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wrigley field inside featureCan Jake Arrieta keep it up? That’s the question that he’ll face in pretty much every start until (1) he stops pitching like one of the top ten pitchers in all of baseball, or (2) 2015 rolls around. There are good reasons to believe Arrieta’s success is not a total mirage, so, while I wouldn’t bet on him being an ace the rest of the way, I would bet on him being damn good.

Hopefully he can hold down the Reds tonight as well as Jeff Samardzija did last night. And hopefully the Cubs’ bats do a little more than a solo homer from Anthony Rizzo (though that one was pretty freaking sweet).

How’s this for some tortured logic? If the Cubs get dominated by Homer Bailey tonight, the Reds look slightly less foolish for giving him that massive extension – the one that has been, reportedly, sought by Jeff Samardzija in extension talks. And if the Bailey extension looks better, then Samardzija looks more reasonable. And maybe trade partners will see his previous demands as less discouraging when calculating how much he’s worth on the trade market.

Yup. That’s nuts. Sometimes you can take these things too far.

Game Info

Cincinnati Reds (38-37) at Chicago Cubs (31-43), 7:05 CT on CSN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

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The Series Preview lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Homer Bailey (4.68 ERA, 4.09 FIP, 3.44 xFIP; 2.79 K/BB)

versus

Jake Arrieta (1.98 ERA, 2.31 FIP, 2.67 xFIP; 3.67 K/BB)

Cincinnati Reds Lineup

1. Billy Hamilton, CF

2. Todd Frazier, 3B

3. Joey Votto, 1B

4. Devin Mesoraco, C

5. Jay Bruce, RF

6. Ryan Ludwick, LF

7. Skip Schumaker, 2B

8. Zack Cosart, SS

9. Homer Bailey, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Chris Coghlan, LF

2. Junior Lake, CF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Starlin Castro, SS

5. Nate Schierholtz, RF

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Mike Olt, 3B

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Jake Arrieta, P

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