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great american ballparkHow will rain factor into this one? Postponement? Delay? Poor fielding conditions? Late-inning pinch hit for the Reds?

(It isn’t expected to rain tonight in Cincinnati, by the way.)

Edwin Jackson is coming off of his best start on the year, and will look to keep things going against the Reds. His FIP on the year is actually pretty good, though he’s been hit awfully hard at times, which isn’t always reflected.

On the other side is lefty Tony Cingrani, who faces a mostly righty lineup of Cubs, which is the right way to do it – righties get a nearly 150 point bump over lefties in Cingrani’s splits. That means another start from Darwin Barney, who has started two in a row almost immediately after questions surfaced about whether he was firmly ensconced in a pure bench/late-inning role.

How badly could Junior Lake and Mike Olt each use a huge game? Three homers apiece? Is that asking too much?

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (8-17) at Cincinnati Reds (12-14), 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

Edwin Jackson (5.02 ERA, 3.29 FIP, 4.37 xFIP; 1.53 K/BB)

versus

Tony Cingrani (2.86 ERA, 3.51 FIP, 4.00 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. Tony Cingrani, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2. Junior Lake, LF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Starlin Castro, SS

5. Mike Olt, 3B

6. Nate Schierholtz, RF

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Edwin Jackson, P

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

    How about 8 shutout, hit-less innings from Cingrani which features 24 K’s and then the Cubs bat around 4 or 5 times in the 9th off some no-named reliever that is doing poorly this year…I think they have a guy named Shauwn Marshall

  • Darth Ivy

    Steve Olt!!

  • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

    I can’t help but wonder… is starting Barney even against lefties a good idea? Career against LHP, Valbuena hits .245/.326/.391. That seems a lot better than Barney lately, and even better than Barney does career against LHP.

  • Dustin S

    Cingrani’s on my fantasy team, but I’d still rather the Cubs win. Hopefully Lake will be more dialed in after a couple days off.

  • jrayn

    Such a deficit in comparing the two hole. Wowza.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    The frustrating thing about Jackson is that he alway seems to have a shakey start in the first few innings and then usaually settles down after they put up a crooked number. And with this Cubs offense giving up even two runs is dangerous because they may not be able to come back. Which brings me to the subject of the upcoming draft. They need to draft more in the mold of guys that can just flatout hit and have some power. Because if you only take the power bat you end up with guys that strikeout too much like Baez. Maybe this Jackson kid is what we want. But obviously it’s going to be a pitcher this year. We can afford to have one Adam Dunn type guy in the lineup, but not two or three. Thankfully I think Bryant will be a lifetime .300 hitter with power. There are only a few guys in the game like that can do that. I think everybody was hoping that Soler could be that guy. I see the crazy numbers that Abreu is putting up for the Sox and I see possibly another Cabrera type hitter in the making. We need one too!

  • ssckelley

    A guy that strikes out 40% of the time makes a perfect #2 hitter.

    • Edwin

      Very few double plays that way.

      • ssckelley

        Good point, Lake has yet to hit into a double play this season. Tough to do when you have only hit the ball into play 34 times in 67 plate appearances.

  • azcubsgal

    LOL hansman. That sounds doable.

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

      Fantasy baseball gets you wishing for crazy things.

      • Darth Ivy

        I like when I have a starting pitcher going so im cheering for his team, then he gets pulled so I start cheering for the other team because I have their closer.

  • Jon

    Schierholtz and his career .686 OPS against LHP is your first casualty of a 13 man pitching staff. Don’t get that one. (the roster move it is)

    • Brocktoon

      Nah, first casualty was Darwin Barney batting for himself in the 9th inning last night.

      • Jon

        Good point.

      • ssckelley

        With a perfectly good Travis Wood available!

  • Jon

    This is even more absurd as I think about it. Cingrina is significantly worst against righties, yet you find yourself stuck starting a platoon lefty because of a bloated pen that you probably won’t come close to using all of.

    • Jon

      At first blush I would say 3 pen lefties is too much, but logistically Wright and Russell aren’t going anywhere and Rosscup is too intriguing you want to keep him. Schlitter? Do we really need him?

