busch stadium

I’m not quite sure what to lead with, here in this spot.

Yesterday, Kyle Hendricks nearly threw a no-hitter, but tonight the Cubs can get their Magic Number down to just 1. I guess I got to use both anyway!

It’ll be Jason Hammel on the mound tonight for Chicago, as they look to simultaneously clinch the division shortly (in front of the very team they’re taking it from), and spoil the Cardinals’ postseason chances (via the Wild Card).

Hammel’s last start, however, was something of a clunker (5.2 IP, 8 ER, 13 H, 2 BB, 5Ks), which has turned into a bit of a trend lately. Indeed, he has 9.35 ERA (6.66 FIP) in past his past four starts (although he was lights out for most of the season before that (2.75 ERA in 23 starts prior)). Hopefully, we get the better version of Hammel tonight, so that the Cubs can inch closer to a sweep and a clinching party on the field tomorrow.

Opposing Hammel and the Cubs tonight is lefty Jaime Garcia. Garcia, who is normally a super-effective, but frequently-unhealthy pitcher, is having something of an opposite year. Instead of being super-effective, he’s running a 4.58 ERA (4.30 FIP), and instead of being unhealthy, he’s already made 28 starts. I prefer this version of him. Righties have hit Garcia a bit better than lefties this season, and he’ll face seven of them tonight.

First pitch is at 7:15 CT – can the Cubs get the Magic Number down to 1?





Game Info

Chicago Cubs (92-51) at St. Louis Cardinals (75-68) – 7:15 CT on ABC-7, 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: Jason Hammel (R): 3.50 ERA, 4.37 FIP, 4.36 xFIP; 2.59 K/BB

versus

Cardinals: Jaime Garcia (L): 4.58 ERA, 4.29 FIP, 3.79 xFIP; 2.62 K/BB



St. Louis Cardinals Lineup:

  1. Greg Garcia, 2B
  2. Randal Grichuk, CF
  3. Stephen Piscotty, RF
  4. Matt Adams, 1B
  5. Yadier Molina, C
  6. Jhonny Peralta, 3B
  7. Brandon Moss, LF
  8. Aledmys Diaz, SS
  9. Jaime Garcia, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

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



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