This Cubs team has proven to be quite resilient over the last month or so after losing games. They looked pretty bad in dropping two straight to the Tigers at Wrigley Field, but followed that up by winning six straight.
The last two games would have been tough to win in any case, given that two of the best pitchers in baseball were on the mound. Now, that's reversed, with the Cubs (theoretically) having the best of the pitcher matchups today and tomorrow.
A 3-3 road trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles would, in my view, be a real success. Make it happen, please.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Schwarber LF, Coghlan RF, Rizzo 1B, Bryant 3B, Montero C, Russell SS, Lester P, La Stella 2B
Rollins SS, Hernandez CF, Gonzalez 1B, Turner 3B, Van Slyke RF, Crawford LF, Ellis C, Peraza 2B, Latos P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Here is where Jon Lester has to step up and earn that big contract. He did not pitch well against the Dodgers June 25 at Wrigley Field, but his last start Monday against the Indians was excellent. I'm looking for him to be excellent again. Since the All-Star break Lester has made seven starts. Six of them were very-good-to-excellent, only one clunker. Tonight, for only the third time this season, Lester will be caught by Miguel Montero. The first one, against the Cardinals July 6, was a very good outing. The second, against the White Sox July 11... not awful, but not quite as good.
The Cubs got only one hit off Mat Latos (a single by Kris Bryant) July 5 at Wrigley Field, when Latos was with the Marlins, but they won the game anyway. Since he came to the Dodgers, Latos has had one good start and two pretty bad ones for an overall ERA of 6.75 in 14⅔ innings with L.A. Let's hope the Cubs keep Latos on the down slide.
Today's game is on WGN. For coverage info in other Midwest markets click here (link opens .pdf). In most of the country this game will be available on MLB Network (check your cable/satellite listings), although on delay -- MLBN's coverage will begin at 9 p.m. CT. The reason for the "in progress" coverage on MLBN is that FS1 is carrying Yankees vs. Braves tonight at 6 p.m. CT and even though they do not have exclusivity over local broadcasts in that time window, they do have exclusivity on a national level, which means MLBN can't go with live games until 9 p.m. CT tonight.
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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.