Quantcast

great american ballparkThe Cubs and Reds will try again tonight at Great American Ballpark, with last night’s affair getting rained out. Rain is once again in the offing, so we’ll see what happens as far as start time. There’s rain all across the area, and it’ll be intermittent throughout the evening. Another rainout would really hamper the schedule situation. (UPDATE: First pitch is now scheduled for 6:30pm CT.)

The starting pitchers remain the same, so the thoughts, too, remain the same:

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.

The Cubs are sticking with last night’s attempted lineup, which makes sense. 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.

Game Info

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

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

versus

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

  • willis

    That outfield is awesome.

    Let’s all hope Shark throws another gem tonight. Going to need it.

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

    Same lineup! But does it count?

  • willis

    Game delayed again. Hopefully it is canceled again with this lineup.

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

      God is saying:

      [img]http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121216060045/adventuretimewithfinnandjake/images/5/54/Annoying_no_gif.gif[/img]

      • Funn Dave

        Man, I would probably have way more fun if I was watching the Office right now instead of the Cubbies.

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

          I’ve started watching Lost.

          Please note everyone…I am in season 1 so you can no longer discuss anything about the show because I don’t want you to spoil it.

          • mjhurdle

            Just to save you on all the time you will waste watching it, ill tell you the ending.

            Jack Bauer saves America from terrorism in the last hour.

            • JasonP

              Isn’t Lost the one where Jack Bauer saves the red shirt from dying on that away mission where Kirk was banging the hot alien chick?

              • mjhurdle

                no, you are thinking of Modern Family

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

              After narrowly avoiding the wreck coming out of turn 4 and shooting down a MiG-25

    • Crockett

      I think it is god telling RR something…

  • jp3

    This is the best this lineup could hope for…a push. The house finally didn’t win

  • Darth Ivy

    Cubs win the World Series!!

    mmmmm, yeah. Try it, type it out. It feels so good.

    • ChrisFChi

      I’ve yelled that every time I’ve done it in MLB 13. 16 WS wins so far.(going for 17 this weekend)

  • Rebuilding

    Anyone in the Cincy area? Any chance the rain clears?

    • Rebuilding

      Nevermind, I see they are in warmup on Gameday

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Go to the national doppler radar website and clic on the Cincy area. It will give the current radar images.

  • willis

    Simon looks nasty. When will the rain start again?

  • willis

    Shark is getting squeezed like hell so far. Threw two nasty strikes to Votto that were called balls and one to Hamilton. Now he’s grooving fastballs and getting smacked around. Luckily they were hit at outfielders.

    • Jon

      Look who’s catching.

      • mjhurdle

        I am a big believer in pitch framing, but not a fan of how the lazy answer to any close pitch not getting called is ‘Castillo’s fault’

  • ssckelley

    Good thing Olt or Lake did not start against this guy.

    • willis

      Yeah but…instead we get Barney and Sweeney. And we just saw the results they’re going to get tonight. I’d rather have Lake and Olt in there in the hopes they get lucky with their pop. Barney or Sweeney get lucky…it’s a pop up.

      • ssckelley

        I was thinking about that after I remembered Barney is in the lineup. Can’t argue about Sweeney being in though, this is supposed to be his job hitting righties.

        I like the fact they sat Schierholtz.

  • Spoda17

    If I’m Jeff… I’m thinking … Barney and Sweeney… thanks Ricky..!

  • Jon

    Can someone tell me who the hell Alfredo Simon is? Usually this voodoo magic is reserved for the Cardinals.

    • ssckelley

      No kidding, a veteran career bullpen guy all of the sudden pitching like an ace starter.

      • renegade4196

        Not many pitchers don’t look like an ace against the Cubs.

  • ssckelley

    Come on Castro!

    • ssckelley

      Yeeeeeesssss!

  • Funn Dave

    Beautiful.

  • ssckelley

    Wow, you won’t see that double steal combo very often.

  • Spoda17

    I am so glad Valbuena started too..

    • TWC

      Hey, remember back, like, a few weeks ago, when you said you were gonna drop all the incessant anti-platoon comments?

      Yeah, that was cool.

      • Spoda17

        Well, at least I lasted a few weeks… and I admit, it is working so well… the platoon that is…

        • mjhurdle

          yep, if only they didn’t platoon the Cubs would be 18-6.

          Those loses have nothing to do with the lack of talent on the roster. those newfangled stat geeks and their platoons are whats doin it! Dam that fancy math stuff, we just need more chemistry and hustle and everyday players doin it the right way!

          • Spoda17

            Someone said it earlier today. One problem with some people who post don’t actually read the post they are responding to. I have never said anything about performance. My entire point has always been it’s very hard to make a decision with very little data.

