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great american ballparkI’m headed to tonight’s game with The Wife. With a two-year-old and a three-month-old, and with a couple kind grandparents to watch them, this is the closest thing we’ve had to a date in months.

That’s right: our first night out in months is a baseball game. I win.

If only the Cubs could also win …

Alfonso Soriano gets a night off in favor of Ryan Sweeney, tonight. Sweeney is slowly picking up more and more starts, and has positioned himself nicely to slide into the starting lineup if and when Soriano is traded (or David DeJesus or Nate Schierholtz).

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (18-28) at Cincinnati Reds (29-18), 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.

Starting Pitchers

Scott Feldman (4-3, 2.19 ERA, 2.17 K/BB)

versus

Bronson Arroyo (4-4, 3.28 ERA, 3.60 K/BB)

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. Xavier Paul, LF

8. Devin Mesoraco, C

9. Bronson Arroyo, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Ryan Sweeney, LF

5. Nate Schierholtz, RF

6. Luis Valbuena, 3B

7. Dioner Navarro, C

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Scott Feldman, P

  • Die hard

    Soriano pops off and is benched?

    • Carew

      He’s benched because he’s old and they need him as fresh as possible

      • Die hard

        Not that cold tho?

  • CeeDeeVee5811

    Brett, is your wife a Reds fan? I know that you have mentioned that her Dad is one.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    I’d rather have the Reds win the Central than the Brewers, Pirates, or Cardinals. But, of course, out of all the ballparks I’ve been to, the Reds fans give the Cubs’ fans the most $h1t.

    • fromthemitten

      I haven’t been to the Reds park, but my brother went to the one where Sosa hit his 500th HR. The worst I’ve ever been to was (surprise) Philly

  • Dustin S

    If you want to multi-task while watching the Cubs game, the University of San Diego (Kris Bryant) is playing right now at http://www.campusinsiders.com/network/wcc/videos/2399749049001. And guess who they just showed in the crowd, Theo.

    • Dustin S

      The rest of the Cubs FO is there also btw.

      • Jp3

        Interesting to see what kind of day he has in front of the big guys. Let us know how he does Dustin

        • Dustin S

          1 for 4, 1 IBB, 2R, 1 SB…not bad considering he was pitched around quite a bit. One game wouldn’t change the draft decision making, but thought I’d pass it along.

          It was good to see that the Cubs front office was all there. The announcers mentioned early in the game what must be going through Bryant’s mind with the Cubs top brass looking on and showed them close-up. We know they’ve already talked with Gray, so I would be interested to know if they’ve gone to see/talk with Appel recently too.

          Also, USD plays yet again (3rd game today) at 10:10 CT tonight and it will also be broadcast online. If they lose that game, that is the last game they will play prior to the draft. So it might be the last chance to see Bryant before decision time.

          • Jp3

            Thanks Dustin, good stuff

            • Dustin S

              No problem. In the final game of the night Bryant had a ~400 foot HR to left-center. USD won the game.

              So that means they will be playing for the WCC Championship tomorrow night which will televised live on ESPNU at 7pm PT. That will be the last game for USD and Kris Bryant before the draft.

              I’ll also throw in my very non-pro take on him after watching Bryant play in a couple games tonight. He sprays the ball to all fields, has a good eye for a power hitter, and already has scary power for a guy that has a lot of filling out yet to do. His arm is strong, and he also is one of those sneaky fast guys on the bases. If I had to be critical of anything, I can see where scouts are thinking he’d at best be an average defensive 3B, and it seems a lot more likely that he’d end up as a RF in the majors.

    • DarthHater

      Just watched Bryant hit a pop fly. He obviously sucks. Don’t draft him. :-P

      • X The Cubs Fan

        I don’t think he can stay at 3B so we shouldn’t draft him, we have too many 80 grade power outfield prospects/ starters. (i’m not really good at sarcasm but you get the point.

        • Jp3

          ). 😝

        • Mark S

          USF pitcher just intentionally walked him to load the bases. Nobody wants to pitch to him.

      • Jp3

        Almora K’d once tonight so I think we should cut him too.

  • Don

    After Feldman’s HR tonight, Cubs pitchers have as many RBI’s as Soriano!

    • Koyie Hill Sucks

      But that’s just bad luck for Soriano…

  • Die hard

    Shaping up to be another curse of the 6 game- this team is built to fail– need another big banger like Bryant

  • Kyle

    What a perfect example of how bad bullpens don’t directly link to close losses.

    This would be in line for a one-run loss with a good bullpen (and/or good pen management). Now it’s 7-4

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Bsteady

    Sveum should’ve let Rondon throw his 1 shutdown inning and be done. As a rookie that’s a good outing, and something to build on. He shouldn’t of brought him out for a 2nd inning against the heart of the lineup.

  • Mr.Boring

    Just catching up after a week of traveling. Keep buying beers and hot dogs to this this circus. Enjoy wasting your $. FO is playing for top draft picks and hopefully trading “has-beens”, for crappy prospects…………. thankfully you watched them this week instead of me.

    Oh wait, please keep going to the games………… it might make the owners more money so they can keep selling this lemon. What a joke.

    Cubs fans….Stop going to the games! It’s not rocket science. Make a stand against the Rickett’s. and Theo/hoyer. THIS IS CRAP.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Bsteady

    Unless Bryant is MLB ready we need to take Appel. We should’ve jumped at the trade of S.Castro for J.Upton. Hate to accept it but (WHOA CASTRO WALKED)Castro is only going to be a .280 hitter with average, at best, defense.

    • Kyle

      I’m not gonna lie, Castro for Upton kind of hurts in retrospect.

      • Voice of Reason

        Be patient with Castro.

        Even if he can hit .290 consistently that would be solid.

        Its hard to find a quality shortstop and we just might have one in Castro. Be patient.

        On the other hand, outfielders are easier to find through free agency, etc.

        Upton is playing well know, but there is a reason why Arizona unloaded a young outfielder who was putting up numbers comparable to Willie mays at that stage of his career.

        I’m sure how is a troublemaker like his brother.

        • Voice of Reason

          That should say I’m sure he is a troublemaker like his brother.

    • ari gold

      That’s easy to say now, but not over this winter.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Bsteady

    It wasn’t as easy. But we knew how bad he chased balls. SWINGING AT EVERYdamnTHING!!

  • Bsteady

    Troublemaker?!? Patient I can be. He’s gotten worse V.O.R. Baez will be better than SC

  • Bsteady

    I have no idea how you can say JU is a troublemaker. He and his brother have the Braves in first place. There’s no argument; Theo and company should have jumped all over Justin Upton for Starlin Castro. But, such is life as a Cubs fan.

    • Jp3

      Yeah I thought we got a steal with Casto’s contract to make it worth it but now we’ve got a SS who makes a shit ton of errors and hits .270\.300obp meh

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