It’s Opening Day and the Chicago Cubs are already a half-game out of first place. This lousy front office…

Of course, being only a half game out means that, by the end of the day, the Cubs could be in first place! I’m not sure how many times I’ll get to say that this season, so I figured I should take my shot.

Bryan LaHair is indeed out today with a bad back, but he remains hopeful that he can play this weekend. I’m going to guess that Tony Campana remains in Chicago in the event that, today or tomorrow, the Cubs decide to DL LaHair, in which case Campana would join the 25-man roster. Jeff Baker – not Blake DeWitt – picks up the start today in LaHair’s place, which I suppose makes some sense give DeWitt’s reverse split (i.e., he tends to hit lefties better than righties, despite he, himself, being a lefty).

The Cubs have added Joe Mather and Shawn Camp to the 40-man roster (and, obviously, 25-man roster), and have put Marcos Mateo on the 60-day DL to open up a 40-man spot (Frankie De La Cruz was waived several days ago, and has since been outrighted off the 40-man). Blake DeWitt, as of this writing, is still not technically on the 40 or 25-man rosters, but is expected to be by game time. That’ll require a 40-man roster move, so I’ll update as soon as it happens.

UPDATE: Lefty reliever John Gaub was the 40-man roster victim. The Cubs waived the 26-year-old, and he was subsequently claimed by the Rays (not that they know anything about pitching). Gaub never quite put it together in limited big league opportunities (including Spring Training), but he’s always had an extraordinary K-rate in the Minors (12.6 per 9). He also walked an absurd number of guys (5.8 per 9), so you can understand the Cubs’ reluctance to keep stringing things along.

Game Info

Washington Nationals (0-0) at Chicago Cubs (0-0), 1:20pm CT on WGN.

Game Thread

The Game Thread lives here. Click me.

Starting Pitchers

Stephen Strasburg (0-0, -.–, no other stats available yet)


Ryan Dempster (0-0, -.–, no other stats available yet)

Washington Nationals Lineup

1. Ian Desmond, SS

2. Danny Espinosa, 2B

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Adam LaRoche, 1B

5. Jayson Werth, RF

6. Mark DeRosa, LF

7. Roger Bernadina, CF

8. Wilson Ramos, C

9. Stephen Strasburg, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, RF

2. Darwin Barney, 2B

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Ian Stewart, 3B

6. Jeff Baker, 1B

7. Marlon Byrd, CF

8. Geovany Soto, C

9. Ryan Dempster, P

  • Smitty

    Anyone else wondering why the kept Wood in there when he couldn’t find the plate? Seems like something Quade would have done.

  • Tarheel Cub

    Should have let Demp get out of the eighth himself… bad move with two outs and coming off a strike out.

  • ty

    woods tells a rookie pitching coach and mgr.-:”I only need to throw 11 pitches in spring training and save it for the season. Yes, Quade is back!

  • Doug

    UGH!! Freakin Wood and Marmol!! That bullpen is going to kill starting pitching this year!!!

  • Jeff

    Another Rookie Manager and Pitchers that can’t throw strikes!

    It’s going to be a long year :(

    Hey Epstein, How’s that Sean Marshall trade looking right now, the bullpen sucks now!!!

    Thanks alot Ivy League boy.

  • ty

    Jeff–you nailed it. Ballllllllllssssssss

  • czechxican

    Dana DeMueth. You call the strike for Lidge that you didn’t for Kerry Wood. You are an Amazing umpire.

    • Jeff

      I wouldn’t call him amazing…shitty maybe.

      Ok, Wood had some issues but that ump changed the games outcome by not calling critical strike 3’s.

      That umpire ought to be dumped to the minors for shit like that.

  • tex134

    It’s one game – you knew going in it was going to be rocky. You guys are in mid-season form with the complaining.

    • ty

      Tex–If you had been at spring training you would be ready too-no frigging bullpen at all .

  • al


  • Kyle

    Theo Epstein signs in relief, as his 2013 draft status almost took a small setback today.

    Ian Stewart extended his homerless streak to 57 games :)

    • Jeff

      Kyle, is that a “sighs in relief” ??

      • Kyle

        Theo Epstein can’t use ASL? What are you implying?

      • TWC

        No, ’cause deaf people can’t hear sighing. ┬áTheo is fully disabled-accessible.

  • terry

    Same old Cubs can’t close out a game… Better luck next year!

  • coal

    I didn’t catch the whole game today, but it seemed that for all the Cubs’ talk about fundamentals, it seemed like they were not on display today. There were obvious lapses in fielding (E5), pitching (BBs), and even baserunning (no way you run on that hard hit ball to 3rd in the 9th). I’m not going to pick on the hitters given who they were facing, and it’s not so much the loss as it’s the poor fundamentals that hurts.

    • Luke

      That play in the ninth looked like a straight hit and run; the runner was going on contact.  The fault on that play should lie with Baker, who hit the ball to just about the only place on the diamond he could not afford to hit the ball to in that situation.

      • coal

        You haven’t described the hit and run, and you wouldn’t put a hit & run on with a runner at third anyway. But no matter – boneheadedness all the way around.

  • Jeff

    Let’s look at our strong bullpen from last year.

    Marshall: gone
    Samardzija: rotation
    Cashner: gone
    Wood: recovering from off-season surgery
    Marmol: “recovering” from a bad year, maybe not

    And we replaced these losses with who?

    Oh yeah, a pitcher in AAA, an outfielder at AAA and an infielder in A+


  • TSB

    The entire off-season, I’ve read here how the Cubs are going to stink this year, and now people are shocked, simply shocked that they did stink in game one of 162. This was a team loss; the pitching staff’s ERA is now 2.00, let’s see if the position players can score three runs per game.

    • Andrew

      Very true point. So many people are focused on the bullpen. True, they could’ve (and probably should’ve) done better, but the bottom line is that this pitching staff only gave up 2 runs. I will take that every game of the year and take my chances that the offense can find a way to win it. They didn’t yesterday, but we should be able to get SOME production out of this offense.

    • DocPWimsey

      The conditions had a lot to do with why the game was so low scoring. On most days, Zimmerman hits 2 HR, which would have been another 5 runs. Now, Dempster did K more K’s than Strasburg (which is good under any weather conditions), but Dempster also walked more guys than did Strasburg (which is bad under any weather conditions).

  • Steve

    Demueth cost us that game plain and simple. I am proud of our Cubs, and Dempster. Strausburg is no picnic, and Demp out pitched him. Yes, we are bad, but I think we’ll be better than last year.
    Did anyone see Soriano round first after his single?? He looked like he was…wait for it……