Let's Shut 'Em Out Again: Cubs vs. Cardinals Preview, Saturday 7/24, 12:05 CT

This note from yesterday's game got buried in the comments on the recap, but it definitely deserves a front-page mention:

The Cards, who were held to one hit the day before by Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels -- snapped a major-league record of 2,370 games without consecutive shutouts.

It was also noted that this was the first time a Tony LaRussa managed Cardinals team had that happen, which made it easy to find the last occurrence -- September 24-25, 1995. The second shutout of those two was by Cubs righthander Frank Castillo at Wrigley Field on 9/25/1995, and it was no ordinary shutout -- Castillo had a no-hitter broken up with two out in the ninth inning on a triple by Bernard Gilkey.

I'll settle for today being a win -- but first, we've got to get clear of the heavy rain that's been falling in Chicago overnight and all morning; it's caused flooding on expressways and city streets.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Tom Gorzelanny
Tom Gorzelanny
Cubs
vs. Blake Hawksworth
Blake Hawksworth
Cardinals
5-5 W-L 4-5
3.12 ERA 4.85
81 SO 38
41 BB 25
4 HR 8
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Tom Gorzelanny 5-5 19 13 0 0 1 0 80.2 73 36 28 4 41 81 3.12 1.41


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Blake Hawksworth 4-5 27 6 0 0 0 0 59.1 80 37 32 8 25 38 4.85 1.77

Blake Hawksworth (sounds like the name of the sheriff in an old TV Western, doesn't it?) was a Cardinals middle reliever until about a month ago, when he was inserted in the rotation. In his six starts he's 3-2, but with a 5.17 ERA and 1.755 WHIP. He's made three career relief appearances vs. the Cubs with a 1.644 WHIP -- so it appears that if the Cubs can wait him out, good things will happen. Current Cubs hitters are 4-for-10 with one walk vs. Hawksworth; no current Cub has more than two AB against him.

Tom Gorzelanny is having a fine season. He's been a consistently good starter and went to the bullpen without complaint when needed. He has not faced the Cardinals since he came to the Cubs at the trading deadline last year. The Cardinal who has hit him best, strangely enough, is Aaron Miles (7-for-15, .467, a double, two walks). That has to be a misprint, right?

Today's game is on WGN and FSN Midwest. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Cardinals site Viva El Birdos.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at noon CDT, and the overflows will post at 1 pm, 2 pm and 2:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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