The Cubs couldn’t possibly lock up a series win today against the Dodgers, could they? It’ll take a nice start from Chris Volstad, who’s subbing for Matt Garza (who’ll hopefully go tomorrow – he’s sick, and Travis Wood has been brought in from Iowa just in case (which would raise the specter of a really awkward roster move – presumably you wouldn’t DL Garza just to miss one start with a virus, so who would you send down (knowing that you can’t call them back up for 10 days)? Really tricky). Volstad has yet to really have a great start, so maybe today’s the day. Not exactly an easy lineup to dominate, though.

Chris Capuano draws the start for the Dodgers. He’s been kind of awesome this year, but is coming back from a second Tommy John surgery. He’s not really been able to throw a ton of pitches this year, so it would be *really* nice if the Cubs could work some counts today.

Super Joe draws a start, which I know will tickle many of you. Welington Castillo is still on the bench after Dale Sveum said he expected to start Castillo more than he’d been starting Steve Clevenger. Hard to argue it, though, as it looks like Geovany Soto might finally be coming out of his slump.

Jeff Baker remains on the bench against a lefty, while Ian Stewart starts at third. If Baker isn’t going to start today, why even have him on the roster? Just sayin’ I don’t like the Cubs throwing three lefties out there against Capuano, who has a very pronounced career lefty/righty split.

Game Info

Los Angeles Dodgers (17-9) at Chicago Cubs (10-16), 1:20pm 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

Chris Capuano (3-0, 2.73 ERA, 3.75 FIP)


Chris Volstad (0-3, 6.11 ERA, 3.22 FIP) (interesting contrast between the two pitchers there, huh?)

Los Angels Dodgers Lineup

1. Dee Gordon, SS

2. Mark Ellis, 2B

3. Matt Kemp, CF

4. Andre Ethier, RF

5. Bobby Abreu, LF

6. Jerry Hairston, Jr., 3B

7. James Loney, 1B

8. Matt Treanor, C

9. Chris Capuano, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, RF

2. Joe Mather, 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. Chris Volstad, P

  • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

    Did Sveum know that Capuano was pitching today when he made the lineup for yesterday’s game? Since Capuano is a lefty, and he isn’t about to put Clevenger in for Soto against a lefty, why didn’t he start him yesterday? The guy’s bat was one of the hottest on the team. Hello!!!

    • Randy

      Are you even paying attention or reading the article? Clevenger is on the DL.

      • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

        I was actually on vacation in Mexico when he was put on the DL. I had totally missed it. I appreciated Bernardo’s tact a little more than yours…Have a great day!

        • MikeW

          its a fair question he raised though. :)

  • Idaho Razorback

    I think today would have been a good day to give Stewie a rest and let Baker start at 3rd.

  • Bernardo Santarem

    Clevenger is on the DL

  • gratefulled

    I feel tickly.

  • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

    I totally missed that. Thanks Bernardo!

    @Idaho: David Schuster is just talking about how Baker has the same virus that has Garza out for his scheduled start…

    • Brett

      Ah, crap – hopefully it doesn’t hit anyone else.

  • Andrew

    I cant blame Sveum. Stewart looks like hes getting out of his funk, Dejesus was nuts yesterday and Lahair better be LaPlaying everyday.

  • JL

    Can anybody tell me what the consequences of putting Lendy Castillo on the DL would be regarding his rule-5 status? Because that would seem to be the most obvious roster move if the team needs Travis Wood tomorrow, wouldn’t it?

    • Blitzenjohn

      The Cubs could give Marmol 15 days to get his head together, T. Wood can spot start/ long relief while JR and RD hold down closing duties. Just a thought…

      • JL

        That would be my second option. The nice thing about sending Castillo to the DL is that it could be retroactive to the last time he pitched, which was almost, if not over, 15 days ago already. That way the team could just use Travis tomorrow, send him right back to Iowa and reactivate Castillo the next day (assuming it wouldn’t compromise his rule-5 status, which I’m not so sure is the case).

        • Brett

          It would count against the 90 active days needed to “keep” him, but if it’s just a one or two day solution, not a bad idea.

        • Blitzenjohn

          Of course, if Garza is ready to go Sunday, all is moot… though I still find the idea of Marmol ‘resting’ 15 days doable.


  • rcleven

    Hope Vol can pitch to his norm (.450 ERA.). Cubs have not hitting to support him. With the warmer weather Cub bats have been coming alive. Five runs to support Vol should give him the win.

  • J Wilson

    Did the Cubs dump the Bloomberg system? It sure looks like it here.

  • Idaho Razorback

    Great question JL!

    • JL

      Thanks. I just wish someone would answer it!

