A few milestones still could be reached by the Cubs today.
The Cubs have drawn 647 walks. They need to walk four times Sunday to break the franchise record, set in 1975.
The Cubs have scored 801 runs. If they can score six or more today, that would be the third-most runs any Cubs team has scored since 1937 (most: 855 in 2008, second: 831 in 1998).
Anthony Rizzo needs one home run for a new career high.
Finally, with a win today the Cubs would have 15 wins against the Reds this year. The last time a Cubs team won 15 games from a single team in one season was against the Cardinals, 15-3 in 1978. Further to this:
Remember, back then teams played 22 games against each other. Today will be the 19th game against the Reds this year.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Russell SS, Heyward RF, Soler LF, Contreras C, Hendricks P
Jorge Soler, deemed healthy enough to start this one. I'd expect him to leave for defensive purposes in the late innings.
Peraza SS, De Jesus 2B, Votto 1B, Duvall LF, Schebler CF, Suarez 3B, Barnhart C, Renda RF, Stephenson P
Kyle Hendricks will likely go about five innings today. He will need to allow one run or fewer, if that's the case, to keep his season ERA under 2.00. The last time Kyle faced the Reds, July 4 at Wrigley Field, that's exactly what he did -- 5⅓ innings, one unearned run. The Cubs won that game 10-4. Another one just like that, please.
Robert Stephenson started against the Cubs September 21 at Wrigley Field. They hit him pretty hard -- eight hits and four runs in 3⅔ innings, including a home run by Dexter Fowler, in a game the Cubs won 9-2. Another one just like that, please.
Today's game is on WGN. For affiliate information in the Illinois/Indiana/Iowa Cubs TV market click here.
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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.