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angels stadiumAfter a near season-long slump, Starlin Castro has finally been bumped down in the order. He’ll bat seventh tonight, with better-OBP-option Luis Valbuena moving up to number two. Maybe the move will help Castro feel less pressure, and get back to doing what he does best: hitting line drives.

Scott Feldman faces a relatively tough lineup tonight, and the Cubs face a relatively tough pitcher.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (23-32) at Anaheim Angels (25-33), 9:05 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 (5-4, 2.82 ERA, 3.92 FIP)

versus

Jered Weaver (1-1, 3.71 ERA, 4.30 FIP)

Anaheim Angels Lineup

1. Erick Aybar, SS

2. Mike Trout, CF

3. Albert Pujols, 1B

4. Mark Trumbo, DH

5. Josh Hamilton, RF

6. Howie Kendrick, 2B

7. Alberto Callaspo, 3B

8. Chris Iannetta, C

9. J.B. Shuck, LF

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Luis Valbuena, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, DH

5. Nate Schierholtz, RF

6. Ryan Sweeney, LF

7. Starlin Castro, SS

8. Welington Castillo, C

9. Darwin Barney, 2B

  • nkniacc13

    I don’t mind this lineup

  • YourResidentJag

    We face Weaver. Should be a good SP matchup as far as the Angels go.

  • Die hard

    Whoa! Castro not 2nd

  • mudge

    Good move.

    • Die hard

      Bad move– less strikes to swing at

  • Rcleven

    Sveum must be reading BN. We discussed moving Castro down in the order just the other day.

    • JOE

      I’m pretty sure if Sveum and the front office spent more time reading BN we’d be back-to-back-to-back-to-back World Champs right now…. just sayin’

    • Die hard

      Don’t think so– like preview of own obituary

      • cubchymyst

        That worked out okay for Alfred Nobel

    • JOE

      [img]http://www.sheldonshirts.com/wp-content/uploads/wasthatsarcasm.jpg[/img]

  • cubmig

    Castro was allowed ample, generous wait-time to get his hit-knack back. He just couldn’t deliver. It was a no-brainer. Glad the move down finally happened. If he’s the kind of talent who’s not exhausted his resiliency, he’ll find his way back to the two-spot.

    • Blublud

      I think someone mentioned this earlier. Castro needs to go back to being more aggressive. The first 2 years of Castro were pretty damn good. He is who he is. When you try to change a player, sometimes it can backfire. I think the same can be said for big Z. When the team tried to change his “controlled anger” it worked, until he let it all build up and then exploded a couple times. I think it also hurt his pitching. Sometime, guys just need to play instead of thinking to much.

  • cooter

    it’s funny how schierholtz is in the top 3 for average hrs and rbis with only part time play. I know and I know that he usually only hits against right handed pitching but maybe we should give him more of a chance against lefties. Oh yah, I will never ever again say Marmol is quietly doing better. I jinxed the crap out of that one.

  • Kenster

    Off topic but I know Jed and theo like to stockpile on bullpen arms and Washington just DFAd Henry Rodriguez and he’s got some heat. He also got some save opportunities a few years ago. I was surprised he got let go but I guess the Nats are that good. Cubs going to try and snatch him off waivers?

  • cubchymyst

    I’d like to see Castro get a day off. I am assuming if Castro gets the day off Barney moves to short and Valbuena covers 2nd with Ransom at 3rd.

    • Die hard

      No!!!! His back is stiff and belongs on DL for 15 with 15 game rehab inAAA for some tough love as some brilliant BN er suggested several days ago

  • Alex

    Someone defiently suggested this lineup in the comments yesterday. Props to whoever

    • Die hard

      Two wrongs don’t make idea right– consider will be pitched around to get to 8 and pitcher– but if lead off then have to pitch to him where he’s most relaxed and self confident

  • Rebuilding

    I’m beating a dead horse, but I really hope that being out of the 2 hole causes Castro to go back to just being a free-swinger. He has taken so many first pitch fastballs right down the middle this year. I actually commend him for it because he’s trying to be patient. But he’s never going to be a patient hitter. Just swing at what looks good, even if not perfect, as that’s what got him to the show at 20

  • Rebuilding

    Alcantera with 2 more doubles tonight. A 21 yo, switch hitting, SS batting 3rd in AA with around an 850 OPS. I hope more people start to get excited

    • Kyle

      I think I’ve got him as the No. 4 prospect right now, to be bumped to No. 5 after the draft.

