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Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Preview, Friday 5/4, 1:20 CT

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Too soon?

I'm thinking Theo Epstein ought to be on the phone today with his buddy Brian Cashman and try to ship Carlos Marmol to the Bronx.

The Yankees can afford the (approximately) $16 million left on Marmol's contract. While the Yankees have relievers who can step in for the injured Mariano Rivera -- Rafael Soriano has closing experience and David Robertson is one of the best setup men in the game -- it probably wouldn't hurt them to have another major-league experienced reliever in the bullpen.

Guess when Marmol had his best success with the Cubs? That's right, when Larry Rothschild was the pitching coach. It might be a coincidence, but when Rothschild left after the 2010 season, that's exactly when Marmol lost it. Maybe Rothschild can fix what's wrong with Marmol; Marmol is certainly not going to be part of the next Cubs contending team. Rafael Dolis or James Russell can finish out the year as closer; Dolis has a good arm, and despite his lack of major league experience, he might be that guy.

Maybe you're saying "too soon", but it seems to me that Rivera, with the seriousness of his injury and his age (42), probably saw his career end on Thursday night in Kansas City. That's sad and unfortunate, given Rivera's greatness and class.

Maybe the Cubs can help the Yankees out. It wouldn't even matter much who the Cubs got in return -- a low-level prospect or two would work -- saving the contract dollars would be a big help.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus RF, Campana CF, Castro SS, LaHair 1B, Soriano LF, Stewart 3B, Barney 2B, Soto C, Maholm P

Dodgers lineup:

Gordon ss, M. Ellis 2b, Kemp cf, Ethier rf, Rivera lf, Loney 1b, Hairston 3b, A. Ellis c, Billingsley P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Paul Maholm
Paul Maholm
Cubs
vs. Chad Billingsley
Chad Billingsley
Dodgers
2-2 W-L 2-1
6.20 ERA 2.64
10 SO 25
6 BB 7
4 HR 5
vs. LA -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Paul Maholm 2-2 4 4 0 0 0 0 20.1 21 14 14 4 6 10 6.20 1.33


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Chad Billingsley 2-1 5 5 0 0 0 0 30.2 22 13 9 5 7 25 2.64 .95

Paul Maholm's 6.20 ERA looks awful, but his last two starts have been outstanding. Current Dodgers are hitting .263 (21-for-80) against him with two home runs -- both, oddly enough, by Jerry Hairston Jr.

Chad Billingsley is off to a good start this season (though he has given up five home runs already, not that that matters to a team as homer-challenged as the Cubs) and his two starts last season against the Cubs resulted in a 1.35 ERA. Current Cubs are hitting .174 (12-for-69) against him with zero home runs (not that that matters to a team as homer-challenged as the Cubs). Clearly, we are doomed.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Dodgers site True Blue LA.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 1:20 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 2:20, 3:20 and 4:05 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.