Anthony Rizzo will not be in the starting lineup tonight, so you’ll have to try to just enjoy tonight’s game for what it is: a late-June Cubs/Mets tilt, with playoff implications ( … for the Mets).

Game Info

New York Mets (39-34) at Chicago Cubs (24-48), 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

Johan Santana (5-3, 3.00 ERA, 3.29 FIP)


Travis Wood (1-3, 4.14 ERA, 5.45 FIP)

New York Mets Lineup

1. Andres Torres, CF

2. Ruben Tejada, SS

3. David Wright, 3B

4. Scott Hairston, LF

5. Lucas Duda, RF

6. Ronny Cedeno, 2B

7. Ike Davis, 1B

8. Mike Nickeas, C

9. Johan Santana, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Reed Johnson, RF

2. Darwin Barney, 2B

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Jeff Baker, 1B

6. Geovany Soto, C

7. Joe Mather, CF

8. Luis Valbuena, 3B

9. Travis Wood, P

  • TonyP

    I’m so sick of this right handed line up.  Let the lefties take their hacks against a LHP once in a while Dale.

  • Ben

    Who wouldn’t rather see Jeff Baker in there anyway!!!?? LOL

  • thejackal

    im not nagging on dale… but we might as well mix it up give lahair at bats vs lefties . whats the worse that could happen we lose….. lol we gtta try things differently like i said i like dale and am behind him as we all should be but if it dont work dale (all righties) then lets switch it up buddy

  • Matty

    I remember Tom Glavine saying (before he retired) that he would much rather face an all-right handed lineup than one with lefties sprinkled in at certain intervals. He said it was easier to “get in a groove” if the batters all hit from the same side, especially for a pitcher like him who lived off the outside corner. At least make the pitcher have to change his focus at some point in the game. This all-righty lineup is certainly not working.

    • Doug

      I remember Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux saying, “Chicks dig the long ball!!”

    • Jimmy James

      i remembered that comment but couldn’t remember who said it… addition, it makes our bench options horrible at the end….they put in a good lefty reliever, game over

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The “in the groove” idea is nonsense, with one special exception (see below).  If pitchers do not constantly shift their location, then batters will cream strikes that they throw.  That’s why the best pitching philosophy is: throw a different strike from the one that you just threw and from the one that you’l throw next.

      Moreover, the strike that gets Alfonso Soriano is not the strike that gets Starlin Castro and different yet again from the strike that gets Darwin Barney.  If you look a the “heat zones,” then you’ll see that different lefty and righty hitters have different heat zones.   Pitchers do not change focus from lefty-to-righty: they change focus from righty-to-righty.  If they do not, then they’lll get creamed.

      The exception is the guy like Glavine who could get unhittable non-strikes called strikes.  He did this by working the umps: starting a little outside, then inching (really, millimetering) his way further and further outside.  Glavinee could throw the same pitch twice in a  row and not get hurt: the batters couldn’t drive it and the umps would call it a strike if they didn’t swing.

      The umps have pulled their strike zones back to the plate (the whole Questtec stuff started after Glavine’s prime) and umpires are constantly updated about how they are doing these days.  So, Glavine’s philosophy no longer can work.

  • J Wilson

    Dont’ lefties hit better than righties against Santana? That usually is the case against LHPs w/ devastating changeups. Yup, just looked it up on, Lefties hit .235/.290/.387/.676 while righties hit .223/.279/.360/.640. I know it’s not a huge difference, but switch it up, don’t let him groove the black against a never-ending string of righties. Oh well, I’m not watching, BFD.

  • Barry

    I don’t understand why Sveum doesn’t equate 3-16 with Johnson, Mather, and Baker.

    • Drew7

      All you folks complaining about those 3 (Johnson, Baker, Mather) are aware that all 3 have an OPS against LHP that is at least .1 higher than Darwin Barney, right?

      Im not saying Barney shouldnt play, but you guys make it sound like were playing Neifi Perez in CF, RF, and at 1st. Throw Baker under the bus if youd like, but Johnson and Mather have been fine.

      • rcleven

        And about .40 OPS below league average for all.
        This is the/a reason Cubs have weak .333 winning pct.
        Lets just call a turd a turd.

        • Drew7

          .4? Geez…I guess I didnt realize the league average against lefties was over 1.

          Seriously though, thats my point- the entire offense is terrible. If blame must be placed, however, it especially shouldnt be placed on someone like Johnson, who has been adequate.

