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The Cubs lost to the Cardinals yesterday, setting up a rubber game in St. Louis. Paul Maholm will try and rebound from his disastrous first start, and will hopefully give the Cubs a chance to win.

You’re going to look at today’s lineup and go, “what the hell?” There are a number of subs in, including two righties in for two lefties, while the Cubs are facing a righty. The thing is, Jake Westbrook doesn’t have a particularly strong split against righties, so, if you’re going to rest your lefties – DeJesus and LaHair are getting the day off – today’s a fine day to do it. Also, DeJesus took a hard dive in right the other day, and LaHair has the mild back issue, so they probably needed the rest.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (3-6) at St. Louis Cardinals (6-3), 1:15pm CT on CSN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. You should participate in the madness. 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.

The Series Preview for this series lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Paul Maholm (0-1, 13.50 ERA, 2.000 WHIP)

versus

Jake Westbrook (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5.1 BB/9)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Rafael Furcal, SS

2. Tyler Greene, 2B

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Carlos Beltran, RF

5. Yadier Molina, C

6. Matt Carpenter, 1B

7. Shane Robinson, CF

8. Daniel Descalso, 3B

9. Jake Westbrook, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Reed Johnson, RF

2. Blake DeWitt, 2B

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Jeff Baker, 1B

5. Ian Stewart, 3B

6. Joe Mather, LF

7. Geovany Soto,C

8. Marlon Byrd, CF

9. Paul Maholm, P

  • Evan

    Baker batting cleanup? Looks like Sveum’s been taking lessons from Quade…

  • King Jeff

    Time to go out and take the opening series against the Cardinals!!!! It’s also getaway day, and they all have to fly to South Florida tomorrow, so extra rest for some of the older(or banged up) guys is not a bad idea.

  • wernert

    Ah yes, trying to bust the slumps out of Byrd and Soto. Great. I have only a little more faith in the success of this venture with Soto. Either age or the beaning or both seems to have caught up to Byrd.

  • Cubs Dude

    Great Byrd again… Watch his swing today, he looks like if he were to get a hold of one he would still be 20 feet shy of the warning track.

  • Ryan

    Awesome, 7-9 are automatic outs.

    • Spencer

      So frustrating. Byrd is awful.

      • JulioZuleta

        SHould have tarded him 2 years ago when he was an All-Star. Sell high, gentlemen.

        • ty

          Julio–thank goodness you did not say trade him.

  • Jay Anderson Jr

    What the hell? Why rest Soriano, LaHair & Dejesus on the same day. Sveum has made some odd moves so far.

  • Mike S

    So the fact that DeJesus dove for a ball grants him a day of rest? MLB players are soft

  • Zogie

    Wow this lineup looks sad. Resting our hottest hitters? why? We have an off day tomorrow. It does not make sense. Baker can’t hit righties and Bryd and Soto are struggling. Lets give our coldest hitters a chance to win a ball game. I feel sorry for Maholm.

    • MichiganGoat

      Giving rest today means the players get two days off but only miss one game. This is a rather common move especially with players that need a off day and have minor injuries (LaHair back). Yeah this looks bad but it isn’t a bad move.

  • Dustin S

    I think he found one of Quade’s old lineup cards from last year (besides Mather).

    Baker against the righty Westbrook over LaHair stands out, especially with the off day tomorrow. I suppose there could be more to the story like him wanting to give LaHair 2 days off in a row to keep his back from acting up. But we go against Buehrle Wednesday, so unless his back is sore I’d have rather seen LaHair go today, off-day tomorrow, and give LaHair another day off Wednesday against the lefty then if he really wants to get the .111 hitting Baker in the lineup.

    • MichiganGoat

      Uh Quade would never set this lineup, he never rested players, especially starters, he was more concerned with players reaching milestones and liking him to actually rest a player.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Perhaps I am paranoid, but seems like the word has come down from the top to play Byrd and Soto so they can at least eventually get some hits and show they are healthy so they can move them. No rational reason they would not be rested today.

  • http://poppingthecrowd.com mrejr8234

    Meh, I am not going to question Sveum….yet…chances are he knows just little bit more about baseball than I do,

  • H

    Stupid line up lahair should be in Byrd should be waived from team bring up cf in minors it like the cubs have given up on the season already rest players against non division opponents not the cardinals especially when the cards are winning division. Winning a game against them is like winning 2 nondivisional games and it’s not like the cubs are tearing it up against other teams

  • Stuart Williams

    So glad we are going to play BYRD and SOTO everyday. Maybe the psychology is to make our opponents lazy in their preparation. Theo is a lawyer…..

  • nkniacc13

    I have no probem playing Byrd and Soto they are vets an should be given atleast a month to see if they can break out. I just wish that they would quit batting them back to back and in the 7 and 8 spots

    • http://!? Houston Transplant

      I agree. 9 games isn’t enough of a sample size to really judge what they can/cannot do. I disagree, however, with having them anywhere other than the bottom of the lineup. You can’t put them anywhere else and risk killing any scoring opportunities. I suppose it really does suck that we can only play with 2/3 of a lineup until/if they start hitting.

      Maybe Maholm will get a hit today, haha.

  • nkniacc13

    Well the 8th sot in the lineup is the hardest to hit at especially for someone who tends to expand the zone a bunch. Depending on the pitcher I’d like to see Byrd and Stewert switched in the line up

    • http://!? Houston Transplant

      Fair enough. But isn’t Soto supposed to be one of our more patient hitters?

      I’ll be the first to tell you all I’m no stats guru, so I may be way outta whack…more curious than anything. Assuming they MUST play (just play along), where is the ideal place for them if they’re struggling this mightily?

