The Cubs will spend the first half of June wrapping up season series against outside-the-division clubs.
First up, the Diamondbacks, who the Cubs played in the first week of the season in Phoenix and won three of four. By Sunday, the season series will be complete, and then the Cubs head on a road trip to finish up their season's work against the Phillies, Braves and Nationals. Only one of these four teams (the Nats) is a potential Cubs postseason opponent.
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Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Heyward RF, Bryant LF, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, La Stella 3B, Montero C, Baez SS, Lackey P
Segura 2B, Bourn RF, Goldschmidt 1B, Lamb 3B, Castillo C, Owings CF, Tomas LF, Ahmed SS, Bradley P
John Lackey's Cubs career began against the Diamondbacks, and did not start well. On April 7 in Phoenix, he allowed six runs in the first three innings, including a pair of homers to Jean Segura. But he gutted out six innings in that start, and since then has posted a 2.60 ERA and 0.914 WHIP in nine outings, with an opponents' BA of .194. Those numbers are even better since May 1: 2.06 ERA, 0.814 WHIP, and he's gone at least seven innings in five of six starts since the beginning of May.
Archie Bradley, consistently one of MLB's top pitching prospects for the last four years, has been up and down between the D'backs and Triple-A Reno this year. He dominated Triple-A hitters (1.99 ERA in seven starts), not so much in the big leagues (6.11 ERA, 1.472 WHIP in three outings). He has never faced the Cubs and the only current Cub who has faced him is Jason Heyward (0-for-2). He threw reasonably well in his last start against the Padres (seven innings, four hits, three runs, nine strikeouts). In short, who knows?
Today's game is on CSN Chicago. Outside the Chicago and Phoenix markets it can also be seen on MLB Network.
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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.