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at&t parkThe Cubs are in line for a sweep! Of the Giants! In San Francisco! There’s still good baseball to be played this year.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (47-55) at San Francisco Giants (46-57), 3:05 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.

Starting Pitchers

Travis Wood (6-7, 2.95 ERA, 3.66 FIP)

versus

Tim Lincecum (5-10, 4.73 ERA, 3.63 FIP)

San Francisco Giants Lineup

1. Andres Torres, CF

2. Marco Scutaro, 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. Tim Lincecum, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Junior Lake, LF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Luis Valbuena, 3B

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Welington Castillo, C

9. Travis Wood, P

  • Andrew

    wow, Cubs have a better record than the Giants…Dont know what to think of that haha

  • cubzfan23

    I really like how these guys are playing. With a win here today and a sweep of the brewers the Cubs could be within striking distance of .500. Jesus am I stupid or what for thinking these guys can do anything better. This recent surge has been without Rizzo really hitting much, imagine if he got hot. Is it at all possible these guys could go 43-17 in their last 60 games probably not, but I am a Cub fan and of course I’m hoping. That would likely get them into a one game play-off.

    • Die hard

      17-43 more likely unless pitch shutout every game

    • http://Cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

      No way. They haven’t even been winning at near that clip during their recent “surge”.

    • Mush

      Dude pass some out to the rest of us.

    • Can’t think of a cool name

      One of the Cubs’ problems is they play in the NL Central. I think we have 32 games left with the Cardinals, Pirates, Reds, Dodgers (division leader) and Braves (division leader). If we go 16-16 in those games we would have to 27-1 in all others.

  • Patrick G

    Soriano goes deep! good for him

    • madisoncub

      Walk off single for him!

  • cavemencubbie

    Not that I want to see it today, but why is Tim Lincecum not the dominant pitcher he once was? Anybody have a clue? What does this say about going after pitchers like Price on a long term contract?

    • Deacon

      Timmy’s lost a lot of velocity. I don’t know what it says about Price but it probably says if C.J. Edwards is what he’s cracked up to be he won’t be able to sustain his velocity forever given his slight build.

      • Patrick G

        Depends the player. Roy Oswalt was 6′ and was dominant for a long time. Lincecum’s delivery i think just took a toll on his body

        • Ryan

          That delivery really is what has killed his velocity the last couple years. That and the ridiculous haircut.

          • Tommy

            You’re on to something with the haircut.

            • CubsFaninMS

              I think the sinking of Artex was his undoing.

              He always reminded me of Atreyu on the Neverending Story, a movie that came out in the late ’80’s. If you’ve never seen this movie, the analogy would make no sense.

        • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

          Indicative of the velocity argument. I guess the bigger question is: can he regain his form at all? (New team, new workouts, new mechanics???)

          He’s a FA and will be 30 in June 2014. (He wont command 22M he got.)

          [img][/img]

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            [img]http://www.brooksbaseball.net/cache/1c212b9b27a551ec44bcad63ae968e29.gif[/img]

      • Tommy

        4 years straight of pitching over 200 innings probably didn’t help and 2012, he was close to 200 innings again, even with his elevated ERA.

  • Jonathn

    Possibility and probability are two very different things. It’s of course possible the cubs will win 43 more games this year. Its also possible that a pitch from a giant lefty would hit a bird on its way to home plate obliterating the bird in the process. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4QcEWV7ANM

    But its not really probable. Its fun to dream though, isn’t it? Nothing like a few wins in a row to arouse that old cubbie optimism.

  • MichiganGoat

    Blogathon goal of $12,000 has been reached – OUTSTANDING!

    • DarthHater

      Good. We can give Brett a nice wish after he suffers brain damage from sleep deprivation.

    • Patrick G

      Favorite time of the year. Trade rumors swirling and consistent posts. Congrats Brett what will be your strategy?

    • Good Captain

      How much to hit 48 hours straight?

      • DarthHater

        We really don’t want to kill Bert.

        • Pat

          Yeah, even at 36 hours committed I think he should get an hour of sleep or two.

