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Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers preview, Thursday 4/7, 1:20 CT

It’s Opening Day!

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

You’ll need this today:

Opening Day notes...

  • THE NEW GUYS: The Cubs have 14 new players on the 40-man roster since the conclusion of the 2021 season. Mychal Givens, Chris Martin, Daniel Norris, David Robertson, Drew Smyly, Marcus Stroman, Wade Miley, Yan Gomes, Andrelton Simmons, Jonathan Villar, Clint Frazier and Seiya Suzuki were signed as free agents. Ethan Roberts and outfielder Nelson Velázquez were promoted from within the organization.
  • THE NEW COACHES: The Cubs major league coaching staff features four new faces in 2022: Greg Brown (hitting), Daniel Moskos (assistant pitching), Johnny Washington (assistant hitting) and Garrett Lloyd (bullpen catcher).
  • THE SPRING NUMBERS: Knowing these don’t necessarily mean much, the Cubs led all teams in walks this spring with 77. Cubs pitchers posted a 4.65 ERA, which doesn’t sound great — but it was second among all Cactus League teams (Rangers, 4.64). Cubs pitchers ranked fourth among all teams in strikeouts (190), but also led all teams in walks issued (74).
  • THE SENIOR CUBS: Today’s starting pitcher, Kyle Hendricks, is the longest-serving Cub. He debuted with the team (and in MLB) in July 2014. Second is Jason Heyward (April 2016) and third is Willson Contreras (June 2016). Those are the only three players remaining from the 2016 World Series champions.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Brewers lineup:

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Corbin Burnes, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

I’ve noted this about Kyle Hendricks previously, but it seems a good time to mention it again, regarding his 2021 season:

First seven starts: 6.23 ERA, 11 home runs in 34⅔ innings
Next 16 starts: 2.79 ERA, 11 home runs in 100 innings
Last nine starts: 7.96 ERA, nine home runs in 46⅓ innings

So which is the real Professor? The guy who had half a season in line with his previous seven years of work, or the guy who was a DFA candidate the rest of the time?

He didn’t have a good spring, but... Spring Training numbers are notoriously unreliable. I’m betting on Kyle returning to form.

A lot of his bad pitching last year was against Milwaukee: 6.14 ERA, 1.500 WHIP in four starts. That’ll have to improve.

The last time Hendricks faced the Brewers on Opening Day, he threw a three-hit complete game shutout. Granted, 2020, pandemic season, in July, but that was still Opening Day.

Corbin Burnes won the NL Cy Young Award and threw a no-hitter last year. He held the Cubs to three runs in 20 innings and struck out 36. One Cub did manage to homer off him in 2021: Ian Happ.

I guess the only positive about all that is that the Cubs weren’t the only team Burnes dominated.

And it’s a new year, starting fresh. Maybe things will be different in 2022.

Statcast
Statcast

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. Also, those of you outside the Cubs and Brewers market territory who don’t subscribe to MLB.TV or MLB Extra Innings have lucked out. The Red Sox/Yankees opener today has been postponed, so MLB Network is carrying the Cubs/Brewers game outside the Cubs and Brewers markets. This game will be the first regular season game of 2022 due to that Boston/New York rainout.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball. If you do go there to interact with Brewers fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2022 Game Thread procedure will be like last years, similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.

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, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of week/date) game threads.” It will contain every post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.