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busch stadiumThe Cubs put on a hell of a show last night at the plate, and a repeat performance tonight would be swell. Being that last night’s came, at first, off of Tyler Lyons, and tonight, the Cubs face Adam Wainwright … I wouldn’t bet on it.

Then again, the Cubs did rip Wainwright for six runs on ten hits last time they faced him, so you never know.

Jake Arrieta goes for the Cubs, coming off his ineffective start against the White Sox, thanks to some control issues. He dominated the Cardinals in the start before that, so maybe it’s just a Cardinals thing. As I always say, though, it can be hard to face the same team in such quick succession.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (13-24) at St. Louis Cardinals (19-20), 7:15 CT on WCIU.

Game Thread and Series Preview

Please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts. In other words, the comments below are your game thread.

The Series Preview lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Jake Arrieta (2.89 ERA, 2.35 FIP, 3.33 xFIP; 2.67 K/BB)

versus

Adam Wainwright (2.02 ERA, 2.53 FIP, 3.23 xFIP; 3.71 K/BB)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Matt Carpenter, 3B

2. Jhonny Peralta, SS

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Allen Craig, RF

5. Yadier Molina, C

6. Matt Adams, 1B

7. Peter Bourjos, CF

8. Mark Ellis, 2B

9. Adam Wainwright, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2. Luis Valbuena, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Starlin Castro, SS

5. Nate Schierholtz, RF

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Junior Lake, LF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Jake Arrieta, P

  • Karl Groucho

    I’d settle for an 11-run victory tonight.

    • Edwin

      Hard to score more than 11 with Olt out of the lineup.

      Are the Cubs not merciful, Cardinals Fans?

    • cubmig

      Don’t know if the runs & win will be that big, but for sure the Cubs win tonight.

  • Danny Ballgame

    No Olt. We need more Barney.

  • CubsFaninMS

    So we’re playing against Matt tonight, in other words?

  • BennyTheJet

    random thought: Starlin will probably have 1,000 hits at age 25! WOW

    • BennyTheJet

      Derek Jeter at the end of his age 25 season only had 807! Starlin will reach that number this year!

      Also i know Jeter was never a real HR threat with 65 Career HRs but Castro is on pace to have his 60th Career HR this year. I sometimes forget how incredible Starlin has been offensively to this point in his career!!

      • Edwin

        Jeter has 257 career HR. He also has a career OBP of .381.

        Castro has a career OBP of .323.

        • Karl Groucho

          Raincloud.

        • BennyTheJet

          haha I followed the chart down HR and accidentally saw triples…My bad and yes Jeter has gotten on base at a much higher clip!

    • geo

      So. If he gets 1,000 hits every 5 years, that’s 3,000 by age 35. And than goodl luck repeating the same rate of production 35-40,as 20-35. Which Includes about another 30 people & maybe 35-40 people by the time he retires. And all this is if he produces at the same rate as his first 5 years & stays healthy. Wow to me would be 1300-1400.

      • Brocktoon

        So the only hit total that would wow you would be for Castro to have the most hits in major league history (by 100-200 hits!) after his age 25 season.

  • Hee Seop Chode

    Bonafasio has the highest BABIP among all Cubs with at least 100 PA (.394) in my lifetime (since 1981).

    That’s amazing.

  • Hee Seop Chode

    And #2? 2014 Junior Lake (.383). Seriously, what are the odds of that?

    • Hee Seop Chode

      check that, those figures are career BABIP as a Cub. Still amazing.

  • ArrietasUncle

    Headed to Busch. Drizzling rain and upper 50′s. Good luck Jake!

    • Dustin S

      Same here just got to STL and heading to Busch shortly. Hoping the rain holds off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sharingaspare mysterious4th

    I am really liking RR’s decision to go with Rizzo in the 3 hole and Castro following him. Both Castro and Rizzo look pretty comfortable. But, I am still one of many that see Barney in the line up and quickly throw a few f**ks, s**ts, and damn its around. The same goes for Baker….even worse when both Barney and Baker are in the line up.

  • Adam

    For some reason the games on ABC here in eastern Iowa

    • cubs2003

      Thanks for the heads up. That’s really wierd.

  • ssckelley

    At this point wouldn’t we want Olt in against the right hander over Barney? Olt might struggle against right handed hitters but he still has 3 home runs off of them.

    • DarthHater

      Barney’s career line against Wainwright is actually decent.

      • Brocktoon

        And Olt’s career line against everyone isn’t.

        • Head and Heart

          Olt is OPSing 976 in May so far. Which is just a hot streak over a small sample. But could be a sign that he is adjusting. In his last 8 starts he has struck out just just 24% of the time.

