Last year Cubs swept regular season, Mets swept NLCS. Maybe this year it's simply the reverse...— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) July 2, 2016
I think any one of us would take that deal if it were guaranteed. Of course, nothing in baseball is.
So let's win this one and finish the mathematical first half (the Cubs' 81st game) on a high note.
Here are today's particulars.
Zobrist 2B, Heyward CF, Bryant RF, Rizzo 1B, Contreras LF, Candelario 3B, Baez SS, Ross C, Lester P
Insert "other split squad" joke here.
Lagares CF, Granderson RF, Cespedes LF, Walker 2B, Flores 3B, Loney 1B, Reynolds SS, Rivera C, Syndergaard P
Jon Lester is what was once known as a "stopper," a starter who can stop losing streaks. As noted yesterday, he was named N.L. Pitcher of the Month for June, in which he made six starts with a 1.41 ERA and 0.784 WHIP. His last regular-season start against the Mets, July 1, 2015 at Citi Field, was excellent: seven innings, five hits, no runs, seven strikeouts. A repeat of that would be nice.
Noah Syndergaard has been very good this year, though like Jake Arrieta, he had a rough June (3.86 ERA in five starts, and his last one against the Nationals June 27 was particularly bad (three innings, seven hits, three walks, five runs). He's reportedly been pitching with bone spurs in his elbow. Not that I wish injury on anyone -- I surely don't -- but if this results in the Cubs being able to hit him, I'm OK with that.
Today's game is on WGN. 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.