Opening Day notes...
- STARTING OFF: The Cubs are 80-65-2 all-time in Opening Day games, including last year’s win over the Brewers at Wrigley Field. When they open the season at home, they are 31-25-2 overall and 24-24-1 at Wrigley Field. The two tie games on Opening Day happened April 12, 1911 in St. Louis and April 12, 1965 at Wrigley, also against the Cardinals.
- HOME SWEET HOME: This is the fourth straight year the Cubs have opened the season at Wrigley Field, and they have won two of their three previous season openers (winning over the Brewers in 2020 and 2022 and losing to the Pirates in 2021). It’s the first time the Cubs have opened the season at home four straight years since nearly half a century ago, 1971-74. They won three of those four, defeating the Cardinals in 1971, losing to the Phillies in 1972, walking off the Expos in 1973 and topping the Phillies in 1974.
- THE SKIPPER: David Ross begins his fourth year as Cubs manager. His record entering this year is 179-205, and he has one division title, in the pandemic 2020 season. Ross is under contract through 2024 with a team option for 2025. If the team exercises that option (and I suspect they will), Ross will become the Cubs’ longest-tenured manager since Leo Durocher.
- THE NEW GUYS: The Cubs open the season with 14 players on their 40-man roster who were not in the Cubs organization a year ago on Opening Day.
Here are today’s particulars.
Marcus Stroman, RHP vs. Corbin Burnes, RHP
Marcus Stroman showed signs down the stretch last year that he was the kind of pitcher the Cubs paid big money for. From his return in July from a bout with covid through the end of the season, he posted a 2.56 ERA and 1.106 WHIP in 16 starts.
Overall last year at Wrigley, Stroman posted a 5.18 ERA in 12 starts, but that improved in September, when he had a 2.25 ERA in four home starts. Turning a new page today!
Stroman had a 1.37 ERA and 0.712 WHIP in three starts vs. the Brewers last year. Hopefully that success continues.
Corbin Burnes won the NL Cy Young Award in 2021, when he was utterly dominant. Last year he was good, but not quite that good.
In three starts vs. the Cubs last year, he posted a 2.37 ERA and 0.842 WHIP, with 24 strikeouts in 19 innings.
With the cold forecast, this could be a low-scoring affair.
Note that Statcast doesn’t update the pitch type graphics each year until the pitcher has thrown 100 pitches — so these are from last year, and it’s possible these graphics will be from 2022 until the pitcher’s third start.
Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.
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The 2023 Game Thread procedure will be like last year’s, 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.