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us cellular fieldWulp. Here we go. The Cubs can tonight settle for an ugly series loss by avoiding an OMGLOL sweep by the White Sox in the Crosstown Cup. And I know that that’s what a sweep would entail, because the Cubs did it to the White Sox last year.

I’ll be at tonight’s game, documenting what it’s like for a Cubs fan to take in a Cubs/Sox game at U.S. Cellular Field, which could be particularly interesting in light of the possible sweep. Or it could be intensely boring, given the fact that it’s early May, and these are not likely contenders.

Jake Arrieta makes his second start since returning to the rotation, and it’s going to be hard to top his first outing, all things considered. That one featured 5.1 dominant innings against the Cardinals. I suppose he could top it tonight by going 6 or 7 innings, but, let’s keep in mind that he’s coming off a shoulder issue. There’s no shame in laying off the throttle for a little while.

The Cubs’ lineup features Ryan Kalish subbing into the leadoff spot for Emilio Bonifacio, who gets the night off. It’s a mish-mash of other players against fill-in starter Scott Carroll, who figures to play the part of Hector Noesi tonight. (To Carroll’s credit, the 29-year-old rookie has had back-to-back really nice starts for the White Sox.)

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (11-20) at Chicago White Sox (18-17), 7:10 CT on WGN.

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

Scott Carroll (0.68 ERA, 3.78 FIP, 5.11 xFIP; 1.00 K/BB)

versus

Jake Arrieta (0.00 ERA, 1.60 FIP, 2.56 xFIP; 3.50 K/BB)

Chicago White Sox Lineup

1. Gordon Beckham, 2B

2. Conor Gillespie, 3B

3. Jose Abreu, 1B

4. Adam Dunn, DH

5. Dayan Viciedo, LF

6. Alexei Ramirez, SS

7. Alejandro De Aza, CF

8. Moises Sierra, RF

9. Tyler Flowers, C

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Ryan Kalish, CF

2. Luis Valbuena, 2B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Starlin Castro, SS

5. Nate Schierholtz, RF

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Chris Coghlan, DH

8. Mike Olt, 3B

9. Junior Lake, LF

  • jp3

    Bryant is laughing that he’s still in Tennessee I’m guessing

  • cubmig

    ….if the Cubs score here, will RR let Arrieta stay in? Bosio was sure having a chat ith Arrieta……..

  • roz

    Well that was a weird commercial for my hometown right there.

  • SenorGato

    Paniagua came in out of the pen tonight to relieve Underwood. He threw 4 shutout innings with 5 Ks, no BBs, and 4 Hs allowed. Please break out, any holds on top pitching prospect are tentative.

  • SenorGato

    Everyone panic – Beede’s first pitch of the 6th inning was his 100th. He’s showing frustration at the inability to locate, walked the leadoff guy. I was hoping he would and I hope he navigates it well.

    • SenorGato

      110th pitch was 93 and fouled off. Located it down and away.

      Rotfl – Vandy CF overshifts towards LF and a routine pop up falls between the CF and RF. That’s pretty funny, but creates a high stress inning.

      • SenorGato

        Sorry – that was the 108th pitch. Missed 110, 112 was 97 and low.

        • SenorGato

          95 on 114 to induce a ground…94 on 115, outside for a ball. The batter didn’t swing but 117 was a crisp changeup that woulda coulda been a good 2 strike pitch.

          • SenorGato

            6 IP, 3 H, 6 BB, 6 K, 1 R is the final line for Beede

            Pitched himself out of a jam in every inning but the second. Fastball command is the big thing.

            BTW I always forget the college ball is that stupid raised seam f’n amateur hour ball. Max effort guys and guys who suck like it, but it’s uncomfortable. Broadcast spent a couple of minutes on that.

            • SenorGato

              Going by the TV gun he hit everything from 90 to 98. With the stadium gun he hit everything from 88-96.

  • cubmig

    A 2 run lead is not Cub enough……..4 would be a comfortable safety net going into the 7th.

  • Jon

    Hope Schlitter didn’t do that on purpose bush league if he did

    • CubFanBob

      pretty sure you are the only one who thought it may have been on purpose

      • BT

        Old Hawkaroo thought it might be intentional. Stoney had to talk him out of it.

        Of course Hawk is clinically insane.

  • peoriadude

    Long game. Hope Brett’s enjoying the heavily taxpayer subsidized stadium of the Welfare Sox. I hear they’ve got Goose Island there. so there’s at least that.

  • peoriadude

    Olt taking Cleto deep here would be really fun.

  • cubmig

    HOLY CRAP!!!! OLT WITH A BOLT!!!!!! A GRAND_ONE!

  • Jon

    Ha Ha Fuck you Kyle !

    • Kyle

      It hurts so good.

  • Los-Cachorros

    peoriadude, you called it!!!!

  • another JP

    Olt with the grand salami and time for the doubters to cool their jets a bit.

    • Kyle

      He’s still not good, but I’m willing to upgrade him to “fringe useful.” The contact rates are inching up, and the power is playing. Presumably his defense will settle down a bit at some point, because it’s supposed to be way better than he’s shown.

