Two down. One more to go. For today, anyway.
Jon Lester looks to make it a sweep for the Cubs in St. Louis, which would be their first sweep there in five years.
The lineup shuffles around once again, as the Cubs face righty Carlos Martinez, who is particularly tough on righties – but susceptible against lefties, which will include the first five batters he faces today.
Kyle Schwarber is back in the starting lineup after missing a week with a rib cage strain. The nice thing about September is that the Cubs never had to make a disabled list decision on him. Any other month and they would have had to either play short-handed for a week or miss Schwarber for a minimum of 15 days.
You’ll notice that last night’s surprise pinch hitter (and 450-foot bomb crusher) Randal Grichuk is now starting in center field. He’s apparently feeling better from his elbow malady, but here’s an interesting twist:
Per Matheny: Grichuk has been instructed to throw very cautiously. #stlcards willing to sacrifice on defensive end to get his bat in lineup.
— Jenifer Langosch (@LangoschMLB) September 9, 2015
Chicago Cubs (80-57) at St. Louis Cardinals (87-51), 12:45 CT on CSN and on MLB.tv.
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down there in the comments, so have fun.
Jon Lester (3.59 ERA, 3.07 FIP, 3.15 xFIP; 4.02 K/BB)
Carlos Martinez (3.04 ERA, 3.31 FIP, 3.32 xFIP; 2.82 K/BB)
St. Louis Cardinals Lineup
1. Matt Carpenter, 2B
2. Stephen Piscotty, LF
3. Jason Heyward, RF
4. Jhonny Peralta, SS
5. Randal Grichuk, CF
6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Brandon Moss, 1B
8. Mark Reynolds, 3B
9. Carlos Martinez, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup
1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Kyle Schwarber, LF
3. Chris Coghlan, RF
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Tommy La Stella, 2B
6. Javy Baez, 3B
7. David Ross, C
8. Jon Lester, P
9. Addison Russell, SS