chase fieldWell. Here we are. The first game in the post-Kyle Schwarber era for 2016. It’ll have a down feel, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cubs look just a little bit flatter today than they have in the first three games.

Then again, with this crew, it wouldn’t surprise me if they came out in total destruction mode and scored even more tonight than they did last night.

I guess I’m just trying to start the process of talking myself through this transitional phase. I can’t hide it – I’m so freaking bummed.

One thing that would help, at least for tonight? A big game from Jorge Soler, who starts in left field for the first time this season. I don’t mean a three-homer, diving-catch performance (though that would be sweet!); I just want to see him looking good out there at the plate and in the field. None of the Cubs’ other options for filling Schwarber’s spot have the upside of Soler, whose bat could be among the best on the team. That’s not fluffy pumping – scouts agree, the organization agrees, and anyone who’s observed him closely agrees about the overall offensive potential.



The rub, though, is that those same people agree that he’s been utterly brutal at times in the outfield, and I fear that he is going to be an extreme work in progress in left field. Perhaps even so poor that it won’t make up for the bat, and he might not get a long-term chance to take over out there. I’d like to see him get that chance, though. He can start earning it tonight.

Jason Hammel makes his season debut, hopefully picking up where he left off in the first half last year. He’ll pitch to David Ross, who fortunately slides in there against a lefty. That lefty, Robbie Ray, was pretty darn good for the D-Backs last year.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (3-0) at Arizona Diamondbacks (1-3), 8:40 CT on WGN-9, 670 The Score.

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun. But keep it “safe for work” type fun, all right?



The Series Preview lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: Jason Hammel (R)

  • 2016: 0.00 ERA, 0.00 FIP, 0.00 xFIP; 0.00 K/BB
  • 2015: 3.74 ERA, 3.68 FIP, 3.47 xFIP; 4.30 K/BB

versus

Diamondbacks: Robbie Ray (L)

  • 2016: 0.00 ERA, 0.00 FIP, 0.00 xFIP; 0.00 K/BB
  • 2015: 3.52 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 4.03 xFIP; 2.43 K/BB

Arizona Diamondbacks Lineup

1. Jean Segura, 2B

2. Socrates Brito, CF

3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

4. David Peralta, RF

5. Welington Castillo, C

6. Jake Lamb, 3B

7. Yasmany Tomas, LF

8. Robbie Ray, P

9. Nick Ahmed, SS

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dexter Fowler, CF

2. Jason Heyward, RF

3. Ben Zobrist, 2B

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Kris Bryant, 3B

6. Jorge Soler, LF

7. Addison Russell, SS

8. David Ross, C

9. Jason Hammel, P


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