cubs social media nightIt’s Social Media Night at Wrigley Field, and, since I do a little bit of social media’ing, I’m headed there early-ish. I hope to see many of you there – I’ll be the kinda short guy in a blue BN shirt, jeans, and blue/yellow shoes (that are awesome).

As for the game, Dale Sveum decided to say the hell with it, and tossed out a crazy lineup.

… or did he? At this point in the year, given their struggles, why not just let Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo get as many plate appearances as possible? They can work on things before the season ends, and maybe head into the offseason with some confidence. To that end, they’re batting 1-2 tonight, and that’s just fine with me.

Jake Arrieta gets the start in his try-out for the rotation next year. So far, so good.

Game Info

Washington Nationals (61-64) at Chicago Cubs (54-71), 7:05 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

Ross Ohlendorf (2-0, 1.85 ERA, 2.89 FIP)


Jake Arrieta (2-2, 4.91 ERA, 4.40 FIP (Cubs and O’s combined, because why not?))

Washington Nationals Lineup

(This is last night’s lineup, which will undoubtedly change. I had to head out, so if someone could helpfully post the lineup in the comments when it comes out, I’d be much obliged.)

1. Bryce Harper, CF

2. Ian Desmond, SS

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Jayson Werth, RF

5. Wilson Ramos, C

6. Tyler Moore, 1B

7. Anthony Rendon, 2B

8. Scott Hairston, LF

9. Ross Ohlendorf, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Starlin Castro, SS

2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

3. Junior Lake, CF

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Donnie Murphy, 3B

6. Brian Bogusevic, LF

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Welington Castillo, C

9. Jake Arrieta, P

  • Walter Sobchak

    As far as things go …… I think it’s pretty good idea to finish w Rizzo Castro lake 123…… Maximum at bats ….nice

  • Mr. B. Patient

    Agree with the get them as many ABs as possible thing. Now, just leave them there. Let it play out.

  • Jon

    It’s a lot like when I fill out the lineup for my sons T-Ball team on Saturday, it just really doesn’t matter.

    • Jon

      In fact, the 2013 Cubs remind me so much of the TBall team I coach..I got the whiny little kid that doesn’t pay attention and picks his nose, that’s Starlin Castro. I got the tiny little girl that can’t hit the ball more than a few feet, that’s Darwin Barney…it’s uncanny.

      • James

        Coach Jon. That little girl is my granddaughter and if you would quit insisting that she pull the ball she might hit well.

        • J.F. Edwards

          Probably you’ve also got that Donnie Murphy kid, too. I mean the real one. Because I still don’t know who this guy is hitting fifth for the Cubs tonight but he is NOT Donnie Murphy.

  • Fishin Phil

    Yeah, I’m OK with that line up as well. At this point, you might as well give it a shot.

  • RIck

    wow poor dale i mean really what a freaking mess of a lineup dale does not have much to work with thats for sure

    • CubsFaninMS

      You think Dale took a dosage of Fuckitol this morning?

  • Cizzle

    I like the lineup, but I don’t get why Beef is batting 8.

    • SenorCub

      Yeah Barney should be in the 8th spot.

    • DarthHater

      It’s probably the influence of Tom Tango on the batting order. 😛

      • Annie

        Did the school cafeteria serve chicken nuggets today? Did you do that little drawing above the urinal that all the boys were laughing about–you little rascal.

        • TWC

          Oh, look — Annie’s complaining about something *other* than a .gif! It’s progress.

        • DarthHater

          You’re late. What happened? Was the asylum slow to unlock the computer room today?

          BTW, if you’re going to pop up with same old bullshit even when I am talking about baseball, it really does just illustrate what an utterly egregious troll you are.

        • DarthHater

          And what were you doing in the boys’ room anyway?–you little pederast.

          • Jon

            What’s a… pederast, Walter?

            • Jp3

              8 year olds, dude. I’m pretty sure btw Dale drew names out out of his hat for the lineup 1-8, he only put the pitcher batting 9th to throw us off his scent

              • Jp3

                Rizzo at 2? Sure, why the hell not. Wtf does it matter. That is super weird to me though.

          • Kyle

            Do you like gladiator movies, Annie?

