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The Cubs head out West for some Friday night fun. I’ve always liked Chase Field, at least on TV – the wall in center field, the pool in right, the roof. It just works for me.

Jeff Samardzija will look for his first dominant start in a month.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (24-45) at Arizona Diamondbacks (34-35), 8:40pm 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

Jeff Samardzija (5-5, 4.04 ERA, 3.21 FIP)

versus

Joe Saunders (4-5, 3.44 ERA, 4.00 FIP)

Arizona Diamondbacks Lineup

1. Willie Bloomquist, SS

2. Aaron Hill, 2B

3. Justin Upton, RF

4. Jason Kubel, LF

5. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

6. Miguel Montero, C

7. Chris Young, CF

8. Ryan Roberts, 3B

9. Joe Saunders, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Reed Johnson, RF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Alfonso Soriano, LF

4. Jeff Baker, 1B

5. Geovany Soto, C

6. Darwin Barney, 2B

7. Joe Mather, CF

8. Luis Valbuena, 3B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • Packman711

    Hope they don’t hit it to right…

    • Cerambam

      ^hah

    • GoldFinch

      Wish I could say it would be a good catch!(LOL)

    • Packman711

      Nvm, Reed is gonna shift over and cover right.

  • Cerambam

    We face so many lefties!!! AMIRIGHT LAHAIR?!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Great pinch hitter…

  • CityCub

    Mather and Johnson tag teaming center tonight? Lol

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Huge shift.

  • Vladimir

    When do we start saying that the Cubs have made Mather more of the everday player and LaHair has been turned into/treated like a bench player? It’s gotta be getting close right? (games played LaHair vs. Mather/Baker/Johnson)

    • GoldFinch

      “Super Joe” vs “La K”! This could be interesting.

  • erosado

    Horrible lineup, horrible record against lefties and we keep trying the same shit. No wonder we’re more than 20 games under .500. Won’t waste my time watching!!

  • Jeff1969

    That Cubs lineup, not including the pitcher spot, is like a race to the bottom. Castro, Soriano, and then 6 guys who at best are 7th or 8th place hitters. At best. Yuck.

  • Lakeshot

    Hang on to your hats boys, we’ve got some POWER in the 4-hole tonight!!

    • GoldFinch

      Ground is starting to”shake.”(LOL)

  • TonyE

    Why would baker bat 4th or at all?

    • GoldFinch

      Because Sveum is lost in an ocean with sharks. Do what ever you can to get the sharks to Sveum away!

    • http://bleachernation.com RicoSanto

      Why is Baker even on the team.Release him.If you traded him it would be for a 50th round class A player.Bring up Vitters to platoon at 3B,see what he has.

      • calicubsfan007

        Rico: I have been wondering the same question about Baker for 2+ years. Honestly, we would be lucky to get that 50th rounder. We would have to pay the other team to take Baker.

        • GoldFinch

          I would agree, but you would be accused of talking to a Finch!

          • calicubsfan007

            Gold Finch: You are having way too much fun being the bad guy! (=

            • GoldFinch

              I’ll take the heat as long as my feathers don’t turn brown.

              • calicubsfan007

                GF: I have little to no understanding of birds, so I felt like that one whooshed over my head.

                • GoldFinch

                  A GoldFinch has bright yellow feathers. Something shits on the yellow feathers they become brown. I won’t have it!

            • GoldFinch

              Bottom line is this team sucks!(did I say that? Oh crap that means I’m not a fan? Oh wait, Theo said the team sucks(can’t say it publicaly)

              • calicubsfan007

                I think your feathers might get a little brown now.

  • Leroy K.

    Waddya mean Jeff Baker’s not a beast??? LOL!!!!

    • calicubsfan007

      Leroy: Nice (=

  • Spencer

    No point in even watching tonight. Ridiculous.

    • GoldFinch

      I’m gonna watch a few innings just to see Samarzija and Castro. Other than that, you are right. Why watch.

      • The Show

        I know I’m not. I’m 20 years old and it’s Friday night, I think I have better things to do. (certainly more enjoyable anyway).

        • GoldFinch

          Well, quite honestly, if I was 20 years old, I would not be posting here at this time! I’d be out!

          • The Show

            Yeah, I’m about to leave in a bit, the freaks come out when the lights go out, my friend.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Is The Show talking about freaks here at BN, or out on the town…?

              • Spencer

                both.

