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wrigley field from right bleachersIt’s game one of a well-time doubleheader, and Carlos Villanueva will try to put together an end-to-end good start. It’s been a bit uneven for him in the return to the rotation, and with a number of young pitchers angling to get a longer look (Rusin, Arrieta, Grimm, etc.), Villanueva may have to pitch quite well to keep from shifting back to the pen next month.

Hey, remember when Yovani Gallardo was a hot trade target that was going to net more than Matt Garza?

Game Info

Milwaukee Brewers (44-61) at Chicago Cubs (48-56), 1:20 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

Yovani Gallardo (8-9, 4.88 ERA, 4.03 FIP)

versus

Carlos Villanueva (2-7, 4.23 ERA, 4.09 FIP)

Milwaukee Brewers Lineup

1. Rickie Weeks, 2B

2. Norichika Aoki, RF

3. Jean Segura, SS

4. Jonathan Lucroy, C

5. Carlos Gomez, CF

6. Caleb Gindl, LF

7. Jeff Bianchi, 3B

8. Yuniesky Betancourt, 1B

9. Yovani Gallardo, 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. Carlos Villanueva, P

  • LWeb23
    • Funn Dave

      That’s awesome. Better than the Fraud shirts.

    • MichiganGoat

      [img]https://sphotos-a-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/q71/944594_10153026315240136_2049501774_n.jpg[/img]
      Done

      • LWeb23

        Thanks. Did you just throw an [img] tag in front of it, and a [/img] after? Thats what it looked like in the ‘Recent Comments’ on the right-hand toolbar.

        • MichiganGoat

          Below the text box you see a “You can add images to your comment by clicking here.” Just click on that and then paste the image URL… see Darth Hater for more questions about sizing issues.

          • LWeb23

            Ahhh, never noticed that down there. Attention to detail always gets me.

  • Funn Dave

    I’m not so sure I like this Barney-batting-before-Castillo trend.

    • Featherstone

      I still dont get why its happening.

      • willis

        Been basically the same lineup for the last few days which has tallied hardly any runs. But hey why change anything up?

        • On The Farm

          Because if Lake is on its a different story, we need him to re-heat up

    • CubsFaninMS

      A Barney-batting-before-ANYONE trend is ill-advised, certainly Travis Wood. Wood needs to bat #5 when he’s pitching.

      • willis

        Well I suppose the thought it that Castillo can protect Barney better than a pitcher and as much as Barney has struggled offensively, maybe that helps him some. Not that it has, but I guess that could be the thought there.

        • On The Farm

          That’s because pitchers aren’t worried about who is protecting who as much as they are focused on aiming at the blue spots in Barney’s strike zone

  • Jp3

    Anyone care to wager the chance of a Bro-Hug happening today? What should the percent be? 60% we see a bro-hug? Too high or too low?

    • MichiganGoat

      I think that is just about right

  • wassup

    Well if it’s slow on the Cubs trade front, at least you have two pregamin’s and two EBS’ to keep you busy!

  • Featherstone

    Yovani Gallardo more valuable than Matt Garza….

    Yeah I had a good laugh about that one too.

    I’m sure Gallardo’s 7.24 ERA in the month of July had teams beating down the door to empty their farm system for him.

  • RizzoCastro

    I myself can’t wait to see someone else play second base for the Cubs. I don’t care if its LV, Watkins, or the kid Alcantara (who I really like), but Barney has not played D as well this season and his .212 AVG, 263OBP, and the 590 OPS is very bad.

    • http://vdcinc.biz 70′scub

      Today Shiishh on Barney’s trade value dropping…..

    • Danny Ballgame

      Barney = No bueno

      Lets get anyone else in there, ASAP

      • mudge

        It’s because he has no protection in the lineup.

        • CubsFaninMS

          I believe they could to a Valbuarney package and get a nice return.

          • afinch

            Valbuarney?!?!?! Nice…what other great combo names could we come up with? Samardzijiarney? Villanuevadzijia? Rizzostro….

            • Patrick W.

              Greggholtz

          • MichiganGoat

            Define a nice return for Valbuarney?

