wrigley field from right bleachersTonight’s game is a national Fox game, which is cool if you’re in the right region for it. If you’re not, even MLB.tv blacks you out from this one (hooray Pirates v. Reds for me! … though if the Cubs keep winning, then a Pirates/Reds match-up actually would be of considerable interest to me).

Speaking of the Cubs winning, they’re going for number six in a row this evening. That would be sweet, and they’ve got the right guy – Jeff Samardzija – on the mound to pull it off.

Game Info

Arizona Diamondbacks (30-24) at Chicago Cubs (23-30), 6:15 CT on FOX.

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

Ian Kennedy (2-3, 4.70 ERA, 2.17 K/BB)


Jeff Samardzija (3-6, 2.85 ERA, 3.33 K/BB)

Arizona Diamondbacks Lineup

1. Gerardo Parra, RF

2. Didi Gregorius, SS

3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

4. Miguel Montero, C

5. Martin Prado, 3B

6. Jason Kubel, LF

7. A.J. Pollack, CF

8. Willie Bloomquist, 2B

9. Ian Kennedy, 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. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • kuvihorken

    why have the cubs not got on base for the past 5 innings…. i was getting used to 9 runs a game. oof.

  • mudge

    Russell should have started the 7th inning. Shark was laboring. Quirk should be fired.

    • Kyle

      Then we doubled down on gross stupidity by pulling Villanueva after two pitches so that we could give Carlos Marmol a high-leverage appearance.

      • Kyle

        And before anyone says it, no, this was not justified by Marmol having some decent stats in his last X appearances.

        • mudge

          Right on, Kyle. They blew the damn game.

        • HotRuta

          It’s not like you can’t see it coming when Marmol is about to disintegrate ,,,

      • turn two

        My thoughts exactly. Oh well it was fun feeling like we were in a pennant race for one night this season…fire sale it is.

        • YourResidentJag

          Except there most likely won’t be one. Unless you feel Feldman and DeJesus are a firesale….and maybe Garza…maybe.

      • YourResidentJag

        I forgot: Does Marmol still have trade value? :)

        • Kyle

          You know, after all this, I still bet you could get some very minor salary relief for him. Teams are stupid about relief pitching.

          • YourResidentJag

            The Angels resemble that remark 😉

      • BT

        Normally I get tired of people blaming the manager. However, in this case, it’s justified. There was no reason for Shark to start the 7th, and there was no reason to pull Villanueva. Both moves ended predictably.

        • Jeff

          Dale isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed

          • Jeff

            But i guess he wasn’t making the calls, just read he was tossed early in the game

  • Mark S


    • YourResidentJag

      I wonder if Shark is going to engage Marmol in a duel ala Dusty Baker style 😉

      • Mark S

        Marmol should get boo’d

        • YourResidentJag

          And Shark should kick his ass (and part of me really isn’t kidding) :)

  • Kyle

    OK, the idea that we lose close games/have negative variance because of management decisions is still crazy.

    But the management of the pitching staff was so horribly awful tonight that I’m willing to let it slide for 24 hours.

    • jt

      Close games are lost because of lack of depth.
      If they had a $9M RP’er who was good it would be a non-issue.
      The replacement value of the bench players has increased with many of the roster moves.
      But it is still not great.
      Players tire and get hurt. The greenie crutch is not longer there.

      • Kyle

        Like I said. I’ll allow this talk for 24 hours. Enjoy your reprieve.

        • jt

          At the season’s start I said they were not that bad. I listed a bunch of young players that were strongly heading in the direction of good.
          But there is not much in Iowa and there is not much in Tenn. that could be helpful this season; and it is a long season!
          How much will Schierholz, Castro, Rizzo, Valbuena, Wood, Feldman improve/regress? These guys are in unchartered waters at least for them.
          This is where Theo/Jed show their metal. This is where it gets interesting, at least from the POV of my seat in the peanut gallery.

  • BubblesHargrave

    this is the stupid shit that I’ve been talking about. why do they use this bum at all?

  • another JP

    Marmhole. Again. The Cubs can’t unload that goofy big-eared loser fast enough.

  • turn two

    Ive got an idea…lets play marmol in a close game.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Classic Marmol.