    • Brocktoon

      Schlitter has had one appearance since going to 13, and it almost certainly could have been taken by somebody else in the pen. 13 man staffs are pretty much always unnecessary

  • ssckelley

    So who will be the first one to get to 5 home runs? Castillo, Castro, or Olt…..can pick Rizzo but he has to hit 2.

    I say Castro.

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

    Fun with arbitrary endpoints:

    Removing Lake’s first five games last year, he has an amazing .631 OPS over 298 PA. A WHOPPING .034 IsoD and a .107 IsoP.

    30% K rate, 5% BB rate.

    (FWIW, he posted a .692 OPS in that span last year)

    • Edwin

      He should be converted to a pitcher, those numbers would be great!

    • ssckelley

      You like looking at that stuff Hans? Look up Schierholtz’s OPS from August 31st of last year until now. Up until a few games ago he was our cleanup hitter.

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

        I love arbitrary endpoints.

        I’ll have to do that later. IE is giving me fits right now.

        • ssckelley

          I can tell you it is a tad below .500….again, OPS!

  • FortyFour

    Ryan Kalish should get the start over Nate Schierholtz. Both are lefties but at least Kalish is hitting which is something Nate is not doing enough of right now. I hope Jackson has a nice outing.

  • Edwin

    I wonder if the Brewers might be interested in a quick Bonifacio flip. They could use another solid bench player, just to help give Ramirez, Braun, or other OF a good rest from time to time.

    • FortyFour

      Cubs FO would need to get an above average return for trading with a divisional team. You might be onto something as Bonifacio’s value is solid right now and I believe he is on a one year deal. Garza left the game early today with a contusion on this right thumb. That may give the Brewers pause on beefing up their team right now.

      • Brocktoon

        Why would we need an above average return?

        1. He kinda sucks
        2. He’ll be long gone by time we start trying.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    Wellington hits a bomb tonight. Bank it.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Theoretically this lineup should score 5 runs tonite which is all one can ask of Mgr Rick

  • willis

    I’m really starting to hate this Hamilton prick. But, god wood by Lake there, just hit it at the wrong guy.

    Rizzo bomb. Hell yes.

  • KHRSS

    Lake almost hit one out, then Rizzo HR and then a Castro double. Nice way to start the game!!!

  • cubmig

    Another jump-out-in-front lead for the Cubs. Don’t know whether to feel good or not the way things have ended up in games past. Oh for a win to end this ugly month.

  • CubsFaninMS

    I think Cindy Lauper would’ve looked more graceful trying to catch that Votto fly than Lake! I do admire his effort, though.

  • Cubs_Questions

    Kris Bryant appears to be hurt. Being looked at by trainers.

    • Cubs_Questions

      Looking at his hand/wrist. He was tripped by Chattanooga’s first baseman while running through the bag.

      • DarthHater

        I’m beginning to think that there’s no point in even following this f-ing sport, other than for frustration and rage. :-P

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

          Pretty much.

          He’ll have broken his wrist and go the route of Ian Stewart.

    • DarthHater

      If Kershaw beaned Bryant, I will personally hunt him down and force choke him into oblivion.

      • Cubs_Questions

        Agreed. Sigh of relief, he stayed in the game.

  • CubsFaninMS

    Jackson is nibbling, to his own detriment. It appears that his control is pretty close, though. Jury still out on whether we’re about to see the Jekyll-Jackson or Hyde-Jackson.

  • David

    About 50 more minutes until the Kershaw/ Bryant battle! I say a ground ball single past shortstop.

  • KHRSS

    Is there a stat to show how many times a pitcher hands over the lead right after he gets lead. Jackson does it again this year.

    • Medicos

      No

    • DarthHater

      BAFLLAN – Blew Another Fucking Lead Like A Nincompoop

  • willis

    Jackson, as usual, is getting fucking launched on. God dammit, the Cubs spotted him a 2-0 lead and he blows it before we can blink.

  • nakedman1664

    Well, that lead lasted about 5 minutes. It felt so good.

  • cubmig

    Damn rat-bastardos! Just when I thought……shit……..never mind…..

  • HislersHero

    Edwin Jackson, trying to solidify that first pick for the Cubs. But hey, his peripherals are great.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    It’s a shame that the Cubs seem to score runs for this turd, but not Shark.

  • cubmig

    what if Jackson hit a HR?

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