wrigley field from right bleachersThe Phillies are the team the Cubs are playing today. In a baseball game. On the field. Against the Phillies.

Game Info

Philadelphia Phillies (61-73) at Chicago Cubs (56-77), 1:20 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

Roy Halladay (3-4, 7.81 ERA, 5.81 FIP)


Jeff Samardzija (8-11, 4.03 ERA, 3.60 FIP)

Philadelphia Phillies Lineup

1. Michael Young, 3B

2. Jimmy Rollins, SS

3. Chase Utley, 2B

4. Domonic Brown, LF

5. Carlos Ruiz, C

6. Darin Ruf, 1B

7. John Mayberry, RF

8. Roger Bernadina, CF

9. Roy Halladay, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Starlin Castro, SS

2. Junior Lake, CF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Dioner Navarro, C

5. Nate Schierholtz, RF

6. Donnie Murphy, 3B

7. Brian Bogusevic, LF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • North Side Irish

    MiLB.com ‏@MiLB 1m
    The @Cubs’ Javier Baez and his @smokiesbaseball teammates dominate the @SLeagueBaseball All-Star announcement: http://atmilb.com/15Fhp4B

    Five Smokies made the team…

  • Danny B

    Just realized Sandberg has a mold of himself playing second in his lineup. Wonder what that tandem would be like if Utley were younger and less injury prone…I feel like Ryno could have taught him a lot.

    Glad to see Sandberg back in the MLB.

    • On The Farm

      No offense to Ryno, but Utley was an 8 WAR player in 2008/2009, the two years he was healthy. If he could have stayed healthy Ryno could have taught him squat. Ryne’s two best years were 8 and 7.4, and Utley did 8 twice plus a 7.1 in 2007. Utley could have been an increidible player if it wasn’t for injuries.

      • DarthHater


        • DarthHater



          • TWC

            Another childish image from Darth…

            • DarthHater

              I love you, too, Annie.

      • Edwin

        I wonder where Utley ranks in terms of HOF chances. Looking at advanced stats, he’s just 6.2 WAR short of Sandberg, in 3713 fewer PA. On traditional stats, he has 215 HR to Ryne’s 282, 789 RBI to Ryne’s 1061, and 839 R to Ryne’s 1318. Utley has a better career ave, obp, and slg.

        On rate stats, Utley is way better than Sandberg ever was. The only thing Sandberg really has over Utley is games played.

        • Scotti

          Sandberg was more highly regarded on defense and, even with his retirement, was far more consistently available to play in his team’s games. And, for Sandberg, there really is no concern for steroids. For Utley, though there is no evidence to impugn him, he has played in the steroid era. Sorry to say, just playing in this era leaves the vast majority of achievers tainted (had Sandberg played in this era he’d be tainted, as well).

  • cub1

    how do they compare on the defensive metrics?

    • Edwin

      Sandberg has a better career fielding %, but when using advanced metrics, Utley is better. Utley has also been a better baserunner for his career.

  • willis

    Shark looking to toss this one away. But leave him in there to get hit hard. Good philosophy.

    • Jeff

      Bosio took his sweet time to go out to the mound, can’t stand this coaching staff!!!

      • Sean T

        I like Bosio as pitching coach but I really hope Bud Selig puts this kind of stuff to an end to speed up the game. I personally don’t mind but for the casual fan it does matter

        • Jeff

          Bosio is okay, he doesn’t really excite me much. I’m not in favor of Bud Selig so I’m not in agreement with you that mound visits should be changed.

          The role of a coach and manager is to control the various personalities and manage game situations. Our coaches sit there with their heads up their asses until its too late.

          Here comes Russell, time for a 3 run homer :(

          • willis

            Bosio is just fine. He’s done a very good job.

            The guy running the ship…well he likes to grab losses from wins and Bosio has no choice but to listen to him. Which is too bad.

            • Jeff

              I can agree to that sentiment

      • hansman1982

        If this is a serious comment, this is the dumbest comment ever. And I’ve made some doozies.

  • RY

    yep doing what we do best, another colossal implosion! we will go weakly here 1, 2,3 and then the phillies will take the lead in the 7th.

