oco coliseumYet another series win is on the table today. As we focus on the Cubs selling at the deadline, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the Cubs are actually playing pretty well over the last two weeks. Query whether that’s a good or a bad thing, but it’s happening.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (36-46) at Oakland A’s (49-36), 3:05 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

Travis Wood (5-6, 2.85 ERA, 3.59 FIP)


Dan Straily (4-2, 5.00 ERA, 3.72 FIP)

Oakland A’s Lineup

1. Coco Crisp, CF

2. Jed Lowrie, 2B

3. Josh Donaldson, 3B

4. Yoenis Cespedes, LF

5. Nate Freiman, 1B

6. Chris Young, RF

7. Derek Norris, C

8. Seth Smith, DH

9. Adam Rosales, SS

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Luis Valbuena, 3B

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Nate Schierholtz, RF

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

6. Dioner Navarro, DH

7. Brian Bogusevic, CF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Welington Castillo, C

  • Crockett

    A guy on ESPN radio here in Denver whom I caught mid-interview (and I didn’t get his name) said he thought it was 50/50 that Garza would be gone before his next start. This guy thought Rangers or Red Sox and those would be the two ideal teams to put into a “bidding war”.

    • SenorGato

      If it’s the Red Sox then I would like to see Andrew Miller come back. Time to make him the LH Samardzija.

      • Crockett

        I like this idea, as long as Miller is essentially a throw-in.

        • Crockett

          Let me clarify – he’s a good RP. And the Sox aren’t likely to move him, but he isn’t the “lottery ticket” that Samardzija was and is much less likely at this point to make the improvements that Jeff did. Therefore, his value in a deal for Garza should be minimal.

          • SenorGato

            An extremely small amount of people thought Samardzija was the lottery ticket he turned out to be. Most Cubs fans absolutely hated him going into last ST, if not the season itself.

            • Crockett

              Samardzija also didn’t have 5 failed seasons as a starter in the majors. Or 430 innings pitched in the majors total. Or a background as a baseball-first pitcher before that. They aren’t similar situations.

              • SenorGato

                Yeah, it was just three with seasons as a failed pitcher + his whole minor league career. I love that history gets rewritten for the winners, but Samardzija had as empty a bandwagon as you could find. He also lacked the pedigree of Miller – a former elite prospect despite train wreck mechanics that made his velocity and slider inconsistent at the ML levels (which he reached the year he was drafted as a rush job).

                Not to mention he’s similar sized, similarly injury free, similarly throws hard, similarly owns a second swing and miss pitch after his fastball, similarly revamped his mechanics…Next step is more innings and less walks.

                • Crockett

                  I see 53 failed innings in the majors. I think you’re re-writing the Samardzija history a bit. I think the bandwagon was empty, you’re right, for him to be a starter…not a quality reliever.

                  But to compare them is inherently flawed. They aren’t similar and don’t have similar backgrounds.

                  That doesn’t mean you aren’t right that Miller might be at a place where he could ‘figure it out’ now. But how many of these 28 year old lottery tickets do the Cubs really need?

        • SenorGato

          I view him at least on the same level as guys like Ranaudo and Workman, but with the fairer hand, more power, and more upside.

          Still a believer in the late bloomer types, and Miller has alot of the things I would look for.

          • SenorGato

            Namely – size, overhauled and cleaner mechanics, a high velocity fastball, an out pitch secondary, and improved results leading up.

            I do agree that the Red Sox probably do not want to give him up.

    • X the Cubs Fan

      Henry Owens, Anthony Ranudo and Brandon Workman for Garza and Gregg or MIke Olt and Martin Perez for Garza and Dejesus

  • Carew

    It’s on WGN today

  • X the Cubs Fan

    Hey Brett, Not that I don’t expect him to sign, but if the Cubs weren’t able to sign Kris Bryant by the deadline they would be over the spending limit for their draft pool and would forfeit their first round pick next year, but I think I remember you saying that they could pay off the overages out of pocket without penalty (maybe not). If that is a real option and I didn’t just make it up out of nowhere that wouldn’t be a completely terrible alternative considering having two possible top 5 draft picks next season.

  • X the Cubs Fan
  • X the Cubs Fan

    Buster OlneyVerified account‏@Buster_ESPN
    A dream scenario has developed for the Cubs: Matt Garza is now far and away the best starter available, and he’s throwing great: 30 IP, 3 ER

  • Deacon

    Why did Bogusevic get pulled from the game. Another OF injury? Or traded for international cap dollars?? More FO intrigue that the crack team of Kasper and Deshaies haven’t attempted to answer. :(

    • Crockett

      I think he tweaked his back on a swing.

    • Carew

      Lat tightness according to Carrie Muskat

      • Carew


  • baldtaxguy

    I’d like to see Wood signed to an extension.

    • Kyle

      He’s under team control for a bunch more years. There’s no need.

  • X the Cubs Fan

    Random Fact: Alfonso Soriano is tied with Jim Rice and Frank Howard with 382 career homeruns which is good for 61st all time.

  • North Side Irish

    Guerrier is fitting right in so far…

  • wvcubsfan

    Castillo is such a lazy catcher. I’m hopeful that he’s replaced soon.

    • Carew

      I dont see the laziness..

      • wvcubsfan

        Really? He routinely tries to back hand pitches instead of shifting his body, he reaches for low throws rather than closing down, and multiple times after the ball is past him he’s very lackadaisical getting to the ball. To me that’s a lack of effort which equals lazy.

      • YourResidentJag

        I might not see the laziness, but certainly multiple baserunning mistakes.

    • Rcleven

      I don’t call it lazy. Lets call it a bad habit that was never corrected in the minors. Happy people are beginning to ehco what I have been whining about all season.

  • Deacon

    Definitely didn’t close down on the passed ball that cost them the game. But wow Navarro is even worse behind the plate at blocking pitches. Either way, praying we can get Hedges or Swihart back for Garza!

    • wvcubsfan

      I agree he’s the lesser of the two evil choices we have behind the plate at this point in time.