Updating potential milestones for Cubs players:
Dexter Fowler: needs two hits to get to 1,000 in his career. 272 of his 998 career hits have been with the Cubs.
Ben Zobrist: needs five walks to reach 100. His career high is 97, and he's struck out only 80 times. Just seven Cubs players have had 100 or more walks in a season with fewer than 100 strikeouts, last accomplished by Gary Matthews in 1984. The last player to do this for any team was Jose Bautista in 2014.
Anthony Rizzo: needs one home run to set a new career high. His 32 current HR tie his career high set in 2014. Rizzo's 133 homers as a Cub already rank 16th on the all-time team list. Two more years like this one and he'll be in the top 10. Rizzo also needs two RBI to get to 110. The last Cub to drive in 110 or more runs was Derrek Lee, who had 111 in 2009. Aramis Ramirez is the last Cub to have more than 111. He had 119 in 2006.
Addison Russell: needs five RBI to get to 100. The last major-league shortstop to have a 100-RBI season was Troy Tulowitzki in 2011. The last Cubs shortstop to do it was Ernie Banks in 1960.
Jon Lester: needs to win this afternoon to get to 20 wins. It would be the first 20-win season of his career.
And for the team, they once again have a chance to win 15 games against a single team in one season for the first time since the 1978 Cubs went 15-3 against the Cardinals.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Bryant LF, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Russell SS, Heyward RF, Baez 3B, Ross C, Lester P
Peraza SS, De Jesus 2B, Votto 1B, Duvall LF, Selsky CF, Suarez 3B, Kivlehan RF, Cabrera C, Adleman P
Jon Lester is wrapping up the best regular season of his career. If he posts the win today, that'll be 20 for the first time for Lester. Granted that individual pitching wins don't mean what they used to, but 20 is still a fine benchmark.
Lester faced the Reds September 20 at Wrigley Field and allowed six hits and a run in seven innings. Since the All-Star break he has a 1.34 ERA and 0.885 WHIP in 13 starts covering 87 innings. He's allowed just four home runs in that span, with 83 strikeouts.
Keep up the great work, Jon.
Tim Adleman put together a pretty good outing against the Cubs September 19 at Wrigley Field: two runs in 6⅓ innings. In fact, he didn't allow a run at all until the seventh, when Addison Russell and Willson Contreras homered. That's been Adleman's biggest problem this year: home runs, 13 of them in just 64⅔ innings. With the number of homers the Cubs have hit off the Reds this year... maybe more this afternoon.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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The 2016 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used at the end of 2015. Here's how it works.
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.