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A three-game winning streak followed by a three-game losing streak? Let’s hope not.

The Cubs face a resurgent Barry Zito, who’s pitching like he did just before he came to the Giants and started eating cash. Starlin Castro is back in the three-hole, and Darwin Barney is back in the two-hole.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (18-34) at San Francisco Giants (29-24), 3:05pm 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

Travis Wood (0-1, 5.94 ERA, 7.83 FIP)

versus

Barry Zito (4-2, 3.41 ERA, 4.60 FIP)

San Francisco Giants Lineup

1. Gregor Blanco, RF

2. Ryan Theriot, 2B

3. Melky Cabrera, LF

4. Buster Posey, 1B

5. Angel Pagan, CF

6. Hector Sanchez, C

7. Joaquin Arias, 3B

8. Brandon Crawford, SS

9. Barry Zito, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Tony Campana, CF

2. Darwin Barney, 2B

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Jeff Baker, 1B

6. Ian Stewart, 3B

7. Reed Johnson, RF

8. Koyie Hill, C

9. Travis Wood, P

  • Jeff

    What the hell was Soriano swinging at. If I was the manager and he did that shit, I’d yank his ass out of there before he even finished the at bat…ugh!!!!! So sick of this shit!!

    • calicubsfan007

      He’ll be gone soon. He’ll be gone soon. He’ll be gone soon. That thought is keeping me from losing my mind.

  • Joe

    They say if you’re gonna be the best at something, the best of the worse is considered a legitimate category.

  • Carew

    Ive thought of a new lineup, what do ya think?

    Castro
    Barney
    DeJesus
    LaHair
    Soriano
    Clevenger
    Stewart
    Campana
    Pitcher

    Maybe even flip-flop Campana and the pitcher

    • calicubsfan007

      Where’s Rizzo? A hypothetical lineup should always include Rizzo. Just personal opinion. Makes the lineup less depressing.

      • Carew

        Oh I agree with you. I just meant now, until some trades are made. But I would put Rizzo 6th for alittle bit just to get his feet wet then move him up accordingly.

        • calicubsfan007

          Maybe 6th, unless Soriano is still here. If that’s the case, I would bat Rizzo before him. This would give Rizzo more runners, thus more opportunities. Soriano would just screw that up.

    • art

      any line-up with sorry ass is bad. sorry.

      • calicubsfan007

        No doubt. I am getting to the point that we should trade him for a bag of balls. Anything more than that would be gravy.

        • Diesel

          Yeah plus we need the baseballs with all the homeruns we give up.

          • calicubsfan007

            The homers due to Sori’s defense or the homers missed out because of his batting?

  • nkniacc

    Sounds like Minnesota is on the Clock as Houston is expected to select Appel with the first pick of the draft

  • Joe

    This is pathetic! Cubs are gonna lose 1-0. I would actually bet a paycheck they don’t get a run in the 9th.

    • art

      instead of a close game they got trounced 2-0.

  • Leroy K.

    runs for sale!!! Get your runs!!! Get em hot!!!

  • Cubs Dude

    June 23rd seems far off. It is so ridiculous they platoon LaHair.

    • Joe

      Yep.

    • art

      Agree.

  • Cubs Dude

    Anytime you start Baker at first and bat him in the middle of the lineup, you know your f’d before you take the field. They might as well start K. Hill every game and bat him 4th.

    • Joe

      Ya. Who would do such a thing? Sveum.

  • Joe

    Sveum is managing like we are going to the World Series! Somebody slap him and wake him up.

  • nkniacc

    I say hes managing to showcase players for trades and prove they can’t do things so they can’t trade players

    • Joe

      That could be.(LOL)

  • Jeff

    Soriano lets another run score!!

    • calicubsfan007

      Hope he gets traded soon!!!

      • Bric

        Seriously. All the comments pro and con toward Svuem and Theo are a little premature, IMO. But one thing that can’t be excused is continuing to start Soriano. Bench him or trade him but continuing to trot him out there is like saying we really don’t have any control of the team that we inherited. Inexcusable. Reminds me of the Hendry-Bradley deal. That deal sealed Hendry’s fate, and unless they do something about this Soriano madness, it will haunt them just as badley.

