dodger stadium chavez ravineJake Arrieta can match Zack Grienke’s stuff, but can he match the control and the command?

Anthony Rizzo is back in the three-hole after a successful stretch in the two-hole. Starlin Castro stays in the leadoff spot, though.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (55-75) at Los Angeles (76-54), 9:10 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 lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Jake Arrieta (2-2, 5.75 ERA, 4.63 FIP (Cubs and Orioles))


Zack Greinke (12-3, 2.91 ERA, 3.53 FIP)

Los Angeles Dodgers Lineup

1. Carl Crawford, LF

2. Yasiel Puig, RF

3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

4. Hanley Ramirez, SS

5. Andre Ethier, CF

6. A.J. Ellis, C

7. Mark Ellis, 2B

8. Nick Punto, 3B

9. Zack Greinke, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Starlin Castro, SS

2. Junior Lake, CF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Brian Bogusevic, LF

6. Donnie Murphy, 3B

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Jake Arrieta, P

  • Cubswin

    the likes of Murphy, barney and even Bogey to an extent are coming to a close. Can’t wait to see the likes of a Baez, Alcantara or even Olt (I know needs big turnaround) replacing 3B and 2nd. Will be fun to watch, or at least more to get excited about

  • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

    I really prefer the Castro, Rizzo, Lake, Schierholtz lineup for the top four. The RLRL alternation appeals to me. It would be great to see that every game from here on out, in part to see how it works and get those four lots of ABs.

    Not that I know more than a MLB manager, or anyone cares what I think… but hey, that’s what this is for, right?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I tend not to question men with mustaches, let alone the personification of a specific mustache.

      • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

        Brett, that is the nicest thing anyone has said about me in a while. Do not fear SO’s mustache. I am here to help.

  • Chris S

    I think try to keep this under 12 runners left in scoring position is more fitting. Or even under 12 runs allowed?

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Interesting note in the Daytona / Dunedin ( Bluejays) affiliate Matt Boyd LHP sixth rounder from Oregon State in the 2013 draft is starting against Pierce Johnson for the Cubs. We are starting all of our pitching talent at Arizona Rookie ball and Boise in the NW league from the 2013 draft while Toronto has a sixth round pick pitching very well at A+ ball versus our best from the 2012 draft.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Boyd was a 22-year-old senior, not a 20/21-year-old junior.

      • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

        Brett I know Boyd was a senior, but the Cubs needed to fast track pitching when they drafted and we had the opportunity to select a number of them this year. I also suggested at the time of the draft we needed more lefties in our system and the pitching rich teams like the Jays and Cardinals did just that.

    • nkniacc13

      plus daytons rotation is pretty good theres no need to “rush’ development there

  • Jp3

    Matt loosen is at it again. No-no through 4

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      He’s been showing flashes of turning the corner in Double A. Hopefully this gets him going for the playoffs.

      A win won’t hurt the Smokies at all either. They’ve been slumping a bit lately.

      • Jp3

        Never mind. Shut out?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Still a good start. I’ll take it.

          • Jp3

            Yeah, he’s been struggling a little lately. Good to see him have a solid start so far. He’s not making the transition as easily to AA from Daytona as Baez….few do so it just shows you how impressive it really is

    • ssckelley

      Very good sign seeing Loosen pitch another good game in AA.

  • Tennessee Cub

    I am thinking the Cubs can catch the White Sox and Marlins for worst records in baseball. I am thinking we can get the #2 pick next season. After this year, no more throwing away the season for draft positioning. Losing is a learned behavior and believe it or not after a while it becomes accepted. We can’t keep that up or we will not have that appetite to achieve. Start stressing that winning is important and losing is not accepted. We need our guys hating to lose more tan loving yo win. Just WIN baby!!!

    • koyiehillsucks2

      The FO has made it clear they will not spend in FA and with no real prospects ready to contribute next year(maybe baez) and dale as manager get ready for another top 5 pick season…

      • Feeney

        Although I have issues with several aspects of your statement I will say simply this….not spending in free agency (which may happen anyway) does not equal not improving the team.

    • Trueblue

      Well said Tennessee. I believe we are already seeing it on the team this year.

  • Tennessee Cub

    Put this team on the field:

    This team would win!!!
    SP- Needs help, Samardzija and Wood are ok, but need help beyond that.
    BP-Some help Russell, he needs to rest and a closer

    • BlameHendry

      Drop castro. Keep Baez at SS, move Bryant to OF, and give Olt a rebound shot at 3rd. Boug is the 4th OF, and I’m not sold on Lake. Replace him with Choo or Ellsbury and NOW we’re talkin.

      • Drew7

        So you’d like Castro dropped and Lake replaced, but want to give Olt a shot at 3rd?

