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First off, if you want to do some actual pre-gamin’, a group of us will be hanging at The Sports Corner before tonight’s game. I’ll be there at 5pm, so come check it out. And then I’m heading to the right field bleachers (lower right corner as you look from home plate, if possible – that view, over there to the right), so come say hi there as well. Assuming the weather cooperates, I’ll be wearing my blue BN shirt (that shirt, down there to the right) with a long-sleeve light blue shirt underneath, and a traditional Cubs hat on. And my super flashy yellow/blue shoes. It makes my month when people say hello, so, like, make my month.

Jeff Samardzija gets another crack at the Cardinals tonight, and the Cubs get another crack at Adam Wainwright. Here’s hoping this one goes like the last time those two squared off, though I’d settle for a repeat of last night.

Tony Campana gets the start tonight, and he slots into the two-hole.

Game Info

St. Louis Cardinals (11-6) at Chicago Cubs (5-12), 7:05pm 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

Adam Wainwright (0-3, 9.88 ERA, 3.3 HR/9)

versus

Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 5.71 ERA, 11.4 H/9)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Rafael Furcal, SS

2. Skip Schumaker, 2B

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Carlos Beltran, RF

5. David Freese, 3B

6. Yadier Molina, C

7. Matt Carpenter, 1B

8. Shane Robinson, CF

9. Adam Wainwright, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, RF

2. Tony Campana, CF

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Bryan LaHair, 1B

5. Alfonso Soriano, LF

6. Ian Stewart, 3B

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Geovany Soto,C

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • brittney

    As bad as soto is hitting, drop him to the 9 hole. Smarj will have more hits then him. Excited for campy to get the start! Anybody have any word on byrd with the boston. Has he started yet? Got a hit? Just curious.

    • Njriv

      Byrd went 1 for 4 last night

    • MaxM1908

      I believe he was 1 for 4 last night with a single.

    • brittney

      Thanks! Atleast he got a hit. Looks like he is on pace for about 40hits this season lol. I always liked him and still do but I really hate the red sox like I do the brewers/cards/white sox. So as bad as I want to see byrd turn it around I want to see boston have a collapse as bad and if not worse then last year! I LOVE the cubs but I root for the low payroll teams aka the rays if they’re not goin against the cubs

    • http://Cubbie4life.weebly.com Tonycampanathebasethief

      Carrie muskrat reports rodrigo Lopez cleared waies and accepted assignment to AAA

  • Fishin Phil

    Have fun tonight Ace, and bring us another win!

    • http://Cubbie4life.weebly.com Tonycampanathebasethief

      Very exciting Peoria chiefs game! They come back down two in the ninth inning tying it and then Paul hoilman had a walk off grand slam!!! Luke who is this Paul hoilman? Any scouting reports?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        I believe I talked about him a bit when I reviewed the first base prospects before the season.

        The Cubs got him in the 2011 draft and he put up some very nice power numbers in the short season leagues.  He is a bit of an all-or-nothing slugger, but so far he comes up with all enough to justify the nothing (if only barely).  He’s one of the few right handed slugging first baseman in the Cubs system.  Long term, I think he’s a platoon 1B/DH at best, and then only if he can cut back on the strike outs.

  • EQ76

    4 lefties in the lineup!! I like seeing that, a lot!

    • rcleven

      I only count 3. Dejesus,LaHair ,Stewart. Who am i missing?

      • mpope30

        Campana

  • http://www.whyb2.com Bryce

    Any chance we see Mather more often in CF? I’d like to see what he can do with some steady playing time.

    • Jay Anderson Jr

      Mather is valuable utility guy, but I think starting him every day will have his numbers about where they have been his whole career. His ability to play every position makes him valuable.

      • Njriv

        I rather see him than Baker

        • Jay Anderson Jr

          I would too, any day of the week.

  • cubbylair

    I would not complain about a three week slump as a reason to bench a proven starter. Soto hit .228 last year, his defense was spotty and I’ve wondered why the second string catchers have a better winning record.

