great american ballparkThe Cubs and Reds are due to kick things off tonight at Great American Ballpark. We’ll see about this one. Awfully rainy in these parts today.

Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to throw seven shutout innings today, and yet still somehow take the loss. He’ll be opposed by Alfredo Simon, as he was 10 days ago, when the Cubs’ bats couldn’t do much against the late-in-life converted starter.

It’s yet another lineup for the Cubs, who’ll start a mishmash of players, while sitting a mishmash of others. I guess that’s how it works.

Ryan Kalish stays in the starting lineup, heading out to right field in this one, spelling Nate Schierholtz, who’s off to a particularly rough start this year.

Darwin Barney draws an increasingly rare starting opportunity at second base, with Luis Valbuena sliding over to third.

UPDATE: Yup, it’s rained out. No makeup date announced yet.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (8-16) at Cincinnati Reds (11-14), 6:10 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

Jeff Samardzija (1.53 ERA, 2.77 FIP, 3.36 xFIP; 3.00 K/BB)


Alfredo Simon (1.30 ERA, 3.88 FIP, 4.31 xFIP; 1.89 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. Brayan Pena, C

8. Zack Cosart, SS

9. Alfredo Simon, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2. Ryan Kalish, RF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Starlin Castro, SS

5. Luis Valbuena, 3B

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Ryan Sweeney, LF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • http://BN Sacko

    I hope this for someone is looking at Barney in a trade..otherwise Happy, you are questionable.

    • Voice of Reason

      Happy was questionable way before he put barney in the lineup today.

  • Medicos

    With 16% of the season gone, RR must have noticed that OLT has fanned 37% of his ABs and LAKE 46%. Sure hope he gives both them another opportunity manana in Cincy.

  • http://BN Sacko

    That’s a problem I see in these platoons we have to be behind in order to get a matchup later. Oh that’s right we are behind most of the time anyway aren’t we?

    • Brocktoon

      I’m confused, why do we have to be behind to gain a matchup advantage?

  • http://BN Sacko

    If we are behind we are more apt to see a pinch hitter as the righty lefty matchup. Thus when behind and a lefty pitching Lake or Olt would pinch hit.

    • Brocktoon

      Well that sounds like a mangement issue rather than a platoon issue if we aren’t maximizing our opportunities once it gets to the opponent’s pen just because we’re up by a run or 2.

    • mjhurdle

      are you saying that you think that the platoons are bad because of …..late inning pinch hitters?

      • Pat

        It doesn’t exactly help when the bench is Barney, Baker, and three guys who can’t hit pitching from one side.

        That doesn’t negate the positive side of platooning – but it is a drawback.

        • mjhurdle

          I agree our bench is lacking.
          I just think that first priority is putting out a lineup that will be the most effective for the majority of the game.
          I don’t think you put someone out there who you think will be less effective innings 1-7 so that you can save someone who might be more effective to pinch hit in inning 8.

          Im not saying the bench is a problem. I just think it is more of a roster problem as opposed to a platooning problem.

          • Voice of Reason

            We are going to lose 100 games.

            Of course our bench is horrible. If it was close to average then our bench would be better than our starters!

            • Medicos


              • Voice of Reason


                I’m a proponent of the future of this team. We have some talent on its way but we have to be patient.

                At the same time, the 2014 cubs will almost certainly go down as the worst ever. It is what it is. There is light at the end of the tunnel, however!!

                • DarthHater

                  “the 2014 cubs will almost certainly go down as the worst ever.”

                  Attention people of Earth: I have instructed the crew of the Death Star to incinerate the next person who spews this kind of vacuous twaddle. Thank you.

                  • Voice of Reason

                    Yes, because being honest is not allowed.

                    Hey, pass me that bottle of Cubbie Kool Aid. I hear DarthHater makes the best Cubbie Kool Aid in the whole world.

                    • jp3

                      I don’t think darth is 100% behind the rebuild process either but I just think he’s saying its a bit premature to make that statement. How could you possibly think it’s the worst cubs team ever, how long you been a cubs fan? We’ve been stinky a lot😝

                    • Jason P

                      We’re not even the worst team in baseball (probably not 2nd worst either). Much less worst Cubs team of all time.

                    • DarthHater

                      I think the team sucks, same as everyone else. All I’m saying is that to pretend this early in the season that you can predict “almost certainly” that they will end up with a worse record than in 1962 and 1966 is vacuous twaddle.

                    • Brocktoon

                      Actually jp, in spite of how horrendous the franchise has been since ’45 (27th out of 30, expansion teams below us, next closest team in existence in ’45 is the Pirates at 21), we don’t have that many godawful years. Only 3 100 loss seasons total with a bottoming out of 103 losses. Only the Angels (95), Rockies (98), Giants (100), and Reds (101) have “better” worst seasons.

