The Cubs Look To Salvage Their Series With The Dodgers

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The Cubs are warming up before today’s game.


CHICAGO- After a surprising west coast road trip a week and a half ago, the Cubs have fallen on hard times since returning home. They have lost six of their last seven and find themselves struggling to score runs again. Not helping matters is the fact that they have had to deal with Major League Baseball’s hottest team.

Enter the L.A. Dodgers, a team that has won 13 straight road games {a team record and one of MLB’s all-time records} and find themselves in very small company in that category. They have been lead by rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig who has taken baseball by storm. The Dodgers have been getting a combination of solid pitching and plenty of offense.

Los Angeles has scored 15 runs against the Cubs this weekend while only giving up six runs. The Cubs just haven’t been able to give their pitchers run support in this series and have only managed a few base runners per game.

The Cubs have fallen back into old patterns since their last road trip which saw them put up a record of 6-4 while scoring a total of 28 runs. Since returning home on Monday, the Cubs have only managed to score a total of 14 runs. If the Cubs are going to salvage this series and get back in the win column it will take a total team effort.

The offense, defense and pitching need to come together and make something happen. Even though the Cubs won’t make the postseason this year, they need to show that they have what it takes to make some noise next year.

Of course taking on the red hot Dodgers is easier said than done. When I asked Cubs outfielder David DeJesus on how his team prepares for such a dangerous opponent he said “It’s one of those things where they have a lot of veteran guys and big money players and they’re playing the way they should be playing.”

DeJesus continued, “Their guys are getting on base, making things happen with two outs and getting good pitching. I think any team they play against is going to have a tough time.” No one is going to argue with DeJesus on that one.

Aside from getting their fundamentals down pact, the Cubs have had a lot of trouble with Yasiel Puig who has gone 6-for-10 with a home run, 2 RBI’s, 4 runs scored and has only struck out three times in this series. Puig is the real deal and is worth all of the hype surrounding him.

Although the Dodgers are giving the Cuban sensation the day off today, they are still a formidable team none the less.With our without Puig, the Cubs will need to step their efforts to walk away with the victory.

The Cubs also need to find weaknesses in this Dodgers pitching staff and put some runs on the board. The north siders can use any momentum they can get as they will head on a six-game road trip starting on Tuesday. They will go to Philadelphia and St. Louis which will be no easy trip. So getting a win here can take away some of the pressure.

The Cubs did make some roster moves before today’s game which could effect the team down the line. Third baseman Luis Valbuena was put on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique injury, while outfielder Julio Borbon was designated for assignment. They have been replaced with minor league infielders Donnie Murphy and Logan Watkins.

In regards to Luis Valbuena Cubs manager Dale Sveum said, “It’s that time of year when guys get dinged up. He {Valbuena} felt the injury about four or five guys ago but continued to play through it until it got really painful.” Valbuena was scratched before yesterday’s game but a decision on his roster spot wasn’t made until last night.

Both Watkins and Murphy will be in the lineup today so Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney will get the day off. Dale Sveum want’s to give his new players a chance to prove that they can play at the major league level.

The Cubs will send right hander Carlos Villanueva (2-7, 4.33 ERA) to the mound against Dodgers right hander Stephen Fife (3-3, 2.76 ERA). Villanueva has gone 0-3 in his last five starts while giving up 27 hits, 16 earned runs, 12 walks and striking out 24. The lack of run support in his recent outings can be attributed to his poor performances.

Here is now the lineups will look today:

Los Angeles Dodgers:

1. LF Carl Crawford

2. 2B Mark Ellis

3. 1B Adrian Gonzalez

4. SS Hanley Ramirez

5. CF Andre Ethier

6. C A.J. Ellis

7. RF Skip Schumaker

8. 3B Juan Uribe

9. RHP Stephen Fife

Chicago Cubs:

1. CF David DeJesus

2. LF Junior Lake

3. 1B Anthony Rizzo

4. C Dioner Navarro

5. RF Nate Schierholtz

6. 3B Cody Ransom

7. 2B Logan Watkins

8. SS Donnie Murphy

9. RHP Carlos Villanueva

You can follow me on Twitter for in-game updates @GabeSalgado82




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