Three months' worth of the 2016 season are in the books. Here are the Cubs' records by calendar month:
Well. Hm. Those are all winning records, but the trend line is in the wrong direction. Hopefully July (26 games scheduled) will turn that back around.
Oh, and guess what? There's a pretty good chance of storms in the New York area this evening, so be prepared for possible delays. Here's a NYC-area radar loop that should continue to update live (if it doesn't, just reload the page):
Here are today's particulars.
Zobrist 2B, Heyward RF, Bryant LF, Rizzo 1B, Contreras C, Baez 3B, Russell SS, Hammel P, Almora CF
Nimmo RF, Walker 2B, Cespedes CF, Loney 1B, Cabrera SS, Johnson LF, Flores 3B, d’Arnaud C, deGrom P
So let's not talk about Jason Hammel's poor outing against the Mets in the NLCS. (Look here, if you dare. Don't say I didn't warn you.)
Instead, check out his last regular-season start vs. the Mets, May 13, 2015 at Wrigley Field, an eight-inning, five-hit, one-run gem. Granted, those were the pre-Yoenis Cespedes Mets. Hammel had a decent June (3.45 ERA, 0.926 WHIP in five starts), though with five home runs allowed in 31⅓ innings. Current Mets are hitting .269 (35-for-130) against Hammel with eight home runs, three by James Loney.
Jacob deGrom has been one of the Mets' most consistent starters this year, though pitching with little run support (he ranks 130th of 136 qualified starters in run support per start), the Mets are just 6-7 in his 13 starts and haven't scored more than one run in any of his starts since May. They were outscored 15-3 in his five June starts and lost all five, despite deGrom posting a 2.45 ERA and 1.030 WHIP for the month. deGrom doesn't walk many (just 19 in 81 innings) so the Cubs will likely have to be more aggressive tonight.
deGrom lost twice to the Cubs during the 2015 regular season and allowed seven earned runs in 10⅓ innings, including home runs by Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. More of that, please.
Today's game is on WGN. It's also on MLB Network outside the Chicago and New York 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.