ICYMI late last night, the Cardinals lost again to the Mariners by one run, this time 5-4. So the Cubs maintained their 10-game lead in the N.L. Central. They also lead the Pirates (who won Saturday) by 13 games.
The Cubs still have the best record in baseball and have maintained at least a 10-game division lead for eight consecutive days.
Feel better now?
Here are today's particulars.
Zobrist 2B, Heyward CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Contreras LF, Montero C, Russell SS, Coghlan RF, Hammel P
Suzuki CF, Prado 3B, Yelich LF, Stanton RF, Bour 1B, Dietrich 2B, Hechavarria SS, Mathis C, Fernandez P
Jason Hammel's June (3.55 ERA) has not been as good as his prior months, though he's still exhibiting good control (three walks in 20 innings). He faced the Marlins twice last year with good results: three earned runs in 13⅔ innings with one walk and 16 strikeouts. Current Marlins are hitting .310 (35-for-113) against Hammel with four home runs.
Oddly enough, even though Jose Fernandez has been around for parts of the last four seasons, due to his missed time via various injuries, he has never faced the Cubs. Only three current Cubs have faced him: Jason Heyward, Miguel Montero and Ben Zobrist, and they are a combined 3-for-13 with one double, which tells us almost nothing. Fernandez is quietly having an excellent season and he has a 1.17 ERA over his last eight starts, with 78 strikeouts in 54 innings. Further, he is 23-1 lifetime with a 1.48 ERA in 34 career starts at Marlins Park.
Clearly, we are doomed. (Been a while since you've heard that, right?)
Today's game is on ABC7 Chicago. It's also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Miami markets). 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.