No rhyme nor reason, right? Three playoff contenders and an also-ran. The N.L. has not had a better overall interleague record since 2003, and 2016 is shaping up as no exception. Through Friday's games, the A.L. had won 114 interleague games and lost 98, a .538 winning percentage. That's a little lower than last year's .557 A.L. winning percentage.
212 of the total of 300 scheduled interleague games have been played. The Cubs have half their interleague schedule remaining (10 more games). They have two more (today and tomorrow) against the Mariners, then three in Oakland next weekend vs. the Athletics, followed by two at home next month against the Angels and three in Houston against the Astros in September. So the Cubs will have six more games in which they can use the DH.
Yeah, I know. You still don't think of the Astros as an A.L. team. Neither do I. But there they are.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Zobrist LF, Baez 2B, Russell SS, Heyward RF, Contreras 1B, Montero C, Arrieta P
Aoki LF, Martin CF, Cano 2B, Cruz RF, Seager 3B, Lind 1B, Zunino C, O'Malley SS, Miley P
Jake Arrieta has made two starts since the All-Star break, one very good, one that would have been except for one mistake (a three-run homer by Todd Frazier). He hasn't faced the Mariners since a three-inning relief appearance four years ago, so that's not likely relevant. Current Mariners are hitting .207 (14-for-69) against Jake with three homers (one each by Nelson Cruz, Adam Lind and Seth Smith).
Just to give you an idea of how much the Cubs have changed in two years, check out the boxscore of the last game Wade Miley pitched against the Cubs, July 19, 2014.
I'll give you a moment to contemplate that. Miley is not having a good year, though he's been a bit better in July (4.07 ERA) than before (5.58 ERA). Current Cubs are a small-sample-size 11-for-53 (.208) against him with one home run (Dexter Fowler).
Plus, Miley gets this year's award for Most Unkempt Beard.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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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.