The weather is definitely a bit spotty today, so we’ll see if the teams can get this one in.
The Cubs did it. They won ten games in a row. But more importantly, by winning at least one game in this series, the Cardinals can’t leave Chicago with anything better than a 10.0 game deficit in the NL Central – exactly half-way through August.
And it’s not like today (or tomorrow, really) will be any easier. This afternoon, Jake Arrieta takes the hill for the Cubs, after having just thrown eight innings of shutout ball against the Athletics, in which he surrendered just 3 hits and 1 walk (4 Ks). In fact, he’s looked quite sharp all together lately, and he’ll hope to continue that style today.
He’ll pitch to Miguel Montero, as usual, but with a fairly different defense behind him than we’ve come to expect. Willson Contreras, Matt Szczur, and Jorge Soler step in from left to right in the outfield, and Javy Baez takes over second base. That means that the Cubs bench has Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, and Ben Zobrist sitting on it … and this lineup is still strong. Yeesh.
Opposing Arrieta is Cardinals nominal ace, Adam Wainwright. As we discussed in the Series Preview, Wainwright might not be getting the results he’s looking for this season (4.34 ERA), but the peripherals are still quite strong (3.33 FIP). And you need to be ready pretty much any time you go up against a formerly dominant pitcher, because they always seem to have one of those outings stashed in the tank.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 12, 2016
Aside from Matt Holliday – who broke his thumb on a HBP during yesterday’s game – the Cardinals lineup is mostly normal. Hopefully, there is no retaliation. They’re better than that, right?
First pitch is at 1:20
Chicago Cubs (72-41) at St. Louis Cardials (60-55) – 1:20 CT on ABC-7, MLBN (out-of-market only) 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.
Cubs: Jake Arrieta (R): 2.59 ERA, 2.98 FIP; 3.45 xFIP; 2.86 K/BB
Cardinals: Adam Wainwright (R): 4.34 ERA, 3.33 FIP, 3.93 xFIP; 3.03 K/BB
St. Louis Cardinals Lineup:
- Matt Carpenter, 1B
- Stephen Piscotty, RF
- Brandon Moss, LF
- Yadier Molina, C
- Jedd Gyorko, 3B
- Greg Garcia, SS
- Randal Grichuk, CF
- Kolton Wong, 2B
- Adam Wainwright, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Matt Szczur, CF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Jorge Soler, RF
- Addison Russell, SS
- Willson Contreras, LF
- Miguel Montero, C
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Jake Arrieta, P