Based on my 2013 article on Wrigley Field game times through history, this is the first game in Wrigley history with an official starting time of 1:05 p.m. I asked Ed Hartig about this and he concurs.
Not sure why the Cubs didn't make this a 1:20 start, as the 15 extra minutes wouldn't have made that much difference on getaway day for both teams. To refresh your memory about the day the original game got rained out, here's what I wrote about it back on June 15.
Here's a note from Ken Rosenthal this morning that I'm sure you'll like:
A number of rival executives were privately critical of the Cubs for taking Kyle Schwarber with the fourth pick of the 2014 draft. Needless to say, some of those execs are now conceding their mistake. "We loved the bat. We didn't think he could catch. So we undervalued him," one rival GM said. "It was a great lesson for us. Chicago deserves all the credit in the world for recognizing how special the bat could be."
All the credit in the world. Indeed.
This strange starting time must have everyone confused. Neither team had a lineup available at the time I wrote this preview. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for this afternoon's lineups.
Here are the rest of today's particulars.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jon Lester had a stinker in his last start. Set that aside, please, and remember that in his previous eight starts he had a 1.92 ERA, nine walks and 63 strikeouts in 56⅓ innings, and just one home run allowed. He last faced the Indians June 12, 2014, but that's largely irrelevant because many of those players aren't with Cleveland now. Current members of the Indians roster are hitting .244 (20-for-82) against Lester with one home run (Chris Johnson).
Corey Kluber's last six starts can be divided into two interesting groups:
vs. Royals (once) and Twins (twice): three starts, 27 innings, three complete games, three earned runs, three walks, 23 strikeouts, 1.00 ERA.
vs. White Sox, Angels and Red Sox: three starts, 18⅔ innings, 17 earned runs, three walks, 20 strikeouts, 8.20 ERA.
So, he's like the old nursery rhyme: when he's good, he's very, very good; when he's bad, he's horrid.
Kluber's going to strike out a lot of batters pretty much every time he goes out to the mound. But he's also hittable; he has allowed a career-high 17 home runs this year (with six weeks still to go in the season) and the Cubs have been hitting home runs lately. Among current Cubs, only Dexter Fowler (0-for-4, three strikeouts) and Miguel Montero (0-for-3, one strikeout) have ever faced him.
Which Kluber do we get this afternoon? Who knows?
Today's game is on WGN. For coverage info in other Midwest markets click here (link opens .pdf).
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.