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Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies Preview, Saturday 7/25, 3:05 CT

I did not think I would have to write these words today: The Cubs must win to even the series at one win each.

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

ICYMI because it was late night in the midwest, the Giants defeated the Athletics Friday night, so for the first time in several weeks, the Cubs have fallen out of wild-card position. They trail San Francisco by half a game.

Fortunately, there are still 67 games remaining this season, plenty of time, and the Giants, who have won nine of their last 10, have been a streaky team all year. Another losing streak could very possibly follow by then.

That doesn't change the fact that the Cubs have an excellent opportunity to win some games in this homestand. So... let's get that started. Now.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soler RF, Denorfia LF, Castro SS, Ross C, Arrieta P, Russell 2B

I am assuming Kyle Schwarber is not starting because of the tough lefthander going against the Cubs today.

Phillies lineup:

Hernandez 2B, Herrera CF, Franco 3B, Howard 1B, Ruiz C, Asche LF, Galvis SS, Brown RF, Hamels P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta


vs. Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels


vs. Phi


vs. Cubs

Just a reminder of how awesome Jake Arrieta has been lately... his last six starts. 46⅔ innings. 24 hits, five runs, seven walks, 44 strikeouts, 0.96 ERA, 0.621 WHIP. He has not faced the Phillies much; current members of the team are a small-sample-size 5-for-34 (.147) against him, but with two home runs (Darin Ruf and... Jeff Francoeur).

Cole Hamels, the rumored Cubs trade target, has had two bad starts in a row, one of which, against the Giants, was the worst start of his career (nine runs and 12 hits in 3⅓ innings). We'd certainly like to see another outing like that today. Current Cubs are 22-for-85 (.259) against Hamels with three home runs (two by Chris Coghlan, one by Chris Denorfia).

Today's game is on ABC7 Chicago. For coverage info in other Midwest markets click here (link opens .pdf).

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Phillies site The Good Phight. If you do go there to interact with Phillies fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

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.