The Cardinals are trying to put even more distance between themselves and the next team in the Wild Card race (currently the Brewers). The Cubs will try not to oblige.
By way of reminder, the Series Preview hooks you up with what you need to know about every series this year – streaks, broadcast information, pitchers, expected lineups, etc. That way, if you want to check only one place to get a sense about an upcoming series, or to plan ahead, you’ve got it. Oh, and there will be pictures of beautiful women, too.
We’re Going Streaking
The Cubs were swept by the Reds, which sounds about right. They remain in second-to-last place in all of baseball, a half game worse than the Rockies.
The Cardinals just swept the Astros, which sounds about right. They remain in the second Wild Card slot, 2.5 games better than the Brewers.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Friday, September 21 at 1:20 CT on CSN.
- Saturday, September 22 at 12:05 CT on WGN.
- Sunday, September 23 at 1:20 CT on WGN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded, but you’ll want to check each day’s Pre-Gamin’ post for the actual lineup.
Starters: Chris Volstad (3-10, 6.26), Travis Wood (6-12, 4.25), Justin Germano (2-8, 6.17)
- David DeJesus, RF
- Josh Vitters/Luis Valbuena, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Alfonso Soriano, LF
- Starlin Castro, SS
- Steve Clevenger/Welington Castillo, C
- Brett Jackson, CF
- Darwin Barney, 2B
Starters: Chris Carpenter (0-0, -.–), Adam Wainwright (13-13, 3.97), Kyle Lohse (15-3, 2.71)
- Jon Jay, CF
- Carlos Beltran, RF
- Matt Holliday, LF
- Allen Craig, 1B
- Yadier Molina, C
- David Freese, 3B
- Skip Schumaker, 2B
- Pete Kozma, SS
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Brett Jackson really has to go back to the drawing board – he’s got just two hits since August 31, and his line during that stretch is a woeful .063/.189/.094.
Carlos Marmol has been good for a long time. Since returning from his hamstring issue back in May (and since being told, “no, seriously, throw what we tell you to throw”), his ERA is just 2.77, and he’s struck out 53 in 39 innings.
Darwin Barney just had his 13-game hitting streak snapped yesterday, but even if you include that 0-fer, he’s still got a .367/.446/.429 line over those 14 games.
Obviously Chris Carpenter’s return today is the big story for the Cardinals. He’s been suffering from Thorasic Outlet Syndrome, and had shoulder surgery earlier this year. He was not expected to return in 2012, but obviously a quality start or two would be a nice bonus for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals have THREE regulars with and OPS+ over 140 – Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, and Allen Craig. They’ve got two more over 125 – Carlos Beltran and David Freese. Ridiculous.
The Series She-View is one beautiful woman representing the Cubs taking on another (usually) beautiful woman representing the opponent. The Cubs’ representative will change as the team’s needs change – in other words, if the Cubs are winning, the rep will stay the same. But if the Cubs’ performance calls for a change, someone new will step in. The opponent’s representative will change from series to series, at my whim. But at least she’ll probably be wearing the opponent’s colors or have some connection to the team or something like that. It is immature, and the connection to baseball is tenuous at best. These things, I know.
Well, Candice Swanepoel’s stay was quite brief, given the sweep (which is kind of fine with me, because I didn’t like typing her name). As for the new rep, I’ve been re-watching all of PT Anderson’s movies this week in anticipation of seeing ‘The Master’ this weekend (yeah, I’m a huge PT Anderson fan), and today’s edition is ‘Boogie Nights.’ So, I started thinking about Heather Graham. So, there you go.
As for the Cardinals, they don’t get a regular rep. They get Chris Carpenter stretching, since he’s back today.