It has finally happened: Starlin Castro is getting a day off. Cody Ransom fills in at shortstop, and Castro is on the bench for the first time in a very long time. Hopefully he uses it to rest, study, ponder, and relax. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pinch hit late to keep his games played streak alive, though.

The Cubs will also head up to Milwaukee tonight with a slightly remade roster. The bullpen is now down to a more normal seven – Blake Parker and Henry Rodriguez were spared eviction – and the bench is back up to five (though it’s a little imbalanced with three bench outfielders (Scott Hairston, Brian Bogusevic, and Julio Borbon) and just one bench infielder (Cody Ransom)).

Edwin Jackson takes on Kyle Lohse in a battle of 2012 free agent pitchers who inked multi-year deals before this season. Lohse’s ERA is far better, but Jackson’s FIP says he’s the one having the better season (if you can believe it). Jackson gets the Brewers sans Ryan Braun and Carlos Gomez, so he’s set up for success.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (31-43) at Milwaukee Brewers (31-43), 7:10 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

Edwin Jackson (3-9, 5.49 ERA, 3.55 FIP)


Kyle Lohse (2-6, 3.68 ERA, 4.28 FIP)

Milwaukee Brewers Lineup

1. Norichika Aoki, RF

2. Jean Segura, SS

3. Jonathan Lucroy, C

4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B

5. Juan Francisco, 1B

6. Rickie Weeks, 2B

7. Logan Schafer, CF

8. Caleb Gindl, LF

9. Kyle Lohse, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Luis Valbuena, 3B

2. Darwin Barney, 2B

3. Nate Schierholtz, RF

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

6. Ryan Sweeney, CF

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Cody Ransom, SS

9. Edwin Jackson, P

  • Kenster

    Damn, looks like I missed this game… lol

  • MichiganGoat

    Um when was the last time Ransom played SS?

  • wvcubsfan

    1:20 – 7:10 what’s the difference?

    • DarthHater

      Bert’s having a rough day.

      • Brett

        I have excuses, too, but I don’t make them!

        I’ll say only that I wrote the Marmol DFA piece in the parking lot of a McDonalds off of the interstate. It’s been a “rush” kind of day.

        • roz

          I love the dedication.

  • UCF

    I think I would have went with Barney at SS, Valbuena at 2B, and Ransom at 3B…..but WTF do I know. I’ve always thought of Barney as our fill-in for Castro at SS.

    • Kenster


  • CeeDeeVee5811

    Good thing Barney didn’t start at Shortstop…I would of been a nervous wreck since he doesn’t have an error yet (like last year when he replaced Castro).

  • THEOlogical

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but it says WGN, I live in the south and I get WGN America. Are they two totally different stations?

    • TonyP

      It’s not on WGN tonight..

    • Timothy Scarbrough

      It was CSN on the series preview, so I think that might be it.

      • Brett

        Yeah, it’s CSN.

  • arta

    Comcast on my menu.

  • Mike

    About time Cody Random played SS. Castro can learn a bit.

  • cubchymyst

    Good to see Castro get an off day. Since the Cubs didn’t play yesterday its like 2 days off for him.

  • Die hard

    Dollar short day late… Sveum is such a poser as a mgr… If he had the sense Sandberg had in his pinky finger Castro would’ve been sat and sent down 40 games ago

    • X the Cubs Fan

      if Sandbergs such a genius why isn’t he the manager?

      • Luke

        What’s really entertaining is watching Philly fans/writers rip Sandberg on Twitter. Apparently they don’t think much of him as a third base coach. And I’m not so sure they agree with the general Cub fan that he is the clear heir apparent over there and is the Next Great Manager.

        I sort of get the idea they wish he was still in Triple A and not waving runners into easy outs.

        • Die hard

          Phillies must be ahead by 10 games given your comments suggesting that Manuel trumps Sandberg in baseball acumen… If he is truly on the outs which I doubt then Theos next call should be to Phillies for permission to talk to Sandberg … He’s a winner probably wondering why he’s working for such a dunce as Manuel

        • Jimmy James

          Waving Ryno? Kinda makes me miss waving wendell

    • Cerambam

      Okay now I know your faking it

      • MichiganGoat

        Now you know… this was clear a three years ago

    • Carew

      Pretty sure the manager isnt the one that ultimately sends a player down anyway

      • Die hard

        Well if Sveum doesn’t have last word then he’s a bigger fool then I took him for … Only in Moneyball does the mgr not have last say… Do you think Dusty Baker lets GM call shots?

        • MichiganGoat

          Only a stupid FO would allow a manager have veto powers over their wishes. I’m sure he’s included in the discussions but it’s not his job to evaluate talent and build for the future… Wait why do I ever try to reply to these post.