            If you think Valbuena, Barney, Sweeney, are totally going to change. Good for you. Have an opinion, and go with it. My opinion, and I think I can still have one… is the Cubs need to learn what they have. And sitting the potential (and I stress potential) future is a waste. I have never said Olt and Lake are the future. All I have said is that those who judge their potential are doing it whit very little data.

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

              Eh…if hitters can’t succeed against pitchers they are supposed to succeed against how are they going to succeed against tougher matchups?

              • Spoda17

                so, how many at bats do you need to make a decision?

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

                  138. Or 114 PA.

                  • Spoda17

                    okay, and neither Olt or Lake or Kalish meet that standard.. so not saying you have to agree with me, just saying need more info, and cannot get info sitting the bench

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

                      And I’m saying them seeing only pitchers they SHOULD be able to do well against will give them a large enough sample (both statistically and scouting) to determine if they should get expanded PA.

              • mjhurdle

                Can you imagine if they employed this logic anywhere else?

                Well, Johnny is really struggling in Algebra 1, so I signed him up for extra Pre-Calc.

                Debbie really isn’t doing a great job managing those table inserts, so i went ahead and made her a DBA.

                • Spoda17

                  This comment is why I cant take your comments seriously. So math and hitting art the same. Okay, so everyone who is good at math, can be good at hitting.

                  • mjhurdle

                    Someone said it earlier today. One problem with some people who post is they don’t actually read the post they are responding to.

                    • Spoda17

                      Exactly.

            • mjhurdle

              don’t worry, i read the post i responded too.
              Maybe the “it is working out so well” was referring to the weather or something else unrelated, and if so i apologize for my misunderstanding.
              I took it to mean the results of the platoon.

              If your only problem with the platoon is Lake and Olt sitting too much, then i disagree even more.

              Right now Lake and Olt are 6th and 8th respectively in amount of PAs for the Cubs. The only IFs ahead of Olt in PAs are Castro, Rizzo, and Valbuena (by 5 PAs). The OFs ahead of Lake are Nate and Emilo.

              So, if your argument is to give the young players game time to see what you have, well…..it appears that they already are.
              The people judging their potential are doing so with a vastly larger set of knowledge and data then we are. And they seem to think running rookies out so they cna K 2 or 3 times every game probably isn’t the best.
              Neither Lake nor Olt is showing that they deserve to get even more ABs then they are getting now.

              If you think that the only reason Lake is striking out close to 50% of his ABs is because he needs to play even more, then good for you. Have your opinion and go for it. But I will probably still disagree. To each their own.

              • Spoda17

                I respect your thoughts, but I disagree that less than 100 PA can be considered an accurate assessment of performance. And, I think pinch hitting shouldn’t count. And… both are rookies, so there is a learning curve there. Valbuena (released by another team), Swenney (released by another team), and Barney… we know. We do not know Olt or Lake… or Kalish for that matter.

                • mjhurdle

                  If you take away Lake’s pinch hitting, he drops down to ….7th on the list of most PA on the Cubs.
                  Olt has much more, but all in the beginning of the year when he was still recovering from his shoulder injury. Since April 12 he hasn’t pinch hit once.

                  And the biggest problem i have with your logic is that Olt is currently on pace for 438 ABs this year, and Lake on pace for 468.

                  If the Cubs do nothing different and keep the same platoons going (the ones you say won’t let us see what we have in Olt and Lake) these players are getting over 400 ABs. That is a very large amount, and definitely big enough to start determining what you have in them.

                  I don’t see the need to get them 600 ABs this year to start seeing what they have, or to have them get to 300 ABs as quickly as possible.

                  • Spoda17

                    The need is to see what you actually have. If you are saying that all of the alternatives have proven better than fine. I disagree. The rookies do not have enough PA to actually determine if they are the future or not. I just don’t get the argument on why the need to sit. Even if they fail miserably, does it really matter? At least if they do, we won’t ever wonder… if we would have just played them more maybe we would have known…

                    This is not about wins, its about accumulating data, in all situations, to make an informed decision.

                    • mjhurdle

                      so you are saying that, after this year when Lakes is sitting on a .206/250/300 slash line and a 48% K rate, we will all bemoan the fact that he never got to 600 ABs, so we will never truly know what we had in him?

                    • Spoda17

                      When have I ever said 600 PAs? If they suck at 200 PAs, I will rethink it. If you think that any evaluation is reasonable with one month of being a rookie, and less than 100 PAs is the best assessment.. then Baez, Bryant, Soler, Almora are doomed to fail.

