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It’s Game Two on the young season, as the Cubs look to pick up that first win. Matt Garza gets the start for the Cubs, who’ll face AL import, Gio Gonzalez.

I like the Cubs’ chances today, which may or may not be based on logic or reason. It’s probably going to require a 200 to 300% increase in runs scored, though (since the Cubs scored just one on Thursday, that’s actually not asking much). Paul Sullivan says the wind is blowing out to left, so it could be a higher scoring affair either way. And that, combined with the lefty on the mound, makes me love the Cubs’ all-righty lineup today.

Bryan LaHair is still sitting with the bad back, but, here’s the thing: I’d probably want him sitting anyway against the lefty Gonzalez. He could pinch hit today, and will probably be back in the starting lineup tomorrow.

On the roster front, Rodrigo Lopez is expected to rejoin the Cubs at some point this weekend (probably today), so there will be some shuffling. Assuming there isn’t a last minute injury, it seems like one of the infielders – Blake DeWitt? Luis Valbuena? – will be on the way out. There will also have to be a 40-man roster move. (Update: Yup, Lopez added, Valbuena sent to AAA Iowa.)

Game Info

Washington Nationals (1-0) at Chicago Cubs (0-1), 12:05pm CT on CSN.

Game Thread

The Game Thread lives here. Click me. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

Starting Pitchers

Gio Gonzalez (0-0, -.–, no other stats available yet)

versus

Matt Garza (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. Gio Gonzalez, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Reed Johnson, RF

2. Joe Mather, 3B

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Jeff Baker, 1B

6. Geovany Soto, C

7. Marlon Byrd, CF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Matt Garza, P

  • DocPWimsey

    Hmmm, the Cubs are hoping to be the first team this year to get outhomered in a victory…..

    • DocPWimsey

      Or not…..

  • Jeff

    Here we go with this again!!!

  • KidCubbie

    How is this bullpen so freaking terrible?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Dolis only needed 8 pitches to get through his inning.  He might be moved in the closer’s job sooner than we expected.

      • KidCubbie

        Honestly that would prob be the best move right now. Let him pitch the 7th every now and then till Marmol figures out how to throw strikes.

      • Jeff

        If Dolis only used 8 pitches, why wasn’t he brought back out for the 8th inning?

    • Roughriider

      “We’ve got Wood”. Used to be a battle cry now it’s a lament.
      I’m soo glad he was able to take so much time off for Spring Training to save himself for the regular season.

  • ty

    Nuts Sveum cub career is flashing before his eyes. I actually feel sorry for him. He was not here last year to see this re-run shit.

  • art

    I’ve seen enough of the veteran Woods and Marmol.

  • Tim

    are you kidding me? this is ridicilous. we play well all game, garza did great. Marmol and Wood SUCK AGAIN

  • KidCubbie

    They cant even get one freaking out. All these runs came with 2 outs!!

  • Tim

    SEND MARMOL AND WOOD TO TRIPLE A

  • DocPWimsey

    In part, it is a two way street. The Nats batters are laying off of close pitches at which Cubs batters routinely swing. They are doing a good job of being selectively aggressive (including taking some strikes early in the count, which Cubs batters hate doing), and it’s paying off.

  • Goatbuster

    If our plan is to come in last place it’s working. I just thought they would use a different mo. Marmol blowing the game is a warn out scenario.

  • JOF

    Is this going to be 2010 again? Are we going to see .500 this year. This pen is horrible.

  • Kyl-el

    Sveum is doing his best to end up on my ish list with his bullpen management.

    There’s no way it should have been Wood for the 8th. He’s not nearly good enough to be the Designated Setup Man, and even if he were, he needs to be babied a bit and we have other guys in the bullpen who need work. Or even Dolis, who only threw 8 pitches that inning.

    Not having anyone warmed up besides Marmol is also bad, though a little less egregious.

  • Brad

    jeff samardzija for closer please

    • Jeff

      I think I might agree with you. Bring Wells back up and start him, move Samardzija back into pen.

      Looks like two relievers might need to go on the DL and go work on their stuff, call it a retro injury, get them in more minor league rehab starts.

      Hell, I don’t even know if you do that, It might demoralize the young guys in the minors.

      The Cubs need to buy an independent league team where they can send these bums too.

