Matt Garza will look to add another win to his belt today, and, as has been the story all year, if he can just limit the home runs, he’ll probably get it.

The against-a-lefty lineup is back in effect.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (24-47) at Arizona Diamondbacks (36-35), 3:10pm 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 (3-5, 4.07 ERA, 1.112 WHIP)


Wade Miley (8-3, 2.30 ERA, 1.057 WHIP)

Arizona Diamondbacks Lineup

1. Gerardo Parra, CF

2. Aaron Hill, 2B

3. Justin Upton, RF

4. Jason Kubel, LF

5. Miguel Montero, C

6. Lyle Overbay, 1B

7. Ryan Roberts, 3B

8. John McDonald, SS

9. Wade Miley, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Reed Johnson, RF

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Jeff Baker, 1B

6. Geovany Soto, C

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Joe Mather, 3B

9. Matt Garza, P

  • nkniacc13

    I hope when the bring up Rizzo that the let him play vs LHP

    • willis

      His splits against LH (too lazy to look up) this year have been pretty strong, so definitely he should get the look against lefties. Regardless, if he is going to be a building block, dude needs to play every day anyway. Let’s see what he has.

      • rcleven

        Rizzo splits.

        VS left handers: AVG=.321 AB=78 OBS=376 SLG=.679 OPS=1.056
        VS right handers AVG=.362 AB=174 OBS=.425 SLG=.742 OPS=1.149

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Unlike LaHair, Rizzo is both competent against miLB LHP and still developing.  Hopefully Dale will sit Rizzo against some of the really tough lefties: guys need days off and you might as well take off days where you were not going to produce.  However, I expect that it will be Rizzo at first and then LaHair/Johnson, possibly with Johnson taking CF and DeJesus moving back to RF against lefties.


        The knock on Rizzo last year was that he can not hit the fastball over 94 MPH. Tis the reason The Padres gave him away to the Cubs. Hopefully that wont be the case this year. Unlike most people I do not fall for hype surronding Rizzo. Lahair posted great numbers in the minors and he is fair. The Upside on Rizzo is that he is young . I will give Rizzo his growing pains when he makes the show. If he performs well – that great . If he is overmatch he will replicate Soriano offensive numbers – POwer but with the same batting Avg 240 to 260.

        • Njriv

          Didn’t he shorten up his swing this year? I’m pretty sure that would work in his favor.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          LaHair posted great AAA numbers as a 28 year old.  That extrapolates to average MLB numbers.  Rizzo posted great AAA numbers as a 22 year old.  That extrapolates to above average MLB numbers.  Age is not irrelevant here, much as some people wish it were so!

  • 100 Years of Tears

    I hope Garza’s looking to add another WIN to his belt today!!!

    • Brett

      Ha. Yeesh. Good Lord. At least I have an excuse today.

      • 100 Years of Tears

        Pedialyte is the world’s best remedy for what ails ya.

        • Brett

          Already had two glasses. :)

    • Spencer

      Should be able to do it, considering Kennedy is going on zero day’s rest :)

  • Evan

    Jeff Baker really just needs to go away.

  • Jeremy

    Where is a good site to find batting statistics such as Batting Average Runners in Scoring Position?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      ESPN, MLB, FanGraphs, etc., all have that.  Just check under “splits” as pull down menus and you can find that info.

      However, none of those sites give you the probability of the splits under the “uniform” and “2-rate” models.  The math is pretty easy and (I think!) pretty easy to digest.

      • Jeremy

        Thank you very much!!

        • Jeremy

          Hey same name as me haha.

          Baseball Reference is another good site as well. Lots of information there.

  • Carew

    Please just let let Baker go, or put LaHair at 1B and Baker at 3B and batting last

    • rcleven

      Baker is my choice to be booted from the roster when Rizzo appears.
      Will it happen? I doubt it.

      past performance does not predict future performance.

      • Njriv

        They really should have traded Baker and Johnson last season.

        • Carew

          Agreed. Baker is worth nothing now. But i believe Johnson has some value, even though it would just be as a throw-in

          • rcleven

            Johnson has been picked up and dropped so many times in the last few years you can see all the dents.
            Johnson is a filler. Even on this Cub team he is living on borrowed time.
            No! There is no value there except to a team like Boston who needed a player to fill a hole on the temp.

        • Drew7

          The production the Cubs have received from Johnson far outweighs his value on the trade market. Hes doing what a 4th/5th OF should do.

  • ibcnu2222 (John)

    ian kennedy?

  • Stu

    I wish they would stop messing around with LaHair. He did have a brutal game last night, but he is pressing. In one at-bat, LaHair slams his bat down after getting the count to 3-2 and flies out.

    It seems like the standards for LaHair are different than guys like Baker, Stewart, etc. Just leave him in the rest of the year, work with his swing against left-handed pitching and let him relax a little bit.

    Same with Cardenas. He got 2 hits yesterday and then looked bad against a left-hander. Did you see his catch going into foul territory? I thought he was a terrible defensive 2nd baseman?

    • Carew

      That popout at-bat was a decent ab. He worked the count, stayed alive, and i think he made the pitcher throw 9 or 10 pitches. He just got underneath the ball

  • Stu

    Also, Mather is NOT a DeRosa. Get over it.

  • Stu

    That is what I like about LaHair. Even though it was an out, he accomplishes something.

    All I see Baker doing is take a couple of swings, get an out, and return unfazed to the dugout like he doesn’t really care. If you are really trying to hit well, frustration does set in at some point.

  • Mysterious4th

    I HATE this line up!

    • Carew

      Because it has Baker.

