Open Thread: Cubs vs. Cardinals, Tuesday 7/24, 7:10 CT

Seems like forever since the Cubs have played, doesn't it? Well, it's only about 48 hours, but coming off two straight losses, I know I am, most of you are, and I'm sure the players are, ready to take it to the Cardinals tonight. The two teams haven't met since April 28, an 8-1 Cubs win in which Carlos Zambrano threw seven innings of one-run ball. It was also the last day of Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock's life.

Despite the two losses to the Diamondbacks, the Cubs are still 29-15 since June 2 -- the second-best record in baseball since that date (one game behind the Tigers, 28-14, and, surprisingly, only 1/2 game better than the Yankees, 29-16).

Ronny Cedeno is supposed to be recalled for tonight's game, but as of this writing, there are no changes to the active roster list. Jake Fox may be the odd man out, according to tharr's diary this morning, but it could also be Scott Moore.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
C. Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Kip Wells
K. Wells
Cardinals
12-7 W-L 4-12
3.69 ERA 5.75
117 SO 76
59 BB 50
17 HR 12
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs
Z has handled the Cardinals quite well in his career; 6-4, 2.43 in 17 appearances (16 starts). The last time he lost to them was more than three years ago, on July 19, 2004. Z has been hot, and as the acknowledged "ace" of the staff, it's time for him to step up and be the "stopper", in other words, to stop this baby losing streak in its tracks.

I hate to do this because at times, when the Cubs face pitchers with records as bad as Kip Wells' record is, they seem unable to handle them. But in this case, I'm going to go ahead, because Kip Wells is ... just ... plain ... bad. Although he is 3-3, 3.06 in 14 lifetime starts vs. the Cubs, he has also lost games to them like this one, which is also the last time he faced the Cubs.

Some current Cubs have hit him hard: Jacque Jones (8-for-19, .421/.500/.789, 2 HR); Aramis Ramirez (4-for 13, .308/.357/.615), and Alfonso Soriano (6-for-8, 2 doubles, 2 HR). Wells did throw well in his last start vs. the Marlins on July 18, but that's the first time since April that his ERA has been lower than 5.92.

Today's another cable-only day; CSN in Chicago, FSN in St. Louis, and the Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2006 version)

And just in case you want to keep track, MLB.com Gameday for the Reds/Brewers game.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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