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)


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

  • supergeek24

    Trade that big eared Fuck tonight !

    • Njriv

      who would want him?

  • jason

    Doug, u beat me to it! I’m tired of watching marmol blow great starting pitching…shoulda traded him last year!

  • Njriv

    Is there any closer of the future in this organization?

    • Luke

      Several.  Dolis has potential in that department, as does Maine and Beliveau (though I see both of them more as 8th inning guys).  Blake Parker has also had success in the ninth for Iowa.  Further down, and in no particular order, we run into Tony Zych, Marcus Hatley, Casey Weathers (if he can tame his wildness), and of course Trey McNutt (if he can’t stay in the rotation).  And there are some guys who are either more speculative (Frank Batista) or who are too deep in the system to project with much confidence (Yao-Lin Wang, Austin Reed, Kyler Burke, etc.).

      In short, yes.  The Cubs are absolutely loaded with bullpen options of all shapes and sizes, including a couple of guys who could probably step up and take over the eighth and ninth right now (namely Dolis, Maine, and Beliveau).

      • Njriv

        Well that sounds good to hear, thanks for the input.Now another question is how long do they hold onto Marmol?

  • supergeek24

    You are right nobody would take him

  • ty

    When you convert a catcher to a pitcher–sooner or later–those atrocious short-arm mechanics bite you.

  • supergeek24

    K.C needs a closer lol

  • supergeek24

    Holy shit lahair!

  • cwesley

    That’s why svuem needs to put LaHair as an everyday player!

  • Evan

    Maybe now LaHair will get a chance against the lefties.

  • ty

    LaHair said in an interview today that he wanted the chance.

  • Bret Epic

    Yay Cubs win!

  • Gordy85

    Well, Lahair handled a lefty. Awkward moment for Soriano. Good work on making contact, but tough to celebrate a walk-off error.


  • cwesley

    I believe that is our first series win…wouldn’t want it against any other team.

  • supergeek24

    Go cubs go.

  • Boots

    When was the last time Soriano had a clutch hit? I cannot remember him EVER coming through. That is a spot he consistently strikes out in.

    Unbelievable come back on many levels!!

    • JustSwain

      He’s had plenty of clutch hits as a Cub, just not many recently (then again who has). What I’m impressed by is A. Soriano is getting to Line Drives he would have let drop last year. B. Soriano is looking to poke the ball to the opposite field in two strike counts. I attribute both of those things to new coaches. Last year he would have tried to pull that pitch.

  • BubblesHargrave

    This is so awesome. If our pitching comes through and IF we get a better closer, we could be like the 80’s Cardinals, winning with pitching and base stealing.

  • BubblesHargrave

    Not that we want to be like the Cards.

  • BubblesHargrave

    Sveums comments in the post game are depressing though, he said”Marmol’s been pitching good and he would close w/ him tommoroh.” He gave all the credit to Holiday. What the What?

    • byrdwatching

      Thats a pitch that just came out of his hand wrong and didnt have its usual break, I wouldn’t look into his struggles too much. Also, many closers struggle when being put into a hold or non save situation.

      • ThereWillBeCubs

        0 for 1

      • drew

        I feel like that pitch has “came out of his hand wrong” for the last 2 years.

        As for closers, youre right. Thats why id like to see a bullpen without “roles”

        • BubblesHargrave

          Right on Drew, Marmol threw three straight sliders, and what does Soto call for the fourth time, a slider. Go away Marmol and Go away Soto.

