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costanza yankees steinbrennerIf at first you don’t succeed …

… hope that Tanaka can’t pitch both halves of a doubleheader.

Not that it gets much easier for the Cubs, with big, young righty Michael Pineda going for the Yankees this evening. He’s been on the shelf with shoulder issues for a long time, but, he’s back now, and he’s looked great. (Insert pine tar joke.)

Travis Wood will face a lightened Yankees lineup, with some guys getting rest after the earlier game (Derek Jeter returns from a few games off). Hopefully Wood takes advantage, and continues the solid start to his season.

The Cubs load up on a few more lefties in this one, though Darwin Barney slots in at second base.

The players will be honoring Jackie Robinson today, wearing number 42. Yesterday’s rainout was unfortunate in that regard, but, whatever: you can celebrate Jackie Robinson any day you please.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (4-9) at New York Yankees (8-6), 6:05 CT on WGN, MLBN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. 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 (2.92 ERA, 2.65 FIP, 2.75 xFIP; 2.92 K/BB)

versus

Michael Pineda (1.50 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 3.54 xFIP; 5.00 K/BB)

New York Yankees Lineup

1. Brett Gardner, CF

2. Derek Jeter, SS

3. Carlos Beltran, DH

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Yangervis Solarte, 2B

6. Ichiro Suzuki, RF

7. Scott Sizemore, 3B

8. Kelly Johnson, 1B

9. J.R. Murphy, C

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2. Ryan Sweeney, LF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Nate Schierholtz, DH

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Luis Valbuena, 3B

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Ryan Kalish, RF

9. Darwin Barney, 2B

  • candyland07

    If the Cubs win tonight it would be the first time they ever won in Yankee Stadium and this front office will make it happen! Well in 2-4-6-8 10 years – How long will the plan last ? (please don’t say forever) When ever it happens it will be a first !

    Tonight is the night.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I would rather see Kalish batting second. I thought that last shot by Sweeny was going out, but the ball didn’t seem to be carring that well. Anyway I like Kalish in the two spot because of his speed.

  • 1060Ivy

    May want to edit lineup unless Yankees are playing with both Soriano and Gardner in LF?

    • Rob_Falk

      Interesting tactic by the Yankees, we’ll see if it pans out.

    • Medicos

      Cub hitters can’t the ball that far into CF so who needs a CF???? Girardi is an intelligent Northwestern grad!!!!

    • candyland07

      Kemo Sabe

      Soriano physical body will man left field while Gardner shadow will instruct Alfonso what to do. SO in essence the position split is accurate.

    • Brocktoon

      Like when you play a guy in softball who can’t hit to opposite field. Short LF and deep LF.

  • Jon

    Did anyone catch the Platche article on Puig today? He’s is some serous shit, like his life could be in danger

    • DarthHater
      • DarthHater
        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          That story was a great read, really crazy how he got where he is today

          • DarthHater

            My favorite part: hiking through crocodile-infested mangrove swamps.

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          Also, Bill Plaschke truly is a moron

          • mjhurdle

            totally agree.
            Puig’s story is compelling enough, but Plaschke seemed to want to sensationalize it even more.
            “Could this be coming to Dodger Stadium?!?!?! Or another stadium that the Dodgers are playing at?!?!!? Or maybe someone whose last name sounds lie ‘Puig’?!

            • DarthHater

              And what about the obvious threat to all the communities around Puget Sound?

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              Exactly, he’s just trying to hitch his wagon to this story. The worst line of that article,

              Re: Pacheco “Is this Miami man quietly pulling the strings on Puig’s turbulent life?”

              Jesse Katz did great work here, he was on the Effectively Wild podcast the other morning, I suggest listening to it. The guy did his homework on this one.

            • candyland07

              I dont know if sensationalize is an accurate term . I tend to fear that the Mexican/ Cuban Coyotes could and would make an example out of Puig.

              The business to traffic human beings is quite scary, I think just a few weeks ago they freed over a hundred people that were half naked with out shoes in a boarded and locked home in the Houston area.

