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dodger stadium chavez ravineTravis Wood has had a mini-slide in the second half, and Clayton Kershaw has gotten better with every start. He’s just so silly good. Best of luck, Cubs lineup (sans Rizzo and Schierholtz).

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (55-76) at Los Angeles (77-54), 9:10 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 lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Travis Wood (7-10, 3.22 ERA, 3.88 FIP)

versus

Clayton Kershaw (13-7, 1.72 ERA, 2.39 FIP)

Los Angeles Dodgers Lineup

1. Carl Crawford, LF

2. Yasiel Puig, RF

3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

4. Hanley Ramirez, SS

5. Mark Ellis, 2B

6. Andre Ethier, CF

7. Juan Uribe, 3B

8. A.J. Ellis, C

9. Clayton Kershaw, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Starlin Castro, SS

2. Darwin Barney, 2B

3. Dioner Navarro, C

4. Donnie Murphy, 3B

5. Junior Lake, CF

6. Cody Ransom, 1B

7. Darnell McDonald, LF

8. Cole Gillespie, RF

9. Travis Wood, P

  • Tim

    I smell a no-no

    • Patrick G

      Was thinking the same thing after seeing that lineup

      • OCCubFan

        But, but, the Cubs’ best hitter is batting second!

    • TWC

      Yeah, you and everybody else on Twitter and elsewhere.

      Cynicism sucks.

      • fromthemitten

        look on the bright side of life at least you’re not paying $45 to watch it live

        • TWC

          And surrounded by Dodgers fans. ::shudder::

    • MichiganGoat

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/iUKy17z.jpg[/img]

  • fromthemitten

    I’ll be in right center in the all you can eat pavilion doing my best Hansman impression to deal with having to watch that lineup

    • Tim

      Might want to do your best Wade Boggs impression

  • Jason P

    I was just listening to the Smokies broadcast, and John Andreoli sounds like exactly the kind of player I want on the Cubs bench. With runners in scoring position, he just grinded out a 7-pitch AB to coax the walk and keep the line moving. He reminds me very much of David Dejesus with a little less HR pop but better speed.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      On one hand I could agree that at least he kept making some contact. On the other hand, he was probably trying to get a hit with each swing and foul tips to stay alive (i’m guessing he had a couple) are really just bad swings, that aren’t quite whiffs, aren’t they?

      If any player is really good enough just to foul tip a lot of balls on purpose it would be a good idea to make them your first batter and have them wear out the opponents starting pitcher by fouling off about 100 balls. I have heard them giving credit to the batters for “battling” in those situations, but I think that is giving too much credits for foul tip misses.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        …but I missed the point about him eventually laying off ball 4 which can be difficult.

      • Jason P

        Every hitter, from Miguel Cabrera to Koyie Hill, is going to foul off some tough pitcher’s pitches when they’re up there trying to get a hit. While nobody can make enough contact to foul off 100 straight, the ability to use emergency swings and just barely get a piece of the borderline strikes when you have 2-strikes on you is a very useful skill and an help a non-power hitter, like John Andreoli maintain a high walk rate.

        If you don’t get your pitch, you have to lay off and keep the line moving for the next guy, which is something the 2013 Cubs really struggle with. Everyone wants to be the hero, so guys go up hacking at bad pitches early in the count and get themselves in bad hitters counts.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          I do agree to an extent, but some batters are overmatched and can’t hold off on a pitch out of the zone, and are reaching to just get a pitch instead of taking the ball and striking out too often. If Andreoli is taking walks, able to hit some and keeping his OPS up while making the pitcher work, I would be happy to have a bunch just like him.

  • nkniacc13

    wow Wood maybe the 3rd best hitter in the lineup

    • Blublud

      No. Actually Wood should be hitting 2nd.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        …with Jackson, Shark, and Arieta rounding out the top 5.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    I’ll take the Dodgers and the under and bet the house.

    • Blublud

      Don’t do it. Cubs will win 2-1. Wood goes 7 shutout innings. Lake will hit a Solo shot early, and that will carry the Cubs until they get another run. Dodgers will mske a late run vs Gregg, but will eventually fall short.

      • TWC

        See people? Do you see? *That’s* how to approach a Cubs game.

        Well done, Jay.

        • koyiehillsucks2

          umfortunately that’s not how cub players and coaches approach the game…

    • MichiganGoat

      So how does it feel being homeless?
      [img]http://www.techinasia.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/simpsons-haha.jpg[/img]

  • MichiganGoat

    Well this should be fun

  • ssckelley

    Sooooooo, Cubs score 10 tonight?

  • willis

    Lou Brock-right on. I just fired that in actually. And I need a win, badly.

    Going to be an…interesting? game with this lineup against all world Mr. Everything.

    7-24 the rest of the way gets the Cubs back to back losing seasons. That is super doable. I’m now rooting for it.

    • koyiehillsucks2

      But remember, it’s all part of the plan!
      I wonder how they could keep Sveum if they have back to back 100 loss seasons.

  • willis

    PS-that line was ONLY -1.5 Dodgers, so the Dodgers win 3-1, you win. Over/under at 6.5…that’s a little low for me. But I’m loving the -1.5.

    • nkniacc13

      almost all lines are -1.5

  • Blublud

    It looks like Daytona has no-no going through 6

    • willis

      If you pitch on a night where you’re team is only playing a 7 inning game, and you pitch the 7 innings without a hit, is it a no hitter?

      • college_of_coaches

        I think it’s one of those things that requires an asterisk, because a pitcher who goes the distance is still credited with a complete game.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          No asterisk. It’s a no hitter.

          Which is why when Loosen tossed one earlier this year it was often referred to as a 9 inning no hitter.