  • morgan

    these bums cant even handle the pressure in the 1 n 2nd games of season, how you think they going to handle the playoffs if we ever get there. Cubs playoffs are the most pressure than any other team, yet to see kids be able to handle it

  • Brian

    Cubs really need to have a committee in the pen. If Wood and Marmol can’t handle the fact they are pitching bad right now then trade them. Speaking of trading, maybe we should have traded Marmol before the year his value has gone down drastically.

    • Jeff

      Marmol’s value was down even in the winter. I bet if they could have dumped him they would have, if they didn’t try to, they were idiots. Instead, they got rid of Marshall….idiots!!!

  • Brian

    If only Johnson could hit a home run like Espinosa he has had the exact same AB

  • Stuart Williams

    On the positive sign, Barney is batting 8th. Please keep him there.

    Why Wood is coming in at all is crazy. If he needs to find his stuff, don’t blow 2 quality starts in a row. Are we afraid of hurting his feelings?

    Marmol is also a disaster. He is no longer a closer. Middle relief as a change of pace, maybe. Too inconsistent to rely on.

    Put Dolis in closer role for now and start auditioning for the primary setup person.

    • Eric

      Yah Barney is 8th but Reed Johnson is leading off?

      • Matt3

        yeah nevermind the two run triple and 10 pitch at bat

        • Kyl-el

          You mean the three strikeouts and a soft line drive?

          • Matt3

            the guy who leads the team in rbi

          • DocPWimsey

            And the soft liner would have been a one-RBI double with a less aggressive effort by Werth.

            (Oh, and RBI are team stats, Matt3: it’s not really meaningful to talk about which particular player has the most.)

  • Cheryl

    What would happen if they cut Marmol and asked Wood to retire? Then move up some of the pitchers from the minors – maybe even throw in Map;es and this new guy that Luke mentioned. You’d have to make sure it is explained that this is an intro to the future and if they do well maybe their future arrives early.

  • Dustin S

    I think I speak for all Cubs fans when I say …

    I’ll reiterate what I’ve been saying for a few weeks, I’d 10x rather see Solis or anyone else late right now than Marmol (or Wood, until he gets straightened out). At least with Wood I think he’s just rusty and should be ok in the long run. I have alot less confidence in Marmol returning to 2010 form. He hasn’t showed much in a long time. It’s kind of forcing a square peg in a round hole to keep throwing him out there late just assuming he’ll return to the pitcher he used to be back then.

  • JOF

    It is such hard work being a cubs fun.

  • hcs

    Kerry Wood for (Fahrenheit 451-style) fireman of the year!

  • Marshallwasagreattrade

    What do you expect- theo is in charge! Great manager! Great bullpen ! Ian stewart is the bomb! Who is at first is doing excetional well! Camp is unbelivable! Dejesus just rocks!

  • Stuart Williams

    If this trend keeps up, there will be changes by May. No way they can charge the high ticket prices to see washed up old Cubs.

    1) Keep Barney batting 8th.
    2) Trade Byrd for whatever relief pitcher they can find.
    3) Bring up Jackson and keep him in center and bat him 2nd.
    4) Bring up the best performing relief pitcher at AAA.
    5) Release both Wood and Marmol with a going away party, thanks for the memories, whatever…Does anyone see them in the future plans anyway?

    The Boos are going to be deafening if the keep bringing them in.

    • Cheryl

      I think you may need to go beyond AAA for pitching.

  • Bric

    Hey Brett and Doc- is it too early to talk about sample sizes in regard to the bull pen? So glad they decided they could break convention and go with a 6 man bull pen instead of the now standard 7 and have Samardjia starting tomorrow instead of Wells, who’s entertaining the fans in Iowa.

    Please feel free to respond with inane, overly complicated stats about sample size and ground ball to fly ball ratio and it’s a long season and all that other b.s. to statictically analyze what we already know- the bull pen sucks and with only 6 of them they’re going to suck even more.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      They have a seven man bullpen now.  Lopez was in Chicago and available for today’s game.

  • cubfan- a lifestyle choice

    It is early but a real hole exists with closing… how many games do we give up before making some changes? Bullpen for Wash seems better able to get the job done, though we seem to offer help making them look good. Garza did ok and Dempster was awesome.

  • MichiganGoat

    Who was moved to make room?- For Lopez

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Valbuena

      • MichiganGoat

        Won’t he be back on the market? Interesting move if he was only on the team for a few days makes me think a trade did not happen that was in the works.

  • MightyBear

    Peoria Chiefs won. Chiefs win! Chiefs win! Gotta have something to cheer about. Thanks for the tip Luke. Austin Reid pitched pretty well.

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