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The Cubs welcome the Tigers to Wrigley Field tonight, and will look to avoid being the Tigers’ soft place to fall. Max Scherzer’s been up and down lately, so he could be great tonight, or ugly. Either way, we’ll probably attribute the results to Rudy Jaramillo’s firing, because that makes sense.

Game Info

Detroit Tigers (28-32) at Chicago Cubs (20-40), 7:05pm 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

Max Scherzer (5-4, 5.88 ERA, 4.44 FIP)

versus

Paul Maholm (4-5, 5.10 ERA, 5.10 FIP)

Detroit Tigers Lineup

1. Austin Jackson, CF

2. Brennan Boesch, RF

3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B

4. Prince Fielder, 1B

5. Delmon Young, LF

6. Jhonny Peralta, SS

7. Gerald Laird, C

8. Danny Worth, 2B

9. Max Scherzer, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Tony Campana, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. David DeJesus, RF

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Bryan LaHair, 1B

6. Steve Clevenger, C

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Ian Stewart, 3B

9. Paul Maholm, P

  • Luke D

    DeJesus and Soriano v. Cabrera and Fielder …

    We may have ‘em beat tonight, boys.

  • ibcnu2222 (John)

    How about we switch Dejesus and Lahair?

  • EQ76

    I would say why the heck do we keep batting DeJesus in the 3-hole, but who the heck else are we gonna put there?

    • hansman1982

      Ideally I would love to see:

      DeJesus – L and patient
      Castro – R and not
      LaHair – L and patient
      Soriano – R and not
      Clevenger – L and ???
      Barney – R – not
      Stewart – L – Patient
      Campana – L – not

  • hansman1982

    I likey the FIP inclusion!

    Can we get pitcher handed-ness?

    • Spencer

      just look at the Cubs lineup. If LaHair isn’t in the lineup, its a LHP.

  • Alex

    Is there any word on Rizzo? He apparently left today’s game with a leg injury.

    • Falselife

      Nothing that I have heard, the local news had no update.

      He slid into the dugout fence trying to make a foul territory grab. Trainers were out there a while with him. They were all over his knee…walked off under his own power. I’m hoping for a contusion….

      Come on Gods of Baseball, we have suffered long enough.

      UPDATE: Ok. They are saying it’s just a sore knee.

  • Alex

    Hopefully Soriano stays hot and puts on a show with the bat so maybe the Tigers will inquire about him. Garza & Soriano (most of salary paid) for Turner, Castellanos and Austin Jackson?

  • EricR

    Garza, Dempster, LaHair, etc, all sell themselves. Soriano though, I’d love to see him stay hot.

  • RWakild

    Just gave me a reason to watch tonights game, Campana and Lahair!!!

  • GoldFinch

    I’m really starting to believe Sveum is not really in charge of this team! Ian “STEW” is starting again, bad wrist and all. Something fishy going on here? Oh, that’s right. Sveum is an “assistant” manager! Maybe he can make it at the grocery store!(LOL)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Exclamation points and “LOL”s are best used sparingly. If you use them all the time, they become meaningless. And kind of obnoxious.

      I’m trying to help, despite everything.

      • GoldFinch

        Cat’s pajamas is obnoxious as well, but I keep reading.

        • Sweetjamesjones

          Cat’s pajamas is pretty funny.

          • GoldFinch

            I don’t think it is. ( Just my opinion). I have cats. I don’t see the humor there. Call me dull!

            • josh

              come on people, focus! (and lol too)

              • GoldFinch

                Don’t use LOL too many times!(Yikes, I used an exclamation point)LOL

                • MichiganGoat

                  Mature, glad you learned and listened.

                  Here’s another piece of advice: When you enter someone’s house and they ask you to stop. LISTEN and FOLLOW DIRECTIONS

                  • GoldFinch

                    I’m done “bucking heads” with you!

                    • MichiganGoat

                      That’s fine everyone is just trying to help you be successful this time around, but we can be done I’ve said all I need to say to you.

                    • calicubsfan007

                      Goldfinch, what’s up? You were cool to talk to last night about the prospects,”platoon” and whatnot, you seem a tad angry tonight.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Cali he has a history on here under multiple names and continues in the same fashion as he did under those names.

                    • calicubsfan007

                      Quite a few people on here have quite a few different usernames… Why do they keep changing it?

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Because sometimes they get banned, sometimes just to be difficult, or times they have multiple personalities.

