A freak late-season snowstorm hit Chicago April 14, the date this game was originally supposed to be played. 5.4 inches of snow fell at O’Hare Airport, the city’s official reporting station, the second-latest date in Chicago history for five or more inches of snow.
This afternoon’s forecast calls for unlimited sunshine, light winds and pleasant temperatures in the mid 60s, much more conducive to baseball.
Meanwhile, the Angels’ travel schedule to get to this game is not enviable. They just finished a seven-game road trip to Oakland and Seattle. Then there’s this game... and then they fly back to California to begin a homestand tomorrow night. Today’s game is the only one the Angels play outside the Pacific time zone between May 17 and June 11.
For those of you wanting to see Mike Trout (who missed the other two Cubs/Angels games at Wrigley this year with an injury) today, it should be noted that he has, in fact, previously played at Wrigley Field, four games, two in 2013, two in 2016, as follows:
July 9, 2013: 1-for-3, a walk, two strikeouts, Cubs won 7-2
July 10, 2013: 3-for-4, a walk, an RBI, Angels won 13-2
August 9, 2016: 0-for-4, two strikeouts, Cubs won 5-1
August 10, 2016: 1-for-4, two strikeouts, Cubs won 3-1
Overall: .333/.412/.467 (5-for-15), two doubles, three runs, two RBI, six strikeouts. The Cubs won three of the four games Trout has played at Wrigley in his career, so far.
Here are today’s particulars.
Jon Lester, LHP vs. Cam Bedrosian, RHP
Jon Lester is going through a rough patch, no sugarcoating it. This has happened to him previously in his four-plus seasons in a Cubs uniform and he has always come out of it and pitched well afterwards. It would be good for that to start this afternoon.
It might mean something, or not... Jon’s splits hint at a better game today. He has a 2.63 ERA and 1.000 WHIP in day games this year (five starts) and a 4.40 ERA and 1.709 WHIP in night games this year (five starts). He also has a 1.90 ERA and just two home runs allowed in 23⅔ innings at home and a 4.97 ERA and five home runs allowed in 29 innings on the road.
Solution to Lester’s problems, then: Start him only in home day games. (Yes, I know that’s not possible.) His next start after today will also be a home day game, though, Saturday against the Cardinals.
He has not faced the Angels since April 5, 2016 and a lot of those players aren’t on the Angels anymore. Current Angels are a small sample size .224 (14-for-62) against Jon with no home runs.
Originally, Trevor Cahill was listed as the starter for this game. Now, Cam Bedrosian shows up as the starting pitcher on the Angels’ probable pitcher page.
Bedrosian is going to be used as an “opener,” something several teams have tried in the last couple of years, with mixed results. He hasn’t thrown more than 1⅔ innings in any of his outings this year, but has been used as an “opener” four times, most recently last Tuesday. That’s the only one of those four games the Angels have won. To my knowledge the Cubs have never faced a team using an “opener.”
Fun fact: Cam Bedrosian is the son of former big leaguer Steve Bedrosian, who posted 184 saves in a 14-year career for four teams from 1981-95. Steve won the 1987 N.L. Cy Young Award despite many pitchers, including the Cubs’ Rick Sutcliffe, having notably better years.
That Angels probable pitcher page says Cahill will follow Bedrosian. Cahill, the former Cub, hasn’t faced the Cubs since 2014, despite his travels around MLB. Cahill had a terrible May: 8.22 ERA, 1.391 WHIP, seven HR allowed in 23 innings. Most of the current Cubs have never faced him, but Jason Heyward is 5-for-10 with a home run. Heyward is also 3-for-3 with a home run against Bedrosian.
Today’s game is on WGN.
SB Nation game preview
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The 2019 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. 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.