        • YourResidentJag


        • BlameHendry

          yes, because we’ve only given Olt a couple of months. Castro’s had 4 years, and I’d rather Baez play SS than 3B. I’m not down on Lake, I’m just not sold on him, that’s all I said.

          • BlameHendry

            not to mention how highly ranked Olt was just one year ago

            • mjhurdle

              i thought at first i thought you were trying to troll ineffectively.

              now i realize you are just like me, a few too many beers just to make it through watching a game.

              a word of advice, drunk GM is never as smart as drunk GM thinks he is.

          • Drew7

            So, to recap:

            Castro needs to be gone, since he had 4 yrs to prove himself and was only good for 3 of them.

            Mike Olt has been pitiful this year, but since he’s only been sucking at *Iowa* for 6 weeks, he needs to start at 3B next year.

            BTW, almost forgot: Mike Olt is 1.5 years *older* than Starlin Castro.

  • willis

    Castro loves running the team out of innings.

    On a positive, Baez with another huge game for TN. It’s just comical at this point.

    • Corey

      Now what did he do?

      • ssckelley

        2 out of 3 with a homer and 4 ribbies

  • Jason P

    I don’t hate the aggressiveness by Castro, but he really shouldn’t be running against a pitcher who’s quick to the plate in Greinke and a catcher who’s good at catching base stealers in AJ Ellis, given that he’s a very average runner.

    • willis

      If he wants to be aggressive on the base paths, that’s fine with me. But it seems he hasn’t been choosing the right times to run lately and has been caught more times than not. He isn’t just super fast, but he can be a good runner out there. Just hasn’t had much luck lately.

  • Soda Popinski

    If I had to guess, I would say that a Cubs game gets more rating than America’s Funniest Home Videos. Another night with WGN is another night without the Cubs. I can’t wait for this contract to end.

  • Jason P

    Great play by Rizzo. He’s had his issues with cutting throws off and occasionally not getting to balls on the ground that he should get to, but on balls in the air and picking throws out of the dirt, he’s been great.

  • BlameHendry

    Maybe I’m nitpicking here but… Arietta giving up a lead-off walk to the opposing pitcher. These are some of things that keep the Cubs at the bottom of the cellar, and the things that keep Arietta from being a legitimate starter. Winning teams like the Dodgers, Cardinals, and Braves that don’t do these kinds of things, and we need a manager who simply will have a zero tolerance policy against these kinds of things.

    I don’t care if have a wicked tight curve or a 96 mph fastball. You don’t walk the opposing pitcher, ESPECIALLY to lead off the 3rd inning.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      I agree walking the pitcher ever, much less leading off an inning is terrible. However, and I’m not a Sveum apologist, what can a manager really do?

    • another JP

      Tell you what the Cubs should have done… pulled Arrieta right then and there and DFA his sorry ass. That’s right, even though we know he has some control issues which made him available to the Cubs when trading Feldman, throwing ball four to a pitcher like Greinke that’s currently raking to the tune of a .333 average is inexcusable. WTF???

      • BlameHendry

        I don’t care if Grienke has had a recent stroke of luck at the plate. Throw it over the damn plate. I guess that’s exactly what he did the next time up, and instead of throwing a decent strike he just threw a meatball and gave up an RBI to the pitcher, partly because of the walks earlier in the inning. Get this guy outta here.

        • ssckelley

          Walking the pitcher does happen, giving up a hit to a pitcher does happen. You trying to make something out of nothing.

        • Drew7

          “Winning teams like the Dodgers, Cardinals, and Braves that don’t do these kinds of things…”

          This sounds like something that, while sounding nice and baseball-y, probably isn’t all that true.

          I can’t find specific stats, but opposing pitchers have walked roughly 3% of the time this year, so teams would be burning through their BP’s pretty regularly if a guy was yanked every time he walked one.

      • Gutshot5820

        Wow their pitcher has a better avg than any of our position players?

        • another JP

          Let’s put it this way– there’s only one pitcher in baseball hitting better than Travis Wood, and that’s Greinke. Dude has a 1.0 batting WAR in only 55 PAs. Maybe Arrieta was pitching carefully to him for a reason.

      • another JP

        Given the utter thoughtlessness that prompted my previous post, I’d better clarify that my response was fully intended to be sarcastic. I wish people could watch a game and not get worked up over a stinking BB to a pitcher- Arrieta got out of the inning guys. What would you guys have said if Greinke homered off of him instead?

