Let’s try that again, shall we?
TODAY is the Cubs’ home opener, nearly two weeks after the season began. Yes, this is the final home opener in baseball. Part of the reason the Cubs were kept away from Chicago for so long is because MLB would love to push the opener as far away from winter weather as possible … but … well, yesterday happened nonetheless. At least there is this built-in off-day for a reason, and the Cubs and Pirates can immediately make the game up. So it’s Opening Day number three for the Cubs.
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) April 10, 2018
- The starting pitchers for yesterday’s game – Tyler Chatwood and Ivan Nova – are expected to stay the same, and thus the Cubs’ rotation would stay in the same order going forward, with Jon Lester starting tomorrow night.
- Ian Happ may well lead off today, and Joe Maddon isn’t ready to give up on that setup just because of early-season whiffery (Cubs.com): “I just want to show some confidence in him right now. What I think is going on is a little abnormal in a sense. We’ve seen him swing and miss in the past. He’s a very streaky guy. I think once he gets a feel for it, you’ll start seeing the ball get hit like he can – he hits the ball really hard. I want to stay with that for now.” There is certainly a point at which you have to make a change, but you also want to make sure the young player is not feeling the pressure of YOU HAVE TO SUCCEED TODAY OR THAT’S IT, lest he actually be less likely to succeed and – hopefully – thrive.
- Happ’s 56.7% strikeout rate remains – by far – the highest in baseball, as does his 23.8% swinging strike rate.
- The White Sox were able to play their game in Chicago yesterday, but apparently had considerably less snow than the Cubs had in Wrigleyville, and they also had no return trips coming later this year from the Rays, so it was a little more urgent to get that one off.
- You are reminded that you can win a signed Anthony Rizzo bat from Marucci by entering here.
- Pirates closer Felipe Rivero is now Felipe Vazquez, so if you wonder who that guy is coming into the game this series, that’s him. (Although, well, I hope we don’t see him at all.)
- More from the winter wonderland: