I'm going to dust off the old optimistic me for this preview, because you probably don't feel very good about the Cubs after the sweep at the hands of the Phillies. Let me remind you, however:
- The Cubs have lost only three in a row
- They are still five games over .500
- They trail the 2nd wild-card spot by just 2½ games
- They are 11-11 in July with five games remaining
- They are fifth in the N.L. in fewest runs allowed
Feel better now? This team is still a good one, in a funk right now, but that doesn't mean they couldn't come out of it starting tonight against a team that has allowed the most runs of anyone in baseball.
Finally, 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, Schwarber C, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soler RF, Denorfia LF, Castro SS, Hendricks P, Russell 2B
Blackmon CF, LeMahieu 2B, Tulowitzki SS, Gonzalez RF, Arenado 3B, Dickerson LF, Paulsen 1B, McKenry C, De La Rosa P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Kyle Hendricks had his worst (and shortest) start of the year April 12 in Denver, though you might recall that there was a play where he deflected what might have been an inning-ending double-play ball and eventually, two runs scored in that inning. The Cubs eventually won that game on Dexter Fowler's ninth-inning homer. Anyway, Hendricks has been very good since then, though his last start against the Reds was a rough one. Current members of the Rockies are 14-for-43 (.326) against him, but with no home runs.
Jorge De La Rosa has the second-best ERA among any of the Rockies' starters. At 4.62, you can see how bad this staff is. (Ex-Cub Chris Rusin tops the list at 4.13.) He's been a bit better over his last six starts (3.34 ERA, but still 16 walks in 35 innings). Current Cubs are 11-for-58 (.190) against him with one home run (Starlin Castro).
Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus (check local cable/satellite listings for the channel).
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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.