At this moment, the Rockies stand as the only team the Cubs have faced this year where they are more than one game under .500. The Cubs are 1-3 vs. Colorado in 2016. They have losing records against only three other teams, no more than one game under against each: 1-2 vs. the Giants and Padres and 6-7 vs. the Cardinals.
Time to change all that, starting tonight.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Russell SS, Soler RF, Montero C, Szczur LF, Montgomery P
Dahl CF, LeMahieu 2B, Arenado 3B, Gonzalez RF, Raburn 1B, Hundley C, Parra LF, Adames SS, Hoffman P
Mike Montgomery made 16 starts for the Mariners in 2015. He threw back-to-back complete-game shutouts at the end of June. That was enough to give him a share of the A.L. lead in shutouts last year. This year he threw all in relief for Seattle until he made two starts just before he was traded to the Cubs. In those two starts he allowed four earned runs in 11⅓ innings, with just two walks. His first three Cubs outings weren't good, but since then he's got four consecutive scoreless appearances covering six innings, with 10 strikeouts.
I honestly have no idea how this will go. I assume he's limited to maybe 60-70 pitches or so. If that produces five innings, then Trevor Cahill can take over.
Jeff Hoffman was one of the centerpieces in the trade that sent Troy Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays last year. He was Toronto's first-round pick (ninth overall) in 2014, taken five picks after Kyle Schwarber. He is making his major-league debut tonight.
He throws hard and has had a lot of strikeouts at Triple-A Albuquerque (124 in 118⅔ innings). He's allowed 11 homers there with a 4.02 ERA, so he can be hit. Willson Contreras faced him in this game May 28 for Iowa and doubled.
Quite the interesting pitching matchup, as neither one of these pitchers has faced the other team, nor anyone on the current rosters (in the big leagues).
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.