wrigley field from right bleachersTravis Wood has been nothing but quality starts this year … except for one start against these Reds. Freaking Reds.

Wood and Leake, whose careers have had a fair bit of interplay as they joined the Reds’ rotation around the same time (confession: in those early days of their careers, I mixed the two up all the time), have amazingly similar numbers this year.

Alfonso Soriano gets the day off today, in favor of Ryan Sweeney, who bats cleanup.

Game Info

Cincinnati Reds (39-26) at Chicago Cubs (25-37), 1:20 CT on CSN, MLBN.

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

Mike Leake (5-3, 2.93 ERA, 3.54 FIP)


Travis Wood (5-4, 2.65 ERA, 3.50 FIP)

Cincinnati Reds Lineup

1. Derrick Robinson, LF

2. Shin-Soo Choo, CF

3. Joey Votto, 1B

4. Brandon Phillips, 2B

5. Jay Bruce, RF

6. Todd Frazier, 3B

7. Devin Mesoraco, C

8. Cesar Izturis, SS

9. Mike Leake, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Luis Valbuena, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Ryan Sweeney, LF

5. Nate Schierholtz, RF

6. Starlin Castro, SS

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Travis Wood, P

  • Arkansas Cub

    I love seeing Sweeney in the lineup. I think we need to find a way to get him in there every day. I see a lot of talent and potential with him.

    • Rich H

      How can a late 20’s reserve outfielder have a lot of potential? When used properly guys like Sweeney are productive. When not used properly they become a lot like LaHair last year. Not saying Sweeney is a 4A player but he is not an everyday player at all.

      • gocatsgo2003

        Because he’s still only 28 and Theo’s “prime years” adage is from roughly 26 to 32? Because he posted consecutive seasons of a 100 OPS+ in Oakland in his 23 and 24 years? Because he had a 92 OPS+ in 2011 in Oakland the last time he played any kind of regular innings in his 26 year? Because he’s putting up .345/.400/.509 with a 146 OPS+ in the bigs so far this year?

        Also not sure what you mean by “when used properly.” There’s no discernable platoon going on with Sweeney (36 PAs against RHP, 24 aganist LHP) and he has played all over the outfield (39 innings in LF, 53.1 innings in CF, 15.1 innings in RF with the caveat that I’m not sure how pinch hit appearances count in defensive inning tallies).

  • randy jones

    I am all for seeing Sweeney play more. The Cubs are not going anywhere this year. Lets see what some of these other guys have. Sori will hopefuly be gone by the deadline so maybe Sweeney can pick up much of that playing time.

  • Idaho Razorback

    Just to let everybody know, I have no idea who Arkansas Cub is, nor have I ever met him/her.

  • Idaho Razorback

    Ohio Gatorade High School Player of the year will not sign with the Reds.

    • Timothy Scarbrough

      Go Hogs.

  • SirCub

    Huh. So much for the lefty-righty thing.

  • bbmoney

    And go ahead and start pouring….quickly if you please.

  • Brian

    When is it time to send Rowson packing? Doesn’t seem like we have a hitting coach that can help bring guys out of these slumps. Totally weak contact being made all around. No one is barrelling the ball up.

    • RY

      send em all packing, this team is such a disgrace! same shit different day!

    • cas-castro

      Aren’t the cubs leading the league in extra base hits?

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Not quite: they are 2nd behind the Rockies (219 vs. 203). The Cubs also trail the Braves in isolate slugging: the Braves have hit 22 more HR despite having 15 few extra base hits. So, clearly the batting coaches are not hurting the Cubs ability to drive the ball.

        The Cubs also are doing well with K’s: only 4 teams have K’ed fewer times. Coaching could help there, so that suggests that coaching is not the problem.

        Unfortunately, the Cubs are tied for last with the Marlins (which makes them last among MLB teams in the NL) in walks drawn. No one has discovered away to improve this through coaching and although that is unfortunate, t also means that the batting coach is not to blame.

  • KidCubbie

    I love the Cubs but I am really tired of watching Rizzo and Castro go 0-4. I just wish one of them would breakout of it already.

  • Dynastyin2017

    For those of you who need a distraction from the Cubs game, Baseball America just named Kris Bryant their college player of the year. The write up will make you feel good he is a Cub.

    • another JP

      Thankfully we’re getting great news on our prospects this week, because the Cub lineup is in full June swoon mode right now. I hate losing to Cincy this way.