The Cubs are 16-6 against the Reds since the beginning of 2015 and won seven of the nine games played between the two teams in Cincinnati last year. The only losses were July 20, a tough one-run loss that was started by Clayton Richard, and the first game of a doubleheader two days later in which Kyle Hendricks had a rough first inning and then Yoervis Medina put the game out of reach.
The Cubs don't have Medina anymore, Richard is in the bullpen and Hendricks won't start in this series.
One other note: the weather that affected St. Louis on Wednesday has moved east into Ohio and there's a chance this game could get interrupted as well, by rain.
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Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Heyward RF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soler LF, Zobrist 2B, Russell SS, Ross C, Arrieta P
David Ross, again, gets the start against a lefty.
Cozart SS, Suarez 3B, Votto 1B, Phillips 2B, Bruce RF, Mesoraco C, Duvall LF, Schebler CF, Finnegan P
Jake Arrieta has had two excellent starts this year and one that would qualify as really good for anyone else, but was a bit below his standards. That's how good he is. He has not faced the Reds this year; last year he faced them twice in April, before his really good stretch began, and he allowed five earned runs in 12⅔ innings. That's 11 percent of all the earned runs he gave up all of 2015. Current Reds are 16-for-60 (.267) against Jake with no home runs.
Brandon Finnegan held the Cubs to one hit over 6⅔ innings April 11 at Wrigley Field, but he walked five, and that led to a pair of runs. The Cubs eventually won the game off the Reds' bullpen. Finnegan has walked 10 in 17⅔ innings this year, and the Cubs, being a patient team, should be able to take advantage of that.
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.