great american ballparkSeems like it would be impossible not to be hungover from a loss like the one the Cubs suffered last night. Then again, they’ve suffered heartbreaker after heartbreaker this year, and they keep putting themselves in a position to be heartbroken again. This team loses a lot, but it doesn’t really get blown out.*

That’s largely been thanks to the starting pitching, which has been great. Carlos Villanueva has been as good as anyone, and he goes again for the Cubs tonight. Fear The Stache.

For the Reds, it’s Tony Cingrani, a young lefty who is likely to dominate the Cubs’ almost-all-righty lineup. Said lineup features the first start for Cody Ransom, if you were looking for an exciting story line.

*Yes, I know that will be thrown right back at me if they get blown out tonight.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (5-13) at Cincinnati Reds (12-8), 6:10 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.

Game Tickets

If you’re looking for Chicago Cubs tickets for today’s game (or any future games), you can use that TiqIQ link there for the secondary market. There are also some available on Cubs.com.

Starting Pitchers

Carlos Villanueva (1-0, 1.29 ERA, 6.4 K/9)


Tony Cingrani (1-0, 1.80 ERA, 14.4 K/9)

Cincinnati Reds Lineup

1. Shin-Soo Choo, CF

2. Zack Cozart, SS

3. Joey Votto, 1B

4. Brandon Phillips, 2B

5. Jay Bruce, RF

6. Todd Frazier, 3B

7. Chris Heisey, LF

8. Corky Miller, C

9. Tony Cingrani, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dave Sappelt, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Welington Castillo, C

6. Scott Hairston, RF

7. Cody Ransom, 3B

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Carlos Villanueva, P

  • Rebuilding

    Villanueva started to look a little tired there in the 8th. You gotta let him finish it though…don’t you?

  • Jason

    Whatever decision Sveum makes right here… If things go bad in the ninth, he’ll get chastised for it on this comment board. IMO leave Villanueva in until he gives up a base runner.

  • Alex S

    Wow. Ransom has been a completely atypical Cub today. He hit (a lefty even), he recovered after an errant throw earlier in the inning to pull off a double play, then fielded a ball with a strange roll and managed to make the throw to first successfully in the next inning.

    Ah. It’s his first day. He’s not used to the way they do things on the Cubs = p (I jest, I jest)

    Though Soriano manufacturing a run with two stolen bases kind of set the tone for this bizarre game. If the bullpen successfully closes this one out in the ninth, this will be the weirdest Cubs game this year since Castro took two walks. (Yet again, I’m just kidding. I do try and stay positive about the Cubs)

    • Alex S

      Well Votto just took a dump all over my post.

      • Alex S

        Wait, wait. Darwin Barney hit a road home run, Marmol didn’t walk in the winning run, and Joey Votto is now 2 for 16 against Votto. If the bullpen can hang on to this one, then it might still be one of the strangest Cubs games this year

        • Alex S

          Stop the world. Castro just took another walk after someone (Sappelt) got a hit with a runner in scoring position.

  • BT

    This ump is all over the place.

  • Jimmy James

    Why all these games have to be so close lol….

  • Rebuilding

    That 2-2 pitch to Choo froze the damn umpire. Jeez, can’t we get a break

  • BubblesHargrave

    Uh, How is using Marmol as the closer after you said he wasn’t the closer holding players accountable?

  • Rebuilding

    I’ll say it right now. Why not Russell to face Votto?

    • Kygavin


    • JOE

      Well after that base hit my point will be mute, but to be fair to Sveum, Marmol has been one of the hottest relievers of late out of the pen. Can’t blame him for that decision I suppose, but if this one falls through and becomes yet another heart-wrenching loss, I may actually sob myself to sleep tonight.

      • Kygavin

        after throwing 26 pitches the day before… nah leave it on Vill

        • JOE

          Very fair point

          • BubblesHargrave

            You’re very wrong. Marmol should never be used in a save situation again. And the fact that they keep taking the job and giving it back 2 days later isn’t doing him any good. You guys are speaking ignorantly.

            • JOE

              Trust me, I know there is absolutely no justification for relying on Marmol to close out games at this point after all he’s been through, but you have to realistically look at your bullpen options. There’s not a guy in the pen, outside of Russell perhaps, who I have much faith in to get the final three outs (or any three outs for that matter) of a game. All I’m saying is Dale is playing the hand he was dealt.

              • Rebuilding

                I wish he would get rid of the quick hook then. That is 2 Villanueva games and a Wood game where he has yanked them at under 100 pitches and we’ve gone on to lose

                • JOE

                  Agreed completely

  • Mark

    Thank you very much Dale…bring Marmol in for that!