        • BlameHendry

          I was well aware of your sarcasm. The problem was that your sarcasm didn’t work. I’ll say it again – I don’t care if he’s had a stroke of luck to give him a .333 avg – he’s still a pitcher, he still only bats every 5 days, and he’s the least-threatening batter in the line-up. I’d rather take my chances throwing it over the heart of the plate instead of playing around trying to pitch around him.

          • another JP

            Yeah- Arrieta threw the ball over the plate in Greinke’s second PA, got a hit, and you still bitched. You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. The Cubs used every pitcher in yesterday’s game, so we should just pull Arrieta in the 4th inning and use who? Wake up.

            • BlameHendry

              I “bitched” because he couldn’t throw a QUALITY strike and threw a meatball instead. Still, like I just said, I’d rather take my chances on a meatball than simply walk the guy. Sometimes the pitcher will smash the meatball, but the vast majority of the time he wont do anything with it. And I never said anything about Pulling Arrieta. I just said he’s not a legitimate pitcher and he’s definitely not helping his chances for the 2014 rotation.

              • Drew7

                “And I never said anything about Pulling Arrieta.”

                BlameHendry @ 11:28pm:

                “Get this guy outta here.”

                • BlameHendry

                  by that i meant cut him from this team. Specifically for next season, since this is considered his audition/tryout

                  • Drew7

                    That’s even worse.

              • Jason P

                So you want to DFA a guy who throws 96 so you can call up, who, Brooks Raley to make his starts? Or worse, hurry the development of a prospect?

                The only meaningful thing rebuilding teams can do in August is try out players for next years team. There’s a very good chance Arrieta doesn’t make the rotation, but I don’t see how “getting him out of here” does anyone any good.

                • another JP

                  Good point on trying out players for next year- look at what’s happened so far with Rusin. That guy was really scuffling last season and has been rock solid so far this year with his control. He even mentioned that he’s not nearly as nervous this time around and it shows in his results. I have to think this has been a great learning experience for him, Arrieta, Parker, and Lake, & the Cubs will be stronger next year because of the foundation being built these last couple seasons.

                • BlameHendry

                  96mph doesn’t mean anything, as clear evidence by the fact that all of his 96mph fastballs have been fouled off tonight and he hasn’t been able to blow it by anybody. you need MUCH more than velocity…

                • mjhurdle

                  i say DFA everyone but Wood, and start fresh with 4 new faces in the rotation next year.

                  who cares what that does to our Free Agent standing, or the morale of the team, or the development of our players.

                  we have to set the standard that not one bad AB or pitch is acceptable.

                  that is the only true way to get to a staff with a 0.00 ERA and a lineup batting 1.000.

                  maybe you guy’s standards have lowered to where you think succeeding 1 out of 3 times is good, but i think we need to demand better!!!

                  • BlameHendry

                    As much as I’d like to be rid of Jackson and Villanueva, we can’t just DFA them… And I haven’t lost all hope in Shark yet. The stuff is still there, and I think we’d be total fools to give up on him this early. Wood isn’t a centerpiece building block though… He’s a solid number 3 or 4, and definitely someone to keep around, but not a diamond in the rough… I’m still hoping Vizciano has something too…

  • Jason

    Congratulations Smokies and our friend Desi Wilson on your championship tonight.

  • Corey

    This Baez guy can really play yo.

    Watch how fast this ball leaves the park, like a laser.


    • BlameHendry

      2 for 3 with his 35th HR, 4 RBIs, and no strikeouts. Kid just wont stop!

    • Cubswin


    • Jason P

      I know he won’t start withy the big club because of service time implications, but I wonder if he would if that weren’t an issue. He certainly seems MLB ready.

      I remember earlier this year when the consensus was “if all goes well, maybe Baez gets a cup of coffee in September 2014”. Now it feels like it would almost be a disappointment if he wasn’t up here by June.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        Even with no service time issues, I’d still like him to get a few 100 at bats in AAA.

        One thing we have to remember is, Mr Baez is incredibly hot. Nobody can maintain what he’s been doing at AA. Nobody. That doesn’t mean he’s not good, but he could be having a career-type year. If you took his AA numbers, and extrapolated them over 600 at bats, you’ll see what I mean, (for instance he would be on a pace for 55 HRs (and 180 or so strikeouts)).

  • Jason

    Arizona leads S.D. 4-1 Tony Campana 2 for 3 .333 Just stole 3 rd base and then scored. Phoenix fans go crazy when he is on base.

  • Jason P

    Someone remind me exactly what it is about Michael Bowden that makes anyone think he could be an effective MLB reliever. I’d much rather see his bullpen spot given to someone like Rosscup, Hately, Mateo, Sanchez, or even Schliter.

  • BlameHendry

    Man we’re gonna have a sweet draft pick next year. Only gets even better facing Kershaw tomorrow and helping him make history!

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