Well, it’s the rubber game between the Cubs and the Dodgers, and it was supposed to be Matt Garza going for the Cubs – I like those chances. Instead, it’s Travis Wood, whom I’m excited to see (in the “I want to see what he looks like” sense), but who probably doesn’t give the Cubs quite as good a chance to win as Garza might have.

Wood has been pitching at AAA Iowa to start the year, and his first-glance results haven’t been great (1-3, 5.08 ERA, 1.518 WHIP). But there are a couple things to consider: (1) he’s striking out 9.5 per 9 (that’s awesome) and walking just 2.5 per 9, which are some of the best figures of his minor league career, and (2) the PCL is a hitter’s paradise where the league-wide ERA is right around 4.50. Wood is a fly ball pitcher, currently pitching in a league where fly balls frequently find the seats. Also, we’re talking about just about 28 innings. There are reasons to believe Wood’s 5.08 ERA doesn’t tell the whole story.

On the other side, the Cubs will face Aaron Harang, who isn’t the same guy he was with the Reds (thank Dusty for that), but is still decent. He hasn’t shown it yet this year, though. The Cubs frequently help guys in that situation.

Super Joe is in the lineup in favor of Ian Stewart, who also has been bitten by the “flu-like symptoms” bug, and Welington Castillo finally gets another start. Blake DeWitt, as you may have seen earlier, has been DFA’d to make room for Wood.

It’s a WGN game today, so just about everyone should be watching Wood’s debut.

UPDATE: The tarp is down as a major storm blows through. It’s supposed to pass by, though, so we’ll probably still have baseball. Just a minor delay is expected right now.

Game Info

Los Angeles Dodgers (18-9) at Chicago Cubs (10-17), 1:20pm CT on WGN.

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

Aaron Harang (1-2, 5.72 ERA, 1.553 WHIP)


Travis Wood (0-0, -.– ERA, no other stats yet)

Los Angels Dodgers Lineup

1. Dee Gordon, SS

2. Mark Ellis, 2B

3. Matt Kemp, CF (hamstring issue, was just scratched)

4. Andre Ethier, RF

5. Juan Rivera, LF

6. Jerry Hairston, Jr., 3B

7. James Loney, 1B

8. A.J. Ellis, C

9. Aaron Harang, 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. Joe Mather, 3B

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Welington Castillo, C

9. Travis Wood, P

  • TonyP

    Thank you WGN!!  Excited to see if Wood can pull together a nice start.

  • Cubs1967

    it’s raining………was there lighning at wrigley??……how did sveum get mather in at 3rd and castillo at C?……….

    • Cubs1967

      actually stewart has the flu bug now….nevermind; sveum did not suddenly have the litebulb go on.
      sad when it takes injuries like soto last week or illness like stewart to get the non-performing players out of the line-up.
      no more bald managers for the cubs after the 3 yr babysitting gig of sveum.

      • Mrp

        You’re back again today? How lovely for all of us.

  • djriz

    I live about 3 miles from Wrigley, just off the lake, and from what is going on now, I’d guess Wood’s start is iffy. Thunderbolts and Lighting!

    • http://!? Houston Transplant

      Very, very frightening…

      • SirCub

        Galileo, Galileo

        • djriz


          • ferrets_bueller


            • MichiganGoat

              I’m just a poor boy

              • ferrets_bueller

                and nobody loves me!


                (he’s just a poor boy, from a poor family!)

              • Can’t think of a cool name

                Spare him his life from this monstrosity!

  • http://bleachernation Allen

    We gonna play today?

  • dabynsky

    Saw another site that a 4 PM start has been announced. Don’t know if that is true or not.

    • Robert

      First pitch – 4:05 Central time

  • Bric

    Were Cubs drinking during the rain delay? Castro and Castillo look like the guy who’s been at the bar for 2 hours and THEN decides to play pool:
    “Don’t worry baby, I can make this shot…”
    “But don’t you think the five ball is easier…?”
    “No, no,no… I got this.. Seven ball in the corner. (crack) Woops…”

  • Can’t think of a cool name

    Just a catching up to the game. Why does Campana try to steal third when you have your best (only?) two hitters coming up? Dumb baseball. I think this is what iritates me the most about this season. I know the talent is not there but its magnified by dumb play.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t really agree. His likelihood of scoring shoots up considerably if he makes 3rd (especially with one out), and he steals at a 90+% clip. Tony has my green light any time he wants to steal. It was just a bad jump.

  • Can’t think of a cool name

    Brett, I guess just a difference of opinions. 3rd is a lot harder to steal than second. I have no problem if Campana’s on first and tries to steal second, puts him in scoring position. Getting to third helps on a fly ball but in my opinion not worth the risk ofmaking an out. I probably wouldn’t have as much of a problem with it if Castro and LaHair weren’t coming up.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Very fair perspective. We just disagree – I’m probably focused totally on Campana’s speed, and you’re probably more focused on Castro’s and LaHair’s ability. Both fair, I think.

  • Cheryl

    LaHair seems to be able to wait out pitches. Too often I see cubs players swing at the first pitch. They seem over anxious. Can’t they tell that that is being used against them? Campagna is all set to steal once he gets on. His attempt to steal third today made no sense.

    • Bric

      Especially when you consider he legged out a double just barely that 95% of the league wouldn’t even consider trying. Great shot, kid, but don’t get too penisy.

  • Bret Epic

    LaHair is just amazing. Great discipline, patience, beautiful swing and fantastic power. Watching him bat is a treat every time.

  • Ogyu

    Will somebody please go to the WGN booth and take that run expectancy matrix away from Len Kasper?

    • Matt3


    • Bric

      While you’re at it erase that stupid Elton John Pepsi comercial. By about the 8th inning I was thinking WGN had finally stopped running it but it came back again around the 10th. “No…. Pepsi for all…” -Powerful acting.
      And we get to see it about 30 times a game.

  • Ogyu

    Attention Earthlings: Ian Stewart has crossed the Mendoza line!

  • Matt3

    Campana is the man

  • SkipDog

    There was NEVER any doubt….

  • CubFanBob

    I spent 3 hours in the captain morgan bar prior to start time watching the NBA playoffs, watching it rain, and shaking around dozens of hotties dancing to Thriller. Eight beers, one Chicago chili Frito dog, one regular Chicago dog, tator tots, and fries later I can say it was all worth it to avoid going eight games under 500.