                      And doesn’t have to do with this but something interesting I just found out, every expansion franchise has a losing record. The Angels have a shot at breaking through this season, as an 89-73 record would put them right at .500 If the D-Backs pulled off a miracle they would get there at 86-76.

                    • Brocktoon

                      But yes, to say it’s a “certainty” we wind up with 104 losses is foolish, and to repeat it on a daily basis is annoying.

                    • Brocktoon

                      More insomnia expansion team fun:

                      Only 3 expansion franchises have ever been over .500 in their existence.

                      KC: (as recently as 2001)
                      AZ: ’08
                      TOR: ’94

                      Astros got to within 4 games of .500 after the 2006 season, but have obviously put some distance between themselves and it since then.

                  • mjhurdle

                    He makes a valid point Darth.

                    The 2014 Chicago Cubs will go down in history as the worst 2014 Chicago Cubs team ever.

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

                      So who do you think the 2014 Chicago Cubs will sign as the 2014 Chicago Cubs starting LF?

                    • DarthHater

                      Shit, you’re right, mj. I should learn to read more closely.

                • Medicos

                  V of R: Let’s hope that we all see that “light” within the next 4-years!!!! i’m not sure some BNers can last much longer observing this 2014 roster play like it has so far.

                  • Voice of Reason

                    Let’s hope that we start seeing some more young and future stars like Baez, Bryant, Alcantera, etc. That will help make the season more tolerable by actually getting to see some future stars. Throw them in with Olt and Lake and Castro and Rizzo and we will have something fun to watch… the kids developing!

                    I’m behind the rebuild and the way it’s being carried out. It’s just going to take time. In two or three years we’ll be ready for sustained sucess!!

                    • Medicos

                      V of R: Been a fan since 1952 and have only seen 18 winning seasons.. i agree with your thoughts concerning rebuilding 100%. Maybe they’ll hire you to work in the Cubs FO and be part of the process.

                    • DarthHater

                      ” Maybe they’ll hire you to work in the Cubs FO and be part of the process.”

                      If this were to happen, THEN I would agree that they almost certainly would be the worst team ever.

            • 1060Ivy

              Cubs lost 101 games in 2012 but that bench wasn’t this horrible / lacking in talent. In 2012, the bench at times included: Reed Johnson, Clevenger, Valbuena, Sappelt, Stewart, Castillo, the ever formidable Campana.

              • renegade4196

                Whether anybody likes to believe it or not, overall, this team is better than both 2012 and 2013. The big individual pieces are much better, and there’s more guys in the lineup that give good AB’s. The record is due to the god awful bullpen. (by that I mean Veras before DL and now Russell) Our rotation is easily better. Outside of how bad Villanueva is, Samardzija, Wood, and Hammel have been All-Stars, and Jackson hasn’t been nearly as bad as he once was. It’s a lot of bad managing and lack of overall depth that makes this team struggle. Once Alcantara and Bryant find their way here, this team will heat up.

                • Funn Dave

                  “Whether anybody likes to believe it or not, overall, Springfield Elementary’s Little League team is better than both the 2012 and 2013 cubs.”


                  • DarthHater

                    ““Whether anybody likes to believe it or not, overall, Springfield Elementary’s girls’ team is better than both the 2012 and 2013 cubs.”


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

                Wow, Clevenger/Sappelt/Stewart/Campana are better than what we have now?

                Also, Castillo wasn’t really a bench piece at this point, he was still in AAA AND we had Koyie Hill for a few weeks.

                Theo has done a wonderful job assembling bench pieces…and using them as starters.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  Your stamina on the front page is MLB worthy.

  • http://BN Sacko

    when we are down by a run or 2, especially during the latter innings.

  • ssckelley

    Funny, and disgusting, when Lake does not start in the outfield they have a combined 0 home runs between them.

    /bangs on the drum some more for Kemp

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Officially in a rain delay, by the way. Sounds like it could take an hour.

  • Medicos

    Thanks for the rain delay news. Now we’ll be able to check out Jose Abreu and his 10 HRs— 31 RBIs—.330OPB—.631SLG—..962OPS before the Cubs game starts.

  • Cubs_Questions

    On the plus side, Javy Baez just homered in the first inning for Iowa.

  • willis

    Baez Bomb! 3 run bottom first. Bango.

    • jp3

      He’s out of the slump for good!!!!😜

      • willis

        BRING HIM UP!!!

  • Cheese Chad

    First inning, coughlan single, alcantara, hard hit single, javyBOMB. Good start

  • JasonP

    Game postponed.

    Not sure if this is a good thing or bad. Should probably what two real teams play on ESPN or the NBA playoffs.

  • cubmig

    Game postponed

  • willis

    Shitty day at work and was looking forward to watching some baseball tonight. But…it does give Arrieta a little more time before his first start as I would think this pushes Shark to tomorrow and Jackson to Wednesday. So Arrieta would open the Cardinals series.

