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Today’s game is partially about the chance to win the series, but it’s mostly about Matt Garza. The Cubs could really use a great start out of him for so many reasons. Just look good, Matt.

The Cubs go with the “B” lineup, as BN’er Spencer puts it. I’m not really sure they have much of an “A” lineup, but I know what he’s saying.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (19-37) at Milwaukee Brewers (25-31), 1:10pm 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

Matt Garza (4-4, 4.82 ERA, 1.321 WHIP)

versus

Randy Wolf (6-2, 3.46 ERA, 1.323 WHIP)

Milwaukee Brewers Lineup

1. Norichika Aoki, RF

2. Nyjer Morgan, CF

3. Ryan Braun, LF

4. Corey Hart, 1B

5. George Kottaras, C

6. Rickie Weeks, 2B

7. Cody Ransom, 3B

8. Edwin Maysonet, SS

9. Randy Wolf, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Reed Johnson, RF

2. Darwin Barney, 2B

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Jeff Baker, 1B

6. Joe Mather, CF

7. Ian Stewart, 3B

8. Koyie Hill, C

9. Matt Garza, P

  • Patrick G

    Y does stewart get to start vs. lefties and LaHair can’t? Still don’t get it

  • @cubsfantroy

    This lineup will put up less than 2 runs.

    Over/Under 2 runs BN?

    • chirogerg

      over (3)

    • Joe

      Randy Wolf is giving up almost 6 runs per 9. I think even this line_up will get 3 runs today.(But I say that’s tops)

    • Joe

      What do I win?

  • willis

    There’s no logical reason. LaHair will never be able to figure it out against lefties if he’s never given a shot against them.

    And Stewart isn’t very good.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Um, LaHair is 29.  He’s been facing lefties in organized ball for 15 years.  If he has not figured it out by now (and if I recall his lefty/right splits from minor league ball correctly, he has not), then he’s not going to do so. Indeed, MLB lefty pitching is going to be even tougher than minor league lefty pitching.

    • hardtop

      I agree, LaHair is who he is when it comes to lefties.  and who he is the slightly better option than stewart. OBP vs LHP: LaHaiir  = .258, Stewart  = .226.

      Baker can play third.

      it may seem like I’m picking on Stewart, which I’ve been known to do (he makes it easy), but Im really not… I’m picking on this lineup, which is nonsensical, any way you slice it.

       

      • Joe

        Nonsensical lineup? I have better adjectives to describe it, but I’m going to remain civil! I feel the same way about Stewart. I’d much rather take my chances with LaHair in the line-up.

  • Jeremy

    Garza wasn’t bad in his last start. Would be nice to see a dominant start today though.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    and i thought i couldnt hate the line up any more than i have been… boy we will need a good start from garza i dont think this line up is capable of scoring any runs… this is a “totally by chance” line up! does this really give us the best chance to win with one of our best pitchers on the hill? yuck!

  • BleedBlueinWNeb

    LaHair sits again vs. lefty…what a joke. clearly won’t be trading LaHair i’m guessing since sitting him everyday vs. lefties can’t help his trade value. And Stewart plays…confusing.

    • Drew7

      “And Stewart plays…confusing.”

      -I’m with you there. I’d imagine, given that Cardenas is LH along w LaHair and Stewart being LH, its tough to get them both out of the lineup at once. This may be a case of, “well, Stewart isnt going anywhere and we don’t want LaHair to be exposed playing against LHP, so Stewart it is”.

    • Joe

      Yes, Sveum is beginning to get comical with these lin-ups.

  • Fishin Phil

    Well, at least Koyie Hill gets a start.

  • Drew7

    At least the “starting Mather every day in Center and in the 3-hole” experiment is over

  • Cheryl

    The way Stewartis batting it would still be better to put LaHair in. When is Sveum going to figure it out that this righties and lefties batting orders doesn’t work. Garza will be lucky if he ins this one.

    • hardtop

      yeah, it’s ironic.  the one lefty in the entire lineup is the guy least likley to get a hit (among lefties anyway)

      if i pulled this kind of stupid shit at work, id be fired. dale, if you want baker in the game, put him at 3rd and sit the guy with the lowest OPS on your bench (outside of koyie and pitchers).  its not rocket science.

      the jesus is respectable against lefties.  his obp vs left hand pitching is .319, second among cubs starters.  it’s pretty tough to score runs when you dont get men on base. so explain to me why you take the guy who gets on base the most, and sit him? (im taking lahair’s OBP out of this because i think we all know his stats are skewed)… especially in favor of reed johnson or joe f’n mather.

      seriously… dale sveum is steadily approaching quade status.

