at&t parkAfter last night’s win, the Chicago Cubs have a better record than the defending champion Giants. Set aside the selloff for a moment, and the fact that the Cubs are still a million games out of a playoff spot – right now, they aren’t terrible. And that’s something.

Chris Rusin continues his fill-in quest to stick in the rotation tonight. Dioner Navarro is your cleanup hitter, which actually isn’t all that crazy.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (46-55) at San Francisco Giants (46-56), 8:05 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.

Starting Pitchers

Chris Rusin (1-0, 5.40 ERA, 5.45 FIP)


Madison Bumgarner (10-6, 2.93 ERA, 3.24 FIP)

San Francisco Giants Lineup

1. Andres Torres, CF

2. Tony Abreu, 2B

3. Buster Posey, C

4. Pablo Sandoval, 3B

5. Hunter Pence, RF

6. Jeff Francoeur, LF

7. Joaquin Arias, SS

8. Brandon Belt, 1B

9. Madison Bumgarner, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Junior Lake, CF

2. Cody Ransom, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Dioner Navarro, C

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Nate Schierholtz, RF

7. Cole Gillespie, LF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Chris Rusin, P

  • mudge

    I’d ask for Strop or Guerrier… but they haven’t even lost any of Gregg’s blown saves. Fairy dust.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Yep, Strop is electric. Guerrier is the stead veteran arm. Gregg…is the guy who throws meatballs and prays they don’t go deep

  • Die hard

    Moneyball like game

    • mudge

      1968 like game. My faves. Wish I could’ve been in the stadium.

  • Chris

    Like him or leave him or trade him, but where would we be in that loss column without him. Kudos to the scout who signed off on him.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Exactly. I’m hoping we can get some kind of value for him at the deadline. The reliever market is starting have more arms available with teams like Padres becoming seller with Luke Gregerson becoming available. I think a fringy top 20ish prospect is the best we can hope for, which I’d be pretty happy with. Hopefully we can package Schierholtz and Gregg to go to Pirates for an organizational top 10 guy like Tyler Glaslow or Nick Kingham

  • baldtaxguy

    Just wow!!

  • Jonathn

    A little redemption tonight from all those times the cubs loaded the bases with no outs and somehow managed not to score. At least we’re not the only ones.

    • mudge

      Is Rusin this good?

      • Kyle

        No. But he *might* have a future as a lefty-heavy (not quite LOOGY) reliever.

        • mudge

          You mean he replaces Russell?

          • Kyle

            Well, ideally, not as important to the pen as Russell is.

      • Jason P

        Almost impossible for a starter to succeed long-term with a below average breaking ball and a fastball that averages out at 88. I like his poise and ability to throw strikes, but he seems like a future middle reliever or swing man to me.

      • ssckelley

        Rusin dang near made the starting rotation out of spring training.

        • Kyle

          I really hope that’s not true.

          I mean, I know he did well in the spring, but I hope they were never seriously considering giving him a rotation spot.

          • ssckelley

            He pitched very well and Garza was hurt, Villanueva ended up getting it but it was close.

            • X the Cubs fan

              Feldman and Baker were also hurt. I think.

            • baldtaxguy

              From Brett’s 3/22/13 post when Rusin was cut and sent to Iowa:

              “Rusin will continue starting in the AAA rotation at Iowa, and is probably the Cubs’ 6th starter while Matt Garza and Scott Baker convalesce. Drew Carpenter might also get some starts at Iowa. Coleman, Chapman, Parker, and Lewis will head to the Iowa bullpen if the Cubs decide to keep them all.”

        • Dustin S

          Yeah I think it was more a case of Garza and Baker being hurt, and so Rusin had a chance of making a spot start in early April. But he wasn’t ever close to actually making the rotation.

          What’s funny though in hindsight if you think back, Travis Wood almost didn’t make the rotation out of Spring Training. That was the whole Feldman/Villanueva/Wood for the last 2 SP spots discussion, which lead to the talk of possibly having a 6 man rotation. But it became moot when Garza had a setback.

  • steve a

    I’d like to quote Navarro on what he thought of that win

    F*** yaaa!!!

