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busch stadiumThe Cubs head to St. Louis tonight to start a four-game set with the Cardinals after just being swept by the Braves. That’s a tough draw, man.

Travis Wood will try to bounce back from an exceptionally rough start against the White Sox (probably his worst start since an ugly one last August against the Dodgers), and the Cubs’ bats will try to muster something against Tyler Lyons. He’s a 26-year-old lefty starter the Cards got in the 9th round back in 2010. He flew quickly up through the Cardinals’ system (because voodoo), and now he’s succeeding in the bigs.

The Cubs have lost seven of eight, and that stretch started against these Cardinals.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (12-24) at St. Louis Cardinals (19-19), 7:10 CT on CSN, ESPN.

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

Travis Wood (4.75 ERA, 3.42 FIP, 3.72 xFIP; 3.33 K/BB)

versus

Tyler Lyons (3.43 ERA, 3.33 FIP, 3.56 xFIP; 3.50 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. Matt Adams, 1B

7. Peter Bourjos, CF

8. Mark Ellis, 2B

9. Tyler Lyons, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2. Junior Lake, LF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Starlin Castro, SS

5. Mike Olt, 3B

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Nate Schierholtz, RF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Travis Wood, P

  • ssckelley

    I think Olt should have went home, that was an easy out.

    • Beast Mode

      Rookie mistake.

  • Beast Mode

    Come on rain.

  • ssckelley

    Ok let it rain!

  • ssckelley

    That was uncalled for!

  • willis

    Interesting development…

  • Beast Mode

    Omfg really classy Cards.

  • cubmig

    ….a 7 run lead is now a 4 run lead. Cubs are their own worst enemy—-at least they scared the shit out of me with that inning’s colaspe. And as Wood bats he’s beaned for “payback”. Cubs need to score a few more—-that’s the best revenge response here.

  • willis

    Bonafacio is having one hell of a night.

  • Beast Mode

    And my HATE for the Cardinals grows even more.

  • cubmig

    C’mon Junior. Hit the cover off the ball!

  • waittilthisyear

    aaron boone’s wife is gonna be jealous of yadier molina by the time this broadcast is over

  • willis

    Lake has had awesome at bats tonight. I wish we saw this out of him every day. His outs were productive and he drilled a 2B and HR.

  • cubmig

    Damn Right!!!!!!! Add on those fuckin’ runs! Make that pitcher pay!

  • Kyle

    Knocking the Cardinals below .500 is so fun. I hope we do it like five more times this year.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      That would require the Cards being over .500 five more times.

      I can pass on that.

    • cubsfan08

      Don’t forget knocking their douchey hockey team out of the playoffs as well. Good Times!

    • Jason P

      I think you need to start lambasting Castillo because usually when you do that with any other player (Olt, Bonifacio, now Lake), that player tends to go on a tear soon after :)

  • renegade4196

    Maybe we’d be competitive if we played the Cards every game..

  • cubmig

    Time for rain out. Our guys have done enough.

    • mudge

      Castillo doesn’t have hit yet. Play on.

  • willis

    Things that you don’t expect in a baseball game: Schierholtz and Barney with back to back hits.

  • willis

    If you do a “future” weather in motion on weather.com the storms are moving north the closer they get to the river. May have to win this one the old fashioned way.

    • mudge

      15 run skunk rule?

  • Jason P

    These national games are going to be so much fun when the Cubs are actually good.

    • Hee Seop Chode

      I had no idea this was also on ESPN. So awesome.

  • David

    The numbers for the Cubs 5 thru 8 hitters are quite depressing compared to our friggin pitcher. WOW, just WOW. See below:

    M Olt 3B .180 .253 .461
    W Castillo C .234 .298 .396
    N Schierholtz RF .197 .242 .256
    D Barney 2B .175 .257 .222
    T Wood P .231 .333 .538

  • BlameHendry

    I cannot believe Olt already has 8 homers with that .180 average. Just really all-or-nothing with him so far.

    Also, Baez just hit a walk-off RBI single to win Iowa’s game 2-1. 1-5, 2Ks.

    • renegade4196

      I’ll take the all or nothing if it means production.

  • willis

    Yep, rough game again for Baez but a walk off single on the night. Man, I’d love for that “feel good” to get his bat really going. Good at bat there to end it.

  • itzscott

    Anybody else find themselves stopping whatever you’re doing and fixating on Olt whenever he comes up?

    Seems like everyone is pulling for this guy.

    • Head and Heart

      When his BABIP comes up I assume he’ll get some more doubles. 1 in 100 ABs? That’s almost hard to believe. The guy has such power and he hit doubles in the minors. I have to believe he’s going to start yanking some balls down the line and finding some gaps.

    • jp3

      Yeah he just missed a HR in that last AB against the positional player. He was all over that 86 mph BP ball, he must have hit it on the end of the bat otherwise they’d still be looking for the cover

  • Jason P

    I’m really liking this 2-5, no K’s line Olt’s got going tonight.

    • Head and Heart

      This. I was just about to post that!

    • willis

      I’m loving his approach tonight. Two of his outs damn near went 350ish feet…and the two hits were an oppo bomb and an oppo single. It’s lovely.

      And, is it just me or…the more I see the Lake HR, the more I think he’s going to get drilled before this series is up? He watched that one for awhile then slowly started to trot.

      • itzscott

        Olt’s got a pretty violent hack type of swing. Not smooth at all. Lake on the other hand has a beautiful smooth, sweeping swing.

        • Head and Heart

          I’m not sure I agree. Olt’s body might be violent on his swing. But the actual bat head through the zone looks smooth to me.

        • ssckelley

          Lake has a good swing, his problem is pitch recognition and laying off the breaking pitch outside the zone.

          • BlameHendry

            His bigger problem is still swinging out of his shoes in 2-strike counts. But yes his swing is a pleasure to watch.

  • itzscott

    Admittedly I also fixate on Lake, Rizzo and Castro

  • ssckelley

    Wtg Welly!

  • itzscott

    A hit here and Schierholtz is above .200

  • Jason P

    And Barney’s got 3 hits. Hell is freezing over.

  • ssckelley

    In the back of Sharks mind he had to be thinking, why not for me?

  • itzscott

    Samardzija’s gotta be scratching his head wondering what he has to do to have his team hit for him like they are tonite.

    • Cyranojoe

      Answer: convince the Cardinals to pitch Lyons against him next time.

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