  • byrdwatching

    Byrd went 2 for 5 seems all he needed was a change of scenery to break out of that slump

    • ThereWillBeCubs

      0 for 2

  • Njriv

    I hope we see a team something like this towards the ASB, paring the trades and other call-ups.
    DeJesus RF
    Jackson CF
    Castro SS
    LaHair LF /Rizzo 1B /Soriano LF
    LaHair LF /Rizzo 1B /Soriano LF
    Stewart 3B/ Castillo/Clevenger C
    Barney/ Cardenas 2B
    Stewart 3B/ Castillo/ Clevenger C
    Bench: Mather, Barney/Cardenas, Campana, LaHair/Soriano, Clevenger
    Rotation: Garza, Dempster, Samardzija, Volastad, Maholom/ T. Wood
    Bullpen: Dolis, Russell, Wood, Bowden, Camp, Beliveau

    • Jay Anderson Jr

      You can take Volstad off that rotation list and add Wells. At this rate, He’ll be down in Iowa by the ASG. Also, you keep Campana out the lineup. If his current performances mean anything, its that he needs to play, everyday, at least against righties.

      • Njriv

        Yeah I realize he has game changing speed, but this is when this honeymoon part 2 is over and see if he can actually consistently get on base, he can still play everyday off the bench. Hey its a good problem to have.

        • Jay Anderson Jr

          and outfield of Jackson and Campana in CF and RF, pick which ever to either position. Let Dejesus platoon with Soriano in LF. That should be pretty productive.

          • Njriv

            I was thinking more of a LaHair-Soriano platoon in LF

            • JustSwain

              I’ve heard other people suggest this, (Lahair in Right) and I always think the same thing. Have you seen the guy run? He’s pretty slow, and for all of Sorianos past mistakes, he seems like a changed man out there in left. Even before he was a changed man, his speed sometimes made up for his lack of outfield instincts. Lahair has neither experience nor makeup to play in the outfield. If he did play in the outfield it would be right field not left, and he’d be a defensive liability. I don’t think thats going to fit in with the Theo era style of play. My current theory is that if Lahair is still hitting the tar out of the ball after the All Star Break, he’ll be traded for a serious crop of prospects to a team looking for an impact bat. Probably an AL team that needs an offensive upgrade at first or DH. If we can bring in prospects for Lahair (who has a natural successor in the minors) instead of Garza (who does not) I’ll be pretty happy.
              (ed) Lahair actually has around 150 games in the outfield scattered around the minors so he does have some experience, but I can’t imagine he looked very good out there.

              • Diesel

                Typically you put your worst defender in left so lahair would most likely be in left not right.

                • JustSwain

                  I’ve always thought it was the other way around, but regardless, he’ll be a liability in either position. Your right though, the Cubs usually have their best defender in Right because its notoriously difficult to play there.

                  • Njriv

                    Left Field is where all the liabilities are because if a guy singles into left and the ball gets past the fielder he is only going to make it to 2B most of the time. If that happens in right field the runner will most likely go all the way to third since the throw from RF to 3B is longer than the throw from LF to 3B

          • drew

            If Dejesus produces at his career rates, I just dont see how you platoon him.

            Now, if TC shows he can get on base consistently (over the course of a couple months) then I will have no disagreement with him being in there everyday when Jackson gets to Chicago.

    • BubblesHargrave

      I’m sorry Campana has to play every day. His speed brings so much to the table. Who would’ve thought Vince Coleman would be returning in the form of a youthful white man only to haunt his former team?!!

    • BubblesHargrave

      Campana, Barney, Castro, Lahair, Soriano, Dejesus, Baker (until we get someone better than Stewart like Vitters) Clevenger

      Garza, Jeff S., Dempster, Maholm, Wells

      Bowden, Travis Wood, Kerry Wood, ?, Russel, Dollis

  • JustSwain

    Man Lucky Brett got to be at that game. If he is drunk enough when he posts you think he’ll let loose a torrent of celebratory f bombs? I’m looking forward to a drunken 3 am rant Brett, don’t disappoint me. Seriously, it feels good to feel good about the Cubs. We won, and thats awesome, but we also looked like the better team than the Cards! At least for this game. We are now 3 and (ed)2 against the Cardinals! The shaky bullpen notwithstanding, that was an awesome outing. Go Cubbies!

    • Diesel

      3-2 against the cards

      • JustSwain

        Yep, my bad, I was thinking it was a four game set in St. Louis for some reason.

