A note via Fangraphs.com: Addison Russell comes into today's game with 12 defensive runs saved, best among all big-league shortstops and second in the major leagues among all players behind Nolan Arenado (15).
So Russell provides value even when he's struggling offensively.
And as a reminder of how young this team is, 46 of the Cubs' 73 home runs this year have been hit by players age 25 or younger. That's by far the most of any team. The Rangers are second with 31.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jay LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Contreras C, Heyward RF, Almora CF, Baez 2B, Arrieta P, Russell SS
Gordon 2B, Stanton RF, Yelich CF, Ozuna LF, Realmuto C, Riddle SS, Moore 1B, Colon 3B, Locke P
Jake Arrieta vs. Jeff Locke
Jake Arrieta seems to be getting back at least to last year's level. Last three starts: 2.50 ERA, 1.056 WHIP, 22 strikeouts and just four walks in 18 innings. If he can keep doing that, he should have a fine season.
Jake doesn't have much of a history against any of the current Marlins, 7-for-34, and the only one who has more than five at-bats against him is Ichiro Suzuki (3-for-6). The last time he faced the Marlins was June 8, 2014. He threw six shutout innings that day, but only about half the Marlins starting team from that game is still on their roster.
When I saw that Jeff Locke was starting this game, I thought that was good news for Cubs hitters, because they repeatedly pounded him when he was with the Pirates.
Locke, who signed with the Marlins as a free agent last offseason has a 6.00 lifetime ERA against the Cubs (12 appearances, 10 starts), his worst against any team against whom he has more than four starts. A sample of what Cubs hitters have done against him: Anthony Rizzo, .385 (10-for-26, three doubles, four home runs). Jason Heyward, .360 (9-for-25, a double). Kris Bryant, .308 (4-for-13, a home run). Overall current Cubs are hitting .359 against Locke, 42-for-117 with eight home runs.
Today's game is on CSN Chicago.
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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.
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