              These Mexican or Cuban cartel backed Coyotes have killed plenty in the past – they have been responsible for mass slaying and can do a surgical base hit for payback should not be underestimated.

              I do hope for Puig sake they give him the best protection if they feel there might be a valid threat. I do hope all is always well.

              • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                We’re not really debating how bad these guys are, we know they’re awful and capable of a quite a bit. However, I think that comes through in the original story and all Plaschke was doing was sensationalizing it in order to boost his click rate.

                • candyland07

                  Click rate or not, the Threat probability seems to be real or at least feared in some circles.

                  • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                    Yes but Plaschke doesn’t care about that. His goal here isn’t to bring light to the situation, Katz did that just fine on his own. Plaschke’s only goal is to exploit someone else’s hard work for his own personal gain.

                    • DarthHater

                      Kinda like those guys who run baseball blogs… :-P

                    • candyland07

                      You dont know what Plaschke is doing nor the reason for his style of writing . Until recently the plight of Puig has always been done as an human interest story.. HIm getting turn back by the US coast Guard , his knack for always trying and not giving up . but to go on national press and write a story as he did . does only one thing – point a finger at the person most responsible if any thing happens. So if anyone thinks he sensationalize the story – just maybe HE did and the clicks dont hurt.

                    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                      He didn’t write the story, Jesse Katz did

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      Plaschke is just a lesser Bayless they both are ESPNy journalist any time they can take good journalism and turn it into a ESPN bit they do.

        • JCubs79

          Interesting story. This type of smuggling of Cuban athletes has been going on for a while now but definitely sheds some light on why Puig is who he is. Very good read.

  • Medicos

    DH: Bill Plaschke’s article about Yasiel Puig’s infamous background was quite a read, but in the whole scheme of things who gives a S—!!!! Do you think Dodger boosters are concerned?? As Cubs fans we shouldn’t care about an MLB player’s background. Just get in the batter’s box and produce runs or toil the pitcher’s mound and win the game.

    • DarthHater

      I’m not overly concerned about anybody’s background, but in extreme cases (and Puig’s might be that) a guy’s background can affect his ability to get on the field and produce. At that point, some concern is legit.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Look at a guy like Aaron Hernandez, I think the Patriots probably should have been worried about his background.

  • cubbiekoolaid2015

    Anyone know what’s up with Almora? Second straight night he’s not in the lineup…

    • DarthHater

      Must be one hell of a nosebleed.

      • mjhurdle

        OMG!!! Plaschke was right! The guys after Puig must have taken out Almora!!!

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          It makes sense. The Puig guys must be sending a message through the Cubs…because of Castro!

      • jp3

        Is he looking for blood donations at this point? I’m A+. Also hard to believe it’s just a nose bleed as reported to keep you out of the lineup This long. I wrestled in high school and the best thing to stop a nose bleed is a piece of a tampon;). That is all

  • Medicos

    FC Tommy: Certainly the FO should have worried about him. But when Aaron Hernandez from 2010-1212 was catching 18 TD passes from Brady and accumulating nearly 2,000 yds in receiving yardage nobody in Beantown cared about what he was doing on his days off. Obviously he’ll be spending the rest of his life incarcerated for his actions, but he helped produce 3 extremely successful seasons for the NE Patriots. That’s all that mattered for those Boston fans.

    • Brocktoon

      Considering the burnout rate of pro football players, it appears the Pats found a market inefficiency. Sign guys likely to murder people to backloaded deals, get out of contract when they go through with it.

  • Kyle

    Bonifacio’s magic is gone, 1 H in his last 20 PAs. But it was fun while it lasted.

  • mjhurdle

    nice play by Castro just to make it close

  • mjhurdle

    Seems like the ball is not traveling well in NY tonight

  • xoomwaffle

    All of the 42’s are messing with me. Couldn’t tell who got that hit…

  • Medicos

    I Don’t Believe What I just saw. E-4!!!

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    WOW. Derek Jeter’s clutchiness defeats Darwin Barney’s defensivitude.

    • mjhurdle

      Jeter just wanted it more.

  • Medicos

    What a bunch of clowns!!!