    • Hawkeye2434

      And then we’re one step closer to the #3 pick next year

  • Sean T

    I really hope we can extend Samardzija this offseason but to a reasonable extension. He wants big money but he hasn’t shown he deserves it yet. Yeah he shows glimpses of brilliance but not often enough to justify a big time extension.

    • Sean T

      I’d be willing to sign Samardzija to a Edwin Jackson type $ deal but not for much more. He has a around a 4.00 ERA. I don’t care if you think ERA is an archaic stat, but it still gives you a rough estimate of how his season has gone. His FIP and xFIP are sitting around 3.50 which is solid but not stellar by any means. I really like the Shark but I seriously don’t think we should overpay to extend him.

      Let buy out his last to arbitration years. Give him a little more then what he’d probably earn during those years and call it a 5yr extension around $50-57M.

  • willis

    And the lead has been blown. Just now there is action in the pen. In the last 1+innings there has been two triples, a double, and a HR. And multiple walks.

    Sharp early, then fell apart. Should have gone and grabbed him last inning during the initial shelling.

    • RY

      no way that would made entirely too much sense to do that; we don’t subscribe to that kind of coaching around here!

  • RY

    hey great job taking shark out now, phenomenal managing and coaching there!

  • Jon

    Another underwhealming effort from the mental midget Samardzija and BOOM CRASH BOOM, that’s the sound you hear of Junior Lake crashing back to earth. Can’t do shit in this league unless you can take a walk.

    • RY

      Well said, guy gets knocked around a little, goes into the proverbial fetal position and shits his pants; i’d wait on any extension talk until the 11th hour; then again maybe he is trying to pitch his way off this god forsaken team.

    • Jason P

      Just like he “crashed back to Earth” the first time? He’s just a streaky hitter. When he’s in one of his hot streaks, people talk him up as a long-term above average starter, and when he’s cold, he gets the “bust” label. Reality lies somewhere in between.

  • Jeff

    I don’t blame it on Shark as much as the manager should have sent the pitching coach out after the first batter of the 6th inning. Shark was flying open and frustration was showing and they sat on their asses and did nothing in the dugout.

    That’s just poor managing!

    • willis

      And that’s Shark’s problem. Always has been. At the first sign of trouble/frustration he becomes a thrower. Guys sit on it and rock him. They needed to go get him in the 6th.

      • Jeff

        I agree…but again…a good coaching staff would go out there and tell him to stop over throwing and go back to pitching, but obviously Sveum doesn’t do shit in the dugout other than sit on his ass.

        Navarro would make it home faster if he could start laying off the all you can eat buffets!

        • willis

          Or he knows how to get kicked out with no outs in the bottom of the first inning, leaving his team to get their asses whooped?

          I’m with you. They should have tried to settle him and then if needed after that yanked him. He was throwing meat at that point, and now a 5-0 lead agaist a not so great team has been blown.

          • Jeff


    • Jason

      Smardj goes all football and starts overthrowing thus flying out. He is flirting with serious shoulder problems. Jeff knows the game and has excellent recognition. I have hoped for the last two years that Jeff would work with Fergie Jenkins who is in good health and their similarities could profit.

  • mjhurdle

    hindsight managing out in full force today.

    • willis

      Eh, if you go up a little, you’ll see where I commented on the stupid decision/managing as it was going on. That’s not hindsight.

      Bring on the blind Sveum defenders who find no fault in his managing. All good, it’s Labor Day weekend and I’m heading out to drink 2.00 Pacifico and Dos Equis 20 oz draft at a Mexican watering hole.

      • mjhurdle

        I like how quickly you label anyone that might disagree with you as “blind Sveum defenders”.
        Usually it takes a bit more to make you resort to that, but i guess it is easier to try to rationalize something away than actually support your opinions.

        have a nice Labor Day weekend.

        • willis

          People that can sit and say with a straight face that he is a good in game manager are lying to themselves and anyone else. He constantly fumbles lineups and worse the pitching staff. I really don’t care the talent that comes along, if he is at the helm, you, me, all of us are going to be waiting a long time for a winner.

