wrigley field from right bleachersMatt Garza will look to dominate Dusty Baker’s boys on the field, rather than in the boxing ring, tonight. He’s not facing Johnny Cueto, so there probably won’t be any drama. But if Tony Cingrani comes high and tight to Garza, so help me … well, I won’t really do anything. But I won’t be happy about it.

Game Info

Cincinnati Reds (38-26) at Chicago Cubs (25-36), 7:05 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

Tony Cingrani (2-0, 3.27 ERA, 4.34 FIP)


Matt Garza (1-0, 4.03 ERA, 3.56 FIP)

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. Ryan Hanigan, C

9. Tony Cingrani, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Darwin Barney, 2B

2. Cody Ransom, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Scott Hairston, RF

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Starlin Castro, SS

8. Ryan Sweeney, CF

9. Matt Garza, P

  • The Dude Abides

    Tonight we stop being the slump buster for our division rivals – Right??? Worst division record in baseball – we are the ugly chick in the bar.

    • cubmig

      ……after a quick few though……that “ugly” chick won’t be ugly, Hope a shoe-box full of runs for the Cubs will be the “quick few”……

    • The Dude Abides

      Nope we’re still the ugly chick every team in the division is looking for to bust out of their slump. Worse division record in MLB – silver lining over 500 excluding central…

  • mudge

    haar is Scots for mist, as it happens. good feeling about the offense tonight.

  • Cedlandrum

    interestingly enough the boise rosters have been updated and Juan Paniagua was not removed from their roster. I am sure it is an oversight. The other thing is that they have Jacob Rogers listed at 3rd.

  • Die hard

    Switch Barney with Castro and team wins

    • arta

      i would but Dale won’t.

    • Pat

      Do they have to score six runs also, or is it a one or the other sort of thing?

      • Die hard

        Drafting Bryant was step in that direction as 6 is magic run total… Guaranteed to 100 wins

        • Drew7

          Wow – you really went out on a limb there.

          Surely you understand that since 1961, only *3* teams have averaged 6 runs/game, right? Oh, and you know how many have done it in the post-steroid era? Exactly *zero*.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            How many were from before?

    • Ken

      Switch Barney with Rickey Henderson in his prime and they still lose..Are you kidding me!

  • willis

    Having Barney lead off is just…well not smart.

    • Hansman1982

      Ya know, last time you said this he went 5-6.

      • willis

        You’re onto me…but unfortunately tonight my reverse psychology isn’t working.

    • Voice of Reason

      And who could lead off that will make a difference?
      There are only four other teams with a worse record than our cubbies. It doesn’t matter who leads off cause thisbyear is a lost cause.
      Leading barney off will get him some more at bats which is what he needs. This season is over and we are going no where. The year is about developing the kids and part of that is getting barney some at bats so we can see what we have with him.

      • Rebuilding

        I agree with you VofR. Dale’s hand must recoil at having to write Barney’s name at the top, but as long as we’re going to stick with DeJesus sitting against lefties – who else in that lineup? At this point I might just stick Castro up there to get him 700 plate appearances to work on things

  • Cyranojoe

    It’s kind of surprising there hasn’t been more outrage over Scott Hairston. Dude’s well under the Mendoza Line and most of his outs are entirely unproductive, i.e., strikeouts like crazy. Seems like a good guy and all, but where’s the urgency to replace him/whatever?

    • Kyle

      Hairston’s strikeout rate is not out of the ordinary. He’s been hitting fine except for an unbelievably unlucky .117 BABIP. He’s fine.

    • hansman1982

      He K’s at a 20% rate which is in line with his career average and is slightly above average.

  • mudge

    Hairston hits a sac fly when you need one. He’s done fine.

  • willis

    Man I hate seeing Garza be hit like this. Hopefully he settles in and keeps this thing close.

    • Rebuilding

      Yeah. Really wanted Garza to throw 5-6 great starts to see if we could get anyone to bite. He hasn’t been bad, but honestly if the situation were reversed I’d be pissed if the Cubs gave up a significant prospect for him for potentially half a year

      • willis

        Exactly. And if you’re not going to get much for him, I don’t think there’s a reason to deal him. He’s still working off rust I’m sure. His stuff looks ok tonight, just a couple bad misses got smoked.