            • DarthHater


    • Funn Dave

      Same. The only time Barney should be anywhere but 8 is when he’s not playing.

  • cjdubbya

    Nats lineup: Span cf, Zimmerman 3b, Harper lf, Werth rf, Desmond ss, LaRoche 1b, Lombardozzi 2b, Suzuki c, Ohlendorf rhp

  • ssckelley

    As long as they are not asking Castro to do anything special batting leadoff then I like this lineup and I hope Sveum uses this the rest of the season with Castro/Rizzo batting 1 and 2. Even as a little league coach I have seen kids struggle hitting and every one has advice from parents down to all the coaches, sometimes it is best to let the kid figure it out for himself.

    • scorecardpaul

      you don’t really sound like the kind of coach I would like my kids playing for.

    • jt

      “sometimes it is best to let the kid figure it out for himself.”
      yeah, and let them have fun doing it…yeah!
      there is a time to coach and a time to get the heck out of the way.

  • C. Steadman

    rather have rizzo and lake switch… but i like seeing these guys in the top’ll be interesting watching the first couple times thru the order…after that I might have to change the channel due to high swing and miss ratios

  • FastBall

    I agree put them in the line up and stop talking to them all together. Leave them the hell alone. They got so many damned thoughts going they are like poorly programmed robots right now. They just need to play some baseball. Maybe if they are lucky they can erase all these thoughts people have planted in their minds and just go up there and knock the cover off the ball. Rule #1 to hitting. Hit the damned ball hard and think of nothing else. I used to teach kids to try and take the pitchers head off with a line drive. You do that your going to get a lot of hits. In the end I don’t care if they get on base via the hit or the walk. But getting a hit builds a lot more confidence than getting a walk does. You go up there looking to knock the cover off the ball and good things usually happen. I think telling someone to take pitches is a bad idea. Guys like Castro are quickly on their heels and all the things that pitcher has to worry about are now in his favor. Castro said it right in his interview. I have to get back to being aggressive. I couldn’t agree more. You can’t worry about all the stats if your a player. You play the game. If you see your pitch kill it if you don’t then you don’t. Most pitchers like to get ahead with their fastball so if your a guesser you don’t have to be to smart and usually the 1st one isn’t their best one.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Well, if you used it while coaching Little League, I’m sure it will work with Castro and Rizzo! Why didn’t they think of that earlier?

  • James

    Fastball: I know you have played the game. Castro has made up his mind to be what he is and was before Brauns hitting coach Mr. Sveum and strike out king of baseball Rob Dibble started changing him. Jody Davis on wgn radio implied total lack of aggression early in count. Slumps are cured by hitting ball up the middle. Thanks for your insight.

    • TWC

      “Fastball: I know you have played the game.”

      Because he isn’t shy about reminding everyone?

      “Jody Davis on wgn radio implied total lack of aggression early in count.”

      You scoff at the ability of Sveum or Dibble to adequately coach a batter on how to hit, but you raise Jody Davis to a level where his insight matters? Jody Davis, who only once has an OPS+ over league average?

      “Slumps are cured by hitting ball up the middle.”

      That’s not what Mark Grace said. And he knew a thing about that.

      • james

        Well, How is the Dibble School of Swishing working out for you?

        • MichiganGoat

          Are you confusing Rob Deer with Rob Dibble? Different players diffent different positions.

          • Jp3

            Yeah ummm…. Pretty sure Dibbs isn’t helping him from whatever baseball show he’s doing now

            • James

              Mistake and apologized. Dibbs canned from MLB so does anyone know if he is working now? Met him at s.t. in parking lot with Kevin Kennedy–good guy to talk too. That was several yrs ago.

            • MichiganGoat

              And especially helping him with hitting

          • baseballet

            One Rob in the Deer is worth two in the Dibble

            • DarthHater

              A deer in the bush will make you double dibble.

              • James

                Looked up Dibb on Wiki. He is very busy with two announcing jobs. So that is good.

              • Jp3

                Dibble your pleasure with Dibblement gum

    • Senior Lake

      If Castro really has been taking hitting advice from Rob Dibble it would explain a lot. That guy made Rob Deer look like Ted Williams. You may be on to something, James.

      • James

        Funny. Only excuse Senior is total brain freeze after this season dilemma.