  • Josh Z

    I don’t know what to do with LaHair when Rizzo comes up. He is too good to keep out of the lineup. They wouldn’t get fair value if they traded him. I would like to see him move to RF when June comes around. I would like to keep Soriano’s bat in the lineup because he does supply some of the little power the Cubs have.

    • Bret Epic

      We HAVE to keep LaHair in the line up one way or another if he continues playing the way he’s been playing, which personally I think he will.

    • art

      RF is the sun field, Wrigley being hardest in NL. most times your strongest arm is in RF. as for home runs/power, he has none so far. IMO he’s past his prime. every game will not be 1-0 or 2-1 so Campana’s speed is best used on the bench.

  • Jay Anderson Jr

    A Lahair is a Stud. At this rate, he’s an all-star. What 1st baseman is playing better. I still would like to see him play against lefties.

    • JustSwain

      Only Pena, Young, and Konerko are really out hitting him, but just about everyone is playing better defense. Don’t get me wrong, Lahair is a pleasant surprise, but he is not a permanent solution for a team that has Rizzo in the minors playing stellar defense AND hitting for power from the left side. A good defensive first baseman makes the entire infield better. I also don’t see a fit for him anywhere else. I have serious doubts about his future with the Cubs. I’m saying this as a full fledged Lahair convert mind you. I thought he was going to be lousy coming into the season so he’s already proved me wrong once.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    I was ready to see Shark in the pen. Great outing Shark.. great job LaHair. Soriano is getting primed for a hot hot streak. This how he starts them every time it seems. Marmolade needs to move out of the closer role. Campana changes the dynamic of the game when he is in the lineup. Bring up Sappelt and send Johnson somewhere. Play the guys that keep the fire burning.

  • Zogie

    Advanced Box Score
    Can you say party time? No class tomorrow so heck ya! Cubs Win but they needed a few calls to get there. DeJesus must have heard me say he was not looking as good lately and proved me way wrong. 2-5, 2 2B, K. It took 10 pitches to strike him out. He did have one base running mistake getting picked off at 2nd base. Campana had a good game as well going 2-4, 2 SB. He was actually out at 2nd in the 10th, but blown calls happen. Castro 0-4, SAC FLY RBI, 3K. He looked rather horrid at the plate today, but I’m sure he will bounce back. He looked like he was trying to do too much. Just hit it hard kid. LaHair and Soriano come through tonight. LaHair 2-4 HR, 2K 1IBB. His strikeouts are still high, but as long as he continues to produce, he should stay in the line-up every day. Also, that HR was and opposite field shot against a lefty. I think he proved he should start against lefties too. Sorry Baker. Soriano 3-5 2b, GW RBI Single. Sori got his first extra-base hit and someone in the earlier thread called it. Congrats Sori, now, hopefully you continue this into a hot streak. Stewart 0-4 1K. He is not looking great, but he still works the count well and plays good defense. I hope his luck changes soon. Barney 0-4, K did not look too good either at the plate. It seems he is an every other day guy. So expect him to have a good game tomorrow. Soto 1-3, IBB. He looked better today and got a clutch single in the 9th, but it didn’t result into anything. DeWitt 0-1 and had a terrible AB. Mather 0-1 K. He was overpowered by high fastballs. He wasn’t so super today. Camp did well to get Samardzija out of a jam, but Marmol and Dolis struggled in the 8th. Bowden worked his way out of a jam in the 9th and Russel looked great in the 10th. Samardzija pitched great today after being hit hard in his last two outings. Lastly, my shout out goes to Soriano tonight. LaHair will get plenty of shout outs this year, so I thought I would give Soriano some love.

    • Cooper Rushing

      Just wanted to add that DeJesus wasn’t at fault for the pickoff at second. Campana offered and whiffed, basically leaving DeJesus out to dry with Yadi back there.

  • BubblesHargrave

    Did anyone see Garza’s funny reaction when Matheny was ejected? I was watching on gamecast so I didn’t see it. What did he do?