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wrigley field from right bleachersThe Cubs and White Sox “rivalry” has lost a little luster in recent years, as neither team has been particularly competitive, and the series has been a bit marginalized by changes in interleague play.

But, I’m still a sucker for it. Cardinals and White Sox back-to-back. That’s pretty cool. The Cubs took down the Cardinals, and now it’s on to the White Sox.

Jeff Samardzija starts tonight against lefty Jose Quintana, and the Cubs respond accordingly with a lot of righties in the lineup. Samardzija has yet to make a start that was a real egg, although his last time out against the Reds (5.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 H, 4 BB, 4 K) was his worst effort of the year. He’ll get a DH-less White Sox lineup tonight to get back to his dominant ways.

Speaking of that lineup … how do you get Adam Dunn and Jose Abreu in the lineup without a DH? Well, you’ve gotta throw one of them into the outfield. Dunn is the sacrificial lamb tonight, where he’ll battle the idiosyncrasies of Wrigley’s corner outfield in left. His UZR/150 hasn’t been better than -30 in the outfield since 2008 (and it was -28.9 that year). That’s insanely consistently bad, in case you needed context. Hit it to left tonight, boys.

Think Samardzija is going to be jacked up to face Abreu? My money is on Samardzija, by the way.

Game Info

Chicago White Sox (15-17) at Chicago Cubs (11-18), 7:05 CT on CSN, WCIU (Sox).

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

Jose Quintana (4.00 ERA, 3.55 FIP, 3.33 xFIP; 3.56 K/BB)

versus

Jeff Samardzija (1.98 ERA, 3.28 FIP, 3.72 xFIP; 2.38 K/BB)

Chicago White Sox Lineup

1. Alejandro De Aza, CF

2. Gordon Beckham, 2B

3. Jose Abreu, 1B

4. Adam Dunn, LF

5. Dayan Viciedo, RF

6. Alexei Ramirez, SS

7. Tyler Flowers, C

8. Marcus Semien, 3B

9. Jose Quintana, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2. Junior Lake, LF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Starlin Castro, SS

5. Welington Castillo, C

6. Nate Schierholtz, RF

7. Mike Olt, 3B

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • KHRSS

    Well that’s game. After a good start Grimm has been bad the last few games he has pitched.

  • JasonP

    I’m not sure if I’d be ok with the Cubs tying it up in the bottom half of the inning.

  • renegade4196

    Oh thank god, Russell is coming up!!!

  • Dustin S

    Gotta reiterate what I said about RR this morning and among other things bullpen mgmt.

    Also, win or lose I really can’t stand extra inning games. Not sure what it is, but they are always just nails on a chalkboard for me.

    • renegade4196

      Probably because the Cubs rarely win one. Extras=loss on the North Side.

  • Beast Mode

    I guess someone is going to give up a few runs eventually. Our offense just sucks. :(

  • Jason P

    Be a great time for that first bomb, Nate.

  • Beast Mode

    Make this guy throw strikes

  • Karl Groucho

    Beef with the BB, I’ll take it

    • Karl Groucho

      damn.

  • Beast Mode

    Gift call by ump ugh.

    • Beast Mode

      I mean it was a foot outside on the1-0. Not even exaggerating.

  • renegade4196

    Schierholtz needs to go.

    • Beast Mode

      Should have been traded last year for sure.

      • ssckelley

        ^ this

        The FO missed on this big time.

        • renegade4196

          I was shocked when he wasn’t traded. Now just like the rest of the team, he’s worthless. I’d pay to get rid of him.

          • wkranz

            Hard to be critical. Don’t know what the offers were for him. I don’t think teams were lining up offering organizational top 20s. Probably wouldn’t have added a piece to the future puzzle, just keep him…someone has to play outfield for the Cubs.

          • 70’s Cub

            Why did they “free agent” sign Schierholtz in the first place the Man can’t hit lefties? This FO needs to focus on signing complete players or bring up the kids enough already. I can’t think of one positive reason why as a free agent signing that the Cubs would sign such limited hitters when the same can be had dumpster diving.

            • Karl Groucho

              Platoon signings actually present a relatively cost-effective way of improvement! If you think you can find some cast-offs who another team didn’t like for their splits, maybe you can assemble an affordable team that competes by playing to handedness.

              The bigger issue, of course, is that Schierholtz’s “good” side offers just a career 97 wRC+; last year only four RFs put up a wRC+ below that — and that’s looking at their overall number, no splits advantage.

              • Karl Groucho

                (And just for fun: one of them was Parra, who managed to put up a staggering 4.5 WAR despite a 96 wRC+. That’s some damn good defense.)

        • Karl Groucho

          It’s highly likely that the offers weren’t there, not that our FO was holding out for some amazing package. FOs aren’t moved by a few months of performance in 2014 — he put up 4.5 WAR over 4 seasons and change before that short stretch of decent performance.

          • Karl Groucho

            (Heh and I don’t think they were in 2013, either.)

  • ssckelley

    Watch Olt hit a meaningless homer here

  • JasonP

    I thought Schierholtz would not be as good as last year, but I didn’t expect to be depressed every time he stepped in the batter’s box.

  • Beast Mode

    Oh for a bat flip:)

  • Beast Mode

    Or not.

  • wkranz

    Now, I think we all learned a valuable lesson today…it is really hard to score runs with the bottom 4 in your batting order under the Mendoza line. Like looking into a black hole. Not sure you can blame RR for this…just painful.

  • Jon

    Easily the worst outfield in baseball. No question

    • Beast Mode

      Can we blame injuries… Ruggiano

  • http://BN Sacko

    The SoX are bad and we are even worse. If This FO trades Shark I’m done with these guys for the rest of this year. Horrible game to watch as it’s been a horrible season to watch thus far.

    • renegade4196

      They have to trade him.

  • mudge

    An awful game. I’d have had Ramirez in for 9-11. Never like this one inning at a time shit, it’s just stupid. Ruggiano and Sweeney down, Schierholtz not hitting – how can you justify starting Darwin Barney on a team like this?

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