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wrigley field from right bleachersThe four-game set is at 1-1 right now, so, if the Cubs want to close out the first half with a series win over the Cardinals, they’re going to have to win tonight and tomorrow night.

Nate Schierholtz is mysteriously out of the lineup for reasons Dale Sveum essentially described as bumps and bruises (no specific injury, though … hmm … ). He won’t play tomorrow either, according to Sveum.

Also: Matt Garza alert. The last time he faced the Cardinals in July with everyone breathlessly anticipating trade news … well … nevermind.

Game Info

St. Louis Cardinals (56-35) at Chicago Cubs (41-50), 6:15 CT on FOX.

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

Lance Lynn (11-3, 3.67 ERA, 2.92 FIP)

versus

Matt Garza (5-1, 3.22 ERA, 3.91 FIP)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Matt Carpenter, 2B

2. Daniel Descalso, SS

3. Carlos Beltran, RF

4. Allen Craig, LF

5. Matt Adams, 1B

6. David Freese, 3B

7. Jon Jay, CF

8. Tony Cruz, C

9. Lance Lynn, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Luis Valbuena, 3B

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Dioner Navarro, C

6. Brian Bogusevic, CF

7. Dave Sappelt, RF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Matt Garza, P

  • Don

    McCarver is an idiot. Buck leads in with Cubs playing well last few weeks and Timmy starts talking about Pirates being one game behind Cards and Pirates playing great ball

  • Assman22

    Three teams in on Garza+Schierholtz…no word on Soriano…

    • nkniacc13

      interesting

      • nkniacc13

        I figures Navarro would be with Garza and Schierholtz with Gregg

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Given the ambiguity in Schierholtz sitting out, I don’t think I’m being unreasonable in saying a trade involving those two together in the next few days would not shock me.

      • YourResidentJag

        Sounds like a plan ;)

      • Assman22

        Not liking the package the A’s are offering for Garza++…

        • Serious Cubs Fan

          Trade package from the A’s?? Where did you hear this? PLease share

          • Assman22

            Sadly yes…nearly traded last night (as others have reported but really didn’t think it was true)…hoping Beane doesn’t talk Theo into a bs swap…Gray was only promising prospect coming back…

            • Serious Cubs Fan

              Thats BS. I don’t believe you. name the source. Don’t post if your full of shit

              • Dumpgobbler

                Dont be foolish, if hes a real insider posting his source would be stupid just to apease you.

              • Jed Jam Band

                Don’t take him seriously. He does that every single day on here anymore. He pops up saying “I heard _____” and it is always unlikely.

                • Dumpgobbler

                  I hear you.. But its also common knowledge that a whole slew of things are discussed before falling apart as well. I would be more surprised if the A’s havent discussed Garza then have to be honest. But then again that is just a guess as I have no insider info, and maybe that assman22 dude dont either.

                  • Assman22

                    It’s likely to be simply leaked info from Cubs to push fellow AL West team Rangers to a deal…Garza doesn’t make sense for A’s…

                    • Tom Tunney 44th Ward Alderman

                      Assman: Stop blowing scouts for info. I told you it’s not good for you

                    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

                      Assman, what could Texas offer that Oakland can’t? Other then Perez who won’t be dealt, who makes sense in their system? Not a whole lot of quality high level pitching if you ask me.

                • nkniacc13

                  he has posted things that are true. I for 1 like seeing what he is hearing because he has posted things well before they happen

                  • JayPaul

                    I concur. I think he’s been fairly accurate and I really look forward to his post more so than the new slew of crap slinging insult artist. Whether it comes to fruition or not…at the least it provides for useful Cubs related dialogue.

                  • Assman22

                    Last memo on Texas was 4-5 top 20 prospects for Garza+OF, Perez not one of them…Cleveland is offering 2 top 15 prospects, 1 being very high, but Cubs want a 3rd for Garza+…

                    • nkniacc13

                      Im guessing that at least 2 are pitchers in either deal?

                    • cubchymyst

                      As long as 1 of the prospects coming back is a strong pitching prospect along with at least two decent prospects I’ll probably be happy with the outcome.

                    • nkniacc13

                      So the 3 teams are the A’s, Rangers and Indians?

            • Serious Cubs Fan

              Assman, My Apologizes. I guess I miss judged you and you got quite a few people standing up for your credibility. Shouldn’t have rushed to judge. Its just when I hear a rumor and I find no other notable sources (guys like Rosenthal, Law, Heyman, etc..) mention a rumor it is hard for me to believe it.

              Just curious. Are you a scout or do you have some type of occupation in baseball? Just wondering how you hear these rumors because no offense but they are hard to believe sometimes. But I’ll try and keep a more open mind.

              P.S: Sorry but the name of your avatar name, (Assman22) makes it hard for people to take you seriously.

              • mudge

                We regular readers have come to take him very seriously. & he won’t tell you any more than what’s going on behind the scenes. For most of us, that’s more than enough.

                • Serious Cubs Fan

                  I’m a daily reader also. I don’t always post daily though. Once again, I would just like to apologize to assman. I definitely trust him a lot more after hearing everyone acknowledging his credibility

              • HackAttack

                ABTY at PSD…

  • mudge

    Well he’s done for the night & uninjured.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    ugh…I know shouldn’t just be considered with trade value of players but I really don’t wanna see Russell get hit around in this situation and tank his value. But i guess he’s the best man for the job to put out Carpenter a lefty

  • http://Bleachernation Jay

    The cheers for Yadier & now I can actually hear, ‘let’s go cardinals’. They have taken over Wrigley! No good! Damn, I hate the Cardinals!!

  • http://Bleachernation Jay

    Buck: ‘the cardinals are sending five, the Cubs….one’ to the all star game >> jackass!!

  • cubchymyst

    Would of liked to see Rizzo remain a little aggressive on that last pitch. He stood straight up while the pitcher was in his wind up. Obviously the pitchers control was off some but if he had made a mistake over the plate Rizzo was in no position to take advantage of it.

  • sleepy

    Three outstanding defensive plays by Starlin helps the Cubs overcome the smallest strike zone I’ve seen in a long time.

  • Clown caller

    Assman22 is a clown with no credible source. Just blowing smoke up everyone’s ass. Why don’t you GFY with these false posts. Go troll elsewhere

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      You obviously haven’t followed this site long. Assman tends to have credible rumors that more often then not turn out to be true. GFY? Clown? Go troll elsewhere.

    • cubchymyst

      The guy has been accurate on a few things before, and it not uncommon for things to fall apart (we have witness this multiple times with the national media over the past year). He gives credible trade possibilities not stuff off the wall, and he doesn’t go around making fun of the front office or other posters. There is no need to call him a Troll.

  • Carew

    I trust Assman. This is not the first time he has posted, and what he posts is plausible

  • Cheryl

    Yes I do too. Assman has been accurate in the past. But can he tell if the cubs will get their price? Texas’ offer and Cleveland’s offer might be close to what the FO wants. It sounds like its between those two as of now, from what he says.

    • JayPaul

      I will add, while I think Assman has come forward with useful info in the past, it seems there has been a pretty large up tick, leaving me with the feeling we may have imposters. Truly unfortunate if that is the case.

  • another JP

    All around good night for the Cubs and a huge game tomorrow. If Wood can help us take 3/4 from this bunch of posers it would give the team some 2nd half momentum and take some wind out of their sails. And as much as Joe Buck’s condescending BS pisses me off, it’s actually great to hear because it only comes out when the Cubs are kicking his beloved Cards asses for them. You can tell he’s concerned about the improvement of our team and he should, because their starting pitching isn’t as great as advertised IMO.

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