wrigley field from right bleachersThe Cubs will try to beat the unbeatable Dodgers again today. (The “again” refers to the “try,” not the “beat.”)

They’ll have a new addition in the process: veteran infielder Donnie Murphy, who’s been playing at AAA Iowa for most of the year. The 30-year-old can play anywhere in the infield, but he doesn’t bring much of a bat to the equation. Given that there are now just four outfielders on the roster, it’s fair to wonder – when Brian Bogusevic is ready to come off the DL, for example – if Murphy, or Cody Ransom, won’t be long for the roster.

Game Info

Los Angeles Dodgers (59-49) at Chicago Cubs (49-60), 3:05 CT on FOX.

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 Capuano (3-6, 4.54 ERA, 3.87 FIP)


Jeff Samardzija (6-9, 3.75 ERA, 3.60 FIP)

Los Angeles Dodgers Lineup

1. Carl Crawford, LF

2. Yasiel Puig, RF

3. Hanley Ramirez, SS

4. Andre Either, CF

5. Jerry Hairston, 3B

6. Skip Schumaker, 2B

7. Scott Van Slyke, 1B

8. Tim Federowicz, C

9. Chris Capuano, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Junior Lake, CF

2. Cole Gillespie, LF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Welington Castillo, C

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Nate Schierholtz, RF

7. Cody Ransom, 3B

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • mudge

    groovy lineup! I like Cole at 2.

    • cking6178

      Gillespie is garbage, why would you like him in the 2 hole?

  • Jp3

    Too bad we didn’t have Barney hit lead off… It brings back memories if bash brothers and former college teammates Fontonot and Theriot…. They’d sure to have gone back to back.

  • willis

    Man do I hate when the cubs face left handers. You can only laugh if you’re the opponent at this lineup. Yuck.

  • Alex

    I really don’t think dejesus and valbuena are that much better that teams don’t always laugh at our lineups.

  • cubzforlife

    Lets see if Shark is our #1 slumpbuster.

  • cubchymyst

    At least the people clamoring for Scheirholtz to play against LHP will get to see how he does for August since the Cubs currently only have 4 outfielders.

    • willis

      Yeah I’d rather Dejesus than Schierholtz. Neither are good against LHP but at Dejesus has at least a decent approach.

      • mudge

        Look up the splits.

      • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

        Their splits are almost identical vs. lefties. They both struggle big time.

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

    At least Barney is batting 8th. Dale got something right.

  • X the Cubs Fan

    After their 4 hitter they suck

  • #1lahairfan

    Would have liked to give Thomas Neal or Ty Wright a chance over Borbon, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers.

  • Mr. B. Patient

    Puig is very good at baseball. That said, it seems like that’s pretty much all Fox is talking about.

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

    If this is an out, it would be a travesty.

    Amazing attempt my Puig.

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

      *by Puig* stupid auto correct.

  • William

    Are we throwing Puig strikes? He seems like a free swinger who can be exploited.

  • chrisfchi

    If Darwin Barney can get his OBP over .600 ill be happy with his performance so far this year.

    • wvcubsfan

      Well I’m glad you have such low expectations for the 8th hitter.

  • RY

    The Chicago Cubs: making shit pitchers look great for decades! And why the hell can’t any of our pitchers find the strike zone. Samardzija looks pathetic.

    • MNeuman

      Pathetic? Really? I think you are being a bit critical.. I mean don’t get me wrong, 3 BB and 87 pitches through 5 is not anything to write home about but if he gets through 6 possibly into 7 I would call this a pretty strong performance…..

      • MNeuman

        Shouldn’t have opened my big mouth….knew it just as I submitted!

  • Chris

    Smardj is not a happy camper. He does control his emotions around the press but behind the scenes, another story. Another season of some good outings with little to show for it. That will drive a competitive athlete nuts with exception of Soriano.

    • wvcubsfan

      When he gets to the point where he’s consistent, then he can complain about his offense not being consistent. As of right now he’s his own worst enemy.