  • mjhurdle

    some sloppy play so far

  • cubmig

    wow……….BARNEY!!!!…..there goes your rep!

  • mjhurdle

    Pineda is very pear shaped

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      I thought it was CC on the mound for a minute.

  • COWA

    Someone please wipe the drool from Len’s chin. The baseball game is interrupting his typical reading of fun facts, wacky stats, advertisements & dead silence. He gives better info on the Yankees players than the Cubs.

    • mjhurdle

      I think he is doing a pretty good job.

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    I wonder how much money is spent every year on #42 jersey’s

  • Drew7

    Already tired of this hit-and-run shit too.

    • jp3

      No shit, Brett could we get some advance stats on how this probably isn’t effective as managers think like sac bunting?

    • jp3

      Speaking of the damn sac bunt…

    • jp3

      Enough of the sac bunts

  • COWA

    Will someone please, Tell the tv announcers that we don’t want to hear about the Reds. Talk about the other games in the 8th, if the Cubs are losing badly

    • itzscott

      Hang on, I’ll tell them.

  • COWA

    Mjhurdle- please please please tell me what Len Casper offers that makes him pretty good?

  • David

    Off subject…. what do you guys think the cubs making a big push to sign Wood to an extension? He’s got arbitration in 2005 and 2006. Reason being if we’re able to lock him up at a reasonable price (5 yrs/ $60M???), perhaps that’s another positive data point to get Shark signed. If you combine the past 2 years, they seem to have similar stats, besides strikeouts. Would this “lower Shark’s demands” a bit?

    • blublud

      If he eligible for arbitration in 2005 and 2006, the Cubs have been getting over. Now that you have exposed this, we’re probably getting ready to get a grievance filed against us from the players union.

  • jp3

    Wrigleyville rooftops had a nice commercial for their seats with great views of the game and available to host parties and whatnot…. I guess anyone paying can advertise on wgn’s channel, guess it’s a good thing Adam and Eve store don’t think baseball is it’s target demographic

  • blublud

    Come on Renteria, sacrifice.

    • blublud

      Wow, I was joking. Not a good spot to sacrifice there. Its to early.

      • ssckelley

        I agree, need a big inning and they playing to tie.

        • blublud

          I’m all for sac bunting in the 8th or 9th, maybe even in the seventh, if it’s a great pitching matchup, when you need one run, but in the fifth, down by 1, you don’t sacrifice when the guy you use to bunt might be the best hitter out of the next three guys coming up.

          Even I can’t agree with that.

          • candyland07

            The Cubs have not scored in how many innings? The yanks are by 1 run . did the sac advance the runners ? I was busy but i did see Kalish strike out and Barney pop out. It would seem the problems lie with those two batters and not RR.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              No, the problem was in giving away an out when your lineup is altogether too good at making outs in the first place.

              • Soda Popinski

                This.
                I was joking, too, down below.

            • jp3

              He took the bat out of Castillo’s hand to give Kalish and Barney the RBI chances which is the problem with that strategy. Btw poor Travis, he’s going to get a loss here giving up dinks and donks for hits

  • Soda Popinski

    Bunt! Bunt! Bunt! :D

  • ari gold

    Renteria needs to go to Manager school.

    • candyland07

      Why? The sac bunt did what it suppose too do advance the runners , leaving first base wide open. A fly ball or hit by Kalish scores a run. but Kalish whiffs? and Barney does what he does.

      • willis

        You answered your own question. You gave up an out and took the bat out of a good batter’s hands to give it to two guys who are no where near as good at the plate. It was a stupid play.

  • ssckelley

    Wow, that was an ugly swing!

  • Soda Popinski

    Sheesh…

  • willis

    Way too early for that damn bunt. It hasn’t worked all year. And Castillo is pretty handy with the bat…and of course no runs. So stupid.

    • jp3

      RR needs to get a me mom in his office box of Brett’s breakdown of “enough of the sac bunts”.

      • jp3

        Get a memo…

        • Soda Popinski

          I liked me mom better.

          • jp3

            Ha, that did sound way more interesting didn’t it?

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