Cubs vs. Cardinals Preview, Wednesday 5/8, 1:20 CT

USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals will head out of town, less than 24 hours after the first pitch of this series. Perhaps the Cubs can treat them to a pair of defeats.

Quick, without looking: when is the last time the Cubs won a series from the Cardinals?

You'll be surprised to hear, given the fact that St. Louis won the season series from the Cubs 10-7 in 2012, that the Cubs not only won a series against their division rivals in 2012, they actually won two series from them -- the first two played at Wrigley Field last year (April 23-24-25 and July 27-28-29). The Cubs won two of three in both of those series and three of the four wins were walkoffs. The Cubs went 5-4 against the Cardinals in Chicago in 2012, but just 2-6 in St. Louis.

Don't need a walkoff today, but winning this abbreviated two-game set would be nice.

If you missed this in Josh's minor-league recap, this detail from the Tennessee game is worth noting:

16-0. Maybe it's better that Kyuji Fujikawa avoided that one. He's still expected to join the team in Washington for the series against the Nationals this weekend. I'd guess Rafael Dolis is headed back to Des Moines, although it's possible Shawn Camp could be on his way to DFA-land.

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus CF, Castro SS, Valbuena 2B, Rizzo 1B, Schierholtz RF, Sweeney LF, Navarro C, Ransom 3B, Villanueva P

Well, that's different. A day off for Darwin Barney won't hurt. FWIW, Cody Ransom has faced Jake Westbrook for three at-bats. Westbrook has struck him out three times.

Cardinals lineup:

Carpenter 2B, Beltran RF, Holliday LF, Craig 1B, Molina C, Jay CF, Freese 3B, Kozma SS, Westbrook P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Carlos Villanueva

Carlos Villanueva


Cubs

vs. Jake Westbrook

Jake Westbrook


Cardinals

vs. StL

--

vs. Cubs


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Carlos Villanueva 1-2 6 6 0 0 0 0 41.0 27 13 13 5 11 33 2.85 .93


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Jake Westbrook 2-1 5 5 1 1 0 0 33.2 30 5 4 0 17 18 1.07 1.40

Carlos Villanueva is off to a good start this year, as you know. His last start against the Cardinals was June 25, 2011 in St. Louis while he was with the Blue Jays; it wound up well (six innings, two earned runs, a win). Current Cardinals are a small-sample-size 12-for-50 (.240) against him. Keep up the good work, Carlos.

Jake Westbrook is leading the National League coming into today's game with a 1.08 ERA, which translates to an ERA+ of 354. (That's not a typo: three hundred fifty-four.) Small sample size and all, that's very, very good. Last year he faced the Cubs twice and allowed one earned run in 14 innings, winning both games. Current Cubs are hitting .223 against him (31-for-139) with one home run (David DeJesus). Sounds like doom is in our future.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

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.

Here's the scoop on game threads for 2013. You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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