      If nobody has noticed, I’m not a Baker fan haha

  • @cubsfantroy

    I have the chance to watch this game and I won’t. I will not watch with Jeff Baker in the lineup.

  • Jeff

    This lineup is so boring I wouldn’t even watch this game if I had a chance to.

  • #1lahairfan

    Lahair will bounce back. Like he has all his life

  • #1lahairfan

    Please throw an amazing game Matt

  • PRcajun

    is the 3-15 record vs lefties telling enough to drop the vs. lefties line-up? or is this more due to the pen not being able to hold leads and blown saves sprinkled in?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      What it tells you is that the Cubs don’t fare well against lefties.  However, you cannot conclude that they have to drop the Lefty lineup because it provides no evidence that the Cubs would do better under a different lineup.

      • Spencer

        No. It tells you that they don’t fare well against lefties while using the right handed heavy lineup.

        There is no evidence they would fare better using a different lineup against lefties because there hasn’t been a different lineup used against lefties.

        It wouldn’t be hard to be better than 3-15. If a team was 0-25 against LHP using the exact same lineup every time, would you keep it the same just for the simple fact that there was no evidence they would be any better using a different lineup?

        • DocPeterWimsey

          The right-handed heavy lineup has 2 different batters from the normal lineup.  One of them had been replacing Campana, who is hopeless against RHP or LHP.    Another had been replacing LaHair, who is good against RHP but hopeless against LHP.  (And, yes, 8 years of miLB data is informative here.)

          The other issue that people are ignoring is that the Cubs “everyday” players (i.e., most of the lineup) are faring worse against lefties, too.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Here are the actual numbers.  Of the Cubs starters, only Castro is faring better against LHP than RHP:

          Player: RHP OPS/LHP OPS

          Castro: 0.744/0.857

          Soriano: 0.814/0.733

          Barney: 0.751/0.516

          DeJesus: 0.867/0.424

          Stewart: 0.686/0.405

          Soto: 0.684/0.211

          Clevenger: 0.759/0.111

          • ottoCub

            I agree that the Cubs are woeful against left-handed pitching, and that has led to their terrible record. I also agree that it isn’t because of the right-handed lineup. However, there is one downfall to the all right-handed line-up (and one reason not to start all the right-handed hitters). We saw it in today’s game — there are no right handed pinch hitters on the bench.

            It will likely be noted that in today’s game Baker and Mather did nothing and Baker’s numbers against lefties are not good. People will also write about Mather’s strikeout with runners in scoring position in the 8th, and Mather’s misplay at third that gave the D-backs a run in the 7th, and Baker’s error that gave the D-backs a run or two in the 8th. This is all true, and this did contribute to the Cubs loss. But this isn’t the fault of the line-up. This is because the Cubs essentially are making due with a few AAA quality players on the team this year (Mather, Valbuena, Campana, and Baker) and these players are going to make mistakes and be overmatched in Major League situations.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              The Cubs pinch hitting has been amongst the best in the NL.  However, pinch hitting wins one game in tens of games; good hitting in the starting lineup wins one game in every 2 games (or fewer).  So, I do not think that having RH pinch hitters is the issue.

              I think that you are much closer to the real problem: lack of talent.  That will take time to rectify: it is not like the Cubs have any RHB in AAA forcing the issue.  (Cardenas is the only possible exception to this: but, frankly, I doubt that he’s much better than Mather.)

              • ottoCub

                I agree. It’s not the all righty line-up. It’s not lack of pinch hitting (I only mentioned that as one miniscule reason why not to start all the righty hitters). The Cubs just do not have enough hitters on the team this year. Period.

                (I would like to see Cardenas get some more AB’s, to see what he can do. If not on the Cubs, then at AAA.)

              • ottoCub

                ps: I appreciate your research, Doc. Your stats and analysis are truly insightful and usually poke holes in casual and short-sighted fan observations. I have a question for you: What do you note as the statistical strengths of the Cubs this year? (you just noted the strong pinch hitting) Are there any other strengths that might help us feel optimistic about the Cubs and the future?

  • supergeek24

    Well no middlebrooks for us. Youkils just got traded to the black sox

    • hansman1982

      Any thoughts of the cubs gettin middlebrooks was a pipe dream.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Yeah, I agree.  Middlebrooks is like Castro: you build around guys like these.  Trade talks were just fan speculations repeated so often that they seemed like rumors.

  • PRcajun

    Garza with good stuff through 4…let’s give him at least 2 run of support here…c’mon!

  • PRcajun

    …make that 3 runs of support (at least).

    • PRcajun

      F’ it, dude…let’s go bowling

  • Carew

    There are a lot of Scouts watchin Garza..

  • @cubsfantroy

    One hit? That’s all they have is one g-d hit? lol gotta love the Cubs.

  • rcleven

    Two now. Doubled their output.

  • @cubsfantroy

    I am so glad I am not watching this s**t fest. lol

  • Spencer

    Runners on second and third, no outs. No runs scored. What a pathetic joke of a team.

    • Carew

      I wonder how many times theyve done this the entire year

  • CBP

    2nd And 3rd no outs and they get stranded wow! Garza pitched good enough for a win.

    • @cubsfantroy

      Are you really all that shocked?

  • http://bleachernation Allen

    I cant watch this shit anymore. I hope Rizzo comes up soon because i cant and wont watch untill he comes up

    • @cubsfantroy

      I just hope people don’t see Rizzo as a savior to the season. If he doesn’t do well, a lot of people will turn on him and say they brought him up to soon etc…

  • rcleven

    Quick I need another picture of Dale scratching his head.