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pnc parkWhile starting our move today (I’m already sore all over), I watched Michigan/Akron in fits and spurts. That, uh, sucked. I was having flashes of Appalachian State and Toledo (for those who remember – the latter was probably more embarrassing, at the time, than the former), and this one would probably have been the worst of the three.

Oh, yeah, baseball …

Scott Baker gets another chance to look good before closing out the season.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (63-84) at Pittsburgh Pirates (85-62), 6:05 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

Scott Baker (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3.25 FIP)

versus

Gerrit Cole (7-7, 3.48 ERA, 3.18 FIP)

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

1. Jose Tabata, LF

2. Neil Walker, 2B

3. Andrew McCutchen, CF

4. Justin Morneau, 1B

5. Marlon Byrd, RF

6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B

7. Russell Martin, C

8. Jordy Mercer, SS

9. Gerrit Cole, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Starlin Castro, SS

2. Luis Valbuena, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Ryan Sweeney, CF

6. Brian Bogusevic, LF

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Scott Baker, P

  • MichiganGoat

    Hmmm no Lake… let the hate and frustration begin.

    • Blublud

      Even though you are joking, there is no way Lake should not be playing everyday.

      • http://bleachenation Sacko

        any predictions on Baker today?

        • DarthHater

          Hate to say it, but if I had to predict, I’d predict Baker will get knocked around today. Hope I’m wrong, though.

          • MichiganGoat

            Baker looking better than this prediction so far

      • DarthHater

        I kind of like the idea of giving Bogus and Sweeney as many starts as possible against righties. But I’d have no objection to taking a look at Lake at 3B, putting Valbuena at 2B, and letting Barney be the one who sits. :-P

        • http://bleachenation Sacko

          Holy! this may be the 1st time we agreed on something. G Dangit we are Cubs Fans!

    • DarthHater

      [img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5328/9327078055_b3c738d755_m.jpg[/img]

    • Jason P

      And it would be an extremely legitimate frustration

      • DarthHater

        Oh, yes, extremely. Because whether or not Junior Lake plays tonight is going to have a major impact on the future of the Cubs.

        • MichiganGoat

          Agreed maybe the Cubs now what they have in Lake and want to further evaluate Sweeny & Bogu – regardless Lake taking a few days off is not the end of the world.

        • Jason P

          You’re ignoring the obvious, though. If it was just a night off, then it’s whatever, but that’s 5 times in the last 12 games — enough that we can legitimately say it’s a trend. I’d argue that we know less what we have in Lake for next year than we do Bogusevic or Sweeney — and besides, Lake needs the reps.

          It’s not life or death here, but it’s at least a minor frustration. Despite the recent run of success, I still don’t see Bogusevic being an effective bench piece next year, though I know some would disagree.

          • Hansman1982

            ” Despite the recent run of success, I still don’t see Bogusevic being an effective bench piece next year, though I know some would disagree.”
            The same could be said about Lake and his capacity as a starter.

            Right now the FO isn’t creating the lineup but you can bet that they have told dale they want to evaluate players XYZ in such-and-such manner. 30 PA between now and the end of the year isn’t going to tell us anymore than we already know about lake nor is it going to alter his developmental track.

            Now, when he comes out next year and is t posting an .800+ OPS, the Sveum haterz are going to point to these ABs and scream bloody murder, demand Dale’s head on a silver platter and otherwise kvetch about nothing.

  • http://bleachenation Sacko

    I think the Cubs are going to make a good effort in keeping Sweeney around and as an everyday player for next year. I wish they would do the same with Lake however they also want to play Bogs a lot to see if he is for trade or 4th OF. But we have to many lefties so he or Schierholtz are gonna be traded. Not necessarily a good idea but Lake is so much fun to watch they could make room for him a 2nd. Didn’t he come up an infielder? Or at 3rd, Valbuena can play 2nd or Donnie or WATKIN!. Holy DALE, come on, lets have a look!

  • Josh

    APP STATE!!!!!!

  • http://bleachenation Sacko

    I’m also looking at it this way Lake is not the same Puig but has started the same sensation for us as Puig has for the Dodgers or any plain old BB fan. So is their any chance Puig will sit. Hell no, what the hell DALE pull your head out.

    • DarthHater

      And, with that remark, they went back to disagreeing about pretty much everything… :-P

      • http://bleachenation Sacko

        well I did over emphasize that on. how about we are so shity and Lake is to exciting to be sitting.

    • Pat

      I think the front office (or more directly, ownership) feels that the downside of having him slump to end the year is greater than the upside of him continuing, or improving, his performance. If they can keep him above .300 at the end of the year they have some hope to sell going into next year. So they are going to limit his time somewhat, although I’m surprised by back to back days off, and make sure he has the best chance of ending the year with impressive numbers.

  • another JP

    No reason to play Lake @ 3B anymore- he’s an OF now. We have much better defensive options with Valbuena there, but I agree that it’s best if Lake starts as many games as possible. He’s ranked 12th in WAR among all rookies and the only guy ahead of him with less PAs is Scooter Gennett. But Lake’s K & BB rate are in line with career norms, and he’ll have to keep hitting for high average because his plate discipline isn’t so great.

    • http://bleachenation Sacko

      Lake: is the theory, we Know and have decided you are going to play full time next year or you are part of a trade. So we will keep looking at Bogs AB’s cause he was DL before unable to observe then. And yes Lake will stay in the OF.

  • cub2014

    what is the deal with lake? 2 games in a row.
    i hate seeing him out one game let alone 2.
    at least rotate these 4 how stupid.

    • MichiganGoat

      I know LOUD NOISES… LOUD NOISES, SHAKING FIST TOWARD HEAVEN, SLAMMING FIST TO THE GROUND, WHY WHY WHY. Or maybe there is something we don’t know.

      • http://Jplgxk AlwaysNextYear

        Yep FO having Lake sit to give them less of a chance to win and have a higher pick in the draft. It’s all a CONSPIRACY I tell you

        • http://Jplgxk AlwaysNextYear

          Well I’m going to get my spectacles and smoking pipe and get to the bottom of this

  • cub2014

    ya cubs are only 5 games out
    of 11th spot in draft

    • http://bleachernation.com Brian

      This theory is not working

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Saw Sveum on pregame show CSN and he said they were not playing Lake against tough righties like Cole and Morton last night but that he would play against Brewer RH pitchers this week. Go figure.

  • cub2014

    dang! baker would have been very flippable

  • MichiganGoat

    Here’s my complaint about Sveum.

    STOP PLAYING RUSSELL EVERY SINGLE GAME.

    Enjoy Sveum haters

    • Jeff

      ha ha, you getting tired of watching him give up homers?

  • Hansman1982

    God that baker kid is a bum.

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