BALTIMORE — Rain has exited the mid-Atlantic area and weather conditions should be just fine for Saturday night’s game.
The Cubs are 7-3 all-time vs. the Orioles, their best winning percentage vs. any American League team. (Next best: 8-4, .667 vs. the Athletics.)
In interleague play so far in 2017, the Cubs are 3-6 with 11 games remaining. All-time, the Cubs are 156-165 against the A.L., so they do have a chance to even up that mark — but they have to keep winning these games. So far in A.L. parks this year the Cubs are 2-2 (1-2 in Boston, 1-0 in Baltimore).
Here are today’s particulars.
Jay DH, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Contreras C, Happ LF, Russell SS, Heyward RF, Baez 2B, Almora CF
Kyle Schwarber sits vs. the lefthander Wade Miley, but might wind up pinch-hitting late in the game vs. a RH relief pitcher.
Jones CF, Machado 3B, Schoop 2B, Davis 1B, Trumbo DH, Mancini LF, Smith RF, Joseph C, Tejada SS
Jake Arrieta vs. Wade Miley
This is Jake Arrieta’s first appearance in Camden Yards since the Orioles traded him to the Cubs a little more than four years ago. It is, as you know, one of the best deals in franchise history.
That’s fading into history to some extent, though. Jake has struggled at times this year; at other times he’s looked very good. In 10 starts since May 21 he’s posted a 3.49 ERA and 1.182 WHIP, which really is perfectly acceptable. No one had ever had a second half like Jake’s 2015, and it wasn’t realistic to expect that to continue. If he can keep going along the lines of those last 10 starts, that’d be just fine.
Jake pitched against his old team August 22, 2014 at Wrigley Field. Most of those Orioles aren’t with the team anymore, but we’d certainly take an outing like that tonight: seven innings, four hits, one run.
It’ll be interesting to see Orioles’ fans reaction to Jake. Since he doesn’t come to bat in an interleague game at an A.L. park, it’ll have to be when his name is announced, or when he takes the mound.
The Cubs faced Wade Miley quite a few times when he was a member of the Diamondbacks. More relevant might be the start he made against them last year with the Mariners, July 30 at Wrigley Field, when he threw seven innings and allowed one run and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Oddly, his opponent that day was Jake.
Or maybe more relevant is Miley’s 2017 season, or more specifically his last seven starts, in which he’s posted a 9.64 ERA and 2.423 (!) WHIP, with six home runs and 19 walks allowed in 28 innings. That’s the Miley I hope the Cubs get to pound tonight.
Today's game is on ABC7 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.
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.