Chris Volstad will try to rebound from a crummy outing against the Astros – this time against a slightly better opponent.

Anthony Rizzo gets the day off today, so Bryan LaHair gets a rare start at first base.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (47-72) at Cincinnati Reds (73-48), 12:10 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

Chris Volstad (0-9, 6.96 ERA, 4.56 FIP)


Mat Latos (10-3, 3.63 ERA, 4.12 FIP)

Cincinnati Reds Lineup

1. Zack Cosart, SS

2. Drew Stubbs, CF

3. Brandon Phillips, 2B

4. Ryan Ludwick, LF

5. Jay Bruce, RF

6. Todd Frazier, 1B

7. Wilson Valdez, 3B

8. Ryan Hanigan, C

9. Mat Latos, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, RF

2. Darwin Barney, 2B

3. Luis Valbuena, 3B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Bryan LaHair, 1B

7. Brett Jackson, CF

8. Steve Clevenger, C

9. Chris Volstad, P

  • Chief

    Luis Valbuena is batting third. Anyone else having trouble with that?

    • Brett

      I think it’s just a matter of not wanting to shuffle anyone else out of their usual spot.

      • Chief

        My real issue is more with him being in the lineup at all while Vitters rides pine.

    • Harry Ramirez

      Led off yesterday, batting third tonight…now who is the real cornerstone of this franchise! (:

    • Flashfire

      Blah blah blah … bitch … blah blah blah …moan … blah blah blah … Dale sucks. Okay, moving on. I really like the 7 slot for BJax. Hopefully he gets comfortable there. It’s a waiting game until Almora is ready, but he could provide nice D and some pop from low in the order.

      • Drew7

        I don’t really think this fits into the same category as the usual ridiculous moaning and groaning about Sveum. I mean, it’s Luis effing Valbuena…and he’s batting 3rd.

        • Flashfire

          And as Brett pointed out above, it keeps everyone else in a young lineup in places they’re likely to stay in. It’s one game because he has no one else. Who else are you going to put there? Clevenger? LaHair?.

    • Jackalope

      A man-crush of Neifi Perez proportions.

      • hcs

        But Neifi Perez proportions aren’t that impressive, what was he 4 foot 13 in.?

        • Njriv

          5 feet?

        • Chris S

          His body was shaped like a pear.

  • MichCubFan

    He’s been pretty hot lately

    • anotherjp

      That’s right- and Valbuena now has a .307 OBP whereas Barney is .308 & Castro .311. I think moving guys around the lineup makes plenty of sense right now.

  • ssckelley

    With LaHair hitting 1/3 with 2 walks and 2 stolen bases I am surprised he is not batting leadoff. :)

  • fortyonenorth

    Rizzo looked really, really tired in game 2 yesterday.

  • rcleven

    Volsted better not start missing up. Has to keep ball at knees to be successful today. Hope he can get thru 6. Pen sure looks spent.

  • Cubs1967

    time to send Dale Quade to the Arizona Fall League; to work on batting order management. Any team with Valbuena Perez batting 3rd does not deserve 3M in attendance nor 2nd highest road attendance………..what a joke and embarrasement.

    they theo—you might want to get off your ass and fire in a phone call to DQ. but then again you let your players last year run around drunk eating chicken and playing FIFA so maybe you don’t have the balls too many think you do.

    • @cubsfantroy

      Why don’t you take your bitching and moaning over to the Cubs site where all they do is complain. You would complain if the Cubs were on pace to win 100 games, only because they’re not on pace to win 104 games. Get over. You’re the worst kind of fan imaginable. I have yet to ever see you say one positive thing.

      At least you didn’t bring up the Marshall trade.

      • Carew

        Bro calm down. He is just one of those fans that think they can and will win it all every single year

        • Ralph


      • J R

        You’re bringing the heat today dude. That’s intense..

  • @cubsfantroy

    I really hope that Volstad gives up a ton of runs in a few innings today. I was a Volstad supporter until his last couple of starts. I have come to the realization that he sucks and there is no saving him. I would rather see Raley kept up to stay and have Volstad go back down and not get a September call up either.

    • Flashfire

      I want the draft pick. I think Volstad should start every game for the rest of the season.

      • @cubsfantroy

        lol, while normally I would agree with you, this time I can’t. I’m just sick of seeing him out there giving hope for four innings and then blowing it.

      • rcleven

        All ready think the Cubs have at least the the third pick locked up.
        Rather see the team play well enough to win.

  • J R

    I think Dale puts as much thought into the lineup as he did getting those forearms tatts. Not much…

  • Bren

    I dont think its where Valbuena bats, but the fact that he bats at all….how is this benefiting Vitters? Given how high he was drafted and how much uncertainty surrounds his future, doesn’t it behoove the organization to play him as much as possible?

    Neither the present nor future depends on Valbuena, get him out of there.

    • J R

      Apparently everyone in the Cubs organization thinks Vitters will improve by platooning and getting lots of coaching from the MLB guys. Personally, I think it’s absolutely stupid, but the FO knows more baseball than I ever will..

      • @cubsfantroy

        I agree. He is going to get more out of going out there everyday or at the very least, every other day. I don’t think some spot starts are going to help him develop at all. But, like you said, the FO knows more than what I or a lot of other people will ever know.

  • rcleven
  • Tommy

    I just realized that every time I see Volstad is the pitcher of the day, I write it off as a Cub’s loss automatically. I feel sorry for that kid and hope he gets things figured out and gets his first win.

  • rcleven
  • Josh

    Can we get author blocker in here for cubsfantroy