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The Cubs head to St. Louis to take on the Central-leading Cardinals for two games. That means a sweep is totally possible, in either direction, and all the positive/negative connotations that accompany “a sweep.” I’d take a split.

Ryan Dempster goes tonight for the Cubs, so it’s fair to expect a 1-0 game in the Cardinals’ favor (with that one run coming in the 8th or 9th, after Dempster’s left the game). I kid. Mostly. Hopefully.

Tonight’s game is on ESPN, which means we should all be watching. Hopefully the Cubs can embarrass the Cardinals. That would be neato.

I really hate the Cardinals, by the way. They are sitting their best hitter tonight – Carlos Beltran – and their lineup still looks stacked.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (14-20) at St. Louis Cardinals (20-14), 6:05pm CT on ESPN, WCIU.

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

Ryan Dempster (0-1, 1.02 ERA, 2.16 FIP)

versus

Jake Westbrook (4-2, 1.76 ERA, 2.79 FIP)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Rafael Furcal, SS

2. Jon Jay, CF

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Allen Craig, RF

5. Lance Berkman, 1B

6. David Freese, 3B

7. Yadier Molina, C

8. Skip Schumaker, 2B

9. Jake Westbrook, 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. Geovany Soto,C

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Ryan Dempster, P

  • Fishin Phil

    Bah! They don’t scare me!

    • TheoHater

      Castro is a jerkoff wanna be out ptangin

      Soriano is a putzeke

      Schwaim is a goof

      Theo is a nerdo

      Cubs suck

      • Ogyu

        Who the heck is Schwaim, genius?

      • ty

        Mom! Is that you?

  • wernert

    I so despise the Cardinals. Have I said that enough? No. It can never be said enough. Yeah, I’d be thrilled with a split.

    • Pete

      Hate ‘em, hate ‘em, hate ‘em. And I work in St. Louis 2 blocks from the stadium, so I have to see the mulleted multitudes en masse 81 times a year.

      • hardtop

        i think itd be worth a pay cut to not have to see that.  id rather be a janitor at thomson correctional than have to go through that man.  sorry pete, be strong.

      • Ogyu

        “the mulleted multitudes”

        Gotta love it.

    • Bric

      A boy bull and a daddy bull are sitting on a hill, and there’s a herd of cows grazing down in the field.

      The boy bull looks up and says “Hey dad, why don’t we run down there and f#@%^ one of them cows?”

      The daddy bull looks down and says, “No son… lets walk down… and #$&^% them all”

      Creedo of the Cubs-Cards rivalry.

  • mpope30

    Can Cardenas get a start at second base please????

    • calicubsfan007

      They haven’t really started him so far this year at second, have they?

      • ty

        Calicub–one start and a goofed up double play. But stats aside, he does look like a hitter.

      • Cee-Dee-Vee

        Ahhhh Campana 2nd again…

        What do you guys think about this :

        We all know Castro is an agressive hitter and it’s frustrating that he’s even more agressive when Campana is on……I’m starting to think that Castro doesn’t want Campana to catch up to him in SBs. Castro gets noticeably upset when an outfielder or Stewart wave him off for a pop up so with him being so young I feel like this might be the case when Campana gets on.

    • rcleven

      Better chance seeing him in left to spell Sorri.

  • Carew

    Cubbies gonna win both!

    I try to be really optimistic

  • calicubsfan007

    Let’s go Cubs!! Please, please kick the Cards’ ass!!!!

  • ty

    That sneaky ass LaRussa hides in the clubhouse and is making the double switches.

    • calicubsfan007

      Who knows? Maybe he hides there and relays to Matheny via radio to make a the double switch. The Cards’ conspiracy. Weirder things have happened in baseball.

  • TWC

    Oh, man, the Cardinals make me so damn angry.  Deferring to Ace’s front page sensibilities, please head to the appropriate Message Board thread in which I will continue waxing poetic about the Cardinals while using colorful metaphors.

    • Fishin Phil

      That color would be mostly blue.

  • JulioZuleta

    I know I’ve said it before, but how sweet would that picture be if about a mile past that stupid arch, just across the River, was a 2,000 foot tall statue of someone in a Cubs jersey playing croquet? Just think of how that would change the stadium experience for Cardinal fans.

    • Ogyu

      That’s a great idea that undoubtedly would give rise to one of the most awesome lawsuits of all time.

  • Njriv

    David Kaplan just proposed a Soriano for Josh Beckett trade. Thoughts?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I see no reason the Red Sox would want Soriano, and I see very few reasons the Cubs would want Beckett.

      • Njriv

        Use your imagination!

    • rcleven

      The more I hear Kaplan speak the more I want to ignore him.

      I got a trade for ya. Kaplan for Edes straight up.

    • Angie

      Kaplan is an idiot.

    • calicubsfan007

      Pass. Please tell me thats a joke. Trade one overrated “talent” for another? Pass.

    • art

      well, lol. Boston needs pitching not a 250 single hitting DH.

  • Caleb

    At the game. Bet on a 4-1 Cubs win

    • art

      how much?

  • Ogyu

    Attention people of Chicago: Ian Stewart has re-crossed the Mendoza Line.