                • The Show

                  lol out on the town my man.

          • TWC

            Well, quite honestly, if I was 20 years old, I would not be posting here at this time! I’d be out!

            Yeah, you clearly have a few years until you’re 20.

            • MichiganGoat

              Agreed (did I just say that) (LOL)…

              • The Show

                Zing!

  • jim

    Gotta lose to get higher draft pick than pads next year

  • Mrp

    Somebody wake me up when phase 2 of the rebuild begins.

  • Dean

    If I were tanking, without being to obvious about it, this is the lineup I would use.

    • GoldFinch

      You are being obvious. But you are lucky! If I would have said that, there be 3000 goats jumping on me! (did I say that?)

  • Luke D

    Baker The RBI Maker!Finna have a big game tonight. Let’s. Go. Cubs.

  • lonestarcub

    At the Iowa Cubs game…. Cubs up 3 nothing… Rizzo just struck out. Bottom of the second

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Sounds like Rizzo will not be up this weekend.

    • GoldFinch

      Rizzo will be up after the break. Please don’t ask for a link.

      • Spencer

        yeah, or not until next Monday or Tuesday. book it.

        • GoldFinch

          It’s booked!

      • MichiganGoat

        Please don’t ask because you don’t have one or becausecyou’ve got to protect your “sources?”

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Clown question, bro.

          • MichiganGoat

            So many levels of clown in this thread

            • Njriv

              Yeah and now all we need is Cubs1967 to come at talk about how he despises the Marshall deal.

              • calicubsfan007

                Njriv: Although I personally am against bad talking any Cubs fan, I have to give you that one.

      • ShootTheGoat

        You gotta World Wide Web address for that info?

        • calicubsfan007

          ShoottheGoat:Nice, way to faux pas! I am kidding by the way.

          • ShootTheGoat

            I know. When I first started on here, I had to ” research” people by viewing their past comments, in order to know who had a sense of humor before commenting on anyone. You seem to be easygoing, laid back. Overall, minus a few bad apples(everyplace has stupid people), this place is the absolute best around for the Diehard Cub fans. Brett runs a great place here!

            • calicubsfan007

              ShoottheGoat: I am in Cali, easygoing is the way to go! Ha! These people are awesome here. Just some advice: Dont get involved in any of the preexisting feud on here and be neutral on the Marshall trade. It will help you a ton. (=

              • ShootTheGoat

                I’ve actually been reading this website for over a year. Just in recent months have I got up the nerve to start commenting. This feud is basically just one guy being a nincompoop. Known from here on out as, “The One Who Shall Go Unnamed!” lol

                • MichiganGoat

                  Glad to have more goats on here

                  • calicubsfan007

                    Michigan: Are you angry at me for talking to Finch?

                    • MichiganGoat

                      You’re welcome to talk with anybody you want

                    • calicubsfan007

                      Michigan: You sounded kinda pissed the last time you directed a comment to me. I am just one of those people who doesn’t like having their buddies pissed at them.

                    • GoldFinch

                      Hi Cali! Hope all is well. Yes he is mad. Don’t ever talk to a finch!

                    • calicubsfan007

                      All is well for me, it might be kinda awkward if someone saw me talking to an actual finch.

                • calicubsfan007

                  ShoottheGoat: Heh, say the name and turn into a pillar of salt!

            • TWC

              @ShootTheGoat – You RESEARCHED us? Ohmanohmanohman… the HORROR!

              • ShootTheGoat

                Now that ya point it out like that, kinda has a “creeper” vibe to it, huh? Sheesh. Sorry, fellow BN’ers. I’m gonna have to start proof reading a little more.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  It’s funnier for the rest of us if you don’t though.

                  • ShootTheGoat

                    Ha! I bet. Lol

    • Jonski

      Sucks I could use his power in my Fantasy league lol… o well I got Samardja going maybe he will get me a win.

  • Cubbie Blues

    Can we move Samardzija up in the lineup?

  • ShootTheGoat

    Hayden Simpson had a great relief appearance last night: 4 Innings, 0ER, 1 BB, & 7 STRIKEOUTS. What!?! I’ll take more of that anytime!

  • calicubsfan007

    Like Valbuena, hate Baker. Who are we kidding? We couldn’t give away Baker!

  • calicubsfan007

    There is nothing else in the world that warms my heart as much as seeing Baker hit cleanup. Really?