                    • calicubsfan007

                      People can get banned here? Wow… Brett seems to be a pretty laid back guy, I imagine it taking a lot to force Brett to kick someone out.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Yes. It has happened only in extreme cases. I’m very tolerant and laid back, but I do have to protect the community.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Yes only a few have been, so you can see where all the friction has come from. Brett is a incredibly forgiving and tolerate admin, so if someone gets banned they absolutely deserved it.

                    • calicubsfan007

                      Got to admire the banned guys’ persistency to keep coming back though!

                    • calicubsfan007

                      I think friction is an understatement in this scenario

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Admire? No it’s horribly frustrating and takes up way too much time (for example this conversation). It’s on thing to get the hammer and come back and act differently and improved. Another to return and act the exact same way as before, and not apologize for previous comments and actions that got ou banned in the first place.

                      And with that lets be done talking about this.

                    • calicubsfan007

                      @ Brett: I imagine it being one of the harder choices for you to make. You just seem like that kind of guy, with all due respect. (Sorry if the “all due respect” line makes you think of Ricky Bobby, I really do respect you)

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I don’t say cat’s pajamas in 95% of my comments or posts.

          You are being offered advice and help. Considering what’s happened, if I were you, I’d take it.

          • GoldFinch

            (Considering what’s happened) Brett I respect you and I likewise would like to be respected. What has happened? I can’t use exclamation points or LOL where I see fit in a comment? i am all “ears” to advice.

            • TWC

              Oh, yeah, you respected the heck out of this website on Sheridan’s blog.

              • MichiganGoat

                ^^^Yup^^^

              • GoldFinch

                ?

                • MichiganGoat

                  Sure Northside sure, denial ain’t a river in Egypt, but if works for you go with it.

                  • North Side Irish

                    What did I do?

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Not you, the name BetterNews used on Sheridan’s blog.

                  • calicubsfan007

                    @Michigan: Gotta give you probs with the “denial” line. Pretty good.

              • calicubsfan007

                Who’s Sheridan? I have never heard of this blog in the 3 months or so I have been here.

                • MichiganGoat

                  http://journal.boysofspring.com/

                  Brett won the Ryno for best Cub Blog (voted by readers) and there was a comment section when you voted. A certain someone really bashed BN, attacked Brett personally, and attacked us regular posters. It was ugly.

                  • calicubsfan007

                    Thanks for the link, from what I saw, it looks like a pretty cool and insightful site. And congrats on the Ryno Brett, I hear the competition for those are really stiff. I really don’t understand why Cubs fans have to bash other Cubs fans. Just isn’t right.

                    • GoldFinch

                      We’re good. I guess it’s that MichiganGoat. He’s called many things, and I don’t know why. I gave some insight into the Soler deal before it went public, and he said I was full of BS! It’s obvious he has me confused with someone else. I even changed my poster name to accomadate him and he still goes out of his way to disprove some of the things I say. I might not be 100% accurate(who is), but isn’t this sight a fact and “rumor” site by Brett’s own admission? If I have a “rumor”(could be fact) I will post it! Again, if you look at the Soler signing, me and Cheryl both said he was signed before it was made public. Were we liars?

                    • calicubsfan007

                      As I have said before, as long as you don’t use personal attacks on me Gold Finch, we will stay golden and I will keep responding to your posts. I don’t believe in making judgements on people until I am 100 percent sure, otherwise it is an unfair view of the other human being.

                  • Drew7

                    Just watched that video of Kasper announcing the award. How about the video showing one of my posts referencing “the goat”?

                    My respect of your insightful goat-ness has been going on for a while I see:)

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Thanks buddy, is there actually a video?

                    • Drew7

                      Yeah, I couldnt find JoeBetterFinches comment, but the link had a video with Len Kasper announcing Ace as the winner.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Oh I’ve seen that video, I thought maybe you had another video referencing a goat.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Advice: contribute meaningful, thoughtful comments when you have them. Less is more – just like with “!” and “LOL,” the more you comment (saying the same thing), the less impactful your comments are. They start to get ignored.

              (To everyone else, we have a … history … so, please don’t take any of this as me being hostile. I’m trying to help Mr. GoldFinch out after some troubles in the past.)

              • calicubsfan007

                @Brett: I am the most guilty of using the LOLs and the !. Don’t mean to, just want people to know when I am angry or joking. Sometimes, it is hard to tell when someone is joking or not when they are writing.

