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Jeff Samardzija has been sans pirate-beard/stache lately, have you noticed? I think it’s sapped him of his superhuman power, not unlike Samson. Bring it back, Jeff.

The Cubs face Scott Diamond today, who’s been mighty effective in limited duty this year. Ah, but he hasn’t yet had to face DH-infused Alfonso Soriano.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (19-39) at Minnesota Twins (23-34), 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

Jeff Samardzija (5-3, 3.13 ERA, 3.05 FIP)

versus

Scott Diamond (4-1, 1.86 ERA, 3.58 FIP)

Minnesota Twins Lineup

1. Denard Span, CF

2. Ben Revere, RF

3. Joe Mauer, C

4. Josh Willingham, LF

5. Justin Morneau, 1B

6. Ryan Doumit, DH

7. Trevor Plouffe, 3B

8. Brian Dozier, SS

9. Jamey Carroll, 2B

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Reed Johnson, LF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. David DeJesus, RF

4. Alfonso Soriano, DH

5. Jeff Baker, 1B

6. Joe Mather, CF

7. Steve Clevenger, C

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Ian Stewart, 3B

  • RWakild

    No freaking Lahair again!!!!

    • nkniacc

      and vs liriano tomorrow I doubt we see him sunday either

    • Doug

      Agreed!!! At least we don’t have to see Mr. Hill behind the dish today!! I’m starting to wonder if they are trying to end up with the worst record in franchise history. It sure will make the turn around seem that much more impressive.

      With the 1st pick in the 2013 draft the Chicago Cubs select…

      • nkniacc

        K Winston P Fla

        • Doug

          Jeremy Martinez, C, Mater Dei HS CA.

      • Jeremy

        Ryne Stanek P Arkansas or Kris Bryant 3B San Diego

      • djriz

        Austin Meadows, OF

  • Rylee

    I don’t understand why Sveum doesn’t play Cardenas..he has gotta be a better choice than Stewart.

    • Njriv

      I’m glad, I thought I was the only one pushing for him to play. People are already writing him off, but he only has 30 AB’s and most of those came from pinch hitting. I think he can do a good job with the bat when given consistent playing time, he’s really not known for his glove, he has also shown he can hit for extra-bases.

  • RY34

    its bullshit lahair isnt in there, dude should play everyday i think there should be a daily poll as to which reliever will blow the lead if applicable that day! my pick for today is ascencio.

    • Leroy K.

      I’m going with everyone’s favorite, I will go with Camp again…It would be just like Sveum to pitch him again.

      • RY34

        good choice but i’m getting ahead of myself, we scored 7 runs yesterday which probably means we will get shutout today and then score 1 run tomorrow so it will be a non-issue

  • JL

    Can anyone fathom the reason to substitute LaHair for Baker instead of sitting Stewart for Baker?

    • Doug

      Nope.

    • Joe

      The only thing I can think of is LaHair’s back issue.

    • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

      Probably just the lefty vs. lefty thing. Baker is “supposed to” dominate against lefties…

      • Doug

        DeJesus and Stewart hit from the left side too. Last I checked neither of them hit like LaHair.

        • JL

          Exactly. Besides, Stewart has that wrist issue. Althoug LaHair has got the back issue, it’s obviously not affecting his performance as Stewart’s problem is affecting his.

      • Carew

        He aint really doing that this year is he.

        Could Baker be part of a little package deal, as a throw-in? he wont be back next year, so why not get rid of him..

      • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

        You’re preaching to the choir! I am a huge fan of LaHair’s….I also believe Stewart needs to be sat for as long as it takes to heal his wrist. I does neither Stewart, nor the team any good to be fighting through an injury that clearly affects him at the plate, last night not withstanding…

        • JL

          What’s most discouraging about Stewart is that, although he’s not getting results since the beginning of the season, early on it looked like he was mainly unlucky, hitting line drives right into opponents’ gloves etc. But as of late, he’s looking plain awful at the plate.

