us cellular fieldThe Cubs have already won the Crosstown Cup. This is just the makeup of a superfluous game, so let’s all remember that the Cubs are the winners no matter what happens tonight.

Let’s also pretend like everyone isn’t just going to be hyperfocused on Matt Garza to the exclusion of all else.

If you’re able to notice anything else, you’ll see that the against-lefty lineup is a weird one, with Welington Castillo shoehorned in as DH (since Dioner Navarro is totally not Garza’s personal catcher, but, like, yeah he is).

By the way, trade season makes teams do funny things: I have a hard time believing that Adam Dunn is actually a better defensive first baseman than Jeff Keppinger would be. But you better believe the White Sox want to make sure to show that they’re just fine-a-rooney with Dunn playing first base.*

*Or Dunn is adequate at first base, and I just haven’t been paying attention to the Sox. Why would I?

UPDATES: The tarp is on the field right now, so there might be a delay. That’s one update. The other is that Welington Castillo is out with flu-like symptoms, and Luis Valbuena is going to DH tonight.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (38-48) at Chicago White Sox (34-51), 7:10 CT on WCIU (Cubs), CSN (White Sox).

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. (kinda)

Starting Pitchers

Matt Garza (4-6, 3.12 ERA, 3.33 FIP)


Hector Santiago (2-4, 3.45 ERA, 4.01 FIP)

Chicago White Sox Lineup

1. Alejandro De Aza, LF

2. Gordon Beckham, 2B

3. Alex Rios, RF

4. Adam Dunn, 1B

5. Jeff Keppinger, DH

6. Conor Gillespie, 3B

7. Alexei Ramirez, SS

8. Josh Phegley, C

9. Blake Tekotte, CF

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Starlin Castro, SS

2. Cody Ransom, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Dioner Navarro, C

6. Welington Castillo, DH

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Dave Sappelt, RF

9. Julio Borbon, CF

  • scorecardpaul

    I can’t wait for the day when I can look at a lineup of ours and be proud of it. Let’s get on with more trades. We have a long way to go.

  • fromthemitten

    Per Len and JD: Castillo out with an illness, Valbuena is the DH (something I’d never imagine saying a year ago)

  • clark addison

    Those are two wimpy lineups.

    The lefty platoon lineup hasn’t been getting it done. How long until Sveum acknowledges that fact?

    • Rich H

      how can you say that when the main cog that was not getting it done was Hairston and he is now gone. So Sveum is now going with what he has.

      • fromthemitten

        I think he’s referring to Sveum’s insistence to sit Schierholtz, arguably one of the top performing hitters on the team, against lefties

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Probably: and this line of thinking always neglects that guys like Schierholtz often have great numbers *because* they are not facing any left-handed pitching. The belief that a lefty hitting righties well is “hot” and will carry this over to hitting lefties simply is putting the cart before the horse.

          As for Hairston, he simply had a ridiculously low singles rate. His K’s, BB’s and extra-base hits were in line with normal. In other words, the outcomes that are most skill-dependent were the same as ever.

          • Turn Two

            I agree with you here doc, but just as a counterargument. Look at nates splits early in his career. Its interesting and each year based on a relatively small sample size, but when he first came up he hit lefties better than righties. Sometimes i think guys get stuck. Its like a great hitting college pitcher who can’t hit five years later, they fall out of practice. For whatever reason from 2007-2010 even though he hit lefties better he got few at bats and it may have ruined him long term. Doesn’t change the fact that dale is probably right for sitting him against lefties in order too keep strong numbers with which to trade him. Not our job to work on his weak spot if we aren’t keeping him long term.

        • hansman1982

          Against lefties:

          2010 OPS – .671
          2011 OPS – .562
          2012 OPS – .444
          2013 OPS – .476

          Smart move by Dale to resist the urge.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Valbuena better fielder than Ransom at third, why not DH Ransom ?

  • Clark Addison

    From your words to Sveum’s lineup card?