  • BlameHendry

    Maybe I’m way out in left field here, but has anyone thought about the Cubs taking a chance on Lincecum in the offseason with a 1 or 2 year deal? I just can’t help think there’s still something left in him, some chance he can put it back together. He obviously wont be able to command a huge salary or long term commitment and teams in “win-now” mode likely wont even consider him.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      I’ll take the flier on him. But, that contract would really have to be short. He’s probably not going to do under a 3 year deal. (And some GM will take the risk to do a longer deal.)

      Fangraphs shows his FIP ERA at 3.63 this season. http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=5705&position=P

      And if you look at his peripherals, BB/9, K/9, H/9, HR/9 they are all very good, not great, or Tim in 2008 or 2009, but if and when we had that out of Edwin Jackson or Garza, we’d be looking at him as a FA.

      • BlameHendry

        Lincecum has said in the past that he actually prefers short-term deals. He has signed back-to-back 2-year deals, although they were around $20M per year. Even with Lincecum’s decline, I think a 2-year, $20M (total) deal would be a reasonable risk to take, and I think it would be something he’d bite at.

        • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

          I’d do that too, if his velocity does not continue to decline.
          He still knows how to pitch.

          Guys that throw no-nos on 140+ pitches, gassed at the end, are competitors first. That’s a generalization, but I think, given your analysis of short term deals, it means he’s a bit more “I’ll prove my worth, or you can get rid of me” guy than “I want a long term deal and money aplenty.”

          I’d probably offer 2/17.5 with good incentives for IP, and any other CBA approved options.

          But will see.

    • DaveY

      I think the Cubs drafted Lincecum out of high school. I wouldn’t offer him anything unless I was looking for a fifth starter or middle reliever and I doubt he would take such an offer unless he thinks he can get another ring with the Cubs.

      Oswalt isn’t much taller than Lincecum but Oswalt has a stronger, sturdier build with wider shoulders. He doesn’t need to resort to a freakish delivery to throw great stuff like LIncecum.

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        That’s a pretty low opinion of the guy. He’s not an ace; but I suspect he’s not a middle reliever either. At least, not yet.

        As I stated, some GM will perceive him differently.

        • DaveY

          I doubt Lincecum will sign with the Cubs unless they are a serious contender and by that time he will be older on the downside. By then if the Cubs need him for anything more than a fifth starter or middle reliever then they probably aren’t serious contenders.

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            I doubt it too.

      • ChicagoMike702

        FIP suggests he’s still a useful starter.

  • mudge

    Don’t trade with the Yankees unless they’re willing to Overbay.

  • AD

    Any word from Assman today.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Brett in transaction section of Sunday Tribune it says that the Cubs traded OF Julio Concepcion to the Angels for International Pool Money. Have you seen anything on this ?

  • DaveY

    I don’t know why Pence is wearing sunglasses, the sun is at his back.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Peavy is about to be dealt. Not going to the Red Sox, Cards, Braves, or O’s. Maybe the A’s? Interesting to see their return and if its the A’s if they got Sony Gray

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Well never mind. Another Jim Bowden false alarm and terrible reporting. ESPN really needs to fire that guy or not let him tweet what he thinks is breaking news

  • BlameHendry

    IMO, Travis Wood is the most nerve-racking pitcher to watch. I have absolutely no idea how he had so much success in the first half. He has literally no “stuff”. No velocity, very little movement, and he doesn’t even have his command in the last few starts. I’m still not convinced he hasn’t just been extremely lucky during his time with the Cubs.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      No need to get down on the guy. Its not like his stuff is as bad as Rusin’s. He’s a lefty who has decent stuff and knows how to pitch. But I do share some of your concerns about how he could be a candidate for regression. I think he’s a very good #4 pitcher in good rotation, and can be use as a mid-low #3 starting pitcher

      • DaveY

        Travis Wood is the Cub’s smartest pitcher. He knows how to attack hitters. I know the Cubs like to come up with a pitching plan based on scouting reports and statistical analysis and whatever else but more than any other Cubs pitcher I would let him break from that plan to make in game adjustments to opposing hitters.

        I expect Wood to have a nice 15+ year career in the majors and if he wants it the rest of his life as pitching coach. When the Cubs got multiple players in addition to Wood for Marshall I immediately thought the Cubs just robbed the reds blind.