    • ty

      Got to know Mendoza when he managed a double a team . Interesting fellow . Giant organization

    • TWC

      Kyle silently weeps.

      • Ogyu

        ..and Mendoza takes his revenge…

  • Jeremy

    I know this is the big league thread but this is post worthy. Junior Lake in game 1 of the Smokie’s double header was 2 for 2 with 3 BB’s and a HR. Yes you read that right 3 BB’s! Also had a stolen base and scored 4 times.

    • ty

      Thanks Jeremy. He played very well in Arz Fall League–batted third daily–fit in well with the super stars such as Bryce Harper etc. Defense was not an issue either. We need him at Wrigley someday.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Which is all awesome (and he’s 1-1 in Game Two already), but, to be fair, the entire Smokies’ lineup was killing it. I’m thinking it was some crummy pitching playing a part.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        No doubt.

        Lake deserves some credit for not flailing at pitches out of the zone and taking advantage of pitches he can hammer.  Those are positive signs, but nothing earth shaking.

        At least, not yet.

        • Jeremy

          Still its a good sign that he currently has more walks then K’s right now. He is really showing some patience at the plate.

  • die hard

    our top 4 matches up nicely with any other team…but need to work on the lower half to win more often…Switch Soriano and whoever is catching perhaps?

    • calicubsfan007

      I would say Clevenger, but he is still injured and we have no clue what he will play like after a relatively serious injury. Then one might say Castillo, but he is still really really green. Maybe if we trade Garza to Toronto, we could get Travis D’Arnaud (is that his name?) in the deal. As much as I would love to not have to see Swingin Soriano whiff on 85-90 mph dirtballs, there is no point benching a multimillion dollar player.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    Brett: can this site have an official god or goddess of BABiP?  I’m thinking Shiva or something….

    • calicubsfan007

      Can you explain the BABiP equation to me? Math isn’t my strong suit.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        (Hits – HR) / (AB – HR -K). In other words, batted balls that could have been turned into outs. Singles are the single most common hit, and those have by far the biggest “luck” factor.

        The problem with this is that it treats hits as coin flips. Really, it should be treated as a weighted die with 4 sides: out, single, double or triple, HR. That is for another day!

    • Cheryl

      If yo’re thinking about a god or goddess wasn’t Shiva one of destruction? Actually in Hindu theology Shiva was the destroyer. How about Sol?

      • Bric

        Good one, but I was always more a fan of the Conan the Destroyer: – “Dah! I live for the crushing of my enemies, the lamintations of the women and some other heavily accented Austrian nonsense! DAH!”

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Yeah, Shiva is destruction: but it seems like balls just falling in or just getting caught are death on either the pitcher or batter. Maybe Loki would be more appropriate. I like Ganesh, too: doesn’t Apu keep Ganesh at the Qwik Emart?

    • Ogyu

      Ganesh: the god of luck

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of good fortune.

  • Jackalope

    El Pelo strikes again!

    • Richard Nose

      El Pelo en mi pantalones!

  • calicubsfan007

    I love LaHair. Perfect time for that homer.

    • spearman

      Yep, he needed that. Good job Lahair!

  • http://bleachernation.com TherealPattyP

    There goes Dumpster, give him 4 runs and cant hold it. Dont go crying about your lack of support. The guy is a sham. Hold the 4 run lead dude.

    • Njriv

      This is the first time he’s gotten 4 runs and its also the first he’s aloud more than 3 runs all season, he has the best ERA in the majors and still no wins, that is the definition of lack of run support, you cant expect him to be perfect all the time. Next time use your brain dude.

  • http://bleachernation.com TherealPattyP

    So what you are saying is all he does not win games. If a pitcher of his ilk is up 4-0. I expect a victory. Stop making excuses for the guy because he does a ton for charity and also does a hacky Harry Caray impression.

    • Njriv

      HE HAS THE LOWEST ERA IN BASEBALL!!! First time he’s given up more than 3 runs, that stuff happens, especially when you are playing against a team that scores the most multi-run innings in baseball. You have got to be a troll because there is no one that understands baseball that can be this fucking stupid.

      • Ogyu

        Easy, Action. :)

        • Njriv

          My bad, but can you believe this guy?

          • Ogyu

            I know. I already did a public mea culpa this season for every time in the past that I called Dempster “Dumpster.” And I don’t intend to turn on him now. He has pitched brilliantly and has helped rescue this Cubs season from potential nightmarishness. For that, he deserves some respect and gratitude.

  • ty

    LaRussa spotted in tunnel managing this game.

  • http://bleachernation.com TherealPattyP

    What are you his agent? I wouldnt be calling people stupid if I spelled allowed like this (aloud).

    • Njriv

      That has nothing to do with the fact that you know nothing about baseball.

      • Rick Vaughn

        Ladies! Please, leave it at the salon.

        And don’t call someone out on their spelling when you yourself can’t handle putting an apostrophe in “wouldn’t”

  • morgan

    what was that call

    • Poopypants McGee

      That bunt with Castro? Maybe Quade took over Dale’s brain for a second.

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