  • Kyle

    Lemme just throw this out there. Cubs are on pace for 75 wins, and are only 1 game behind a trio of teams for the 11th-13th draft picks.

    • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

      That’s OK if their pick slips to low teens, they can then pounce on the C from Indiana Kyle Schwarber who is LH stick with plenty of power. He is currently playing for team USA and is having success against the likes of team Cuba.

      • Adam

        I’d like to be in the top 10 so that we can potentially sign Type A FAs without surrendering a first rounder. I think ultimately we’ll be pretty safe in the Top 10, especially if Russell and Gregg are gone, the bullpen won’t be able to hold anything.

        • X the Cubs fan

          We’d obviously be in the top 10 considering we’ll probably be selling a lot of the sellable players. I’m hoping for anywhere in the top 3.

  • another JP

    How about this- Cubs now with 25 road wins this season; only had 23 all of last year. Win tomorrow and it’s a 6-4 road trip and 5 out of 6 against SF.

  • Cubes

    we are drastically better than last year its plain to see… even after the sell off I don’t expect much more bottom to fall out… depending how many more are moved obviously

    • another JP

      I realize that the Cubs are still paying most of Sori’s salary to play in NY next season, but by unloading Soriano, Garza, Feldman, & Mamol it represents $45M of payroll for 2013 alone- and this team is still winning at the same pace as before. If we do send Gregg, Schierholtz, Russell, etc. I agree that there won’t be much drop-off- if any. The remaining roster is a year older and better than last season.

      • Kyle

        Just doing some back of the napkin type stuff, the Cubs could field a team for 2014 with just what they have in their organization already under control for that year (plus a cheap backup catcher) for about $70m and be projected to win about 73 games. So we should have at least $35m to play with this offseason, and hopefully more.

        • Cubes

          if we have 40+ mill to work with next offseason watch the hell out.

          • BT

            You have to have something to spend it on.

            • Cubes

              see last year

      • Scotti

        The Cubs JUST trade away Garza (a huge reason for the recent surge) and are contemplating trading away Samardzija. The replacement for Garza alone, tonight’s game aside, will not stack up. This isn’t the same team that it was even a couple of days ago. Trade Samardzija (something I can support if the deal is substantial enough) and that goes double.

        • Kyle

          Garza was barely on the team long enough to make much of an impact.

          I’ll believe they trade Samardzija when it happens and not a moment sooner.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    If Baez can handle SS long term we should offer Castro to Cincy for Cingrani and Cozart. Play Cozart at short till Baez is ready and we have a top of the rotation starter under control for 5 years.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I hope your joking. Castro’s stock is down but not that down. Cozart sucks, Plz do not debate that. And Cingrani is nice but if you look deeper, the guy only has 2 pitches he throws (Though they are good pitches). No third pitch as starting pitcher. That is a terrible deal and thats not even me overvaluing my own player

    • X the Cubs fan

      A guy that has just reached AA for the first time is the reason we should give away our 2-time allstar 23 year old SS that has just recently came out of a season long slump. Think i’ve heard all now.

    • Eric

      I disagree with Lou 100% but would love to hear the logic behind that suggestion. Not sure where you would consider Cingrani a TOR caliber pitcher.

      I know we need an ace but maybe Castro has gotten through this slump and figured it out. Let’s see what he does the last two months,

      I’m not opposed to trading Castro but it sure as hell wouldn’t be for Cingrani.

  • X the Cubs fan

    Red Sox, Pirates and Diamondbacks have recently checked in on Shark.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      All those teams have the farm systems to pull off a trade. I don’t think any of them will meet Theo/Jed’s rightfully high asking price but a guy can only dream. If we could land Bradley, I would be insanely happy. But it would take more then just him

  • Jason P

    After the game tonoght, Nate Schierholtz is on pace for 22 home runs, 68 RBI’s, and an .876 OPS to go along with his .281 average. That’s ideal 5-hole production right there and could probably even suffice in the 3-hole.

    If teams aren’t willing to pony up the prospects for that kind of production, he could be a great addition to the 2014 Cubs — and at a cheap price, too.

    • Scotti

      Someone’s going to have to play next year so, if teams aren’t willing to offer quality, you keep the guy. If someone offers quality then you jump at it.