Jeff Samardzija will try to build off his last great start, and keep putting June further in the rearview mirror.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (32-51) at New York Mets (45-39), 3:10pm 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 (6-7, 4.77 ERA, 3.45 FIP)


Dillon Gee (5-7, 4.34 ERA, 3.81 FIP)

New York Mets Lineup

1. Ruben Tejada, SS

2. Daniel Murphy, 2B

3. David Wright, 3B

4. Ike Davis, 1B

5. Lucas Duda, RF

6. Jordany Valdespin, LF

7. Josh Thole, C

8. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF

9. Dillon Gee, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Bryan LaHair, RF

6. Steve Clevenger, C

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Luis Valbuena, 3B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • someday…2015?

    Anyone else think Rizzo’s nickname should just be The Rizz? I liked D-Lee and A-Ram cause they were short and sweet. Same with the Riz.

    • Ogyu

      Tony “The Hit Man” Rizzo

  • Rich


    • cwesley

      the wiz?

    • Carew

      thats pretty much copying A-Ram…

    • djriz

      Now if only he would go by the name Tony.

      T-Riz sounds scary. Like T-Rex.

      How about Rizman?

    • bluekoolaidaholic

      A-riz it iz!
      Much better than A-rod or A-gon or A-ram

      • http://bleachernation loyal100more

        the AR-15

        • TH

          I like that. Easy to type.

      • http://bleachernation loyal100more

        the “rizzard of wrigley”

  • Cubs Dude

    For shizzle my rizzle.

  • Patrick W.

    Does he need a nickname? If his name was Oscar Rizz we we might already be calling him RizzO

  • hcs

    I’m interested… Which SP today has the more ridiculous facial hair? I’m gonna have to go with Gee’s Matt Clement monstrosity.

  • Daniel

    The Rizzard. Rizz the Wizz. Lol.

    Your a Rizzard, Anthony.

    Lol. Hitting the sauce too early.

    I like just Rizzo…

  • Rich

    Rizzo it is

  • lou brock lives

    If Dempster going to LA in deal with Dodgers look for Baker to be the other piece mentioned by Steve’s source. They are looking for some help vs. LHP & Baker can help at 1B or 2B or even the OF. Ned Colletti will not give up much more than a prospect like LHP Chris Reed who was last year’s # 1 pick for LA out of Stanford. He has already progressed to AA & recently pitched against the Cubs AA Smokies.

    • Cyranojoe

      Baker, that’s a good call. Been thinking it’d be LaHair, but if they need v. LHP, Jeff’s gonna be the guy.

      That’s funny, I just looked up Jeff Baker on Google and it came up with a photo of him with a Rockies hat on.

  • Steve

    Daniel, I’m 5 fingers deep in my Kettle One and Cranberry so no, not too early.
    I must say the Rizzo critics are kinda hard to find right now
    Will his weak spots be exposed?? Does he have them?? We will see. Right now…he looks like an all star.

  • Cubs Dude

    Brett, any timeline on getting a new Soler pic?

    • Brett


      • Cubs Dude

        Just to get a picture of him? Man, that guy is the big foot of baseball.

  • Kevin

    2014, too funny!

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    slow day of news

  • Kevin

    When Wrigley Field is renovated, will it be a major overhaul? I’d like to see the columns go.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Hahaha the columns r there to stay unless you don’t want an upper deck anymore

      • rocky8263

        Mr. Ricketts has been in contact with a hologram company that will display the field instead of the pilars. So, any seat in the 200’s will be able to see the entire field of play. Pretty amazing plan.

    • Josh

      That’s the only thing I hate about Wrigley. 400 section seats are the best for that reason. No pillars. They better that touch the troughs though. That’s all I gotta say

  • Joepoe321

    It’s been too quite lately I haves feeling a major deal is about to happen

  • Cyranojoe

    I love nicknames, but I think Rizzo probably is just best Rizzo.

    Oh, hell… how about Cool Hand Rizzo?

  • Josh

    MLB Trade rumors reported the Tigers have asked the Cubs about trading both Barney and Garza. I wonder what type of package they could get together. We really don’t have another 2B in the system so we would have to target one in free agency.

  • MightyBear

    How about “The Rizzonator”?!

  • Kevin

    Maybe once the current TV contracts expire (WGN 2015 & Comcast 2019) the Cubs can start their own TV network and have the means to totally rebuild Wrigley their way and on their terms. This could be the very reason why we’re not hearing much anymore.

  • Section 407 Row2

    Any word on why Grienke was pulled after only 1 inning? Injury or trade?

    • Cubs Dude

      He argued a call at first base and spiked the ball and got ejected.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Sounds bad but I’m hoping injury. Help create more of a demand for our pitchers

  • Kevin
    • Brett

      Kinda seems like he got a raw deal there.

  • Jeff

    What the hell was Samardzija thinking there??? Why throw that pitch in that count, Frickin Moron!!!

    What the hell is Bozio teaching these idiots????

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Thinking had nothing to do with it: Shark hung a slider.  That’s a failure of execution, not a failure of tactics.  The vast majority of well-hit balls come from poorly thrown pitches, not poorly chosen pitches.

      • Jeff

        Why did the announcers call it a change up? That ball was thrown on a flat plane with no break at all..that was no slider!!! Idiot thought he could throw a change-up middle in on a power hitting left-hander…that’s stupidity at it’s finest.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          They called it a hung slider on the radio.  That is a much flatter pitch than a change: remember, changes “drop” because they take longer to get to the plate, whereas sliders drop because of the spin as well as the speed; however, lose the spin and you get just a lame fastball.

          If it was a change, then it also was “hung”: a change is flat only if the pitcher fails to take the speed off of the pitch.  (That is why changeups are so good at getting grounders: the pitch is lower and further in front of the plate than the target at which the batter is swinging.)

          Either way, he threw a good pitch for generating grounders, but he threw it poorly.

      • Jeff

        On a 0-2 count, I am saying that was bad tactics and poorly chosen pitches. With a strike out prone hitter, the next two pitches should have been sliders in the dirt, not a change up hanging over the inside of the plate, that’s why we suck so much!!

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Had the slider been thrown properly, then it would have been low and inside.  (You do not want to miss the strike zone, but you do want it to be at the bottom of the strike zone.)  However, if you do not throw it right, then it winds up “up” and “over”: i.e., the middle of the plate.  That pitch simply did not go where Shark intended it to go.

  • Jeff

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results….just saying

    • Pat

      Actually, that is not the definition of insanity, despite what Rita Brown wrote in one of her books. (sorry, but the misuse of that quote, and it’s attribution to Einstein always bothers me)

  • Kevin

    This article from Sports Illustrated was published 4 days ago.

    If you think ignoring the issue, it will simply go away, think again.

  • art

    Babe 2. no, Rizzo is perfect.

  • JK

    I’m really liking Dave Campbell, even tho I’m having a hard time hearing him on wgn today. I wish he was one of our regular broadcasters, not big on Pat and Keith. I liked Moreland as a player and I used to like Pat but I’m just not feeling the combo. IMO Pat Hughes can be very misleading, it seems like however he reacts the opposite happens.

  • Rich

    I am ok with Len Kasper.
    But can he fake being a Cubs fan?
    His excitement level on extra base hits or homers is brutal.