  • Cubbie Tim

    I don’t think if you could combine these lineups & have a competive team. Baba Booey

    • Timmy

      Minus Steroid Braun if we add Milwaukee to the combo of these two teams we’ll roughly have the Cincinnati Reds bench warmers.

      • Rebuilding

        Or if you want to really have fun look at the Cardinals injured list and guys who can’t push into the lineup/rotation and you can come up with a wildcard contender:

        SP – Carpenter, Garcia, C Martinez, Wacha, Lyons, Rosenthal

        1b – Matt Adams, 2b – Descalso, SS – Furcal, 3b – ?, OF – Tavares, Shane Robinson

        They arguably have the Top 2 MLB ready arms in AAA and the top position prospect. Sigh

        • Timmy

          That Pujols decision is looking better and better. He’s still pretty good, but he’s not even close to Pujols good anymore, and his decision to take the money and run instead of retain loyalty for less years is looking to be absolutely disastrous for his legacy.

  • someday…2015?
  • Cory

    At the park looks like the rain has passed tarps coming off should be starting here soon!!!

    • Rebuilding

      It’s sunny downtown

  • willis

    Seems 7:30 is the estimated start time. Hope that’s the case.

  • Rebuilding

    As bad as our lineup looks, the White Sox remind that it could be worse. And to have no farm system at all – would be tough to be a Sox fan right now

  • wvcubsfan

    Wonderful, I get to listen to the Sox broadcast

  • Rebuilding

    Moreland said on the radio that neither SP started warming up and then had to stop so that’s good


    • Mr. P

      Deep breaths, just stay calm. There is no need for capital letters. If it’s any consolation, I’ve been having problems with all night as well.

  • fortyonenorth

    Remind me how this make-up game works. I was thinking they’d pick it up where they left off–3rd inning 2-0 Cubs.

    Since they’re starting over, what happens to the stats accrued in the canceled game, e.g. Castillo’s HR.

    • Brett

      Those stats never happened. You’re imagining things!

  • Rcleven

    Bob Nightengale ‏@BNightengale 4m

    The #Dodgers and #Indians are heavily scouting #Cubs Matt Garza, believing he will be moved.

    What’s Cleveland have in their system?

    • Rebuilding

      We talked about them earlier today. They have Bauer whose stock is down right now. They have Danny Salazar who had TJS a few years back, but is a good prospect who is MLB ready and they have a couple of MI prospects who are solid but will be blocked by Lindor (Paulino, Rodriguez)

    • Jed Jam Band

      Well, obviously there’s Trevor Bauer. And Danny Salazar could be a potential choice, although, not certain if Indians want to give up someone so close to the major leagues. There are others peppered in there, but these are the two pitchers I’d focus on.

  • willis

    Man, Soriano is on fiya.

  • ISU Birds

    I’m starting a Save Sori campaign. He just stole third base!

  • Rebuilding

    Feldman went 5.1 and gave up 5 ER against the Rangers tonight

  • Cyranojoe

    Sahadev Sharma ‏@sahadevsharma 19m
    Well that was an odd thing to turn the game on to, how the hell does Garza get away with that?

    What’s Sahadev talking about there?

    • Crockett

      I think Garza running in from the pen instead of the dugout.

      • Cyranojoe

        Oh, ok. Thanks! Doesn’t seem like a big deal, though.

        • Mr. Brent Kennedy

          Well, walking, not running in from the pen. But get this, during the top of the first inning. Pretty bad ass actually.

  • Drew7

    I love that, going into the 1st game of the Crosstown Cup, the Sux were playing .500 ball.

    You think Cubs’ fans have it rough, imagine sucking ass *and* having a shitty farm-system.

  • ISU Birds

    I’m starting a trade Castro campaign. He can’t hit a fastball!

    • Rich H

      he hit a fast ball on the pop up. His bat speed is fine. He just seems to have a problem locating it right now.

    • Can’t think of a cool name

      Castro has to be more aggressive on the first pitch. Pitchers have found out he is taking a good amount of time and are grooving good pitches that he is laying off. He looks totally lost.

      • hansman1982

        So far this season, he is seeing a marked drop in first pitch strikes.

