From the Friendly Confines

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Good afternoon from beautiful Wrigley Field on Chicago’s North Side. Always a treat to come here and see baseball the way it was meant to be played (though it’s a bit of a disappointment that the Nationals and Cubs are playing night games tonight and tomorrow, with only one day game Thursday). Oh well, I’ll have to settle for that.

This is certainly one of the most distinct ballparks in the world, and the weather is one reason for that. It’s always windy here, just a matter of which direction it’s blowing: in off Lake Michigan, or out towards the lake. Usually it blows in early and late in the season when it’s colder, while the summer months are defined by the wind blowing out.

So what’s the difference? Well, when the wind is blowing in, it’s almost impossible to hit a ball out of the park. When it’s blowing out, watch out if you’re sitting in the bleachers. The ball flies here like few other ballparks in the majors. In other words, Garrett Mock had better beware. The young right-hander has been pretty good at keeping the ball in the park, with only five homers allowed in 47 2/3 innings this season. This, though, will be a good test for him tonight.

Here are the respective lineups. Note that Nyjer Morgan is out, replaced in center field and atop the order by Willie Harris. Not sure what the reason for that is, but I’ll pass it along once I find out…

NATIONALS

CF Willie Harris

SS Cristian Guzman

3B Ryan Zimmerman

1B Adam Dunn

LF Josh Willingham

2B Ronnie Belliard

RF Elijah Dukes

C Wil Nieves

P Garrett Mock

CUBS

SS Ryan Theriot

RF Milton Bradley

1B Derrek Lee

3B Aramis Ramirez

CF Kosuke Fukudome

LF Alfonso Soriano

C Geovany Soto

2B Mike Fontenot

P Carlos Zambrano

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Mark Zuckerman

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