      • another JP

        Hey now… don’t even bother with some lame half-ass support tben. Just stay in that world of yours and tell us how much he sucks and why Theo should have signed Prince Fielder.

        For being the smartest guy in the room you sure are wrong a lot.

        • Kyle

          Prince Fielder is better at baseball than Mike Olt, sure.

          • Serious Cubs Fan

            Yep. Prince Fielder is better in ever aspect of the hitting than Olt

            • Kyle

              lol, I just noticed Olt almost has a better OPS at this point. Baseball be cray.

      • Head and Heart

        He’s shown pretty good hands and a strong accurate arm in the games I’ve seen. It’s the decision making that has let him down. He looks like he could turn into a useful piece. Even if it’s just a power bat off the bench backing up at first and third and raking against lefties.

  • ssckelley

    I can’t wait for Blackhawks daily “Olt suck” post tomorrow morning.

    Damn did he put a hurt on that ball!

  • renegade4196

    Mike motherfucking Olt!

  • itzscott

    Gotta be happy for him. Man, if he could just make consistent contact …… (Mind wanders off into endless possibilities culminating in a walk off home run in the 7th game of the WS)

    • ssckelley

      I just think he needs more consistent at bats. Adjusting to MLB pitching is a huge step for anyone no matter how old they are. I expect no more out of Baez and Bryant when they first come up.

      But the power is legit!

      • another JP

        Olt is doing just about what he needed to give himself a good shot to get 3B on a consistent basis. When the BABIP stabilizes at his career levels the BA should be a decent .240 or so.

        But that power…whoa. Put Rizzo, Bryant, Baez, Soler, and Olt together and that would be fun.

        And Schierholtz on base 4 times tonight. Brett must have had a good time.

        • ssckelley

          Plus I think Castro and Castillo can hit 20 in a season. The Cubs future lineup could get extremely powerful. Reminds me of the powerful teams the a Brewers had in the early 80s where it seemed like every hitter in the lineup could jack one out.

      • mjhurdle

        the swing on that grand slam was impressive. Not the typical longer swing of a HR. It looked to me almost like a shortened ‘contact’ type swing that he just muscled way out of the park.
        If he could just find a way to get a few more singles/doubles/walks in between his HRs and his Ks, he might just become serviceable.

        • ssckelley

          Screw singles and doubles, just keep yanking them over the fence.

          • mjhurdle

            he kind of reminds me a little of Pedro Alvarez when he first came up with the Pirates.
            Lots of HRs, few walks, tons of Ks and low avg/obp, though even Alvarez’s obp was better than olt’s right now.

            • SenorGato

              Olt is only 18 months younger than Alvarez.

            • Kyle

              I think Alvarez has a lot more bat speed, which is nice for adjusting.

              But Olt’s defense should be better.

              • ssckelley

                I think Olt’s glove his fine but he is making rookie mistakes. If he can give us a plus glove at third we can live with the strike outs with that power.

                Again I think consistent playing time will help both his contact issues and defense. People keep bringing up his age but he still has to make adjustments to playing at the MLB level just like a 20-24 year old.

  • ssckelley

    Funny listening to Hawk now, he turned into a cry baby over Rizzo’s fly ball that did not get caught.

  • ssckelley

    Olt on deck…..cone on Coghlan!

  • BlameHendry

    Not sure if this has been reported yet, but Baez with 2 walks and no strike outs in his 4 plate appearances tonight. You know, I’m actually pretty happy to see that, even with no hits.

    • Kyle

      I think that’s 8 PAs in a row without a K. It’d be really nice if that’s the start of something.

      The haters can then turn their eyes to Almora, who really just isn’t showing anything in the minors other than a not-terrible hit tool. No power, no plate discipline, no speed.

      • Jon

        Almora has the best looking girlfriend by far

        • AreWeThereYet

          What scouting grade would you put on her? I say 65/70 (present/future). It would be unfair to compare her to Kim D, who is a first ballot HoF WAG, but she does have star potential.

          • Kyle

            60/65. She’s pretty hot, but this is the big league grading scale we’re talking about here.

            • Jon

              All the prospects will need to upgrade on the lady front once they hit the big leagues.

              Seriously , I think it’s on page 385 of the new manual

            • AreWeThereYet

              Fair enough. I might argue more if I were 25 again. Don’t forget, she is young for her league.

        • SenorGato

          To be fair this is because Soler and Bryant don’t luh dese hos.

          • SenorGato

            I’m pretty sure Almora’s proposed to every girl he’s fingered…Translated to English his name is actually Johnny Gallant.

      • Bill

        He doesn’t need plate discipline because according to Doc he has a giant red zone for hitting. :-)

  • Darth Ivy

    Rizzo’s wRC+ is now 155.

    So much happiness

  • Medicos

    Nothing comes easy for this team. Finally a victory.

  • willis

    A win…and a big win. Love seeing both Olt and Lake with decent nights at the dish.

    I’m in Atlanta for the series here. Hopefully will see some good play and maybe a win or two. Right behind home plate tomorrow, would love for a certain two bats to be in the lineup.

    • SenorGato

      Yeah I would prefer Lake not completely lay waste to his trade value.

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