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wrigley field from right bleachersThe Cubs will look to win their first series of the year (copy, paste), this time at home against the Cardinals. It’s going to be a tough one today.

That’s because the Cubs face Adam Wainwright, who is just always good, damn it. Travis Wood better bring his best on the mound, and at the plate.

The Cubs are stacking the lineup with lefties today, which could help a little bit: lefties get a near 60-point bump in OPS against Wainwright over his career. Of course, if you look at just the last two years (when he’s been insanely good), there’s not really much of a platoon split at all.

As for the Cardinals, they’ll be sending out the young outfielder they got from the Angels in the David Freese trade – no, not Peter Bourjos. It’s Randal Grichuk (who feels like he’s missing at least two letters in his name), who was recently called up after a hot start at AAA. He’s just 22, but looked to be stalling out in the Angels’ system. It would be so very Cardinals for him to break out immediately upon arriving in St. Louis. Voodoo freaking magic.

Game Info

St. Louis Cardinals (15-14) at Chicago Cubs (9-17), 1:20 CT on CSN, MLBN.

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

Adam Wainwright (1.20 ERA, 2.34 FIP, 3.17 xFIP; 3.82 K/BB)

versus

Travis Wood (3.52 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 3.45 xFIP; 4.43 K/BB)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Matt Carpenter, 3B

2. Jhonny Peralta, SS

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Allen Craig, RF

5. Yadier Molina, C

6. Jon Jay, CF

7. Randal Grichuk, LF

8. Mark Ellis, 2B

9. Adam Wainwright, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, 2B

2. Luis Valbuena, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Starlin Castro, SS

5. Nate Schierholtz, RF

6. Ryan Sweeney, CF

7. Welington Castillo, C

8. Ryan Kalish, LF

9. Travis Wood, P

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Well at least we got the top half of their order out of the way. So who closes out the ninth? Rondon I hope.

    • willis

      That is true. The only “good” thing about that last half inning is that 7-8-9 are due up in the 9th. Still, I’d love to see a run here.

  • CubsFaninMS

    Beef: “Darwin, let me show you how a Major Leaguer hits a baseball.”

  • Rebuilding

    At least the things Castillo is bad at can be learned, because he can hit the baseball

  • cubmig

    Well at least Olt fouled off some balls before he K-ed.

    • itzscott

      Have to admit….

      Olt looked good there striking out. Cap was on straight, pants were perfectly tailored. Looked sharp.

  • TWC

    Obviously Mike Olt would have hit a grand slam right there had he only started the game.

    Mike Olt doesn’t care that there was only one on at the time.

    • TWC

      /find “Mike Olt”
      /replace with “Junior Lake”
      /hit reply

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        Probably we don’t see those two guys after this year.

        • TWC

          Heavens, if that happens, what will people ever find to bitch about?

    • J. L.

      As for Junior Lake, he was determined to strike out no matter what.

      • TWC

        Junior Lake strikes out just to troll his fans.

  • cubsfan08

    Not sure I get the Schlitter hate…he doesn’t throw gas but he has closing experience in the minors has really has only had 1 horrible outing this year. Otherwise he doesn’t walk people. We have had much worse in the past. Maybe I’m waaaay off but when he made the team to start the year I thought he had a chance to be a “fan favorite” by the time the year is over. There is still time!

    • half_full_beer_mug

      I don’t get the *hate* for a lot of the players.

    • Rebuilding

      I don’t think there are a lot of people “hating” on Schlitter. It’s just based on what we’ve seen I like him better in the 6th/7th and think there were better options. Glad it worked out as it will about 72% of the time (1 out/runner on 1st)

  • J. L.

    Castillo’s OPS is up to .874!

  • VittersStartingLF

    What OF comes up if Sweeney goes on DL?

    • TWC

      Dick Tidrow

      • willis

        Szczur I would think. Vitters has been horrible lately and at least with Szczur, you have a good defensive outfielder to patrol CF here and there.

        • Rebuilding

          They could always bring up Alcantera and let Bonifacio play CF full time – but I doubt it

          • willis

            True…I think it’s one of those two.

          • J. L.

            I wish they’d bring up Valaika and let Bonifacio play CF.

            • ssckelley

              Valaika does deserve an opportunity but the problem is he needs a 40 man roster spot. But I would not shed any tears if they DFA’d Brett Jackson.

              • Jason P

                I’m almost positive no one would claim him anyway at this point.

                • blublud

                  I think the Cubs would claim him. He seem to fit their type of waiver clai………..oh wait, the Cubs would be releasing him. OH.

                • ssckelley

                  I have been wondering the same thing. I don’t even think the Astros would take a flier on him.

            • Seabee

              I’d like to see that too. But he is not on the 40 man, so like Wada, they will have to wait for a trade before coming up.

          • Jason P

            I think Alcantara’s the kind of prospect you don’t want to rush up because of injury. That K/BB is still pretty ugly at Iowa.

    • ssckelley

      That is a very good question, Vitters is slumping so badly right now that he does not deserve the promotion. Coghlan would need a 40 man roster spot but he seems to make the most sense since he bats left handed. The other options are Watkins or Szczur if they don’t want to make a move with the 40 man.

      • willis

        Neither Szczur or Vitters in the lineup that was just released from Iowa. I guess it’s one of them.

  • Medicos

    NO SWEAT–Cubs r 9-1 when they’ve got the lead after 7 innings. Move past Pirates. Only 18 errors—-6th best in NL. Saw Alcantara play a couple of games. Great contact from either side of the plate. Looks extremely comfortable playing 2nd. Can also play SS with a cannon for an arm. Someday might look awfully good batting 2nd behind Bonifacio.

  • J. L.

    F*** YEAH!

  • Rebuilding

    Rondon: from Rule 5 to closer. One of the advantages of being bad and good scouting

  • ThatCubsGuy

    Great work there Rondon. Good job RR with the fast adjustments, (though he should been had Barney in there)

    Cubs Win!

  • cubmig

    Rondon es un chingon!

    Translation: Rondon is a bitch.

    Said All in a complementary way……..

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Well deserved win for Wood. Maybe we can get Shark one this month too.

  • willis

    Holy crap Lake almost dropped that ball. That thing was lasered too…Lake was playing no doubles deep and it still got to him.

    Whew, nice to snag that win. Wood was good again. He’s solid no doubt.

  • ssckelley

    There is your closer! Rondon should have been closing from day 1, he has been pitching great.

  • KHRSS

    Nice to see Rondon throw 123 inning in a save situation.
    Hopefully they win 3 straight tomorrow and get their first series win.

  • Jason P

    It appears rainout season is now well underway in Daytona.

  • Jon

    WE ARE NOT IN LAST PLACE SUCK IT PITTSBURGH!!!!

    • ssckelley

      HAHA, YEAH!!!!!!

      Now can we have Andrew McCutchen?

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