I’m going to today’s game with The Wife (right field bleachers, bottom right corner by the new LED board, come say hi), and I have a number of demands.

I want to see Ryan Dempster throw a shutout (or, maybe eight innings of shutout ball, and then Carlos Marmol strike out the side in the 9th (yeah, I said it)). I want to see Bryan LaHair hit three homers. I want to see Starlin Castro go 5 for 5. I want to see Alfonso Soriano steal four bases.

Game Info

Boston Red Sox (31-32) at Chicago Cubs (21-42), 1:20pm CT on CSN, MLBN.

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

Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-1, 7.20 ERA, 14.4 K/9)


Ryan Dempster (2-3, 2.31 ERA, 3.15 K/BB)

Boston Red Sox Lineup

(This is a guess, since I had to head out to the game and set this post up before the lineup was released. If the real lineup differs, I’ll try to update, but kindly post it in the comments if you see it.)

1. Scott Podsednik, LF

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. Adrian Gonzalez, RF

4. David Ortiz, 1B

5. Will Middlebrooks, 3B

6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

7. Ryan Sweeney, CF

8. Mike Aviles, SS

9. Daisuke Matsuzaka, 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. Luis Valbuena, 3B

9. Ryan Dempster, P

  • Cubbie Blues

    At least your not being greedy.

  • kyle

    I would add that I expect Campana to steal 8 bases today, one of them being home plate.

    • Cyranojoe

      I want Tony to enter the Speed Force and steal fifth base. (Who gets the ref?)

      • MXB

        but then he won’t be able to come back…and the Cubs might bring back Koyie Hill (again)

        • Cyranojoe

          Oh snap!

      • Cyranojoe

        Tony just got steal #22. He’s #1 in baseball. #2 is on the DL until at least the All-Star break. Only 3 other players in the top 15 have fewer than 50 at-bats more than Tony. I just with he could get that dang OBP back up in the .350s!

        • Cyranojoe

          Oop, I missed SB #23. MLB leader by looks like 3 bases now?

  • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

    How ’bout just a win Brett. Aren’t you like 0-3 in games you’ve been at so far this year?

    • King Jeff

      I’m pretty sure he got off to a good start. I know they at least won the first game he was at, and maybe the second if I remember correctly.

      • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

        Oh, nice….My Bad…Sorry I underestimated you Brett!

    • dreese

      I know that I have been to 4 and I they havent won while I was there yet. So im 0-4

  • Jesse

    I wanna see Campy go 5-5 with 2 HR’s against Dice-K..Just Kidding how bout 3-5 with 4 stolen bases

  • Master Gonzo

    Would it be accurate to say that this could be THE defining start for Dempster’s trade value? It’s against a fairly competitive AL team, with a lineup featuring some great hitters, and shows that he can lock it down against even the toughest divisions. The vibe I’m getting is that the FO may be in that “last bids” stage and today’s start could be a deciding factor in what teams are willing to give up. Or I could be reading into this way too much. I like to read.

    • JulioZuleta

      One start can’t do a whole lot to help, or hurt someone’s value.

      • Master Gonzo

        Sure, I understand that one start isn’t going to make or break a deal. I just know we are targeting top-level pitching talent in exchange, and that some teams may hesitate to give up that much up-side for Dempster. Could a lights-out performance today convince a Toronto or Baltimore that it IS indeed worth giving up that high prospect.

  • Master Gonzo

    Thanks for the feedback, @JulioZuleta! I’m just getting my feet wet with our new strategic approach, which I totally love, but trying to understand the ins and outs a little bit more.

  • necusfan

    As long as Daisuke doesn’t unleash his “Gyroball” on the Cubs, I think this is their best chance for a win in this series.

  • Cubs Dude

    Kyle Drabek out with sprained UCL for awhile. Don’t know if that helps our chances with a trade with the Blue Jays or hurts (as they may just give up this year). I am glad we didn’t trade for that kid though.

  • Patrick G

    Castro looking like Sosa on the slider. Woof!

  • Jack Weiland

    I grew up in IL but live in Boston, and usually listen to the games while I’m at work. But today I can’t listen to Pat and Keith because I’m forced to tune in to WEEI instead.

    And that is 100% NOT OKAY with me.

    • cjdubbya

      Oh man. That’s gotta be wicked hahd. Good luck listening to Matsuzaker stink up the joint on the mound, Campaner stealing bases like a fiend…if it’s any consolation, the color dude on MLBN isn’t great eithah.

      • Jack Weiland

        Haha ugh. Being a transplanted sports fan in Boston is indeed a very horrible thing.

      • Jack Weiland

        And the WEEI guys just plugged Santo’s CD. I feel like a jerk.

  • can’t think of a cool name

    I’m at work and can’t watch the game. Saw 4 walks in the 1st inning, is ump squeezing the strike zone?