  • lonestarcub

    Iowa just had a 7 run inning….. Rizzo rbi… 10 nothing cubs bottom 4 th. There are some good players on this team. I definitely think this is a good start to the rebuilding.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Joe Saunders scratched (“couldn’t get loose”), Josh Collmenter (a righty) takes the start.

    • Jonski

      Collmenter has been off might be a blessing.

    • calicubsfan007

      Brett: Does that meant LaHair will play instead of this idiot Baker?

      • Njriv

        Nope

        • calicubsfan007

          Njriv: Darn… )=

    • calicubsfan007

      Brett: By the way, Chase Field is awesome. I’ve been to Dbacks games, it was awesome. Made me kinda wish Wrigley was more like Chase.

      • Toby

        The few times I am able to visit my parents in AZ my Dad takes me to a D-Backs game. It is a beautful field. I’m still trying to get him to take me to Alice Cooper’s restaurant for their two foot hotdog.

      • chirogerg

        BLASPHEMY!!!!

        WRIGLEY WRULES!!!!

        • calicubsfan007

          chirogerg: Okay, splash the holy water in my face. My head will be turning and spewing pea soup. “The power of Christ compels you!” Exorcist reference there. (=

    • Blitzenjohn

      And Sveum doesn’t adjust the lineup accordingly? Wtf, Dale?

      • calicubsfan007

        Blitzen: Gotta agree with you there, I am confused by that too.

      • GoldFinch

        Not a legit manager?

        • MichiganGoat

          Yeah, that makes sense.

  • Mysterious4th

    Seriously reed johnson and jeff baker???

    Seriously, can somebody PLEASE explain how LaHair is supposed to improve his hitting against left handed pitching IF he does NOT get any playing time against the? Instead they keep hoping baker and johnson will magically be some super player against left handed pitching.

    Put LaHair in the starting line up! I’m pretty sure every single time they play those guys and sit one of the better player on the team I start thinking Dale’s next stop is a padded room with a pretty white jacket that he totally is crazy!

    • npnovak

      I’m more confused as to why Valbuena got the start over LaHair or DeJesus. Shift Baker or Mather to third

      • Mysterious4th

        I think since there wasn’t any new news on stewarts wrist they know they HAVE to find a workable replacement since it seems stewart will not be producing at the plate as well as several DL stints because of the wrist. And I totally understand that. But why shift baker? He should be standing outside of wrigley selling bootlegged t-shirts and not taking a spot from one of the only decent hitters on the teams. As for dejesus, he’s been pretty good. He has some good defensive skills and IMO he’s doing good at the plate, seeing the ball well, working counts, just some bad luck when contact is made…..oh shiiit I am starting to sound like dale and the rest of the coaches.

        • GoldFinch

          Stewarts done.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      “can somebody PLEASE explain how LaHair is supposed to improve his hitting against left handed pitching”

      He’s not.  LaHair is 29.  He’s never hit lefties (and, yes, nearly a decade of miLB playing means something), and at this age he’s never going to do so.

      • MichiganGoat

        Welcome to the night shift Doc, your logic and stats mean nothing here… Didn’t you hear stats are fabricated and manipulated for nefarious means.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Is that what I’ve been doing with my life?  And to think, I always called myself perfidious instead…..

          • MichiganGoat

            You’re just a joker of numbers my friend. Your sinister objective of using numbers, math, logic, and statistics is just a sideshow. We have all be informed about mischievous ways. We have found a better way to look at baseball and have secret sources that tell us everything.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              It’s true.  In fact, you’ve outed me: I’m actually Loki.  Yeah, who would have guessed it: of all the religions to be correct, it was actually the Norse!  Odin’s new gig is umpiring Yankee games, you know.  The rest have taken up modeling.  (Silly me, I thought that we were going to do mathematical modeling…..)

              File this under: “you know it’s late and the Cubs are getting shellacked when….”

              • MichiganGoat

                Ha, I almost called you Loki. And you can file this under “It’s the late shit and the news is better when…”

          • GoldFinch

            Doc, I hate your sinister objectives! Cut it out!(LOL)

            • MichiganGoat

              We do know that you don’t like stats, have a hard time understanding them, and a hard time computing them, but birds were never expected to be good at math.

              • GoldFinch

                I heard goats are even worse!

      • GoldFinch

        That’s right! He will not. No way in hell!