        • Cubs Dude

          Is it Sveums decision to play Sori everyday? Or is that pushed down on him? I would love to know the truth..

  • Cubs Dude

    I wonder how much decision making power Sveum actually has with lineups and playing time? Is it him having the weird lineups and weird decisions, or is it the front office? All managers want to win now, and could care less about building for the future. Really does Sveum give a shit what this team looks like in 2014? He has to know that Theo could care less about winning this year, and he may not be here when the Cubs do win..

    • calicubsfan007

      I think that, unless the Cubs lose 100 games this year and next, Sveum won’t be gone before 2014. This isn’t the Hendry era anymore, managers won’t be changed daily. (lol)

    • Joe

      I don’t think Sveum will be here next year. He’ll be doing bunting touraments in “AAA.”

      • calicubsfan007

        But changing managers too often contradicts the whole idea of consistency. This is a team in transition, we need some sort of consistency.

        • Cubs Dude

          I am not saying fire Sveum by any means. I think the was brought into a terrible situation. I am just wondering how much of the day to day decisions he can make like playing time, lineups, rotation when the Cubs clearly aren’t worrying about this year?

          • calicubsfan007

            Fair enough

    • ferrets_bueller

      We all have to realize something- from the start, this was going to be a season of two phases.

      We all knew phase one would be painful. We just have to make it through it, until we’ve started the sell off, and can actually bring the talent up to the majors. Then the lineups will make sense, and then the team will be worth watching.

  • art

    how long will Dale/Quade keep playing Soriano? he is hurting the team with his age, bad defense to go along with his achy creaky knee, he’d be at the other end of the bench. if i was the manager his ass wouldn’t be in the line-up. he stinks.

    • @cubsfantroy

      Then you wouldn’t be the manager for very long…

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    It shows absolutely no clue when people insist on pinning the blame on Sveum and even Theo. Theo we can’t be sure, but of this we can be certain. Crane Kenney is the one man who ran this pig pen for the Tribune. Stone continually predicted this in 2007 what we see today. Clearly Kenney carried out the Tribune policy of over-investing in aging Veterans and ignoring the minors. Clearly Kenney carried out the strategy for Zell in which Tom Ricketts overpaid for this mess and yet the one most responsible is still active and still apparently involved in baseball decisions. This bothers me more than even the miserable MLB talent, that in draft evaluation Crane Kenney is still in the Loop.

    No Soriano is a joke. No there’s not a ton in the minors, but with the Cubs clearly indicating they will eat 45 of the 48 still owed, they can’t seriously believe he will net any kind of really prospect. So why do they continue to run him out? I suspect this is more of the problem we have seen in the past and rests squarely on Ricketts. Kenney should be gone and Soriano realistically released, but there’s no way Sveum wants that mess in LF. He’s not stupid and can see. It has to be a management decision.

    Finally the ignorance expressed about Sveum in comparing him to Quade is just that. This team has regressed in almost everyday except starting pitching. He has nothing to work with. They lack bats, defense and relief pitching. Put it on Theo if you want, but no one can be sure he doesn’t have strategic hand cuffs placed on him by ownership.

    And in the end it really doesn’t matter, because if we can tell time it’s clearly time to back up the truck and sell anything that can net real value, including Castro. There’s just not enough to build around for 2014 or 2015 on this roster.

    • Cubs Dude

      That’s what I am saying pretty much. Kenney sucks, I think most people understand that. But it has to be so painful for Sveum to run garbage lineups out there, and know there are things that could be done to make this team and lineup better, but you can’t play to win because the front office has mandated certain stuff. I am not saying right or wrong on the matter. Theo has a vision and believes in it, which is enough for me. BUT Sveum has to know that he may not be there to see it. Which has to be killing him right?? Or he is the greatest guy of all time and only cares about the Cubs longterm health, even if he has a 30% winning percentage for the first 2 years..

  • Leroy K.

    well said Mike. I don’t blame Theo, I still blame Hendry and co.

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