Today's roster move: Here
- ABOUT THE VISITORS: Today is the earliest calendar date on which the Cubs have played the Mariners. The earliest in any of their seven previous series was April 30, in 2019, at Seattle. The Cubs have won their last five games against the Mariners, one in 2016 and four in 2019. They have won eight of nine and nine of 11, and have lost two in a row only once, their first 2 games at Seattle, in 2010. The Cubs are 6-2 against the Mariners at home. In all games, they are 13-6, for a winning percentage of .684. That is their highest percentage against any current big league team. Their second highest is .667 (10-5) against the Athletics. The Cubs have higher percentages against 11 defunct teams, ranging from .690 against the Indianapolis Hoosiers (40-18, in 1887-89) to .944 against the Kansas City Cowboys (17-1, in 1886, the Cowboys’ only season). (Courtesy of BCB’s JohnW53)
- NO K’S: The Cubs have struck out 65 times this year, which is the third-fewest of any team. Of course, they have played fewer games than all but one other team, but that’s also just 21.4 percent of plate appearances, an improvement over last year’s figure of 23.8 percent, and a huge improvement over 2021 (26.7 percent), when the Cubs broke the MLB record with 1,596 strikeouts.
- JUST MISSED IT: The loss to the Rangers Sunday put the Cubs two games under .500 all-time vs. American League teams (218-220). They’d have to sweep the Mariners to go over .500.
- THE BULLPEN SPLIT: The Cubs’ relief ERA is 5.02, which ranks 22nd in MLB. However, it splits up this way: Michael Fulmer, Keegan Thompson, Mark Leiter Jr. and Brad Boxberger have combined for an 0.82 ERA in 11 innings, while Michael Rucker, Julian Merryweather, Adbert Alzolay and Javier Assad have posted a 9.21 ERA in 14⅔ combined innings.
Here is tonight's #Cubs starting lineup for the series opener against Seattle!— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 10, 2023
Tune in: https://t.co/Gs2hZXyTjH pic.twitter.com/ZSBC7pKT8R
First of three at the Friendly Confines. pic.twitter.com/pkpJDcMNQL— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 10, 2023
Drew Smyly, LHP vs. Luis Castillo, RHP
Let’s try to forget Drew Smyly’s first 2023 start, which was pretty awful. Hopefully he can get back to his 2022 level of performance.
Smyly last faced the Mariners in 2020 and I’m going to ignore that game because, well, 2020 and besides that, there are as many Mariners from that one now on the Cubs roster (Luis Torrens) as on the Mariners active roster (J.P. Crawford). No current Mariners player has more than six career PA against Smyly; perhaps that will be to his advantage.
Luis Castillo faced the Cubs often as a member of the Reds, including twice last year before he was traded to Seattle.
One current Cub in particular has hit him very well — Eric Hosmer, who is 10-for-16 (.625) against Castillo with a home run. Ian Happ and Patrick Wisdom have also homered off Castillo. In eight career starts at Wrigley, Castillo has a 3.56 ERA and five home runs allowed in 43 innings.
A reminder that Statcast’s pitch graphics only start when a pitcher gets to 100 pitches in a season. Thus Smyly’s is from 2022, while Castillo’s is from this year.
Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
Please visit our SB Nation Mariners site Lookout Landing. If you do go there to interact with Mariners 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 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.