They seem almost back to that kind of winning and dominance. Since July 10, the last game before the All-Star break, the Cubs are now 15-6 and have outscored their opponents 95-57 in those 21 games.
Meanwhile, the A's have lost six of their last seven. I don't want to seem overconfident, but the Cubs do have a very good chance to sweep this series.
The A's are hosting "1980s Turn Back The Clock Day" today and will be wearing retro uniforms. My understanding is that the Cubs will be joining in on this promotion with a retro uniform, possibly the late-70s, early-80s baby-blue pinstripe "pajama" look.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Russell SS, Heyward RF, Soler DH, Montero C, Contreras LF
Crisp LF, Muncy 2B, Vogt C, Davis DH, Valencia RF, Alonso 1B, Semien SS, Smolinski CF, Healy 3B
Jake Arrieta's last outing, in which he allowed just two hits and two runs to the Mariners, suggests maybe he's back on track to have a good second half. He hasn't faced the A's since 2012, and just one current member of the A's roster played in that game (Coco Crisp). Current members of the A's roster are a small-sample-size 9-for-43 (.209) against Jake. Much of that is Khris Davis, the former Brewer, who's 4-for-19 against Jake with two doubles.
Sonny Gray was thought to be a Cubs trade target earlier this year, and who knows? He still could be next offseason. After a very good 2015 in which he finished third in A.L. Cy Young voting, Gray has had an awful 2016. He missed a couple of starts in late May with a strained trapezius, but hasn't been any better since his return: 5.57 ERA, 1.429 WHIP, 10 home runs allowed in 11 starts covering 63 innings. Only three current Cubs have ever faced him: Dexter Fowler (2-for-4), Ben Zobrist (2-for-5, two doubles) and Jason Heyward (0-for-3).
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.