Although a variety of minor mysteries still hover over the exact make-ups of both the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs this year, the two teams' respective Opening Day starters are set. On the South Side, no one will take the mound on April 1st. That's because the Sox will be in Ohio to face the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.â†µ
There, however, Mark Buehrle should make his fourth consecutive Opening Day start for the Sox and his ninth since 2002. (Jose Contreras interrupted the left-hander's streak in 2007.) The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Edwin Jackson will likely pitch Game Two on April 2 and, presumably, John Danks will pitch Game Three. Gavin Floyd will then probably make his season debut pitching on the road against the Kansas City Royals on April 5. Who will pitch thereafter remains one of those mysteries we mentioned above.â†µ
On the North Side, there will indeed be a starter on the mound at Wrigley Field to face the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 1st. As announced just this morning, that man will be Ryan Dempster. Carlos Zambrano will pitch Game Two and Matt Garza Game Three. Barring any unforseen changes, this decision will break Zambrano's six-year streak as the Cubs' Opening Day starter. Before that, Kerry Wood, who's of course back on the team as a relief pitcher, served as the Opening Day starter in 2003 and 2004.â†µ
So there you have it, Chicago baseball fans. Can you feel the warm, spring breezes blowing across the bright green outfield grass already? Yeah, based on how ugly the weather can be in Chicago and Cleveland in early April, neither can we. But we're getting closer, folks. We're getting closer.