        • macpete22

          I was doing some thinking and everyone has been saying the Giants need starting pitching and if Garza can start to pitch well maybe there’s a fit there. Andrew Susac would be a good return for Garza I think. Susac would easily become the best catching prospect in the organization. The Giants have a real good farm system loaded with good pitching too

  • willis

    I mean Jesus Christ, this team is just the definition of bad luck. Hairston’s ball was smoked and stabbed, could have scored a run, and Castillo just hit one as hard as you can and Dick head Votto got it. Dammit it all.

  • Die hard

    Tonites game is milestone as will be 100 to play.. Would think or hope that FO would take stock and reassess

    • Dustin S

      It’s pretty much crunch time to go on a tear. I would say if by the end of the Cards series on the 21st they are still close at all to 15 games out (or worse), we can put any talk of not selling to bed. Not that I’d be happy about throwing in the towel on the season, I’ll just be glad to have a firm direction for the rest of 2013 season rather than the limbo we’re in now.

  • willis

    Is that really defense?

  • Peter

    Fucking asshole Garza looking to have little trade value, whatever the Cubs do, they should not extend him. Dickhead will ask for a significant amount of money which of course he does not deserve.

  • Rebuilding

    Barney reminding Phillips why he won the Gold Glove

  • willis

    Cubs aren’t getting shit for Garza. Dude is rattled and getting just crushed. Can’t help but feel bad with Hairston’s bozo play to start this inning. But he’s fallen apart.

    Dammit I hate the Reds.

    • macpete22

      Worst case scenario the Cubs use the qualifying offer and get the draft pick for Garza

  • Rebuilding

    The last 2 innings really show why it’s hard to quantify defense. You just can’t take into account the mental aspect that making a great/bad play has on a pitcher. Last inning Barney makes 2 really nice plays that if he doesn’t make who knows how many runs score. This inning Hairston let’s Garza down and complete meltdown. Almost impossible to quantify

    • Kyle

      Garza got rocked in innings without an error before.

      • Rebuilding

        Of course. But one play can make such a difference in “sequencing” as you like to say. If Votto isn’t on 3rd maybe he isn’t as careful with Phillips and doesn’t walk him. If he doesn’t walk Phillips then maybe he doesn’t groove one to Bruce and on and on. The permutations are too extensive to ever fully quantify

    • willis

      Hairston keeps that ball in front of him like any RF should, this is a totally different inning. But still, you got to keep it together if you’re Garza in that situation. It’s tough to watch.

  • Rich

    How’s that trade value looking for Garza

  • Dynastyin2017

    Cubs are not very good at baseball. Don’tg like basketball much, and the Hawks don’t play til Wednesday. Yuck.

  • willis

    This inning is awesome.

  • mudge

    well I didn’t specify which offense.

  • Geo

    Wake up a sleeping tiger?? Where the f is the tiger tonight garza you pos? Team full of insecure teenage girl chokers.

  • RY34

    What a fucking disgrace this entire team has become! 7-19 division record after tonight, two years away hell no, more like 5 years away at minimum

  • Geo

    I think there all getting high with dale, no twtw

  • mudge

    folks is cussin’ mad!

  • Geo

    I don’t think dale sveum is the answer. He has them all in a coma like trance ,he’s to way to laid back & slow. They need someone like kirt Gibson , no nonsence,will make you pay for your mistakes & keep you awake & on your toes. This guy is half dead,& it’s rubbing of on his players.

  • Rebuilding

    I wouldn’t mind flipping a pitcher to Washington for Tyler Moore. He’s struggled this year in limited playing time and got demoted, but he’s a 25 yo lefty masher

  • Geo

    Dale sveum is only there not to disturb the rebuild. Sandburg is to competitive & would have clashed with FO .

    • Ken

      Absolutely agree. I think he COULD be a good manager, but he is not the answer. once Theo has put his players out there he will get the RYTE guy to take them to the next level. And bring excitement and fans back to Wrigley.

  • Geo

    I see it clear as day now, slow manager picked over a winner Sandburg. Signing of 3 sp who hold more value than bp pitchers. A bullpen comprised of scrap heap leftovers. Orchestrated tank of 2013,& possibly 2014. Will not stress myself out anymore. I know what’s up.

  • DaveY

    How ’bout them Spurs.

  • mudge

    Sveum is nearly as new to ml managing as Rizzo is to the league. If he grows on the job, he’ll stay. He should stop thinking out loud to the media – zero sum game.