Neither Derrek Lee nor Kosuke Fukudome are in today's lineup. Lee took treatment for the upper-back and neck spasms that forced him out of yesterday's game early.
"I'm going to make it," Lee said, joking about staying alive. "Today is just a precautionary thing."
Lee did say that the problem is related to the bulging disc that cropped up early last season in Philly and that he had some spasms with it yesterday, when he took "an awkward swing." He said it affects the left side of his neck and his upper back. "It's something that doesn't ever go away, but it's not something that's daily," he said.
Daryle Ward plays first and bats fourth today, with Aramis Ramirez batting third.
As for Fukudome, he and Lou huddled in the video room for most of the morning, and neither was in a mood to talk about it. In fact, Lou asked for another day off from his pregame media sesssion. Fukudome told Japanese reporters that he might talk after the game.
For the homestand, Fukudome is 1-for-13. In August, he's 9-for-62 (.145) and his OBP is a sickly .236. Since the all-star break, he's 23-for-109 (.211) with a .296 OBP, .303 slugging percentage. That adds up to an OPS of .599. That's not exactly good.
The Cubs also need to get Edmonds going. He's 0-for-15 over his last six games.