Maybe Jeff Samardzija can one-up Travis Wood by giving up just four homers.

Oh, hey, look, the Cardinals have some rookie pitcher you’ve never heard of with an ERA under 3.00. That never happens.

Jeff Baker gets the start at second base, which I’m sure is mostly about giving Darwin Barney a day off … but I bet it’s also about showing a team or two that Baker can still play solid second base.

Game Info

St. Louis Cardinals (54-46) at Chicago Cubs (40-58), 12:05pm 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

Jeff Samardizja (7-8, 4.25 ERA, 3.57 FIP)


Joe Kelly (1-3, 2.78 ERA, 4.62 FIP)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Skip Schumaker, 2B

2. Jon Jay, CF

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Carlos Beltran, RF

5. Lance Berkman, 1B

6. Yadier Molina, C

7. Matt Carpenter, 3B

8. Daniel Descalso, SS

9. Joe Kelly, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David JeJesus, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Bryan LaHair, RF

6. Geovany Soto, C

7. Jeff Baker, 2B

8. Luis Valbuena, 3B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • Austin

    I’m over Valbuena. Bring up Vitters, and let him get some experience. It’s not like we’re winning the division this year.

    • Alec

      Hes doing fine. Every hit he gets has beenclutch! His babip is very low

  • hogie

    The front office likes guys to have a full year of time at AAA and Vitters has been a guy that has needed that at each level. I say let him get his time in and we will see him in the spring.

  • Jeff

    By August 1st both Jackson and Vitters need to be called up. Might as well get them some big league experience for the last two months. Hopefully, Lahair and Dempster get traded because they don’t play into the future. Next year the outfield will be Soriano in left, Jackson in center and DeJesus back in right field. No place for LaHair. An we don’t need to be spending 12M+ on a 36 year old pitcher considering our stage of rebuilding.

    • Gcheezpuff

      Unless Jackson turns it around in AAA I can’t see him starting for the Cubs next year. I also think Vitters is going to get traded or moved to LF which is why you have heard the reports that the cubs are looking for a near MLB ready 3rd baseman. I think it is more likely Stewart is back at 3rd for the Cubs next year then either Vitters or Jackson getting starting jobs in 2013. maybe if Soriano and LaHair are both trade you’ll see one of them in the OF. Just my opinion though and I have been wrong much more than right.

  • Josh

    We need an upgrade at 3B, C, and CF.

    • @cubsfantroy

      I agree with C and CF, but 3B will be fine when we have a healthy Stewart back next year. Granted, he won’t hit higher than .270, but he will give the Cubs about 25 HRs 75+ rbis and solid defense.

      • Doug

        Not putting my faith in Stewart for 3rd next year. We don’t know that he will be healthy just because he had surgery so I wouldn’t risk it unless e agrees to a major pay cut.

      • beerhelps

        Careful not to fall off, cause you are way out on the limb on that one.

  • http://Yes Dude

    I just don’t see Cubs pulling off many trades by the 1st. Pretty obvious Thed’s asking price is off the charts considering we have about 20 trade able pieces and not one trade has taken place.

  • willis

    If yesterday wasn’t bad enough, looks like another beatdown today. Seems the Cubs pitchers are scared shitless of the Cardinals lineup.

  • Kevin

    A big part of our 2012 success will be measured by what we do in term of trades before the trade deadline. So far I give the FO a D-. Regardless of the Dempster situation they should of had plans B, C & D in place.

    • Njriv

      I don’t get what you are saying, what would be considered plans B, C & D? They Cubs pretty much have their hands tied. The Dempster situation is a huge reason why they haven’t made any deals and overall he has the final say. Then the Garza injury hurt them because who is going to give up their top prospects for an injured starter? Those two are the biggest assets on the roster, they are not going to get much for anyone else.

    • Scotti

      For me, you can’t rate the trade season until after the deadline.

  • http://Yes Dude


  • paul


  • auggie1955

    I can’t wait until after the trade deadline because I’m sick and tired of watching LaHair play.

    • deej34

      .271, 14 HRs and 31 RBIs. Yea, it’s been tough watching this slump but those numbers put him in the top 3 on the team. You guys are the worse kind of Cubs fans… Bitch about everything no matter what… If all you want to do is bitch, go be a fair weather Cards fans like all your friends.

  • Kevin

    The Dempster situation is as much Jed’s fault too, is there no communication between the FO and their players? Garza could have been traded earlier, the FO waits until the last minute to try to maximize return but now get nothing. I’m sorry if you disagree.

    • Njriv

      The thing is the Cubs can always keep Garza, they didn’t have to trade him and why would Theo and Jed even talk to the Braves if Dempster was never interested to go there?

      • Scotti

        Leverage with LA. Happens frequently, however, not with Hendry. Other GM’s always commented that, with Hendry, they always knew where he stood and that you could make a deal with him in one phone call (i.e. he wasn’t going to try to get another team to bid you up).

    • Scotti

      IMHO, Jed is makin’ coffee. Theo is making these moves.

      More importantly, we don’t know what the Dempster situation is or, even, that Theo and Dempster are not on the same page here. We may never know but certainly we won’t know before Dempster is or isn’ t moved.

  • Patrick G

    Soriano 2 triples in 2 days! Those knees are feelin great

  • Luke D