            • Kygavin

              a three pack of big league chew (if its a variety pack we got a steal)

            • CubsFaninMS

              For a league-average third baseman and former Gold-glover who hits like a little leaguer….

              One B- pitching prospect (Top 10 in mid-range system) and one Top 15 prospect.

              Not much.

              What about Scheirmardzholtz?

          • Danny Ballgame

            I Valbuarney-ed on a sidewalk in college after too many shots

    • Funn Dave

      Same here. Imagine how much more offense we would see with a 2B that can actually hit.

  • North Side Irish

    Villanueva with a perfect game through .1 IP…

    • Danny Ballgame

      Pull him and start the bro hug line

    • Jp3

      Awesome

  • lukers63

    I keep looking at the daily lineups for the Cubs, and wonder why Dale keeps running the same bench player lineup out there. Then I remember, oh yeah, we don’t have anyone else…… I am starting to feel old (or the Cubs are really young) when only 3 players on the team are older than I am.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Howie Kendrick, 30 would be a great addition to the Cubs. Maybe a sign and trade deal
    4 years 32 mil?

    • Danny Ballgame

      Whats his current contract situation?

      • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

        9.35M in ’14, 9.50M in ’15, can block trades to 12 clubs this year, 6 clubs in ’14 and 4 in ’15.

        • Danny Ballgame

          So are you saying he’s not coming to the Cubs. I need to cancel my jersey order

    • gocatsgo2003

      Dude is signed in Anaheim through 2015… let’s try to use facts even just a LITTLE bit.

      • DarthHater

        [img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8551/8705395082_71435b7e84_o.jpg[/img]

    • gocatsgo2003

      PS — $8MM per year would be a pay cut for Howie, who makes $8.75MM this season, $9.35MM next year, and $9.5MM in 2015 on his current contract.

    • TWC

      You do realize that “sign and trades” can’t happen in MLB, right?

      • DarthHater

        aka 2much2know

      • JulioZuleta

        Who are the gonna use the franchise tag on this offseason?

        • JulioZuleta

          The Cubs*

          • Jp3

            Roberto Garza. Bam

        • TWC

          Dick Tidrow.

  • South&Wave

    As much as I hate Rizzo’s sub-.240 BA this year, I love that he takes walks especially after seeing the likes of Jackson, Olt, Baez (did I forget anyone else who swings and misses a lot?)

    • Cubbie Blues

      Vitters & Sappelt

    • mdavis

      pretty sure Olt and Jackson both take their fair share of walks.

  • gocatsgo2003

    Jackson can actually take a walk as well — his OBP at Iowa this year was .300 despite hitting just .223 and his career triple-slash in the minors is .274/.368/.469. From everything I have read, his problem is being able to make consistent contact on pitches in the strike zone rather than his feel for the zone itself.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Yes, he doesn’t have a problem watching the ball go past him no matter which way it happens. His problem is when he wants the ball to travel in the opposite direction without the aide of the catcher throwing it back.

      • jj

        Do you have the breakdown of how often Jackson is called for strikes swinging v looking? Gocatsgo is suggesting Jackson’s problem is not that he watches the ball go past him for strikes (i.e. too passive) but that when he swings he simply misses too often.

  • walter sobchak

    Why oh why does Barney get into this lineup over and over and over again…….is he that gritty Cubs player that people like (which is code for sucking)? Bring up Olt or Watkins or something…….why is it that early in the year we hear about the struggles and demotions of others but not Barney? The pitchers for the Brewers or any team that plays the Cubs can always look to that seven spot in the lineup for three outs a game no doubt

    • Danny Ballgame

      At this point I don’t care who they bring up because nobody can possibly hit worse than Barndog

      • willis

        Olt could.

        • Jp3

          Wait we just traded for O….oh never mind yes he could be worse.

  • MoneyBoy

    With Castro’s fielder’s choice in the 2nd, the Cubs are now 9 for 86 with RISP since the All Star break!!

  • Peter

    jeez, I hope the cubs go after Brian Mccann in the offseason, we need someone who can bat cleanup becuase rizzo and castro have proven time and time again they cannot knock in the big run. Besides, wellington castillo will never be an elite pitcher.