          • rcleven

            Finger’s work faster than the brain. Should have been .04 That’s the dyslectic in me but that’s a story for another day. The whole roster needs a good turn over.The sad part is this will take three years.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Johnson, Mather and Baker have the 3rd, 4th and 5th best OPS against lefties this year among guys who have started at all regularly for the Cubs.  Only Castro and Sori are doing better.  All three certainly are doing much better than their alternatives would be doing in comparable PAs.

      • TWC

        This should be posted in a big banner on the top of this site to preclude the “Johnson Baker and Mather SUX!”

        • baldtaxguy


          • TWC

            The knee-jerk “Sveum sucks!  Dumbass lineup!  Mather/Johnson/Baker blow!”  It’s obnoxious.  Sveum plays his top 5 OPS (vs lefties) guys and people bitch about the lineup, wahwahwah I want LaHair wahwahwah.  What’s even worst is the inevitable “Sveum is intentionally tanking the game/season!”, where if that were the case, he WOULD be playing LaHair, DeJesus, etc. vs. Santana.

            • Drew7

              Even though it would still be annoying, I would have no problem with people being mad at Theo for the abysmal construction of the roster. If you want to place blame, thats where you should do it.

              • TWC

                Oh, I absolutely agree with that.

            • baldtaxguy

              Got it now, did not pick up the sarcasm. I agree, this (his options against lefties) is as good as it gets.

              • TWC

                I.  Am.  Not.  Sarcastic.

        • Drew7

          This is exactly why the old “eye-test” doesnt work: people see a few AB’s and their minds wont them go.

          Its a losing battle though – after all, guys like us just manipulate the stats to prove our points…

          • TWC


  • emrac

    I am so sick of watching this sorry lineup. Mather and Baker are worthless

    • TWC

      … against right-handers.  Against left-handers, they’re the best option.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    What did T. WOOD do to deserve this kind of support. Johnson, Mather and Baker in the same lineup. If I’m Wood my arm is sore tonight Dale. Well if I’m Wood its pitch my game and work on my personal stats but a W is not going to be one of those stats. This could be a record breaking strike out game for Santana. I’m predicting 9 K’s from these 3 alone. Holy Smokes this could be pretty damned Ugly.

    • rcleven

      I was reading your post and broke out laughing.
      How true.

    • Drew7

      Read my post above

  • Diesel

    I love the Cubs. I am at Wrigley as we speak. FUCKIN A!

  • Cub Gone Wild

    I cant stand watching Johnson anymore. He sucks too. How long do we have to wait to see them get traded? Johnson, Mather and Baker

  • nkniacc13

    So whats the roster move for Rizzo? Will Rizzo get to hit vs LHP i mean the cubs have 3 more LHP on this homestand

    • rcleven

      Dale has said Rizzo will get all the AB’s at 1st base(for now).

  • Katie

    I’ve got Santana and Gee on my fantasy team so that should bode well for the Cubs.

  • Patrick G

    And Johan pitches the 2nd no hitter in Meta history

    • Brett

      Is that like a no-hitter about no-hitters?


        Glad I’m not the only one that saw that.

  • Darwin Fred

    I think of this lineup as the “Abandon All Hope” lineup. Let’s hope that Dale doesn’t pull this type of crap when they’re starting to get good ( I know that he doesn’t have players this year and that these guys won’t be on the team when they’re ramping up for a Series, but I just hope that he doesn’t ” by the book” the team to death ).

  • TWC

    Honestly, the biggest oddity (numbers-wise) is Soriano’s spot in the lineup. He’s a career 0-for-17 vs. Santana.  Reed Johnson is a career 13-for-25 vs. him.

    But, I mean, for all of you bitching about this one, what’s a better lineup for tonight?  (LaHair LaHair LaHiar, I know…)

  • nkniacc13

    I think go with Johnson CF, Castro SS, LaHair RF, Soriano, LF, Soto C, Mather 1b, Valbuena 3b,Barney 2b Wood P

    • TWC

      So outside of the batting order, you’d essentially change out Baker, a guy who has great career numbers against lefties) for LaHair (who doesn’t)? That’s it?  I really fail to see how that’s a better lineup.

  • art

    what channel are they on in the downers grove area?

    • rcleven

      What kind of cable do you have?
      Comcast+ on mine.

  • baldtaxguy

    Looking forward to how Wood looks. Really liked his last start, looking for more of the same.

  • rcleven

    Can’t wait to see Ronny Cedeno. Always has at least one brain fart a game.

