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Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers preview, Thursday 7/6, 1:20 CT

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This game seems important.

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Since the Brewers appear to be the Cubs' main competition in the N.L. Central this year, I have been watching many of their games, mostly via the Brewers broadcast team.

If you haven't seen those games, you have no idea how much the Brewers do not want to play this game. They seem to be still upset over the way the rainout was handled -- they call it the "rainless rainout" and their TV team has been bitching constantly on the air about it.

The Brewers moved up the start time of their game Wednesday night by an hour, to 6:10 CT, in order to give them more time to bus down to Wrigley for the 1:20 p.m. start today. That game ended about 9:15, so figure the Brewers got to their Chicago hotel sometime after midnight. They leave right after today's game to fly to New York to play the Yankees in a weekend series.

Now, I don't know whether this attitude is just from the broadcast crew, or whether the players also feel that way. And in general I usually like the Brewers' TV team of Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder. But they are off base on this one, and Anderson and Schroeder continued complaining about it during Wednesday night's game.

Schedules don't always work out the way you want them to, and if the Cubs had read the weather the right way during that May weekend, they still would have had a rainout -- they probably should have called off the Friday game, which was played in miserable conditions, and played Saturday.

In any case, the Cubs probably would have liked an off day today too, but here we are. Hopefully the Brewers will be tired out from the quick turnaround from a night game and the Cubs can take this one.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Jay CF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Happ 2B, Schwarber LF, Contreras C, Heyward RF, Baez SS, Montgomery P

Brewers lineup:

Villar 2B, Santana RF, Braun LF, Aguilar 1B, Perez 3B, Pina C, Broxton CF, Arcia SS, Davies P

Mike Montgomery vs. Zach Davies

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

At last, Mike Montgomery appears to be getting the consistency he'll need to be a successful starting pitcher. He's gone at least three innings in all of his last three starts, posting a 3.38 ERA and 1.232 WHIP. He's walked only six in 18⅓ innings -- walks have been his biggest issue, and that's a good sign. 66 percent of his pitches have gone for strikes over that span, another good sign.

Montgomery has three relief appearances against the Brewers this year, allowing four runs in eight innings, along with six walks. Obviously, that's going to have to improve today.

Zach Davies pitched well over the last two seasons, but this year has been more or less a disaster. He's got a 5.03 ERA and 1.500 WHIP, both career worsts. And that ERA is down from earlier this year -- it was over six until early May.

The Cubs hit him hard April 9 at Wrigley Field -- seven hits and five runs in five innings. In fact, Wrigley has not been kind to Davies in his career. In three starts at Wrigley Field, Davies has posted a 6.00 ERA and 1.467 WHIP in 15 innings.

I'd like to see the Cubs give him another pounding today.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network outside the Chicago and Milwaukee markets.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

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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.