    • Peter

      catcher

  • willis

    Man, that felt exactly like the bottom first last night. 2 on, one out, Schierholtz and Castro crap out. Same thing over and over and over….

    • TWC

      It’s almost like even the best players the Cubs have ever had still fail 2/3rds of the time, isn’t it?

  • Jon

    We are going to get shut out by Yinovanni Fucking Giarto, holy shit this offense suck balls. I want to throw Darwin Barner in front of traffic.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Relax.

    • Cubbie Blues

      He says during the top of the 3rd inning.

      • gocatsgo2003

        And Gallardo is, like, a pretty decent pitcher.

        • MichiganGoat

          Yeah but Giarto is a bum.

    • DarthHater

      Just make sure you select the right traffic. I suggest you conduct first-hand research by standing in some.

    • MichiganGoat

      Hmmm I guess your’re so angry you forgot to spell?

      • DarthHater

        [img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3702/9393035057_0485871432_n.jpg[/img]

        • MichiganGoat

          ;) see the Blogathon make proper spelling contagious.

    • TWC

      Huh. Pretty sure that Gallardo’s on the hook for the loss now, Jon-O.

      • DarthHater

        We are going to beat Yinovanni Fucking Giarto, holy shit this offense rocks. I want to throw Darwin Barner a parade.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    I wouldn’t mind signing Pena, Navarro again, McCann or Saltalamacchia. Of course the medicals would probably scare the Cubs too much to sign McCann.

    • Danny Ballgame

      Which Pena

      • kmr1453

        Must be Brayan of the Tigers

  • Jon

    BOOM, that sound you hear is Junior Lake crashing back to earth. He’ll be back in Iowa in two weeks.

    • willis

      That’s a little ridiculous I think. Hell dude was 2-4 last night and he’s not just up there whiffing away and hitting weak grounders. He’s here to stay the rest of the year. Who in the hell would they bring up for him at this point? There are literally no options.

    • Cyranojoe

      You’re right! A .347 average is completely unacceptable for this Chicago Cubs team. Sample sizes be damned!

    • ETS

      Well, he does have a 405 babip and everyone (including sveum) has said he has some polishing left. So it’s completely reasonable to think that 1) his stats will regress and 2) he will go back to Iowa, but neither of those necessarily mean he can’t be an MLB player someday or that his early success isn’t something a cubs fan should enjoy.

    • DarthHater

      Yea, Jon, you really should follow Willis’ lead and base your judgments on a sample size of at least two games. Two at-bats is kinda ridiculous. ;-)

      • Jon

        Good point Darth. I didn’t realize you posted stuff other than dumb ass meme’s.

        • DarthHater

          Thanks. I didn’t realize you posted anything other than infantile tantrums based on as much knowledge of baseball as a pile of horseshit.

          • willis

            I know that was a little humor about the sample size, but for what he can bring and what he has done to this point, the question remains, now that Hairston and Soriano are gone…he’s the best person for the LF position right now. There just isn’t anyone else.

            • willis

              Until Sweeney is ready, which will be the 1st of Septemberish anyway, so Lake is here and will be playing.

          • Mr. B. Patient

            Darth. STOP insulting horseshit.

    • Vulcan

      Seeing as there aren’t many options to replace Junior Lake, the Cubs might as well keep him for the rest of the year.

    • Senior Lake

      So we can get another look at Sappelt? Maybe Darnell McDonald?

      • Kyle

        I wouldn’t mind another look at Sappelt. He and Lake are pretty similar in value to me.

        • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

          Yeah, I feel like there is a lot of unwarranted hate on Sappelt. I understand he may have made some oh-so-negative comments about woman drivers, but I think he can be the next Reed Johnson.

        • Danny Ballgame

          Sappelt doesn’t have the tools that Lake has

          • Kyle

            Lake doesn’t have the polish and skills that Sappelt has.

            • gocatsgo2003

              What’s easier: polishing up a kid with a ton of talent, or giving talent to a kid with a ton of polish?

              I realize that’s an oversimplification on a number of levels, but it gets my point across.

              • Kyle

                Your point was gotten all along. But it’s easier to do that polishing at an appropriate level for the player’s skills. In Lake’s case, that’s probably still AAA.