       

      • Joe

        Yes, you really have to wonder about Sveum these days.

      • Steve

        If you don’t think we are “playing for the pick” this year, then, well, you live in an alternate universe.
        With a top 5 pick next year, which we are going to have, we will put the cherry on rebuild. After we trade Demp and Garza, and sign Soler, it’s a top 5 farm system at LEAST.

        • Joe

          Of course we’re playing for the draft again. But why not bring up Vitters and and release or trade Ian Stewart. I’d rather do that than continue to watch a heap of crap that thinks he is a 3rd baseman.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            Vitters isn’t ready yet, and nothing is gained by rushing him.

            • Joe

              Yes Luke, I understand he might not be ready, but what would be lost by bringing him up now. I think a lot of fans would rather see Vitters play(with more mistakes) than watch this Stewart disaster unfold.

              • Tim Mo

                If Vitters isn’t ready then what happens when Vitters dupilcates Stewart’s numbers? Are you going to bash him? I don’t want to see Vitters struggle and lose confidence.

                • Joe

                  I guess I’m just letting off a little steam having to put up with Stewart. I see your point about Vitters losing confidence if called up and didn’t do well. However I would not bash him if he did not do so well. I would recognize that he would have been just called up, and I would(and I think most fans would) cut him a lot of slack. I could be wrong though, Cubs fans are low on patience.

                  • DocPeterWimsey

                    Most Cubs fans would complain that he had been “rushed” and start rattling off the litany of failed Cubs prospects who are “known” to have failed because they were rushed through the system.  (Actually, they failed because they had lousy pitch recognition;  however, the “confidence” bogeyman is a tough one to slay.)

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Exactly and Joe would be the first to complain after that move.

                    • Edwin

                      I’m sure they didn’t fail just because of poor pitch recognition. There are lot of reasons why hitters fail.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      In Joe’s defense, he said that he would not complain.  However, I think that he is wrong about how Jim and Jane Cub Fan would react.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Yes, there are a lot of reasons why hitters fail.  Lack of pitch recognition is by far the biggest one at the MLB level.  It certainly has been the consistent failing of Cubs prospects: other than Hee Seop Choi and Bobby Hill, that is the primary reason why all of the failed Cubs prospects of whom I can think have failed over the last decade.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Really you wouldn’t bash him? What if he hit .150 and .OBP of below .200? You would absolutely be on here bashing the FO for rushing him and asking for the next 3B prospect to get called up. Yes Stewart is horrible but to rush a player for change sake is a horrible idea. You seem to beg for change just to make change.

                    • Joe

                      No, no I really wouldn’t complain if he put up those kind of numbers if he were called up. Personally, I don’t believe he would post that kind of slash line if called up.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      Vitter’s isoP probably wouldn’t be that high, for one thing!

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Really, you or one of your alter egos would absolutely complain because thats what you’ve done in all your versions.

                    • Drew7

                      ha!

  • mpope30

    Just wait until we call up Rizzo, Jackson, etc. and they sit on the bench. And we don’t need to act like it isn’t going to happen. You know it will…..

    • Glotzbach

      Nope, those guys will not sit. They will play everyday. These guys are not like Cardenas,Mather, Barney these guys are the players we are building around.

  • rbreeze

    A couple of positives this week though………

    The draft looks good.  The Cubs scored 10 runs in one game and won the game.  We are finally playing the rubber game of a series, no sweeps in Milwaukee.

    If Garza pitches well today we’ll find a way to lose 2 to 1!!!

    Can’t wait until next off season!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Corey

    Just a thought on why Stewart plays vs. left-handers instead of LaHair: Above average defense at 3rd and acceptable defense at 1st instead of below average defense at 3rd and acceptable defense at 1st. With this offense, maybe Dale sees the need to have the best defense possible out there. Plus, you have to love having LaHair as an option off the bench in the later innings when the starter is taken out.

  • Cheryl

    At this point i don’t thimk it woud do any good to have LaHair come in off the bench. He gets so few at bats now that he can’t get into any type of rhythm (and yes I believe there is a rhythm or groove that a batter attains). At this point it would be better for LaHair if he was traded to a club where he could play consistently. I’d love to see him play two solid weeks against both lefties and righties. If he did, there would be a positive difference in his batting.

    • Joe

      well, as Doc pointed out, LaHair has never posted good numbers against lefties, is 29, and won’t change now. However, I would rather take my chances with him at first until Rizzo gets up here. Playing Stewart at 3rd is downright foolish.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Remember also that LaHair has as bad back.  Bad backs do not heal quickly: in fact, the often never really heal.  Between that, his poor performance against lefties and the fact that there really is no such thing as “rhythm,” it makes sense to take advantage of lefties to give LaHair days off.

