- HAPP-ENINGS: Ian Happ hit the Cubs’ first home run of the season for the third time in his career (also 2018 and 2020). That’s tied for the third-most in team history, trailing Frank Schulte (four times), Ernie Banks (four times) and Mark Grace (four times).
- SCHEDULE ODDITY: After Sunday’s game, the Cubs travel to Cincinnati for a three-game series against the Reds. After that, they won’t play a N.L. Central opponent on the road until June 19-21, three games against the Pirates in Pittsburgh.
- THE NEW GUYS: Seven Cubs made their team debuts Thursday: Dansby Swanson, Cody Bellinger, Trey Mancini, Eric Hosmer, Miles Mastrobuoni, Brad Boxberger and Michael Fulmer. Three others did so Saturday: Tucker Barnhart, Edwin Rios and Luis Torrens. There are still two others on the active roster waiting to make their Cubs debuts: Jameson Taillon (who starts today) and Julian Merryweather.
- THE PITCH TIMER: The Cubs’ first two games of 2023 ran 2:21 and 2:32. The Cubs had only 11 nine-inning games run 2:32 or shorter in the entire 2022 season, and it took until May 16 (Game 34) to have two nine-inning games that short last year. (The game against the Rays April 20, 2022 ran 2:07, but was shortened to 5½ innings by rain.)
Here are today’s particulars.
Jameson Taillon, RHP vs. Eric Lauer, LHP
Jameson Taillon is making his Cubs debut this afternoon. He posted a 3.93 ERA in five spring starts covering 18⅓ innings with 23 strikeouts — and no walks. Spring or not, the walk number is impressive.
Control was one of the best things Taillon showed last year, too — just 32 walks in 177x innings, 1.6 per nine innings.
He made four starts in Wrigley Field while a member of the Pirates, posting a 2.25 ERA and striking out 20 in 20 innings. He faced the Brewers last year as a member of the Yankees, September 17 in Milwaukee, allowing four hits and four runs, including a homer by Willy Adames. Hope for a bit better today.
Eric Lauer had a terrible spring, posting an ERA of 11.57 in four outings, with a 2.486 WHIP. However, he had the same issues the last two years in spring training, so the Brewers aren’t too concerned.
He posted a 3.27 ERA and 1.273 WHIP in four starts against the Cubs last year. Among Cubs hitters, Ian Happ (4-for-11, two doubles) and Cody Bellinger (5-for-17, two doubles, a home run) have hit him reasonably well in the past.
Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.
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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.