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busch stadiumJeff Samardzija makes start number three, and it’ll be a stiff test against a stacked Cardinals lineup. On the flip-side, the Cubs get the good, but beatable, Joe Kelly. Not that you wouldn’t like to see the Cubs win every game, but, yeah, you’re really like to see them win this one.

The lineup is back to the more prototypical against-righty set, with one notable change: with Luis Valbuena back in the lineup, Ryan Kalish moves back down the order out of the two-hole, and Valbuena takes that spot. I think I probably prefer it that way; as much as I like the idea of Kalish’s speed at the top of the order, Valbuena is probably the better overall hitter/better on-base guy. Just don’t make him bunt.

As for guys like Mike Olt and Junior Lake sitting today, no, it’s not because they struggled (badly) yesterday. I really don’t think Ricky Renteria is quite that reactionary. Instead, it’s because of this:

  • Joe Kelly career against righties: .252/.318/.333
  • Joe Kelly career against lefties: .280/.349/.447

You want to stack the lineup with lefties against this guy. Hard.

And the Cubs have, so we’ll see what happens.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (3-6) at St. Louis Cardinals (5-4), 7:15 CT on CSN+.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. 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 lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Jeff Samardzija (1.29 ERA, 3.67 FIP, 3.97 xFIP; 2.20 K/BB)

versus

Joe Kelly (1.69 ERA, 4.56 FIP, 4.80 x FIP; 1.00 K/BB)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Matt Carpenter, 3B

2. Kolten Wong, 2B

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Matt Adams, 1B

5. Yadier Molina, C

6. Allen Craig, RF

7. Jhonny Peralta, SS

8. Peter Bourjos, CF

9. Joe Kelly, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, 2B

2. Luis Valbuena, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Ryan Sweeney, CF

6. Starlin Castro, SS

7. Ryan Kalish, LF

8. Welington Castillo, C

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • mjhurdle

    Sir Filthy is now on the mound and will attend the court.

  • JasonP

    So the story of tonight’s game is, Matheny outstupids Renteria

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    Ok, right now the Cards have a less than 1% chance of winning.

  • ssckelley

    So did that Castillo homer make up for those 3 runs he gave up from his bad pitch framing skills?

    • mjhurdle

      i really thought Castillo did a great job framing tonight. not sure he can make a change that quickly, but i think he did amazing at that tonight.

      • ssckelley

        I did to, I thought he framed a good pitch of Veras that should have been strike 3.

        • mjhurdle

          ya, the ump was squeezing Veras hard. Though Veras was wild, so that lends to being squeezed.

    • Matt

      I’d say the job he did stopping some of those Veras pitches more than made up for it.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    I’m about ready to throw in the RR towel. He has lost his f*****g mind. 1 out w/ a runner on 3rd and you can drive in the runner w/ a long fly, hit, passed ball. error and several other ways and he tries the f*****g bunt again. Stupid is a stupid does.

    Only 8-9 games in and we have to worry that the FO chose a brain damaged manager again…and we are stuck with him for 2? or 3? more years???

    • Soda Popinski

      So… are you, like, a pessimist?

      • Eternal Pessimist

        I was just starting to recover…but yeah, I’m back to being a Pessimist.

        • Soda Popinski

          haha

    • Jon

      He makes pennies. They could axe him tomorrow.
      He was hired for player developent and that looks like a win so far , maybe they can have a come to Jesus meeting on the small ball crap

      • Soda Popinski

        This.

    • JasonP

      I mean, Ricky’s got a 100% winning record over a manager who took his team to the WS, because said WS manager let his closer hit with RISP so that the closer could stay in the game and give up a 3 run jack.

      • Spriggs

        And Ricky did that in their house!

  • Matt

    Okay, safe now.

  • Alan Griffin

    OMG we effing won!

  • Ron

    Sac bunts 3 for 3……no sacrafice 0 for 1!

  • mjhurdle

    they’re singing Go Cubs Go!

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    97 sac bunts later and the CUBS WIN!!!!

    • Ron

      whatever it takes!

  • mjhurdle

    unmuting FoxSportsMidwest to hear the delicious bitter tears of the Cards announcers

  • ssckelley

    Beating the friggin Cardinals always feels good.

  • mjhurdle

    the most important play of the game was Matheny sac bunting against a closer that had absolutely nothing.
    Thanks for the free out.

    • JasonP

      I think keeping Rosenthal in was a pretty big deal too.

      • mjhurdle

        that was pretty big. but it never gets there if the Cards walk off in the 9th.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      But they got their 1-run!!!!! They tied the game!

  • Spriggs

    Me too! Beautiful!

  • http://kempfintl.com pfk

    We just saw the guy who should be our Closer. Rondon has been consistently good.

    • ssckelley

      I agree, either Stropp or Rondon should be the closer.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Grimm looked better today…if we ignore the first 8 straight balls.

  • Jason P

    9 pages on this game thread. Dang. Brett, I think Veras-induced heartburn increases traffic to your site haha.

  • RITZ

    W!!

  • Joshua Edwards

    Yadier, Yadier, Yadier, Eeeeeee—whooo?

    Beef Wellington > Yadi-Who Molina

  • Spriggs

    Ron-Don!

  • mjhurdle

    Matheny post game on Rosenthal:
    Trevor only had 6 pitches, so I had a good feeling he could stay in and get us the game.

  • mjhurdle

    Matheny says he had no problem rolling Kelly out for the 7th

  • mjhurdle

    on the pitch sequence to Rizzo:
    the odds of him hitting a breaking ball after not seeing one were small. He had a tight wing and nice approach

  • mjhurdle

    questioned again on Rosenthal, says that Rosenthal was going good, didn’t think of pinch-hitting. If it was 1 out, Kozma would have come up and Choate pitch

  • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

    Wow, Baseball-Reference is tracking manager challenges.

    Rick is 2-3 so far.

    • ssckelley

      NL Manager of The Year!

      • Picklenose

        Most appealing manager?

        • Jon

          No that would be Ausmus. He’s a handsome dude ( no homo)

    • C. Steadman

      2-4 now, still not as bad as Lovie

      • Jon

        I remember once Lovie took a time out to contemplate a challenge, then threw the flag and lost the challenge and another timeout. In addition failing on the challenge despite a timeout to contemplate it, he could have just thrown the flag minus the timeout

        Have fun with that Tampa

        • C. Steadman

          Yeah, I always thought Lovie was better suited for defensive coordinator than head coach.

  • mjhurdle

    Cards announcers indirectly questioning the decision to not pinchhit for Rosenthal

    Funny that they are telling Card fans to “take a deep breath and realize we are not that far into the season”

    • ssckelley

      They should be pissed over that, it was a dumb move when you have the winning run at. 2nd base.

      • C. Steadman

        and then end up losing to the Cubs!

  • Picklenose

    Glad for the win, sick of the bunting. Is there a rehab for managers who are addicted to the bunt?

  • mjhurdle

    personally, i blame Brett for this sac bunt thing.
    It is like that crazy mannerism someone you work with has, and you never notice until someone points it out…..THEN ALL YOU CAN DO IS NOTICE IT

    • Picklenose

      It’s more like someone taking your food out of the break room refrigerator. If it happens once and awhile its not that big of a deal. When it happens every day it becomes incredibly annoying.

  • NorthSideIrish

    I love that the bottom of the 9th begins on page 3 of the comments and we ended up with 9 pages…

  • farmerjon

    Geesh 500 comments on a pre – gamin thread? Wowzers ; )

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