          • Cubs1967

            stewart sucks; it was a stupid trade. lahair can’t hit lefties but stewart can? this is a dumbass line-up; where is sveum’s head?……..it’s getting as bad as quade.
            here;s hooing vitters is up by september so i don’t have to see his mendoza avg anymore.

            his wrist was hurt last year………who signed off on that trade?

            • Joe

              The “Stew” project was a gamble. It’s quite ovious it was a losing bet. As far as him being an above average defender, I sure as hell haven’t seen it. They guy is a bust!

              • ferrets_bueller

                He’s been great on defense.

                I hate it that his wrist obviously isn’t healthy, and appears to be getting worse. I almost wish he’d hurt his leg or something and be out for the season, so it has more time away from playing to heal. The guy had all the potential talent in the world.

  • Idaho Razorback

    I like Jeremy’s pick, Ryne Stanek pitcher Arkansas Razorbacks.

  • Joe

    I think the question that was “posed” was why aren’t we starting Baker at third and playing LaHair instead of the Stew artist.

  • art

    seems like most of Soriano’s homers have been against bad teams/pitching, am i wrong? a piece in the trib says Soriano will consider surgery at end of the year, if at that time they find anything in there. so no one has checked out his knee? so is it his word only that it hurts?

    • Joe

      I don’t believe there is anything wrong with the knee. I think Sori is playing a tune to the Cubs and fans with his Grand piano!

  • mark

    Hey, c’mon. As I said last night, Stewart is lookin’ real comfortable in the 9-hole.

  • Cheryl

    LaHair could fit into four other team’s plans according to a recent article i read. He’ll probably be traded by July 1 and when that happens and he gets consistent playing time he’ll probably hit 30 homers for the year. It will be the cubs loss and another team’s gain. I really hate to see him in this positionand hope a trade comes quickly.

  • Glotzbach

    I think the Cubs need to get at least one good bat in the off season. They really have no 3 hitter yet, and have zero protection in that line-up.

  • RY34

    typical cubs bullshit, 0-5 w risp thru 3 innings

  • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

    Wonderful….The Cardinals SAVED $277K (Under slot) on their supplementary first round selection (#52 overall)…

  • Leroy K.

    Does anyone know if there are any copies of the “Cub Way” out there? I would love to read about the new philosophy!!!!

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    This fucking team is a joke! Shark is shit! I can fucking hit his stuff today! The Twins are hitting his stuff like a batting practice session! When in the fuck is svuem going to pull his head out of his ass and start managing? If it’s going to be like this we mite as well bring up Lake and Vitters Maples and let them take there knocks.. This is painful to watch this day in and day out! When the fuck is help coming?

    • Kyle

      The worst thing you can do with a bad team is call up a bunch of kids who aren’t ready.

      You lose just as many games, but you also stunt the kids’ development and accelerate the service time clock.

      The worse this team gets, the more sense it makes to leave the veterans with no long-term worth out there to soak up the punches, like a long reliever in a blowout game.

    • RY34

      Well Said!! totally agree, we will without a doubt set the record for the worst record ever.

  • Kyle

    “All right, Mr. Samardzija. Do your worst.”

    Oh man, Brett. This one is all on you. Thanks a lot. :) :(

    The best thing about this season so far now has an ERA worse than league average :(

  • Kevin

    The Cubs are a bad team right now and to expect anything positive will just get you frustrated. Cub fans should not expect anything until the beginning of the 2015 season. It might
    be more fun to follow how our draft picks are doing the next couple years.

  • Joe

    There are some real issues with Samardzija. According to my book he now has an ERA/WHIP of 7.31/2.00+ over the last 14 days. Good pitchers(at this stage of their careers, don’t do this. I’m not giving up on him(some have argued he is overvalued by the organization), but maybe it’s time to end this experiment too.(as a starter)

    • LEO L

      he has been dominant in the begining of the year and a starter is more valuable. this his first year starting adn you had t oknow he would eventaully one get a tired arm and two develop a book on him. but to say its time to give up on this experiment is way too early especially with what he has done.

      • Joe

        I’m sorry. But one can’t ignore the facts. He is reverting back to his old ways. he posted numbers like this back in 2009/2010. He is just not cut out to be a starting pitcher. The numbers don’t lie. A good start to a bad season does not equal a bad start to a good season.