      • ssckelley

        Dibble had a way lower strike out rate than Deer. Sign him up!

  • FastBall

    Sveum must taken his DILLIGAF patch on his motorcycle vest and put it on his uniform.

    In case you don’t know. it stands for: Does It Look LIke I Give A F*ck.

    All us bikers where it proudly.

    • Richard Nose

      “Us bikers”? Are you quoting a movie or was that South Park motorcycle episode actually based on you?

  • SenorCub

    I guess we are just throwing crap at the wall hoping something sticks. Let’s stop treating these guys like damaged goods. Unless things improve for these guys drastically next year, they will cease to be Cubs. Rizzo has had this happen before with SD, everyone thought that was behind him after spending a couple of months in the majors last year. Not so fast…. This is Castro’s first time struggling badly, so I think the leash is shorting with Rizzo then Castro. In addition. 1st basemen are not hard to come by.

  • Mr. Mac

    What are Castro’s numbers as a leadoff hitter? I remember him being good in that spot, but I could be way off.

  • cub1


    Agreed…The attitude and thought process has to be about hitting the ball hard…at the same time they need to learn to not take themselves out of an at bat by wailing at pitches they can’t hit anyways…i think they need to learn to walk that line

  • Stu

    Here’s an idea for the off-season: spend the money to get the best players.

    I guess the Dodgers aren’t idiots.

  • LWeb23

    I’ve always preferred Castro leading off. I feel like he approaches the plate with a different mindset, one that has less pressure to drive in runs, but allows him to use his natural hitting ability to set the table. The splits back it up too.

  • Stu

    I guess what I said last year is true. It is all about debt service right now. Ricketts overpaid KNOWING that Cubs fans will continue to pay the 3rd highest ticket prices for a AAAA team.

    For all of you guys who worship at the Theo/Jed altar, I’ll put it in their own terms. Why would a fan overpay for an inferior product? Aren’t they always looking for more value than they are willing to give up? Doesn’t that apply to Cubs fans also?

  • Bert

    Brett twitters a few hrs ago that Cubs will receive only nominal cash for Dejesus. Is that the best we could do with 40 games to go and several teams tight in races? Just surprised that is all.

    • DarthHater

      Well, they could hardly trade him to a different team, once he was claimed on waivers, could they?

      • Kyle

        They could have traded him before the deadline. He got healthy just in time.

        But if this was all they could get, then this was all they could get. I don’t think they took a lesser deal just for the fun of it.

      • MichiganGoat

        Once you revoke waviers he can’t be traded

    • ssckelley

      I think Goat nailed it earlier when he suggested the DeJesus went down something like this:

      Nats – Lets claim DeJesus and keep the teams above us from getting better, we will toss a dumb offer at the Cubs so they pull DeJesus back.

      (Hoyers calls the Nats GM)
      Hoyer – Hey I see you claimed DeJesus…..what are you offering?
      Nats GM – (chuckling) Either a player off this list of C level prospects or a roll of quarters
      Hoyer – done
      (awkward moment of silence)
      Nats GM – uhhhhhh….ok, I will send the paperwork over
      Hoyer – Nice doing business with ya, later.
      (both hang up phone)

      Nats Owner – (to GM) WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Nats GM – (face palm)

      Hoyer – (troll face)

      • MichiganGoat

        Yeah but now I think the offer was 10 ChuckeCheese Tokens or Dave&Buster card with $1 on it.

        • ssckelley

          Good negotiation skills!

      • Funn Dave


  • Bert

    Theo, Is that you? Very poor response.

    • DarthHater

      Garbage in, garbage out, pal.

    • Kyle

      I am a noted Theo apologist. Can’t help myself.

      • DarthHater

        I’m pretty sure he was talking to me, Kyle. And my response was weak, for the reason you pointed out. 😛

  • Bert

    A c-note and a Starbucks gift certificate for David Dejesus may have Theo content but many of us are in dis-belief with this transaction.

    • DarthHater

      Just how many of you are in there?

  • Johnny B Good

    Sounds like excuses from Castro to me…

    I really hope he figures it out. He just needs to have this season be over. I think he just needs some time off to recharge the batteries and a new fresh start with a new season

    • gocatsgo2003

      Whatever you do for a living, would you instantly be able to adjust to someone telling you to take an entirely different approach or would it take some time for you to adjust? Especially when that approach had made you wildly successful and amongst the top 300 or so individuals in the world at that craft?

