Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals Preview, Monday 5/14, 6:05 CT

Ian Stewart of the Chicago Cubs celebrates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

Reminder: this game starts an hour earlier than printed schedules have it -- 6:05 CT, for an ESPN national telecast.

More weird scheduling this year. By the end of this series, the Cubs will have played the Cardinals eight times, the Brewers seven times and the Reds six times. That's 21 out of 36 games against just three teams from the NL Central. Meanwhile, by Thursday the Cubs will say goodbye to the Phillies for 2012.

Great scheduling, right? Just wait until next year with the 15-team leagues. That ought to be lots of fun.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus RF, Campana CF, Castro SS, LaHair 1B, Soriano LF, Stewart 3B, Soto C, Barney 2B, Dempster P

Cardinals lineup:

Furcal ss, Jay cf, Holliday lf, Craig rf, Berkman 1b, Freese 3b, Molina c, Schumaker 2b, Westbrook p
Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
Cubs
vs. Jake Westbrook
Jake Westbrook
Cardinals
0-1 W-L 4-2
1.02 ERA 1.76
36 SO 27
10 BB 10
1 HR 1
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Ryan Dempster 0-1 5 5 0 0 0 0 35.1 20 6 4 1 10 36 1.02 .85


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Jake Westbrook 4-2 6 6 0 0 0 0 41.0 34 10 8 1 10 27 1.76 1.07

No need to rehash Ryan Dempster's story; we all know how good he's been and how the team hasn't been able to win for him. He has not faced the Cardinals since September 23, 2011, when, despite six walks, he gave up only one run in a 5-1 Cubs win. Lance Berkman, just back off the DL, has six career HR vs. Dempster in 67 at-bats.

Jake Westbrook is also off to a fine start this season; unlike a lot of starting pitchers these days, he has a decision in all six of his starts (4-2), with a 1.76 ERA. That includes seven solid innings against the Cubs on April 15, a day many of us complained that the Cubs were starting a spring-training split-squad lineup against him. Overall, current Cubs are hitting .227 against Westbrook (25-for-110) with one home run (David DeJesus).

Today's game is on WCIU, with national coverage on ESPN. This means that in some parts of downstate Illinois, which are considered "local" for WCIU, you might get blacked out of ESPN's coverage even if you don't get WCIU. Field reports would be appreciated. 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 post at 6:05 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 7:05, 8:05 and 8:50 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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