wrigley field from right bleachersThe Cubs will try to keep their winning ways going tonight against Brandon McCarthy. It’s lame to think this way, but I can’t help but feel that tomorrow’s 100th Anniversary Game at Wrigley will have just a little more zing if the Cubs have won a couple in a row, and they’re going for their first series win.

Jason Hammel makes his fourth start for the Cubs, following Travis Wood’s all-universe performance last night. You know what, Jason? We’ll all settle for just the pitching part.

But, hey, Hammel does have a homer in his career. He also has a .117/.137/.158 career line.

Emilio Bonifacio gets the night off, and it’s Luis Valbuena – not Darwin Barney – who replaces him at second base. Valbuena and his robust OBP also lead off.

Outside of that, though, the lineup is actually stacked with a number of righties – Olt, Lake and Ruggiano get starts – plus John Baker subbing in for Welington Castillo. It’s kind of an odd mix, but McCarthy has no platoon split to speak of, so it makes a lot of sense to do it on a day like today.

Game Info

Arizona Diamondbacks (5-17) at Chicago Cubs (6-12), 7:05 CT on CSN.

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

Brandon McCarthy (7.11 ERA, 5.57 FIP, 3.33 xFIP; 2.67 K/BB)


Jason Hammel (3.05 ERA, 4.74 FIP, 3.84 xFIP; 3.20 K/BB)

Arizona Diamondbacks Lineup

1. Tony Campana, CF

2. Martin Prado, 2B

3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

4. Eric Chavez, 3B

5. Cody Ross, LF

6. Gerardo Parra, RF

7. Chris Owings, SS

8. Tuffy Gosewisch, C

9. Brandon McCarthy, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Luis Valbuena, 2B

2. Justin Ruggiano, CF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Mike Olt, 3B

7. Junior Lake, LF

8. John Baker, C

9. Jason Hammel, P

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Yeah baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mr. Olt

  • BlameHendry

    MIKE OLT!!!!!!

  • dougdascenzoschangeup

    Love seeing Olt go deep, especially off a righty. Let the platoon wars resume.

  • Medicos

    Mike “RON CEY” Olt

    Sure hope Castro isn’t on PEDs!!!

  • willis

    Olt Bomb! Great to see. 5-0 hell yes.

  • http://BN Sacko

    My Kolt!!

  • willis

    Olt leads the team in HR and RBI….in platoon playing time. Just give him the job, play Valbuena at 2B and Bonafacio in CF. With Lake in LF. Why the hell not?

    • cubbiehawkeye


    • http://BN Sacko

      I’m with ya! Boni is gonna cool off so Kalish can get in there too.

    • Jon

      Sign me up

      • willis

        Hell yeah. It’s more power, more speed, great OBP with Valbuena…it just makes sense.

    • craigp


  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I think McCarthy is probably done. Hammel looks like he’s good to go seven tonight.

    • willis

      Hammel’s pitch count is looking ok to this point. 87 through 6. Another solid performance so far.

  • waittilthisyear

    i suspect we will be seeing more valbuena at 2nd, more olt at 3rd, and less barney until the 7th inning

  • J. L.

    Campana keeps sucking at Wrigley. It’s like he’s never left us.

  • arta

    CSN? Bulls playing there.

    • Medicos

      Bulls on TNT. Bulls are getting killed 31-20. UC is dead silent like when Loney of the Dodgers hit that HR against the Cubs in the playoffs a few years ago. Wrigley Field went into mourning. Dead silence.

      • Brocktoon

        The UC is always dead silent for bulls games

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Damn, Birmingham put up an eight spot on the Smokies in the fifth. Bryant is two for three with a double. Raised his average to .305.

  • Stogie

    I hope Renteria was paying close attention. Olt homered off a righty. Renteria thinks righties should sit against righties. Olt has 4 HRs in 10 starts. Clearly he needs to play every day. If they continue to sit him half the time, obviously they don’t want to score more runs. The goal would clearly be to lose 100.

    • dougdascenzoschangeup

      I’m fine with sitting him against some righties, especially early in the season. But I don’t think trying to use the platoon advantage is indicative of any sinister plot. If anything, it would be trying to win at the expense of developing a promising young player.

      • http://BN Sacko

        I think Happy is doing the matchups early to check everyone out..but..this makes it difficult to sit Olt.

    • Patrick W.

      Yep. 4 home runs in 10 starts so doing some math….