  • TOOT

    I can see why the FO is having a problem with offering Samardzija a huge contract. The guy has proved diddly. He seems to be a different pitcher at every corner. He has been given every break though his career(not to mention millions) and whiffed at the last offer by the Cubs. I think you trade this conceited pitcher.

  • RYAN

    I don’t blame him for being frustrated because this offense is beyond horrible, but I’m sorry if anyone thinks 5 walks, 7 hits in 6 innings by a MLB pitcher is something to rave about. Toot is pretty much right, everyone has a bad day but he is way too inconsistent to be demanding any kind of big contract!

    • TOOT

      TY RYAN.

  • Mr. B. Patient

    Now, can someone explain to me why Shark hit in the 6th? Maybe Sweum shoud be DFA’d for repeat stupidity.

  • Kevin

    The 2 players this FO extended contracts to, Castro & Rizzo, are both batting .240. I hope they both can work on thier offensive in the off-season.

  • Chris K

    Shark doesn’t deserve a bigger deal than he was offered in the winter. He has all the stuff to be an ace, but can never seem to be consistent. When he controls his stuff he is an ace for sure, then when he doesn’t have control he is horrible. Maybe thats the reason he didn’t sign the deal, he believes he can figure out how to always control his stuff. This year is looking an awfully like last year for him, no progression which leads me to believe he isn’t going to be anything more than he currently is, which is a #3 starter.

    • wvcubsfan

      I think this is exactly the reason he was offered the contract he was offered and why he didn’t sign it. It’s going to always be about control with Shark. When and if he can figure that out he’ll be worth a bigger contract but not until then.

  • RY

    Well said Mr.B! Stupid !

    • Mr. B. Patient

      It’s like they don’t want to win.

      • TOOT

        See FO is not stupid.

  • William

    I am glad today’s game is not televised here in Florida. What a pathetic performance by our offense again!

    • TOOT

      We have an offense?

  • wvcubsfan

    Well the good news is we are playing like a top 5 pick team again

    • Mr. B. Patient

      it’s going to be a long two months. Bears preseason starts next Friday, so there’s that.

  • William

    Can we please cut Cody Ransom? He was a refreshing story at first, but that has been over for a while.

    • wvcubsfan

      Remember the talk about tough 40 man roster decisions? That’s not going to be one of them.

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

    Swinging at ball 4 with the bases loaded? Classic Cubs.

  • RY

    as usual, no clutch hit there either, freakin pathetic!

  • KidCubbie

    Its like we are allergic to hitting with RISP.

  • Carew

    I feel like pitching is starting to come around, but the lineup for the most part is just bad. I hope they spend a little more this offseason

    • RY

      If we don’t find a way to get some bats on this team, no free agent pitcher or current pitcher up for an extension will want to stay here. It has to be hard knowing you have to damn near pitch a perfect game or shutout with this inept offense behind them.

    • Die hard

      Needs Bryant who may be too good to keep in minors next yr

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

      There’s not a whole lot of top-tier talent available this offseason, which means teams will probably over-pay the guys who are free agents. Unless they can get Ellsbury on a 3 yr. deal or less, I don’t want him. Choo is going to be 32 and can’t hit lefties. McCann’s a decent target, but he’s the top dog on the market — meaning he’ll get paid — and catcher isn’t even one of our top positions of need. Castillo’s fine as an 8-hitter, and he probably hasn’t even reached his offensive ceiling yet.

      Other than that, who else do you want?

  • RY

    oh great another 162 games of averaging 2.7 runs per game. cody ransom needs to be cut tonight, bring anybody up from iowa, also get rid of Gillespie, why is he even on this team anyway? these two are the best we have to run out there?

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

      Unfortunately, yes. Should get slightly better when Sweeney and Bogusevic come back.

  • Kevin

    If the season ended right now the Cubs would get the #6 pick in next years draft.

    • Eternal pessemist

      Yes, and we all knew we were tossing in the towel for the season. All i want to see now is growth in our controlled players and a new line-up next year that continues to have better potential at the start of the year. And i will be happy to have the number 4,5 or 6 pick next year.