      • nkniacc13

        I could handle a lineup with Byrd hitting 2nd vs LH and Barney hitting 7 Soto 8th and vs RH have Byrd hitting 6th Stewart 7th and Soto 8th. Soto is more patient then Byrd IMO

      • DocPeterWimsey

        It is better to state that Soto is one of the Cub’s more disciplined hitters, not “patient.”  Soto’s career walk rate is just under 12%.  He’s had 27 PAs, and we therefore expect him to draw 2-4 walks in half of his 27 PA replicates.  He’s got 2 walks (the 2nd most probable outcome after 3 walks), so he’s being normal there.

        Soto’s career K rate is 22.6%.  So, in 27 PAs, we expect 4-7 Ks 50% of the time.  He has 7.  So, nothing unusual there, either.

        When Soto makes contact, his career XBH rate is 14.7%.  He’s made contact 19 times, so we expect 2-3 extra base hits so far.  He’s got one triple and one HR, so he’s on the mark.

        Where Soto is suffering is singles: when he makes contact, he gets singles 20% of the time over his career.  This year, he has 1 in 19.  Of course, that’s not all that improbable: you expect 1 for 19 10% of the time.  However, singles rates are what drive the wild variation in BABiP.  The difference between a groundball single and a groundout is a matter of feet, and not something that the batter controls.  If he was getting balls through at the normal rate, then he’d be batting 0.240 or 0.270.

        • bricky9

          Doc,always enjoy your breakdowns,although sometimes I wonder if sabermetrics obscures the human aspect of the game from your view. The rest of you guys,QUIT WHINING! You guys are in mid season whine mode. With the completion of this game,the season is 1/16th completed. “OMG! We’re running out of time!!! Trade everybody,fire Sveum. Why did we ever think Theo knew what he was doing?!!” C’mon now,give it some time before you bulldoze Wrigley,and turn it into a parking lot.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Well, I am a Cylon, so I do tend to overlook the human side…

  • Hansman1982

    Anyone else think this is the thread Theo was talking about the other day?

  • Kevin

    Appears the cubs are laying down for the best draft pick next year

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Yep… my team is taking the day off. I’m headed to golf course with my dad. Not wasting this day watching this bullshit lineup

    • ty

      St. Louis fans are posting a W .They think Quade is back in town.

  • BeyondFukudome

    Somebody should tell Sveum that spring training B games are over…

  • Stuart Williams

    It could be that this is Theos way of finally silencing the “we have to win every year with expensive FA’s” argument instead of building a team/organization the right way from the ground up. There will be no crying in May/June when SOTO/BYRD are batting .100 each and they finally blow out the holdovers from the Hendry reward system.

    It will just be painful to watch over the next couple of months.

    • Josh Z

      Well I’m hoping by then Marlon Byrd is with the Red Sox and Soto is with the Rays.

    • jr5

      You realize Soto is a homegrown prospect, right? One of only 3 Cubs position players who we can say that about? (Right? Castro/Barney/Soto…am I missing someone?)

      Edit: And Clevenger. But that’s it, I believe.

      • Josh Z

        I don’t give a damn. He doesn’t produce so I’m not for keeping him just because he’s homegrown. That’s the problem. We never can grow talent our selves. That’s what all the Theo hype is about

  • Josh Z

    This lineup is terrible. I don’t even think I will waste my time watching the game. On the bright side our bench is going to be good for one game this season.

  • art

    Byrd is playing so Boston can see what he has.

  • Gregb

    Is this a spring training line up? Lol

    • http://i Cory

      Split squad game the rest of the team is in iowa

  • alsongs

    Our frustration is long and our hunger is deep. And I think our perception is clouded. Here in Iowa Fox ran the Yankee, Angel game during the Cub’s rain delay. Sometimes I have to see what top shelf MLB teams are like (Yankee geriatrics notwithstanding), to see that the Cubs just aren’t there – yet (hopefully). There are some good things to like about the Cubs: Soriano is playing better (a begrudging admission from a long time Sori hater), and some other players are having decent at bats, and the defense seems to have improved a bit. But the Cubs just don’t have the talent to win 90 games. We are basing our pitching hopes upon an ex-bull pen guy who just last year found himself, hoping that an aging career .500 pitcher can pull off one more decent season, and praying that a couple of cast offs can somehow manage to find their zen spot. And we’re not even talking about the bull pen woes. It’s great to be a hopeful fan, but to expect even a .500 season is asking a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been an ardent Cubs fan since the early 80’s and I am forever hopeful that they field a great team, but the frustration of defeat is heavy. And to end on an up note, I do like Sveum’s approach to base running and defense, and a couple of more decent bats and pitchers and it will be a lot of fun.

  • Kevin

    If you field a Spring training lineup you should pay spring training ticket prices. I’m all about developing players from within the organization but I also believe the Cubs organization have a responsibility to field their best players. There is no bagging in baseball!

  • nkniacc13

    I wonder if the giants would be interested in Marmol no that Wilson is out for the year

  • Evolution

    Hereafter…he shall be known as “Yadier the F***”.

  • Josh Z

    Sveum knew Maholm was gonna get shelled so he just threw out this AA lineup

  • czechxican

    I know it’s early in the season, but good grief- Maholm is absolutely all over the strike zone again. haven’t seen one consistent stretch of quality pitching from him YET.

  • JustSwain

    What the fudge is this? Sveum gets one more line-up like that before I jump off his bandwagon. This lineup is Dusty getaway day stupid.

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