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)


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

  • fromthemitten

    please no joe buck please no joe buck please no joe buck please no joe buck

    • chrisfchi

      Agreed. Can’t stand that guy

    • Cubswin

      lmao I feel the same way.. he doesn’t seem to be a big cubs fan either

    • Montana Hipster

      Pretty sure that hell is having to watch baseball games with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver for all eternity.

      • Polar Bear

        This^^^^…is what they call, ” hitting the nail on the head!!!”

    • ejf174

      I’ve been watching for about 10 minutes now… already a Tim McCarver refusal to acknowledge the Cubs are playing well and a bash on a typical over reaction of Cubs fans… man he sucks. Back to the garage and WGN radio.

      • BT

        His defense of the HBP was embarrassing

  • Serious Cubs Fan


    Just curious, when is the next Podcast coming? Really looking forward to it

  • Jonathn

    I’m predicting roughly 1 hit (a single), 2 double play balls, 1 walk, and 6 SOs for the bottom 4 in that lineup. You never know though, Garza might come up big.

    • Jp3

      Please Garza come up big and not lame like last ye…. Not a bad theory Brett that Nate S could have a trade in the works

  • Ivy Walls

    One or another Schierholtz sitting through ASB because of pending deal or dealing with pending injury. They must be expecting DeJesus back soon like following the ASB.

  • Die hard

    If Garza chokes tonight then he extends with Cubs– if good game Oakland bites with 3 PTBNL conditional and Cubs eat salary and Garza FA at end of season

    • mick6x

      This guy reminds me of Charlie from Its Always Sunny.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I think even if Garza repeats his Oakland game performance, I think he still doesn’t get traded till the deadline. It doesn’t matter because teams are just waiting out the Cubs to drop their price. What I think is going to happen is that people are going to submit their final trade proposals to the cubs onJUly 31 and I don’t think any of those offers will blow the Cubs away or be any where close to what their asking price is. That being said I think we will get a pretty good return still, I’m think 1 top 100 players and then another 2 pitchers that won’t be great but still solid prospects that will will between a systems top 10-20 depending on the system.

      • Dustin S

        I agree, my bet would be that (like Bryant’s signing) a Garza trade will go to the deadline now. He only has 2 starts left this month unless the rotation is juggled, so there isn’t a lot of incentive left to not push it to the deadline to get the best possible return. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more minor deals in the meantime though like Gregg, maybe Soriano, etc.

    • scorecardpaul

      please just stop being an ass this is absolute crap and you know it is. I am so tired of reading crap from you that I am visiting less and less. If your goal is to drive people away from this website, then keep it up

      • pete

        If Bleacher Nation is the Corleone family, Die Hard is our Fredo.

      • MoneyBoy

        YESS!!!! THIS … a thousand times over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • mudge

        Democracy is hard.

      • Timmy

        I dunno this sounds plausible to me. Is it likely? No one knows. But it’s more likely than the Cubs competing within the next 5 years.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Die hard, you’re brilliant. You’re a one-man (troll?) highlight reel.

  • Jp3

    I know this is absurd but the Garza rumors today have been slim, last start I would’ve bet he had a 50-50 shot at not making it. Please no injuries.

  • Jacob welchans

    For what its worth someone asked rosenthal on twitter about a Schierholtz trade and he flat out replied no

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

    Baez hopefully getting hot. 2 run HR in the 1st today after his 4-8 doubleheader yesterday.

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

      Andreoli with his first AA homerun and then Baez take a 4 pitch walk. Good stuff.

      • Jp3

        Yeah and Hendricks doing what he always does… 3innings 1hit 0 runs.

  • bryan

    Baez murdered that ball like Zimmerman murdered trayvon martin…

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Wow…too far man. Not funny

    • Jed Jam Band

      DUDE…seriously. NO.

  • Rizastro

    Scouting report on Garza, according to FOX may have problem throwing to first, TOP TIER RIGHT HANDER, last start with cubs?

    • Jp3

      Anyone want to bet if Baez can catch Villenueva in the HRs at AA? CVill has a nice start on him…

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Would guys consider Carlos Beltran a future Hall of Famer? Some people I’ve talked to have but I don’t know, I never really put him in that class. I’ve alway considered him a star but not an all time great. Don’t get wrong he’s a great player but I just don’t consider him a hall of famer yet. I think he’ll probably get in though, but not a first ballot guy in my opinion

    • AD

      The postseason he had with Houston was pretty great. In fact, he has been a pretty good postseason player throughout his career. Did it with Houston, New York, and the Cardinals.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Don’t say that to a Mets’ fan. They still are angry that he didn’t swing at Wainwright’s curve.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Did anyone just hear Joe Buck? He said not many people recognize Darwin Barney as a great defender even though he is. I bet you Joe Buck doesn’t even know Barney won the Gold Glove last year.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I forgot this is a national broadcast and they tend to dumb down the coverage for the more casual viewer

    • Jp3

      Maybe because everyone just thinks of Barney as such a great hitter…

    • AlwaysNextYear

      Joe Buck is a moron. To those who have never seen the Joe Buck-Artie Lange interview on HBO go You Tube it, Artie made Buck look absolutely stupid.

