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busch stadiumScott Feldman will try to give the Cubs a split in St. Louis, and keep his stock flying high. Boy it would also be nice to see Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo have huge games.

And maybe Yadier Molina could go 0 for 3 with 18 strikeouts, and 9 GIDP.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (29-41) at St. Louis Cardinals (46-26), 7:15 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 (6-5, 3.05 ERA, 3.76 FIP)

versus

Lance Lynn (9-1, 3.56 ERA, 2.97 FIP)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Matt Carpenter, 2B

2. Carlos Beltran, RF

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Yadier Molina, C

5. Matt Adams, 1B

6. David Freese, 3B

7. Jon Jay, CF

8. Pete Kozma, SS

9. Lance Lynn, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Luis Valbuena, 3B

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Nate Schierholtz, RF

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

6. Ryan Sweeney, CF

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Scott Feldman, P

  • Internet Random

    You remember how Cat Stevens converted to Islam and quit making music for awhile? I wish Yadier Molina would do that… but with baseball. I’m fine with him making music, so long as I’m not subjected to it.

  • tgk

    I hate the Cardinals with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. Unfortunately I live in Western KY which is Cardinal country and everyone just assumes that I am a fan too. Last year before game 7 vs. Giants I ran Into a guy in the grocery store I went to HS with. He starts talking to me about the game and how he can’t wait to get home and watch and aren’t I excited. I told him the only thing I was looking forward to was “watching the Cardinals die a slow, painful death.” I don’t think I could have shocked him more if I had smacked him in the face with a 2 x 4.

    • Internet Random

      I know Paducah is lousy with Cardinal fans.

      • tgk

        So is Princeton

        • Internet Random

          Yeah, but you’ve got Heaton’s.

    • willis

      You probably should have gone ahead and smacked in the face with that 2×4. That would have been cool.

  • willis

    Castro…SMH.

    Can someone get him a little closer to the plate? He looks God awful.

  • dumbledoresacubsfan

    Brett, I think the website needs an app.

  • Rebuilding

    Baez with HR #15 tonight. 1.223 OPS this month. He might make it AA faster than we thought

    • willis

      God willing, need him on the fast track. This team lacks a SS :)

      • Jeff

        Definitely, that last play shows Castro’s biggest deficiency…a lack of concentration.

        • Kyle

          If that bothers you, you *really* aren’t going to like Baez’s defense.

      • wvcubsfan

        This team lacks a lot of things aSS is one of them.

        • Cheryl

          Sveum isn’t helping him any and if Theo believes he just needs to work himself out of the slump he needs to take another look at what’s happening. For his sake sit him or, if possible, send him to the minors so he’s away from the pressure. Let him work on whatever’s wrong away from the limelight and away from Sveum.

          • Drew7

            You wanna really kill Castro’s confidence, send him to the minors.

            • Cheryl

              His confidence isn’t there now. If there’s another path to get him back to what he could be what is it?

              • Drew7

                How about letting him play?

                It’s been 1.5 months of a terrible slump, which has come after 2.5 *years* of pretty damn good baseball. You wanna banish the kid to the minors instead of back him up and help him get through it?

                The only thing I don’t like about how he is being handled is the refusal to give him a day off. I’d imagine we’ll see that pretty soon.

                • Cheryl

                  They’re trying to let him play himself out of it. So far, no luck. But he does need some days off. I agree. I just don’t want to see him continue this way. If he has another month of this, what then?

          • Jeff

            The cure for Castro is to fire Sveum and hire Sandberg, but never going to happen with these guys in the FO. Dale is their pet chip n’ Dale.

            • TWC

              Right. No one in any major league front office wants to hire Sandberg to manage their team, but he’s the only one that can “fix” Castro.

              Grow out of your hero worship, kid, and maybe you’ll have something interesting to say.

              • Jeffg

                I’m not a kid and I don’t appreciate our disrespect.

                Sandberg is set to replace Charlie Manual in Philly so get your god damn facts straight. I happen to know a well respected AAA coach who worked for Sandberg and he said Sandberg was one of the finest people he ever worked for and will make an awesome manager one day.