                • MichiganGoat

                  Yeah but when every mean remark or insane idea is followed by a (LOL), it becomes annoying and frustrating- especially when one LOL themselves That’s the point he’s making.

                  • calicubsfan007

                    I totally understand that. I was really just trying to say my point of view and how stupid it looks now once someone points it out. I was really yelling at myself there…

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      For what it’s worth, from my perspective, you’ve been just fine.

                    • calicubsfan007

                      Okay, thanks Brett. I have been doing nearly 5 (including this one) IM related things lately. And each has their own rules/ guidelines. Sometimes, its a little difficult to separate the individual IM groups’ rules from one another.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Cali you’re you’re a great voice on here, don’t fret over this.

        • MichiganGoat

          You need to learn how accept constructive feedback.

    • King Jeff

      Alright, you’ve made it very clear you do not like Svuem or his decisions. Do we have to read on every one of Brett’s posts how much you disagree with him? You made your point, and haven’t made any other one’s besides that, time to switch it up a little.

  • Patrick G

    Over/under 13K’s for Scherzer?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Under.

      But barely.

      • TWC

        Naaaaaaaaaailed it.

  • RWakild

    Although I am getting tired of Stewart and his .200 batting average but baby steps is better than watching Baker play first.

    • GoldFinch

      Baker is a done deal. Toast.

      • Chris S

        ^+1..

        That really suprises me after being at the Cubs/Twins games this weekend, on the jumbo tron (Wrigley needs one), it was saying about how Baker was the player of the year for an entire state at one point (Virginia, maybe? I can’t remember now), but jeez, talk about a bust. After seeing the accomplishments he had I was thinking “Man, and now he’s a platoon player for the Cubs”…

  • Germano

    Rather amazingly, Prince Fielder is 6/48 lifetime vs Maholm. That means an avg of .125, without any extrabase hit. This is even more incredibile when you consider Maholm has allowed an avg of .282 to the league for his carrer. Well, baseball’s an amazing game.
    Good luck to all Cubs fan for tonight’s game!

    • magilljl

      All that says to me (especially given the way this years gone) is Fielder is due for a multi homer game and may, just may, drive home 25 runs….give or take.

  • mudge

    Sveum said Stewart would tell him when his wrist hurts too much to play. The .200 average is telling everybody. He should at least be resting it every 3-4 days, day before an off day. Who is this helping? D Lee took two years to recover from wrist injury. I like Hansman’s lineup, above, power hitters 3-4, what a concept.

  • RizzofutureAllstar

    Its hard to believe that the Tigers are only 8 games better then the cubs

    • Johnny Mac

      I know. They were such a sexy pick at the start of the season for their division.

  • Toby

    Is it me or is it really getting old the anti-Sveum comments that are posted or are the comments just the sour grapes of Ryne Sandberg never getting hired as manager?

    • MichiganGoat

      Nah just a bitter person that wants to stir up arguments, best to ignore or scare it away with actual facts and logic.

    • calicubsfan007

      Just people who are angry, as Michigan said, “scare it away with actual facts and logic.” Michigan has done that before pretty well, if you want good advice for that Toby, I suggest asking him.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      It really is getting old. In this season I can only recall one time that stood out as a “what the hell moment.” That was the Castro bunt with runners on first and second with Lahair on deck as hot as any hitter in baseball. Taking the bat out of his two best hitters hands were the only what the hell was he thinking moment of the year. Some things are easy to question in hindsight, but you can at least understand them. I think he has done ok with the hand that was given. This team is worse than the group of talent in the movie Major Leagues. That was easy to see in spring training. We easily have the worst bullpen in the majors. One of the worst defenses. One of the worst offenses. That about covers that.

  • Jp

    Siap but why was Rizzo pulled after 2 ABs tonight? Reinjured or what?

    • art

      hit the wall and hurt his knee. minor of what i hear.

      • North Side Irish

        Gave me Bill Mueller flashbacks…and I did not like it.

  • John

    Rizzo Is day to day with a right knee contusion.

    • calicubsfan007

      @John: Do you know whats the time table for return for someone with that kind of injury? Because I want to see Rizzo as soon as after the all star break, and I hope that Rizzo can be ready by then.

    • Jp

      Thank you john, I was in a cold sweat hoping nothing bad.

  • calicubsfan007

    So far, so good for Maholm. Trying not to jinx him (knocking on wood as I speak).