  • willis

    As much as Castro, you know sucks at hitting, wouldn’t that have been a good time to let him lay one down to move the runners? God forbid.

  • baldtaxguy

    Garza look to be pitching high in the zone, Think that is a game plan against the Sox?

  • David

    Sox stink. I’ll take Addison Reed if he’s available in a trade, though. He’d look great in cubby blue.

  • Rebuilding

    Someone on here the other day said Soriano was going to be running wild to get to 300 SBs. Prophetic

    • Crockett

      I also think Soriano is trying to showcase for teams in the race. I genuinely believe he’s ready to get out and go to a winner for the last two years of his deal. This is him showing he’s healthy and can still do things.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        I agree he’s show casing himself, but if its not a city or climate he likes I bet he still says no. He has the cubs by the balls, which is completely his right bc his 5-10 rights. I bet if San Fran came calling again and put together an offer, I bet he says no. But thats my gut feeling of what he would decide. He talks up about wanting to be on winning team but has never backed it up. If he wanted to be on world series contending team, he would have accept that trade to the giants last year. I think he’s personally to content with loving living in Chicago (don’t blame him), playing at wrigley, and day games so he can tuck his kids in at night (again, really don’t blame him). I just think he values those quality of life more, then having a shot to win a world series at the twilight of his career. I hope he reconsiders a trade if we get a get trade proposed to us and if we need him to accept a trade. But then again its his right too deny a trade

  • Dustin S

    Giants scouting Garza tonight also. Between the Dodgers (a Dempster debacle repeat, no thanks), the Indians (ok, but not great attainable prospects), and the Giants…my preference would be the Giants between those 3. If Soriano would reconsider, a blockbuster Garza+Soriano deal with SF would make a ton of sense, they need a power LF badly plus a starter. But most importantly they have some pitching prospect trade chips that would be a good fit for that kind of deal.

    • Dustin S

      Add the Rangers with 2 scouts for Garza at tonight’s game per Bob Nightengale. Not surprising, they’ve been in the mix but passing it along.

      • Rich H

        I imagine it is 2 scouts one for Garza one for outfield help but yeah we get the point.

    • Assman22

      9 teams’ scouts checked in at the Cubs/Sox game…LA, SF, Boston, Texas, Indians, Nats, O’s, Tigers, and Braves, D’backs/Pirates not in attendance…not all scouts were there for (just)Garza…

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Bob Nightengale: Dodgers still heavily scouting Matt Garza? I can’t stand the dodgers. I don’t mind it we trade him to LA if we get a great package of prospects, but if they acquire him and sign him next year, I’ll just be pissed. I hate the Dodgers. They are new era yankees with out the championships in recent history. They buy who ever they want and do what ever they want, because they are filthy rich because that new TV contract. It just irks me that they do that. I just hope whatever team Garza signs with this offseason, it isn’t the Dodgers.

    • Crockett

      Yeah…and Colletti is just a scumbag.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        If the Dodgers win a world series and Colletti wins “executive of the Year” I will rip the award right out of his hands. The dodgers are essentially buying established players. I’ll be honest, I’m sure Colletti is a brilliant baseball mind and decent guy but I think most GM’s could do just as good of a job if they had that kind of payroll. I’ll give him credit on the Ryu signing but I give more credit to the Dodgers Pacific Rim scouts and the owners for writing the check to outbid every other team.

    • scorecardpaul

      would you hate the Cubs if they had that much money to spend??

  • Die hard

    I blinked and thought was dreaming seeing Castro lead off … Must be dreaming

  • Rebuilding

    Lots of thunder and lightning in the area. Might be the last inning for awhile

  • Die hard

    Garza to Oakland? Last I looked that was still part of California which is where Garzas heart is…

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Great idea, but I doubt billy beane would give up the good prospects need to acquire a guy like Garza who is just a rental. Small market/low payroll can’t really afford to give up those future cost controllable pieces to acquire a rental player who they definitely can’t afford to resign this offseason. But you never know maybe he decides to go for it this year, they got a good team.