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Well, it’s going to be hard to top the last two nights, but a series sweep – however it happens – might just do it. I’ll be at today’s game again in the right field bleachers (lower right corner), so I hope it’s another great one.

Chris Volstad is still looking for his first very good start. After two solid performances by Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija this week, perhaps Volstad will be inspired.

Game Info

St. Louis Cardinals (11-7) at Chicago Cubs (6-12), 1:20pm CT on WGN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. You should participate in the madness. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview for this series lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Lance Lynn (3-0, 1.42 ERA, 0.737 WHIP)

versus

Chris Volstad (0-2, 6.19 ERA, 1.375 WHIP)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Rafael Furcal, SS

2. Matt Carpenter, 1B

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Carlos Beltran, RF

5. David Freese, 3B

6. Yadier Molina, C

7. Daniel Descalso, 2B

8. Shane Robinson, CF

9. Lance Lynn, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, RF

2. Tony Campana, CF

3. Starlin Castro, SS

4. Bryan LaHair, 1B

5. Alfonso Soriano, LF

6. Ian Stewart, 3B

7. Steve Clevenger, C

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Chris Volstad, P

  • Heybails91

    Me likey this lineup.

    • Cerambam

      I was thinking the same thing but this made me wonder, and maybe this should be a message board post instead, but let’s suppose Rizzo and Jackson are in the lineup as well as lahair in left instead of soriano so the starters would be (in no particular order) clevenger, Rizzo, barney, Castro, Stewart, lahair, Jackson, dejesus how the hell do you make a lineup with that !? Is that 5 lefties?!

      • Cerambam

        Dejesus
        Castro
        Rizzo
        Lahair
        Stewart?
        Clevenger?
        Jackson ?
        Barney?
        Pitcher?

        • SirCub

          That’d be 6 (!) lefties.

          • art

            lou would be asking for more righties.

      • Heybails91

        That sounds like a pretty good problem to have. Assuming they all hit like we know they can.

  • JulioZuleta

    Anyone notice Marlon Byrd had 2 hits last night?

    • Cubs Dude

      Infield singles?

    • art

      not really. to be honest i wasn’t a Byrd fan.

  • cjdubbya

    KEEP THE BALL DOWN, VOLSTAD

  • Fishin Phil

    OK, I’ve got the day off work, so I can park my puppet butt in the recliner in front of the TV.
    I’ve got supplies:
    Laptop for game day thread on message board – check
    Beer – check
    Broom – check

    • Richard Nose

      BROOM SALE!!!! Woodknock.

    • gratefulled

      Defibrillator – check

    • Steve

      I like that list Phil…very nice.

  • JB88

    I love the fact that you aren’t seeing a ton of subs in the lineups like Pinella and Quade were want to do. I always hated when you’d see 4 or 5 reserves in the lineup, almost like the team was conceding the game on a get-away day.

    • JulioZuleta

      For most teams, this is what that “sub lineup” would look like.

    • JustSwain

      Sveum did that once during the season on game three of the series in Saint Louis. It made me mad.

  • Cheryl

    Hope for the sweep! Also start thinking about All Star voting.

  • Spencer

    Carl Crawford is seeing Dr. Andrews about his elbow. Just sayin….

  • Caleb

    Ok. Woke up, still drunk. Read all the posts. Nobody asking what’s up with Bowden pitching last night? 9th inning, 1 run game, Russell available, against the cards? Welcome to wrigley kid?

    • gratefulled

      It has been addressed and we all believe that that was one hell of a way to break his ass in. Cheers!

    • JustSwain

      My initial reaction was “Wow, they really threw him to the wolves.”

  • Rob

    Brett are u at the game again today?

  • gratefulled

    Game delayed due to rain.

    • Fishin Phil

      Crap!

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnotherSpaceSong Bret Epic

    I’ll be listening at work on my breaks. I’m excited for Campana to get another start.

  • ty

    Bowden had been throwing against a wall since being released on April 15th. He told Carrie M. that in an interview when he arrived here. So a day later we put him in that situation. Crazy as hell!

  • http://i Cory

    Love this lineup id still be curious to see Campana bat leadoff but this will do for now and if I was gambling man id be on the over today just saying

  • MaxM1908

    Is anybody listening to the radio right now? Pat Hughes is playing an old clip of Ron Santo talking about feminine itching. Hiiiiiilllarious.

    • http://i Cory

      Listening to the same segment sat in the truck till it was finished that guy was the best!

  • Jay Anderson Jr

    Sitting here watching the game. Hoping Volstad proves me wrong for once. Lets go chubbiest.

    • Jay Anderson Jr

      That was supposed to say Cubbies, my tablet changed it to chubbiest. Loo.

      • Ogyu

        Let’s go Chubbiest! Let’s go Chubbiest!

