The Cubs will try to win this series – their one billionth in a row – by taking down former White Sox ace(ish) Mark Buehrle.

Game Info

Miami Marlins (44-47) at Chicago Cubs (37-53), 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

Mark Buehrle (9-8, 3.13 ERA, 4.06 K/BB)


Paul Maholm (7-6, 4.33 ERA, 2.32 K/BB)

Miami Marlins Lineup

1. Jose Reyes, SS

2. Emilio Bonifacio, CF

3. Carlos Lee, 1B

4. Justin Ruggiano, RF

5. Hanley Ramirez, 3B

6. Austin Kearns, LF

7. Omar Infante, 2B

8. John Buck, C

9. Mark Buehrle, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Reed Johnson, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Jeff Baker, RF

6. Geovany Soto, C

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Luis Valbuena, 3B

9. Paul Maholm, P

  • gratefulled

    I find it interesting that Valbuena continues to get starts against left-handers. Is this solely because of his defense?

  • calicubsfan007

    I hate it when the Cubbies play against lefties because it means that Baker is starting. Can’t stand Baker…

    • MaxM1908

      He came through for us last night.

      • Drew7

        He has been mashing lately.

  • Steve

    Did …..gulp….Rizzo NOT get a hit yesterday??? gulp…. ????

    • Njriv

      Who’s that?

  • Brett

    A little tidbit I just tweeted (because I don’t have enough for a full-on post):

    A Cubs source (a good one, for what it’s worth) just told me a Dempster deal is “very close,” and the Cubs have two prospective deals on the table (the implication being that the Cubs are just deciding between the two).

    How close is “very close,” and what two teams are involved, are not yet known to me. I’m digging, but it’s possible this is as much as I’ll get. If you want my gut-feeling-in-the-comments-but-I-wouldn’t-have-the-guts-to-post-this-quite-yet: I’d guess the two teams are the Dodgers and Tigers, and the deal is completed before Dempster’s scheduled start tomorrow.

    • Other JP

      Frickin’ sweet Brett! Come on Demp….get traded!

    • Scotti

      Thanks for keeping us in the know…

    • kubphan82

      Detroit takes a bidder out for Garza…

      • Brett

        I think my guess may have been wrong on that one … still digging.

        • Patrick G

          Dodgers, braves, dodgers, braves, dodgers, braves no whammy STOP!

          • Crockett

            I’m guessing Dodgers and Nats.

  • someday…2015?


    • ETS


  • Other JP

    For the Cubs rather unique situation, am I correct that ANY veteran with less than a couple years of control MUST be traded (even if it is for a less than stellar return)? Guys like Reed, Baker, Dempster, Maholm, etc.

    They do NOT help us in 2014, so get what you can now.

    We’ve mentioned possibly 10-12 players who could be traded, but who is on your list of players that MUST be traded this year?

    • Scotti

      No one must be traded. Not even Dempster. Many should be traded if the offer outweighs the loss.

      • Edwin

        This. Very much yes.

        • Norm

          Dempster is a must trade. It would be a failure if he is not.

          • Edwin

            We had this conversation yesterday. If you think that Dempster would accept arbitrion (I don’t know why he would) and that somehow having Dempster in the rotation next year on a 1 year deal for 12-15 million is so terrible (I don’t know why it would be), then yes, keeping him would be a failure.

            However, in this scenerio, Dempster would have such low value that you wouldn’t be able to trade him for much of anything anyways.

            A player can’t really be a “must” trade, and also be expected to bring in a good return. It kills any leverage the selling team has.

            • Norm

              There is absolutely ZERO reason for Dempster to be on this team past July.
              Yes, you can offer him a qualifying offer, hope he turns it down, and get a comp pick in 2013. That pick would likely be in Rookie Ball, then Low A in 2014, High A 2015, AA 2016, AAA/Majors 2017.
              A trade of Dempster can get you a player thats in the majors in 2013.

              That 4 years is HUGE.

              And maybe he accepts that qualifying offer. Why would he accept? Because he loves playing in Chicago and he may not be all that concerned about a multi year deal. Now you have a 36 year old pitcher on a team going nowhere and NO help to the organization.

            • Scotti

              Right. If you accept a bad deal this year with Dempster, then you screw your reputation and GM’s will squeeze you without mercy for the next three-five years at every option. “He took crap for Dempster so he’ll take crap for player X.” The Goose That Lays The Golden Eggs here is respect from other GM’s/teams. A Dempster trade is just another opportunity. Taking crap in return for Dempster is killing the Golden Goose.

    • Austin

      I’d say the only player(s) that MUST be traded is Dempster. All the other players are not MUST trades but would be nice to trade.

  • Other JP

    But the loss is having a veteran play out the year and getting nothing for him.

    Example: I’d love to get a type B- prospect for Reed, but if all I can get is a C+ prospect (and he can replace a player in our system) I do it.

    I do not keep Reed just because I could not get my B- prospect.

    Seems like something Hendry would do in past…….hoping Theoyer do not do the same.

    • Other JP

      My MUST trade list is:
      Corpas (maybe, unless Cubs like him and will sign him to another deal).

    • Edwin

      But you could also offer the vet player arbitration and try and get a compensation pick. That is what the Cubs did with Aramis and Pena.

      If the Cubs keep dempster, they could offer him arbitration. It’d be a 1 year deal for about 12-15 million. I’m pretty sure Dempster could get a 2-3 year deal on the FA market, so he’d probably decline arbitration.

      • Brett

        Not arbitration anymore. “Qualifying offer,” which is obviously similar. For 2013, it’s expected to be about $12.5 million. The problem with passing up a trade now in the hopes that you can get a draft pick … what if Dempster accepts the offer?