                • Danny Ballgame

                  As long as he is playing everyday and learning at a high level, while not blocking anybody from playing, I would rather keep him up.

              • Jp3

                Well, you can’t polish a tur… Sappelt doesn’t have the tools Lake has. He may end up being the better Majot Leaguer but his ceiling non even close to lake’s

                • Jp3

                  Major*

                • Kyle

                  Ceiling gets talked about waaaaay too much. By the time a player is Lake’s age, it’s time to stop worrying so much about ceiling and start worrying about projection. Ceiling is for teenagers.

                  • gocatsgo2003

                    So… we aren’t allowed to talk about ceilings for a good portion of players drafted out of college?

                  • gocatsgo2003

                    Like, say, Kris Bryant?

                    • Kyle

                      You *can* talk about whatever you want.

                      But yes, I’m much more interested in Bryant’s projection than his ceiling.

                  • Danny Ballgame

                    Hasn’t Sappelt proven that he doesn’t project as anything other than a 5th outfielder? He is 3 years older than Lake and has never done anything at a AAA or MLB level that shows that he is a good ballplayer.

                    • On The Farm

                      I think there is still a chance he can be a 4th OF

                    • Kyle

                      I would be a *little* more charitable than that, but basically yeah. He’s proven he’s not going to be much more than a reserve outfielder.

            • On The Farm

              Sappelt’s AAA numbers aren’t anything to get excited about this season.

              • willis

                Villanueava hasn’t pitched that poorly, but being down 2-0 I am feeling like it just wasn’t good enough because the team just can’t convert runners into runs.

                • willis

                  Whoops, that was supposed be to stand alone. I’m dumb.

              • Kyle

                That’s perfectly true. I’m not crazy about either Sappelt or Lake. Both *might* be interesting bench bats.

                • On The Farm

                  Sure, but until Lake really isn’t hitting the ball I don’t see the reason to option him to Iowa in favor of Sappelt.

                • cms0101

                  Lake might be a little more than an interesting bench bat when all is said and done, but the flaws are clearly there. I’m not sure it’s necessary for a Sappelt return regardless. And I’m about done with Borbon too. Sure, Lake could use more time in Iowa. The same could be said for Vitters and Jackson last year when they came up. I say keep him up, let him fade into a slump, and maybe he’ll learn something about what adjustments he needs to work on next. Sappelt doesn’t provide any additional wins over Lake, so play the toolsy young guy over the AAA roster filler.

  • afinch

    For those watching, that’s 3 flyouts to very deep LF. 2 were Lake’s. Were those close to going out? I’m following on MLB.

    • Kyle

      Not particularly close. Would have landed in front of the track, but probably reached the wall on the first hop.

      • Kyle

        I take that back. Just saw the replays, and they were further than I thought. The first one was probably five feet short, the second one 10.

  • Cubbie Blues

    You mean, he of only 170 PA in AAA? Yeah, there is a slight possibility he could go back down to get some more work, but while he is up he is going to be in the line-up. It serves no purpose to have him on the bench. I love your unique insight and uplifting spirit though.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Helps if I use the Reply button.

  • Jon

    Jonathan Lucroy is the new Cubs killer.

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

    It has now been 31 innings since we scored a run on a ball that did.n’t leave the park

  • On The Farm

    With a sweep we would have been 3 games under .500, right now its looking like we might end up 11 under .500. If only we were better at this run scoring thing.

  • Peter

    Castro got a useless 2 out single, very typical and cub like that they all seem to get their hits when they are either meaningless or are useless 2 out hits with no chance of scoring runs.

    • Peter

      Brian Mccann please

    • bbmoney

      This isn’t a serious comment is it? That hit very clearly still gave them a chance to score in the inning.

      • Peter

        I would not post it otherwise dickhead

        • DarthHater

          [img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3702/9393035057_0485871432_n.jpg[/img]

        • TWC

          Yay! Name-calling! How very adult of you.

          Grow up.

          • Peter

            Another Douchebag, you fuckers really like to come out of the woodwork

            • hansman1982

              Ooo, even capitalized the word this time!