      • GoldFinch

        Doc, your comments are appreciated whatever the time. Please ignore the goat’s comments. I always read whatever you post. I might not agree with some of the things, but I always read what you post.

        • MichiganGoat

          But, but, but stats are manipilulated to suit people’s needs, kinda like career batting averages.

          • Drew7

            Dont you remember, Goat? That wasnt him…

            Im just amazed a guy can look that bad, be proven wrong but never admit to it, bash the site on another blog, then come back spouting the same garbage.

            • MichiganGoat

              But it’s not him! He is better.

      • King Jeff

        Do you have a link to his minor league splits? I’ve only seen from 2011 on and he wasn’t that bad.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    The EBS is going to be delayed, by the way. There’s just no chance I’ll make it to the end of this one.

  • ShootTheGoat

    Why does “Valbuena” sound so nasty when you say it out loud?

  • Illini Iceman

    This lineup is bad enough against a left handed starter but it absolutely blows chunks against a right handed starter especially one with pretty radical splits like this guy. Very encouraging to see Sveum was too lazy to re-write the lineup card when he found out Saunders wasn’t starting.

    • Cedlandrum

      Lineups were announced and exchanged. He couldn’t just make changes

  • elephanthole

    Why would Lahair be sitting tonight? Hate to start rumors but is he being traded? Just got in on this. Sorry if it’s been talked about already.

    • calicubsfan007

      Elephant: That hasn’t been started yet on this page. Maybe… It is definetly a possiblity. I would be kinda sad though. LaHairs a cool dude.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        It has nothing to do with a trade.  Arizona had a left handed starter scheduled, but scratched him at the last minute.  The Cubs had their lineup set to face a lefty.  That’s all there is to it.

      • GoldFinch

        Lot’s of cool dudes on the team cali, but do we rank players by that? Just asking.

        • Njriv

          I’ll let Bryce Harper take that question.

          • King Jeff

            Hilarious.

          • calicubsfan007

            Hahahaha!

        • calicubsfan007

          GF: Eh, cool for me means having ability, is a good person and being the heart and soul of the group (aka the Cubs).

  • elephanthole

    I agree calicubsfan007. He’s my new left fielder.

  • Cheryl

    Sveum will never give up this righty-lefty thing. He’ll take it al the way to the celler with the cubs. He’s locked into a set format and doesn’t see the need or wants to see the need for changes with Johnson and Baker.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Managers do not control the roster.  Baker and Johnson are bad options against LHP.  Baker and Johnson are the best options the Cubs have against LHP. These statements are not mutually exclusive, and in this case they are both true.

      What the Cubs need are better right-handed hitters, or lefties who only stink against LHP.  They don’t have that: they don’t even have any right-handed AAAA guys that they could call up.  In poker, you get to fold when you have a 10-high hand.  In baseball, you still have to play.

      • Cheryl

        But even if he did have a better roster, I don’t see him giving up on the righty-lefty thing. He’s locked in. Pitchers must take a look at this lineup and say, don’t do this to me. What about going with the hot hand instead of being so into this? But I already know your answer – statistics don’t lie and batters don’t change

        • Drew7

          LaHair can’t hit LHP. He never has and he never will. I wish Sveum would give him 2-3 starts in a row vs a lefty just so you can see exactly how lost he looks hitting against them.

          Have you seen him hit against LHP? He turned a Chapman fastball around last year, and since then hes like 1-41 with 25 K’s (sarcasm, but prob pretty close).

        • DocPeterWimsey

          You also are drawing unfair and invalid conclusions about Sveum.  He’s got an obvious platoon system here: LaHair does not hit lefties well and Baker historically has been OK against them.  (The difference between 2012 Baker and 2011 Baker is about 2 singles: we still are dealing with such small sample sizes that a couple of bad hops or not makes a huge difference on the numbers that they flash on the computer screen.)  The vast majority of managers in baseball would be platooning here.

          Nor does this mean that we’ll see Rizzo platooned.  Unlike LaHair, Rizzo both: 1) has shown an ability to hit lefties at some levels, and, 2) is still developing.  I’m sure that Dale will sit Rizzo against some tough lefties: given how many  day games the Cubs play, it’s a good idea to sit their regulars more than other teams need to do, and why not kill 2 birds with one stone?  But I doubt that we’ll see anything out of the ordinary.

  • elephanthole

    Thanks Luke! Don’t want to start a panic.

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