busch stadiumAnthony Rizzo gets his first day off today, and Cody Ransom – as the only backup infielder on the roster – will fill in at first base. That’s probably why Starlin Castro can’t also get a day off today, but maybe it’s finally coming.

Jeff Samardzija faces Adam Wainwright tonight, which is a lot of awesomeness. Here’s hoping Samardzija outclasses Wainwright by a mile. The latter has been absurdly good this year after signing a long-term extension because, you know, Cardinals.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (28-40) at St. Louis Cardinals (45-25), 7:15 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

Jeff Samardzija (3-7, 3.46 ERA, 3.07 FIP)


Adam Wainwright (10-3, 2.18 ERA, 1.78 FIP)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Matt Carpenter, 2B

2. Carlos Beltran, RF

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Allen Craig, 1B

5. Yadier Molina, C

6. David Freese, 3B

7. Jon Jay, CF

8. Pete Kozma, SS

9. Adam Wainwright, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Luis Valbuena, 3B

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Nate Schierholtz, RF

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Ryan Sweeney, CF

6. Cody Ransom, 1B

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • willis

    Holy God the difference in these two lineups…but Rizzo needs a break, so we can’t argue it. Wainright has to be licking his chops right about now. He can attack all night and guarantee a QS. Yikes.

    • cub2014

      willis, looks like wainright better quit attacking
      the strike zone!!!!!

    • DarthHater

      Yea, what you talkin’ ’bout, willis?

    • Timothy Scarbrough

      I don’t think he can guarantee a quality start.

      • willis

        I must say, this is nice to see. The way that guy has been throwing…pretty amazing. I’m down.

  • CubsFanSaxMan

    I am at tonight’s game sitting near the Cubs bullpen. Maybe I can inspire them. Better yet maybe the bullpen won’t be needed.

    • DarthHater

      Maybe you can handcuff Marmol to the bullpen gate.

  • Cubes

    man thank god we got Rizzo last year… our lineup looks so sad

    • OCCubFan

      How does it look now?

  • Rebuilding

    Offensive outburst. Wow

  • KidCubbie

    Back to back jimmy jacks!

  • DarthHater

    LOL at Cubs’ new power lineup. Man, that Sveum is a friggin’ genius! 😛

    • baldtaxguy

      “Terrible manager, relying on the homerun. Taking your best player out of the lineup, rookie manager mistake, Sveum’s gotta go, just a bench coach at best. Probably with a lead will NOT use Marmol, Sveum will be gone before the Cubs are any good. Someone explain to me why Ransom is playing first!!!!!!!”


      Don’t want the debbie downers to lose any momentum….

      • TWC

        Think you nailed it. Well done.

  • cub2014

    Start taking offers for Ransom he is having
    a career year in only 3 months.

    • Rudy

      So I know SSS and all but in a little more than a full years worth of PAs (777) Ransom has 29 HRs and more recently in his last two seasons (378 PAs) he has 19 HRs. Lol, that comes out to a 30-35 HR guy, lol. Too bad he’s 37. He might actually be worth giving a full time job to. Maybe some team will see this and give him a chance.

      • Rudy

        *761 PAs that is for his career

  • Big Joe

    Rizzo gets a day off. Good for him.
    In an interview, he said that he has been, indeed, “struggling”. He also said that, while he has been walking, his job is to drive in runs, and he hasn’t been doing that. He also admitted that his confidence has been down a bit.
    Where have I heard that??? Oh, yeah.
    Good luck, Mr. Rizzo. I believe the off day just might do wonders for you. I think you’ve be just fine in the long run.

  • Chris S

    Brett – I think you touched on this.. but when the hell did Molina become so freakin’ good.. Seriously!? He’s hittin’ over .360 now? Hopefully Barney can follow this mold!!! They all loved him for his defense and now all the sudden he’s a batting champ? I don’t get it. As much as I hate to say it, good for him. I never liked him, but whatevs. He’s a Cardinal. Arggghhh.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      heh, it’s called a 0.385 BABiP. That said, Molina has been a good hitter (and a great hitter for a catcher) for a couple of years now. Flukey BABiP aside, he’s really cranked up the power in the last two seasons. It’s possible that he’s just someone with an unusually late “maturation” time on his development.

      • cub2014

        If you hit the ball hard you are going to have a higher
        babip wouldnt ya think.

        • Drew7

          Not when you’re –

          1) right-handed

          2) slower than molasses in January

          • Drew7

            Not *that* high anyway.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          If Molina was hitting the ball that hard that much more frequently than (say) last year, then he’d have a lot more extra base hits than he does. However, his XBH numbers fit last year’s rates: yes, his doubles are way up, but his homers are way down.

          Still, even if his BABiP were normal, then Molina would still be one of the top hitting catchers in the game. A guy can be both good and lucky, you know!

    • willis

      He’s also an a-hole. What say y’all? Was that slide dirty or ok? I saw it from afar at a bar while I was eating. Couldn’t really tell. Looked kind of rough.

      • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

        Cubs need to send him a message pitch for going hard spikes up at Wood! A team should protect each other, do it Shark you got a 4 run lead stick Him!

  • mudge

    I wish the Cubs had a few a-holes like Molina.

  • Rudy

    Baez 1-4 with a Grand slam, a K and a BB, thus far.

  • arta

    Ransom 37! didn’t know that.

  • David

    Will Alcantara be our lead off hitter when the cubs are good?

  • cub2014

    Alcantara: power,speed.OBP and a switch
    hitter. If he turns out to be good enough
    he would be a perfect leadoff hitter

    • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

      and plays good D at 2nd,SS and 3rd

      • David

        He’s the key!!! Get him developed & up to the show. Hope he’s able to steal 40 bases & score 100 runs.

  • willis

    Shark still popping off at 95 in the 8th.

  • willis

    Make that 96 mph, dude is an animal.

  • DarthHater

    Heh heh. Letting Samardzija bat in the 9th. Dale’s taking no bullpen chances tonight.

  • willis

    Sveum “Great job Jeff, we’re going to let the pen take it from here…”

    Shark “the fuck you are…I’m not losing this game because of those jerks down there.”

    Sveum “I think it’s the right move, Marmol or Camp.”

    Shark “I’ll beat your goddamn ass Dale, get the hell out of my way.”

    • DarthHater


    • DarthHater

      You know Shark’s gotta really be pumped right now.

      • willis

        Oh boy…Sucks he couldn’t finish there.

        Here we go.

  • DarthHater

    Why the hell isn’t Marmol in the game??? 😛

    • CubsFanSaxMan

      I chained him to the bullpen gate!

  • Rebuilding

    Not going to gripe about Sveum no matter what happens. He let Shark give it a shot and its time to go get him. Hopefully, we see the new Kevin Gregg and not the old

    • DarthHater


      • baldtaxguy

        Never in doubt.

        :) Good God!!

  • Bsteady

    why not give Rizzo a night off against a tough lefty?

  • DarthHater

    God, I hate Molina.

  • Deacon

    Huh? He was at 107 pitches or so at the end of the 8th. In a meaningless game in the grand scheme of things why risk his health by overextending him? Dale never has his eye on the bigger picture. #dustybaker

  • Drew7

    Its about time that play gets called interference. Whew…

  • willis

    Wow, one of their typical bitch ass slides ends the game for them. Irony is a bitch I suppose.

    Great win.