wrigley right field bleachersThe Cubs lost their 11-game winning streak with yesterday’s defeat, but they could start another one tonight. The last one, after all, kicked off with a Sunday night game.

Of more imminent interest to the Cubs, of course, is a chance to win this series, which would further cripple any chances the Cardinals had of staging a historic comeback in the NL Central down the stretch. Frankly, coming into the series, I was thinking anything short of a Cardinals sweep was pretty much going to keep those chances anyway.

Tonight, John Lackey goes for the Cubs, and he’s had plenty of success against his former mates this year. Hopefully he’ll have a more robust bullpen available behind him than the Cubs had yesterday (Hector Rondon should be back tonight, for the most prominent example), but, hey, if he wants to throw a nine-inning shutout, that would be fine, too.

Mike Leake starts for the Cardinals, and he remains what he’s always been: a voracious strike-thrower who rarely strikes out many, but does a good job at limiting damage. This year, the ERA looks ugly, but he’s pretty much been the same guy as always when you dig down below the surface. For some reason, I have always found his starts exceedingly frustrating. I suppose it’s because he’s one of those guys who is going to be in the zone, so the bats have to supply the damage. And sometimes they don’t.



Game Info

Chicago Cubs (73-42) at St. Louis Cardials (61-56) – 7:08 CT on ESPN, 670 The Score

Game Thread and Series Preview

Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun this afternoon.

The Series Preview lives hereThe Lineup Discussion lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Cubs: John Lackey (R): 3.56 ERA, 3.76 FIP, 3.73 xFIP; 3.60 K/BB

versus

Cardinals: Mike Leake (R): 4.79 ERA, 4.04 FIP, 3.77 xFIP; 4.36 K/BB



St. Louis Cardinals Lineup:

  1. Greg Garcia, SS
  2. Stephen Piscotty, RF
  3. Matt Carpenter, 1B
  4. Brandon Moss, LF
  5. Yadier Molina, C
  6. Jhonny Peralta, 3B
  7. Jedd Gyorko, 2B
  8. Randal Grichuk, CF
  9. Mike Leake, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  5. Addison Russell, SS
  6. Chris Coghlan, LF
  7. Jason Heyward, RF
  8. Willson Contreras, C
  9. John Lackey, P



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