          I’ll say that and stand by it. He’s pulling the strings and has a huge influence on his players. So losing better be acceptable because it is now the norm. And before everyone chimes in with “he has not talent” let me just say that he has pushed enough wrong buttons to keep this team from being .500 this year. The talent isn’t great but it isn’t God awful either.

          mj…you also have a good and safe labor day weekend. Goes for everyone, be safe, alert, and eat lots of good grub.

          • BT

            Clearly you’ve been hitting the Pacifico for awhile already. If you believe that Sveum’s lineup fumbling and pitching staff mismanagement has cost the team the TWENTY ONE losses that have kept them from being .500, then I pray you are drunk, because the alternative is too scary to contemplate.

            • willis

              Eh, add ten wins, that take away ten losses, boom 20 game difference.

              Even if I did have a bunch of Pacifico that’s what it is.

              • MichiganGoat

                So you’re saying is Sveum is worth -10 WAR and thereby Torre, LaRussa, and other greats are worth +10 WAR? That’s impressive.

                • MichiganGoat

                  And thereby any replacement manager = 0 WAR and therefore is a .500 manager. Hmmmm

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Or maybe if we can just add 10 WAR in players we’d see the success we want… or is it all about the manager’s WAR?

              • BT

                Because every prognosticator and software program had them winning 81 games this year, especially after trading off Soriano et al, and the baseball world is SHOCKED by their current record, right? You want to believe Sveum is a bad manager? Fine. You want to believe he’s personally cost them 10 games? Not fine. You want to believe this is a .500 team? Not fine.

          • Die hard

            Where were all you guys at day one when I was saying the same? I guess with football in the air it’s Monday quarterbacking time

    • Jeff

      That’s a load of crap…I watch the games and sit there and see this crap happening and wonder why the idiot manager isn’t making strategic moves, I don’t second guess this crap.

      The manager sucks for obvious reasons, the biggest being Dumb Jock Syndrome!!

      Most managers get 90% of the game right, the great managers are the ones who get the last 10% right.

      You know what separates the Joe Torres, LaRussa’s, Joe Maddens from the rest of the pack.

      Little Grey Cells…..Dale Sveum is the classic dumb jock athlete turn manager.

      • mjhurdle

        “You know what separates the Joe Torres, LaRussa’s, Joe Maddens from the rest of the pack.”

        i do, it is called quality rosters loaded with talented players.

        • Jeff

          The game is an unwritten story, both teams step on the field and anything can happen.

          I wish you and your pals on here would stop bitching about not having enough “quality” players.

          Get over it and stop complaining. We cannot control the “quality” of the players but managers can affect an outcome of a ball game in given situations based on the decisions they do or don’t make.

          • TWC

            Didn’t you spend bazillions of words yesterday and/or this morning bitching about how we don’t have any “quality” pitching in the minors?

            • Jeff

              Drafting decisions are different than in game scenarios.

              Oh but maybe you can’t tell the difference between the two…..next

            • mjhurdle

              Ya TWC.
              It is obvious that commenting on the quality of players is stupid, except for when it isn’t. duh.

              • TWC


                And The Decider of what is and what isn’t relevant is, apparently by his own decree, Jeff. The kid’s a total turkey.

                • Jeff

                  You apparently think your a decider of what’s right or wrong to so go F yourself :)

                  You don’t know how old I am so why do you insult me by calling me a kid…jag off

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Yeah those responses really show how old a mature you are maybe one day your get lucky and the vinegar will turn into wine. Or maybe your a genius and allowed all the whine to turn into vinegar to remove the “h.” Either way you have plenty of bitter to go around.

                    • DarthHater

                      Oh, great. The goat got into the “funny weed” patch again. 😛

                  • DarthHater

                    Why do you think it’s an insult to be called a kid, Jeff? It beats being a senile old fart. Just ask Die hard.

          • mjhurdle

            I would suggest reading ‘Evaluating Baseball Managers’ by Chris Jaffe.
            It will go a long way to clearing up your confusion about the impact of in-game managerial decisions.

            And why should we not complain about the “quality” of the players because we have no control over it, but you can cry about a meaningless managerial move that you also have no control over?

