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