petco parkWith last night’s surprising loss, the Cubs slipped to 20 games below .500. It doesn’t seem like they’ve been quite *that* bad this year, but … you are what your record says you are, or something like that.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (54-74) at San Diego Padres (58-70), 7:40 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.

Due to travels, no Series Preview this time. Many apologies.

Starting Pitchers

Jeff Samardzija (7-11, 4.12 ERA, 3.58 FIP)


Eric Stults (8-10, 3.70 ERA, 3.26 FIP)

San Diego Padres Lineup

1. Will Venable, RF

2. Alexei Amarista, CF

3. Yonder Alonso, 1B

4. Jedd Gyorko, 2B

5. Chase Headley, 3B

6. Logan Forsythe, SS

7. Nick Hundley, C

8. Jaff Decker, LF

9. Eric Stults, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Starlin Castro, SS

2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

3. Dioner Navarro, C

4. Donnie Murphy, 3B

5. Junior Lake, CF

6. Darnell McDonald, LF

7. Cole Gillespie, RF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • MichiganGoat

    Glad to see Dale sticking with Castro at leadoff regardless of how much he is struggling.

    • Cheese Chad

      Agreed. Give em at bats.

    • hansman1982

      Ya, although I would like to see Castro get regular days off though. Not to “clear his head” but no sense in wearing him down. Watkins riding the pine this much is puzzling.

      • Cheese Chad

        I think so too. Especially with the hodgepodge at third you’d think he’d get some spots at 3rd and ss with a bit of 2b

  • MichiganGoat

    And Wow look at that OF wonder what the odds would have been at the begining of the year that at some point this year we would start these three in the OF at this point.

    • jkppkj

      Roughly 5.38 x 10^46 to 1… ?

  • Cheese Chad

    Would a lake, vitters, bogusevic outfield be do bad next year. Defensively maybe I haven’t seen enough games to notice if lake is improving. Maybe lake vitters and a bjax (bjax 2.0)

    • Crockett

      Would much rather have Sweeney than Bogusevic.

      • Cubswin


    • jkppkj

      Would rather see Schierholtz be able to stay in the lineup against lefties, His career splits aren’t as bad as this year’s are against LHP. I’d say there’s just as much value in seeing if maybe the guy having a career year can be more of an every day player (he’s only had 43 ABs against lefties as a Cub) as there is in reminding the world that Darnell McDonald is a AAAA player who won’t be staying on the 40 man roster.

  • Cubswin

    I understand there is a lefty on the hill tonight but Mcdonald and Gillespie should never start together in the outfield. Even if we want to lose games… I’d rather just let Bogey get the start instead of Mcdonald, regardless of whose on the mound. Let watkins play 2nd next righty that throws against us.

  • Stevie B

    R E V E R S E S T A N D I N G S

    Go cubs go!!!

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Well, if he accomplishes nothing else, at least Theo got Cubs fans to root for the White Sox.

      • rockin’ dawg

        We’re “up” to 4th place!

        • Mr. B. Patient

          By the end of next week, we’ll be firmly entrenched in 3rd place, making a push on Miami.
          Now, if only Houston can’t afford Rodon…….

  • CJay

    SUX——NEVER HAPPEN !!!!!!!

  • Walter Sobchak

    Gillespie & Bogs & McDonald do not belong on Mlb rosters …..not even this bad of a team…… My god how bad is Watkins that they need to see these other guys for

  • Jason P

    If Rubi Silva could only walk a little bit more, I feel like we’d be talking about him as a future MLB starter.

  • Stogie

    This has to be the worst starting outfield in major league history (apologies to Lake).

    • JM

      I was thinking the same thing.

  • cas-castro

    It would be funny if this lineup scores 10 runs tonight

  • JM

    Just wondering, didn’t Castro hit .300 while mostly batting second?

  • someday…2015?

    Great to see Shark bounce back the past two weeks. I love seeing him hit 95+ in the 8th and 9th. Just a thing of beauty.

    • someday…2015?

      past two games*(not weeks)

  • wassssup

    Cubs are leading the league in ebh this year with 403 yet are still 19 games under .500? That’s got to be a positive in this dim lit season.

    • Luke

      Yep. If the Cubs could have just gotten base at a decent rate their offense would have been bad at all.

      • wassssup

        We could get into specifics of what ifs, but at the end of the day, with the talent that’s there and has been there, we aren’t bad. Well, we are. The postitives are how this front office executes a plan. True Cubs fans are truly patient. We have to be, we’re Cubs fans. But to think we would lead the league with extra base hits, at the beginning of the year, not anyone of us could have predicted. To hear the negative’ness of this blog, since I’ve been reading it, has gone off the deep end. Casual Cubs fans seem to care too much. My props go out to our die hard cubs fans for sticking too, and waiting for this master plan to u fold!

  • Luke

    By record this is a horrible team.

    By run differential they are 8th in the league. That still isn’t playoffs, but they aren’t that far out. A marked turnaround in 2014 may not be as tough as some are thinking.

    • jt

      It seemed to me that this team was bad. It was bad because to OBP of the offense was bad and the pen was inconsistent. IMO, they will be a much better team in 2014 because the players they will have will get on base a whole lot more and they may have quality arms for the pen that extends deep into the minors. Garza and Feldman were pretty good though.

    • DrReiCow

      I believe the Cubs are actually 10th in run differential in the NL:

      STL +152
      ATL +123
      CIN +91
      LAD +59
      PIT +54
      AZ +17
      WAS -18
      COL -19
      NYM -34
      CHC -48
      MIL -58
      SD -84
      SF -87
      PHI -107
      MIA -108



      • DrReiCow

        Which puts the Cubs at a Pythagorean win loss percentage of 0.455, which is better than their actual win percentage of 0.426. over a season, this works out to a difference of ~5 wins (~74 – ~69).


    • Dustin S

      I like the optimism, and I think things will/should be a touch better in 2014. The catch is that the Central is going to be tough again. Even if they end up with a 8-10 in run differential in the NL overall, 3 of the top 5 NL teams are in the Central.

      My gut feeling is they’ll dabble in free agency but not go all-in, so more focus on flippable pieces generally. It will come down the young guys. Can; Castro/Rizzo rebound, Lake keep it up over a whole season and improve defensively, Castillo show some more pop, Olt rebound and make an impact next season, and can they turn the bullpen around. If those happen, maybe they could see a 10-15 game improvement next season, which would be the difference between buying and selling next deadline. I still see Baez and other AA and lower guys being held out until after the year of control date in 2014 so it will probably be more up to the other names above whether they can be good enough in the 1st half of 2014 to be competitive. Another .425 or lower season next year would probably be it for Dale so they need to show something.

      • ssckelley

        The good news is the Cubs are the only large market team in the NL Central. The Cardinals are your main competitors since they have an organization where they just reload every year.