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Paul Maholm will try to give the Cubs a chance to keep their hotness rolling (with a win today, the series loss in Milwaukee feels more like a blip than a regression). I choose not think about the word “sweep” right now.

Welington Castillo gets another start today, and it will be interesting to see what his receiving skills look like today. Dollars to donuts he looks overly conscious of how he’s holding his glove.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (15-20) at St. Louis Cardinals (20-15), 12:45pm CT on CSN.

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

Paul Maholm (4-2, 4.05 ERA, 93 ERA+)

versus

Khloe Lohse (5-1, 2.08 ERA, 175 ERA+)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Rafael Furcal, SS

2. “My Dog” Skip Schumaker, CF

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Allen Craig, RF

5. Lance Berkman, 1B

6. Yadier Molina, C

7. Matt Carpenter, 3B

8. Tyler Greene, 2B

9. Kyle Lohse, 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. Welington Castillo,C

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Paul Maholm, P

  • TWC

    “5. Lance Berkman, 1B”

    5. Fat Elvis, 1B

    Fixed that for you.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That was really stupid of me. Seriously.

  • Mrp

    No Beltran again today, me like.

    • Spencer

      Yeah, what’s up with that? Is he hurt?

      • Richard Nose

        Nope, he’s just old as hell.

      • hardtop

        knee injury.  hurt it going down on fat elvis

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yup. He must be dealing with something, but it’s good for the Cubs. No Freese, either.

      • rcleven

        Freese is slumping right now. At the plate and with his glove. Love to play against players who are pressing.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Ah. Eh, I still hate him.

          • ReiCow

            BAHAHAHAHA.. love it!

            Moo.

    • hansman1982

      Issue with his knee, didn’t sound like anything serious, probably just extra time off.

  • Chris Margetis

    What happened to the Sgt. Slaughter look Berkman was rockin in spring training? Almost gave me a shred of respect for him.

  • rcleven

    Surprised to see Barney starting today. After the throw to first that ended up in Soto’s glove at home thought he would get a day off.

  • ReiCow

    I love the Khle Lohse typo.. he already has one out of place h, why not another?

    Moo.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “Fixed” it.

  • Smitty

    Olney talked about trade value of some starters in his blog today. Dempster was mentioned for all teh reasons we have been talking about. He mentions that his salary would hurt several clubs but that the Dodgers have plenty of money and need to make a move for Dempster.

    Anyone know what LA has that would be worth trying to get from their minor league system for a dempster?

    • Edwin

      Ted Lilly?

  • TOM

    same li lineup everyday !!! what did joe mather do to NOT get any playing time ???

    not sure if I like sveum as mgr, play mather in left field one or twice a week !!!

    • Poopypants McGee

      soriano is just starting to swing the bat a little better, Stewart as well. Nowhere for Mather to play.

  • Edwin

    Joe Mather has played below replacement level baseball throughout his career. That is what he has done to not get playing time. His most optimistic projection has him hitting .240/.298/.369. Soriano’s least optimisitc projection is .241/.295/.437. Soriano is a flat out better player.

    Mather is fine giving Soriano or other players a rest now and again, but he’s a 5th outfielder at best. He’s a warm body that they don’t need to pay much money for. He is 30 years old, plays below average defense, and has a career slash line of .231/.293/.394. I have no idea why the Cubs should give him playing time.

  • Caleb

    Freese is in. I tried to throw a hot dog at him from left field.

    • Ogyu

      Hmm. Trying to throw a hot dog from the left field stands to third base. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, that is the origin of the phrase “hot dogging.”

  • calicubsfan007

    Glad Maholm is pitching. He has been on fire as of late and he has plenty experience against the Cards. I don’t know his era against them though. Does anybody know?

  • Jschroeder

    What just happened with the Castro HBP? Gamecast says injury delay

  • Cubs Dude

    Pitch hit his bat. Looked like it hit his face or left hand. Reminds my of LaRusaa, take them out Maholm..

  • Cubs Dude

    Great Play by Ian. Like that guy the more I see him. Would have been a double with ARam there… Also, love the mullett he’s working on.

    • calicubsfan007

      It doesnt look bad with a hat or helmet on, but it looks really bad without either the hat or the helmet. Can totally tell he’s balding.

  • RY34

    wow big shock kerry wood walked furcal on four pitches to start the inning and now he has walked holiday as well, why the hell do we keep putting him in???????

  • RY34

    and there goes the lead, man you suck ass wood!

  • RY34

    sooner or later you would think that wood would just plain ol get tired of being the goat time after time and just retire. painful to watch him pitch anymore, absolutely horrible.

  • http://bleachernation.com PattyP

    Kerry Wood, probably my favorite Cub of all time. Right there with Sandberg, Buckner and Shawon Dunston. He just needs to give it up already. Thank you for a ton of great moments and step aside. There has got to be someone better somewhere in the system or on the street.

    • RY34

      id rather give you a shot patty than watch kerry trot out there again. i love the guy too, but he is beyond awful anymore; just same ol shit everytime, walks at least one, then gets bombed.

  • Goatbuster

    Time to just release soriono, he needs a walker to even stay upright out there.

    • Cubs Dude

      Yeah, I would be shocked if the Cubs could get even 500k of salary relief for that turd. Don’t fight the battle anymore, let him go….. Please…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I don’t know… he stayed upright trotting around the bases after that home run just fine.

  • Goatbuster

    And then he hits a home run. He must’ve heard me!

    • RY34

      well done. who will blow the lead for us in the ninth?

      • RY34

        sorry meant to say the game instead of lead.

  • goatbusters

    There seemed to be a lot of balls up the right side today. Was this a result of the defensive shift?

    • rcleven

      Result of waiting on pitch to see the ball longer. Hitters just late to the party.

  • DRock

    When will we finally have a REAL closer? We cannot afford to blow close games in the 9th. Still missing Sean Marshall…

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