wrigley field from right bleachersIt’s been a rough week for the Cubs, it seems, and they need Jeff Samardzija to help stop the bleeding. Then again, Travis Wood pitched well yesterday, and there’s only so much you can do when the Cubs score zero.

Game Info

Pittsburgh Pirates (36-25) at Chicago Cubs (24-34), 3:05 CT on CSN.

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

A.J. Burnett (3-6, 3.22 ERA, 3.21 FIP)


Jeff Samardzija (3-6, 2.96 ERA, 3.06 FIP)

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. Starling Marte, LF

2. Travis Snider, RF

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Garrett Jones, 1B

5. Russell Martin, C

6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B

7. Neil Walker, 2B

8. Clint Barmes, SS

9. AJ Burnett, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Luis Valbuena, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Nate Schierholtz, RF

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Starlin Castro, SS

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • another JP

    Two homers by Stewie @ Iowa today. In other news a bear coming out of hibernation was shot in the Twin Cities this week.

    • Jp3

      Something about a blind hog finds an acre every now and then… Fredo is dead to me.

  • 5412


    Glad to hear about Stewart. We need all the ammunition we can muster, if nothing else but for trades. Hope some big boy 3b’s go down.


    • Jp3

      We’d better act fast then, if there is one thing Stewie is good at, it’s getting out of the lineup

  • Jason P

    Huge crowd today – possibly bigger than opening day. Cubs offense has beem hitting it hard but right at fielder.

  • mudge

    It’s no BABIP day at Wrigley. Get your no BABIP Bobblehead doll.

  • Big Joe

    Rizzo and Castro both hitting around .250. Neither showing signs of an upward trend. Both guys need a day(s) off. I realize that a stronger lineup would get Rizzo better pitches to hit. I realize that a stronger lineup would give Castro a better change to succeed, at the top of the order. I also believe that a lot of folks are starting to get a little nervous, watching these two guys struggle. Myself? I can hear that little voice in the back of my head…again…and I don’t like it.

    • Drew7

      Except Rizzo isn’t struggling…

      • Big Joe

        I would disagree with that.
        He’s batting .254. He’s 3-17 in the last week, or .176 (for the month of June).
        He’s 1 for 25, vs the Pirates this year. That’s .o40 avg.
        I’d say he’s struggling.
        I’d say that this series represents a perfect time to sit him a game or two.


      • Big Joe

        He’s 0-2 today, with a K, and 2 left on base.
        Make that 3-19 in June.
        1-27 vs. the Pirates.
        Yeah, you’re right. Keep playing him.

        • Drew7

          19 AB’s in June?

          Yeah, you’re right – that matters.

          • Big Joe

            When he’s batting .254 to start the day, and is 0-2 currently, yeah…it matters.
            As I included, he started the day 1-25 vs the Pirates, with 7 Ks. He’s slugging .160, with an OPS of .332 vs the Pirates.
            Again, the perfect time for rest, reflection, and some hitting instruction & work in the cage. If you can’t see that, I can’t help you.
            Am I giving up on the guy? Hell no. I think he’ll eventually be fine. But, now??? Sit a game, against a team you haven’t done A THING against.
            It can’t hurt. It might not help the guy, but really, how can it hurt?
            He’s struggling, by anyone’s definition.

        • Drew7

          And how do his games against the Pirates from earlier in the year speak to how he’s hitting now?

          • Big Joe

            Well, since he’s hitless, I’d say those games are very telling. The trend continues. But, as you pointed out, he’s not struggling. No, not at all.

          • Big Joe

            And, I’ve given a link, and about all the stats I can find. Why don’t YOU support your position. Show me how he’s not struggling? Why SHOULDN’T he sit?

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              OPS: .809 OPS+: 117

              Last 7 days sOPS+ of 95
              Last 14 days sOPS+ of 110


              • Rebuilding

                Unfortunately that OPS has dropped from about .870. I think we all expect more than slightly above league average from one of the cornerstones. Obviously, he adjusted and the league has adjusted back. I can’t remember the last ball he hit hard

  • Rebuilding

    The best news recently, other than drafting Bryant, is that the Dodgers are playing better. They are desperate for pitching. Joc Pederson is tearing up AA as the youngest player in the league with no place to play in LA. Garza = Pederson

    • King Jeff

      Would love to see him involved if the Dodgers decide to move him, but it seems that their front office is very high on him and want him to get in more time in the minors. Then again, this is the Dodgers we are talking about and if they are close enough, they might go all in again.

  • Rebuilding

    Colletti is the perfect guy to rob. He’s a bad GM on the hot seat. No playoffs this year and he’s done. They are more than all in

  • Oswego chris

    Wow…glad I turned this game on…awful….

    Worst offensive team ever…

    • Big Joe

      Don’t try to talk anyone into the idea that certain players on this team are struggling. No one will believe you.

      • Hansman1982

        Until they show you the OPS stats from the past 2 weeks. But hey…batting average is useful.

        • Rebuilding

          Here comes Hansman to save the day. Do you honestly think he has looked good at the plate the last 2-3 weeks? OPS+ of 95? I don’t really think what he said was that controversial

          • Hansman1982

            I havent seen him…then again I don’t care if they sit him or not he did just get a day off a few days ago.

            Then again, the people who weren’t agreeing with the struggling bit were pointing out that he hasn been struggling as bad as the BA suggests.

    • RY

      Totally agree, they give new meaning to worthless with the bats, absolute embarrassment!

  • Rebuilding

    I don’t see how anyone can argue that either Castro or Rizzo haven’t been struggling the last 2-3 weeks. This isn’t about BABIP luck. I think between them their LD% has been about 1% recently

  • Big Joe

    Try telling that to some folks.