Sigh. Once again, you will need this today (and possibly need it for this entire series):
According to this, we have had precipitation in Chicago on 60 percent of all days since March 1, it's already the 11th-wettest spring in Chicago history (and likely to go higher).
Because this is the Giants' only visit to Wrigley this year, the Cubs are likely going to do whatever they can to get these games in. If you are coming to the ballpark, bring rain gear.
Here are today’s particulars.
Zobrist LF, Almora CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Contreras C, Russell SS, Heyward RF, Baez 2B, Lackey P
Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ get the night off against lefthander Ty Blach.
Panik 2B, Arroyo 3B, Belt 1B, Posey C, Crawford SS, Nunez LF, Ruggiano RF, Hernandez CF, Blach P
Old friend alert: Justin Ruggiano in right field for the Giants.
John Lackey vs. Ty Blach
After a rough start to this season, John Lackey has pitched better in his last two starts (combined: 12⅓ innings, four walks, 13 strikeouts). Current members of the Giants are hitting .200 (18-for-90) against him with two home runs. Hopefully he keeps that run going.
Don't really have much more to say about Lackey. He seems to be nearing the end of the line. Hopefully he can still put together a few more good outings.
Ty Blach threw really well for the Giants at the end of last year and did not give the Cubs any runs in two appearances (3⅓ innings) in the division series.
This year? Not so much. Blach started this year in the Giants bullpen and moved into the rotation with the injury to Madison Bumgarner. He has had three good starts, one mediocre one and one where he got pounded by the Reds for eight runs in 3⅓ innings.
The number that astounds me is his K/9 ratio: 2.9. He has struck out only 11 hitters in 34⅔ innings this year. The next-worst K/9 for anyone with as many innings as Blach is 3.62 (Jeremy Hellickson).
So the Cubs should be able to put the ball in play against Blach.
Today's game is on WGN. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and San Francisco 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.