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I can’t say I expected the Cubs to be going for a sweep in this one, but, here we are.

Jeff Samardzija will look to throw a put together a solid start for the first time in a while, and Anthony Rizzo will get his first start against a lefty. On the bench? Bryan LaHair. It’s the Cubs’ first post-Rizzo “all-righty” lineup, and it’s not quite as “all-righty” as before.

Game Info

New York Mets (39-36) at Chicago Cubs (26-48), 1:20pm 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

Jon Niese (5-3, 3.75 ERA, 4.33 FIP)

versus

Jeff Samardzija (5-6, 4.34 ERA, 3.28 FIP)

New York Mets Lineup

1. Andres Torres, CF

2. Ruben Tejada, SS

3. David Wright, 3B

4. Lucas Duda, RF

5. Ike Davis, 1B

6. Scott Hairston, LF

7. Daniel Murphy, 2B

8. Josh Thole, C

9. Jon Niese, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Joe Mather, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. RIZZOMG!!!!!!!!!! (yup, still) (1B)

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Jeff Baker, RF

6. Geovany Soto, C

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Luis Valbuena, 3B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • Cubbies4Life

    So, you guys are pretty much saying we’re not going to sweep today?

  • Steve

    Dang…walk the pitcher and it comes back to haunt you. Not that it really mattered, given the other walk and subsequent 5 hits but hey….

    QUIT WALKING THE PITCHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • MikeL

    This is actually the first Cubs loss where I will be looking forward to Brett’s post game summary :)

  • RY34

    hey what do you know, jeff baker grounds into a double play and fatboy soto strikes out for the 120th this year, two more losers to add to the scrapheap!

    • Carew

      Screw trying to raise trade value, just flat-out release them

    • Crazyhorse

      T and T comes to mind

  • JK

    Man, I walk away for a meeting and the score is tied 1-1 and the Mets score 15 runs in 60 mins. How is that possible?

    • Bric

      Samardjia was pitching. I’m thinking this is the first real negative I’ve gotten from the new management.

      Trades, FA signings, and draftings always come with question marks. But when you stick your neck out say “We’re not even talking about trading this guy- he’s a building block for the future” you better sure. And I’ve already seen and heard enough of Shark over the last 4 years to know that he’s not a quality starter (at least for the Cubs) and doesn’t deserve that status. 1st big mistake they’ve made.

      • hansman1982

        eh, I think Shark never had much trade value to begin with. If the Cubs thought he had more potential value staying than being traded then you tell other teams you better bring the big guns because we love this guy.

  • Steve

    Negative boys..The Fyars are hot on our heels for dead ass last place.

    I kinda like this line up…we could EASILY reach 105 losses with this stinker.

    Am I wrong to want everyone to ground out on the 1st pitch so Rizzo can get to the plate faster??

    • RY34

      i am just happy that we are guaranteed to see mather, baker, and soto hit again!

  • Big Joe

    How’s everyone like Shark now? A couple good outings early in the season, and he’s the next big thing. Then, he comes down to earth. THIS is the Shark. Not April. No, he isn’t quite this bad. But, a 1 or 2 starter in the big leagues? Nope.

    • RY34

      I wonder if he is still untouchable in trade talks???

    • Bric

      Totally agree.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      I’m completely concerned now, something is either wrong or his been figured out.

      • RY34

        he has totally been figured out and he is too damn arrogant to make any changes

        • willis

          He’s a reliever. Nothing more.

        • King Jeff

          I really don’t think it’s a matter of him being figured out. The mistakes he’s making are of his own doing, which points to mechanical issues, mental approach, or injury. His fastball has not been getting any movement, he’s leaving pitches up in the zone, and he can’t locate his breaking stuff to save his life. Any batter in the league is going to figure that stuff out.

          • Leroy K.

            It’s like he’s trying too hard….i know that sounds simple, but it’s gotta be that. Do something Jeff…

    • King Jeff

      This seems like fatigue and reeks of an injury, if it’s not, he needs to work on some things and I don’t mean stair laps and extra wind sprints.

  • Leroy K.

    he needs to move into a relief role if he doesn’t have the stamina to make it this far into the season switch his role. I’m not against releasing him, but he is NOT a starter.

  • Steve

    Ok, Im out. I need a drink after this ass kicking.

  • willis

    Sharkl should be a closer or setup. And that is it. Dude has proven over and over again that he cannot sustain success as a starter in this league. He has amazing raw talent, but cannot be a succesful starter. Dude could be nails in the pen. 97-98 with ease. That is where he belongs.

    The sooner this front office realizes that, the better. Because then it will get them off their asses and into the FA market for a couple decent arms. It all starts with pitching.

    • King Jeff

      I wouldn’t say he’s proven it over and over, this year is his first real shot at starting full time. I’m not sure how backwards it would be or if it would hurt his development, but I think using him from the bullpen for the rest of the year and stretching him out again towards the end of the year or over the winter might be a move worth looking into.

      • MikeL

        He was drafted as a starter and given a good bonus to sign. They tried to develop him as a starter, and it didn’t work. They moved him to the bullpen…he excelled…and then they moved him to the rotation. He gave you a handful of solid starts, and then became absolutely awful. Time to move him back to the bullpen and keep him there. It isn’t like he is making bad decisions on his pitches, the pitches have no movement on them….and we shouldn’t use the wind as an excuse.

        • willis

          Yep. not to mention he could be a hell of an asset in the bullpen. Exactly the type of electric arm that pen needs.