        • Drew7

          Funny for this to come from someone who routinely ignores facts and will not admit when his own version of “stats” are wrong.

          • Joe

            Excuse me.

          • Joe

            I never claimed to be an “accountant.” And even the best accountants get audited.

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    This is a complete let down! To lose the fucking Twins are you kidding me! This lost is to be blamed on piss poor managing.. There’s no way in hell Shark starts anouther game.. His last starts have been shit! Even Wells is pitching better Suevm needs to shake up this line up instead of playing the same players day in and day out! This team can win there’s no way in hell were worse than the Astros or Brewers! This Team isn’t a bottom drewller! It’s management from top to bottom! Then there’s Soriano people need to shut the fuck up about him, heck right now he’s the only player on the Cubs right now hitting! Yeah his legs ain’t what they use to be! But he’s carring the Team last nite his bat alone gave us the lead twice for only our bill pen fucked it up once again! I am just a frustrated Cubs Fan! Sorry Guys

    • djriz

      award for most foul words in two posts goes to ramy16.
      award for lack of understanding of baseball goes to ramy16.
      if you comment again, i’m sure you’ll win the ‘triple crown of rudeness’

      this site is what it is because of respectable commentors. please help keep it that way.

      • Andrew

        Agreed. Frustration is understood. We’re Cubs fans in the 2012 season – the frustration is expected.

        But… keep it classy, Cubs fans.

  • Jp

    Hey I can’t see the game since it’s not on wgn today, why was Castro pulled? Because it’s a Blowout, ineffectiveness, or because he had his head up his ass swatting butterflies in the outfield grass again?

    • rcleven

      Well deserved rest. First innings off all year.

  • Leroy K.

    i’m proud to wear all my Cubs gear, course I’m in England and nobody knows who the Cubs are here lol….

  • LEO L

    Never been a Soriano fan but startiing to wonder if he just needed to change his bat. wish somebody would have made him before

    • Leroy K.

      you mean this 40 pound bat has been hindering my swing? I never made the connection!!!

      • Drew7

        Yep, hindered him to a .505 career slg%, along with hot streaks just like this one.

  • Kevin

    Soriano on fire, should add trade value to an American league team.

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    Oh geez look who’s hit anouther homerun! Yes the player people love to hate on Mr Soriano! That’s #12 folks in how many games? He’s playing to his potential! I don’t know why everybody soo quick to trade Soriano! If it wernt for him where in the hell would we be? No worse than we already are!

    • Leroy K.

      actually, as far as I’m tracking, there isn’t too many people that have been hating him on this year.

      • Crazyhorse

        Really? – kinda hear alot hate on this site. I dont really feel when you read the articles on this site they give Soriano his kicks. When the old man gets into one of his slumps – all the writing and hate comes out.. And guess what, thats okay- I take Soriano 25 to 30 hr and 240 to 260 avg only because the Cubs dont have anybody better. I love this hot streak – let the old mane shine

        • Leroy K.

          ok let me rephrase then, most of the hatred I see is a lot worse on ESPN message boards…

          • calicubsfan007

            Thats true. And you have to pay for the abuse some of those posters throw at you. The worst one was the whole daddy Ricketts thing.

            • Leroy K.

              and that’s why I love coming here. Real sound actual baseball (Cub) knowledge, from people and sources I trust so thank you everyone!

              • calicubsfan007

                Don’t forget the fact that this is free!!!!

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    djriz I don’t know where you come from as far as left field maybe? I was born and raised in Chicago you shit head and I played College Baseball soo my knowledge of the game goes very far.. What a dumb ass! If you read my previous post i said I was sorry as I ended as “Frustrated Cubs Fan”

    • Drew7

      Just for future reference, you should hit “reply” when responding to someone’s post.