  • DarthHater


  • Jason

    Is it even worth complaining anymore?

  • BubblesHargrave

    This is the reason Sveum should be gone, Marmol over and over. Blew a great outing. Astounding

  • Kygavin

    Play your GG 2B HAS to make or at least knock down

  • DarthHater

    Come on, Carlos. Hurry up and give up the losing run. It’s not like there’s any suspense at this point.

    • Jason

      I agree. Just put us out of our misery. If this goes into extras, Ill be obligated to watch until they lose in the 12th by a HBP, walk, error, and balk home the winning run.

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        Painful, Cubdome is.

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    Marmol: Damn. Ruin Villanueva outing and still screwing up.

    Jed and Theo: Its time to cut the cord on Marmol. He’ll never get you what you’d like in trade.
    Time to shop, relegate to mop up and 5-6-7 innings and that’s it. He’s had chances…Too many.

  • Rebuilding

    I didn’t have pitch track up. Villanueva was only at 99 pitches? Goodness. And then how do you not bring in the lefty against Votto? Well, whatever

    • Kygavin

      exactly (for the 2nd time) i like you can we be friends?

  • http://Yes Dude

    Sveum has no one else to go to. Anyone asking for him to be fired because of Marmol or any other Cubs losses knows nothing about baseball.

    • Rebuilding

      That’s the point. He didnt have to go to anyone. His best option was already on the mound

    • mudge

      Could have gone to his most effective reliever – James Russell. Not Marmol. James Russell.

    • BubblesHargrave

      Whatever, how is ever right to take the closer’s job away and then give it back in like no time. He’s terrible at closing games and if you argue otherwise, where have you been. Another example of players not being held accountable.

  • Bill

    Why do people continue to give Theo a free pass? He’s the one that put this garbage bullpen together. Two years in a row, he’s taken a pass on fixing the bullpen.

    • Jason

      What do you want him to do? Sign a reliever to a lengthy contract on a rebuilding team? Those deals almost never work out anyway. Last year, Camp, Russell, and Bowden were all solid. Marmol was too in the second half this year. Fujikawa was supposed to supplement that group. There’s no way he could have foreseen this.

      • When the Music’s Over

        “There’s no way he could have foreseen this.”

        That’s not true. If he’s a smart as everyone thinks he is, when also combined with the army of stat dorks he’s brought on board to in the past 16 or so months to crunch numbers and spit out scenarios, the results we’ve seen so far this year shouldn’t come as a surprise to him, and rightly should have been expected to a large degree.

        You can’t address only one facet of your roster (starting pitching) and expect it to overcome severe deficiencies in the other aspects of your roster (hitting and bullpen) on a regular basis. Does it happen, sure, but when it doesn’t, it shouldn’t come as surprise under any circumstances.

  • Kramden

    Well, I think it can be concluded that Sveum can’t motivate his players, can’t manage a game and can’t manage a pitching staff.

    What’d I miss?

    • DarthHater

      Can’t grow hair…

  • Matty Ice

    You guys gotta remember that this season was never about winning. It was about building up guys value to trade them in the name of some mythical “plan.”

    Yay Theo!

    • Kygavin

      Itd be different if they were getting blown out but this are games that they should win (at least most of them)

    • When the Music’s Over

      I can’t tell you how many people on this website projected the Cubs to win ~75+ games this year.

      • Kygavin

        hey i wasnt one of them haha i think i said 70 ish (dont remember was under 75 tho) but ya. Some saw them competing for the division… hahahahaha

  • Rebuilding

    He’s going to walk the winning run in

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      I had my bets there too

  • Kramden

    Unless Sveum changes pitchers, Marmol’s gonna walk in the winning run

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    2 walks…another extra inning or a battle from 0-2 to a bloop hit.

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    Yeah! More pain!

  • DarthHater

    At least we don’t have Dan Haren in our rotation. 😉

  • Alex S

    I can somewhat understand Sveum bringing in Marmol…Votto had one hit in fifteen AB against Marmol before tonight.

    • Rebuilding

      15 At-bats is not enough to draw any conclusions about a match up. Especially when you are talking about the best hitter in the National League. That’s old school thinking. If that’s how the Cubs are making decisions we are in more trouble than I thought

      • hardtop

        that is good thinking. i agree. using the numbers is good, except when its not good data. valbuena was pissed, as he should be.

        love what he and wellington are doing, the lone bright spots so far imo

  • JOE

    Who in the hell saw that one coming

  • Kygavin


  • Jp3

    BELLY FIRE!!!!!🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥😃

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    Barney rubble hits it out! Now, add 3 more runs…

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      That’s 1! At least it will take 3 to beat us….Pray.

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