      162 divided by 10 … times 4 … carry the 2 … 65 Home Runs!

    • J. L.

      Yes, “obviously” and “clearly” everything you said.

    • DarthHater


    • Kyle

      One homer against a righty is a data point. A fun data point.

      It might have even brought his OPS vs. righties up over .500, I’d have to check.

      • DarthHater

        .500? That sounds pretty good!

      • Jon

        His ABs have been surprised against righties , more opportunites=more power you have to cast a wide net

        • Kyle

          Surprised in what way?

          • Jon

            Suppressed lol damn auto correct

      • Patrick W.

        There you go. Earned that f u pretty quickly.

  • willis

    Great start from Hammel. Absolutely awesome. 7 IP, only 4 hits. He’s got a dud coming soon, but so far he’s been a joy to watch.

    • BlameHendry

      Just like Feldman. Always a mediocre starter, comes to the Cubs on a one-year deal and shocks everybody in the first half, just to be flipped at the deadline and bring in prospect or two. And he’ll probably return to mediocrity next year.

  • johnnyfootball

    John Baker is 0-20. I miss Dioneer Navarro.

  • Jon

    You can right a book on fucked up things the DBacks do, but Delgado looks good why isn’t he starting? Considering you traded your 6 WAR outfielder for him ?

    • Jon


  • dougdascenzoschangeup

    I think the knock on Delgado is a lack of a third pitch. He’s mostly fastball/change.

  • dougdascenzoschangeup

    Of course, the lack of a third pitch doesn’t excuse the awful trade.

  • Brocktoon

    Is my memory correct that we’ve yet to have a save opp since Veras was demoted?

  • Brocktoon

    So glad good Castro is back

  • Jon

    Castro with a web gem

    • Bill

      Since those first few games, Castro has looked great in the field.

  • J. L.

    Oh man, is Veras coming in?

  • Drew7

    Man, tonight has been Olt in a nutshell:

    1-4 HR 2K’s

  • BlameHendry

    In one at-bat, Olt hit a 3 run oppo HR. Next at-bat, he starts off 3-0 and ends up striking out. These young kids…

    Also, am I the only one that HATES when they choose to show the “behind home plate” camera view on TV?? I can’t stand it… there’s nothing I’d rather see from that angle compared to the traditional “bird’s eye” center field camera view. I want to see the pitch when it enters the strike zone.

    • Jon

      He tried to take a walk on the 3-1, looked borderline but yeah that freakin behind the catcher view, couldn’t tell

  • Drew7

    Olt and Lake a combined 2-8 with 4K’s. Glad Olt at least made it worthwhile with the bomb.

  • BlameHendry

    Serious question: Now that Starlin Castro is “back” and we have an overflow of talented infield prospects on their way – would any of you be opposed to shopping him around at the trade deadline this year? He’s definitely a very nice asset when he’s performing like this, but we have to find places for Baez, Alcantara, Bryant, and Olt on the field, and if Castro keeps it up, we can get quite a ridiculous package of prospects (hopefully pitching) in return for him. I think I’d like to see it happen.

    • Jon

      I prefer not to trade a young major leaguer that is good for guys that maybe could be good

      • blublud

        +1 Jon

    • http://BN Sacko

      I’m opposed. Never thought about it..why would you..none of the prospects have taken an AB.

    • ssckelley

      Now that Puig is back for the Dodgers I would be calling them about the status of Kemp. The Cubs desperately need to improve the outfield offense.

      • Soda Popinski

        Kemp’s massive contract and his numbers don’t quite match up. Plus, Kemp is apparently healthy and he still looks lost at the plate.

        • cubzfan

          Yeah, I’d actually rather inquire about Ethier. The Cubs could offer a stopgap like Schierholtz, some bullpen depth, and maybe a second-tier prospect. Or they might have interest in Valbuena as a bench player. Ethier consistently puts up a 120 OPS+ and his defense is fine in LF.

  • willis

    Man, Valbuena has had some amazing at bats tonight.

  • Jon

    Damn it ! Valbeuna was going to pimp that HR! Bat flip ? Check
    Pause ? Check
    Walk to first ? Check

  • http://BN Sacko

    Bring on Veras! but make sure someone is warm to replace him.

  • Rebuilding

    What a great at bat by Rizzo against a lefty. No matter the record the season has been a success so far just because Rizzo and Castro look like the building blocks they need to be

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