You don’t see too many pitchers duels at Coors Field, but that’s what we got tonight. Jeff Samardzija left the ball up a bit early, but thanks to a couple ridiculous plays by Welington Castillo (pick-off at first, sick slide-swivel-throw on what would have been a wild pitch at the plate), base runners went by the wayside early. From there, Samardzija’s stuff took a turn for the nasty, and he was great the rest of the way. Pedro Strop looked good, and Kevin Gregg looked … well, he got the save without allowing a run.

But you know the big story …

july 19 box

Full box.

  • hansman1982

    Man, just think, if Lake can keep this up, we might be able to trade him for Olt!

    • Mr. B. Patient

      ” if Lake can keep this up, we might be able to trade him for Profar.”

      All fixed.

      • hansman1982

        No, no, no. Profar is grossly overrated and Olt is sooooooooo much better.

        • arta

          if Lake keeps it up, we keep him! lol

  • Jed Jam Band

    I’m activating Junior Lake’s unreal expectations! He shall be better than Yasiel Puig. He is going to be the next Sammy Sosa. He will be an All-Star for the next decade. How am I doing?

    • Required

      He shall be called upon to relieve out of the bullpen and win a Cy Young!

      • Jed Jam Band

        Well, hold on, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

        • Required

          That’s funny!

  • Tim

    Kevin LIGHTS OUT Gregg is back!

    Damn Junior looked good

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Yeah, I turned the lights out when I knew he was going to be in the game. So, you are right. He is back.

    • Ash

      That’s Senior Junior to you buddy!

      • Jp3

        JUNIORRRRRRRRR (Sean Connery voice)!!!!!!!!!!

  • Timothy Scarbrough

    Obviously Lake will be able to overshadow Puig within the month.

  • Oswego chris

    Too late for the warning…Lake is already a legend

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    First pitch: double to left
    Second pitch: steals third

    Good for him! Shark striking out the side in the 7th was awesome to see.

  • George Jetson

    5 BB = good
    8 SO = well, cubs win!

  • Kyle

    His approach reminds me of Castro. That’s both good and bad

  • Is it 2015 yet

    I’m buying a Junior Lake jersey tonight.

  • Bret Epic

    Glad Lake did well. I can definitely see the Castro comparison with the aggressive at bats, but if tonight is indicative of his potential, I like it. Definitely a good start to his career, and hopefully it’s a good boost of confidence for him.

  • Tyler

    I got a shoutout during today’s game, and needless to say I squealed like a little schoolgirl.

    Cherry on top that Lake had a big day and the Cubs won. Good way to start the second half.

    • Brett

      Heard that.

      • Tyler

        The shoutout, or my unmasculine squeal?

        • Mvandy524

          That’s hilarious

  • Mr. B. Patient

    Does Dale start him tomorrow?

    • arta

      Dale said the next 3 games for sure.

  • Kyle

    Everyday according to ESPN chicago

  • Kyle

    When do we see Nate again?

  • dying cubs fan’s last request

    Great kid, keep it up.

  • Pookyshow

    Can anybody tell me how many putouts he had and how he looked in CF also how many pitches he saw today

  • Believe in 2015

    I didn’t know the Rockies could feel the “Lake Effect”

  • Bret Epic

    2013 World Series is ours now that Lake is here!

  • ssckelley

    Just think he can go 0 for 6 and still be batting .300

    No, I am not trying to jinx him!

  • Crockett

    It was really impressive how fast Lake was from 1st to 3rd. Guy can definitely move. And watching him air out some throws during BP was crazy. What a physical talent.

  • Edwin

    I get what they mean when scouts say Lake has loud tools. I think he could be a Carlos Gomez type of player. Very visable tools such as arm and athletic ability.

  • Ivy Walls

    My first person scouting report from Coors Field.

    Junior Lake was ready, we almost lost him when Fowler hit the HR and he ran into the wall in the 4th, he is unafraid. He also is fast and plays all out.

    After he hit the first pitch FB for a double, then stole 3rd on the next pitch. Patience is not Junior. He also played a very shallow CF on a few Rox.

    Cubs and Sveum will have to play him around the diamond at least 4 days out of 6. He is an improvement.

    Samardzija realized the Rox were waiting on his FB and went splitter/slider much of the way. On the way around the park over speakers the homer announcers/analysts discussing how the Rox have win 44 games to get in the playoffs, I turned to my brother in law and said bet the Cubs win 39 games before the Rockies win 44

    39-30 gives the Cubs 81-81, he didn’t take the bet

    • AlwaysNextYear

      Yeah that was a broken wrist waiting to happen.

    • Crockett

      Where did ya sit?

  • Corey

    Physically, I see a lot of Dexter Fowler in Lake. I think that’s about as far as that comparison can go though.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Sickles on the Score after the game tonight said in 3 years Lake has the tools to be in the AllStar game. Then he said or in 3 years he could be back in AA learning how to pitch.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Bud Norris got absolutely shelled tonight! Too the Rangers, Red sox, Pirates, Nationals, Cardinals, good luck with that “plan B” in the playoffs.

    I think teams have to know that Norris isn’t an impact pitcher

    • another JP

      Ain’t gonna be a plan B for the Rangers… they’ll realize their best chance to make the post-season and have success when they get there is to deal with the Cubs. And if they wait too long or until the injured players return they might not be able to catch up to the A’s.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Garza/Russell for Olt, Edwards, Sardinas, and Luke Jackson. Thats the deal that I is fair for both sides

        • praying the cubs get ready to win

          I heard Garza and Sheirhodz or Soriano for Olt, Edwards, Sardinas and Ramirez. Very good trade for both. It would be nice to have Luke vs Ramirez, but I think either are very good for Cubbies.

