The Cubs will try to take the final game of this series against the Padres, with the old man in the rotation – Jeff Samardzija – on the bump. Alfonso Soriano returns to the lineup, thankfully, so his hand x-ray must have gone well.

Brett Jackson sits against the lefty (he actually hits lefties no worse than righties), and Josh Vitters gets his second start.

Fun fact: Clayton Richard was at one time a back-up quarterback at Michigan, so I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for him.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (43-65) at San Diego Padres (48-64), 5:35pm 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 (7-9, 4.37 ERA, 3.62 FIP)


Clayton Richard (8-11, 4.01 ERA, 4.44 FIP)

San Diego Padres Lineup

1. Alexi Amarista, CF

2. Everth Cabrera, SS

3. Yonder Alonso, 1B

4. Chase Headley, 3B

5. Mark Kotsay, LF

6. Will Venable, RF

7. Logan Forsythe, 2B

8. John Baker, C

9. Clayton Richard, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Darwin Barney, 2B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Josh Vitters, 3B

8. Joe Mather, RF

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • CubsFan4Life

    I guess they are leaving Castro in the 5th spot (whether Jackson is in the lineup or not) to try and get him out of his slump?

  • ibcnu2222 (John)

    Brett, have you seen that commercial with the kid playing this NCAA football game and he has Desmond Howard playing for Ohio State. Pretty funny.

    • Jonski

      Funny as hell…also like the LSU one with Les Miles and the school mascot lol

    • Brett

      Yeah, love that commmercial.

  • AB

    Cool commerical for a 16-y/o with Luekemia with Rizzo, Campana and even Tom Ricketts:

    • Patrick G

      That’s awesome

    • Frank

      Very nice.

    • CubsFan4Life

      Thanks AB for posting the link to that video. RizzOMG and Campana are amazing.

    • Jonski

      Yeah that is cool …I had read on that Rizzo and Campana were visiting Chicago hospitals spending time with kids that are fighting cancer prior to Campana being sent down.

    • Brett

      AB, can I ask how you found that video? It looks like the Cubs created that and then sent it personally to the family, which, if so, is pretty amazing (that there was no PR purpose behind it, they were just doing a good thing). I’d like to do a post on this, but just want to make sure that the Cubs didn’t blast it out there to the whole world.

      • Crockett

        Dan Bernstein linked it earlier on Twitter. Was definitely a non-PR personal video for the kid. Pretty awesome.

      • AB

        One of my friends emailed it to me. Not sure if she pulled it off twitter or not. Apparently players all around the league from many different teams have been doing stuff for this kid this year. If you google his name, you’ll find some other stories.

    • Tommy

      Wow. That is awesome.

    • rhino70

      It got awful dusty here while watching that….

    • Flashfire

      Makes me hope Campana can make it back. That’s awesome.

  • Stu

    I guess BJax is spending the night thinking about his approach to hitting. No K’s for him tonight.

    At least Mather will probably put the ball in play. Shame on him.

  • Jonski

    I sure hope Samardzija puts this line up on lock down and we at least get 1.

  • droppedsomething

    So, Jackson has whiffed 8 times in his last 9 plate appearances (with 1 walk thrown in for good measure), right? Geez, I could feel the breeze all the way over here on the east coast. Good thing he’s sitting today. May as well be chopping wood.

  • Fastball

    Brett Jackson has a couple more nights going for 0-7 all K’s and Dale will have the bus to Iowa running out in the parking lot. He isn’t going to last up in the bigs. 7 straight K’s. Hit a flipping ground ball or a pop up somewhere along the line. He is going to have to pull of some kind of miraculous showing to stick. Maybe Theo and Jed brought him up just so he could show the fans he isn’t ready and send him back where he came from. He did not deserve a call up with such a gaping hole in his swing and his game.

    • BetterNews

      Yes there is a difference between just not ready and never will be ready. I can’t recall a decent prospect ever striking out 7 time in a row and 8 of nine. Really absurd. I realize it’s a small sample size, but come on, you or I could do better just by dumb luck.

      • mudge

        pretty sure I couldn’t.

  • Fastball

    Why cant Sveum have the damned 3rd base coach use the TAKE Sign! We are making this Pzadre pitcher look like he is Cy Young. He hasn’t broken sweat thru 5.

  • Jeff1969

    Anyone know how bad Jason Knapp’s arm problems are? He just got released, hasn’t pitched since 2010. Indians gave up on him.

  • Zogie

    Time to DFA Joe Mather. 2 pitches, 2 flyouts. He has had terrible ABs for months. I was for the guy before the season, but his approach is terrible. Bring up Dave Sappelt to get some time. He hits lefties well and plays great defense.

    • cubmig

      If you’re using production as a criterion, Joe Mather is no less on the block than any other Cub in the lineup. Every Cub batter has been sh*t. No need to pick one out of the pile. They all stink. Have you been watching the games lately?

  • BetterNews

    wow! Smardj is getting some pretty bad calls by the ump. Clearly strikes and they are getting waved off. I don’t blame him for being pissed. Is this the same ump that gave him problems before?

  • Patrick G

    Samardzjia looking good! Too bad the bats aint

  • BetterNews

    I’m not one to bitch about umps, but this guy behind the plate is a joke.

  • Flashfire

    What is wrong with Rizzo? He doesn’t look like the same guy up there. (Large part of the reason the offense has “disappeared” as Len puts it.)

  • gary

    starlin has not been the same since we got rid of rudy. I think they ae trying to change his approach and i think they have screwed him up. Just let the kid hit.

    • BetterNews

      He can’t hit. That is the problem.

      • MichiganGoat

        Yeah he can’t hit, sure buddy, he’s never been able to hit… Oh that’s right he’s tanking cause players never go through deep slumps. Might as well trade him with Soriano for a mediocre prospect.

        • BetterNews

          Again, Castillo is putting up better numbers.

      • baldtaxguy

        Explain “he can’t hit”

        • MichiganGoat

          Taxguy, I fell for his baiting comment I suggest we both ignore him because this will go nowhere really quick

          • EB

            Good idea Goat. So much I could say, but I am just going to take a deep breath and walk away cause it isn’t worth my time.

            • MichiganGoat

              Precisely these comments are only to bait the site into useless argument and cause us all to go through the BetterNews saga, AGAIN.

          • baldtaxguy

            Will do, ignore is “ON”. This is that Finch idiot, no? Says a whole lot of absolutely nothing.

            • baldtaxguy


              • MichiganGoat

                Yes first was BetterNews then Joe then Goldfinch and a plethora of other handles. Ignore is best only and best solution.

        • BetterNews

          Let me qualify that statement. I should have said he can’t hit up to the expectations of a .300 hitter, which is what most fans were expecting. I personally don’t believe he will be a .280 career hitter. I hope I am wrong, but my diagnosis(not professional mind you) is he is nothing more than average.

    • BetterNews

      Believe it or not, Castillo is putting up better numbers than Castro!

      • MichiganGoat

        Believe it or not your comment is full of ignorance

        • BetterNews

          How so? Lets see numbers. Make a believer.

        • BetterNews


  • Dougy D

    Sorry Brett, but ANN ARBOR’S A WHORE!

    • BetterNews

      Tough words Dougy!

      • Dougy D

        Well, any anti-U of Michigan man would agree. Are you a wolverine fan?