What I'm hoping for the next three nights is that the playoff-type intensity the Cubs showed against the Cardinals will stick around for this series against the lowly Brewers. I think the Cubs have exactly the right manager who can set the proper tone. The Brewers, as bad a season as they're having, are still big-league baseball players. Just recently they swept the Pirates at Miller Park, though Milwaukee is much worse on the road (29-42) and, as noted in the series preview, have lost the last seven games they have played against the Cubs.
Fun fact: Since the Giants series in early August, the Cubs are 16-4 at Wrigley Field.
The Brewers snapped an eight-game losing streak yesterday. Let's help them start another 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, Schwarber LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Castro 2B, Montero C, Russell SS, Hammel P, Coghlan RF
Chris Coghlan batting ninth. Well, that's different.
Gennett 2B, Schafer CF, Lind 1B, Davis LF, Santana RF, Segura SS, Perez 3B, Maldonado C, Peralta P
Thought you would again enjoy seeing the lineup calligraphy of Brewers bench coach Jerry Narron and the nice photo they attached to their lineup tweet:
Today's Starting Pitchers
Jason Hammel has pitched very well against the Brewers this year, so it's good that the rotation fell with him starting in this series. In four starts vs. the Brew Crew in 2015: 2.59 ERA in 24⅓ innings, seven walks, 21 strikeouts, and in 10 career starts vs. Milwaukee he has a 2.13 ERA. Of the four games this year, the Cubs lost only one of them and that was a bullpen meltdown after Hammel left the game. Ryan Braun (.348, 8-for-23, two homers off Hammel) is not in the lineup tonight, so that should help. Based on this we might not see Braun this entire series:
Ryan Braun remains sidelined. He confirmed yesterday he'll need back surgery at season's end. Story coming. https://t.co/NH3VDCsZZ5— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) September 21, 2015
Wily Peralta has regressed this year after a breakout year in 2014. He missed two months with an oblique injury and has posted a 4.86 ERA and 1.560 WHIP in 10 starts since his return (also 19 walks and six home runs allowed in 50 innings). His one start against the Cubs this year, May 1 at Wrigley Field, was a good one, but that was when the weather was cooler (48 degrees) and the Cubs were struggling offensively. I think they'll hit him tonight.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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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.