    • Toby

      @Ramy16, I understand you are frustrated, but stating that you were “born and raised in Chicago” and played College ball doesn’t mean you have as much baseball knowledge as the next person. So, you believe Shark should not be given any more starts? One horrible outing and he is out in your book? Every pitcher goes through a cold streak and they snap out of it. Another point you made was that Sveum needed to “shake things up” instead of trotting out the same lineup day in and day out. Earlier in the year, when the Cubs won three straight series basically played the same lineup. It was only when the Cubs started losing more that he went with a more different lineup. I feel your frustration, I really do, but a different lineup isn’t going to change much.

    • djriz

      actually sir, my problem is not with your baseball opinions (kneejerk as they may be), just the way you communicate them. if that was not understood, i apologize for my lack of writing skills.

      actually sir, name calling is now one of your skills. congratulations.

      (thanks, toby)

  • calicubsfan007

    I am not a “hater” of Soriano, I am one of those people who don’t see the point of keeping him in a time that this team is rebuilding. The reason why trading him is talked about so much is the fact that this is probably his highest level of value. His trading stock can’t be much higher. Trading Soriano will show the MLB world that the Cubs are serious about rebuilding from the foundation up, as past management has implied rebuilding, yet overpays on veterans and annihalates the minors. More people need to trust Theo’s plan, we cannot be the greatest team on the planet immediately. Give him time, if he fails to make us champs after 5 years, then fire him and say that he’s ineffective. I know that it is hard to have any more patience after all these years (I am one of the most impatient people on the planet), but the best thing we can do right now is to be patient. Btw, I am NOT a Theo worshipper or whatever people have called the people like me, I loathed Hendry and welcomed anyone who would be willing to fix the Cubs with open arms. I believe in being fair to Theo, as I was with Hendry initially, no one should judge anyone based on a small sample size. I know life isn’t fair, but the human being can be. Please stop trashing management, its rude, disrespectful, and it makes all Cubs fans look bad.

    • Leroy K.

      couldn’t have said it better myself calicub

  • Cubs1967

    note to Al teams; soriano does quite well as a DH. may want to trade for him OR note to clown commish selig; put the DH in both leagues; as you know; NO other sport plays by 2 rules sets; so at least cubs fans can stop watching him play D.

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    Calicub I am not disrespecting uppermanagement I am simply trying to imply that upper management and the Svuem arnt getting the job done! I’ve seen generations of my family die knowing that the Cubs haven’t won a world series.. Keep running the same line up day in and day out simply isn’t working! I know Theo has a tough task ahead of him, he’s “It’s The Cubs Way” well rite the Cubs way is making us look like Crap for the exception of Castro, Soriano and Garza.. So if something isn’t working you fix it!

    • calicubsfan007

      Fair enough, I am just getting sick of the whole “Theo, Jed and Sveum sucks” routine. It was more of a blanket comment, which is why i made sure that i didn’t post it as a reply to anyones comment. The trades will happen soon, so the fixin is a comin’!!

  • http://Bleachernation Ramy16

    So setting a record for most 1 run losses? So who’s to blame? Last night we should have won that game! Shawn Camp is not a closer! He’s a middle reliever! That just shows piss poor management from a rookie mngr!

    • DocPeterWimsey

      No, the Twins should have won last night’s game.  They got more extra base hits than the Cubs and 6 more walks.  They outperformed the Cubs to the total 7 extra TB+BB: and that means that they should have won by 2+ runs, not just one.  The Twins had 13 ABs with men in scoring position while limiting the Cubs to only 5.  Anything that you can say about “Sveum should not have used X to pitch the 8th, 9th or 10th” you can say about Gardenhire: what was he doing throwing Perkins at Sori in the 8th?

      Many of the Cubs recent 1-run loses have been like this: when you break down the numbers, the question becomes: “how did the Cubs lose by only 1 run?”  Last night’s game was another one of those.

       

      EDIT: Just to put a number on it, when teams have TB+BB of 7 greater than the other team, they are 74-6 this year…..

  • Joe

    Samardjzija said, and I quote” Take the outing for what it’s worth. I’m still learning.” Are you kidding me? The “outing” was just that. A trip to the outhouse on an Indiana farm! He’s still learning? Are you kidding me? Go back down to AAA and learn! I think the end for him is very near. Trade winds are blowing for him too!

    • MichiganGoat

      LOUD NOISES

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