chase fieldTonight’s game certainly has taken on a different character than it looked like it was going to have earlier today. Chris Rusin flies in for another spot start, and we’ll see if he can lock up a short-term rotation role. Junior Lake leads off against a lefty tonight.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (43-53) at Arizona Diamondbacks (51-47), 8:40 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

Chris Rusin (0-0, 8.10 ERA, Undefined K/BB)


Tyler Skaggs (2-1, 4.03 ERA, 2.50 K/BB)

Arizona Diamondbacks Lineup

1. A.J. Pollock, CF

2. Martin Prado, 3B

3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

4. Aaron Hill, 2B

5. Miguel Montero, C

6. Cody Ross, LF

7. Gerardo Parra, RF

8. Didi Gregorius, SS

9. Tyler Skaggs, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Junior Lake, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Cody Ransom, 3B

6. Dioner Navarro, C

7. Cole Gillespie, RF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Chris Rusin, P

  • wvcubsfan

    and another bloop double FML

  • Believe in 2015

    For those that missed Lake’s first homerun….

    • Vulcan


    • arta

      thank u.

  • Jason P

    I’m not a huge fan of sending the runners in that situation with Rizzo on second, Soriano on first, and less than 2 outs (Navarro at the plate, full count).

    Navarro knows the runners are toast if he doesn’t either walk or put the ball in play, which makes him more apt to swing at a borderline strike. In that case, it was a breaking ball that started a borderline strike, and moved farther out until it was way out of the zone.

    And beyond that, I just don’t see any major benefit to sending the runners. Rizzo probably scores on a single anyway (not a guarantee, but likely) and Soriano wouldn’t have either way. Fonzi’s relatively fast too, so he probably scores on a ball in the gap even if he’s not running.

  • ssckelley

    I hate it when MLB umpires miss a call that bad.

    • http://BleacherNation Mugsy

      Another missed call by Angel Hernandez. It’s amazing how many calls he misses.

      • mudge

        He saves Joe West from being the worst ump alive.

      • Jason P

        To quote Hawk Harrelson: “And aNOTHer blown call by Angel Hernandez”

  • Rcleven
    • Cody Ransom note


    • ssckelley

      Very good article, Edwards has a neat story playing bush leagues before a scout found him.

    • mudge

      yeah that’s a great piece.

  • Brad


  • another JP

    Lake! 4-5 with another big RBI. Haha Yasiel Puig… I laugh at your face!

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Yasiel who?

  • Roggan

    Junior Lake what a day!!

  • Vulcan


  • willis

    Hell yes Junior Lake! Huge insurance run.

  • True blue

    Man I like watching Lake play. He is a very exciting player. I know it’s early but he looks great. Electric player to watch.

    • willis

      You said it, electric. Great way to describe him. Dude is an awesome player to watch develop.

      • True blue

        It’s nice to see the energy and the hustle by Lake. This team has been so boring to watch the last few years. He seems to have the “It” factor. That guy that gets the job done. I don’t believe we have had that player since Aramis Ramirez at the plate. Yes, it’s a small sample size, yes it’s way to early to compare him to a player like Ramirez. Lake just has that look and feel for a player that welcomes the challenge of competing in the moment. Those players are very special and very rare. Time will tell, I’m certainly enjoying the moment though.

  • ssckelley

    Maybe Lake was just not challenged in the minors.

    • brunsmk

      He’s actually posted better stats at each level along the way. I don’t think that is very common.

  • turn two

    Baseball is a cruel game, major leaguers figure people out real quick. Sadly this overreaction to small sample size is most assuredly the highest fans will be on lake.

    That said, one heck of a couple games.

    • another JP

      Yeah, but there’s nothing that’s more fun to see young guys who busted their butts to make the show have success. If you think it’s great for the people on this forum what do you think the Cub clubhouse is like right now? Junior and Starlin together again and having an impact… it’s a beautiful thing. With the trade today this is the most excitement I’ve seen around here in the last year and a half.

      • True blue

        Agreed 100%. One of the concerns with the rebuild is the constant losing at the big league level. It is hard to get excited about every game when your out of playoffs in June. Players feed off of each other, you can feel and see the energy when you watch Lake. I wonder if he plays like this all the time.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      You might be the one overreacting. The rest of us are just having some fun with Junior’s great start. I haven’t heard anyone suggest he’s going to the HOF. Yes, it’s 4 games, but be happy for the kid.