    • mudge

      It’s not Marmol’s fault. It’s the decision to A have Shark start the 7th, and B pull the highly competent Villanueva. That said, I wish they had the balls to just DFA the guy. 9.8 million bucks a year and you can’t throw a flippin’ strike.

      • YourResidentJag

        He is at fault though…he gave up the HR and probably tagged more points on Villaneuva’s ERA in the process. Yes, that wonderful ERA stat. Like you said…he can’t throw a flippin’ strike.

    • Jeff

      That’s just Marmol being Marmol

  • John

    Im not going to blame this on Marmol its the front office and the coaches I blame for not getting rid of him. Just release the guy.

  • 70’scub

    3 walks one hit and 3 runs in the 7th with our line one starter (shark)and top pen pitcher. The 8th is a basic Marmol job this goes back two years now just ask Qball! The FO should have moved Marmol and Shark has done a nice job increasing his trade value.

  • http://bleachernation.com ramy16

    Marmol…omg..if I was Shark..id be pissed knowing every time I go out..That I have to pitch 110-115 pitches to give my team a chance to win! Because our bull pen sux, theo and jed better look for arms for the bull pen

    • http://cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

      The bullpens incredible when we’re blowing teams out or getting blown out. It’s every time there’s a close game that someone blows it.

  • turn two

    Its funny coming into this game one could actually have convinced themselves we had a shot getting to.500. Then after a game like this you remember the front office literally is trying to lose to move up 10 spots on a draftfor a player that has about a10 percent chance of making it to the pros.

    • Kyle

      We absolutely still have a shot to get to .500. A pretty decent shot.

      This loss is maddening, but it only changes the percentages a small amount.

      • YourResidentJag

        But honestly, Kyle, do we want to be a .500 team? Not that I disagree with your positive remark….but after a season where the NL Central looks like the strongest division in MLB and there’s no way we will catch the Pirates, Reds, or Cards. Why? It’s not as though we will replicate this feat or do better than .500 next season with the same players. And if we do, great, less draft positioning. This team could go backwards next season with virtually the same team and then this team won’t most likely be here in 2015.

        • Kyle

          Yes, we want to be a .500 team. No, the Pirates especially are not impossible to catch.

          Yes, we could replicate the feat, and even do better, with the same players.

          Yes, finding good players who help you win baseball games is better than having better draft position and picking up some prospects.

          • turn two

            Agrer with all this except that we are capable of accomplishing it. I don’t think this team could be.500, though if be all for a.500 season.

          • YourResidentJag

            I don’t know. I’d rather have us suck, if we’re going to, and suck badly. Can’t say I agree about the Pirates. As far as replicating the feat next year, certainly possible. With same players, maybe or maybe not. In 2015, definitely not because the team make-up will be entirely different. Interested to know what you think about Appel, should the Cubs take him? Having that better draft position allows the organization to get him. Is he not a better, cheaper alternative to finding a good FA, given that he’ll probably make his first MLB start in 2014?

      • turn two

        Its not the math its the mindset, this is not a.500 team as it is constituted. We don’t know how to win, its why i want to keep some talent instead of trading for minor league lottery picks. good teams take time to learn hoe to win.

      • mudge

        I see loss streaks after managerial blunders. I see a different game than the sabermetricians. A team has a sort of group consciousness, it’s got to come together and there has to be trust. Barney’s injury was a managerial blunder. The game where Rondon came in for Garza was another. Managers affect more games that the sum of their traceable strategic decisions. People have minds. They’re more than a set of skills. Something’s off base with the pitching decisions. Too much on match-ups and not enough on how a guy is throwing that day. I got ridiculed here for saying Russell should pitch more innings, but sometimes a guy can throw two, two and a third and win a damn game for you, and then rest him. So maybe the guy’s in two games a week. But at least you’ve got that victory. The more pitchers you bring in, the more chance one will be off his game. And when that happens with nobody warming up, this is what we get. Villanueva’s used to throwing some innings, he could have pitched 7-8. Hoping I’m wrong but wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cubs get their asses kicked and make 3 errors tomorrow. Sabermetrics is entirely valid. But it’s incomplete and always will be. I’m going to bed so feel free to make a joke of all this bullshit about hearts and minds, but if those things don’t matter there’s no reason to love the game in the first place.