        • Edwin

          Sorry, I should learn the new phrase.

          I don’t see why Dempster would accept the offer. He should easily be offered at least a 2-3 year deal worth around 10M per year.

          But even if he does accpet, it’s not terrible for the Cubs. They can still trade him, and in the meantime he’ll give them decent performance for his cost. It’s not ideal, but I think it’s pretty easy to do a calculation factoring in the risk of Dempster accepting the offer.

        • Drew7

          I agree. There are so many unknowns if you plan on keeping him- he could regress (like ALL peripherals say he will), could get hurt (again), and he may accept the qualifying offer.

          I think it’s pretty unlikely that Dempster continues to pitch so well that he would be expecting a team to give him a 3-year deal in the offseason. So really the question is – why wouldnt he accept the qualifying offer?

          • Edwin

            I think there would be at least 1 team out there that would offer 2/20 or better. I think he’d take the money.

          • ETS

            to be fair peripherals don’t suggest he’ll regress THAT far and he is a type of pitcher that can be effective even if he loses a tick or two on his fastball as he gets older.

            In short, I’d gamble a 3 year deal on dempster if I was any big league team.

      • Norm

        And that would be about a 3-5 year difference in impact time if you trade Dempster for a guy in AA.

        • Edwin

          You can factor impact time into prospect value. If the AA prospect was just as valuable as the compensation pick, the Cubs would do that deal no problem.

          I’m not saying that the Cubs should keep Dempster, I’d like to see him traded. My point is that he still provides value, even if the Cubs keep him. Obviously less value, but that means that any team that trades for Dempster should at least offer the Cubs more than the value the Cubs get by keeping Dempster.

          • Turn Two

            Seems pretty cut and dry- if you can’t trade Dempster right now, then you have no business running a front office. Why does this discussion keep coming up?

    • Scotti

      Depends on your definition of C+. A guy who doesn’t make our top 30? No point in making that trade. Better to keep the integrity of your MLB club. Developing a winning atmosphere still counts for something (as does selling tickets and ad buys for next year). However, if adding RJ to a deal sweetens it for some GM and you better your haul then, by all means, move him.

  • Other JP

    Having faith in your baseball team’s FO is unbelievaby titillating.

    • kubphan82

      I just can’t wait to evaluate the trades… Haha…

      I want to look at the trade and say “Yea!” and not “Wait, who?”

    • Scotti

      I wouldn’t say that I have faith in the FO so much as I have faith that this is a seller’s market and the Cubs are selling. Theo/Jed can make bad trades and poorly evaluate players just like anyone else.

      • Other JP

        But I HAVE TO believe Theoyer are better at evaluating players and making trades than our past GMs…….otherwise, why are we so excited about this FO?

        Why are we on this site gleefully anticipating news of a trade?

        Why do I exist?…….never mind, too existential.

        • kubphan82

          We have the foundational excellence with Theo/Jed… Drafting and developing. Perhaps they’ll make some good and bad trades… The Cubs previously did well with trades ARam and DLee were significant wins and perhaps Garza. It was reaching for players in the draft and drafting players above their value that had the Hendry regime stumbling, lack of player development for those who were good, and untimely injuries in the good ones.

          • Scotti

            The sale has had a bit to do with things as well. All of a sudden a big league market has had nothing to spend for, what, four or five years now.

  • JulioZuleta

    Mark Buehrle only has 1 No Decision so far. That’s pretty crazy.

  • kubphan82

    i just turned on the TV, turned it to FSFLHD, and Soriano smacks a HR… Isn’t that a great feeling? That happens to other people too right?

    • JulioZuleta

      I remember to this day back in 1998 my Mom was driving me home from school in September. We were listening to the game on the radio and I was freaking out that I was going to miss Sammy’s AB. Turned on the TV just in time to see him hit HR number 60 something. Literally the pitch was being thrown as I turned the TV on. Weird that I remember that 14 years later.

      • John

        Great game to be at- my wife and I took her parent- both Cardinal fans- who were living ther at the time- we were down the left field line up against the fense section- Sammy drilled a ball foul over our heads and a guy in shorts dove for it- needless to say the blacktop likes the hair on his legs. One of the homers went down the street and rolled for ever- the other one some poor soul dropped it and then the fight was on- cops and ambulance was called- What a game!!!

  • art

    IMO, Baker is a very bad base runner. he could learn from Barney. and the hit from Barney with Baker on 2B was a hit all the way. he should have read it and taken off with his eye on his 3B coach which he didn’t do.

    • kubphan82

      From what I just saw, he’s a very bad runner in the OF too… Running isn’t his specialty and he didn’t play that hit correctly at all.

  • Turn Two

    Jason Stark reporting that a source says the Red Sox are out on Demp. That would seemingly leave Dodgers, Braves and Tigers. My problem with trading him to the Tigers is that my pipe dream of somehow getting Castellanos in a Garza deal would be completely void. Still hoping somehow we could get Turner.

  • Cyranojoe

    “Carlos Lee advances to 2nd on defensive indifference.” WTF? Carlos Marmol is on the mound with just a 3-run lead, and you let a guy like Lee take second without a throw?

    • Twinkletoez

      Has Carlos Marmol blown a single save since being activated from the DL?

  • Cyranojoe

    And am I the only one worried that the way things are going, the Cubs are going to play themselves wayyy out of contention for the top picks in the draft? I love wins and all, so I’m conflicted, but… dang…

    • Mick

      I hear ya brother, the Cubs are en fuego right now! It starts to make you think we should trade Demp but re-sign him in the off-season, extend Garza, and sign a couple other FAs in the off-season while we wait for our saplings to grow.