Robert Feder (@robertfeder) writes this morning that the White Sox' radio contract is up for renewal, and WLS and WGN are vying for the rights against the incumbent, WSCR. Like the Cubs' new flagship, WBBM, WSCR is owned by CBS, and Feder says 'BBM's contract with the Cubs would allow them to move the Cubs over to WSCR if The Score can't retain the White Sox.
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.
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
Per Paul Sullivan and Enrique Rojas of ESPN Desportes, who tipped it late last night on Twitter, the Cubs are expected to disable Steve Clevenger--yes, 11-for-22 and 1249 OPS-hitting Steve Clevenger--because of "tightness in his side." Sullivan says Clevenger felt the discomfort during batting practice before Friday night's unmerciful thrashing of Roy Halladay.
Welington Castillo, hitting .320 with 2 HR and 8 RBI at Iowa, will get the call-up.
Things have gotten so bad with the Cubs that Ron Santo's heavy sighs and plaintive wails and exclamations of "C'mon!" and "No!" actually capture precisely the way I now feel while listening to or watching the action.
Tuesday night the Cubs fell to a season-worst 15 games under .500, losing their seventh in a row, 4-3, to the Brewers. (Lest we forget, the Brewers had lost five in a row before this series began.)
Now that the trade deadline is behind us, what are Cub fans supposed to pay attention to? The games?! I tried that earlier tonight, and I'm sorry I did.
— I heard a recorded interview with Derrek Lee on WGN Radio early this evening in the run-up to the Cubs/Rockies game. David Kaplan asked Lee about Ryan Theriot, and Lee described him as "a grinder." In that moment, I came up with my own definition of a grinder. It's a guy who plays hard enough to occasionally make you forget that he's not very good.
On Memorial Day, 1922, the Cubs and Cardinals completed a trade between games of a split doubleheader. After playing for their respective teams in the morning game, Cubs outfielder Max Flack and Cards OF Cliff Heathcote were traded for one another. Each man played for his new team in the afternoon.
The Cubs and Rockies have no doubleheaders scheduled this weekend, but in line with rumors that have been coming out of Chicago the past couple days, the Denver Post is reporting that Ryan Theriot may begin the weekend series as a Cub and end it as a member of the Rockies.
By all accounts, Ted Lilly will be an ex-Cub by Saturday's trading deadline, in which case tonight's start at Houston will be his last for the team. Signed in December, 2006 after finalizing a deal with Cubs GM Jim Hendry moments before Hendry underwent an angioplasty, Lilly will go down as one of the GM's savvier acquisitions.
If you're a Twitter user and are not currently following us (@thecubreporter), please do so. The goal is to get to 600 followers—we're currently at 584—before Alex Rodriguez hits his 600th home run.
And then rub his nose in it.
A couple items from the rumor mill...
Ken Rosenthal says the Cubs are running a Kosuke Sale. And Bruce Levine is apparently reporting that Ryan Theriot's stock went up over the weekend and that he is now on the radars of the Rockies, Padres, and Tigers. Tip o' the hat to @TheCCO, who passed along Levine's report, and also to Tim McGinnis of Aisle 424 (@Aisle424) who wrote so eloquently of Theriot:
— A season-high crowd of nearly 13,000—more than 5,000 above than the I-Cubs' average—was on hand for Carlos Zambrano's rehab appearance last night in Des Moines.
Zambrano threw a bumpy but scoreless inning in which he got 10 of 15 pitches over the plate, but allowed two singles and was saved from a third hit by Sam Fuld's catch against the center-field wall. (See Mike Wellman's full account here.)
Current plans are for Zambrano to pitch in Round Rock over the weekend and then in Albuquerque on Tuesday before rejoining the big club in Colorado.