    • Toby

      Quit hitting Travis

      • calicubsfan007

        Heh, that’s funny… Nice one Toby. Didn’t even think of that.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    My goodness its an interesting night on the comments board tonight. I hope the new hitting coach held batting practice today. Also hope he leaves Soriano alone for now.

    • calicubsfan007

      Could one attribute Sori’s success so far this season to Jaramilo? More curiousity than anything else.

  • calicubsfan007

    Since we are playing the series with Detriot now, I have been thinking about the possible trades with the Tigers. Can the best possible deal for Chicago right now be Garza for Cast and Smyly? Cubs have indicated that they want a young third baseman (which says a lot about their confidence in Vitters), Cast might be the best one that is possibly available (Excluding possibly Middlebrooks). And Smyly has done pretty well so far. I wonder if the Cubs should bite on that trade if Detroit gets a little more desperate.

    • MichiganGoat

      I’m not sure Detriot is an a place to make a move, there are serious anger over Leyland here in Michigan and if they don’t get hot (playing the Cubs should help) there might be too much fear to make another big splash until everything else gets settled. I think they are more interested in getting another bat vs. pitching right now.

      • calicubsfan007

        Fair point Michigan, could Sori be on their minds then? Btw, how did your summer school kids handle the ignorance quote?

        • MichiganGoat

          Possibly but they think VMart might be back this year and I don’t think they want him if/when VMart returns. As for the quote I’ll collect journals on Thursday and let you know.

          • nkniacc

            I think you maybe able to trade barney there but otherwise a pitcher is more likely than a hitter.

          • calicubsfan007

            What difficulty English are you teaching? And you are a cool dude Michigan, sorry again for yelling at you a couple days ago…

            • MichiganGoat

              Don’t apologize but thanks.

              I teach high school but specifically I teach “struggling” students. I just took a new position teaching incarcerated youth and expelled students at a specialized school. So many of my students test around a 5/6th grade level, and resist writing and reading.

              • calicubsfan007

                My worst quality is overapologizing. Anyway… Dude, I bet that can be tough sometimes. Would take a ton of patience… But you did say it was fun.

                • MichiganGoat

                  You can’t do this job if you don’t enjoy it, but yes it can be trying and frustrating. I still wouldn’t want to be doing anything else professionally.

                  • calicubsfan007

                    I can totally respect that. I can’t be a teach. I would be too much like the Cheech and Chong Sister Mary Elephant screaming shut up. In my 20s, but love some Cheech and Chong.

  • EricR

    Is Maholm a serious trade chip? Just seems weird to me that we just sign him and DeJesus and we’re already talking about dealing them.

    • nkniacc

      Everyone but Shark and castro are avaliable at the right price

      • calicubsfan007

        Are you sure that Castro isn’t available? And in available, I mean that the Cubs pretty much have to receive an entire farm system for Castro.

        • Kyle

          I was thinking about that the other day. I wouldn’t find it to be completely, out-of-this-world stunning if the Cubs traded Castro. Theo traded Hanley Ramirez.

          But that said, SS is such a brutal position to fill, and we have so few positions locked down with long-term core pieces, it’d have to be an insane deal involving multiple awesome parts. I very much doubt any team would offer enough of an overpay.

          • nkniacc

            He also traded hanley as a prospect not as a mlb player

          • calicubsfan007

            Same wavelength there Kyle. I instantly thought of Hanley when Castro was mentioned. Theo has done crazier things, don’t be surprised by anything that happens on the deadline.

            • nkniacc

              I think Vitters or lake could be traded this July. But trading Hanley was when he was a prospect and they were attempting to get Beckett I believe

              • calicubsfan007

                You might know this nkniacc, I saw on SportsCenter’s top 10 either today or yesterday, they showed a Cubs’ minor league second baseman catching this ball in a ridiculous fashion. Was that Lake?

                • nkniacc

                  No that was DeVoss

                  • calicubsfan007

                    That was a helluva catch. Does he have a chance to reach the bigs, or is he going to be one of those likely career minor leaguers?

                    • Jp

                      Devoss definetly has a chance to reach the bigs. His on OBP has been phenominal in his basically 1 year in the minors. Through about 100 games between this year and last he’s got an OBP over .400 and has stolen about 30 bases. He could be a really good leadoff hitter.

                    • calicubsfan007

                      So, Michigan you seem to know a lot of Cubs stuff (btw the persistent line above was sarcasm on my part), what do you think of DeVoss?

