Today’s is a relatively big game, insofar as a May game for a 12-18 team can be big. The Cubs are trying to not lose a series for the fifth time in a row, and keep their momentum (again, insofar such a thing exists). A loss today not only loses the series, but it gives the Cubs back to back losses going into the off-day tomorrow.

Paul Maholm will try four a fourth straight good start, but this isn’t an easy crew to take down. Adrian Cardenas gets a second straight start, but in left field. I’m guessing the mandate from the top was: “get Cardenas’ bat in the lineup, let’s see how he does.”

Game Info

Atlanta Braves (19-12) at Chicago Cubs (12-18), 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

Tim Hudson (1-0, 6.55 ERA, 9.8 H/9)


Paul Maholm (3-2, 5.13 ERA, 1.139 WHIP)

Atlanta Braves Lineup

1. Michael Bourn, CF

2. Martin Prado, LF

3. Freddie Freeman, 1B

4. Dan Uggla, 2B

5. Lawrence Jones, 3B

6. Jason Heyward, RF

7. David Ross, C

8. Jack Wilson, SS

9. Tim Hudson, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, RF

2. Tony Campana, CF

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Bryan LaHair, 1B

5. Ian Stewart, 3B

6. Geovany Soto, C

7. Adrian Cardenas, LF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Paul Maholm, P

  • hansman1982

    Cardenas in LF…interesting.

  • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

    BTW, love the “Lawrence” Jones thing…

    • TWC

      It’s “Larry” to his friends.

      • Diesel

        All 40000 of them in new York right? I loved the Larry chants he use to get every game from the mets fans. Even though I hate the mets that was awesome.

  • MaxM1908

    Yikes, that bottom of the order could provide problems again today. Oh well, I guess we have to try to make lemonade out of lemons. Here’s hoping Cardenas shows us that awesome hitting we’ve been hearing about.

    • Brett

      “Awesome” probably goes a bit far, especially in a corner outfield spot.

      • MaxM1908

        Yeah, it’s definitely an interesting move remove a power bat and replace it with a contact hitter. I wonder what Soriano is thinking these days. He hasn’t played as much as usual this past week.

        • Puma0821

          Not sure what power they are removing… Cardenas has as many Hrs as Soriano does this year.

        • Drew

          I’d imagine its more about replacing a guy who doesnt hit RHP very well (let alone a great sinker-baller like Hudson) with a lefty that has been mashing in AAA.

          • Brady

            And maybe Soriano needed a day off.

    • RY34

      im predicting 0 for 9 today w 4 k’s from the 6-8 hitters today. i mean come on, hudson’s era is over 6 so he is bound to shut us down.

  • Andrew

    With Maholm, that makes 6 lefties in the lineup. This has got to be a first for the cubbies.

    • Puma0821

      Just wait until we bring up Rizzo and Jackson and when clevenger is back… could have 8 or conceivably 9 if Valbuena is up too and gives Castro a day off…

  • Chris

    apparently there’s going to be some presentation for Lawrence. the cubs are going to do something for chipper jones?

  • DocPeterWimsey

    Classy of the Cubs to give Chipper the Braves flag from Wrigley.  Is it me, or are the Cubs a lot better about saluting the “noble enemy” than other teams?

    • Joe

      That is really cool!

  • calicubsfan007

    Like our lineup, how hot our pitcher is playing right now, and the kind of series winning/tie winning streak. I have a good feeling, provided we don’t ask Marmol or Wood to pitch for us, especially if it’s a close game.

  • Puma0821

    Cant watch the game… Which way is the wind blowing?

  • Ogyu

    Is it just me? Or are the Cubs running themselves out of a lot of scoring opportunities this season? Not so sure this aggressive baserunning approach is working out.

    • MikeL

      Yes and no…..Here is a great write up by Arguello at Cubs Den discussing that very thing….the cubs aggressive base running HAS worked out….and it has worked out big time:

      “And what about that aggressive baserunning? Has it helped? According to BSR, it has helped — dramatically. BSR, which, as I understand it, is actually a measure of UBR (Ultimate Base Running), the Cubs rank 3rd with 3.2 runs added so far. The Cubs ranked 29th last year — second to last — with a negative ranking (-12.0). In other words, their base running cost the Cubs runs, and ultimately victories, last season. This year, it has added runs.”

      • Ogyu

        Glad to hear it. I figured my subjective impression might be no more than that.

  • Joe

    OK, I’ll be the first to say it. WTF, no Joe Mather??? Jesus!

    I don’t normally harp on the guy some some have done, but I thought his primary role was as backup to Soriano. What’s going on with Joe? What’s he gotta do to get a start?

  • Ogyu

    Good thing LaHair’s got Stewart protecting him in the lineup! [insert saracsm emoticon here]

  • Ogyu

    Well, if Rizzo is right that Cardenas is a better hitter than he, I am a bit concerned…

    • Njriv

      Cardenas is most likely just pressing and still has some jitters, he’s only had a handful at-bats, he was tearing up AAA so the potential is there.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Um, yeah, with a sample size of 7 ABs (and at least 2 well-hit outs), I think that it is beyond premature to worry about Cardenas…..

        • Ogyu

          Was just kidding…

    • Cubs Dude

      Rizzo, is a modest type of dude. Cardenas isn’t in the same ballpark at the plate. Obviously…

  • hansman1982
  • Stinky Pete

    Dolis, Dolis, Dolis is on Fire. We don’t need no water the the MFer burn.