Blackout Saturday: Cubs vs. Cardinals, Saturday 4/18, 2:40 CT

Which markets will the magic Fox wizard send the Cubs/Cardinals game to today? "Check local listings!"

Last year, there was a Fox-TV page that listed every market and the game its local Fox station was carrying. Unfortunately, that page is stuck on the games from last September 27 and hasn't been updated. Today, the Yankees/Indians, Cubs/Cardinals and Rockies/Dodgers are the three selections -- which means if you are on the East Coast or West Coast (or in the Denver or Cleveland spheres of influence), you are probably out of luck to see today's game.

Once again, a cry goes out to Bud Selig: "Let our people watch!" There is no technological reason why it couldn't be set up via MLB.TV for people to watch online, while still getting fed the local Fox commercials in their market. Why they wouldn't want to increase the number of eyeballs is beyond me. They don't seem to understand that a Cubs fan in NYC, given only a Yankees/Indians game, is going to turn the television OFF when he/she can't see the Cubs.

Before we move on to today's game, I wanted to say a few words about yesterday's game threads. I have not had a chance to look through the entire threads, but I understand things got a little, um, contentious. We all are passionate about the game and the Cubs, and believe me, I do understand how some negative feelings can come out when the Cubs aren't doing well. However, I would ask for people to please tone down the negativity -- look how quickly things can turn around, as they did yesterday -- and also, two other requests: please, no personal attacks on other posters, and try to keep the profanity to a minimum. The game threads are supposed to include everyone, and unfortunately, the Cubs can't win every single game (even though we wish they could!). Let's try at least to be nice to each other when things aren't going well. Thanks.

Back to baseball: Lou says be patient with the bullpen, but also echoed what I said Thursday about the starters:

"The job of a bullpen pitcher is to get outs," Piniella said. "What difference does it make if you're pitching the sixth or seventh or eighth? I said in spring our chore was finding a pitcher for the seventh. If we get into the seventh with our starters, it really helps our situation. The most important thing is for our starters to get us into the shorter part of our bullpen. I think that will help out."

Meanwhile, Bruce Miles reports that nothing's new with Milton Bradley:

For the second straight day, outfielder Milton Bradley declined to talk about Thursday's ejection and the possibility he might be suspended by Major League Baseball.

Bradley has not started since Sunday, when he strained his right groin. He was tossed from Thursday's game after being called out on strikes by umpire Larry Vanover. The Cubs said they had not heard from MLB on whether it might suspend Bradley for possibly making contact with Vanover.

"I don't know what I can say," Piniella said. "I sent him up there to hit. Three and two pitch didn't look like a good pitch to me. Again, umpires- I don't know how to answer your question, I'm going to be honest with you. If I don't know how to answer it, I might as well not."

Piniella also seems antsy to get the oft-injured Bradley back into the lineup.

"He's getting better; he's just not quite there yet," Piniella said.

Maybe Milton can play today. The weather's supposed to cooperate.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
Cubs
vs. Kyle Lohse
Kyle Lohse
Cardinals
1-0 W-L 2-0
4.50 ERA 1.12
11 SO 8
6 BB 1
2 HR 1
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Ryan Dempster 1-0 2 2 0 0 0 0 12.0 12 6 6 2 6 11 4.50 1.50


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Kyle Lohse 2-0 2 2 1 1 0 0 16.0 8 3 2 1 1 8 1.13 .56

While Kyle Lohse never pitched in the majors for the Cubs, he was in the organization and part of one of the worst trades in recent Cub history when he and Jason Ryan (who was the hot prospect at the time; Lohse was the throw-in) were sent to the Twins in 1999 for the remains of Rick Aguilera. Lohse has been up and down during his career, but is off to a really good start this year. In his career against the Cubs, though, he is only 1-2, 5.15 in 7 starts. Several Cubs hit him hard: Alfonso Soriano (.371, 13-for-35, 2 HR); Ryan Theriot (.529, 9-for-17); Derrek Lee (.400, 6-for-15), and Aramis Ramirez (.636, 7-for-11, a HR). Keep up the good work!

Ryan Dempster struggled through six innings last Sunday in Milwaukee, but got a win because the Cubs pounded Brewers pitchers. He will have to throw better today. Skip Schumaker (7-for-18) and Ryan Ludwick (5-for-10) hit him well; he's handled Albert Pujols pretty well, as have most Cubs pitchers (8-for-30, .267, 2 HR).

It's kind of pointless for me to post the MLB.com Mediacenter today, since it won't help you watch the Cubs game if it's not in your market. In case you want to listen via audio, or watch another game after 6 pm CDT, there it is.

MLB.com Gameday

With today's weird start time, the first pitch thread will post at 2:30 pm CDT; overflows will post at 3:45, 4:45 and 5:30.

And, for the Cardinals fan point of view, please visit our SBN Cardinals site, Viva El Birdos.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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