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busch stadiumThe Cubs can still win this series. And I would be happy about that.

Edwin Jackson gets the start, and, as much as a series win would be pleasing, a great Jackson start would be almost as satisfying (and would go a long way to accomplishing that series win). He really, really struggled with command last time out (the ball was up, and it was knocked around), and no data diving could save that one. It was just bad.

Jackson is opposed by Michael Wacha, the low-ceiling college starting pitcher who suddenly discovered another pitch and a few more MPH or some such thing after the draft in 2012, and rocketed up into the majors as a young stud. Voodoo magic, yo.

The lineup today is kind of a weird one, with a bunch of righties in there against Wacha, and Justin Ruggiano – not Emilio Bonifacio or Junior Lake – playing center field. He’s certainly capable there, so it’s no big deal.

MIKE OLT! is also in the lineup at third after subbing there yesterday. I’d say the shoulder is fine (well, fine enough), and it would be nice to see him have a great day.

Strictly speaking, Wacha has a reverse platoon split (i.e., righties hit better off of him than lefties), so that’s undoubtedly playing into the lineup today, but it’s a virtually nil sample size. In other words, I suspect it’s not like the Cubs are stacking the lineup with righties to try and take advantage of the split so much as seeing today as a convenient opportunity to play some of the righty bats against a righty.

Yadier Molina never takes a day off, man.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (4-7) at St. Louis Cardinals (6-5), 1:15 CT on WGN.

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

Edwin Jackson (6.30 ERA, 4.38 FIP, 5.86 xFIP; 1.13 K/BB)

versus

Michael Wacha (0.71 ERA, 2.32 FIP, 3.37 xFIP; 5.00 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. Michael Wacha, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, 2B

2. Justin Ruggiano, CF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Nate Schierholtz, RF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Junior Lake, LF

7. Mike Olt, 3B

8. Welington Castillo, C

9. Edwin Jackson, P

  • GoCubs

    Time to go watch Iowa play on MiLB TV. :(:(

  • ssckelley

    It sucks to see Vogelbach struggling in Daytona. Another 0-4 with 2 strikeouts, average down to .132.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      It’s fairly common to see hitters struggle when they are first exposed to a new level. Vogelbach got a little experience in High A at the end of last season, but probably just enough for FSL coaches to figure him out.

      I suspect we’ll see Vogelbach make some adjustments soon and bounce back.

  • mjhurdle

    Jackson is going back in

    • ssckelley

      This game could get ugly.

  • KHRSS

    Well that sucks, Jackson’s back after the rain delay.

  • JasonP

    Think we’re going to see EJax out after this inning?

    Ask the Pen for 6 innings as they technically didn’t use it yesterday and have the day off tomorrow?

    • Mike

      I was hoping so, also have an off day on Thursday but that isn’t happening.

      • JasonP

        With those off days it might be a while (possibly forever if Arrieta can be back after 1 or 2 more rehabs) before Villanueva gets another start.

  • Bixler51

    Camera guys being funny. Love it

  • itzscott

    Rangers and Nationals need a 3rd baseman now.

    Valbuena anyone?

    • JasonP

      Who would be the other half of Olt’s platoon then?

  • mjhurdle

    Castillo having a heck of a series

  • mjhurdle

    it is so bizarre how quickly V yesterday and Jackson today are trying to undo any positive progress the offense did the half inning before.

    tie the game after a long rain delay? no worries, i’ll let up a leadoff triple next half inning.

  • JasonP

    Good attempt by Lake there, just off line and Bourjos can move

    • Alan Griffin

      Yeah, a lot closer than I expected.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Really no other way to say it…Edwin Jackson is terrible. 3 more years of this to look forward to.

  • mjhurdle

    Well, Jackson actually wasn’t as horrible as I was thinking he was.

    6 innings, 5 Ks, 4 ERs with a rain-delay in the middle against the Cardinals; better than Villanueva yesterday, and definitely could have been worse.

    Not saying that it was a good outing, but it wasn’t quite the ‘OMG WTF IS HE DOING” outing i thought it was at first

  • mjhurdle

    Mike Olt!!

  • JasonP

    Mike Olt!!!!!!!

  • JasonP

    Slowest strike calls ever, hate this umpire

  • Jon

    This ump is a fucking bum

  • mjhurdle

    as good as Castillo has been, there is no excuse for taking a pitch that close with a full count and the tying run on second. Can’t just hope the ump saves you….

  • Coop

    Darwin Barney to pinch hit? Ugh.

  • Jon

    Darwin Barney?!?

    • JasonP

      Barney career OPS vs L = .689

      Sweeney = .611

      It’s (sadly) probably the right call

  • Bixler51

    Ricky the players manager sucks in the early stages of the season

  • waittilthisyear

    what do we have to do to get a matt carpenter like player on the team?

    • itzscott

      Change the team name to the Cardinals?

    • ssckelley

      Sell our souls to Satan and use voodoo magic like the Cardinals do.

      • waittilthisyear

        i sold my soul to satan for this “i sold my soul to satan and all i got was this lousy t-shirt” t-shirt. i trust the rest of you will pick up my slack. fucking hate watching people make outs on ball 4, by the way

  • ssckelley

    Yeah this guy is much better than Schlitter.

  • Sandberg

    It took longer than I thought it would, but I am finally done watching for the season.

    • mjhurdle

      thats unfortunate.
      Good luck finding a new hobby!

      • Sandberg

        Just because I don’t watch doesn’t mean I won’t read here. ;)

  • JasonP

    Win expectancy numbers are my new obsession.

    After Lake’s leadoff HR, the WE was 56.5% yesterday.

    After Rizzo’s 1-out, 2-run HR in the 1st the WE was 64.8% today.

    Probability that Cubs lose both of the games = 15.3%; win 1 = 51.9%, win 2 = 36.6%

  • mjhurdle

    nice hit by Olt there.

  • JasonP

    Mike Olt!!

  • waittilthisyear

    ha how do these guys get off booing after that cal on friday. or yesterday. whenever that was. rosenthal is luck olt didnt decapitate him

  • JasonP

    Dear Super Emilio,

    We want a series win. Please hit an inside the park HR

  • Medicos

    RYNO: Don’t give up. There’s always another game manana.

  • mjhurdle

    on the plus side, the offense was not as bad as i thought it would be against some good Cardinal pitching.

    The starting pitching leaves a lot to be desired.

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