    • Jp

      Umm what was that again???

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Do you think that minor league players in the Cubs system watch the replays of the games, and see Ian Stewart making 2.2 million bucks this year and playing every day, and just go you have to be freaking kidding me. Guy from Colorado tried to warn me, but he looked ok the first couple weeks. Forget about it.
    What really bugs me about him, is he has that major league cool down perfect, just act like your Mike Schmidt and hope nobody notices you suck.

    • Fernando Lamas

      And remember, it’s better to look good than to hit good.

  • rbreeze

    LaHair just gets a PH knock for a HR and the Cubs lead!!!!!!

  • Leroy K.

    In your face Dale!

    –Bryan Lahair

    • Joe

      Yep. Please Dale, NO MARMOL!

    • Ogyu

      If LaHair had started against the left-hander, he would not have been available to pinch hit against the righty in that situation, so Dale actually looks kinda smart right about now…

      • Leroy K.

        very true…didn’t think about that. Good point.

        • Matty Ice

          He pinch hit in Bakers spot, not the pitchers

          • Ogyu

            True enough. But who scored the Cubs’ first run today? Baker.

      • Matty Ice

        If Lahair would have started he would have been hitting there anyway. If anything it makes Sveum look dumb.

        • hansman1982

          Its a day game after a night game after a long road trip – standard practice to rest the regulars.

          • rcleven

            We have regulars?

            • Joe

              Lol! That is funny. My eyes are watering from laughing(seriously)!

  • Ogyu

    Come on, Habeas Corpas!

    • Ogyu

      Okay, time to suspend Habeas Corpas… ;-)

      • Njriv

        Who are you? Lincoln?

  • Joe

    That is so no right! The earned run calculation for pitchers needs to be adressed. I think a half run should be charged to Russell and a half run charged Corpas.

  • Joe

    I see another BS coming for Marmol. I hope I am so wrong.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Thanks to the extra innings, you’ve been warned: the Enhanced Box Score will probably be delayed. Apologies in advance – The Mom is in town to see The Little Girl, and we’ve got a dinner planned.

    • hansman1982

      NOT ALLOWED – YOU NEED TO PUT EVERYTHING IN LIFE ON HOLD SO WE CAN GET AN EBS!!!!

  • Doug

    Mmmmm Boy!!!! Jeff Baker and Koyie Hill in the line up always makes me throw up in my mouth.

    I’m sick of LaHair sitting on the bench against left handed pitching too! Play him every day. Ian Stewart is in the line up and the last time I checked his batting average is still under the Mendoza Line.

    UPDATE: Just came in from a road trip when I sent that first part. Shame on me. I didn’t even realize it was an early game today. Jumped to ESPN after that and saw we already lost and LaHair had hit a pinch hit homer!! I assume it came against a righty but I stand firm. Play him everyday.

    • Joe

      The reason the Cubs lost is because they ran into another CY Young candidate in Randy Wolf!(LOL)

      • RY34

        classic, the randy wolf of 6+ era coming in!

  • Njriv

    Play Cardenas More! Out of 30 AB’s most of them came from the pinch hitting variety. He has shown he has extra base power.

  • RY34

    this team sucks so bad its comical, take the lead, give it right back, different day, same ol f-ing shit!

  • Rynomite

    Well that’s a new way to lose.

  • Steve

    Relax kids. Remember, this season is all for the draft pick. I don’t want # 4, or # 6. I want the first damn pick, so keep running Hill, Baker and Stewart out there Dale.

    • Dan Fredrickson

      For that matter, I think it would be interesting to see how Koyie Hill would do in center field. Probably wouldn’t hurt his tradeability to give him some versatility. :)

      • Joe

        I’d like to see Stewart used as a Pinata in the clubhouse. Cubs relieve all their stress, get some good homerun swings in, start hitting, and Stewart’s value goes up as a great influence on the team!(Just kidding, it’s a joke all you activists)

    • TWC

      Totally, I know, right? I, too, prefer to show how much of a fan of the team I am by encouraging them to lose!

      • Joe

        I don’t think anybody is encouraging them to lose. I think most fans are encouraging them to be practical. It is after all, a “business.”

        • Drew7

          I disagree. Just look at the amount of people voicing frustrations with lineups, the bullpen, and the roster in general. Fans want to see a team win, and this isnt the NFL draft where bombing a season gets you a franchise player who makes an immediate impact.

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