You will likely need this today:
The forecast says most of this should be out of the area by game time, though it will still be windy and cold. Hope that turns out to be correct.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jay LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Russell SS, Montero C, Almora CF, Baez 2B, Lackey P, Szczur RF
Insert "other split squad" joke here.
Hernandez 2B, Altherr LF, Herrera CF, Franco 3B, Saunders RF, Joseph 1B, Rupp C, Galvis SS, Efliin P
John Lackey vs. Zach Eflin
John Lackey has had a bit of a rough start to 2017, though he has thrown six innings in all five of his starts. That's not really anything significant; it just makes him one of 65 starters this year to throw 30 or more innings.
Perhaps more significant is his track record against the Phillies from last year. He faced them twice and allowed one run in 14 innings. Current Phillies are hitting .227 (17-for-75) against him with no home runs. The chilly weather today should be good for pitchers. Let's hope for (at least) six more good innings from Lackey.
Zach Eflin is making his 15th major-league start. The 11 starts he made last year weren't great (5.54 ERA, 12 HR allowed in 63⅓ innings) but he's thrown pretty well in three starts this year (1.89 ERA in 19 innings). He has never faced the Cubs or anyone on the current roster, so let's hope the scouting reports on him are up-to-date.
Today's game is on WGN.
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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.