marlins home run sculptureIf Edwin Jackson is going to get his first win before June, this might be his best chance. He’ll be facing a lineup of youngsters, journeymen, and never-will-be’s. Plus Giancarlo Stanton, who you’d think would have 30 walks by now.

I like to think I know baseball fairly well, and I keep pretty well abreast of other teams’ rosters and minor leagues … but I’ll confess that I’d never heard of the Marlins’ cleanup hitter – first baseman Joe Mahoney – until today. He’s a 26-year-old AAA type, whose minor league OPS is .763. That’s their cleanup hitter.

Tanking with a side of tanking.

If this were a fantasy league, you’d be petitioning the commissioner on a weekly basis to have the Marlins’ owner booted from the league. Hey, what do you know? Fantasy baseball isn’t all that different from real baseball.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (6-14) at Miami Marlins (5-16), 6:10 CT on WCIU.

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

Edwin Jackson (0-3, 4.84 ERA, 2.18 K/BB)


Kevin Slowey (0-2, 1.90 ERA, 2.50 K/BB)

Miami Marlins Lineup

1. Juan Pierre, LF

2. Placido Polanco, 3B

3. Giancarlo Stanton, RF

4. Joe Mahoney, 1B

5. Justin Ruggiano, CF

6. Rob Brantly, C

7. Chris Valaika, SS

8. Donovan Solano, 2B

9. Kevin Slowey, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Nate Schierholtz, RF

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Luis Valbuena, 3B

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Edwin Jackson, P

  • MIkeL

    That looks like the type of lineup that Rachel Phelps (Indians owner from major league) would pursue.

    • Stevie B

      “Penalize them for good play”….

      That’s funny…

  • Kyle

    Our awful start or not, this is still a mid-70s-win team on paper. We’re much better than the Marlins and Padres, and I really want to prove it over the next eight games.

    • Voice of Reason

      Much better than the marlins and padres? While we’re comparable to the marlins, the padres are better than our lovable losers.

      Remember, this cubs team will lose 100 this year. When comparing teams does it really matter when you are destined to hit triple digits in losses?

      • Voice of Reason

        And, I would love to see how you think this team is worth mid 70 wins!

        • Voice of Reason

          This team is trying to trade soriano. f they do, that’s a major bat out of an absolutely pathetic line up.

          There is no way this team wins mid 70 games on paper or on the field

  • MIkeL

    I’m with Kyle. I am hoping the Cubs win 6 of the next 8 or at LEAST 5 of 8.

  • wvcubsfan

    Well I’ve heard of #1-3 for them, and if I weren’t a cubs fan I’d have probably only known 4-6 of the names in out line up. So that should mean we double their score and sweep right????

  • Die hard

    Better hope that Marlins don’t read the above as could incite to motivate

    • Luke

      If everything that has been written about the Marlins since the team was gutted is not sufficient to motivate them, then nothing will.

      But don’t mistake motivation for ability. They can be the most motivated people on the face of the planet. They are still a terrible baseball team.

      • Westbound Willie

        Always fun to hears fans of a 6-14 team say they are better than another team.


  • Jackalope

    Just noticed over at Fangraphs that Jackson’s groundball rate (62.5%) is over 13% higher than any of his previous seasons as a starter. Looking at his pitch selection, the Cubs apparently had him abandon his changeup (thrown only 1% of the time this year) for of a cutter that he started developing last year. Likely the reason for the uptick in groundballs.

  • Chuckles

    Kevin Slowey been a baller for them though.. could be an ugly offensive game. The entire Marlins starting lineup today has a combined 1 homerun on the season.

    • Westbound Willie

      Another bonehead play by Castro for not tagging up at second on a deep fly ball to Pierre. Even Pierre couldn’t believe that Castro was still at second after the play.

      What a dope.

  • JR

    Baez just went yard. He’s finally coming on…

  • JR

    The Marlins team is a joke for sure. Although, I think I would pretty much trade anyone with value in the minors or the majors for Stanton, and Jose Fernandez. Those are 2 stud building blocks..

  • Westbound Willie

    Thanks for the update.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    I agree the Marlins are joke and the punchline is the Chicago Cubs…. We too are joke and its getting pretty hard to deny that. The question isn’t whether we have to wait until next year, but as below stated, whether we have to wait until 2015. Given some of the things Theo said, and I remain in his corner, we Cub fans would be well served not call any organization a joke…..

    • JR

      No doubt. The Cubs blow big time, the Marlins and Cubs are both jokes.

  • Voice of Reason

    The cubs should have never signed Jackson. What a waste.

    They will lose 100 games with him or without him.

    They needed to get rid of all the bad contracts and build the minor leagues.

    Then add free agents bases on need.