  • KyleNovak

    All Marlon Byrd needed was to play the Twins. If he DIDN’T get three hits in two games against them, his hitting slump would have been dire indeed.

    I live up in the Twin Cities and it’s painful to hear the talk radio guys try and talk themselves day-in and day-out into believing *any* Twins pitcher is worth something. They have their “ace” Carl Pavano, who while above average and a 200+ inning guy, would be a fourth/fifth starter on contenders (and he may not even want to go to a big-market team, given the fiasco he experienced in New York) Other than Pavano, their pitching staff is flat-out awful in the rotation and bullpen. They have a ton of pitch-to-contact guys (who, like most Twins pitchers of yore, have a low walk-rate, but don’t have any velocity, natural movemen and give up a TON of solid contact) who are all fringe major-leaguers, the absolute best case scenario.

    Scott Baker is out for the year again. Francisco Liriano is all kinds of messed up right now.
    No help in AAA. The only plus is a 23-year old named Liam Hendricks, who doesn’t have eye-popping peripherals, but has some upside and is the youngest guy on the staff.

    Jason Marquis, Nick Blackburn, Anthony Swarzak, Brian Duensing, Matt Capps, and so on. Most of these guys are either over-the-hill, or just not that good.

    At least the Cubs have some long-term solutions in place, and some potential in the minors. The Twins, on the other hand, look to be in for a rough stretch.

    • JustSwain

      Its tough to watch. I’m in Saint Paul myself, and while I never quite could bring myself to root for the twinkies, I always respected the fact that they put together contenders on nothing payrolls. That last GM really messed them up. Their payroll went up, and their wins went down. I’m wondering if it has something to do with playing in a dome. Their lineup was constructed using contact hitters who got quite a few hits through the infield, and consistent fly ball hitters who took advantage of the windless conditions. Mauer is just plain awesome. I’ve never been to a game where he went less than 2 for 4, but I wonder if its wise to give a franchise contract to a catcher. That Nishioka signing was pretty dumb, and just did not seem like a savvy Twins type move. Since when do the Twins pay posting fees? Or recruit their infielders from Japan? When has that ever worked out? And lo and behold, Nick Swisher snapped his fragile little leg on a takeout slide (apparently they are a no no in Japan) like two weeks into the season so they had to go without his almost non-existant bat. I saw this decline coming from a long way out, but I wish I had been wrong.

  • ty

    Campano drops his left shoulder-starts it holding up elbow-needs to hold elbow down for level swing. Bad habit for a long time.

    • drew

      Actually, I spent a lot of time studying ML hitters’ swings after talking to a friend of mine who holds hitting camps,(hes a Mike Epstein pupil) and found that the “perfect swing” isnt level, its actually slightly upward; the point is to match the plain of the pitch in order to “square it up”, and since the pitcher is throwing off a mound coupled with an overhand motion, a “level” swing wont do that.

      Just thought id share that, I didnt see what you were talking about with TC.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        That makes sense: you should get the maximum momentum transfer in a single plane that way.  I would be that it should reduce popups, too, although I’d also bet that it increases grounders.  (Neither is great, but there are a lot more groundball hits than popup hits.)

        • drew

          Right. Additionally, that slightly upward cut isnt something you should have to think about; rather a byproduct of keeping your back arm from getting overextended. Doing THAT will get extension of your front arm, causing a slight plane adjustment of the shoulders.

          Add to that a “locked-out”, straight front leg, and you have almost the EXACT swing of nearly every modern-era HOF’er.

          It really is amazing that, while every hitter’s pre-swing routine and stance are very different, they are all almost identical once the front foot comes back down and the hitting motion starts

  • ty

    Who says LaHair is just triple aaaa?

    • drew

      Not me, I’m not sure what that means.

      Edit: Nevermind, you mean a 4A player.

    • Kyle

      I still say it. 125 hot PAs doesn’t change my opinion, although it is fun to see.

  • Cheryl

    LaHair is starting to connect. But will he be traded at the end of June?

    • bwitty

      I’m betting that he’s traded. Soto as well.

    • rcleven

      I will take the view La Hair will end the season as a Cub. Rizzo will be a September call up. Rizzo has 4 errors and his splits aginst lefty’s are pretty bad right now.

      The question to ask is Garza going to be Traded.

  • Stu

    Why don’t they sub Baker for Stewart instead of Baker of LaHair? Or Mather for Stewart?

  • die hard

    Are we so desperate for a winner that we think a couple of wins makes the Cubs a contender? Wins are great but whats the game plan for a dynasty? Its not with this group, Castro included.

    • drew

      Yeah, who needs a 22 yr old SS with good range and gets 200 hits/yr w some pop? Trade him too!

      C’mon diehard…

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