About that whole “Wrigley North” thing?
It’s time to put a sock in it.
Cubs fans like to razz Brewers fans with this nickname for American Family Field, formerly Miller Park. It used to be pretty perfect not only because of all the Cubs jerseys in the stands, but also because the visitors routinely lit up the scoreboard.
In 2015 — when they really took off — the Cubs were 8-2 in Milwaukee, including a pair of series sweeps. In 2017, they were 7-3 in Milwaukee. In 2018, they won four of their first five games there — but the tables were about to turn.
The Cubs won the opener of a June series at Miller Park, giving them a 4-1 season record there and an utterly dominant 8-1 season record against the Brewers. But the Cubs were shut out in the last two games of the series and went 2-8 head-to-head the rest of the way, a final, embarrassing, offensively fruitless 3-1 loss coming in the Game 163 division tiebreaker at the actual Wrigley Field.
The Cubs were 3-7 in Milwaukee in 2019 and have lost 12 of their last 18 games there. Wrigley North? More like the House of Horrors. And that’s where the Cubs and their sleepy bats will be for three games beginning Monday.
This “American Family Field” thing is going to take some getting used to, but the name is the name. The nickname is another story. These days, it just plain misses the mark.
Here’s what’s happening:
Blackhawks at Blue Jackets (6 p.m., NBCSCH, NHLN)
The Hawks are 3-0 in Columbus this season, with Patrick Kane piling up six points in those games. He’ll have a great chance to add to that total now that the Jackets are focusing their entire defensive game plan on stopping Wyatt Kalynuk.
Bulls at Grizzlies (8 p.m., NBCSCH+)
OK, so it’s not quite Kareem vs. Wilt, but Nikola Vucevic vs. Jonas Valanciunas is a sneaky-good center matchup. Don’t be afraid to pronounce those names correctly, folks.
Cubs at Brewers (6:40 p.m., Marquee)
The Cubs can’t hit, but Kyle Hendricks sure can pitch. So can the Brewers’ Brandon Woodruff. When these two squared off last week at Wrigley Field, they combined to throw 13 scoreless innings. Who cracks first?
Indians at White Sox (7:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
Whoa — talk about a pitching matchup. Cleveland’s Shane Bieber is coming off a Cy Young season. All Lucas Giolito has allowed these division rivals the last two seasons is four earned runs in 33 2/3 innings. As a wise man once asked: Who cracks first?
Cubs at Brewers (12:40 p.m., Marquee)
Question: Who, in his first two outings of the season, became the first pitcher in modern history to make consecutive starts of six-plus innings with no walks and no more than one hit allowed? Answer: Corbin Burnes, son. He takes the bump for the hosts today.
Magic at Bulls (7 p.m., NBCSCH)
It won’t be easy, but we’re going to have to take a look at Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter in Magic uniforms, shed a few tears over what might have been and then just try to move on with our lives.
Indians at White Sox (1:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
We don’t know what’s better about Yermin Mercedes, his hit-machine ways or the fact he looks like he should be on a 16-inch softball field at Calumet Park. Actually, we do and it’s the latter.
WNBA Draft (6 p.m., ESPN)
All the mock drafts say the Sky need a point guard. Louisville’s Dana Evans? Stanford’s Kiana Williams? Whoever it is will own the headlines until the next time Candace Parker sneezes.
Red Stars vs. Portland (6:30 p.m., Paramount+)
The Red Stars outshot Houston 11-3 in their Challenge Cup opener, yet all it added up to was a scoreless tie. Can somebody find the back of the net, please?
White Sox at Red Sox (6:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
It’s still hard to believe sometimes that the Red Sox — the only team with four World Series titles this century — are doing the rebuilding thing. Who do they think they are, the White Sox and Cubs?
Braves at Cubs (1:20 p.m., Marquee)
Ronald Acuna Jr. is hitting everything that moves, but reigning MVP Freddie Freeman is below the Mendoza Line. See? It can happen to anybody.
Blackhawks at Red Wings (6 p.m., NBCSCH, NHLN)
The Hawks have beaten the daylights out of the Wings this season, outscoring them 25-12. Not to tell Jeremy Colliton how to do his job, but he might want to stick with the game plan.
Cavaliers at Bulls (7 p.m., NBCSCH)
In their first and only meeting of the season, Collin Sexton didn’t play and the Cavs made the Bulls look pretty pathetic anyway. So there’s nowhere to go but up.
New England at Fire (7:30 p.m., Ch. 9)
Well, well, a season opener at Soldier Field. Not to get completely sidetracked, but Andy Dalton really does have soccer hair, doesn’t he?
White Sox at Red Sox (12:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
The White Sox have had only two winning decades at Fenway Park, the 1980s (31-29) and the 2010s (18-17). Might as well get a jump on the 2020s if they can.
Jazz at Lakers (3:30 p.m., ESPN)
Utah has the best record in the league, but is it the best team? Sandbaggers LaBron James and Anthony Davis surely have their doubts.
Braves at Cubs (6:08 p.m., ESPN)
We know what you’re thinking and, no, It’s never too early to begin griping about Alex Rodriguez’s shoddy analysis.