Here we go with the first scheduled seven-inning games in Cubs franchise history. There have been seven-inning games previously, but those were all shortened by rain or other reasons.
In addition, the Cubs will bat first in Game 2, as that’s a game rescheduled from last weekend in St. Louis. Despite that, for statistical purposes, the Cubs will be the home team for both games today as the MLB rulebook states that “the home team is the team on whose grounds the game is played.” So while the Cubs will play 33 home games at Wrigley Field this year, they’ll bat last in only 30 of them.
Here are a few notes about that via Cubs historian Ed Hartig:
- This will be the first time the Cubs will bat first in their home ballpark since July 16, 1908 vs. the Giants with the Cubs batting first at the West Side Grounds.
- The rule that the home team bats in bottom of the inning wasn’t codified in the rule book until 1950. Prior to then, there were thousands of games in which the home team batted first - including over 500 games involving the Cubs. Reason: In the early days of baseball it was common for a game to be played using only one ball. There was actually a coin flip before the game, and if the home team won, they’d often elect to bat first so that they got to hit the newer/cleaner/harder ball. The practice of the home team batting first began to fade as more and more baseballs were used in games and it was finally made official in 1950.
Other notes for Monday:
- DOUBLING THEIR PLEASURE: This is the first Cubs doubleheader since September 8, 2018 at Washington (Cubs were swept) and it’s the team’s first at Wrigley Field since July 21, 2018, vs. St. Louis (split). The team did not play any twinbills in 2019, just the fourth time in club history the Cubs had no doubleheaders (1881, 1985 and 2010).
- LOTS OF CARDINALS: This will be just the third time the Cubs and Cardinals will play five games in three days at Wrigley Field. The other two: July 2-4, 1925 (Cubs went 3-2) and Sept. 15-17, 1944 (4-1).
- LOTS OF INNINGS: The teams will play at least 37 innings in this five-game series. The last time the Cubs played more than 37 or more frames in a three-day span was September 15-17, 2015, in Pittsburgh. In that series the Cubs and Pirates played 18 innings in a doubleheader on September 15, played 12 innings the next day then followed that up with a simple nine-inning game on September 17.
IMPORTANT SITE NOTE: There will not be a recap of Game 1 on this site before Game 2 begins, since there will only be (about) 30 minutes in between games. Instead, I will recap both games here Tuesday morning. For more on the game thread procedure for today’s games, see below.
Here are today’s particulars.
Cubs Game 1 lineup:
Cardinals Game 1 lineup:
Game 1: Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Kwang Hyun Kim, LHP
You probably remember the 81-pitch, three-hit shutout Kyle Hendricks threw against the Cardinals last May 3 at Wrigley Field.
At the end of seven innings Hendricks had thrown only 62 (!) pitches. That game ran 2:28. If The Professor can do that again, we could get this one in under two hours.
The Cardinals are one of Kyle’s favorite opponents. In 18 career starts covering 113⅔ innings he has a 2.93 ERA and 1.100 WHIP. I’ll take another one of those shutouts from last year, please.
Kwang Hyun Kim is 32 and has been a very good pitcher for the SK Wyverns in Korea’s KBO for 12 seasons. The Cardinals signed him hoping he’d be their closer, but as noted in the series preview, with Miles Mikolas out for the year he got pressed into service in their rotation.
With the Cardinals having played only eight games so far, Kim’s only MLB appearance was an inning of relief against the Pirates July 24. He allowed two hits and a run.
He’s obviously never faced the Cubs or anyone on the Cubs roster. Sometimes that works to the pitcher’s advantage. We’ll see.
The Cubs have officially called up Tyson Miller from their alternate site in South Bend and he’ll start Game 2 of the double header.
Miller turned 25 about three weeks ago and was the Cubs’ fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft. He’ll be making his major-league debut. He posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.280 WHIP in 26 starts split between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa last year.
Miller will wear uniform No. 72. He’ll become only the second Cub to so, after Robert Machado, a catcher for the team in 2001 and 2002.
The Cardinals have not announced a starter for Game 2 as of the posting time of this preview. Check the BCB Twitter feed for more info re: Game 2.
Both of today’s games are on Marquee Sports Network. Here is a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.
MLB.com Gameday for Game 1
MLB.com Gameday for Game 2
Baseball-reference.com game preview for Game 1
Baseball-reference.com game preview for Game 2
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The 2020 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. The game thread procedure for today’s doubleheader will be a little bit different, though, see below.
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/Date) 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, and for today’s doubleheader — since it’s a traditional doubleheader with 30 minutes in between games — overflow threads will post one hour, two hours, three hours and four hours after the first pitch.
Discuss amongst yourselves.