                Who died and you made you the god damn expert on saying something interesting.

                Fucking asshole,,,Shut the fuck up!

                • BT

                  Well, I think the mature way you handled that certainly put to bed any questions as to your age. Well done professor.

                • wvcubsfan

                  Not sure who died, but it’s a huge stretch to think that the manager (any manager) is the reason he’s in a funk right now.

                  By your reasoning Castro would have been the second coming of Ty Cobb rather than a mere .300 hitter if he’d only been managed by one of the finest people ever instead of those terrible pets like Quade and Sveum.

                • Jp3

                  [img]http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSo4BhXF1aSe3qRrMi5PVtvGZdGqQPS4gY2nrYFIl_bAKH-va9Q[/img]

                • TWC

                  Well after that tantrum there, Jeffy, you’ve made it clear: you’re no kid.

                  But definitely a toddler.

                  • Drew7

                    Surely he’s not gonna drop that big of a rant-fest then bounce, right?

                    We need an encore, J.

                    • caryatid62

                      Beginning with a Taylor Swift-like declaration of independence, followed by an overly personal admiration for a guy you’ve never met, coupled with some extraneous cursing, and punctuated with a grammatical trainwreck.

                      Utter brilliance.

                    • Jp3

                      It’s past 9:30… Jeffg’s parents cut off his light and told him to give them the iPad…

                • caryatid62

                  Holy crap that was an awesome meltdown.

                  • Internet Random

                    My sentiments exactly.

                    • Internet Random

                      Ooh… Wait…

                    • Internet Random

                      [img]http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k230/XMLCTkd76eTb/f169af2ed068f77f1fb36d503bea540a.jpg[/img]

                    • Internet Random

                      ::grumble::

            • BT

              If anyone says anything sillier than this tonight, I will be appalled.

              • Jp3

                +1 I guess?
                Unless diehard, do you have anything to add?

                • BT

                  Is this directed at me? If so, I think the post was pretty self explanatory, and I’m a bit unsure as to why I’d have to add to it.

                  • Jp3

                    no, you were hilarious. I found jr’s response funny and agree with you it was funny. All this being said I grew up a huge Sandberg fan myself but no chance he’s the Cubs coach anytime soon and to think it’s possible is futile.

                    • BT

                      gotcha. Good thing I didn’t go the Jeff (aka Jeffg) route on you then.

                    • Jp3

                      Good thing, seriously though that pic above I found of Jeff at a middle school spelling bee giving his opposition the 1 finger solute

                • fromthemitten

                  Die hard would just say that Quade would have kept Castro as an all star caliber player by benching him and teaching him the ways of belly fire

                  • Jp3

                    Yeah you’re right that sounds like DH, I like scooter’s overreaction theater better… Die Hard you’re becoming too predictable sir.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Marmol has enough ass for the whole team.

          • Jp3

            Marmol’s badunkadonk is getting out of hand, he needs to slow it up on the nacho Buffett

  • willis

    I’m afraid you may be right. This is like watching a train wreck in slow-mo. In a month or so, we may be seeing different results, but dammit does he look nothing like who we thought he was at the plate. It’s sickening as a fan. And I’m sure so even worse for him.

  • imac

    Cubs sign juan francisco.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      He’s playing for the Brewers …

      • BT

        technicality.

      • Jp3

        Juan Gonzalez signs with cubs…

        That was fun and easy!!! You heard it here first Brett

      • Cubbie Blues

        That’s mighty nice of them tolet him play for another team then.

      • imac

        Ya, I guess it’s a different Juan Francisco-rhp…whoops.

        • King Jeff

          Keep trying.

  • Dustin S

    I like Theo, but to write off any Dale criticism by the fans because of the weak roster is getting a bit tired. There are plenty of casual knee-jerk fans that say Cubs are losing, fire the manager. But there are also a lot of knowledgeable fans that have legitimate valid questions about him from fans that are worthy of a better response. Poor bullpen management, Castro still not getting a day off, taking forever to give Rizzo even 1 day off, to name a few. Generally his main flaw has been being very slow and stubborn to make changes even when things are obviously not going right. Dale isn’t bad, but I have seen enough of him so far this year and last to conclude that I don’t think he’s the guy to take the Cubs to a World Series even with a stacked roster. He’s shifted into placeholder status for me.

