wrigley field from right bleachersWell, the serious sweep is off the table (it was probably a stretch as it was), but taking three of four is still possible. And necessary. Can’t split a series like this if the Cubs want any chance of climbing back toward .500.

If they’re going to do it, they’re going to need to beat a familiar face: Andrew Cashner. And he’ll face a shaken up lineup that sees Alfonso Soriano getting a day off (after being removed halfway through last night’s game … hmm … ) in favor of Julio Borbon who’s been smoking the ball. And batting third in tonight’s lineup: Luis Valbuena.

Game Info

San Diego Padres (10-16) at Chicago Cubs (10-16), 7:05 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

Andrew Cashner (1-1, 3.26 ERA, 1.138 WHIP)


Scott Feldman (1-3, 3.92 ERA, 1.645 WHIP)

San Diego Padres Lineup

1. Everth Cabrera, SS

2. Alexi Amarista, CF

3. Chase Headley, 3B

4. Carlos Quentin, LF

5. Yonder Alonso, 1B

6. Jedd Gyorko, 2B

7. Will Venable, RF

8. John Baker, C

9. Andrew Cashner, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Julio Borbon, LF

3. Luis Valbuena, 3B

4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Nate Schierholtz, RF

7. Dioner Navarro, C

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Scott Feldman, P

  • Austin

    You have Valbuena batting 3rd not Julio but said he was batting 3rd in your comments.

    • Austin

      Well damn my reading skills failed me. I read it as Julio batting third. Sorry. Move along people move along

      • John

        Haha happeneds to the best of us!

  • Mike

    Nice to see Starlin batting lower in the order…I think he’ll do better in the 5 hole. Don’t know if I’m thrilled with Valbuena batting 3rd, but he may get better pitches to hit in that spot. Also nice to see one of our extra outfielders get a start…hope Borbon plays well…about time we see what he can do. I do hope Soriano is just getting some rest. I’d like to see him get a day off here and there against some righties and let Borbon play a little more.

    • willis

      I actually had the thought before the season began regarding Starlin in the 5 spot. I liked that maybe his presence could protect Soriano a little and it gave him potentially more RBI opportunity. We’ll see how he looks tonight. I think I like him in the 2 spot better but this is interesting for sure.

    • cub4life

      ok I’m gonna have to watch Valbuena for the next week or 2 to see what the fuss is about……

  • Cerambam

    I don’t mind Navarro and I understand castillos needs breathers, but I really prefer it when castillo is in the lineup

    • Rcleven

      Castillo still needs to learn his craft at Iowa.
      No one to replace him yet.
      He is the better of the two evils.

      • Danny Ballgame

        In Iowa?

        • Rcleven

          IF by AAA a catcher has not learned to block a ball with his body to keep it in front of him he still needs to refine his craft at AAA. Bad habits are hard to break. Castillo still reaches for balls in the dirt allowing more wild pitches or pass balls.
          One example was Sharks second wild pitch the other night that allowed the man on third to score. He didn’t need to catch it .Just needed to keep the ball in front of him. He has a MLB bat but if you don’t do the little things it will kill you. Remember, he has the advantage of knowing where the pitch should be.

          • npnovak

            He *is* pretty terrible behind the plate, but he can learn those things at the major league level as well as he could at AAA. As long as he keeps hitting the ball hard, he’ll stay on the big league team.

  • Jason P

    Carrie Muskat said via twitter that Soriano’s not hurt, just getting a night off. But maybe that “night off” is because he didn’t hustle on that bloop single last night?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Interesting. He was pulled pretty much right after that, wasn’t he?

  • CeeDeeVee5811

    Hey Brett, I don’t know if you remember me. I was a regular here last year, then i just dissapeared. Anyway, I’ve still been keeping up with the site and will now be a regular again. Congratulations with the baby, I hope all is well with the family.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Well thank you, and welcome back (to the comments).

  • CeeDeeVee5811

    As for Soriano…I was at the game last night in the bleachers and i did see Soriano tell Dejesus something (they were right next to eachother) and almost immediately Dejesus was yelling at the Cubs dugout abd was pointing at Soriano…then Soriano jogged off. So i thought Soriano was hurt for sure.

    • TWC

      “Yo, David. I gotta pee something fierce, but if I yell too loudly, I’m afraid my bladder’s gonna explode. Can you get Coach’s attention for me?”

