#Cubs and Arrieta face White Sox

Jake Arrieta gets the start Monday night when  the Cubs face the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in the first game of the home and road Interleague series. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler DH

Bryant 3B

Rizzo 1B

Zobrist RF

Contreras LF

Heyward CF

Russell SS

Montero C

Baez 2B



Thumbs up to the team for a gutsy comeback in the ninth, though Bryant needs his head examined for such a jack-ass play to stretch his single into a double. But thumbs down for piss-poor managing. First, Montgomery has shown us nothing, perhaps he should have been left in Seattle. Second, with a runner at second and first base open, why in the hell do you let Montgomery pitch to a right hander? Montgomery should have walked the hitter, set up a double play opportunity, and if needed, make a pitching change for the most favorable matchup. The game is hard enough, but the manager has to put his team in the best position to win, despite their mistakes. It became a moot point, but pinch running for Rizzo was stupid. You don’t take out your best player with two outs and Heyward at the plate. The correct assumption was that Heyward would make the third out — which he did…big surprise — and Rizzo would be needed in extra innings. Again, the management on the field needs improvement if the Cubs are going to close the deal and win the division.

Aloha Jason- you brought up some very good points. I also thought Bryant should not have tried to stretch his single into a double in the 9th. Then a scary moment when he seemed to be in some pain. I think he may have felt since the offense has had difficulty the whole year, he was trying to make something happen. Now your point about Rizzo; I was confused by that move as well. It is one thing if the game was at Wrigley, meaning the Cubs are the home team (eg bottom of the 9th) and you are trying to go for the win. But still, as you said with Heyward who has struggled all year and is not hitting when runners are in scoring position, that would have been the time to have had Szczur pinch-hit for Jason and then come in to play if need be. I know this sounds critical but I would rather take my chances with Szczur at the plate then Heyward at this moment. Lastly, the bottom of the 9th with Montgomery, I was thinking the same thing. As soon has he got into trouble and had first base open, why not either intentionally walk Saladino or at the very least give him nothing good to hit? If Rizzo is not taken out of the game, you have Bryant-Russell-Baez-Rizzo in the infield and I have confidence in them making double plays. Silver lining here is that Grimm did a great job holding the line so that the offense could have a chance to come back as it did. Let us hope for better results tonight with the most consistent pitcher all year on this staff, Hendricks. Take care now. Mahalo!

And, Jason, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t swear in your posts. Thank you

This club is not as good as they were the first half!
This club is not as good as the media reported.
Management done everything they could to make sure the depth was there before the season started.
Now management, media, fans are starting to realize the Cubs are struggling.
Is Management making trades out of desperation?
Vogelbach, Torres, Blackburn, McKinney, Warren and Crawford for a two month rental and Montgomery?
I am sure Montgomery is under a little pressure with a new team, but: His breaking pitch looked great, his 95 MPH Fastball looked straight as an arrow.
I am also sure Maddon is under much pressure, he has been given everything needed, but they cant get it together.
So Maddon if its not working, try something out of the norm. Put Russell in the 6th spot and please leave him there. He has stated he feels more comfortable there and was driving in Runs there.
Put Zobrist in the 2nd spot and leave him there. He can move a runner over, he has a great OBP, he knows how to handle a Bat.
Rizzo & Bryant 3rd & 4th of course.
Contreras is doing very well in the 5th spot. However, your starters are spoiled, tell them to get over their selves and let Contreras Catch. Your Starters are not doing all that well of late anyway, let the kid get the experience at his position for next year.
There is no where in the lineup to hide your 180 million dollar man. Last night twice with Contreras on base, he grounded out to 2B. He does not move runners over, he has hit into 9 DP’s and got lucky not hitting into another last night.
Yes he is great in the OF with his defense, could not ask for better! Problem is the Cubs are not putting crooked numbers on the scoreboard.
You did not have a problem batting Almora 9th, you batted Russell 9th most of last year, why not Heyward? Is that a moves that scares you? Will it hurt Heyward’s feelings? Do what’s good for the team.
As long as everyone is in desperation mode, who cares if someone’s pride and ego gets hurt.

Aloha jasper, amen. I know that was not an easy post to write. My wife brought up the same word “desperation” when I was explaining to her the folks the FO had traded away in these 2 recent trades. Usually, when one feels desperate, “good” decisions are not made. I would love to see Zobrist-Bryant-Rizzo as 2-3-4. Agree with Contreras for catching, no hard feelings towards Montero but let the young person and future get in now because Miguel is not what he used to be. I give the Cardinals credit as they have sent folks down to AAA to work on issues, then they come back up and are hungry, want to play. Maybe Heyward needs a stint in Iowa to work on his hitting but at the very least drop him to 8/9 and keep him there. It is time to set the lineup and see how it plays out. You hang in there now. Mahalo.

You people realize the Cubs have the best record in baseball, right?

Look at their record the last 30 games.

Ok, then why panic?

Am I in a state of panic or just extremely disappointed in their play of late and the last two trades that were made?

They also don’t realize that looking around the rest of baseball, the Giants are in the toilet, the Nationals are playing .500 ball since the All-Star Break, the Rangers are in a funk, and even the once red hot Cleveland Indians have hit a rough patch. So that’s most of the first place teams in the game playing unimpressive ball at the moment. There are 162 games and at some point or another a very good team is going to look like they aren’t very good, and a very bad team is going to look like they could win the World Series. The best thing that happened to the Cubs this year is they got off to such a tremendous start that they built up a nice lead and aren’t sweating out their division rivals as much as those other first place teams listed above are (do you think the Giants aren’t worrying about the Dodgers and the Rangers aren’t keeping an eye on the Astros?). The very worst thing that happened to the Cubs this year is they got off to such a tremendous start that people actually started to think that this was one of the best teams in baseball history, which puts them into full panic mode when they hit a rough patch when really they’re in the best position of any of those teams I listed above. As I said before, they are a flawed team, but they are also a good team and once they get to the playoffs, they could do anything from win the World Series to being swept out of the NLDS because that’s how the playoffs are these days.

Speak for yourself there Doug, I realize much more than you think.

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