It’s Chris versus Chris today, each with something to prove. The former that he’s healthy, the latter that he deserves a contract. I’m not sure how optimistic I am about either one of those things.

Game Info

St. Louis Cardinals (80-70) at Chicago Cubs (58-92), 1:20 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

Chris Carpenter (Season debut)


Chris Volstad (3-10, 6.26 ERA, 4.99 FIP)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Jon Jay, CF

2. Carlos Beltran, RF

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Allen Craig, 1B

5. Yadier Molina, C

6. Matt Carpenter, 3B

7. Pete Kozma, SS

8. Daniel Descalso, 2B

9. Chris Carpenter, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF

2. Darwin Barney, 2B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Luis Valbuena, 3B

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Dave Sappelt, RF

9. Chris Vostad, P

  • Mat B

    I’m not sure why they bother to keep Vitters around. They don’t seem to want to give him a chance at all.

    • Ted

      Valbuena’s 26 with a career .638 OPS in over 1000 major league PAs. Think of the cieling there!

      • Ted

        Er, ceiling.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          For some reason, that ceiling reminds me that tomorrow is Bilbo and Frodo Baggin’s mutual birthday…..

          • Ogyu

            Which brings us to our philosophical-theological question of the day: If you found the One Ring of Power, would you destroy it? Or use it to give the Cubs a World Series victory?

            • DocPeterWimsey

              I would say, destroy it and thus make the Yankees go away.

              • Ogyu

                Excellent point. But it would be very tempting to use it to cause a recurrence of Tony LaRussa’s shingles….

  • davemn76

    Chicago Cubs World Series! Let’s keep the Cards out of the playoffs. Time for a sweep!

  • Zach

    For a team that lacks in scorIng runs all year you figured they would of done more sacraficing. That bunting tourney was useless

    • TWC

      Sacrificing is (often) useless, too.

      • hansman1982

        really the only people who should be sacrificing is the pitcher and Tony Campana

    • DocPeterWimsey

      One, the Cubs OBP with nobody out is an abysmal 0.299: only the Astros (0.294) do worse. So, the Cubs create far fewer opportunities to sacrifice than other teams.

      Two, the last thing a team like the Cubs wants to do is make more outs: their team OBP with 1 or 2 outs is an abysmal 0.303! That is the worst in the NL. So, the absolute last thing you want to do is decrease the number of outs that a batter has to score!

      And, of course, three is what TWC wrote: sacrificing with position players costs more runs than it creates. But 1 & 2 should show why: if you have high OBP players who get on base a lot to lead off innings and who have good chances of keeping the line moving once someone is on base, well, why help the opponent with a free out?

  • Leo L

    baby steps. next year they will have a take a walk tourney

  • ry34

    Wow Chris, 74 pitches through 3 innings, continuing to set the bar of sucking so high!

  • morgan

    of course vitters strikes out, this dude is fucking terrible and dont see him getting any better, why is he still in the linup, just plain sucks

  • morgan

    just b/c we suck, its time to start holding these scrubs accountable, just wait till we win more, some these scrubs wont be able to be seen around town, that how bad they would and should get bashed, get vitters back down to single A, this dude never going to hit major league pitchers, and if i dont see and improvement next year, or for sure in 14 then theo n jed need to start hearing shit

    • ry34

      58-104 here we come,

  • DocPeterWimsey

    wow. Who was the superman in the Darwin Barney suit?

    • SirCub

      Some crazy new masked hero, going by the name of “2012 Darwin Barney.”

    • Ogyu

      It’s Darwin Barney’s “Sandberg game!” 😀

  • Jackalope

    Saw this great stat on the Cubs official site:

    “Cubs batters entered Friday having drawn 213 walks in 65 games (3.3 per game) following the All-Star break, after averaging 2.3 walks per game in the first half.”

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Yeah, the Cubs net walks also are not as bad, too: they gave up about 100 more than they took prior to the All Star break, and only about 20 more than they took (have taken) since then. That’s still not a good number, but it’s at least not an appalling one!

  • Jackalope

    That’s a 43% increase, for those scoring at home.

  • Ogyu

    What would DeJesus do??? Woohoo!

  • DocPeterWimsey


  • Ogyu

    And the Cards fall a 1/2 game closer to missing the playoffs! 😀