    • college_of_coaches

      Combined 7-inning no-hitter. It was a double header due to the rain delay from yesterday. Ben Wells pitched in the first game (the continuation of delayed game) and picked up the win. Then he started game 2 and pitched a perfect inning, which initiated the no-no. Nicely done!

      • willis

        Damn the Daytona rainouts make all these 7 inning games gets things all messed up. Either way, it’s an official game per milb rules…so well done on the combined no-no boys.

      • Jason P

        Kind of hard to get excited about a 3-pitcher, 7-inning no hitter, but I’ll take it!

        • Blublud

          Well, it is Daytona’s 3rd of the season.

          • college_of_coaches

            Or is it their 2nd? You might be thinking of Jokisch’s no-hitter for Tennessee. Actually, Jason P, the Cubs have never had a combined no-no, or a perfect game (I just checked Wikipedia to verify this).

            • Jason P

              That includes minor leagues?

              • college_of_coaches

                No, just the majors AFAIK. Just a random thought sparked by the Daytona game tonight. I think Shark has the potential to be the first to throw a perfect game, but wishing for a perfect game is a bit much. I’d be ecstatic for combined no-no this season.

            • mick

              two years ago in instructional league game against Angels 3 pitchers shared a no hit game. 9 innings and none of the veteran coaches could remember happening so instructs or not, it was fun. 3 yrs ago-not 2 because Maddox was on bench.

        • another JP

          It’s nice to see Kyler Burke getting in on a no-no… the guy’s had a good season and gets overshadowed by all the great arms @ Daytona. Edwards, Johnson, Pineyro, Black, Cales, Y. Castillo, awesome collection of pitching on that team.

          • Good Captain

            Just in time for him to garner Rule 5 notice it seems. Oh well, good for him.

  • http://odu Greenroom

    What are the odds we could of predicted this lineup at the beginning of the season? Go Cubs~

  • cub2014

    kershaw free agent after 2014

    • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

      Ned will never let him go. Dodgers are working on a deal with his agent but will not happen till the season is over.

  • cub2014

    ya just read kershaw potential deal
    300million (probably 10 years)?

  • wassssup

    I hate all the uber negative fans on this site now. You are all drags. This site used to be about positives in everything, no matter what. We, as cubs fans, know you have to have patience. We, as people, are entitled to our own opinion. But damn! Can we at least look for the positives. Aka Kershaw’s no-no was broken up by Darwin Barney… any dumbass out there, who predicted a no hitter, think that would happen?

    • Eternal Pessimist

      I think everyone (myself included) is just having a little fun with this line-up. It is clearly weak, and honestly pretty laughable, but most seem to understand that the suffering today is part of a bigger, intelligent plan to bring a winner to Wrigley (I know there are some doubters on this point).

      I am also still very excited about the improvements the incoming prospects will (please, please, please…) bring in the pretty near future.

    • Jason P

      Blind optimism is almost as bad as blind pessimism. There are positives to take away from this year, and there are negatives to take away from this year. It would be remiss to talk about Travis Wood’s all-star play, Junior Lake and Blake Parker’s emergence, Strop’s new-found success, and other positives without mentioning the struggles of Starlin Castro, Samardzija and Rizzo’s mediocre seasons, and, you know, the overall sucking.

      Of course pessimism will dominate these boards in the middle of a 90-loss season, just as optimism would if we were in the middle of a 90-win season. Once this season ends and everyone has a chance to think and reflect on the Cubs season, I think the spirit going into next year will be fairly high, depending on who we add in the offseason.

      One thing I would like to add, however, is that there is a LOT of optimism regarding young players down on the farm right now.

    • mick

      nope

  • Eternal Pessimist

    Who said Travis Wood in the two hole? Nice call, and nice swing Travis.

  • macpete22

    Does anyone know if Alex Jackson projects to be a Catcher in the majors? Or will he most likely end up in the OF?

    • Jason P

      I don’t think there’s really a consensus yet. Some think he can catch, some think he’ll have to move. I wouldn’t be qualified to answer myself.

      • macpete22

        Just looking at the early mock drafts. A solid catcher to go along with the big four would be nice

  • Cubswin

    Clayton kershaws curveball… Wow. Nice to see cubs take a lead tho

  • willis

    Wow, we all clowned but the lineup looks to be super patient and making Kershaw work for the most part.

  • willis

    His curveball is pretty nasty.

  • Jason P

    Great swing, Castro. First time in a while its worth saying that unsarcastically.

  • William

    Our announcer said that error was on Wood. No kidding, who else would they charge it to? They are certainly not going to give it to Ransom for his inability to morph into Stretch Armstrong.

  • Michael

    Is Olt looking a little better? Or is it just me? Bunch of walks and couple home runs to boot!

  • mick

    Marlon Byrd t-shirt night in New York—except he is with Pirates today. Hapless Mets.

  • ripitrizzo

    Anyone that says the cubs should tank on purpose. Is not a tru cubs fan.

    • iowacubs

      I agree 100%

      • vitaminB

        You’re stupid. That is all.

  • http://www.faceboom.com/anotherspacesong Bret Epic

    Nice to see Castro squaring up the ball a bit better tonight. Doesn’t look quite as lost as usual at the plate tonight. Hopefully we’ll see improvement from hereon out.

  • willis

    Why am I staying up late to watch the cubs blow this?

  • ripitrizzo

    No faith

  • Tobias

    I know he’s not on the team anymore, but Soriano hit career HR #400 tonight. Soriano already has 11 HRs with the Yankees.

  • http://www.faceboom.com/anotherspacesong Bret Epic

    Cubs win. Holy cow and stuff.

  • iowacubs

    Man, Puig has some serious roid rage issues!!

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