Today and tomorrow are road games for the Cubs and home games for the White Sox, but I’d expect a large contingent of Cubs fans (including me) heading to the South Side for these games, as they have for many away games this year.
The Cubs had a good start on the road this year, starting out 8-4 on the road before losing two of three in Boston. Including that Boston series, they then went 10-21 in away games before winning their last seven on the road to even up the away record at 25-25.
Meanwhile, the White Sox have the major leagues’ third-worst home record at 19-23 (only the Giants and Phillies are worse at home). Since June 23 the Sox are 4-11 in their home park and have been outscored 89-51 over that 15-game span. They opened the second half with a five-game homestand and lost all five.
Hopefully, that Sox stretch continues tonight and tomorrow.
Here are today’s particulars.
Heyward RF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Schwarber DH, Happ CF, Jay LF, Russell SS, Caratini C
White Sox lineup:
Sanchez 3B, Cabrera LF, Abreu 1B, Davidson DH, Moncada 2B, Narvaez C, Hanson RF, Anderson SS, Engel CF
Jake Arrieta vs. James Shields
Jake Arrieta has had a very good July: four starts, 2.13 ERA, 0.908 WHIP, and signs that he’s at least back to where he was a year ago. This month he’s held opposing hitters to a .174 BA .
His last start against the White Sox was July 25, 2016. He allowed four runs in six innings, but five of the nine Sox hitters in that day’s starting lineup are no longer with the team. This is a good opportunity for Jake to have another good outing against a depleted Sox roster.
James Shields has now started 31 games for the White Sox since they acquired him June 4, 2016, about one full season’s worth of starts.
He has a 6.48 ERA and 1.677 WHIP in those starts, which cover 161 innings. In those 161 innings, he’s served up 43 (!) home runs.
That’s... really bad. He started off this year reasonably well, then spent two months on the DL and has been bad since he returned, especially in July (9.60 ERA in three starts, 2.067 WHIP, five HR in 15 innings).
The Cubs really should be able to hit him hard.
Today's game is on ABC7 Chicago. It’s also on ESPN, as well as CSN Chicago (with Sox announcers). The ESPN broadcast will be available nationally, including in the Chicago market territory (no blackouts). Here’s more on the ESPN broadcast.
The ABC7 broadcast will be available live on both the ABC7 and Cubs Facebook pages (in-market only).
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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.