The Cubs are 17-4 this month, which includes a four-game sweep of the Giants. They've got the best road record in the National League (33-25).
West Coast trips still make me nervous. Many, many Cubs teams have gone to the Left Coast and collapsed in the past. On the other hand, a not-very-good Cubs team swept the Giants in San Francisco just two years ago.
The past is the past, though, and I think we should leave it there. If there's any manager in the game who understands how to lead this bunch on a tough trip, it's Joe Maddon, who was quoted in this ESPN Chicago article:
"I preach heavily about present tense," Maddon said. "We're not worried about the first game against San Francisco or the Dodgers or all that kind of crap. We're worried about winning Monday's game, then you move to Tuesday. If we can retain that mindset, things will turn out well."
Maddon is right. One day at a time, and I can sense this team has taken that lesson to heart. This team is not only fun to watch, but they seem better-prepared than any Cubs team I've seen in years.
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 LF, Coghlan RF, Rizzo 1B, Bryant 3B, Montero C, Castro SS, Arrieta P, La Stella 2B
Addison Russell's fiancee had a baby yesterday -- he's on his way to San Francisco:
Thank you everyone for the kind words and best wishes! On my way to San Fran #letsgo— Addison Russell (@Addison_Russell) August 25, 2015
Aoki LF, Duffy 3B, Belt 1B, Posey C, Crawford SS, Byrd RF, Blanco CF, Adrianza 2B, Cain P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jake Arrieta threw 7⅔ shutout innings, allowing four hits and two walks, against the Giants August 9 at Wrigley Field. His last 12 starts: 86 innings, 1.26 ERA, 0.826 WHIP, 81 strikeouts, one home run allowed. He's equaled that home run with the bat. He's been awesome. Please continue.
The Cubs hit Matt Cain pretty hard August 8 at Wrigley Field -- six hits and five walks in four innings. That included a two-run homer from Kris Bryant, who is hitting .339/.413/.768 over his last 15 games (19-for-56) with four doubles, a triple and six home runs. Cain followed this start with a bad one against the Nats and a better one against the Cardinals. More home runs off him from Bryant (and others), please.
Today's game is on WGN. 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.