    • Jack Weiland

      Sox announcers said Dice K spoke to him after the inning … my guess is Dice K was just his plain old wild self, though.

  • Patrick G

    Dempster with a triple, stock just keeps going up!

    • Jack Weiland

      Yeah can we shop him as a SP/DH now??

    • Cyranojoe

      Holy cow, a triple for Ryan!!! And more run support, too!!

    • JoeyCollins

      If we trade him to a AL team they can take koyie to catch for just him and use the DH spot for hill.

  • http://bleachernation.com #1lahairfan

    2nd career triple. It might be his last start got to get that first home run.

  • calicubsfan007

    Anybody have any good info about Valbuena’s abilities? I get why someone would go before Vitters, but what does Valbuena bring to the table? Btw, I agree with Gonzo, this is definetly a value defining start for Demp. If Demp does well against a good AL team, more AL teams will be more likely to trade for him and to trade a lot for him.

    • Ogyu

      He has spent a substantial amount of time in the big leagues over the past several years, but has never hit well, in spite of repeatedly hitting a lot at AAA. Looks to me like a typical AAAA player who has some use as a utility fill-in. But hey, he’s only 26. Maybe he’ll have an epiphany and finally bring those AAA numbers with him…

  • Cara

    dempster again!!!

  • Vladimir

    Campana you suck! Jackson please work on your damn strikeouts so I don’t have to see this kid’s face anymore.

    • theNOOGE

      Ummm no???

  • calicubsfan007

    When an NL pitcher has more hits than the leadoff hitter and has the majority of the team’s hits, its pretty obvious how bad the hitting has been this year. I love Campana, but I think teams are figuring him out. Maybe he is better suited as a pinch runner.

    • Cyranojoe

      He was doing pretty well earlier in the season, above his career average. I hope he adjusts soon, and starts pushing that average up. He is so brutal once he gets on the basepaths…

  • calicubsfan007

    Demps deserves an A+ today. Nice job Demps. (=

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Headed to Yak Zies after the game if anyone is in the area.

  • cubs1967

    Cubs win Cubs win………….in Theo’s words: Fu*K U Larry (Luchino)!!


  • MarmolSucks

    Marmol is back!!!!!!

    • GoldFinch

      No he’s not.

  • MarmolSucks

    Sarcasm man.. We all knew the Cubs would put him back in the closer role.

    • GoldFinch

      Sorry. Yes, cubs don’t really have a choice right not as far as closing games. I would not call Marmol the closer by any stretch of the imagination.

    • Cyranojoe

      And Carlos would promptly load the bases. I’m still in shock that he escaped without giving up at least two runs.

      • GoldFinch

        The only reason Marmol got out of thing inning was because of Valbuena. Two spectacular plays at third. Granted he committed an error, but from what I saw that was a bad hop. Valbena thought the ball was gonna bounce higher. Also it looked like the ball had some kind of weird spin on it.

        • Toby

          Valbuena had two good plays, but his error did extend the inning.

    • Toby

      Maybe, Cubs are hoping that Marmol shows a bit of his former self and shops him around. Teams will need bullpen help.

      • Cyranojoe

        No doubt that’s what they’re hoping. I’m hoping other teams don’t look at the game, and just at the stats — Marmol’s line for today looks much better than he actually pitched. He was hurt by fielding error(s), but still…

        • Toby

          I wonder what Sveum said to Marmol. He seemed to calm Marmol down a bit.

          • GoldFinch

            Good question! And why did Bosio not go out to talk to him? things are getting very interesting.

            • Toby

              Installing some fear into Marmol could have been a factor in Sveum going out to Marmol.

              • GoldFinch

                Could it be that Sveum has lost confidence in Bosio? I really don’t think Sveum was trying to instill fear in that that situation. Brett, what say you?

                • Toby

                  I don’t think Sveum has lost confidence in Bosio, but maybe wants to take a more hands on approach to Marmol or it could be we are making more out of the situation than what is warranted.

                  • GoldFinch

                    Well, I think there IS something to it. I’ll lay my case. If Sveum saw something that Bosio did not see, what does that imply? I don’t think Sveum ran out there for the exercise.

  • Patrick G

    Cubs sign Blackburn according to mlbtraderumors.com and also mentions Yankees interested in Dempster and Dodger for Garza

  • Leroy K.

    Cubs win!!! Cubs win!!!

  • nkniacc

    Interesting Fried has signed for SD for 3 million which is slot so almost everyone around the Cubs pick has signed

  • calicubsfan007

    Why no box score post Brett? Sorry if I missed an explanation of that.

    • Sweetjamesjones

      He was at the game. So I’m sure he is living it up in Wrigleyville.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        And I’m back.

  • Jonski

    Blackman signed…per mlb trade rumors.com.

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    Rizzo is playing tonight for Iowa Good News !