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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

  • Chris

    Hit everything to Left Field!!!

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

    ERROR, Quintana vs. Samardzija, not Hammel.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks. Just a typo, for anyone concerned about pitcher abuse.

      • Edwin

        Hammel is old school. Tough as iron.

  • juniorlakefan2014

    Umm, Brett…. You have Hammel going for the Cubs

  • Rebuilding

    I don’t think there has ever been a value put on it (or if it’s possible to really measure), but I do wonder what the value is of the number of pitches Valbuena sees per at bat. Tiring out a pitcher, getting into the bullpen faster, letting others see more pitches. There has to be a value in that even if it hasn’t been quantified – I just wonder what it’s worth

    • YourResidentJag

      Speaking of pitches per AB, Steve Stone just commented on it regarding Adam Eaton this morning.

    • vitaminB

      It’s worth a .500 BFlip

  • Diehardthefirst

    If this series doesn’t draw total 120000 over 4 games time to rethink it

    • ssckelley

      It should be packed all 4 games. I checked stubhub and the cheapest tickets for tomorrow are selling for $17.95 at Wrigley and twice that for tickets to the Cell.

      • Jason P

        I’ll guess the Wrigley games average 35K and the Cell ones 31K. As of right now, you can still get 15 tickets together for the game tonight in the lower deck.

        The fact that all the games are at night should help some, but because it’s a Monday-Thursday series rather than Thursday-Sunday, I highly doubt any of the game sell out.

        • ssckelley

          A lot of empty seats tonight.

        • http://becomehealthier.com drcub1908

          Wrigley this year attendance avg. 30,903 10th in MLB
          White Sox avg. 16,873 29th in MLB…

          • brickhouse

            factor in the no shows and Cubs have averaged about 18,000 per game

  • Alan Griffin

    Anyone know who’s gonna call the game on WCIU? I guess I’ll throw on WGN radio if the alternative is listening to Hawk all game.

    I was once a Sox fan, way back in the days of The Big Hurt, Rock Raines, Robin Ventura and Pudge. I still catch hell when I call bloop singles ducksnorts, but as a kid, I didn’t realize just how bad Hawk is at calling games.

    I tried to get back into the Sox this year, but just couldn’t stomach listening to Hawk. Generally bland commentary with five minute pauses followed by flat-out cheering for the Sox was the order of the day. It was horrible. I’d really like to root for the Sox again, but can’t bring myself to sit through a game. I feel bad for South Siders.

    If Hawk ever retires from the booth, I plan to start rooting for the White Sox again. Until then, I’ll just track box scores. Yeesh!

    • Edwin

      Mercy.

      • Alan Griffin

        Nice. I missed that one. Oh, but for an edit button…

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      Cubs broadcast is on CSN.

    • Medicos

      Better off listening to Hawk and Stone on TV as opposed to listening to WSCR and Ed Farmer. He’s is so low key-emotionless it’s a complete bore listening him broadcast a game.

  • joejoe234

    If anyone is interested in going to tomorrows game I have two season tickets press box view that I am not using. I’m selling them for $20 each for tomorrow and would much rather see someone from BN use them then sell them on stub hub. You can see pictures of my seats on the message board. If you’re interested just email me at gary.arc@aol.com. They are instant download so I would send them right away.

  • Jon

    lOlt!

    • KHRSS

      He sucks with the bat, no need to add errors to that.

  • Jason P

    I thought Olt was supposed to be a plus defender. If Valbuena’s at third, there’s 2 outs and nobody on (not that I’m criticizing the lineup).

  • Karl Groucho

    Another point for Abreu: he can advance the runner when it counts!

    • Jon

      OK. We can stop slobbering over Abreu because he hit a fly ball when a runner happened to be on third with less than two outs.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I agree …

        • Funn Dave

          So, Abreu got an RBI off Jeff…. Whom do you owe, Brett? :P

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Twitter joke, btw.

      • Karl Groucho

        Tongue was firmly in cheek, dude.

  • Soda Popinski

    Why wouldn’t Chi / Chi be on WGN? Surely it would get better ratings than America’s Funniest Home Videos. How I loath that network…

    • nakedman1664

      I don’t know….some of those videos are actually funny.

      • Karl Groucho

        When the guy stepped on the rake and they played the sproing sound effect — genius!

        • nakedman1664

          That was my favorite.

          • DarthHater

            Personally, I always like the video of a cat in a shark suit riding a Roomba and chasing a baby duck. ;-)

  • ssckelley

    Schierholtz resorting to bunting his way on?

    Was he juicing the first half of last season? Where the heck did his power go?

    • Jason P

      For his career, Schierholtz homers about 11 times per 500 at bats. Unfortunately, it appears last year was a fluke aided by an unsustainable HR/FB percentage.

      That said, he’s better than this.

      • ssckelley

        I can’t think of a time he has even been close to a home run. He is not hitting the ball well right now and it dates back to last season.

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

          Since June 26th last year (When his OPS “peaked”), he is posting a .587 OPS

  • Medicos

    Interesting listening to the Hawk-Stoney commentary. Both agree that it’s best just to let our SS revert to the style of hitting he utilized back in 2010-2011. Get in the batter’s box and hit the damn ball. None of this going deep into the counts. SEE BALL—HIT Ball!!! That;’s the hitting philosophy of the vast majority of the MLB players from the Dominican.

    • Drew7

      Has he *not* been doing that? Seems like you guys are a bit behind.

  • nakedman1664

    Did JD just say he looked like a penguin sliding?

  • Alan Griffin

    That slide by De Aza was comical on replay. If he slid like anything but the fat kid on my little league team, he’d have been safe.

    • Beast Mode

      I thought it was an accurate description.

  • Beast Mode

    If Shark gets another L tonight he may DEMAND a trade very soon. I say this kidding of course. We’ll mostly.

  • nakedman1664

    WHOO! A base runner.

  • Beast Mode

    Olt is due for a long ball.

  • HislersHero

    Awesome, they can’t even muster a single hit tonight. Fire Theo and company. /sarcasm

    • DarthHater

      I don’t think that’s exactly sarcasm, but I get your drift.

  • mudge

    Where’s Adrian Cardenas?

  • itzscott

    At this point, you REALLY have to start feeling sorry for Samardzjia.

  • ssckelley

    Cubs need to score some runs for this guy!

  • ssckelley

    Lol, no no ruined by the pitcher

  • ssckelley

    Damn friggin bunt! With Lake on deck

    • Soda Popinski

      Sheesh…

    • ssckelley

      Oops, good idea to bunt

      • Soda Popinski

        I can’t believe it worked. It seems like none of our bunts have worked all year.

        • ssckelley

          Normally the odds are not good with Lake up.

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

    Abreu held hitless so far…what a freekin bum.

    #LetTheSuckBegin

    #TheoDidItRight

    I now feel dirt for using #

    • ssckelley

      He can’t handle NL pitching

    • DarthHater

      #hashtagpollution

  • nakedman1664

    At least we are getting better swings on him now.

  • Jason P

    Samardzija is a freakin’ animal.

  • mjhurdle

    it has been awhile since i have had to listen to Stone/Hawk. I always forget how truly bad they are.

  • ssckelley

    Gould needs the words!

  • Beast Mode

    W/ Robbie Gould in the house. It makes me think that the sac bunt is kinda like punting on 4th and short. The stat heads say almost never do it, while old school folks will do it every time.

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