You will need this for reference during tonight's game, most likely:
Hopefully, like Monday night, the rain will scatter itself away from Wrigley Field. After tonight, beautiful weather is expected for the rest of this homestand. Let's hope for some beautiful Cubs baseball this evening.
Here are today's particulars.
Baez 2B, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soler LF, Heyward RF, Russell SS, Montero C, Szczur CF, Hendricks P
The Pirates lineup was not available at the time I wrote this preview.
Kyle Hendricks has made one start against the Pirates this year, June 19 at Wrigley Field, in which he allowed one run in six innings and struck out 11. (Two guys who aren't with the team anymore made that game closer than it should have been.)
Perhaps more importantly, Kyle threw a 123-pitch complete game August 1, which was the day after another long extra-inning game in which the bullpen got a lot of work. It'd be great if Kyle could throw seven or eight innings tonight. You all know how great he's been since the beginning of July (1.34 ERA, 0.923 WHIP, .199 opponent BA) and at home this year (1.31 ERA, 0.899 WHIP, .202 opponent BA). Keep up the good work!
Chad Kuhl is making his ninth major-league start. He's pitched reasonably well (3.50 ERA, 1.168 WHIP), but the Pirates have kept him on a reasonably short leash. He's exceeded 93 pitches just once in the previous eight starts, and the Pirates' bullpen was also extended last night. Hopefully, the Cubs can get to him early. They did that against him July 9 in Pittsburgh, the shortest outing of his career to date, with seven hits and four runs in 2⅓ innings, including a home run by Ben Zobrist.
Today's game is on WGN. For affiliate information in the Illinois/Indiana/Iowa Cubs TV market click here. It will also be on MLB Network outside the Chicago and Pittsburgh 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.