The Cubs’ losing streak has reached nine, and Dale Sveum has decided to shake things up. Starlin Castro is back in the two-hole, and Joe Mather has bounced Tony Campana from center field, and bats third. Whether that’s a permanent change remains to be seen. Adrian Cardenas also gets a start, but that’s more about resting Ian Stewart and his wrist issue (long-term issue dating back to last year) than about changing things up.

Ryan Dempster is still looking for his first win of the year. I doubt he wants that streak to stretch into June.

Given that Clint Barmes’ OPS isn’t even over .500 at this point, you can expect him to be your killer this series.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (15-29) at Pittsburgh Pirates (20-24), 6:05pm 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

Ryan Dempster (0-2, 2.28 ERA, 2.83 FIP)


A.J. Burnett (2-2, 4.78 ERA, 3.48 FIP)

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. Jose Tabata, LF

2. Josh Harrison, RF

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B

5. Neil Walker, 2B

6. Matt Hague, 1B

7. Rod Barajas, C

8. Clint Barmes

9. A.J. Burnett, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, RF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Joe Mather, CF

4. Bryan LaHair, 1B

5. Alfonso Soriano, LF

6. Adrian Cardenas, 3B

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Koyie Hill, C

9. Ryan Dempster, P

  • Ryan

    I don’t know why, but it bothers me when a team bats all of its outfielders in a row.

  • npnovak

    Is Stewart injured? I have seen him in the lineup recently

    Edit: Nvm, just saw the tweet/read the beginning of the post.

    • hardtop

      i kind of like this line up… strangely. not sure about Cardenas at the hot corner, but i guess we’re about to find out.

    • hardtop

      sorry, npnovak, that was intended to be in response to your comment…. just a mis-click

  • Ivy Walls

    Per Tribune, Stewart has a sore wrist (that is what hampered him all last year), look for him to hit the DL and Cubs recall Valbuena who is hitting .320 and has a .900 (or close to it OPS in IA).

    Castro goes to the 2 hole, Mather gets start.

  • John

    I am more worried about Hill getting all the starts- why not see what Lalli can do?? Or does Demp want Hill?

  • Josh

    I agree John. Hill is obviously not a long term asset and was acquired as depth due to all the catching injuries. Unless demp wants him behind the dish, why not have him solely as a backup and see what other catchers can do

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I would replace “as depth” with “out of desperation” in that paragraph.  No system in MLB can withstand losing 3 catchers!  (I’m hard pressed to think of one that could come up with a Welington Castillo as a 3rd catcher, to be honest.)

      • MoneyBoy

        Doc!!  THIS!!

      • Luke

        Maybe the Yankees.  Maybe.

  • Chad

    I think I would prefer to see Camp in Center and Super Joe at 3rd; but what the hell do I know? I love that Castro is batting 2nd – too bad we don’t have a real #3.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Something to consider is that the traditional paradigm about who should bat #2 and who should bat #3 is probably backwards, especially for NL teams.  Moving Castro up to #2 therefore is a good idea.  However, it won’t make a huge difference in how many runs the Cubs score by itself.  (Getting Campana out of the #2 spot will have a much bigger difference: he’s probably been batting with 2 outs and men on base at least once every other game.)

  • emrac

    glad to see Castro back at the 2 spot k. Hill needs to go already hurry up Clevenger

  • JNasty

    I like any change. It’s not like they could do any worse than the’ve been doing the last week or so.

  • Mick

    Could this be Dempster’s last start as a Cub, hmmmmm…

  • Johnny

    ^^^No? Not a chance?

  • RWakild

    Although I am a huge Tony Campana fan, he has struggled recently. Giving him some time off to regroup is a good idea. Of course, bring him in late in the game and let his speed kill the Pirates.

  • HoustonTransplant

    I’d still like to see a 1-2-3 of DeJesus, Castro, LaHair. But, whatev’s. This looks better than the shart they were throwing out in Houston. That was a sad-sack line up.

    A win would feel good. Haven’t the Pirates had the Cubs’ number the last few years? (then again, who hasn’t?)

  • Matty

    Bad wrist aside, how much longer do the Cubs give Stewart as starter at 3B? He’s been terrible at the plate going on a year and a half.

  • cubs1967

    The Curse of Rahm…………cubs are winless since the father Joe super PAC political mess occurred.

    Does it end tonite?…………or does tommyboy need to wash Rahm’s car to break it!!

  • die hard

    So, is Castro going to hit to right, bunt, and do what ever it takes to move leadoff to scoring position…?….shrewd move for the opposing pitcher…takes our most talented hitter out of the mix…Maybe they want to surpass the 1962 Mets in futility

  • CubbieBlue23

    Sad to say it, but a team with joe mather as their number 3 hitter will never win in this league

    • Njriv

      So does that mean we are not contending this year?!?!

  • CubbieBlue23

    lol exactly what it means

  • calicubsfan007

    Why does Hill keep starting? Put in Lalli!

  • Bob

    Because they have no clue. Fire Theo.

    • calicubsfan007

      I wouldn’t go that far.

  • CBP

    I’ve officially think Hill and the #9 are automatic outs

  • T Larson

    They know what they are doing. Someone else doesn ‘t have a clue.