          Also he is OPSing 1.192 versus the Cardinals and .993 at night. I’d get him in there myself.

          • Brocktoon

            If you use selective endpoints and the number is still bad (K rate), that’s a bad sign.

            • Head and Heart

              24% isn’t bad for a power hitter. Abreu, Stanton, Cruz, Trout, Justin Upton, Carlso Gomez, Mike Morse all at 24% or higher.

              • Brocktoon

                Those are their season rates. It’d be like saying a guy is hitting 240 over his last 8 starts. It’s not a good thing.

                • Head and Heart

                  Right. But Olt is a rookie. And there are adjustments to be made. If he ends the season with a 28% K rate because he started the year with a month of a K rate well over 30% then it is instructive to take that into account. The point being that it’s worth keeping an eye on his K rates moving forward without focusing on the year as a whole.

  • smackafilieyo

    Baez looks down right awful….he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. I know it’s early but 0fer with 2 more k’s today. Can someone name me one #1 rated prospect that failed to hit above .200 at AAA?

    • Voice of Reason

      Hit above .200 in Triple A over a week, over a month, over the season?

    • DarthHater

      “Can someone name me one #1 rated prospect that failed to hit above .200 at AAA over 100 ABs?”

      FTFY

      • ssckelley

        [img]https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5273/14176770652_bdc8a45339_o.png[/img]

        • DarthHater

          The Emperor will be most pleased by your decision to come to the Dark Side…

          • ssckelley

            I signed no contract!

            • DarthHater

              Then you used the meme without permission, in which case I will have to Force choke you…

              [img]https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3784/9327762385_c5cee6e124_n.jpg[/img]

              • ssckelley

                noooo!

                Besides that meme is just too awesome to not reuse. Gotta be your best work. :D

                • DarthHater

                  Brett does have a certain resemblance to Fry, doesn’t he?

                  • ssckelley

                    It is like they are twins

    • armyflyer25

      Mike Olt after he got to Iowa. 39 games, .168 AVG. He wasn’t a No 1 prospect at that time, but he was Texas’ No 1 prospect the year prior. He hit .213 prior to the trade. I imagine if you take the RR and Iowa combination it would be less than .200, with over 100 plate appearances.

      • DarthHater

        There. You see? We can confidently look forward to Baez being at least as good as Olt. I feel so much better now. :-P

        • Edwin

          I can’t wait for the “Baez needs to play every day” arguments.

          • Voice of Reason

            I can’t wait for the “Cubs should be two game under .500″ arguments.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Iowa cubs shut out on two hits today. Baez was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.

    • Jon

      I would have to imagine if things don’t improve by this time next month he will go back to AA

      • DarthHater

        You really think so?

        • DarthHater

          Anybody got an example of a player who got demoted in the minors and later went on to be a major-league star?

          • Voice of Reason

            Anybody got an example of a player who got demoted in the minors, got called up to the big leagues three months later, failed miserably and was demoted to Triple A and later went on to be a major-league star?

          • Brocktoon

            I don’t doubt it’s happened at the minor league level. Roy Halladay was a damn good pitcher in 1999 over 150 innings, was an utter train wreck in 2000 with an ERA over 10. Had stops in A, AA, and AAA in 2001 before coming back to the majors and being Roy Halladay again.

            • DarthHater

              I tend to think it might be more common for pitchers to go down a level or two to work on stuff and then move back up. But that’s just a hunch.

          • Rich H

            Batista

      • ssckelley

        So Baez not coming up next month?

        DAMN!

    • http://deepcenterfield.mlblogs.com/ Jason Powers

      Bet that bat is like sawdust in his hands, he’s grinding it so tight to kill that next ball where ever it is. Did anything else happen to him between spring and AAA? Aside from that suspension…arguing? Asking, not telling…

  • smackafilieyo

    I wonder what the “out” pitch that they are using non Baez that he should be looking for?

  • TommyK

    I’m working on a “Baez Excuse Bingo” game. Here’s what I have so far (number 6 is my personal favorite):

    1. Small Sample Size
    2. He always struggles at a new level
    3. His BABIP is unsustainably low
    4. He’s just getting humbled
    5. His ISO is unsustainably low
    6. Getting sent to AAA instead of MLB after dominating Spring Training messed with his head
    7. YOU’RE A TROLL!
    8. He’s young for the level.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Number 7 seems more plausible by the day.

