Fun facts for tonight's game (and beyond):
- The Cubs are on pace for 94 wins. They have won more than 93 just three times since 1935: 98 (1945), 96 (1948) and 97 (2008).
- Even after losing two in San Francisco, the Cubs still have the second-best road record in the National League, 34-27 (Cardinals are better at 36-26).
- Anthony Rizzo is now tied with Paul Goldschmidt for the second-most home runs in the N.L. since 2013, 80. (Giancarlo Stanton, despite not playing since June 26, still leads with 88.)
- Kris Bryant needs six more home runs and 10 RBI to break Billy Williams' team rookie records of 25 and 86, respectively. Bryant leads all MLB rookies in RBI with 77.
Now, let's go win this one.
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, Denorfia RF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Castro 2B, Szczur LF, Montero C, Hammel P, Russell SS
Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Gonzalez 1B, Turner 3B, Ethier RF, Crawford LF, Grandal C, Hernandez CF, Kershaw P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jason Hammel threw one of his best games of the year against the Dodgers June 23 at Wrigley Field, allowing just two hits and two walks, striking out eight in 7⅔ shutout innings. In Hammel's last start he finally seemed to have gotten back to his pre-All-Star break form. Let's hope that continues tonight.
I don't think I need to tell you how good Clayton Kershaw is, but the Cubs did hit him reasonably well June 22 at Wrigley Field. Kris Bryant and Matt Szczur homered off Kershaw that day -- that's the only time this year Kershaw has allowed more than one home run in a game. (Yes, the wind was blowing out that night. Still.) Kershaw has not allowed a run at Dodger Stadium since before the All-Star break, 28 straight scoreless innings at home. I'd say it's time for that to end, wouldn't you?
Today's game is on WGN. For coverage info in other Midwest markets click here (link opens .pdf). In some parts of the country this game will be available on MLB Network (check your cable/satellite listings).
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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.