    • DarthHater

      Just wondering, what constitutes a shitty day at work for an Ewok? Imperial walker stepped on your toe, or what? ;-)

      • willis

        My crossbow malfunctioned.

        • N8theGr8

          Hit yourself in the head with a sling and stone again, willis? I’m sure you’ll be using Stormtrooper helmets as percussion instruments again one of these days. Hang in there…

          • willis

            Heehee…that’s a hilarious scene in that battle. All ewoks were battling hard and my man Wicket took himself out.

  • http://BN Sacko

    Areitta should go on Thursday possibly. Just don’t want to see Carlos start for awhile,

    • JasonP

      I have to imagine it pushes everyone back a day.

      The ‘stache was already pushed to the pen.

  • college_of_coaches


    • DarthHater

      Let us know when Almora does it. Then I’ll be amazed.

      • college_of_coaches

        I find your lack of faith disturbing.

        • DarthHater


          • N8theGr8

            Dumb question, but has anybody suggested this tactic to Theo in regards to Shark’s contract extension? Couldn’t hurt to try….

  • willis

    Corey Black with another great start tonight.

    • jp3

      6 innings 3 hits 1BB. That’s a good start for sure

  • sunshine and rainbows

    Rainouts make me sad.

    • Medicos

      Don’t cry this ain’t like the Bears in the NFL. There’s always another Cubs game tomorrow!!!!

  • dumbledoresacubsfan

    Weren’t there reports last year (or this offseason?) that the DBacks offered Eaton to us in exchange for Scheirholtz?

    Really regretting the fact that didn’t happen.

    • Crockett

      Was this for real? I thought it was debunked.

      • dumbledoresacubsfan

        No idea. If it was debunked, I never saw that. I hope it was, because I’ve been sad about it all season long. haha

        • DocPeterWimsey

          The “Other 28 GMs” principle argues against this. That is, if someone could have gotten Eaton for a Schierholz last summer, then somebody would have done that. The fact that the DBacks got Trumbo for Eaton indicates that the price tag was higher than One Nate. ( The DBacks probably overvalue Trumbo, but he does have the raw power that they crave, so it is very difficult to argue that they did not do better than Schierholz in the end, at least insofar as Towers values players.)

          • Adventurecizin Justin

            Well, they also gave up Skaggs in the deal for Trumbo.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Ah, good point! I’d forgotten that.

              Still, I find it hard to think that another team would not have given up a Schierholz level talent for Eaton. My bet is that we had a Grimmsian distortion of the Cubs (and other teams) asking for Eaton, and the DBacks saying “no.” Eaton’s name did come up in a few trade rumors last summer, after all: but that happens if teams are requesting as well as when teams are offering.

              • jeff1969

                The Sox gave up Hector Santiago in that deal as well, so it was Santiago for Eaton for the White Sox. The D’backs were down on Eaton after his 2013 season. Lots of stories about his arm troubles, how he wasn’t the same hitter he looked to be the year before. He was rumored to be pesty teammate. Whatever. The Sox got him & he plays a solid CF, throws fine, is hitting well, and works the count almost every at bat. He would’ve been great in CF for the Cubs and he would have been a solid piece for the future.

  • Jon

    2 Javy walks tonight. Who here made a deal with Satan?

    • willis

      He went yard on that guy first time up and that pitcher hasn’t gotten near the plate against him since. Smart pitcher.

    • jp3

      Satan and walks deals are reserved for almora only unfortunately

  • renegade4196

    Bryant with an RBI 2B, bringing him up to 8 doubles and 12 RBI. I could definitely see a promotion to AAA coming quite soon.

    • Cubs_Questions

      With a .298/.425/.571 split in 103 PA, it’s obvious he’s killing AA pitching. I’m sure it won’t be too long before he gets the call. The question, then, is what happens to Villanueva?

      • cub4life

        I don’t see Bryant moving up to AAA, he will skip it and come strait to the MLB team, prob in Sept or so (would love to see sooner but the will want him to get like 300 AB’s at AA).

        • TheDondino

          I don’t see them keeping him down at AA until September. That serves no purpose. If he dominates AA through June (where he’d get to 300 PA’s barring injury). Then promote him to AAA for another 200+ PA. No use wasting his time in AA all summer if you’re planning on promoting him to the majors in September.

      • ssckelley

        I think they use Villanueva at 1st base if Bryant is promoted to AAA.

  • Patrick W.

    I was there tonight and I figured out they were going to postpone around 7:20 or so when I noticed they hadn’t turned on the field lights yet. They were just delaying it for the concessions.

    • Funn Dave

      You shoulda stayed later! Eventually the teams came back and they closed the roof and had the most epic nine-in-one baseball game in the history of anything, ever.

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