      • DarthHater

        [img]http://i.imgur.com/edBQBeJ.gif[/img]

      • TommyK

        Challenge. Name one player in history that had a 100 plate appearance stretch comparable to the one Baez just had in AAA that went on to be an All Star in MLB. I’m not saying there isn’t one, but if there is I’d like to know who. That would ease my mind. You calling me a Troll doesn’t make me feel better about Baez.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          You called yourself a troll, professor. I just pointed out the spade.

          • TommyK

            I didn’t call myself a Troll. I pointed out that anyone who posts negative thoughts about Baez here gets called a Troll.

            • Soda Popinski

              Your mom makes negative comments about Baez.

            • renegade4196

              That is true though. This is what I think we should realize.

              We’re Cubs fans. New FO, new team, new whatever bullshit, we’re still the Cubs. If you’re not expecting failure, you will be let down. The fact that Baez looks like trash right now really sucks, but regardless, relying on prospects is a sure path to failure.

              • Soda Popinski

                Relying on your mom is a sure path to failure.

                • Karl Groucho

                  SP on fire right here

              • TommyK

                It’s not a Cubs thing. Most prospects fail. Not just Cubs prospects. That’s why Baseball Prospectus calls its prospect section “Prospects will break your heart.” Because most of them do. Maybe Baez will be one of the minority who make it. Right now, the signs are pointing towards him being in the majority that fail.

                That said, the response to the fact that 90% (or whatever the percentage is) of prospects fail is not to acquire fewer prospects. The response is to stockpile as many prospects as you can to maximize the probability that some of them will make it. But there is no sense in hiding your head in the sand when one of them appears to be failing. And there is also no sense in losing 100 games every year so you can draft prospects that are probably going to fail. For years the Cubs made the mistake of ignoring the farm system and focused only on the big league team. Now, in my opinion, they are making the mistake of ignoring the big league team and focusing only on the minors.

                Well, time to go back under my bridge.

                • Soda Popinski

                  I still love you, Tommy. Just don’t be getting so worried about things, okay? He is the youngest player in AAA.

                  • TommyK

                    Actually, I thought your posts were funny. And I don’t envision myself stopping worrying about the Cubs any time soon. But hey, it beats worrying about things that actually matter.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  Every single “prospect” is created equally, and lives in the “Prospect Bucket” with other “prospects.”

                  90% of those “prospects” fail, and there is absolutely no reasonable way of differentiating among those “prospects” when projecting their future success or failure. Will Baez succeed or fail? I don’t know. But he’s got the same chance of success or failure as Jacob Hannemman, you know, since they’re both “prospects.”

                  (Are you starting to see why you get blasted? It ain’t your position or your disapproval of The Plan, dude. It’s the silly things you say. You have invited this. Indeed, I think you want this. Reap.)

                  • Kyle

                    A good way to find the ones more likely to fail is to look for the ones striking out a ton.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      I mean, like, whatever. Yeah. But that’s pretty much beside the point.

                      Also: The star to which you’re hitching your commenting wagon this evening is actually a supernova.

                    • Kyle

                      I don’t hitch to anyone. I’m the star wherever I go.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              Strange. When I write entire posts discussing some of Baez’s struggles, I don’t get called a troll.

              I do, however, get harangued in the comments by totally-non-trolls about my even-handed approach to offering, in addition to concerns, thoughts on why less than a full months’ worth of games by the youngest player at a level in the minors might not be the deathknell to his career.

        • JadeBos

          TommyK is obviously not much of a baseball fan. Anyone who watches the game everyday knows plenty of great hitters who totally flail from time to time.

          McGwire in 91? Ripken? One year I remember he didn’t hit a HR for half a season. He was notorious for bad dry spells and was always tinkered with his swing.

          Anyone who’s a Cubs fan remembers the season when ARamirez didn’t hit for the first half. He had a sub 500OPS for the first two months in 2010

          Jeter had some bad slumps. Sandberg. Tons of great players go through slumps and funks.

          • TommyK

            None of those were in AAA. I’m asking for one example in the history of AAA of someone doing what we all hope Baez does. Has it ever happened? I realize it makes you feel better to insult me than think that Baez might not work out, but it’s a simple question.

            • Rebuilding

              You are talking about a pretty small sample size of players that made it to AAA at 21. Let me take 8 hours and get back to you

              • TommyK

                I’m not limiting it to 21-year-olds. Oh wait, you’re citing to excuse number 8. If he’s too young for the league, he shouldn’t be in the league.

      • college_of_coaches

        Brett, I keep reading this one and laughing. It’s like dealing with an 8-year old. And to the author of this silly list, from this moment on, you shall be known… TrollK.