  • Carmelo

    Soriano wins it for Yankees

    • BlameHendry

      Happy for Soriano, but it just further re-inforces my opinion the Cubs should have just kept him…

      • http://ryanissamson.drupalgardens.com ryanissamson

        I’m happy for Soriano as well. Because I am, I want him to have the best chance to win before he’s done. What better way to do that than with his old team who actually has a chance this year.

        • BlameHendry

          I definitely agree with that. But he has currently more value to the Cubs than he does to the Yankees, because of the leadership and mentorship he offered, and the line-up protection he provided for the Cubs developing power hitters. What he gave the Cubs was much more valuable than Corey Black + 7M. I understand giving him a chance with the Yanks is doing the “nice guy” thing but I dont remember bringing in Theo Epstein just to play the nice guy or to help anybody but the Cubs in their attempt to become a winning team again.

          I’d be 100% thrilled for Soriano if we got a proper return for him.

          • Serious Cubs Fan

            At some point w all have to let go of the Soriano thing. Aging veteran, Great leader, solid bat with pop < Salary saving of $6.8mil and a lottery ticket in Corey Black. Thats how Theo/Jed saw it. At some point they had to cut the cord and let the young guys on this team make it their team and not Soriano's team. We weren't going to get much in return of trade for Soriano anyways so might as well trade him now while he's healthy and still productive. I'm just happy we let him to let have a shot at a ring

      • deej34

        Very happy for Sori as well, but they definitely should NOT have kept him.

        They saved some money and are giving younger players opportunities to show their stuff. There was no advantage to keeping him, other than veteran leadership which DeJesus gives and guys like Rizzo should be stepping into.

      • DarthHater

        Because the Cubs need more high-power-but-high-K hitters, right?

  • DaveY

    Travis Wood just turned Posey into a poser.

  • Carmelo

    Baez with another bomb—good debut for Edwards, strikes out the side for Daytona in 1st inning.

    • http://Cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

      I think we need a creative way to describe Baez’s home runs. Vogelbach has “Vogelbomb”, Soler has “Soler power”, but Baez has nothing.

      • chirogerg

        Gimme another bowl of that Javy-oli!

        • DaveY

          I’ll pass on the javy-oli….

          • chirogerg

            but it’s strangely good with mango salsa

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        He could do the salsa when he crosses home if you want?

        • DaveY

          Baez is from Puerto Rico, not Mexico.

          • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

            Trust me. They do the salsa in Puerto Rico as well.

        • chirogerg

          That would also elevate his OBP since he’d get beaned so much!

      • cubchymyst

        Javy Jacks or Baez Blasts

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

          I was going to say Baez Blasts so ill go with that.

    • http://a-rodminorsavg.324hr/yr7 cub2014

      Baez has 42 homers (oh and 41 BB)
      in 650 minor league AB

  • http://Cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

    Meanwhile in Daytona, CJ Edwards began his Cubs career by striking out the side in the first.

    • http://Cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

      Never mind, didn’t see Carmelo’s post above.

  • DaveY

    Lincecum makes a mental error. Poor confused pitcher on the bases…..

    • deej34

      Had no bearing on the play though. Made it a slightly easier tag at home.

      • DaveY

        Wrong. Lincecum should have run home on contact. If Valbuena want’s to force Lincecum at home then he has to throw immediately and not get the force out at third. They might then get the force out at first. Either way that leaves runners on second and third both of which probably score on the following hit.

        If Valbuena tries to turn a double play either by steping on third and throwing to first or going around the horn, then Lincecum scores and there is a runner on second or third who probably scores on the following hit.

        Either way, if Lincecum runs home immediately, then the Giants would most likely be ahead 2-1 but he didn’t and the game is tied.

        • deej34

          Yes he should have ran on contact. I didn’t argue that. I’m saying that even running contact, Luis had more than enough time to touch third and gun him at home. The play was in front of him and he would have had no reason to make two long throws around the horn. Timmy isn’t fast enough (even going on contact) to make that a difficult play.

          • DaveY

            Tagging third and throwing home means Castillo has to tag out Lincecum. That’s probably the most difficult of Valbuena’s options. Remember, after stepping on third Lincecum is running straight down the line and blocking a direct throw to Castillo. Valbuena being a right handed thrower most likely would have to take a step into fair territory before throwing. It would take a perfect throw and even then I don’t know if it gets there in time. I didn’t see where he was in the replay, but Lincecum can take a lead off third at least as far as Valbuena is away from third so he should have been well down the line at contact. Going around the horn is Valbuena’s easiest and safest play.

