Write your own caption: Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants gets his throw off to complete the double-play while avoiding the slide of Darwin Barney of the Chicago Cubs at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
It's June 2 and the Cubs are 18-33, far out of first place and contention, even with the extra wild-card team added this year.
So that's had everyone chattering about trading players. Truth be told, I'm not really big on discussing these sorts of things, because usually 98% of them turn out to be not true, like the "Cubs will trade Starlin Castro" rumor of the other day, shot down by Theo Epstein.
Even the worst teams in any given season might make one or two deals at or near the deadline. Since we're almost two months away from there, I wouldn't expect anyone to go soon. Why now, when you might be able to pry more away from a desperate team on July 30?
Here's what Dale Sveum said in response to the rumors:
Manager Dale Sveum was surprised at a report in USA Today that said the Cubs were "letting teams know that nearly everyone but starter Jeff Samardzija is available."
"I didn't read it, but I've heard about it, obviously," Sveum said on Friday. "I think it's absurd for somebody to even write something like that. Some of it might be warranted, and some of it isn't even close to what we're going to do with this organization. You talk about the ultimate skepticism, that's what it is. I think Theo [Epstein] took care of that himself."
Talk about 'em if you want, but know that's what most of it is -- just talk.
Note about tonight's game: it's a Giants promotion called "Turn Back The Century". The teams will be wearing replicas of their 1912 uniforms. The Giants, of course then in New York (their uniforms will have a "NY" on the sleeve and look like this), won 103 games and the NL pennant in 1912. The Cubs finished third in 1912 with a 91-59 record. Here's what their uniforms will look like tonight.
I like Turn Back The Clock promotions. The Cubs are 5-0 in games in which they've worn throwbacks; only one has been at Wrigley, June 12, 2008, where the teams wore 1948 replicas. I'd love to see the Cubs do more of these.
Campana CF, Castro SS, DeJesus RF, Soriano LF, LaHair 1B, Clevenger C, Barney 2B, Mather 3B, Garza P
Blanco RF, Theriot 2B, Cabrera LF, Posey C, Pagan CF, Huff 1B, Arias 3B, Crawford SS, Cain P
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2012 - Matt Garza||2-3||9||9||0||0||0||0||53.1||43||26||25||8||19||49||4.22||1.16|
|2012 - Matt Cain||5-2||11||10||1||1||0||0||71.0||53||23||22||6||13||66||2.79||.93|
Matt Garza threw a nice game against the Giants August 30, 2011 in San Francisco, with no home runs allowed. I mention home runs because Garza gave up just 14 last year, but has already allowed eight in just nine starts this year. Current Giants are 11-for-48 against him, but 30 of those 48 at-bats are from Melky Cabrera and Aubrey Huff, so who really knows what the rest of the Giants can do?
Matt Cain is really, really good. He's having a fine season, leads the NL in WHIP, and has a 2.16 ERA in 11 career starts against the Cubs with a 0.92 WHIP. Also, presuming it's a sunny day in San Francisco, there will be all kinds of weird shadows on the field from starting the game at 4:15 p.m. local time. Clearly, we are doomed.
Today's game is on Fox. Here's the coverage map -- once again, as last week, this game will not be seen in many places, about 12% of the country according to Sports Media Journal. Good news: Eric Karros is one of the announcers. Bad news: Dick Stockton is one of the announcers.
Today's first pitch thread will post at 6:15 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 7:15, 8:15 and 9 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.
Discuss amongst yourselves.