wrigley field from right bleachersThe Angels come to town likely a more confident team than when the Cubs faced them for two games out West. (Which reminds me: two two-game series against the Angels? Weird, but I guess that’s what happens when you have odd-numbered leagues.) They’re now just two games under .500 after long being the “holy crap, how bad are they?” story of the early season (together with their LA brethren, who are also playing much better … damnit). Then again, thanks to the Cubs’ own hot streak, they’re just 3.5 games behind the Angels. That doesn’t really mean anything, but it’s fine.

All-Star Travis Wood goes for the Cubs tonight, which is swell. And Mike Trout comes to Wrigley, which is also swell, in a different way.

Game Info

Anaheim Angels (43-45) at Chicago Cubs (39-48), 7:05 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. (Actually, that’s the old, short series preview for the Angels series. It is of questionable utility at this point.)

Starting Pitchers

Joe Blanton (2-10, 5.14 ERA, 4.27 FIP)


Travis Wood (5-6, 2.69 ERA, 3.51 FIP)

Anaheim Angels Lineup

1. Erick Aybar, SS

2. Mike Trout, CF

3. Albert Pujols, 1B

4. Howie Kendrick, 2B

5. Josh Hamilton, RF

6. Mark Trumbo, LF

7. Alberto Callaspo, 3B

8. Chris Iannetta, C

9. Joe Blanton, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Julio Borbon, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Luis Valbuena, 3B

6. Dioner Navarro, C

7. Nate Schierholtz, RF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Travis Wood, P

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I’m surprised the Angels aren’t in the market for a starting pitcher like Garza. Blanton is pretty terrible and shouldn’t be in a rotation. Blantons season numbers 5.14 ERA (doesn’t even count this game), 1.490 WHIP. Maybe they still have a bad taste in their mouth from trading for a Grienke and losing a stud in Segura to the Brewers last year. But seriously Blanton should be in any contending team rotation, if they have world series aspirations

  • Required

    I can see Blanton getting DFAd after tonight. Maybe they are in on Garza?

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Of course.

  • willis

    Go get him…

  • Jason P

    The home plate ump Joe West has been terrible this inning. There have probably been a good 7 or 8 balls that should have been strikes this inning alone.

  • Rebuilding

    I will always dislike Brad Hawpe for hitting the line drive off Prior’s elbow (and Marcus Giles as well for colliding with him on the base paths)

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      Ill never forget that moment. I immediately thought to myself, “Prior’s done.” I always hoped I’d be wrong but…

    • Stevie B

      Rebuild, I am prob the worlds biggest Prior fan. Met him in Chattanooga and bought him a shot after he pitched 7 innings and k’d 13 in his AA visit against the Lookouts.
      I will also never forgive or forget….Those 2 incidents cost us, and him, a few Cy Young’s and many, many white flags with blue W’s on it.

      • Whiteflag

        But you still got me 😉

  • Rebuilding

    Good lord. Soriano basically hit 2 HRs in that at-bat

    • HackAttack

      Two weeks ago I said the guy was worthless and needed to be platooned. I guess I’m an idiot.

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Get that man a fire extinguisher!!

  • Jason P

    Soriano’s hit at least 20 home runs in 11 straight years… But I think he might hit 20 this month

  • John

    The trade rumors arent bothering Soriano at all. If he keeps this up and the cubs pay most of his salary then they should get a legit prospect in return maybe someone around the top 100 to top 150 range.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      He will get packaged. I am putting my money on him and Garza to Texas.

      • Whiteflag


  • Rebuilding

    Is this the month he switches to a lighter bat? Seriously, from hoping we get anything for salary relief I’m at the point that I think we should definitely get a legitimate prospect for the guy. There are plenty of teams that need him

    • Michael

      Agreed, When he gets hot there is nobody better its unreal what he does when he goes into one of his hot streaks

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Russell warming up in the pen. This would be the 4th day in a row. Maybe showcasing him to all the scouts in the game. Red Sox need a lefty now. If we could get a good prospect for him, I’d deal him. I doubt we’d get a great offer for Russell though, because teams tend not to give up much for set-up men, even if they’re good ones. But you never know, there’s always a premium on lefty setup guys

    • Rcleven

      RSox are looking for a closer too. With a package of Russell and Gregg it would increase the return. Stranger things have happened.

  • Rebuilding

    Did you guys just see Pujols “run” to first. Man is that contract bad. He might be in a wheelchair halfway through. Wonder if its the plantar fasciitis or all of the after effects of the roids breaking him down

    • Jason P

      Yeah, only 8 more years to go. I have no sympathy for them.

      • Rebuilding

        On the upside…those bad contracts offer a glimmer of hope that Trout might hit the market at some point

  • willis

    Said it last night, will again. May have found something in Blake Parker. Me likey.

  • William

    I am impressed with Strop. He has some sadistic stuff!

  • willis

    That’s four in a row, three of four against good teams.

    Love it.

  • Cheese Chad

    I’d like to think Sveum just out-managed Scioscia tonight.