great american ballparkHopefully today’s game is more enjoyable than yesterday’s. Maybe I’ll have a beer or two to spur along the process.

Travis Wood is the closest thing the Cubs have to a stopper this year – he’s working on a nine-game quality start streak – so, if the five-game losing streak is going to come to an end today, I reckon he’s going to play a big part.

Hopefully only his arm is required.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (18-29) at Cincinnati Reds (30-18), 3:10 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

Travis Wood (4-2, 2.24 ERA, 2.05 K/BB)


Homer Bailey (2-3, 3.09 ERA, 3.67 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. Derrick Robinson, LF

8. Ryan Hanigan, C

9. Homer Bailey, 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. Travis Wood, P

  • Die hard

    Same old same old — Sveum just doesn’t get it — he should take a few days off …

    • Voice of Reason

      What should he do differently?

      What should the cubs record be?

      • Jeffrey Wilson

        Last Time I Checked, The Manager Doesn’t Play On The Field. There Isn’t A Human On The Planet Who Could Manage This Team Any Better. He Can’t Make His AAAA Players All-Stars.

        • Daniel

          Oh god. Learn to type. It’s hard to read. I know I sounds like I’m being a dick, but I don’t mean for it to sound that way. It’s just hard to read.

          • Crazyhorse

            If your panties are sticking over 32 words get some olive oil.

          • Jeffrey Wilson

            I Know, Sorry, I Hate It Too, It Is An Android Problem.

      • Die hard

        Shake up the lineup — anything but what hasn’t been working … Bat Castro 7th Valbuena lead off Barney 2nd Sweeney Rizzo Soriano 345 Hairston 8

  • Crazyhorse

    Yes , a manager can control certain events on the field as well as his coaches. batting lineups and bullpen rotations . when to yank a starter or sit a player. Hit and run situations calling for pitchouts and / or double steals . and if your team plays a a quarter of the season behaving and performing like triple A plus an extra A , It is time to find a manager that expects and produces major league talent.

    But you are correct if the manager has no accountabilty because he is not on the field – how can one expect the player to be accountable.

    • Pat

      Yeah, how hard can it be to manage the bullpen? Just don’t use your two most experienced releivers (Marmol and Camp), or Bowden, or Rondon. Any idiot should be able to figure out how to get three plus innings out of Russell on a daily basis.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      If managers could cause the differences between the Cubs W-L record and the Cubs peripherals, then we would have seen examples of teams underperforming by this much over the years. After all, there have been some really bad managers in MLB over the last 50 years. However, we don’t. Moreover, some of the things that you suggest (stealing, hit and runs, etc.) show almost no correlation with winning.

      This Cubs team has some big flaws. #1, they do not draw walks. (They are OK at restricting walks, but that’s only half the battle.) Not drawing walks means that you need a lot of hits to get guys home: and unless your team K’s a ridiculously low amount OR hits a ridiculous number of HRs, that’s not going to happen.

      #2, this bullpen flat out sucks. If you were to ask the opposing batter to choose which Cubs reliever he wants to face, he would just grin and say: “surprise me!” (I swear that I hear the opposing crowds hum “Hurts so Good” every time a Cubs reliever comes into the game: but that might be my imagination.)

  • Myles

    The only thing I’ll be looking for in this game is a Travis Wood homerun. Go Cubs goooooo

  • cooter

    I agree, try something different. something!

  • cubzfan23

    I agree with the days off. maybe Castro and Rizzo need a day off. it couldn’t hurt, worst that could happen is lose another game.

  • Schrodinger’s Cat

    Hi, I’m new. I just wanted to add something that angers me the most. I realize that the Cubs’ record does have a lot to due with being a bit unlucky at times, but right now they are dead last in the league in walks. The Oakland A’s have 96 more walks than the Cubs. If the Cubs had 200 walks at this point of the season, they would be close to the .500 mark. I understand that the Cubs don’t have the personnel that can prolong at-bats, foul pitches away, have good-eyes, etc, but I just don’t understand why there isn’t this emphasis on patience at the plate or selective hitting. Cubs were 27th in the league last year in walks and I thought this year we would see some quick improvement, but it doesn’t seem to be trending that way at all. Has the Cubs FO been asked about this? or are the Cubs hitters that bad that it won’t really matter until the real prospects get here? I just don’t understand why they have to be dead last in the league in walks.

    • Die hard

      Sveum is proving that Quade was not that bad

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I think that you answered your own question! It’s a matter of the players, not the coaching. The Sox didn’t get a system full of guys with good batting eyes by teaching players to be patient, etc.: they got that system by drafting and otherwise signing guys who had good batting eyes as amateurs.

      As it is, opposing pitchers know that they can get many of the Cubs starters to make poor (or no) contact on pitches outside of the strike zone. So, that is where they target their pitches.

    • Smackafilieyo

      Someone has to be last….why not the cubs? Haha, j/k….I agree with you. Bad bullpen early in the season, no walks, bad at RISP = CUBS position

    • Kramden

      It won’t really matter until the real prospects get here…..

      Probably best in the long run to keep getting real prospects.

  • Die hard

    Quade had light years more managing experience than Sveum who didn’t manage in minors and only a few games in 2008 for Brewers — also Sveum was not that much of a major leaguer having played for half dozen teams over a few years batting .230 or so and coached awhile for Brewers and Red Sox — this explains why he’s not making right moves as lacks experience

  • Rich H

    I just want to point out that there has been a number of first and second year managers that have struggled early in the W/L department and in what seems like game day decisions only to be HOF managers by the time it is all said and done. Lets give Sveum some time (and hopefully talent) before we get too worked up over what we think is his lack of experience.

  • BT

    Rizzo was 0-23 before that hit and Soriano has now knocked in 12 runners that were not himself and it’s almost the end of May. These are clearly reasons why Sveum is a bad manager.

  • turn two

    My biggest problem with this team is that we are carried by starting pitching. It makes us look better than last years team. However we will be trading most of those guys for lottery tickets. When they are gone the big league team can’t hit, has no bullpen and will have terrible starting pitching. We will have regressed from last years terrible team to a ridiculously bad one at the price of a few more lottery tickets. At the same time, most of these starters are on career years and not worth keeping for the long run.

    • nkniacc13

      I think it will be interesting to see who they trade as im not sure they will trade more than 2 starters and if they don’t move Villanueva then they would only need to fill 1 spot in their rotation

  • nkniacc13

    Looks like the Mets top pitching prospect could make his major league debut at Chicago in mid june

    • #1lahairfan

      I think Wheeler might come up in the next couple of weeks.

  • Rizzo44

    Seriously, every umpire in the mlb is terrible… Rizzo was safe at 2nd there and the whole game and every game I watch I see them miss so many ball/strike calls. Not just against the Cubs, but for both teams..

  • Die hard

    Shaping up to be yet another we need 6 runs game– sigh! Theo must be run deaf

    • Dynastyin2017

      Yes, we should emulate all the other teams that are scoring 6 runs a game.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    In Kane County first game of DH today Almora with 3 more hits including a 2 RBI double. He is now hitting . 611 I think he may be moving up to Daytona sooner than later.

  • Dustin S

    Today makes the Cubs 8-14 for the month of May. Not a good way to avoid a selloff.