      • Dustin S

        This week Jed said that “50-60 games within the deadline” is the time teams start talking about their options. The Cubs now have 52 games left before the trade deadline.

        So if you’re the front office and evaluating options now, the team is 13.5 games out and .426, 4th in a division of 5 with 3 teams over .600, and they would still be 10 games out and in 4th place even if they could somehow scrap to .500. Most importantly, in February Theo bluntly said what he would do in this situation. Taking a step back and doing an honest assessment with all of that in mind, I wouldn’t put money on them choosing to go for .500 instead of the ‘trade-n-tank’ option.

        For open-minded discussion though here are my brainstorming pros for each that I can think of, but feel free to add if I’m missing something…it seems like a clear choice to me:

        ‘go for .500’:
        More wins=more fun games to watch
        More job security for Dale
        Attendance/ticket sales
        Momentum for 2014

        Prospects from trades
        Better draft position
        Larger draft bonus pool
        Protected 1st round draft pick (if bottom 10)

  • http://cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

    What’s wrong with the Cubs’ coaching staff? Are they getting pressure from the front office for God knows why to play Marmol? Is Ricketts too cheap to cut Marmol loose because of his high salary? Are the coaches just plain stupid?

    Carlos Marmol is a disaster waiting to happen, and the fact that he remains on the roster is an insult to Cubs fans who pay to go to games at Wrigley. MARMOL IS NOT A MAJOR LEAGUE QUALITY PLAYER ANYMORE. He can’t throw strikes, and his stuff isn’t even that fantastic anymore. I don’t want another slap on the wrist “HE WON’T BE PITCHING IN CLOSE GAMES FOR THE NEXT WEEK”. He needs to be gone. Designated for assignment.

    It kills me that we take Villanueva out after 2 pitches to put Marmol in in a tie game in the 8th. And then after he loads the bases with 2 walks and a ground rule double that would have blown the game if not for the ivy, NOBODY’S WARMING UP. I mean, what the hell?

  • 70’scub

    The Cardinal line one starter finish his game tonight the “W” stat matters for the top end starter. Just saying 2 wins for gods sake were in June already! Next generation line 1 Cub starter get here soon, please FO find and develop him!

  • kuvihorken

    watching the cubs makes me feel bad.

    • kuvihorken

      Putnam has electric stuff.

    • kuvihorken

      It is funny how Goldschmidt started off 0-3 with 3 strikeouts, and ended the game with 4 RBIs and 3 runs. This is the saddest I have been in so long.

  • http://cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

    The key now is bouncing back and getting the win tomorrow. This is a tough way to end a winning streak, but this team’s got to show some resilience. Too often this year the good stretches have been immediately followed by long losing streaks.

    If we win tomorrow, taking 2 of 3 from the NL-West leading Diamondbacks, even at home, is awfully good.

  • 70’scub

    8 walks in the 7th and 8th between Shark and Marmol! It’s the second third of the season. Sell Theo Sell!

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Great night on the farm. Baez 5-6 with a HR, 3 doubles, and 6 RBI. Soler 2-5 with a HR. Alcantara with another HR and a BB. Almora went 2-4.

    Question? Today Baez and Soler both homered in the same game. Is that the first time that’s happened?

  • 70’scub

    Russel now has 3 blown saves on pace to blow 9 saves this year.

  • http://cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

    At least the Blackhawks won and the Heat lost.

    • Vulcan

      It’s always a good day when you can at least say that…

  • Oswego chris

    Yikes! Glad I couldn’t stay awake to see the end…nice line for Putnam…

    Do Marmol a favor and DFA him…if he is going to ever be effective again it’s not going to be here, you would have ten days to do something(which would probably be nothing) and worst case scenario u are paying him for the rest of the season to go away… positive of that would be the guys in the locker room would get the impression that we r trying to win and not just build up Marmol’s non existent trade value….

    Okay, now back to bed…

    • MichiganGoat

      Agreed with the DFA his value is ZERO see if a team will take give a low ceiling minor league filler or just let him sit and collect a free check at home. As long as he’s not on the team we’re in a better place.