  • Frank

    Tonight I watch Baseball Tonight and as usual I got pissed off. The Cubs segment came up and they started off with the home run of Col and then showed Rizzo’s double. That’s it. I’m sick and tired of the lack of respect the Cubs get.

    I guess I’m going to have to send them a hate email like I did last year. I have to explain to them again, just because they’re based in Bristol, CT, it doesn’t mean they have to lock their lips on the asses of the Yankees and Red Sox. They don’t seem to understand that nobody gives a flying monkey turd about the Yankees and Red Sox anywhere else in the country.

    That said, fuck the Yankees and the Red Sox. I hope every player on both teams end up on the Bio Genesis list. But on the other hand, all that will be on ESPN will be that story.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      ESPN only loves the Yankees/Red Sox and teams like Detroit and Baltimore bc they want update us Cabrera and Chris davis’s every swing. Oh and I forgot the Dodgers bc of Puig. I agree it is annoying.

      I really do think when the Cubs are good, we’ll get treated on the Red Sox level of coverage or at least similar amount of coverage because the Cubs are a historical and big market team.

    • Ian Afterbirth


      Your tirade is perhaps a bit profane, but as a transplanted Chicagoan first living in NYC for 20 years, and now New England for the past 6, I delight in (and empathize with) the intensity of your vitriolic distaste for said teams and their tired rivalry, along with the assumption by ESPN that the rest of the country is as enraptured by it as they.

    • willis

      Don’t sweat it. ESPN is an awful network and getting worse. They are losing all their talent to Fox Sports 1 and the sport specific networks. What they put on air is south of reality TV and purely for the mindless.

  • Jesse

    But what if…

  • Seth N.

    not going to get all giddy or anything….

    but we are at .457 right now
    we are winning series
    our pitching is still terrific
    our defense has picked up lately

    It’s a watchable brand of baseball

    For now, that’s what I would like to see. Even in a loss, a well played game by the cooobs

    • daveyrosello

      There’s the key thing in your post, and I agree completely: a “watchable brand of baseball.” We didn’t have that last year. That’s all we’ve asked for during the rebuild. A roughly .500 baseball team that doesn’t look like the Sisters Of Mercy out there, that’s all we ask.

      Also, very eager to keep watching Junior Lake for the rest of the year. Correct me if I’m wrong, but at one time in the not-so-distant past, some folks felt Lake had a higher ceiling than Castro. Would be weird but nice if that turned out to be true.

      • Gabriel

        That actually was a pretty distant past, I’d say 4-5 years ago at least. Those opinions were based strictly on tools, as I’m sure you can tell Junior Lake might have one of the ten best tool sets in all of baseball.

        However, when evaluating on baseball skills, as recently as the beginning of last year many felt (including scouts & fans) that Lake should be converted into a reliever because of his arm and extremely raw hitting ability. I had many discussions with friends/on message boards advocating for patience on Lake as a hitter, and so far it looks like the Cubs’ patience is paying off.

        I think Lake has a chance to be like Carlos Gomez or Adam Jones: LOUD tools, poor plate approach lead to several years of underachievement. However, physical and mental development eventually lead him to be a perennial 20/20 threat with a BA/OBP that you can live with.

        He could also end up like Felix Pie or Carlos Marmol lol!

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Who do you guys think will take Garza’s spot in the rotation when he gets traded? Rusin? Brooks Raley?

    I don’t think we can throw Alberto Cabrera in the rotation yet. I’d bring him to AAA and if he shows he still has solid command in Iowa for an extended period time then maybe bring him up in September. But if I were Theo I’d leave him at Iowa for the rest of the season and bring him into spring training and let him compete for a job.

    • Jed Jam Band

      They just promoted Cabrera to AAA. I think Rusin would probably get another look, but I also think Arrieta has a shot. They may want to work some more with Derek Johnson and the minor league staff, but he’s a real possibility. Also, I don’t think this will happen, but if we pick up a Danny Salazar-type pitching prospect in a trade (guy who is MLB ready) then that’s someone who could slide in to the rotation as well.

      • daveyrosello

        Arrieta is more a consistency/confidence case than anything else. I really don’t think he moves from Iowa for the remainder of the year. If he pitches well, then he earns himself a realistic shot in Mesa next spring. Cubs can wait on him.

    • daveyrosello

      In September: Baker. Cubs need to know if he’s worth taking a flyer on for 2014. Until then, yeah, Rusin or Raley, guh. Cabrera stays at AAA for the remainder of 2013. Of course, it’s possible that a July trade brings in a more palatable 2013 starting pitcher, but based on the rumored trades so far, I think we’re stuck with the Iowa Rusin-Raley-Coleman options.

      • another JP

        Just say no to Raley & Coleman- they’ve been struggling at Iowa and aren’t ready to move up. I believe Rusin replaces Garza and if Arrieta does well gets a September call-up. If Russell is moved I’d like to see Schlitter get a shot and thinks he’s on the verge of making it to Chicago anyway. Even if Cabrera does well in AAA this time around and has a good ST I think he’s in Iowa next season. And if Baker can’t get guys out soon in KC I don’t see how he even pitches for the Cubs this season. If we don’t trade Carvill or another starter besides Garza it might be September as a best case scenario for Baker.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          Hope we can count on Baker giving us some innings. Since 2006 he has pitched 111 major league innings. I think he may be made of paper mache.

          • willis

            There are no good options. Which is another reason, well I’ve said my piece on that. But this becomes the issue that drives me nuts. The team is playing good ball, and the pitching has been pretty good, yet soon enough every 5th day will be a guaranteed loss.

            I don’t have faith in Baker either. He’s got a long way to go and lot to prove. So I guess it’s Rusin that gets called up. Joy.

  • Beardface