    • http://www.whyb2.com PhishHeadCubby

      I’d like to see Clevinger play everyday but when you are exploring trading Soto you have to play him everyday to up his stats and his value.

      • Jay Anderson Jr

        I really believe Castillo is the future everyday starter for the Cubs. This would explain why He still in AAA starting everyday. Once Soto is traded, Castillo will be in the lineup. He definitely has more power then Clevenger.

  • Tarheel Cub

    Got a hunch this is Soriano break-out day! His FIRST extra base hit of the year… I hope it’s a good one!

  • RY34

    Come on Shark! Hitters be patient against waino and hope like hell are usual automatic outs perform tonight; would be great to get our first series win of the year against the cards!

  • Bubba21

    What has Soto done in the last year that he deserves to be treated like an untouchable starter?  Everybody needs to know that they are replaceable. Maybe sitting him for a few games and watching from the bench would do him some good.  I understand trade value, but players also need to know that there are consequences if they don’t produce on the field.

    • rcleven

      I said this yesterday. Finley some one agrees.

      Bruce Levine
      “You have to be careful when you trade a catcher. The unknown is whether Clevenger and Castillo can catch in the bigs everyday. Calling a game and endurance are a huge part of what a major league catcher is all about, not just results on offense. Teams would be interested in Soto, but like with any commodity, you try not to sell at the bottom.”

  • SouthernCub

    I really have 0 issues w/ this lineup

  • BleedBlueinWNeb

    do BN’ers follow each other on twitter?

    • rcleven

      Brett went into St Louis Card bar last time he was in town and tweeted thru the experience.Had a fun time following his tweets.

      • BleedBlueinWNeb

        yeah i sat there watching the game and monitoring brett’s tweets that day too! Then enjoyed reading the recap the following day on BN. but the live twitter feed that day was great…

    • TWC

      Yep, but YMMV.

  • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

    Why mess with Barney, moving him up and down in the order? He seems to be doing the job at number two!… I understand the “Soto needs to play to increase his value” argument, but Clevenger is hitting. Our offense needs all the help in can get right now…Give Clevenger a nice 4-5 game stretch and see what happens…

    • rcleven

      Moving Barney to the eight hole has more to do with the non production of our 7 and 8 hitter. I don’t see this as a knock on Barney at all. With people on base at the back of the order the better the chance to be knocked in by the top of the order. Call it a learning experience.

    • djriz

      Is he hitting there because they need someone to make up for Garza’s offense?

      • rcleven

        He is hitting there because of the lack of production from Byrd and Soto. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him flip with Campana in the near future.

  • TWC

    I can’t believe Ace is still sporting those yellow & blue shoes.  Yikes.

  • BleedBlueinWNeb

    Clearly Theo and Jed have meant what they said when it comes to deferring to the future over the here and now when it comes to decision making. so it’s no surprise that Soto is going to play…if him playing most days for the next few weeks allows them to set up the market for a deal for him then i’m all for it. there will be plenty of time to see what Clevenger and castillo can do the rest of the season.

    just go back to theo’s comments last week in talking about the bad start. not quoting here but something like “yeah i’m sure there will be some opportunities and moves that might be able to improve our team over the course of the season”. something like that. EVERYONE is always concerned about the current results, but in a way his comments read like preparing for future definitely outweighs making moves for the here and now. which i’m cool with!

    theo and jed watch soto and probably say “IF we can create a trade market for this dude, we are the cats pajamas”.

  • ibcnu2222 (John)

    Brett,
    Do you think campana would be a better leadoff hitter than DeJesus?

    • Rob

      If Campana continues to hit well, maybe he’d be a better option batting first. However, for now he hasn’t shown the same patience DeJesus has. I haven’t seen a ton of Campana, but his eight walks last year imply he swings and misses at a lot of breaking pitches. Putting him in the 2-hole ahead of Castro should let him see more fastballs and therefore maximize his ability to get on base, cause havoc on the base paths, etc.

