The Cubs are going for their ninth consecutive win tonight. This is rare territory. Since the Cubs last won the National League pennant in 1945 -- that's 70 years ago -- they have won nine or more games in a row just six times:
12: 2001 11: 1970 10: 1953, 1998 9: 1968, 2008
The outlier in that group, obviously, is the 10-game winning streak in 1953, accomplished by a team that finished 65-89. They won 10 straight in September; before that they were on pace to go 58-96, which would have at the time been a franchise record for losses. The other teams in that list all finished with winning records and two of them (1998, 2008) made the postseason.
This year's team? Every game's different, every matchup is different, but this club could very well continue this streak. Since 1914, there have been just four Cub winning streaks longer than 12 games:
21: 1935 15: 1936 14: 1932 13: 1928
The 21-game streak in 1935, the longest in major-league history, propelled that Cubs team to the N.L. title and the team's last 100-win season.
I'm not saying the Cubs can do that... but let's enjoy this run while it's going. It's been amazing.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Schwarber LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soler DH, Denorfia RF, Castro 2B, Ross C Russell SS
Today's original lineup had Kyle Schwarber at DH, Jorge Soler in RF and Chris Denorfia in LF, but Soler has a sore right calf, so the lineup was revised as shown above.
White Sox lineup:
Eaton CF, Saladino 3B, Abreu 1B, Cabrera LF, Garcia RF, LaRoche DH, Ramirez SS, Sanchez 2B, Flowers C
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jake Arrieta has a 17⅔ inning scoreless streak going and he has lowered his ERA to 2.38, which currently ranks third in the National League behind Zack Greinke and Jacob deGrom. He threw a complete game victory against the Sox at Wrigley Field July 12, allowing just two hits and one run, with nine strikeouts. Including that game he has a 1.27 ERA in his last six starts covering 42⅔ innings. Need more superlatives? Let's hope Jake adds another great outing to that list tonight.
Jose Quintana was Arrieta's opponent in that July 12 game; he allowed eight hits and three runs. Arrieta homered off Quintana. Of course that won't happen again tonight, but perhaps one of the other Cubs who's on a homer tear these days will take Quintana deep. Since that start Quintana has a 3.24 ERA in five starts, including a complete-game shutout of the Indians. Quintana's good, but again, being patient with him should lead to success, as he has thrown over 100 pitches in each of his last seven starts.
Today's game is on ABC7 Chicago. For coverage info in other Midwest markets click here (link opens .pdf). If you are in the blackout area and don't get one of those channels but you do get CSN Chicago you can watch this game on that channel (Sox announcers).
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
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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.