ON THE ROAD TO CHICAGO — You will need this today:
The Cincinnati-area weather forecast for today (this one map-centered on GABP) shows rain all afternoon and evening, with the possibility of flash floods and between one and one and a half inches of rain possible.
If you are reading this preview, it means they have not called the game by two hours to game time, the usual posting time for game previews here. Really, they ought to.
And as I explained yesterday, I doubt the Cubs will agree to give up their off day in Chicago Wednesday to play then (and the weather’s not going to be much better, either). I suspect, if when this game is called, it’ll be made up next month when the Cubs return to GABP, and hopefully by then it’ll be warmer and drier.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jon Lester, LHP vs. Cody Reed, LHP
Jon Lester’s first start of 2018 was eminently forgettable, so let’s forget about it.
In his career against the Reds, he’s generally pitched pretty well: 13 starts, 4.27 ERA, 12 walks and 67 strikeouts in 73 innings. He’s actually got a better ERA against them at GABP (3.66, six starts) than at Wrigley (4.87, seven starts).
The reason Lester is scheduled to start this game is because the brass didn’t want him facing the Brewers, who have run like crazy against him in the past. If Lester doesn’t start today, I’d guess he throws a sim game Wednesday and stays on schedule to start the home opener next Monday.
Cody Reed was the Royals’ second-round pick in the 2013 draft, the same round the Cubs took Rob Zastryzny. Reed came to the Reds along with Brandon Finnegan in the deal that sent Johnny Cueto to the Royals.
Reed has talent, but the Cubs have bashed him around pretty good. Put it this way: Reed has made three career starts vs. the Cubs, and has a 16.20 ERA and 2.600 WHIP in 10 career innings (18 earned runs, seven home runs allowed). That’s almost one-fifth of his career ER and almost half of his career HR allowed, small sample size (65⅓ innings).
Point is, the Cubs hitters should be salivating to face Reed, but might get washed out of the chance.
Today’s game is on WGN.
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The 2018 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2017. 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.
Discuss amongst yourselves.