      • arta


    • Dustin S

      He’ll definitely settle down, but this season we’ll take it. Lake’s been a lot of fun to watch and it couldn’t be better timed to help soften the blow of Garza heading out the door. I think he’s helped light a fire under the rest of the team too. Cole Gillespie’s catch was pretty ridiculous tonight too.

  • Vulcan

    I know the sample size is small but there isn’t much else to talk about.
    Move over Puig the annual summer ‘Lake Show’ is in town!

    • billy

      Move over babe Ruth.

  • Clark Addison

    Yasiel who?

  • another JP

    Cubs win! AAA Chris & Junior to the rescue…. we don’t need no stinking Garza!

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Even I’m impressed by this young man.

  • willis

    Great win! Tough day with everything going on, but a nice way to end it. What a great game by Lake and the pitching staff. Cannot say enough about Rusin coming in and pitching well like he did. The pen held it together.

    Love the wins.

  • Brad

    Lol I did it again huh premature jubilation :/

  • Brad

    But man this guy if he keeps it up I will never ever doubt theo wow damn it stupid team getting my hopes up, ugh the dilemma of being a cubs fan!!

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    It’s time Junior gets his due. From this day forward Senior Lake

    • Mr. B. Patient

      If he keeps it up, we’ll have another ‘Great Lake’.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        Or, another ‘Lake Superior’.

  • John

    Off topic but I was watching Baseball Tonight and at the end it was reported that the Yankees are Strongly interested in Alfonso Soriano.

  • Joey

    George King of the NY Post is reporting that the Yankees are “close” to acquiring Soriano. The Cubs would pay a majority of his remaining contract and get back a “mid-level prospect”

    • Eric

      Mid level as in “good A+, AA ball player” hopefully. Someone maybe a bit higher in the rankings than C.J. Edwards and I’ll be estatic.

      • Jed Jam Band

        Bit higher? C.J. Edwards is considered a top 100 guy at this point. I think we get more of a fringe five guy for Soriano.

        • Brent

          I agree, no way we get a guy with a ceiling as high as Edwards. I think we could land an intriguing/nice prospect, but Edwards is considered by some to be a Top 100 guy.

  • Joepoe321

    John heyman tweets the same thing.. Seems real.. Soriano to the Yankees by tomrw morning?

    • YourResidentJag

      Also mentioned on Baseball Tonight. Things got legs.

  • Vulcan

    Per John Heyman:

    Yankees are moving closer to acquiring Alfonso Soriano.

  • thejackal

    lets take a guess who yanks give up……….. my gues j.r murphy

    • SenorGato

      I like Murphy a good bit. Pitcher Nik Turley is not uninteresting to go with him.

  • Brent

    Kap has also confirmed the reports. Nothing will get done tonight, but it looks like things could move fast tomorrow or the day after. Hoping the Cubs get Mitchell back in return.

  • another JP

    Cubs need to get Jay Ramirez out of the deal. If the Yanks won’t do better for Soriano someone else can beat that offer easy. Do the Red Sox need a bat? They have better pitching prospects than NY, right?

  • Bret Epic

    With the amount of salary the Cubs are likely to cover, I think they’ll receive a decent return. Oh how I wish we could’ve ended up with Domonic Brown back when there were rumors of a Brown/Soriano trade.

    • Scotti

      Yankees might take on more salary than most other teams and Soriano will only go to a handful of teams. Theo doesn’t have a ton of leverage here (he had craploads of leverage with Texas). Some salary relief and a guy who would slot into our top 20 would be nice.

  • Mike Taylor (no relation)

    If Soriano leaves, Lake plays LF everyday when DeJesus returns, unless Schierholtz goes first, then DeJesus will probably moves back to RF. I doubt the return will be high enough for him coming back from an injury so soon, but you never know. Vitters could get the call up to play LF everyday to showcase what he’s got for the off season before Olt comes up in September.

    CF Lake
    RF DeJesus (L)
    SS Castro
    1B Rizzo (L)
    3B Olt
    2B Valbuena (L)
    LF Vitters
    C Castillo

    • Scotti

      Reasonable. That would be one fugly defensive OF though. Perhaps DeJesus in CF would be best (Lake in RF) to have the best OF in the middle (able to back up both).