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wrigley field from right bleachersThe Cubs can sweep the Angels tonight, which would put them at just seven games under .500. No, that doesn’t matter in terms of the sell-off/don’t-sell-off plan, but it would still be a fine thing to see – and we haven’t seen it since May.

Jeff Samardzija is on the hill, coming off one of his weaker starts last time out against the Pirates.

Game Info

Anaheim Angels (43-46) at Chicago Cubs (40-48), 7:05 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. (Actually, that’s the old, short series preview for the Angels series. It is of questionable utility at this point.)

Starting Pitchers

C.J. Wilson (8-6, 3.49 ERA, 3.61 FIP)

versus

Jeff Samardzija (5-8, 3.54 ERA, 3.25 FIP)

Anaheim Angels Lineup

1. Erick Aybar, SS

2. Mike Trout, CF

3. Albert Pujols, 1B

4. Josh Hamilton, LF

5. Alberto Callaspo, 3B

6. Mark Trumbo, RF

7. Hank Conger, C

8. Brendan Harris, 2B

9. C.J. Wilson, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dave Sappelt, RF

2. Cody Ransom, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Darwin Barney, 2B

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Julio Borbon, CF

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • kq

    Maybe they want the team too pick up this yrs salary (or at least that amount over the two yrs) , while the cubs pick up next season.

  • willis

    Wow, Maples is not good. Come on dude.

    • hansman1982

      The 2011 draft class is shaping up to be very meh. Excellent for a Cubs draft class, but considering the hype, meh.

      • willis

        Baez is a stud, I think. Voges is promising. DeVoss is an OBP machine, but nothing special. But yeah as excited as we were that year, it’s shaping up to be kinda blah.

        • Whiteflag

          Hopefully, that’s not the case with 2012 or 2013. Only time will tell, but I think it will workout alright.

  • hansman1982

    Damn, just think how awesome Pujols would have been as a Cub…

    • Timmy

      i agree that the first 5 years of a pujols/cubs contract would have been very exciting. 10 years was just too long for a guy without a DH role to fill later.

      • hansman1982

        I am thinking moreso had he been drafted and played 81 games a year for his peak years at Wrigley.

  • willis

    Oy, Shark. Two horrible outings in a row and never gave the team a chance tonight.

  • Mr. B. Patient

    I thought the home run derby was next week.

  • willis

    He doesn’t look anything like what we’ve seen the last two starts. He was awful against Pittsburgh and has been killed tonight. What gives? Struggling. But, you could tell from the jump tonight he was going to get hit hard. Just hasn’t looked like himself.

    • Big Joe

      Last two starts, meaning this one, and his last. I was speaking in the future tense. I can see how that wasn’t taken as I had intended. My fault.

  • Mr. P

    Samardzija might want to go get himself a slump buster over the All-Star break.

  • willis

    Holy Christ…

  • Mr. P

    97mph gas in on the hands and that little punk still turned on it.

  • When the Music’s Over

    If Shark intends to get paid like an ace, he should probably start pitching like one.

  • Mr. P

    Throw the damn towel!

  • Mr. P

    Yep there goes the run differential and the hypothetical .500 record. When it rains it pours.

  • willis

    They may score 20 tonight. Bases loaded with Raley coming in. Not good.

    So about how good they were playing?

  • Dustin S

    Shifting topics since the game has turned really ugly…it’s kind of a double-whammy that the Giants are on a losing streak and looking like they might be sellers. It takes away a good Garza target, and Lincecum would likely go on the market. He’s been very mediocre the last couple years and it would be a fair amount of 2013 salary for the buying team to take on (unless SF pays part of it), but he’d be a big name to add to the SP trade pool.

  • MichiganGoat

    The crabbiness of the boards today has trickled onto the field.

    • Katie

      I think some kids need to have their Internet shut off my their mommies and go back to watching Spongebob.

      • Katie

        *by

        I’m hanging my head in shame. We need an edit button, Ace!

      • Mr. P

        Spongebob is too advanced for me, I’m stuck on Bubble Guppies.

        • Katie

          Good call!

  • willis

    Serious question-have the Cubs won a game this year with Sappelt leading off?

  • TheMagicMan

    I know Baez has just been promoted and its a small sample size, but he is 0 for his last 16. I think its a little early to get worried, but I just don’t what his value to plummet. I hope he can turn it around

  • Rebuilding

    The biggest news tonight is that Texas has got to be getting desperate. That, and Porcello had an outing against the White Sox where his peripherals looked better than the actual results

  • Mr.Boring

    Rizzo has turned into Brian LaHair. This is one heck of a hitting coach the Cubs have. How can this this guy still have a job?

    • TOOT

      I agree. I hear people say a coach has little or no effect on a player. I say BS.

      • Timmy

        We can keep blaming coaches and players for what is a structural problem. A guy wont hit if he has no pitches to hit no matter how good he is. The team is built poorly and pitchers have figures his weaknesses out. He’s been left out to dry by Theo.

        • hansman1982

          Have any statistical evidence to back this up? Studies to point to?

          • MichiganGoat

            You know the answer to this Hans.

            • hansman1982

              I know, I’m going to stop actually responding and asking him this for everything.

              • Timmy

                you guys keep blaming players and coaches wrongly. you’re too defensive of inappropriate decisions by ownership.

        • TOOT

          Come on man. What does Theo have to do with it?

          • MichiganGoat

            THEO IS THE CANCER THAT IS KILLING THIS TEAM

            • Jimmy james

              He punched my grandma…

              • hansman1982

                He did punch himself after he punched your Grandma…

                (although, she deserved it)

  • DaveY

    For anyone who hasn’t been there, I highly recommend checking out the Music Box theater. Lots of independent, foreign and old classic films.

  • Crockett

    This HAS to be an audition or something.

    Are they really OUT of outfielders?

  • socalicubsfan

    So who gets called up from Iowa with Raley most likely headed down?

  • http://bleachernation.com therealPattyP

    Jeff, bellyaching about the Feldman trade then doing your best Joe Blanton impersonation for two straight starts does not a happy front office or fanbase make.

  • another JP

    This game is no big deal. We beat up on a hot Angels team and they got us back today, and during the course of 162 games every team is going to suffer some blowouts. Just have to get pissed off and give the Cards hell tomorrow.

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