            • Jeff

              Why, because this team is not getting better at the major league level. If your happy with the new management and the “improvements” of the minor leagues…fine

              If you look at the whole, management, major league and the minors, then as a “whole” this team gets a C- at best.

              Theo and Jed got alot of work left to do, this team sucks. The big league team sucks, the bullpen sucks, the manager sucks.

              I’m not wearing any rose colored glasses or have any blinders on, I see it for what it is.

              We are a long way off from .500 let alone a championship caliber team

              • mjhurdle

                i was wondering when you would go back to your classic ‘blinder’ line.
                whoever had 5:15 pm in the pool just won.

                • Jeff

                  MJ, your only Hurdle in life must be your shitty attitude, you only come on here to ajitate others by being a b-bag..

                  Good luck with that :)

                  • DarthHater

                    Yea, mj, you big “b-bag.” And stop all that “ajitating!”

                    • TWC

                      mjhurdle is a bean bag?

                      Dude’s pretty stuck in the 70’s, huh?

                  • mjhurdle

                    at least he capitalized my last name correctly :)

                  • mjhurdle

                    i took Jeff’s advice, and changed my avatar to accurately reflect the fact that i am in fact a b-bag

                • MoneyBoy

                  Or even better … take that Willis fool and go find another damn team to follow.

  • Jason P

    Castro’s been driving the ball fairly well lately. It’s nice to see him pick up some hits to the pull-side.

    Watkins probably should have been a September call-up. He needs reps and he’s not getting any with the big club.

    • Sean T

      I’m not even sure Watkins should have gotten a call up at any point this year. H hasn’t the ball well at al this year. He’s alway been a strong OBP guy with a good batters eye to lay off pitches out of the strikezone but when it comes to the bigs, the big league pitchers are much better at painting the outside corner then pitchers in the minors were and those pitches get called strikes. I like his patients but he needs to make some adjustments this offseason, and hopefully pick up some steam with the bat

  • Jason P

    And who would’ve thought Schierholtz would hit 20 home runs for us when we signed him in the offseason? Great find by this FO.

    • mjhurdle

      Nate was an amazing signing.

      • Sean T

        Agreed Schierholtz was a great signing but I thought we should have dealt him at the deadline if we got a good pitching prospect or two for him. I think Theo/Jed tend to overvalue their assets at the deadline. I mean I was in the room listening to what teams were offering for Nate but I’d have to think there were a couple of good offers but the Cubs were probably asking for the moon and being a little unrealistic. I really like that Theo/Jed play hardball when it comes to trade but sometimes you need to pick your spots.

        Nates great but I feel like he doesn’t help that much towards the future. Yeah he had that extra year of control but if Nate Sschierholtz is our starting RF past 2014 I’m not going to lie I’d be a little disappointed.

  • JeffR

    The same people who wanted Shark taken out in the 6th are the same ones that complain when guys in the bullpen get ver used. Face it, there isn’t enough talent on the roster to win constantly. The guys who put the roster together admitted that.

  • RY

    Great job Gregg, hit a guy with a .170 batting average who scores the winning run, what a pathetic bunch of fucking losers the cubs are. Well on our way to getting the number 2 pick once Miami comes to town and sweeps us. Losers of 17 of our last 20 at home, it takes a tremendous of skill to be that shitty!

    • Sean T

      I’m not sure will be able to nab that #2 pick from Miami. We aren’t too good but neither are they. I’m not going to lie I wouldn’t mind us losing every game for the rest of the season to get the best draft pick possible. I always want to see the cubs win but this season is already lost so might as well get the best draft pick possible to help out the future

    • Jeff

      “it takes a tremendous of skill to be that shitty!”

      Not really, all you need is Dale Sveum as manager lol

  • Steve

    Numerous empty seats at the Friendly Confine3s today. When is Jeff Samardzija going to pitch like a possible #1 ace starter???? 7-22 record in August.

    • Sean T

      Pretty much I think Samardzija is a better version of Edwin Jackson. Doesn’t really know how to pitch. He has great stuff but doesn’t know how to get himself out of jams. He still has potential to be a #2 but is a #3 because he’s just too inconsistent