      • Blitzenjohn

        If a player not on a 40-man roster has spent four years with a minor-league contract, originally signed when 19 or older or five years when signed before the age of 19, he is eligible to be chosen by any team in the rule 5 draft during the offseason. No team is required to choose a player in the draft, but many do. If chosen, the player must be kept on the selecting team’s 25-man major league roster for the entire season after the draft—he may not be optioned or designated to the minors. The selecting team may, at any time, waive the rule 5 draftee, such as when they no longer wish to keep him on their major league roster. If a rule 5 draftee clears waivers, he must be offered back to the original team, effectively canceling the rule 5 draft choice. Once a rule 5 draftee spends an entire season on his new team’s 25-man roster, his status reverts to normal and he may be optioned or designated for assignment. To prevent the abuse of the rule 5 draft, the rule also states that the draftee must be active for at least 90 days. This keeps teams from drafting players, then “hiding” them on the disabled list for the majority of the season. For example, if a rule 5 draftee was only active for 67 days in his first season with his new club, he must be active for an additional 23 days in his second season to satisfy the rule 5 requirements. ~ from Wikipedia… sorry, best I can find.

        • JL

          Thanks for the trouble! I was under the impression that the rule 5 draftee should be active for a number of consecutive days. Apparently that’s not the case.

      • ty

        Office said recentlyBloomberg system will not be ready until next season!

  • Cerambam

    You Definitly DL garza because it can be retroactive to his last star 6 days ago meaning that he can presumably start again in 5 days.

    • Brett

      11 day disabled list? If you DL Garza, he’s out for another 9 days when he could have started again in two or three, max.

      • cerambam

        i for some reason had 10 day DL in my mind, and i also meant to type 4 instead of 5 making it equal to ten. several mistakes my bad, my general point is to DL someone who hasnt played in a while to take advantage of the retroactivity(?) to have a nice short term solution.

    • Blitzenjohn

      You don’t DL your best pitcher for feeling ‘icky’. ‘Nuff said…

  • brittney

    Yah for mather! Looks like soto is finding a lil sweet swing recently. Now let stewart start pounding them. It would be amazing to see LaHair, soto, stewart, and mather go deep!

  • djriz

    A little help over here! I really want the Cubs to sweep the Dodgers, but I’m a bit tired of Marisa! What do I do?

    • Can’t think of a cool name

      I could never be tired of Marisa.

  • Bret Epic

    So tired of watching Volstead attempt playing baseball. I honestly think I might prefer Randy Wells, this guy is garbage.

  • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

    Is it just me, or does Keith Moreland make you REALLY miss Ron Santo on the radio???

    • ty

      Moreland is boring and talks incessantly!

  • Roger

    Anyone know where I can stream cubs games online? Anything but

  • Jeff

    5.00 era, yeah that will get it done!!

  • Spencer

    Remember when the Cubs kept starting Russell and Coleman even though neither of them had that much success at starting and everyone on here got really pissed off and didn’t understand why they kept starting?

    Enter Chris Volstad.

    • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

      I know it’s hindsight, but if we score in that first inning, and Volstad doesn’t groove a fast ball on the first pitch to the pitcher, this game is much different…but I understand your frustration…

  • Cubs1967

    where’s castillo?…….great way for him to adapt to MLB by sitting on bench.
    why is reed not in CF and mather at 3b or at least baker……….sveum; he of the whole 30 games of major league managing is as bad as quade when it comes to line-ups; just horrid.

    no wonder mike maddux bailed out from this

  • Marmol Sucks

    Cubs need to find a long term upgrade at 2B and 3B. This lineup is sad to watch. I think the Cubs may have some potential 2B in the farm and I am hopeful Baez can play 3B but Barney and Stewart are not getting it done. Soto needs to be replaced ASAP

    • drew

      Stewart was never touted as a long term replacement, but again, the numbers show he is getting ABSOLUTELY zero luck and has been hitting the ball hard. I have no problem w him bridging the gap until Vitters is given a chance (then, hopefully Baez).

      I do agree with you regarding Barney; he will be a great utility guy, but just isnt a good hitter. I really think its time for Cardenas to get his shot.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    how great has Lahair been so far this year?! great projected season numbers, its tough though because im so eager to see rizzo in a cub uni. as for the outfield well its done better than the bullpen… id really like to see some roster experiments. and i think id like to see mather at third,for an extended look im over ian stewart!

  • Chris

    I agree with Mather at third. This whole “bad luck” thing for Stewart doesn’t work for we. The guys a .232 career hitter, he must have brokE a lot of mirrors to get 5 years of bad luck.

    • drew

      I know its hard to believe, but its not like those of us talking about the bad luck are making it up; the rates that would indicate otherwise (K rate, BB rate, LD rate) are in line or exceeding career averages.

      Now, it doent mean he is a .300 hitter, and. 230-.240 may very well be where he should be. As long as those rates I mentioned stay in line, his number WILL improve, and personally, I’m fine with him there.