wrigley field from right bleachersIf Jeff Samardzija fancies himself the Cubs’ ace, today’s his day to stop the bleeding. Of course, he may have to do a little with his bat.

Junior Lake seems to be earning himself more and more playing time, regardless of the handedness of the pitcher; which will likely only accentuate for some of you the fact that Luis Valbuena starts today over Mike Olt. I have very few additional thoughts on the subject beyond what I’ve already said. We’re barely halfway through April. There will be plenty of starts to be had by Olt, and you’re going to see them steadily rise as the year goes on (so long as he does the bare minimum to justify it).

The rule of the day: keep Billy Hamilton off base, if for no other reason than he’ll be in everyone’s mind if and when he does get on base. It’s just kind of annoying, which I suppose is the point.

Game Info

Cincinnati Reds (6-9) at Chicago Cubs (4-10), 1:20 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

Alfredo Simon (1.20 ERA, 3.18 FIP, 3.79 xFIP; 5.00 K/BB)


Jeff Samardzija (1.29 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 3.59 xFIP; 3.00 K/BB)

Cincinnati Reds Lineup

1. Billy Hamilton, CF

2. Joey Votto, 1B

3. Brandon Phillips, 2B

4. Jay Bruce, RF

5. Todd Frazier, 3B

6. Ryan Ludwick, LF

7. Devin Mesoraco, C

8. Zack Cosart, SS

9. Alfredo Simon, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, 2B

2. Junior Lake, LF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Ryan Sweeney, CF

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Luis Valbuena, 3B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • Dustin S

    How long until RR does a Lee Elia tirade? The sparse crowd in the stands today made me which think of it. A friend is trying to sell me 2 tickets by 1B for Monday’s game for $10, I guess it’s one upside of the rough start…

  • Medicos

    JON—-I just asked the Det. MLB scout about your proposed trade. He laughed and said he doubts if Dombrowski and Scott Reid would go for that deal. They might be interested Barney sometime in the future.

    • craigp

      It’s official……Det has no clue

  • cubmig

    The end is near.

  • Edwin

    The rally has begun!

    • Edwin

      The rally has ended!

  • cubmig

    Broxton doesn’t want the end to be here just yet……he’s having too much fun.

  • cubmig

    Now he’s done having fun…….and he did it on his terms.

  • waittilthisyear

    ruggiano should have gotten in that umpire’s face for sure

    • Jon

      Actually he was just asking for directions to Iowa

      • craigp


    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      I don’t blame the umpire it was time to put an end to that game.

  • Funn Dave

    Breaking news: in an interview available on ESPN.com, Theo Epstein reveals his plan for the 2014 Cubs to finish with the wort record in MLB history, cementing the team’s reputation as “lovable losers” in an effort to appeal to the more pessimistic members of its fanbase.

  • cubmig

    Does anyone know what Theo&Co do while everything we see that is going on? I’m serious and curious. Anyone have any insights…..?

  • cubmig

    ………….wait………..shit. Funn Dave has “Breaking News….” WOW Dave…..impeccable timing!

    • DarthHater

      Sorry, Bert has made “Breaking News….” taboo. 😀

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I am thinking about how sweet that number one pick will be next year. And a great opportunity to bring in new fans too LMAO.