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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

  • Jason P

    Frustration swing right there. Hell yes.

  • lnfihDeL

    THERE YA GO WELLY!

  • JasonP

    YESSSSSSSSSS!@@#@!#$E!@_$

  • Funn Dave

    Alright, I suppose I’ll take a 3-run homer.

  • Jon

    Happy is Dusty minus the pitcher abuse

  • Beast Mode

    Nothing wrong with the call. Players have to execute

    • wkranz

      Look at the article Brett wrote today about the numbers behind bunting. Everyone fails on bunting at times…none the less a safety squeeze. How many times do we fail with the bunting and say, “good call, bad execution?”

      • Beast Mode

        The Cubs a lot.

  • wkranz

    “NO MORE BUNTING.”
    -Wellington Castillo

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Where’s the beef !!!!!!!!!!! Wow

  • Matt

    Renteria/Veres owe their pay for this game to Samardzija, Schierholtz, and Castillo.

    • ThatCubsGuy

      Just fork over the cash right now!!!!!

  • cubmig

    FUCK YEAH!!!!! BEEF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Beast Mode

    Ok just hit a home run!!

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

    FUCKITY FUCK FUCK YES!!!!!

    THIS BALL’S GOT A CHAAAAAAANCE!!! GONE!!!!

  • RITZ

    BAM!!

  • Alan Griffin

    And the box score makes RR look like a genius.

  • Medicos

    HEY!!! HEY!!!! IT MIGHT BE. IT COULD BE IT IS!!!!!

  • Soda Popinski

    Can we put Veras back in for the save opp? :D

    • JasonP

      So long as we put him in Marmol’s uniform

    • Alan Griffin

      Ooh. You’re the worst.

    • Picklenose

      No, but thanks for asking.

  • Beast Mode

    Wow matheny looks dumb now.

  • lnfihDeL

    Welly says to hell with sacrifice bunting, I’ll just put one in the seats, thank you very much.

  • mjhurdle

    i need 3 more outs for satisfaction.

    • mjhurdle

      AND I DEMAND SATISFACTION!!

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

        You aint got no…satisfaction.

  • hawkboy64

    Castillo bails renteria out bunts and more bunts.

  • Picklenose

    Cubbies need a players only meeting in which they agree to ignore all bunt signs and swing away.

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

    Historically…there has been no difference in converting 3-run saves if you’re Mariano Rivero or Carlos Marmol.

    How are the Cubs going to fuck it up now?

    • Alan Griffin

      Nay! Rondon will succeed!

  • Bill

    Think Molina isn’t wishing he dropped Kalish popup. He had any easy double play as Kalish was picking his nose in the batters box. Cubs very lucky Cards played that conservatively.

  • mjhurdle

    I like a LOT of what Renteria has done so far, but the bunting is out of hand.
    he is the oprah of bunting.

    you get a bunt! and you get a bunt! and you get a bunt!

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

      Ya…The Cubs are going to lead the league, no problem.

      Over the course of a normal season, it really isn’t that big of an issue. When you do it 2-3 times a game. Good fucking God.

      • Jon

        Did this bunting thing fall on the back burner during the interview ? At some point they have to put Happy in timeout

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

          The only thing I can think of, considering the bunt wasn’t banned in Boston with the offenses they assembled, is that sac bunting does so little to hurt their calculations of run expectancy that the number of comments we have spent on it today are more than the runs missed over the next decade.

          Doesn’t mean I won’t yell at Ricky every time he sac bunts.

  • C. Steadman

    Castillo I love you, Rondon should’ve been in the 9th anyways

  • cubmig

    Now……..Finish it Rodon! Slip them shit that slides off their bats and goes nowhere.

  • Edwin

    Rick should give the three run homer sign more and the bunt sign less.

  • Matt

    I can just see Renteria trying to put Veras back in, and the Cards having no problem with bending the rules this one time.

    • Soda Popinski

      Everyone fails at the 3 run HR sometimes…

    • Bixler51

      Hilarious!

    • Bixler51

      Hilarious

  • mjhurdle

    hahahahahaha! STRIKE 2!

  • Bixler51

    No walks please

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