  • willis

    Saying that, put him with Jay Jackson, Russell, Cabrera, Batista…that’s a powerful bullpen for the future.

  • Leroy K.

    Dear Anthony Rizzo,

    Sorry.

    Sincerely,
    The Chicago Cubs.

  • willis

    God I like Clevenger so much more than Soto.

    • King Jeff

      Me too, I hope Soto gets some good prospects back when traded.

      • RY34

        we wont get jack for soto, maybe one low low prospect, better to cut bait, dfa him and bring castillo up and let clevenger and castillo hash it out the rest of the year. soto has become a joke.

        • willis

          He’s now at a cool .160 for the season.

          No one will touch him.

        • hansman1982

          hell yes! DFA a guy who has been one of the better offensive catchers in the major leagues the last 4 years. Couldn’t be that he is having an off year, nope, he is cold garbage – PLEASE THEO DFA SOTO!

          Sincerely,
          20 other MLB teams that have crap at catcher.

          • RY34

            come on this is an even year, he is usually great in an even year! on second thought, you are right, lets keep him, i’m sure he will be back to his totally awesome self next year. my bad, what was i thinking, from .280 to .228 to .165! awesome trend and a damn good reason to keep him!

  • JK

    Cubs cut Jair Bogaerts today. 19 year old kid that came over from Boston as a part of the Theo compensation. Raises a lot of questions in my mind: 1) why would one drop a 19 year old; 2) why would Theo choose someone from the Red Sox that he did not think had value; 3) are we going to see a roids issue here soon?

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Wow, conspiracy theory much? The Sox had to send a player in order to make it an offically deal. This player was never expected or considered a prospect. Obviously he just want very good and was cut.

      • JK

        Why not get a case of baseballs and have the Red Sox pick-up the soda for the year than take a 19 year old kid from Latin America? Just seems like a huge waste.

        • hansman1982

          because in any trade involving a player there have to be players going both ways…since this was nothing more than a procedural move the Cubs got nothing more than a warm body.

          • JK

            Fair enough. Not looking to raise a red flag. Just seems odd that with all of the knowledge of the Boston assets that picking a 19 year old that could at least stick for a while would be somewhat easy.

    • hansman1982

      This player was sent to the Cubs because the Red Sox HAD to, never meant to be anything more than a warm body to satisfy the rules.

  • Rizzonkulous

    The talk that Shark was untouchable was media babble. Theo basically said that no one is untouchable, I’m sure he didn’t put a mental * by Samardzija. If Baltimore had called and offered Bundy or Seattle called and offered Walker he would be traded. Theo and Jed are too smart to deal in absolutes and bright enough to know that there is no such thing as untouchable.

    As far as the sudden hate, I’m not sure if Shark is a 2 or 3 or worse, but this is his first year starting and most guys at some point have an outing like this, I don’t know if he’s a starter going forward, but I’m not ready to write him off as a full time starter yet. The comment about releasing him is mind boggling knee-jerky and stupid. You were probably a Murph fan

    • MikeL

      But this isn’t his first year facing big league hitting……first year starting or not…..he shouldn’t be getting hit all over the field like he has been for several starts now…..the hate is well deserved.

  • BD

    Coleman is garbage- I was right about one! Unfortunately, that makes me sad because it’s another buster on the Cubs.

    • Josh

      Let’s just hope he doesn’t become a rotation plug-in when/if Garza and Dempster are traded.

      • BD

        On second thought- might as well, to help ensure that #1 draft pick.

  • Master Gonzo

    Phone’s ringin’, Theo. I think it’s the Yankees…

    • hansman1982

      CC is going to miss all of 2 starts and was desperate to play through the injury. Don’t get too excited.

      • MikeL

        Petite is out for six weeks with a broken ankle too….just took a shot off his ankle today.

        • hansman1982

          oh, hadn’t seen that – although the Yankees don’t have the prospects like others but another suitor is always good – balances out Greinke coming onto the market

          • Kubphan82

            They’ll have what it takes for Dempster. And that’s all they’ll need. The cubs could then decide if they want to lock up Garza or continue the overhaul.

  • Kubphan82

    Pettite = broken ankle = 6wks+
    Hate to see it happen, even to a Yankee, but there’s a need for pitching all across the league and the Yankees will be in the hunt. My guess is their interest will be in the less prospect costly and years in Dempster. Who is having a solid season and would provide depth to their veteran leadership.

    Garza would mean mortgaging their future when they don’t have to.

  • Toby

    Wow, you should see the comments over at Cubs.com. They have already labeled Rizzo a bust.

    • Kubphan82

      On Cubs.com there’s a lot of nonsense running around and knee-jerk reactions. There’s a plethora of people there to antagonize others. Some seemingly have nothing better to do than to support the absurd and bash any sort of optimism.

      They’ve labelled Rizzo a bust.
      Hate DBarney, no matter the improvements he makes.
      Claim that any big FA that doesn’t sign with the cubs is Theo’s fail sauce.
      Want to rush up BJax, Vitters, Beliveau, immediately…
      Anything less than Turner, castellanos, smyly, and Oliver from the tigers would be failure in a garza trade…

      • Toby

        I’ve come across a person named Paolo on that website who has this elitism to their posts and replies that seems that if you don’t conform to Paolo’s line of thinking then you are either: not a true fan or you don’t know anything about the game. A few years ago we had a heated argument over the Jake Fox trade with Paolo discussing that will be the worst trade that Hendry has or ever will make. Paolo’s line of thinking was that you don’t dare trade a player of Fox’s calibur. I still shake my head at that line of thinking.

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