      We saw the kind of effect a day off had on Starlin earlier this year. Hopefully he can take time over the offseason to clear his head to continue his evolution as a player in 2014… hopefully to more positive results.

      • James

        Gocatsgo. You have figured it out and with the coaching changes in the near future–everthing gonna be all rite.

  • waittilthisyear

    ill be at the game tonight. ill be the guy in the ron santo jersey who looks like he has had way too much to drink

    • James

      Waittil we will need more precise I.D. than that.

  • Headscratchin

    You think the people on here are tough on Starlin, read those comments on the Sun Times article. WOW!

  • Gutshot5820

    Sounds to me like the FO had a talk with Sveum. The priority is to build confidence in Castro, Rizzo,, Shark, Wood and nuture their continued progress. Sveum is on the bottom of the list when it comes to the importance of the Cubs future. So far he has failed tremendously and I think he was feeling the pressure and inadvertently has been putting undue pressure on Castro.

    I have a very low opinion of him as a batting coach and so far he has been wrong about just about everything as it pertains to evaluating hitting. Clevenger had a slump proof swing, LMAO remember that? Anyone that makes that kind of statement has no credibility as far as hitting goes. Leave the kids alone and get out of the way and just manage and build confidence for the kids. That’s his only job as far as I am concerned,

  • Jason P

    The effect trying to change Castro’s approach has had on his overall production this year is vastly overrated. They tinkered with it last year, and he actually had more success when he started walking more.

    Castro took 24 of his 36 walks post all star break last year, and his OPS actually was 36 points higher in that timespan compared to before the break.

    I’m no hitting coach, but I’d guess sloppy mechanics are more to blame for his sudden inability to get around on an inside fastball than is his approach. If you look at fangraphs — — he’s being thrown a lot more fastballs this year than in year’s past.

    A lot of people complain about how the Cubs are trying to get him to pull more pitches — essentially saying leave his approach alone. But it’s incredibly difficult to turn around pitches that are either up-and-in or low-and-in, so most players need to at least pull the ball a reasonable amount of time to have success there.

    So far this year, Castro’s hit less than 15 balls into left field at Wrigley (I’m limiting it to “at home” not to make my point sound more convincing, but because I couldn’t find an all-inclusive spray chart online), which has had a lot to do with his .118 average on balls down and in and ,188 average on balls up and in.

    I think blaming the approach change alone is an easy way out.

    • turn two


      • Jason P

        Why even comment? If you disagree with my point at least use stats and analysis to back it up so there can be an intelligent discussion. Otherwise, you’re contributing nothing.

        • jt

          “The effect trying to change Castro’s approach has had on his overall production this year is vastly overrated.”
          –Jason P
          Agree first post
          Agree 2nd post
          Castro hit the ball pretty hard to RF once last night and hit also couple fairly hard hit ground balls to the LS. Nothing special mind you but he did get around on them.
          I like that he plans to be aggressive. I hope he means selectively aggressive though.

        • turn two

          That would have ruined the point of my post

    • Pat

      Agreed. Just because he is having a down year doesn’t necessarily make it someone else’s fault.

      • TWC

        I blame Hendry.

        • Pat

          I’m going with Quade. Of course, Hendry hired Quade, so yeah, you could move it up the chain. Just so long as none of it is his own fault.

  • Jason

    Just got home from work. So Rob Dibble is our new hiting coach. Who is he replacing?

    • ssckelley

      Rob Deer

    • DarthHater

      No, no. Rob Deer was a mistake. Our new hitting coach is Rodney Dangerfield.

      • Jp3

        He doesn’t get the respect he deserves…

  • Mick

    Convulsing just thinking about the language around the batting cage.

  • baldtaxguy

    Moving him to lead-off, Sveum is maybe tweaking all the experts, responding to the travesty against God and man of batting him 8th last night?

  • Pat

    Might as well give it a shot at this point. Batting him lower in the order, while deserved, apparently didn’t help. I don’t really think batting position has much of an effect on results, but you might as well give him as many at bats as possible from this point forward to try to work through whatever his issues are.