#Cubs Haren starts vs Brewers

Dan Haren takes the mound on Sunday at Miller Park as the Cubs wrap up the regular season against the Brewers. There’s a lot on the line. The Pirates have a one-game lead in the NL Wild Card standings. If the Pirates beat the Reds on Sunday, they’ll secure home field advantage for Wednesday’s Wild Card Game. If the Pirates lose and the Cubs win, the Cubs would host the Wild Card Game at Wrigley Field because they won the season series, 11-8.

Here’s Sunday’s lineup:

Jackson CF

Coghlan RF

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Castro 2B

Denorfia LF

Montero C

Russell SS

Haren P

This may be Dan Haren’s last big league start. He has said this will likely be his final season. He’s one of seven active players with 2,000 strikeouts. He’s gone 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA at Miller Park. This will be his 32nd start of the season, and No. 380 of his big league career.


Sure hope we win this one. Games at Wrigley are the best! Let’s start out at the ivied walls. At the risk of being deleted or insulted I would like to wish Haren all the best in his next non-baseball career.

Aloha White- Haren pitched one heck of a game! I hope their season continues a little longer so that he might have a chance to pitch another game! Take care now. Mahalo!

It`s not too soon to discuss Wednesday`s potential lineup. Am hoping Cogs starts in right field. Am expecting Starlin to start at second, given his past success versus Cole. Am expecting some production from Castro, given all his experience and service time with the Cubs. It amounts to more than anyone else who is likely to appear in the starting lineup. Let`s hope Jake works a `complete` game, because, speaking frankly, I do not trust the bullpen. Pitching is the most critical component of any game, and our starter has been close to unhittable of late. Playing defense is important too. Everyone needs to be ready and `step up` when called upon in the biggest game of the year by far. What do y`all think? Am I off base here in any way? Bring your arguments strong.

Aloha jhosk- Yes we have talked about this a lot, pitching-pitching and more pitching! The advantage we have is Maddon over Hurdle. Nothing against Hurdle but I believe Maddon is the better manager. Having said that, the bp is shaky but Strop and Rondon have been better as of late. Arrieta has been awesome and I pray he can handle another pressured-filled game because there is a lot riding on his shoulders and how late into the game he can go. Defense has to be good and Coghlan is a better defender than Soler and his bat has been good enough to give him the nod, at least to start the game. The RISP stat was not good towards the end of the season and I am hoping that the “small-ball,” aspect of the game can come around but with great pitching and good defense, you can make up for low offensive numbers. Take care now. Mahalo!

Hi jhosk. At the risk of being deleted or insulted I will express my opinion. Madden is a magician! He has led the Cub’s through an amazing season of success. He has piloted all of us through a great trip! Destination – World Series Winners! I think he should maintain course, maintain speed, and play the games as if they are nothing new or special. I am sure the players are very excited and pumped up but if they don’t play it calm and steady they could start making errors, swing the bat too hard, let their emotions overpower their ability. I think Madden will calmly stick with the “plan” and, hopefully, keep the players from trying to “over achieve”.

So your saying Maddon should keep them calm so they do not try to over achieve?

I must state that Rondon, Grimm, Strop, Wood and even a few games of Ramirez have been awesome this year. I don’t understand why everyone needs to be ready, except for the BP?

One would have to be smart enough to understand the physicality of trying to achieve as opposed to trying to over-achieve.

Why you being so mean? I agree with you, maybe we could take a class together?

I find it more than interesting that Miguel Montero is expecting big things from Starlin Castro also. He`s predicting the former shortstop will be the Cubs` MVP of the postseason. Don`t know if it`s Montero`s, but my thinking is that, even though he himself is in his mid-twenties, Starlin qualifies as an elder statesman amongst all the rookies and youngsters on this club, and this stage affords him the opportunity to assume a leadership role.

Aloha jhosk- well, remember a “Panda…” even when he had so-so regular season’s if the Giants were in the post-season, he would come alive. I am sure Castro knows he needs to show as you mentioned, leadership because he can be replaced. Baez showed that he is more disciplined at the plate and he has more range and ability than Castro does in the infield. So, he has to fight to stay on this team. I heard someone the other day say they are not sure if Castro will be on this team next year but he sure did a good job in listening to Maddon and his season turned around plus he may have “auditioned” for a job elsewhere. I only mention that because Castro’s stocks went back up, maybe not as high as before last season when you mentioned that report about a trade for him and a Mets’ pitcher but the FO is in a better place now to put together a package that could include Castro and other players for starting pitching-relievers-outfield…Anyhow, I know there is a season still in front of this team to be played and I do hope that Castro can contribute positively to it because no matter what happens to him, he can look back on this as a good experience. Now back to the current situation, baseball on Wednesday! I hope I can finish work early enough to get back because I think the game comes on at 5pm my time. I just hope jhosk that it is not blacked out in my area! Huge game! Mahalo!

jhosk & K.g., I hope you don’t mind my take on the Castro conversation.
I think your both right, maybe Maddon got through to Castro. I heard Maddon mention in a video, if he and the Coaches could not get through to Castro, it was a knock on them.
Then as fans there may be things we don’t know, maybe Castro has AAD, was diagnosed and put on Meds? Maybe it was personal problems? Who knows, but whatever it was, he is back on track.
The players will identify their leaders, fans cant just pick one and say he is the leader. It took a team to get where they are today, not one guy. Sometimes there is a standout, a Jeter or Molina. Should the Cubs go forward, it could be Arietta, Rizzo or whoever gets hot.
Was it the 72 WS where Gene Tenace found power and started hitting? We will soon see who steps up and takes the lead, it may very well be Castro or even Baez or Coghlan. Looking forward to getting past the WC and put a pounding on the Cards.

There is absolutely no reason why that WC game will be blacked out anywhere, k.g. It will be televised by TBS to all regions of the nation with no restrictions. There will be a `black out` at PNC Park, but it has no relationship to the telecast not being available anywhere. The `black out` at the Pirates` ballpark references the fact that the crowd will be attired in black clothing. Josh Harrison publicly called for that immediately after Sunday`s game in Pittsburgh when the Pirates clinched home-field for Wednesday`s game, and those fans attending tomorrow night`s game will be more than happy to obey him. You can take it to the bank.

Jasper, I agree with you that it`s impossible to predict accurately which player or players will `step up` in the postseason, and I do recall Gene Tenace excelling in that postseason back in the 70`s and how it all came from an unexpected source. Those fans at PNC Park tomorrow night will be `super amped,` and it`s important that the Cubs take an early lead in the contest in order to remove the crowd as a factor, I think you`ll agree.

Aloha jasper and jhosk, it is important that Maddon speak to his folks everyday preparing them for tomorrow’s match. Maddon has experience in the playoffs and so do folks like Lester. I agree too, just getting a run or two early against them would be huge. This team has played well on the road and I have confidence this will continue. In order to win it will take a team effort! Go Cubbies! Mahalo!

I think Pittsburgh will be surprised at the number of Cubs fans showing up. I doubt Cubs fans will all be dressed in black. lol Look up what happened in the GB/49er game Sunday on utube. Fans were yelling Go Pack Go in SF. Being a die hard Packer fan, I found that very comical.
So what Josh Harrison may want and what he gets, may be two different things.
An early lead would be paramount, however do not forget how many games the Cubs won in late innings and extra innings this year.
The outcome will depend on how good the game is, for one fan base or the other. If the Cubs win, that’s a great game.
If the Pirates win with a Pitching duel 1-0 and the only run scores on a SAC Fly. People will say, that was a good game. Cub fans wont think so.

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