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

    Wow, Edwards strikes out the side in the second. 6 batters, 6 Ks.

    • cubchymyst

      wow, just wow

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

        Edwards K streak ends at 7.

        3IP, 1H, 7K, 0BB so far.

    • Trey

      He struck out the first batter he faced in the third to make it 7 in a row. Then let somebody hit into a groundout and gave up an infield single. What a bum

    • baldtaxguy

      Whoa…..nice first impression

  • Tim

    Is anyone else worried how much Sveum relies on certain bullpen guys? For example, Strop. Sveum uses him a hell of a lot. I fear for overusage. Anyone else?

    • mudge

      Rizzo runs into another out.

    • deej34

      Agreed. His gets his favorites and rides them til they crash. But without a lot of bullpen depth, I wonder if he really has much of a choice. But I would love to see him mix it up a little more so we don’t break Strop like we did with Camp last year.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      Not really.

      I mean you can make any argument regarding usage. Some relief pitchers like every other at most, some can go back to back. Then get 2-3 days off.
      Here’s his game log – with pitches thrown.
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=stroppe01&t=p&year=2013

      You make your analysis. Then tell us.

      • Tim

        Thanks for the link, I feel like it was helpful. Looking at that, I guess he is not “over using” Strop. Maybe my opinion is being swayed by the fact this is a season in which we will not be making the playoffs, so why not give everyone a shot. We just called up Eduardo Sanchez, why not work him in? Same when we had Henry Rodriguez, Sveum never put him in.

        Before anyone jumps down my throat about how terrible Henry was, I think it is worth pointing out that if a reliever rarely throws you can’t expect him to perform. Strop, is a part of next years team, but Henry Rodriguez and Eduardo Sanchez might be as well. I would just like to see some of these other guys get a little more of a chance. Even if they fail I feel like that will reveal something to the FO. The downside of getting some of these relievers in the game seems pretty minimal to me. We might lose a few more games, but again we aren’t going to the playoffs anyway so not that big of a deal.

        • baldtaxguy

          They’ll probably get their chances in other games later this season.

        • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

          Long season. And maybe, because Strop is in a groove – we are evaluating his setup/future closer role, since Gregg ain’t going be the ongoing solution in 2014.

          Just hazarding a guess. Rodriguez gets low leverage opportunities – say when we are up 3/4 runs.

    • Rcleven

      Every player has a roll to fill.
      Svenm has used his pen well.
      I worry more about the starters only going six innings.

      • mudge

        Who’ll fill the Kaiser roll?

        • Rcleven

          Korn Beef.

  • Monkey

    What does payroll look like now with garza and sori off the books?

    • Kyle

      Somewhere between 95 and 99 million.

    • MoneyBoy

      Not taking arb numbers into consideration and based on Cots – I have them under $32 million.

      • Kyle

        For 2014, are you counting the money we still have to pay Soriano?

        • MoneyBoy

          Oopsie … good point

          • MoneyBoy

            Just under $50 mm

      • Monkey

        Whose the moneymaker now? Jackson or dejesus?

        • MoneyBoy

          EJax

          • Monkey

            Thnxs sir.

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        55.224 – 5(Soriano’s reduction) + 5(DeJesus goes to 6.5 if we keep him) + 6 ARB cases equals maybe 65 million in active contracts??? (ARB: Samardzija, Wood, Schierholtz, Barney, Valbuena, Russell)

        https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ah4PW47PiAi-dEhlQ2VhNHpQQWhSVzh0dGlzUEtkQXc&output=html

        We swapped cash from Soriano’s contract to keep DeJesus, at least so far.

  • William

    Am I the only one annoyed that our announcers played Enter the Sandman? Kevin Gregg is not the Sandman!

    • William

      Enter Sandman*

  • Rcleven

    Cubs sweep.

  • Tom A.

    Wood and Castillo all we needed today !

  • Tom A.

    This team is playing like they care — awesome !!!

  • Josh t

    I can’t wait till we trade Gregg. I wanna see how Strop does in that role

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