Here are some milestones Cubs players could reach this weekend.
Dexter Fowler: needs two hits to get to 1,000 in his career. 272 of his 998 career hits have been with the Cubs.
Ben Zobrist: needs five walks to reach 100. His career high is 97, and he's struck out only 80 times. Just seven Cubs players have had 100 or more walks in a season with fewer than 100 strikeouts, last accomplished by Gary Matthews in 1984. The last player to do this for any team was Jose Bautista in 2014.
Anthony Rizzo: needs one home run to set a new career high. His 32 current HR tie his career high set in 2014. Rizzo's 133 homers as a Cub already rank 16th on the all-time team list. Two more years like this one and he'll be in the top 10.
Addison Russell: needs six RBI to get to 100. The last major-league shortstop to have a 100-RBI season was Troy Tulowitzki in 2011. The last Cubs shortstop to do it was Ernie Banks in 1960.
Jon Lester: needs to win Saturday to get to 20 wins. It would be the first 20-win season of his career.
Kyle Hendricks: to keep his season ERA under 2.00, he either needs to allow no runs in his Sunday start, allow no more than one run in at least five innings, or throw a complete game allowing no more than two runs.
For the team, if they hit one home run this weekend (I figure there will be more, what with the Reds' pitching staff), that would be the most any Cubs team has hit in one season against a single opponent. The current total of 37 against the Reds tied the Cubs' 37 homers vs. the Cardinals in 1955. (That was achieved in 22 games; the current 37 have been hit in only 16 games against the Reds this year.)
Here are some other fun and interesting 2016 Cubs facts, via ESPN Stats & Info.
Also, you might again need this for reference tonight:
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Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Heyward RF, Russell SS, Coghlan LF, Montero C, Buchanan P
Chris Coghlan, obviously OK to play just two days after he hurt his ankle going after a ball in Pittsburgh. That's good news. Coghlan is hitting .321/.426/.500 (18-for-56) since August 1 with five doubles, a triple, a home run, 10 walks, 10 runs scored and 14 RBI.
Peraza SS, Iribarren CF, Votto 1B, Duvall LF, Suarez 3B, De Jesus 2B, Barnhart C, Renda RF, Smith P
It's hard to figure what we might get from Jake Buchanan tonight. He hasn't pitched in 25 days, and he threw just one inning then. He did make 22 starts this year at Triple-A Iowa, and the most pitches he threw in a game there was 105, a little more than a month ago on August 21. He has never faced the Reds, and the only member of the Reds' current roster he has faced is Tyler Holt (1-for-1, just about the smallest sample size you can get). In short, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Josh Smith started against the Cubs September 20 at Wrigley Field. He threw pretty well -- 43 strikes in 66 pitches over three innings, allowing just one run. Can't imagine he'll go much longer than that, as it was his only start of the year. He's made one relief appearance since then. Once he departs, the Cubs ought to do well against the Reds bullpen, which has a 5.04 ERA, 31 losses, 24 blown saves and 99 home runs allowed in 570 innings.
Probably the oddest pitching matchup we've seen this year.
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.