                      The rookies need to feel comfortable, not feel like someone is always looking over their shoulder, have an opportunity to fail, and get some time to succeed or… yeah, wait for it.. fail… I will end it here, I need more data. That’s it.. just more data. To say they failed already is premature.

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

                      The Cubs will release him and in 3 years he will sign on to a desperate team and start in CF and everything will finally click for a year and Cubs fans will bemoan what they gave up.

                    • mjhurdle

                      To say that either Lake or Olt has already failed is premature. To say that they are failing is factual.
                      To say that, even though they are failing when put into the best possible situations, putting them into worse situations more often will help them feel happy comfortable thoughts of unicorns dancing in flower filled meadows is just silly.

                      Rookies are not fragile china. Somehow they made it all the way to the bigs. Im pretty sure along the way they had to do things like ride some pine occasionally, or compete for starting jobs, or even be able to hit a baseball 1 out of every 5 ABs.
                      Expecting the same out of them now is not going to crush them, and will still let you get, wait for it, over 400 ABs to judge them all.
                      it is a miracle of modern technology.

              • Spoda17

                If you use the strike out argument, then you must use the HR and the RBI argument also.. and Olt is at the top in both categories…

                • cubbiehawkeye

                  Lake and Olt look ugly sometimes…just bad. I realize this isn’t an all star lineup but you can’t just sacrifice wins for the sake of getting two young guys more PA. I’m still failing to see your logic on this.

                  • Spoda17

                    My logic is this, it’s simple, we are going to lose, we are losing now, we are not giving away wins, no matter who we put in the lineup we will probably lose… so play the potential future. That is all.

                    • JasonP

                      It’s not completely illogical to just play the kids, but there are plenty of reasons why it is almost never done.

                      In particular, I think you lose the clubhouse if you let vets sit on the bench with no ABs even if they can do their jobs as well or better than the young players, especially in April.

                    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                      Well if they are the future they aren’t to the greatest job showing us that they are that. If Lake didn’t have that amazing little run last year I don’t think anybody would be crying for more playing time. Olt needs so more consistency and give the team a reason to be the everyday third baseman.

                    • Spoda17

                      Goat, they may not be the future… just not enough data to actually make that decision.

                    • Drew7

                      Do 2500 ho-hum PA’s in the minors mean nothing?

            • Drew7

              I know. It’d be *so* much easier to evaluate these guys if we had:

              1) some sort of development league for players not quite ready for the bigs.

              2) scouts and talent evaluators whose only job was to see if those guys would ever be MLB players.

              It would really make this seeing-what-you-have thing much easier.

  • Cubs_Questions

    And a Rizzo-Castro double steal? Cool.

  • KHRSS

    Really like Castro attacking good pitches to hit early in the count.

  • mjhurdle

    Perfect throw by Castillo

    • willis

      That’s about the best throw I can remember him making. That was strong.

  • Funn Dave

    I love how he didn’t just get caught stealing, but he got a glove to the face in the process.

  • ssckelley

    And that is why Barney still has value. He took a hit away from Ludwig.

  • benjamin

    Damn Barney. If only you could hit.

  • willis

    The way Shark was pitching and a lead…now I’m bummed about the rain. If it lasts long I can’t imagine him coming back in. May get to see Ramirez for a couple innings if not.

    There’s actually been some good at bats from the middle of the order, seeing some pitches.

    • ssckelley

      Shark is without his best stuff today, he was already at 74 pitches through 4 innings. It would be nice to get him qualified for the win.

      • willis

        My old friend Thom just said there’s about 30 minutes or so before the next band of rain arrives.

        • ssckelley

          Whelp, so much for that idea.

  • willis

    Well, back to baseball.

  • willis

    Dammit, he would have been safe with Starlin coming up. Over slid the bag. No bueno.

  • mjhurdle

    ugh, bad slide there by Kalish

  • willis

    Bear down here Shark. Not much more baseball to play. Need to hold at 2-2.

    But he looks pretty terrible since the delay.

  • mjhurdle

    ok, go yard here Castro.

  • ssckelley

    Even Castro’s outs are hard hit.

  • itzscott

    Sweeney & Barney in the same lineup, back to back no less. What the hell is this manager thinking?

    • JasonP

      He’s thinking, “With a roster like this, it doesn’t matter what lineup I use, it still won’t be my fault if we lose 100 games.”

      • itzscott

        Yeah well if you know you’re going to lose at least make it as difficult as possible for your opponent to win. Renteria isn’t doing that.

    • ssckelley

      Sweeney is in for Schierholtz, I cannot argue that move.

      • itzscott

        I take it Lake wasn’t an option?

        • Drew7

          Seems to be breezy enough as it is.

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+