  • RWakild

    I don’t want to watch any game with Baker as the number 5 hitter. The cubs have won 3 games all year with this damn lineup. And I would much rather watch Lahair bat 5 than Baker. How can we find out if this guy is ever going to figure out lefties if he doesn’t face them ever? He may a lefty twice a week. It’s impossible for him to get any kind of eye for them.. He was hottest when playing every day earlier this year.

  • Rylee

    Castro with a walk…what!?!?!?!?

  • Brett

    For family reasons, I can no longer go to tomorrow’s or Wednesday’s game. Suffice it to say, I’m pretty bummed.

    But these things happen.

    I’m currently trying to figure out how I can give away tickets when I have them physically with me, and I can’t reasonably send them to folks via traditional means. Anyone ever been in this situation? Can the box office, like, reproduce the tickets for someone at will call? Or can they email them to me or something? (I sent the Cubs an email asking this also.)

    • Njriv

      I’m sorry to hear that, but I don’t see why the box office can’t email them to you or maybe you can give them a different name to put the tickets under if you give them away (if you choose to do so) preferably if they were under Njriv.

    • Jzwizard

      Man that’s a bummer. It’s ok though hopefully there will be many more games to watch Rizzo play in. Family is more important than a baseball game, and I hope it is nothing serious.

    • Spencer

      I know that StubHub has a system where you can automatically download them once you purchase them, maybe the Cubs can offer something similar?

      • Brett

        That’s what I’m hoping. Don’t want the tickets to go to waste.

        • Drew7

          You could be the guy that sends Drew Jr to his 1st Cub game!

          But that does suck that you cant go. Hope its nothing too serious.

        • Spencer

          if you can’t find a way to do it thru the Cubs, worst case is you just throw them up on stubhub and recoup the cost.

          • Brett

            I’m really stupid, so I’ll just ask: if I physically have the tickets with me at my house, how do I sell them on StubHub and still get them to the person who bought them?

            • Spencer

              I’ll DM you

  • coal

    Earlier this year I brought the tickets to the wrong game with me. There is a window (maybe 13) where you go if you have “problems”. These were season tickets (not in my name) but they asked me for the row / seat / aisle number and the name of the person who’s name they were under. They could tell (from computer) that they were still live tickets (i.e., hadn’t been sold on Stubhub, or already scanned for this game) and they cut me new tickets.

    My guess is if the person you gave them to was willing to jump through a few hoops – like go to that window and they had scans of the tickets or something (or at least info like what date they were purchased, by who, with what type of credit card, etc. ) that they could talk their way into having them reissue the tickets (especially if they looked the part of normal, articulate honest mistake making person as opposed to Wrigleyville bar hopper.)

    Games won’t sell out so it would be worth a shot – plan B could always be buying tickets at the window.

  • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

    I have said it before and I’ll say it again… Think T.W. Of the cubs could be pretty good for the next few years. Like the way he pitches.

  • CubsFan4Life

    With all the complaints about Johnson, Mather and Baker being in the line-up tonight, it is interesting that Reed Johnson’s sliding catch in the top of the 4th inning and Joe Mather’s 2 run homer are the only highlights of the game on so far. Hey Jeff Baker, you should try to do something tonight (since it could be your last game as a Chicago Cub).

    Travis Wood is having a very good game with allowing only 2 hits and 1 walk with 4 strikeouts through the first 5 innings. Let’s Go Cubs !!!

  • Mike S

    32nd Round Pick Timothy Saunders, (whom I said could be a big sleeper in this draft), has started off his professional career 11 for 16 with the AZL Cubs.

    • Brett

      Was he the one whose coach said he was the best collegiate player in baseball?

  • Mike S

    I believe so, yes. He was the captain for the back-to-back DIII National Champs of Marietta College, DIII World Series MVP, and 3-time All-American. I played against him, never with him, but I was a big fan.

    • Brett

      Yeah, that’s the guy. Marietta College. Obviously coaches love their guys, but he was really over the moon.

  • JOhny yamaguchi

    I gotta tell you that being in upstate NY and a cub fan, I just love the mets play by play/ tv commentators

  • JOhny yamaguchi

    Please take Soriano out of the game to ice his knees

  • John

    Just noticed that Javier Baez was pulled out of the game for the Peoria Chiefs. Does anyone know anything? I hope its not a Injury.

    • Jp

      Was he plunked again?

    • Luke

      Possible injury.  He was pulled after making a barehanded play, and the trainer was looking at his hand and / or wrist.  We may know more after the game.  We should hear something tomorrow at the latest.