    • willis

      Was about to post about his night and Szczur’s night. They are doing it big. Great to see. And yeah Alcantara’s numbers are something to get excited about. Kid is all kinds of good.

  • Rebuilding

    A line-up of:

    2b – Alcantera
    SS – Castro
    1b – Rizzo
    LF – Bryant
    RF – Soler
    3b – Baez
    CF – Almora
    C – Castillo

    Might hit 250 home runs and be completely cost controlled or signed to team friendly contracts. It won’t happen exactly this way, but we have a lot to look forward to

  • another JP

    Um… seems like a certain poster around here’s been suggesting this very change in the batting order for a couple weeks now. Maybe Dale does read BN–

  • Njriv

    Hopefully Rizzo starts picking it up, because he’s probably next in line to move down in the order, or a day off.

  • Ben

    Does anyone know why it says I can’t reply in the game thread?

  • Rcleven

    Set up an new account.

  • willis

    Uh-oh…this could get ugly fast. Nice defensive lapse by Castro. I’m praying for only one or two here for the Angels.

  • @cubsfantroy

    Is anyone else having problems with WGN going in and out? Or is it just me?

  • willis

    Hell yes Soriano! Cubs looking patient at the plate, which you have to do against Weaver.

    @cubsfantroy-no issues with WGN for me.

  • handy

    Did anyone see the sports center report where Braun and 19 others are getting suspended

    • @cubsfantroy

      There is a whole story on it and discussion going on already. It is the top story here right now.

  • JOE

    Loving the Ryan Sweeney signing btw

    • Rebuilding

      With regards to Sweeney – one thing that should give us hope is that they really have had a relatively high hit rate on dumpster diving

  • willis

    God dammit. You have to go get him. And just hold on for the disaster that is the pen.

    • Jp3

      PUT MARMOL IN!!!!

      ***ducks***

  • Jp3

    Hate to change the subject but Baez was HBP twice tonight, I’m sure this wont be the last time he gets plunked twice in a game. That man’s got BellyFire for days

  • Ben

    Wow. Nice job James!

  • willis

    Great job by Russell. Absolutely huge.

    Need to find a way to manufacture an insurance run or two.

  • Rebuilding

    I would like to see them keep Russell. He’s one of the Top 5 leftys in the game right now. However, if they can get get another Travis Wood then you have to do it

    • willis

      I concur. I don’t think that whatever the cubs could get for Russell, would come close to the value he brings this team. Unless of course it’s a big package. But I love him out of that pen.

  • Rebuilding

    I like Villanueva in the 8th. I won’t gripe if he blows the lead

    • Rebuilding

      I changed my mind. Damn – oh well

      • Kyle

        This is what we’re talking about when we say that even when Sveum does it right, it still blows up in his face.

        • Rebuilding

          Best of the worst options. Russell/Villanueva/Gregg is fine with me. It just didnt work out

        • willis

          I would have kept Russell in there. His stuff is better against this lineup. I said as much on the MB as soon as the pitching changed was announced.

          Too bad, this loss stings.

          • Rebuilding

            Against Pujols? Honestly, I would have complained if Sveum didn’t bring in Villanueva in that situation if Russell was in inning 2

            • willis

              Not necessarily that matchup, but to start the inning at least. He was cruising and locating very well tonight. I didn’t like taking him out like that. Now I don’t mind the Villanueva/Pujols matchup, but the pitch selection was terrible. He was sitting all over that.

  • Jp3

    You jinxed the shit out of him, go figure, Puljos looks good as new facing us

  • Rebuilding

    Btw…I like DeShais, but he better not take too many nights off. Hollandsworth has about ten times more personality

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