  • cub2014

    sweeney should be the leadoff hitter now, valbuena will not be
    our future leadoff hitter. sweeney around a career .290 hitter
    (he had 1 bad year out of 8) with career obp .350 has speed
    but not a base stealer. he should be our leadoff guy until or if
    almora is ready

  • THEOlogical

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to put Barney at SS, Ransom at 3rd and have Valbuena play 2nd? Makes Barney look more versatile and helps with trade value. Or should they at least leave one of the pieces in it’s rightful place so as to not have an abundance of errors tonight?

    • Die hard

      Hey get ur own fantastic ideas … That is plagiarism

  • http://deleted cub2014

    it would have made sense to bring up lake
    not bugosevic. Lake bats right handed and
    would be your SS tonight.

    • Luke

      Lake has not been in Triple A that long. He needs more time playing daily in the minors. Had he come to Chicago he’d have spent most of his time on the bench.

      • Die hard

        There is no litmus test … Look at Castro who had so many PA that maybe he was spoiled into thinking he owns every pitcher … An earlier call up may have been the needed wake up call he can’t get now

        • JOE

          The reverse could also be true. Maybe if Castro had spent some time in AAA, he’d have learned to make adjustments at that level that could help his struggles at the big league level. Like Luke said, no good would come of bringing Lake up now to ride the pine.

          • Die hard

            No and here’s why …. Recall when played ball as a kid and the better kids made it look easy? They were big fish in a little pond… But when try to swim with the big fish they get swallowed up … If he learned to swim with the big fish when younger then when he became a big fish he could hold his own

            • Timothy Scarbrough

              Do you even understand the purpose of syntax?

            • JOE

              You act like Castro was babied through his progression in the minors. The guy was called up straight from AA at the ripe old age of what, 20? And you’re saying, “why didn’t we call him up sooner!!??” He is now doing exactly what you are describing, which is learning the “swim with the big fish”

          • DocPeterWimsey

            No, but not for the reason that Die Hard says. Castro needs to watch MLB pitching if he’s going to develop a batting eye. AAA pitching won’t cut it: the guys there good enough to pitch in MLB go there very quickly (or the day after they lose a year on their arbitration clock if they pitch for the Rays).

            Now, you might say: “the strike zone is the same” and that is more or less true. However, batting eye requires knowing where the pitch will be when it’s 10′ from the pitcher’s hand: and MLB pitchers can throw multiple pitches that look extremely similar at that point. The guys in AAA who can do that aren’t there long (or, again, leave as soon as the year is lost for arbitration).

            • Cheryl

              Just like someone needs to face left-handed pitching at the major league level so one can adjust to it? Sorry Doc, I couldn’t resist.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Schierholtz is having a great year. Hope someone overpays at the deadline for him. He has even more value bc of the extra arbitration yr. So he’s not just a rental player but actually a legit piece

  • another JP

    Nate the Great will fetch a good haul at the trade deadline. Only bad thing about Dale’s lineup tonite is he didn’t replace Soriano with Bogusevic… otherwise it’s just fine.

  • another JP

    Another typical mediocre performance from E-Jax against a Brewer lineup w/o Hart or Braun. I’ve just resigned myself to seeing 3.5 more years of #5 starter performance from a guy the Cubs paid #3 money to. Blech

    • JOE

      Yeah, I want to punch EJax in the face right now…. not only for the performance today/this year, but also for whatever that du-rag looking thing is that he’s wearing underneath his hat.

    • willis

      Not a great thought eh? Man I loved this signing now I wish it wasn’t so. He’s just not very good.

    • kuvihorken

      really got the dream team of pitchers out there tonight.. if only marmol could make a surprise appearance to cap off this game with a couple more home runs. oof.

  • Dynastyin2017

    looks like Jackson didn’t bring his TWTW today.

    • another JP

      Or any other day. E-Jax eats innings & spits out losses.

  • willis

    Um, go get him maybe? Should have a couple batters ago.

  • TonyP

    Jackson = BLAH

  • willis

    Oy…question, you know what no reason to ask. Another loss chalked up. To a terrible team.

  • JOE

    Well I guess we now know that Ransom can play some SS, at least

  • Jeff

    So is Jackson still just unlucky or is he just a 6.00 era pitcher???????????

    • Dynastyin2017

      I guess if you believe pitchers aren’t responsible for the hits they give up, it must just be bad luck. Who knows, his FIP may have gone down.

    • Tom A.

      Looks like he is a .584 ERA pitcher so far. I see him at low .500 say .533 ERA Byrne if season. So he has had a career bad year.

      • Tom A.

        He has 4.46 career ERA which is what he needs to pitch to get to that 5.33 for season. I guess he had a bad first half if season so far. Definitely under-performing given contract.

  • mudge

    I suggest Sveum start warming up a guy when Jackson walks the leadoff batter in the 4th 5th or 6th innings. Painful to watch. Soriano’s quietly having a lousy year and it’s time to move him down in the order. Last year’s homers are this year’s doubles and warning track fly balls.

  • Jeff

    With Soriano it’s a good year every other year, didn’t you know? He will suck this year but will groove it again next year.