Cubs game thread

Before yesterday's bottom of the ninth, Aroldis Chapman had allowed 5 hits, 2 walks, and 1 measly run over 13.1 IP. Friday, the Cubs got to him for 4 hits, 2 BB, and 3 runs in just two-thirds of an inning, and his ERA jumped from 0.68 to 2.57. It was also just the second time in 17 career appearances v. the Cubs that Chapman has been scored upon at all. Thus, I am counting yesterday as a moral victory and in my mind, with wins today and Sunday the Cubs can still achieve a series sweep. Or, at least a moral sweep.

Lineups for Saturday, 12:05 start:

The Brewers go for the series sweep, their 7th win in a row overall, and their 17th win in the last 22 meetings with the Cubs.

Is that depressing enough for you?

Cubs v. Wily Peralta (0-1, 6.19; pitched well but took an ND in 4/9 game at Wrigley which the Cubs eventually won against the Brewer bullpen): DeJesus 8, Castro 6, Rizzo 3, Soriano 7, Schierholtz 9, Castillo 2, Valbuena 5, Barney 4, Feldman 1.

Brewers v. Scott Feldman (0-2, 6.00; pitching for the first time since a loss to the Giants 10 days ago): Aoki 9, Segura 6, Braun 7, Weeks 4, Maldonado 2, Gonzalez 3, Gomez 8, Betancourt 5, Peralta 1.

 

Injury update: Steve Clevenger, who was going to get another start at 3B today, is instead on the sidelines with a strained oblique, suffered on the final, ugly swing in Saturday's loss. He is expected to miss at least six weeks.

The Cubs will go shorthanded today, then fill Clevenger's roster spot Tuesday, when Darwin Barney returns from his brief rehab stay in Iowa. (Barney went 1-for-4 in the I-Cubs' win Saturday.)

As for this afternoon's game at Wrigley, the Cubs go for the split in the series finale against the World Champs. Lineups after the jump.

The bad news--or is it good news?--is that the Cubs' closer position is back up for grabs. Kyuji Fujikawa, tagged for 3 runs in yesterday's blown save, has been placed on the 15-day DL with a right forearm strain. Rafael Dolis is taking his roster spot. Per Toni Giannetti in the Sun-Times, the Cubs will resort to closer by committee. James Russell and Shawn Camp are Dale Sveum's likely finishers.

Saturday lineups after the jump.

I have come to hate the Tomahawk Chop and accompanying crowd hum as much as anything about the Cardinals, Brewers, or White Sox. Go, Cubs, go, dammit!

Cubs lineup v. Tim Hudson (3 ER, 6H over 4.1 v. Phillies on 4/1, ND): DeJesus 8, Castro 6, Rizzo 3, Soriano 7, Schierholtz 9, Navarro 2, Valbuena 5, Gonzalez 4, Samardzija 1

Braves lineup v. Jeff Samardzija (0 ER, 2 H, 9 K, 0 BB over 8 IP v. Pirates on 4/1, WIN): BJ Upton 8, Heyward 9, Justin Upton 7, Gattis 2, Uggla 4, Francisco 5, C. Johnson 3, Pena 6, Hudson 1

Also, the Braves have placed Freddie Freeman on the 15-Day DL with a strained right oblique--Len Kasper called that one when it happened last night--and his roster spot is being assumed by Blake DeWitt.

Provide your own punch line.

 

Blackmon RF, Herrera SS, Pachecho 1B, Gonzalez LF, Hernandez C, Colvin CF, Nelson 3B, LeMahieu 2B, Pomeranz P

vs.

Mather RF, Vitters 3B, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, Castillo C, B. Jackson CF, Barney 2B, Samardzija P

The Rockies recent 5-game win streak and the Cubs continued excellence in losing has earned the Cubs a 3-game lead for the #2 spot in next year's draft for the time being (4 games over the Twins). The Cubs still "trail" the Astros by 9 games for the top spot and doubtful they can tank enough to get there.

As for the lineups, two ex-Cubs start for the Rockies. The thin air of Colvin has certainly helped his power and probably his confidence and he's enjoying a solid season with an .884 OPS through 319 PA's. His home/road splits are about as extreme as you'd expect out of a Rockie (.991 vs. .775). He had an amazing June with an OPS north of 1.000, gave back a little in July(.720), but is enjoying another fine month in August (.985).

LeMahieu (still just 23), hasn't quite reaped the benefits of the Mile High city, but has been taking advantage of the Rockies' injury bug with some playing time and a solid .789 OPS in the second half.

As for the Cubs, Joe Mather is leading off, an image of that lineup card should be the cover art for the Cubs year-end review.

The Cubs set did something odd yesterday other than the obvious win. They managed 5 HR's but no other XBH's and apparently they've only done that 10 times in their entire franchise history. In other rare statistical oddities, Soriano is the franchise leader at home runs and RBI's for a designated hitter with 4 and 10.

The Cubs go for the series win behind Travis Wood. The Tigers counter with Justin Verlander. Over/under on Verlander K's at 11. Over/under on hits for the Cubs is 2. Take the over on the K's and under on the hits. Hell, perfect game #23 doesn't sound too unreasonable.

The Cubs go for their 5th straight win at Wrigley and Garza tries to impress the Tigers into trading for him.

The Cubs are actually an almost reasonable 12-15 at home, so maybe they won't get crushed tonight. But as Cubnut noted on Twitter the other day, the Cubs record in last 22 games that didn't involve the San Diego Padres is 2-20.

The Cubs go for the sweep and Dempster hopes to be awarded his first win of the season.

The Cubs break the losing streak yesterday thanks to Jeff Suppan and a stiff wind out and look to start a streak the other way with Samardzija on the mound.

The face of Joe Mather batting third will forever haunt my nightmares of the 2012 Cubs.

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