    • wvcubsfan

      I’ve got no problem with questioning or criticizing Dale for his rosters, defensive alignment, use of pitchers, or pinch hitters. However, I do think that those that are questioning must ask themselves who else should have been used. “Anyone but (fill in the blank)” isn’t an answer. You can’t say that anyone would have done better and expect to be taken seriously.

      As far as the days off, I do remember early in the year when Rizzo would get a day off and all of the comments were mainly to the effect of “forfeit line up” or that Dale wanted to try to lose the game. It just annoys me when the same people will complain that player X isn’t getting a day off but yet complain that their bat isn’t in the lineup when they get the day off.

    • mjhurdle

      my response to that is every manager in baseball makes decisions that can be argued as being wrong with legitimate baseball knowledge.
      Living in STL, i hear all the time about things that Matheny does poorly, or lineups/relievers that he uses incorrectly.
      I would say i have heard more criticism of Matheny here than valid criticism of Dale. And Sveum is better at matheny with his defensive shifts and lineups that maximizes the talent he has.
      But the reason that Sveum has a large number of fans calling for his head and Matheny is in the running for MoY is that the Cubs hit 220 with RISP and the Cardinals hit 340+.
      The biggest difference between a good manager and a bad one is the level of talent on the team. If your team is good enough to overcome the occasional bad managerial decision, than that manager is great. If not, then the manager must be fired.
      Name a manager that could have somehow gotten more than 3 more wins out of this team this year, taking into consideration Sveum’s mistakes, and his successes?

  • Voice of Reason

    OK Dustin, what should the cubs record be right now?

    Share the name of a manager who could have this team playing play off ball? Or even .500 ball!

    • Jp3

      SANDBERG!!!!😝 jk, I don’t think Dustin was saying that another manager would be THAT much better but Sveum seems to be making bonehead decisions more than he should at this point.

  • Jp3

    Seeing its 6-1 them, this Marmol appearance should be less than exciting.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    Let’s quit acting like Castro is a HOF Jeter talent, he isn’t. And he probably isn’t the mess out there now either. While clearly he isn’t clicking with Sveum and hasn’t, even a Theo fan which I am, can criticize Theo here too. Theo is a micro manager and no doubt the one pushing the High Baseball IQ selective approach and deserves the lion share of any outside blame. But ultimately Castro is responsible. He’s never been what so many fans assign to him, and the league adjusted and that combined with a less than great mind and ethic are the result. Sveum isn’t innocent he obviously has some issues with the kid, but while I remain a Theo fan his whole makeover approach was idiotic as is keeping Rowson. A day off isn’t changing any of that.

    • mjhurdle

      how do you know what Castro’s work ethic is?
      im very curious to know, unless of course you cannot reveal your sources.

    • mjhurdle

      and to add to the previous post, i do agree that Theo probably tried to change Castro’s approach, which is probably contributing to this slump.
      however, as has also been pointed out before, we are talking about a month and a half vs. 2+ years.
      Why does the month and a half get so much more importance? What if it last another month, but then he comes out of it, and turns into the Castro of the last 3 years, but with more walks and a higher OBP? will you still be critiquing his work ethic and “head”? will the lions share of the “blame” still lie with Theo?

    • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

      Why are the Cubs fixing a 22 year old who averages 30 doubles, 13 triples, 12 home runs, 75 rbi’s, 20 bases swiped, plus gets close to 200 hits? He plays every day and at times can make every type of play a MLB SS needs to make. You want more walks? Find some more hitters that make a good MLB pitcher shit when guys are on base. This coaching staff has simply insisted on over managing change on a micro level to Barney, Castro, Rizzo, Castillo using the 3rd basemen as an example he is hitting 235 w/5 HR. This sucks, the best hitters appear to be guys the FO picked up recently that have not had the benefit of the Cub coaching.

      • mjhurdle

        Sweeney is one of the best hitters, and he is hitting 30 points higher than his career average…..

  • mudge

    Sveum did a terrific job with the bullpen tonight.

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