Cubs Beat Cardinals 7-2; 2011 Schedule Released, Includes Trip To Fenway

The Cubs beat the Cardinals 7-2 this evening, their second straight win over their divisional rivals, winning another series against them and hoping to finish off a sweep tomorrow night.

The big news today, though, was the release of the complete MLB schedule for next season. I just don't understand MLB sometimes, though. They had tweeted from various places earlier Tuesday that the schedule would be released by press release Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. CDT -- and then the individual teams released the schedules Tuesday night on their websites. Now why would you want to do that, scoop yourself?

Randy Wells threw an outstanding game Tuesday night, giving up only five hits and no walks and also getting two hits and driving in two runs. This was especially gratifying for Randy, I'm sure, because he grew up and still lives in the St. Louis area. I know Wells has the ability and talent to be a solid mid-rotation starter and if he can build on this outing, the Cubs have a good 3/4 starter for 2011.

Darwin Barney raised his average to .308 with three hits -- the first three-hit game of his so-far-brief career -- and Marlon Byrd had two doubles, giving him 36 for the year and putting him within reach of 40 for the second year in a row. The Cardinals were playing without Albert Pujols, who had an elbow problem, and Adam Wainwright got hit hard by the Cubs, who almost never hit him.

But since this year is basically done, let's look forward to 2011; after the jump, the complete Cubs tentative schedule for next season.

Some interesting highlights: Opening Day is at home for only the second time since 2001 (also in 2008), and on April Fool's Day. The Cubs make their first trip to Fenway Park since interleague play began. They'll play their first weekday series at the Cell since 1997. Once again, they make three trips to Milwaukee but play them only twice at Wrigley, and play twice in Milwaukee in a month's time from the end of July to the end of August. They'll play in domes for two series in April -- and then go to a possible snowout in Denver. They won't play Tampa Bay, Toronto or Baltimore -- the other AL East teams -- instead playing in Kansas City for the first time since 2000. They don't play the Braves till August, then play the entire season series in ten days. This cubs.com article says the Cubs don't play in San Francisco this year, but that is not correct: they play three games there at the end of August (and two series against them at Wrigley). And again, as this year, they'll end the season on the road. Since MLB wants to end the season midweek, the Cubs' home closing game will be on a Wednesday, as will the season-ender.

All times CDT. Times will be added later when available, and later Wednesday I'll have this permanently on the left sidebar. Home games in CAPS.

April 1-2-3: PITTSBURGH (1:20, 12:05, 1:20) April 4-5-6: ARIZONA (1:20, 1:20, 1:20) April 8-9-10: at Milwaukee (7:10, 7:10, 6:10) April 11-12-13: at Houston (7:05, 7:05, 7:05) April 15-16-17: at Colorado (7:40, 7:10, 2:10) April 18-19-20: SAN DIEGO (7:05, 7:05, 1:20) April 22-23-24: LOS ANGELES (1:20, 12:05, 1:20) April 25-26-27: COLORADO (7:05, 7:05, 1:20) April 28-29-30-May 1: at Arizona (8:40, 8:40, 7:10, 3:10) May 2-3-4: at Los Angeles (9:10, 9:10, 2:10) May 6-7-8: CINCINNATI (1:20, 12:10, 1:20) May 10-11-12: ST. LOUIS (7:05, 7:05, 1:20) May 13-14-15: SAN FRANCISCO (1:20, 6:10, 1:20) May 16-17: at Cincinnati (6:10, 6:10) May 18-19: at Florida (6:10, 6:10) May 20-21-22: at Boston (6:10, 6:10, 7:00) May 24-25-26: NY METS (7:05, 7:05, 1:20) May 27-28-29: PITTSBURGH (1:20, 12:05, 1:20) May 30-31-June 1: HOUSTON (1:20, 7:05, 1:20) June 3-4-5: at St. Louis (7:15, 3:10, 1:15) June 6-7-8: at Cincinnati (6:10, 6:10, 11:35) June 9-10-11-12: at Philadelphia (6:05, 6:05, 3:10, TBD) June 13-14-15-16: MILWAUKEE (7:05, 7:05, 7:05, 1:20) June 17-18-19: NY YANKEES (1:20, 3:10, TBD) June 20-21-22: at White Sox (7:05, 7:05, 7:05) June 24-25-26: at Kansas City (7:10, 6:10, 1:10) June 28-29-30: SAN FRANCISCO (7:05, 7:05, 1:20) July 1-2-3: WHITE SOX (1:20, 3:10, 1:20) July 4-5-6-7: at Washington (12:05, 6:05, 6:05, 6:05) July 8-9-10: at Pittsburgh (6:05, 6:05, 12:35) July 11-12-13: All-Star break July 14-15-16-17: FLORIDA (7:05, 1:20, 12:05, 1:20) July 18-19-20: PHILADELPHIA (7:05, 7:05, 1:20) July 22-23-24: HOUSTON (1:20, 12:05, 1:20) July 26-27-28: at Milwaukee (7:10, 7:10, 1:10) July 29-30-31: at St. Louis (7:15, 3:10, 1:15) August 1-2-3-4: at Pittsburgh (6:05, 6:05, 6:05, 6:05) August 5-6-7: CINCINNATI (1:20, 12:05, 1:20) August 8-9-10: WASHINGTON (7:05, 7:05, 7:05) August 12-13-14: at Atlanta (6:35, 6:10, 12:35) August 15-16-17: at Houston (7:05, 7:05, 1:05) August 19-20-21: ST. LOUIS (1:20, 3:10, 1:20) August 22-23-24-25: ATLANTA (7:05, 7:05, 7:05, 1:20) August 26-27-28: at Milwaukee (7:10, 6:10, 1:10) August 29-30-31: at San Francisco (9:15, 9:15, 2:45) September 2-3-4: PITTSBURGH (1:20, 12:05, 1:20) September 5-6-7: CINCINNATI (1:20, 7:05, 7:05) September 9-10-11: at NY Mets (6:10, 12:10, 12:10) September 12-13-14-15: at Cincinnati (6:10, 6:10, 6:10, 6:10) September 16-17-18: HOUSTON (1:20, TBD, 1:20) September 19-20-21: MILWAUKEE (7:05, 7:05, 1:20) September 23-24-25: at St. Louis (7:15, 12:10, 1:15) September 26-27-28: at San Diego (9:05, 9:05, 9:05)
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