ST. LOUIS -- Before losing the first game of the 2017 season on Sunday, the last time the Cubs were under .500 was April 10, 2015. They had split two games with the Cardinals at Wrigley Field to start that season, then lost the first game of a three-game set to the Rockies in Denver.
That season worked out pretty well, with 97 wins. All the loss Sunday means is that the Cubs can't go wire-to-wire in first place.
Here are today's particulars.
Schwarber LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Russell SS, Contreras C, Heyward RF, Baez 2B, Arrieta P, Almora CF
Fowler CF, Diaz SS, Carpenter 1B, Peralta 3B, Molina C, Piscotty LF, Grichuk RF, Wong 2B, Wainwright P
Jake Arrieta vs. Adam Wainwright
I am reminded today of the second game of the 2015 season, also started by Jake Arrieta, also after an Opening Night loss to the Cardinals. Those games were at Wrigley. In that game, Jake threw seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and the Cubs won 2-0. That was a hint of what was to come for Jake that year. A good outing like that could be a good sign for him and the team this year.
Adam Wainwright did not have a good 2016 -- 4.62 ERA, 1.404 WHIP, 22 HR allowed, just 1.0 bWAR -- and the Cubs were particularly rough on him. In three starts he posted a 7.38 ERA and 1.909 WHIP against the Cubs. Current Cubs are hitting .301 (37-for-123) against Wainwright with four home runs (Willson Contreras, Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo and Miguel Montero.) Hopefully, the 2016 Cubs dominance of Wainwright continues.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus. It’s also being carried by MLB Network (outside the Chicago and St. Louis markets).
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The 2017 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2016. 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.
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Discuss amongst yourselves.