wrigley field from right bleachersIf the Cubs manage to win today, they’ll do something they haven’t yet done all season: win a series.

Carlos Villanueva could be making his last fill-in start for the Cubs, and he draws a tough matchup against Homer Bailey (despite his early season struggles, the dude is good). Villanueva really struggled the last time out against the Cardinals, which was hopefully a blip – he’s not going to dominate you, but Villanueva is usually pretty reliable for a decent, keep-you-in-the-game type start.

Mike Olt – proud owner of some odd early-season stats – gets a start today against a righty. Did I say these would slowly start coming? We’re three weeks into the season, y’all. If you were freaking out about the platoons involving Lake and Olt last week, I dubbed you silly. I still dub you silly. With love, of course.

Indeed, the three homer boys from yesterday – Olt, Welington Castillo, and Darwin Barney – are all in the lineup again today, batting in order. Clearly, back-to-back-to-back is on the way today.

Your hilarious, early-season stat for Homer Bailey: check out his ERA/FIP/xFIP line. Know why that xFIP is so low compared to the other two? Because his HR/FB ratio is 60(!)%. That’s right: of his 10 fly balls this year, six of them have gone out of the park. That’s lulz in the extreme.

How about Villanueva’s whacky stats: .429 BABIP, 49.5% LOB, and no walks yet. I guess you could argue he just hasn’t had a chance to give up a walk yet.

Game Info

Cincinnati Reds (7-10) at Chicago Cubs (5-11), 1:20 CT on WCIU.

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

Homer Bailey (8.16 ERA, 7.19 FIP, 2.70 xFIP; 3.40 K/BB)


Carlos Villanueva (11.57 ERA, 4.90 FIP, 4.29 xFIP; [error] 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. Homer Bailey, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2. Ryan Sweeney, LF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Mike Olt, 3B

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Darwin Barney

9. Carlos Villanueva, P

  • Jon

    On second thought maybe it’s best Theo stays out of the FA market

    • willis

      If they are actually going to commit time and money into someone (I know, what a concept), I don’t mind him being the one in charge. But when all you are doing is signing cheap guys to flip a couple months later, this is what you get. Some will work out, some won’t. Veras is one that hasn’t thus far. But I’m not surprised. This is what happens…it’ll be about a 50/50 split when you approach it that way.

    • DarthHater


  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Can’t believe how bad Veres sucks!

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I want to just change the channel, but there isn’t shit to watch today.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I don’t know why in hell they gave Sweeny a two year deal. It’s not like anybody else wanted him. I’m sure they could have had him on a one year deal. WTF.

    • YourResidentJag

      He’s their guy.

  • GoCubs

    Now, if this was still a 3-0 game, Cubs would have had a chance….BUT….

  • willis

    That was a pretty patient, good at bat by Olt.

    Just imagine if Veras wouldn’t have been called on, this would be the ultimate teaser rally. But, these days are the kind you try and fix someone like Veras. It didn’t work.

  • cubmig

    I’ve refused to accept what a lot of you have said about this being a “lost season.”……. but admittedly, the bashing hope and pride is taking is exhausting. The only thing propping up my faith in things changing, is that old thing called “luck”. It’s stupid and idiotic to fall back on something so unpredictable and elusive, but right now depending on our existing (?) “talent”, it seems no worse a crutch to lean on.

    ……what an unsightly mess this Theo&Co patch-quilt-of-a-team is….

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