      • Jay Anderson Jr

        I actually agree. This would be a good argument to move Castro back to the 2 spot. The first 4 might be better as

        1. Campana
        2. Castro
        3. Dejesus
        4. Lahair

      • DocPeterWimsey

        It is not that Campana swings and misses at breaking pitches so much as it is that he tends to slap the first pitch near the strike zone into play.  Getting more fastballs will not help: Campana will just swing at pitchers’ fastballs rather than work the count to ones where he can drive the ball.  And, no, his lack of power does not mean that pitchers will just throw strikes: powerless guys like Gardner and Bourn get lots of walks by simply not swinging at bad pitches or even pitcher’s strikes.

  • JustSwain

    O.k., after getting on Sveum for his lineup construction with my last post, I have to digress after seeing this one. Assuming these are the players that I was going to play, this is how I would hit them. Good job Sveum.

  • Puma0821

    I heard it’s supposed to be warmer in Chicago today… Does anyone know if the wind is still howling in tonight? Hopefully the Offense willstart to warm up

  • BleedBlueinWNeb

    Some are saying that Sveum is just doing what he’s told in regards to who plays, and who plays when…if so, that’s cool with me too! He was hired for a reason, because Theo and Jed wanted him as THEIR manager. I’m sure he sees their bigger picture too and if they aren’t sweating Sveum why should anyone else?

    it’s better than Hendry telling quade to do something…and him not listening.

  • Terry

    I would switch Barney to 5th and Soriano to 7th in the batting order, other than that looks pretty good to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

    I think Campana COULD be better than DeJesus potentially, but he needs to experience more at the plate to gain a better eye. DeJesus is not one of the most exciting guys to watch play, but he does know how to get on base .245/.375 but a crap slugging % of .283

  • bartmans headphones

    i just say a stat thats says for the first 45 pitches wainwright holds batter s a .2 something b/a, but after 45 pitches hitters and batting 571 against him this should get fun here soon. camp just singled on pitch 46.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

    I like Campana a lot for obvious reasons, but I also feel that he gets the crowd going and we definitely need someone on this team to do that this year.

  • drew

    Soriano! Finally…

  • ISU Birds

    Geo Soto needs to go away. He reminds me too much of the old Cubs. A-Ram, Zambrano, etc..

  • Ol’CharlieBrown

    That bottom of the 4th was the epitome of the Cubs hitting woes. 2nd and 3rd, no outs. Sterwart and Barney proceed to come up to bat and basically swing at every pitch thrown by Wainwright, regardless of location. Terrible at bats, both resulting in strikeouts. This whole mentality of coming up to the plate and hacking away at every pitch (especially with RISP) MUST come to an end. I can’t help but feel like Rudy Jaramillo is only contributing to this problem.

    Maybe this could also serve to help to see better pitches and possibly improve our rate of hitting a home run only once every 111.4 at bats. Next worst in the majors in this category? Pirates at one homer every 68.6 at bats. Ouch…

  • ty

    Come on coaches! Did you not warn that Molina will pick you off in a junkyard minute. Dumbass baserunning..And McKay is a redbird. The way to lose in the National League.

    • drew

      Dejesus had a big secondary because of the bunt- Campana has to get that down.

  • ty

    Yeah, take a big secondary on Molina and see what happens. That pitch was very difficult to bunt. BUT enough excuses.

    • drew

      Not an excuse, just saying its not like he was out in lala land on 2nd. Bad execution on both ends. You cant just stand on second in that situation, but I do kinda agree, the secondary might have been a bit too big.

      Of course, id personally rather see Castro at #2 anyway, so we can avoid having to bunt there.

      • rcleven

        Same lineup just flip campana with barney

  • Doug

    Fucking Marmol!!!

  • Myles

    I am SO glad that I didn’t win tickets to that game.

  • czechxican

    such promise, once upon a time. now, just another Mitch Williams

  • Njriv

    Marmol is screwing up in every shape and form now…

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