Fun fact about tonight's game:
Ed Hartig: Arrieta aims to become 1st Cub to win his 1st 6 starts to a season since 1908 (Mordecai Brown won 1st 11 starts).— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) May 3, 2016
We're hearing about a lot of Cub things this year that haven't happened since 1907 or 1908. I'm pretty sure you can think of something else you'd like to see this year that hasn't happened since those years.
Here's one more fun Cubs fact for today:
9 MLB teams have fewer than 12 wins this season.#Cubs have 12 wins this season... by 5 or more runs— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) May 3, 2016
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Soler LF, Bryant RF, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Baez 3B, Russell SS, Federowicz C, Arrieta P
Jaso 1B, McCutchen CF, Freese 3B, Joyce RF, Cervelli C, Polanco LF, Rodriguez 2B, Mercer SS, Niese P
See above for a fascinating fact about Jake Arrieta, who has been awesome all year. You all know what he did the last time he started in PNC Park. In fact, over his four starts at PNC in 2015 (including the wild-card game), Jake threw 31 innings, allowed 18 hits and four walks, two earned runs, and struck out 28.
That is what I would call dominance. More of this, please.
Jonathon Niese came to the Pirates last offseason in the deal that sent Neil Walker to the Mets. He pitched once against the Cubs last year, May 14 at Wrigley Field, when the Mets blew a 5-1 lead and the Cubs won 6-5. Dexter Fowler homered off Niese. This year he's 3-0 in five starts, but with an unsightly 5.08 ERA. The W/L record is largely because the Pirates have been scoring buckets of runs in his starts (6.5 per start, 12th-best in MLB this year). That's not likely to happen with Jake on the mound. Niese gave up 10 hits in less than six innings in each of his last two starts.
Today's game is on WPWR. Outside the Chicago and Pittsburgh markets it's being shown nationally on MLB Network. In the blackout area, check local listings for the channel in your market.
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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.