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wrigley field from right bleachersThree games in a row. First series win. Great debut for Jake Arrieta.

That’s all on the line today, and it just so happens to be against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. It’s hard to call a game in May a “big” one, especially when the team is 10-17 and doesn’t figure to be a playoff contender anyway, but this is probably about as “big” as games will get for the Cubs for now.

Arrieta was slowed by a stiff shoulder in Spring Training, so the Cubs took it easy with the talented righty. Arrieta has always had the stuff to be a front of the rotation starter, but hasn’t put it all together (mostly, it’s been a command issue). At 28, he’s young enough to be part of the Cubs’ rotation going forward for several years, but, if it’s going to happen, it’s probably got to click for him this year. (He could always fall back on a bullpen role, but that’s a discussion for another day – hopefully one that never comes).

Arrieta is opposed by young Cardinals stud Michael Wacha, who was quickly churned out of the Cardinals’ pitching factory after being a mid-first-round pick in 2012.

The Ryan Sweeney injury is probably going to result in more starts for Junior Lake (because outfield) and Mike Olt (because Bonifacio will be a regular in center, leaving a second base platoon role for Valbuena, leaving third base for Olt). They are hitting at the bottom of the order, though, with Olt all the way down at 8th.

Game Info

St. Louis Cardinals (15-15) at Chicago Cubs (10-17), 12:05 CT on CSN, FS1.

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

Michael Wacha (2.48 ERA, 2.58 FIP, 2.78 xFIP; 4.40 K/BB)

versus

Jake Arrieta (Season Debut)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Matt Carpenter, 3B

2. Allen Craig, RF

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Matt Adams, 1B

5. Yadier Molina, C

6. Jhonny Peralta, SS

7. Jon Jay, CF

8. Greg Garcia, 2B

9. Michael Wacha, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2. Luis Valbuena, 2B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Starlin Castro, SS

5. Nate Schierholtz, RF

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Junior Lake, LF

8. Mike Olt, 3B

9. Jake Arrieta, P

  • cubmig

    RIZZO + DYNAMITE = RIZZOMITE!!!!

    ………………just keep-on keeping-on

  • dkap

    Even when Molina gets with a tipped third strike, he still manages to hold onto the ball. Incredible.

  • willis

    The FS1 guy was in the middle of talking about how difficult it was for lefties to hit off that guy, then was interrupted by a Rizzo bomb. Man, he is having such great at bats this year.

    Glad to get that insurance run there.

    • half_full_beer_mug

      bottom of page two, you are late

      Noticed your Rebels wiggled out of a jamb last night to take the first game of the series.

      • willis

        Yeah I saw that after I posted. I was late to the party. Boo to me.

        I did see the Rebels got the W yesterday, SEC is good every year in baseball, but this year seems even better.

  • Rebuilding

    Yesterday in the postgame the reporter asked Rizzo about his new nickname. He said that Bonifacio and everyone else had started calling him “the Bear” and he was cool with it. Great nickname for a Cub

  • JasonP

    Ruh-roh, Rondon going to get hated on if he can’t clean this up.

  • Soda Popinski

    Whew!

  • KHRSS

    Crap 1st and 2nd no outs

  • Beast Mode

    Rizzo trying to become a legit All-Star.

    • JasonP

      If he didn’t play 1B, yes; but it’s a packed field. Goldschmidt, Freeman, Votto, Gonzalez.

      He gets consideration based on this year so far, but he has a ways to go.

      • half_full_beer_mug

        Right now the NL manager would be hard pressed to pick any other Cub over him.

        • renegade4196

          Rondon. Castro.

          • gocatsgo2003

            No.

  • Medicos

    Finally a series win. Even the NY Mets (40-121-10) in 1962 won 7 different series.

    GET OUT THE BROOMS FOR THE SERIES SWEEP TOMORROW

  • Soda Popinski

    Atta boy Rondon! Go, Cubs, Go!

  • JasonP

    Love it, glad Rondon got out of that.

  • cubmig

    ….and that’s a wrap.
    The Bear had his lunch
    The Lake was “cool” and a Starlin sailed by smiling.

  • half_full_beer_mug

    So first time the Cubs ever completed a shut out using 6 pitchers.

    Win their first series against the Cards.

    Beat one of the top 1-2 starter combos in the game today.

    Great first start by Jake.

    Just goes to show that a blind squirrel can find a nut every now and again.

    • willis

      It’s beautiful. The air just tastes better today. Great couple of games. And to the Arrieta point, that’s my biggest takeaway. He was damn good.

  • willis

    Man, Rondon is electric. Just let it fly young man. 96-97 cheese and it’s exploding.

    So nice to have a series win. But even better we’re having a practice bbq cook party in a few, all members of our team are Cardinals homers except myself and one other. Today shall be sweet.

    I love the power that is coming out of that bullpen right now.

  • KHRSS

    Great win! TImely hitting, Castro and Rizzo continue to hit well. The bullpen came up big and Arrieta with nice start.

  • Paddy26

    Sahadev is looking like a genius with that “Cubs Bullpen Doesn’t Suck” article

  • http://BN Sacko

    I’m sure I’m not the only one that wanted a pre game prep..”we need something out of Lake and Olt.” Well we got half of that and it was enough! I really like that kid. Keep it up “cool”
    Lake! Yea I know I plagiarized that one..Holy !! do u mind?

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