              • TWC

                That’s how you know he’s serious.

              • DarthHater

                That’s because TWC is a major Douchebag. :-P

                • hansman1982

                  Or is it Major Douchebag, SIR!

            • TWC

              Out of the woodwork?! You new here, kid?

              Why don’t you take a moment and read this site’s Terms of Use before you get banned, m’kay?

            • DarthHater

              [img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5504/9301687183_caa34cbec3_n.jpg[/img]

              • miggy80

                OMG, LoL!

              • Danny Ballgame

                Neil Degrasse Tyson?

                • gocatsgo2003

                  Best Daily Show guest ever.

                  • Danny Ballgame

                    Watch him wherever you can.

                    Funny + Astro/Theoretical Physics = ??? (But I like it)

                • DarthHater

                  There appears to be something on his necktie that looks like a telescope, so I’d say “yes.”

            • gocatsgo2003
            • MichiganGoat

              And there we have it – the first victim of the Blogathon madness.

            • hansman1982

              now, now, guys. Just because Peter has a different opinion doesn’t mean those of us in the “Old Boys Club” need to go all “Jonestown” on him.

          • Danny Ballgame

            Hooray internet anger!!!

        • bbmoney

          Oh I’m sorry, I thought you were joking.

          I mean the hit lead to a pretty good scoring opportunity, and now 2 runs have scored. Weird, I guess I don’t consider that useless.

    • Ryan

      Not such a meaningless single now, was it?

  • DarthHater

    Time to pinch hit for Barney.

    • bbmoney

      what you don’t trust his .586 ops?

      • miggy80

        or let him hit

        • turn two

          I’m glad he hit, he is clutch and grindy

          • Danny Ballgame

            Uber Grindy

          • miggy80

            Clutch + Grindy = Scrappy

          • DarthHater

            You guys are starting to sound like sidewalk barkers for a porn movie house.

        • DarthHater

          See, it was my lack of confidence in him that caused him to summon up the bellyfire needed to get that hit. :-D

    • TWC

      And Barney says, “Suck on THIS, haters!”

      • DarthHater

        [img]http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7385/9322737514_6eca3ff54b_o.gif[/img]

        • TWC

          You’re not looking as svelte as you used to, Darth. Maaaaybe cut back on the cronuts, eh?

          • DarthHater

            You cannot diminish my self-esteem: I’m evil enough. I’m cunning enough. And doggone it, people fear and despise me!

  • Danny Ballgame

    This team is made out of fine imported clutch

  • CubsFaninMS

    John Axford is getting rocked….or.. pelted to death. Four singles.

  • wvcubsfan

    I really wonder if other teams have as many “Chicken Little” and “Negative Nancy” type fans as we do.

    Every player that hits less than .300 sucks and can’t hit. Any player that hits over their weight in low A ball has to be much better. Now it seems half the fan base have become expert scouts, and don’t even try to get into arguments about which prospect is better. It seems that many have seen every amateur baseball game played for the past 18 years and knows exactly which 18 year old will be an all star and which will be a bust.

    I know losing gets tedious and being a Cubs fan sure isn’t easy, but hell guys try to enjoy life a little bit.

    • turn two

      Out latest installment of…out of left field, what sparked this

      • wvcubsfan

        reading the comments in this thread

        • TWC

          Or *any* thread.

          • DarthHater

            Stop being so negative.

            • TWC

              I’m positive you’re harshing my buzz.

        • Tom A.

          Simply practice selective reading. Never read anything written by certain people !

  • willis

    Very nice outing from Villanueva. At 92 pitches I’m guessing he’s done. Hell of a job holding them to two and giving the team a chance to come back.

  • willis

    That’s 5 QS in a row, can Arrieta keep it up tonight? Very intrigued by his stuff, interested to see what happens later.

    • South&Wave

      I haven’t seen much of Arrieta. What does he throw?

      • gocatsgo2003

        Usually the baseball, though he occasionally mixes it up with the rosin bag. It’s really held back his development.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Hopefully, no towels.

        • Rcleven

          Or fists.

    • willis

      may have spoken too soon, he’s still in there. I probably jinxed it now. Crap.

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