  • Timmy

    BREAKING NEWS: Garza traded for Carlos Marmol

    • Mr. B. Patient

      I’d rather they got the guy the Dodgers have playing 3rd in AAA.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Giants just designated Chris Henson RHP. Ranked as 17th in their system by BA. He’d be a classic Theo/Jed pickup and try and stash him at Iowa

  • Assman22

    Lots of scouts in attendance…

  • Afinch

    Of course McCarver has to mention the Lou Brock trade.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I feel like McCarver and Buck are knit picking the hell out of the cubs tonight, especially the Garza.
      Complaining about the time between innings.
      Complaining about Garza’s pick off move. “Don’t think the scout didn’t notice that pick off move by Garza”

      • AlwaysNextYear

        Obviously Buck is a Cardinal Homer but he really should not pronounce it as clearly as he has on a national televised game.

        • YourResidentJag

          He really shouldn’t be allowed to do Cards national tv for obvious reasons. At least this is McCarver’s last yr.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Umps calling a tough strike zone tonight

  • AlwaysNextYear

    Who the hell took Starlins place today. Great defense

    • Cedlandrum

      I know it is easy to see the mistakes, but if people can’t see the great plays he has been making this season as well then I don’t know what to tell them.

      • AlwaysNextYear

        Yes he makes great plays on a regular basis. It was a JOKE

  • Assman22

    Cubs/Cards play the last game of the 1st half, All-Star break moratorium begins after game…no team(s) will be able to announce a trade until the All-Star break ends…

    • cubchymyst

      Did not know that rule, but figures it would be similar to the world series where teams are not suppose to make announcements.

  • bryan

    hendicks with 4 innings of 1 hit ball. 2.05 era in AA warrants a big league call up at some point this year right?

    • Good Captain

      I’m unfamiliar w/ rules concerning player control, but wouldn’t moving Hendricks up to the Majors in September start his clock needlessly?

  • YourResidentJag

    For anyone interested in watching the Futures Game, here’s the US starting lineup.

    Here’s the US Team lineup:
    Hamilton CF
    Deshields 2B
    Springer RF
    Cron 1B
    Davidson 3B
    Pederson LF
    Yelich DH
    Russell SS
    Hedges C
    Syndergaard P

    I know I’ll be watching.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I can’t stand this broadcast. I’m sorry for complaining so much, but its BS that a national broadcast plays favorites like this

  • AlwaysNextYear

    That was huge for Garza. And with all the scouts watching that is something more then anything they will take away from this start

  • Jp3

    Ok Hendricks was throwing 5innings of 1hit ball and got pulled after only throwing 50pitches? Anyone know what gives?

    • ETS

      isn’t he a AA all star? Maybe that’s the reason.

    • http://Bleachernation Jay

      Same thing Happened when I saw him pitch last Tuesday. He was in full command & they pulled him.

      • Jp3

        Crazy theory, we deal Garza VERY soon and he’s first to get called for the rotation spot?

        • Brunsmk

          Possible because of allstar game. I Think in the middle of the season they back guys off a little bit.

        • JayPaul

          I think the order would be Rusin, Moscoso, Cabrera, then Hendricks. Not sure you wouldn’t see Loux, Struck, or even Raley first as well.

      • JayPaul

        Innings limit for the season maybe, trying to hedge those innings earlier versus later. Or possibly just wanting others to get their innings in. Cubs seem pretty strict with these youngsters.

  • Drew7

    Sucks for Castro that they scored that an E5 – that ball was *hammered*.

    • Mr. B. Patient

      Agreed…a little ‘homerism’ isn’t gonna hurt anyone.

  • Ryan

    We look…..good.

    What is this madness.

  • Assman22

    Garza trade closer with a few teams…could mean teams are willing to come up to/near Cubs’ high asking price…might be an interesting next 26-28 hours…

    • bryan

      I seen Olneys tweet. I like to believe his sources

      • Assman22

        Multiple reports coming out about it now…haven’t heard anything personally, but it’s at the least, a good sign to see teams getting closer this early with the asking price so high…stay tuned…

  • nkniacc13

    I hope Ken R. report that they may take less if the other team takes salary is false

    • Assman22

      Thinking KR might be confused…Cubs would pay most of Garza’s remaining salary for a better return…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Almost certainly false. It disagrees with all but everything else we have heard about this front office.

      • JayPaul

        Garza taking Changeups to his non pitching arm shouldn’t scare the hell out of me this much…let’s get this done please. :/

    • HackAttack

      Rosenthal shouldn’t listen to Crane Kenney.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Rosenthal says, with Chicago seemingly willing to accept less in return if a team is willing to eat more of the remainder of Garza’s $10.25MM deal.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I would be baffled and a little ticked if this were true. We are a big market team, we should be the ones eating most of the rest of Garza’s contract to GET a better return of prospects. I am not going to lie, I was a little irked when I heard that.

      • nkniacc13

        I agree there is no way the cubs should not be paying the contract for a better return

  • matty ice

    When you consider they’re going to have to pay a 1-2 million dollar tax for overspending in international free agency, its not that baffling

    • JayPaul

      To the contrary I would argue.

      They should receive the package their looking for regardless of money involved. Teams should be prepared to meet the asking price, if money is mentioned as a concern, the only alteration to their deal should be how much money the Cubs need to include, but the package needs left alone. I confident someone will meet the Cubs demands. If Garza keeps dealing like he has been, he could be the best deadline acquisition since Sabathia and might get a similar return.