wrigley field from right bleachersHow often do you see a guy sign a huge extension and then have a monster game that night? Ok, I don’t think that’s a “thing,” but maybe Anthony Rizzo makes it a thing tonight. And maybe he brings Starlin Castro along with him.

Travis Wood takes on a Rockies lineup that has been dominated of late. Which means they are either due for a breakout, or still in a slump. Wood’s performance might dictate the narrative.

Luis Valbuena is still out with his pinky issue, which is a bummer.

Game Info

Colorado Rockies (20-17) at Chicago Cubs (15-22), 7:05 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.

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

Juan Nicasio (3-0, 4.72 ERA, 1.56 K/BB)


Travis Wood (3-0, 2.33 ERA, 2.43 K/BB)

Colorado Rockies Lineup

1. Eric Young, CF

2. Josh Rutledge, 2B

3. Carlos Gonzalez, LF

4. Troy Tulowitzki, SS

5. Wilin Rosario, C

6. Todd Helton, 1B

7. Nolan Arenado, 3B

8. Charlie Blackmon, RF

9. Juan Nicasio, 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. Cody Ransom, 3B

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Travis Wood, P

  • Chad

    I like how consistent the lineup has been this year. I remember always wondering why other managers would change the lineup almost 3 times a week. Having said that I wouldn’t mind seeing Barney and Castillo switch to avoid two automatic outs at the end of the lineup. Maybe it turns Barney around and he becomes the monster .260 hitter he was a year ago.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The problem with that is that it increases the number of times that Barney comes up with men on base. I would much rather have Castillo up in those situations, as he does have quite a bit more pop.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    Well, they have to win without me watching them in person. Good luck, Cubbies! (Of course, the Rox are not as good as the Nats, identical records notwithstanding….)

  • Die hard

    Sveum thinks he is a General Patton strategist letting Castro lead off vs lefties only– meanwhile the kid loves lead off and won’t mess with his head cause its like going nite to day to nite baseball lead off to second in order in adjusting — yeeesh

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Wow, usually I get irked at paragraphs that lack control sentences, but that paragraph was just a sentence gone out of control!

      • OCCubFan

        It wasn’t really a sentence, but rather just a bunch of words strung together.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Did you ever listen to old REM tunes? They were sort of like that. “They crowded up to Lenin with their noses worn off. / A handshake is worthy if it’s all that you’ve got…”

    • Die harder

      I’d like to leave some kind of witty response; but I think I just fried my brain.

    • A good day to die hard

      You throw quite a party. I didn’t realize they celebrated Christmas in Japan — Nine million terrorists in the world and I gotta kill one with feet smaller than my sister and let’s see you take *this* under advisement, jerkweed!

  • Hatfield

    Die Hard?


    • MichiganGoat

      I’m nothing like Mushrooms

  • Jono

    Is it me or is ransom getting a lot of starts lately? Valbuena has been doing well, maybe he he’s hurt or something?

    • Kubphan82

      Valbuena hurt his pinky in a slide (or being slide into) on third… He’s available to punch hit, I heard, but taking it slow for the field.

    • Dustin S

      Valbuena has been day to day for a bit. Tweaked his hand Saturday sliding into third. They said Valbuena might be available to pinch hit today.

      • Dustin S

        Read my mind…

  • Believe in 2015

    Soriano rocked that one on!!!! 2-0 Cubs

  • Kubphan82

    Don’t the Rox know that in order to beat the Cubs they have to play Cubs “former great prospects” and “has-beens” to beat them?? Sorry, it just seems like the Tyler Colvins, Ryan Flaherty’s, Tony Campana’s, Ryan Theriot’s, Ronnie Cedeno’s, and LeMaheui’s of the world find “their magic” against the Cubs.

    • PcB

      That’s just a dumb thing to say.

    • mudge

      You don’t need apostrophes on plurals.

    • caryatid62

      None of those players have ever been any good against the Cubs.

      • TWC

        Your tongue-in-cheek detector taking the night off, kid?

  • Justin

    So Travis Wood is pretty dominant these days. Never thought I would be saying that.. He has been the most pleasant surprise for me early in the year for sure. Whose to say that he can’t be better than a number 5 starter on a good team? Dude looks pretty legit to me. I love the fact that he can field, hit, and run the bases. Solid athlete..

    • mudge

      Who’s to say. Borrow an apostrophe from above.

      • Justin

        Thanks grammar police. I will make sure to verify with an MLA handbook before posting on here in the future…

        • Cyranojoe

          That would be much appreciated.

        • TWC

          After much debate, it was decided that we’d use the Chicago Manual of Style here. Your MLA handbook won’t do you much good, thanks.

  • Die hard

    So if Cubs are .500 at All Star break should they become buyers?

  • Kubphan82

    Ok, is it time to look at Wood like I want to look at him? He’s pitching like a dream of what I would have wanted outside of a couple starts last year… There’s NO WAY he gets bounced from this rotation or traded… TWood/Rizzo are Theo/Jed’s boys and proving to be exceptional trades… (I’m a lefty, maybe I have bias) TWood is exceptional and he should be a Cub for time to come.

    I love Shark, and being a ND fan only enhances that, but he has competition for the staffs current ACE. Not that either are true aces, but they could be a heckuva duo!

    • jt

      2010-2012 inclusive: Wood had 61 GS. His ERA for his best 48 starts (79%) earned and ERA SUBSTANTIALLY less than 3.00.
      His ERA for his other 13 starts sucked.
      Add the 8 of 8 quality starts he has had this year and that % of GS where he has given his team a great chance to win during his MLB career stands at 81%.
      That is 4 of 5 starts. Problem is that the 1 in 5 were the ones remembered.

  • Dustin S

    Dare we start talking All-Star chance for Wood?

    • Dynastyin2017

      Well, as it currently stands, who would better choice?

  • Koyie Hill Sucks

    What is Fujikawa doing in the game? , he is probably the best bullpen option after Russell and Gregg and he was used yesterday. 7 run leads are the best time to put marmol, camp or bowden in, preferably marmol…

    • Anonnifan

      I’m thinking they still need to see what we have in him. He’s coming off the DL, and they want to get some more looks at him so they can see if he is a legit high pressure option. Otherwise all you have is the lefty Russell. It’d be rough if he ends up flaming out in a tight game.

    • TWC

      Lulz. We have a 9 run lead and you people still shit on Sveum’s bullpen usage. It’d be comical if it wasn’t so juvenile.

      • Anonnifan

        Well, what you do with your Bullpen when you have a big lead can have impact on the following day. Don’t know if Fujikawa feels strong enough after coming off the DL to go three days in a row, but its a move worth questioning at least.

  • mudge

    Best time for Marmol is 7 runs behind.

  • RandomDan

    Totally agree, with 7 runs use Marmol so he doesn’t screw up a close game

  • Werner

    There is a typo in the game lineups. Says Todd Helton is playing. Surely they mean coaching. Or announcing. He’s at least 58 or so.

    • Koyie Hill Sucks

      I thought the same when I saw him bat, I didn’t know he was still playing…

  • willis

    Winner! 3 in a row. Yahtzee.

  • @cubsfantroy

    Where is Cubs1967? I haven’t heard about how bad the Marshall for Wood and Sappelt trade was.

    I’d like to hear what he has to say now.

    • TWC

      He was encouraged to find greener pastures.

    • Drew7

      *And* the only move he poo-poo’d more than that was the DDJ signing.

  • dan

    something funny is happening when the cubs get 3 or more runs i am expecting them to win