      • OCCubFan

        “Yo, David. I gotta pee something fierce, but if I yell too loudly, I’m afraid my bladder’s gonna explode. Can you get Coach’s attention for me?”

        My nomination for post of the day.

      • CeeDeeVee5811

        Haha honestly it almost looked liked that with David’s reaction.

  • Die hard

    Looks like Sveum finally realizing mistake not to rest Soriano on last get away day ….moving Castro will likely see him go to 6th as permanent as he has limited power and avg speed

    • ari gold

      6th certainly is possible. Castro makes too many outs to be in the 2 hole

  • Believe In 2015

    That is A LOT of lefties in the lineup

  • mudge

    I still think Castro’s best spot is leading off, not for OBP reasons but for headspace reasons. He’s either a dingbat or has too many things firing in his head or both and clear space at the top of the lineup would yield better results from having a simpler gig. DeJesus is a perfect second place/situational hitter. Castro’s RISP hitting is nowhere.

    • TWC

      I dunno… wasn’t the reason that Lou ensconced Soriano at leadoff for so long?

    • King Jeff

      …and there’s the rbi single by Castro to give the Cubs the lead. He actually hit his best out of the 5 spot last year.

    • Drew7

      For his career, Castro’s OPS with runners on base is .044 higher than with the bases empty.

      • mudge

        maybe that indicates he’s a pitcher who’s already allowing baserunners and not pitching effectively.

        • Drew7

          If that were the case, wouldn’t that show up in league-wide offensive numbers?

          I think it’s more likely a case of you remembering the bad outcomes more than the good one’s, which is fine: even the best “clutch” hitters only get hits 3 out of 10 times in these scenarios.

          • mudge

            could be. frustrated by castro hitting 2.

            • Drew7

              I understand that – the guy’s lack of discipline will make you wanna pull your hair out. He can be a very frustrating hitter.

              But at the end of the day, he is arguably the best hitter on the team (undoubtedly one of the top-2), and that’s the type of hitter Ithat should bat 2nd.

              • TWC

                He might be the best hitter, but he hasn’t shown that he’s the best offensive player overall (measured by wOBA); plus, he could sure stand to raise his OBP by 10 or 20 points if he’s going to be batting #2.

                • mudge

                  schierholtz #2?

  • Huch

    I would much rather see Borbon playing in center and moving DeJesus over to left. Let’s see Borbon in his natural position.

    • Huch

      In fact I think I would have switched Borbon and DeJesus for everything. Borbon seems like a solid lead-off hitter and center fielder. DeJesus could be a decent #2 hitter and would fit in well over in left.

  • Believe in 2015

    Nice hustle by Rizzo and a great hit by Castro. This is how you play baseball

  • Chris S

    Am I the only one who thinks Barney’s necklace is gaudy?

  • waittilthisyear

    2 thoughts. until to this point, the rizzo for cashner deal looks like a fantastic one. however, cashner’s beard…changes…everything.

    on a more serious note, i just watched borbon pop out w/runners 1st and 3rd, 1 out. as soon as he approached the plate, i thought “the cubs never score in situations such as this.” then i thought “well, borbon just came from the rangers org., an org. featuring a ton of recent success. although they let him walk, perhaps he will get the guy in because he hasn’t fully succumbed to cubdom.” then he swung and missed at 2 hittable fastballs and popped out.

    • Jason

      Well I guess Feldman came from the Rangers and he got the job done…

  • Jason

    Feldman definitely should have been sent home on the Dejesus single. It’s not like it was a one-bouncer to the CF. Dave McCay was probably being a bit over-cautious after the Rizzo out at the plate last inning.

  • Believe in 2015

    Let’s score some more Cubbies!

  • Beardface

    Lot of men LOB tonight. 4 runs I know but I think they should have about 6or 7 right now.

  • Jason

    Soo… Who goes to the pen when Garza comes back? You can’t send Shark Villanueva Wood or now Feldman because they’ve been pitching so well, and there’s no way Jackson’s going either. 6 man rotation anyone?

    • Kyle

      If you go by peripherals and not ERA (and I’m sure this front office thinks along those lines), then Villanueva I think has been the worst. But there’s still a a bit of time for guys to differentiate themselves.

      • Drew7

        Pretty sure Feldman is the odd-man out in your scenario too.

  • Believe in 2015

    Feldman with 6 K’s in a row!!!

  • Timothy Scarbrough

    Good thing the Cubs managed to convince Cashner to pitch poorly against them before he left.