    • calicubsfan007

      A lot of people speculated that Maholm and DeJesus were signed for the short term, either to buy time for the youngsters to develop and/or to be traded at the deadline. Personally, this isn’t weird for me because we all knew what we were getting into when we got Theo. Theo has proven time and time again (H. Ram, Rizzo, etc) that no one is safe.

      • mrmeyer2144

        The moves we’ve made have been for the long haul.  I like what Theo has done to this point.  We all knew comming into this season that it was going to be a tough one.  We all have to look toward the greater good and the long term for this team.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      He’s serious in the sense that the Cubs would definitely consider dealing him (and DeJesus). Neither has HUGE value, though.

  • RWakild

    I think in the national league, the way a pitcher handles the bat contributes to his wins. Malholm hasn’t had a sacrafice bunt since last July 4. Although I like Garza, he is almost as bad with the bat. Either get better or go to the american league.

  • MichiganGoat

    Cali (thought we needed a new string to continue) I’m not very good with the minor leaguers that’s a good question for Luke but I think he’s someone to watch closely and has great potential.

    • calicubsfan007

      Did you see that catch though on SC? Wow… I mean he became one of my new fav players in the Cubs in that moment. Please tell me you saw that! (sorry for the exclamation point)

  • Cubs1967

    and james russell proves once again he is NOT sean marshall…………can’t get righties out to save his life or a lead……….

    • calicubsfan007

      If you mean this game right now, I don’t think he’s not pitching right now. I think it’s Casey Coleman.

      • calicubsfan007

        Nevermind, ignore my post there. Sorry. You were right.

  • calicubsfan007

    Awwwwwww…… We had the lead….. Then we lost the lead…….

  • mrmeyer2144

    Does anyone by chance know of anywhere I could find video of Soler bc I would love to see what he has.

    • MichiganGoat

      Brett posted a link a few hours ago but I can’t find it now look through the previous articles in the comments

      • mrmeyer2144

        Alright thanks I couldnt find anything really on youtube or other searches I saw one of him running the bases and he looks huge for a 20 year old

        • MichiganGoat
          • calicubsfan007

            I trust Bleacher Nation way more than I do trust Bleacher Report. I really read BR to laugh because they can be so wrong about some of their facts.

            • MichiganGoat

              BleacherReport is a effin joke, unfortunately it didn’t become a big time site until after Brett created created BleacherNation it confuses many, many people

              • calicubsfan007

                So many bleachers… trust the awesome one with facts or the one that focuses more on the “pretty” pictures and slideshows than the actual facts? So tough to decide (sarcasm). The guys at BR tend to just copy and paste from other articles.

          • mrmeyer2144

            Thanks so much I hope he is the real deal. He looks like a true ball player. Gotta put all trust in Theo and Gang.

            • calicubsfan007

              @ Mr Meyer: I have seen and heard many positive reviews about him. I have heard him being compared to Justin Upton.

  • GoldFinch

    I think Clevenger is starting to come around! I really believe in his ability.

    • calicubsfan007

      I agree. He’s a helluva player and I think he can be the Cubs catcher of the future.

      • GoldFinch

        Thanks calicub, and I appreciate you standing tall by me with my”so called issues” by some posters.

        • calicubsfan007

          No prob hombre (=

  • Mike S

    Is Dempster to Dodgers for LHP Chris Reed…too much? too little? just right?

    Reed is their 5th best prospect.

    • calicubsfan007

      Might be alright, but might be too little if the Dodgers don’t offer a low level prospect.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Any of the Dodgers’ top 8 pitching prospects (or so) would be very solid.

      • calicubsfan007

        I dont know Brett, I would ask for a low level prospect with Reed. Straight up trade seems too unbalanced for us.

      • Mike S

        They seem to be loaded with pitching, mostly right handers though. If/When Dempster gets traded I hope it’s to them.

  • calicubsfan007

    Camp closing again? Best of luck to him. Peralta really screwed the Tigers in the 8th.

    • whiteflag

      The umpires made some questionable calls though….can’t be totally shouldered by him. But I’ll take it. Cubs Win!

  • whiteflag

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I find it really refreshing the way sveum handles defensive positioning. I’ve never seen a cubs manager use so many shifts. I think he has the potential to be a really good manager in time. His staff is pretty good as well, especially McKay.

    • Toby

      McKay has been one of the best coaching hires this year. Soriano’s improved defense can be attributed to him. It is still weird to see him without LaRussa.

      • whiteflag

        I probably understated that with the pretty good. I totally agree, the defense seems to have improved greatly under this staff.

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