    I’m sure they will need starters when they are ready to compete, but there will be average statyera like Jackson when they are ready to complete.

    • Cyranojoe

      The EJax contract has zero impact on the minor leagues, and he’s a solid mid to back end of the rotation guy, if you focus on the long-term — and baseball is a game of long-term, with 162 games. He’s no ace stud, but he’s supposed to be solid and an innings eater. See how he adjusts over the course of the year.

      • Voice of Reason

        This team doesn’t need an innings eater this year.

        There will be another innings eater available when the cubs are ready to compete and looking to add free agents.

        • JR

          EJax has been pretty bad so far this yr, but he’ll come around and be alright. He’s been durable for his career (unlike some other gimps on the team). He’ll pitch better as the year goes on, he’s got a proven track record. The Cubs have many more major issues than his contract at this point.

  • Alex S

    I’m so confused. I saw the tying run walked in and thought Marmol was being given another shot at starting.

    All joking aside, I was excited when they signed Edwin Jackson, but for the love of god I hope he breaks out of this poor spell soon. I mean he’s not exactly doing April 2011 Dempster bad, but come on…just get that ERA down to 3.50 or so and hang around there…

  • Chuckles

    You know both teams are a sorry bunch when they won’t even show the game on MLB Extra Innings.

  • Patrick G

    Honestly surprised if they don’t break the all time loss record. At least Houston has some potential to win a game with some recognizable names.

  • Die hard

    Jackson and Hairston will write Theos professional obituary

  • Die hard

    Glad we can switch to NFL draft— Bears kicking tires on a QB

    • #1lahairfan

      Yea right.

  • Jp3

    Meh, Hairston has been terrible but 2.5 million isn’t going to cost theo his job… After all we’re only paying him $500k more than Stewart who hasn’t seen the field much for us… And when he did he sucked

    • Die hard

      Forgot about Stewart which is good for a few lines on the headstone

      • Jp3

        For a team that has a tighter payroll budget than we thought Stewart’s $2 mill looks relevant to me… That’s 2% of the payroll we invested in a player who has had one OK season and been on a downward slope ever since and we had the chance to cut bait for a quarter of the price and we said nahhhh it’s only 1.5 mill

        • Jp3

          Good to see Stewart is hitting .083 (2-24) in the hitter friendly PCL…

          • Matty

            Yeah, but I bet he has some really great tweets about video games.

            Time to cut that loser loose.

  • Chuckles

    I don’t see us breaking any all time loss record.. our pitching is too decent to let that happen. I think the Cubs are better than their current record would suggest.. my guess is they finish around .400-.450 on the year.


    You know what was a great acquisition…Edwin jackson. I called this crap right when we signed him. He flat out sucks. There is nothing good about him, his stuff is junk, he has no control and we wasted $10MM a year on him.

    • TWC

      Gee, and no one listened to you. Life’s so unfair.

      Well, at least you can tell us all you told us so.

  • Big Joe

    Rizzo: 0-2, with 2 Ks. PLEASE, give him a day off.

    • Die hard

      He has a day off everytime he plays lately — Jets take Milner to replace Reavis

  • Mr.Boring

    Remember the days when we could actually watch the Cubs loose all the time? Now we have to check in on the internet at the end of the game to see how it comes out. Direct TV gives me every game but the Cubs. I’m blaming Theo and Jed. Don’t care that they have no part in it. Cubs baseball is unwatchable, both figuratively and literally. WHAT A CRAP PRODUCT they want us to buy into. Not me fello diehards.

  • Die hard

    Bears have pick 20 and 8 is up … Lions picked someone from Ghana I believe… Not George Halas’s game anymore …. Are the Cubs playing tonite?

    • Can’t think of a cool name

      Yeah they have the forward pass now.

  • Alex S

    Wow. Valbuena is 10th in all of MLB with 4.30 pitches per plate appearance. I believe this was as of last night, but it’s a pretty nice thing to see regardless.

  • ETS

    So when do we quit writing off valbuena?

  • another JP

    Right now Valbuena should be starting until Stewie decides he wants to earn his money and start playing/hitting like he’s capable of. Luis with 4 homers on the year is more than we could have hoped for.

  • Die hard

    He’s hitting his weight— yeeesh

    • another JP

      And OPSing over .800

      • ETS

        Exactly and seeing a ton of pitches. You can’t give Rizzo credit for great ISO #’s and a bad luck average and not give the same leeway with valbuena.

      • hogie

        Which is good for 5th or 6th best among national league 3rd basemen. He does some good work on defense too. He is really being underrated by a lot of people.

  • Die hard

    Found a team we can beat… barely… a wins a win— speaking of Bears they are about to draft next Urlacher