The Cubs swept the Reds in Cincinnati June 27-29. After that series they were 51-26 and had an 11-game lead in the N.L. Central.
Since then the Cubs have mostly treaded water. They are 14-15 since that sweep, but have lost only two games off the division lead.
"Sweeploaf" would be great today, going into Thursday's off day.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Contreras LF, Heyward RF, Montero C, Baez SS, Lackey P
Gordon 2B, Prado 3B, Yelich LF, Stanton RF, Ozuna CF, Dietrich 1B, Mathis C, Hechavarria SS, Koehler P
John Lackey had his worst start of the year June 25 in Miami, giving up seven runs in 4⅔ innings. Hopefully he has that out of his system; his last outing against the White Sox July 28 was quite good. Since you're wondering, Lackey and Ichiro Suzuki have faced each other many times, going back to their years together in the A.L. West. Ichiro is hitting .306 (37-for-121) against Lackey with six doubles, a triple and a home run. The 37 hits is the most he has against any pitcher.
The Cubs hit Tom Koehler pretty hard June 24 in Miami: four runs in six innings, including homers by Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras. That began a stretch of four starts for him where he posted a 7.36 ERA. His last two outings, both against the Phillies, were better. But the Cubs have a better-hitting team than the Phillies.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago. It's also being carried on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Miami markets).
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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.