denorfia LF, Castro SS, Ross C, Lester P, Russell 2B
Peterson 2B, Maybin CF, Markakis RF, Gomes LF, C. Johnson 1B, Pierzynski C, Uribe 3B, Simmons SS, Banuelos P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jon Lester faced the Braves twice last year, May 27 while with Boston and August 17 while with Oakland. Both games were in Atlanta, but are largely irrelevant because of the massive roster changes the Braves have had. The current Brave Lester has faced most is Nick Markakis, from their time in the A.L. East. Markakis is 17-for-73 (.233) against Lester with six doubles.
Really, it's just time for Lester to step up and pitch better. It's just that simple.
Manny Banuelos was once a top-30 MLB prospect, but that was three years ago when he was in the Yankees organization. He came to the Braves in a trade that sent David Carpenter to New York. He seems to have found himself again, throwing quite well at Triple-A Gwinnett and very well in two big-league starts this year. He has never faced the Cubs or anyone on the current roster.
Incidentally, the David Carpenter who the Braves traded to the Yankees is not the same David Carpenter who the Braves acquired about two weeks after they traded the first one last winter.
The first one is now on the Nationals, having been traded there by the Yankees last month. The second one, the Braves designated for assignment on Friday. Too confusing, I'm guessing.
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.