        • TommyK

          I’m not the author of the list. I just compiled it from actual things posted on this website. And I would argue that 8-year-olds are the ones that resort to name calling. And 8-year-olds make up ridiculous arguments to deny things they don’t want to admit.

          • college_of_coaches

            Ha, ha, ha, ha … heh. I swear, uh, I’m not laughing at you. Really! heh heh

    • smackafilieyo

      Not gonna lie this made me wet myself…haha. Not sure Brett is sarcastic or being rude? Haha

    • renegade4196

      My excuse made the cut!! (#6)

      I’m declaring him a bust right now so if he’s good, I can be surprised.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Bonus: if you call him a bust now, and he succeeds, no one will remember your call.

        But if he busts, you can I-told-you-so for years!

        • Kyle

          Whereas if you spin everything positively, you can usually hold on to false hope until the next great hope comes along. The future is always almost here!

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Or you can take a pretty even-handed approach to everything under the sun, which annoys the shit out of your friends and family, but makes you a pretty fair sports blogger.
            :)

          • aaronb

            Its all part of the plan!!!

            • Soda Popinski

              Your faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace! What look is that?!?!

              • Soda Popinski

                I’m sorry that came out so aggressively. It’s just- I’ve been tongue in cheek about it for months, now. Just tell us what expression you’re making, please. Clarify.

            • Drew7

              Ha! Good one.

              I give it a 10 for originality.

        • renegade4196

          If Baez ends up being great, I’ll be the happiest wrong guy in the world. I continue to live by the Cubs’ existentialist philosophy:

          Lower Your Standards, Raise Your Average.

          • Soda Popinski

            The real question: If he fails, will you gloat?

  • Seabee

    Imagine that, Soler hit another double.

  • willis

    I kinda wouldn’t mind Arrieta in a 2 out situation launch a 94 MPH into a Cardinals upper back.

  • waittilthisyear

    wainwright does not have a good feel for that curveball. hope he hangs one here to jr

    • Rebuilding

      He hung one aryl in the count and Lake just missed it. The nice play by Carpenter on Castro stopped us from scoring some runs there

  • Seabee

    Bryant with a three run homer. #11

    • Soda Popinski

      SCHWING! (…?) Was the first thing I thought of when I read this.

    • BlameHendry

      …along with 2 strike outs. Not complaining, but high power/high strikeouts is becoming such a common theme for this organization.

      • Soda Popinski

        Jesus, man. Is your glass half empty or what? Seriously, start waking up in the morning and be gratuitous for the day. Be thankful for the chance you have just being alive. Do some Metta Meditation. And, perhaps, most important, blame Hendry (that works for me).

  • L. Roq Hudson

    So Bryant Go Boom… Soler’s 6 games have 8 hits, 7 doubles and 7 rbi… and Almora 3 fer 4 today with 4 rbi’s…slackers

    • BlameHendry

      and then you have Baez, going 0-4 with 3K’s again today. He must have missed the invitation to today’s party.

  • BlameHendry

    This ump is squeezing the hell out of Arietta…

    but either way, walking the opposing pitcher on 4 pitches is flat out unacceptable. He was around the zone, but it’s the freaking pitcher for gods sake. Throw it over the plate.

    • Brocktoon

      IBBing Mark Ellis to get to Wainwright is pretty damn dumb too.

  • Soda Popinski

    Valley B!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rebuilding

    V-Bomb!

  • willis

    Baboom! That was pretty awesome.

  • cubmig

    GOOD ! A “BUENA by Valbuena!

  • Alan Griffin

    I feel cheated. No bat flip? I’ve seen him bat flip on a deep single!

  • Rebuilding

    Why aren’t Valbuena’s stats better…does not compute. He always seems to do something to help the team #oldschool

  • L. Roq Hudson

    O… I forgot, Vizzy 1 IP, 1H 3K today… DAY/TEN stats: 12 G 12 IN, 7 H, 1 R, 4 W, 15 K … may be at Wrigley before any of the big 4

    • renegade4196

      I think that’s the expectation.

  • Soda Popinski

    C’mon, Jake. Get it together.

  • Titan

    Arrieta kind of reminds me a bit of Rich Harden. He has trouble making it through 5 innings in almost every start. He really jacks up that pitch count with all the strikeouts and walks.

    • Brocktoon

      Harden was one of the best pitchers in baseball for the Cubs in ’08, averaging ~6 innings per start. Arrieta is not Rich Harden.

  • renegade4196

    Arrieta is being squeezed hard

    • Mike

      Yeah, several pitches have been in the zone according to Gameday.

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