Here are tonight’s particulars.
Zobrist LF, Bryant RF, Rizzo 1B, Candelario 3B, Russell SS, Baez 2B, Contreras C, Lackey P, Almora CF
Not too much pressure on Jeimer Candelario, hitting cleanup.
Parra RF, LeMahieu 2B, Arenado 3B, Reynolds 1B, Desmond LF, Story SS, Amarista CF, Garneau C, Freeland P
John Lackey vs. Kyle Freeland
Let's be honest: John Lackey is not having a good year. His first two starts were decent (after some first-inning woes), but he has a 6.26 ERA and 1.478 WHIP over his last four starts with seven (!) home runs allowed in 23 innings.
That's not going to get it done at Coors Field. These numbers don't give any confidence either: Current Rockies are hitting .309 (29-for-94) against Lackey with five home runs. Lackey did not face the Rockies as a Cub last year.
Kyle Freeland is making his seventh major-league start. Five of the previous six have been very good, and he's been better at Coors Field (1.65 ERA in three starts) than on the road (3.57 ERA in three starts). He has issued eight walks in 16⅓ innings at Coors Field, so maybe there's something the Cubs can take advantage of. He has obviously never faced the Cubs or anyone on the current Cubs roster.
Tonight'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.