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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Cardinals, Friday 8/25, 7:10 CT

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Ordinarily, this would have been a pitching rematch from last Sunday, given that there have been four days in between Cub/Cardinal games, but Tony LaRussa decided to push Chris Carpenter back to Saturday, when he'll face Rich Hill.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Juan Mateo
J. Mateo
Cubs
vs. Jeff Suppan
J. Suppan
Cardinals
1-1 W-L 9-7
3.79 ERA 5.03
10 SO 77
9 BB 52
2 HR 19
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs
Mateo threw six very good innings last Sunday against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Unfortunately, they came after he had thrown a disastrous first inning in which he allowed two home runs and four runs, and the Cubs couldn't come back. I still like Mateo's stuff, and I think he has at least a shot at becoming a good major league pitcher.

The Cubs are 11-5 against the Cardinals this season. If they can win even one of these three games, that will be the most victories against them since 1984. Since the last Cub pennant sixty-one years ago, they have won more than twelve in a season against St. Louis only three other times (1954 and 1955, 14, in seasons when both teams sucked, and 1978, 15-3, in a year where the Cubs won the first twelve).

Every time I look up the record of the Cubs' opponent's starting pitcher, it seems as if the Cub who has hit him the hardest is Derrek Lee. That's the case for Suppan -- Lee, who won't play tonight, is 13-for-27 vs. Suppan lifetime. This goes a long way toward explaining why the Cubs' offense is so impotent.

Michael Barrett notes: the Cubs have played 127 games. Thus, as of today, to qualify for the batting title, Barrett would need 394 plate appearances. He has 385, so presuming he gets four per game, it'll take him a couple of weeks to qualify again. If he does, he also has a chance to set a club record -- for highest batting average for a season by a catcher. Barrett is currently hitting .332 (110-for-331) as a catcher (the rest of his AB are as PH or DH). The club record is .300, set by Rick Wilkins in 1993.

MLB.com Cubs Gameday

Discuss amongst yourselves.