As good as the 26-games-over Cubs have been this year, they have swept a three-game (or more) series just four times: over the Reds in April, and the Pirates, Nationals and Phillies in May. No sweeps so far in June, where the Cubs are "only" 11-5.
I think it's time for another one, don't you?
Here are today's particulars.
Coghlan LF, Heyward RF, Bryant RF, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Montero C, Russell SS, Baez 3B, Hendricks P
Kyle Hendricks has had a good year, though he struggled a bit in his last outing against the Nationals. He has not faced the Pirates this year, and was not good against them last year (four starts, 6.63 ERA and 1.474 WHIP in 19 innings, with five home runs allowed). Current Pirates, though, are hitting .271 (13-for-48) against him with two homers (Gregory Polanco, Sean Rodriguez). Kyle will have to step up his game tonight.
Jameson Taillon (pronounced "TIE-own" according to his baseball-reference page) was the second overall pick in the 2010 draft and was making a steady climb up the Pirates chain when Tommy John surgery put him out for two years. Back this year, he threw really well at Triple-A Indianapolis and has made two major-league starts, both against the Mets. One was decent (six innings, three earned runs); in the other, June 14 in New York, he took a no-hitter into the seventh and wound up throwing eight shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk. He's obviously never faced the Cubs or anyone on the current roster. It'll be interesting.
Today's game is on ESPN.
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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.