Trevor Story is, of course, the "story" of this series with his hot start. It will be up to Cubs pitchers to cool his bat off, and given his splits so far, that might happen:
Story at home: .360/.393/.880, three HR Story on the road: .286/.286/1.143, four HR
So, more homers away from Coors Field, but a lower batting average. It should also be noted that he has 15 strikeouts in 39 at-bats. In addition to leading the league in home runs, he also leads in K's.
Now it's your turn, Cubs pitchers.
One other Cubs note:
Expect to see Javy Baez with #Cubs on Friday— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) April 15, 2016
At the time I wrote this preview, this move had not been officially announced, but according to this article, Munenori Kawasaki is supposed to be optioned to Iowa in the corresponding roster move.
And a reminder that today is Jackie Robinson Day; in Robinson's honor all players from both teams will wear jerseys with No. 42.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Heyward RF, Zobrist 2B, Rizzo 1B, Bryant 3B, Soler LF, Montero C, Russell SS, Hendricks P
Day baseball returns to Wrigley Field! https://t.co/yRHQ75u6j9 #LetsGo pic.twitter.com/jXKV1Ge2yr— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 15, 2016
Le Mahieu 2B, Story SS, Gonzalez RF, Arenado 3B, Parra CF, Raburn LF, Paulsen 1B, Wolters C, Bettis P
Kyle Hendricks had an very good first outing in 2016, throwing 6⅔ innings of two-run, five-strikeout baseball against the Diamondbacks. Last year he faced the Rockies twice without much success (9⅓ innings, nine earned runs). He'll have to do better than that today.
Chad Bettis' only career appearance against the Cubs was in relief July 28, 2014 at Wrigley Field. He gave up an RBI single to Anthony Rizzo. This year, he has one good start (against the Padres) and one not-so-good (against the Diamondbacks). This hints that a good offense should be able to hit him. Jason Heyward has homered off him in the past.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago. It's also being carried nationally on MLB Network.
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
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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.