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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Cardinals, Monday 8/20, 1:20 CT

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Obviously, there's no morning recap of last night's deluge; what you may or may not have seen on ESPN (I'd tend to doubt it, as ESPN often misses these things) was the fact that even though the rain had briefly stopped, causing many in the remnant of the crowd that remained (I myself took off at 8:45, having checked the radar on my cellphone and saw huge blobs of red and yellow, indicating several more hours of rain after a brief break) to jeer the postponement announcement at 9:41, there were several large areas of standing water on the field. Even if it had stopped raining for good, the ground crew likely had an hour to an hour and a half of work to get the field into anything resembling playing shape.

Today's forecast doesn't look too promising, either:

Today: Periods of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 1pm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 77. South southeast wind between 5 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
However, this local radar map seems to indicate we might get a break in the rain. Let's hope so, because it's going to be hard enough to make up the one rainout, much less two.

So before we move on to today's game, let's look at the possibilities for making up last night's game. The two teams are both off next Monday, August 27, and Monday, September 10. The 9/10 date is out because both the Cubs and Cardinals will be in the middle of road trips and it would make no sense to have BOTH teams have to fly back to Chicago for a single game. Next Monday is a possibility -- it would likely have to be a night game, because the Cubs are returning from Arizona after Sunday's 3:40 pm CT start, and thus would likely not be back in Chicago before midnight. However, playing next Monday -- which, since this is the Cardinals' last visit to Chicago, requires MLBPA approval -- would force both the Cubs and Cardinals to play twenty-eight days in a row.

The team websites have slightly different thoughts on this.

From the Cubs' website:

Rain was in the forecast all night Sunday and Monday as well, and both sides hoped to avoid a doubleheader. No makeup date was announced, because it wasn't possible Sunday night for the two teams plus Major League Baseball plus the Players Association to meet to agree on a day.

"I wouldn't say off-days are sacred, but I think a lot of guys would rather play a game on an off-day than play a doubleheader this late in the season," Cubs reliever Scott Eyre said.

Both teams have Aug. 27 and Sept. 10 off. The Cubs and Cardinals are already playing a doubleheader Sept. 15 in St. Louis to make up the April 29 game postponed by the death of St. Louis pitcher Josh Hancock.

That link also says that Carlos Zambrano, who threw 44 pitches last night, offered to pitch tomorrow's game in San Francisco. My feeling is that this is a good idea -- Z didn't overextend himself last night and this would give everyone else an extra day off.

Here's the Cardinals website take:

No makeup date was announced, though Aug. 27, Sept. 10 and Oct. 1 are the possibilities. The earliest date would provide the fewest travel problems. It falls between a home game and a brief one-series road trip for St. Louis, and before a homestand for Chicago. The Sept. 10 off-day falls between cities of a multi-series road trip for each team. The other possibility is the day after the regular season is scheduled to end.
Here's what I would do: hold this game and play it on October 1, if necessary. This would give both teams the day off next Monday, avoid travel problems, and they wouldn't have to make it up if they don't need to -- and the ONLY way they'd make it up is if one team is within 1/2 game of the other for a playoff spot (this happened a year ago, too, to the Cardinals -- their Sept. 17, 2006 game vs. the Giants was postponed, and had the Cardinals lost their last regular season game vs. Milwaukee, or if Houston had defeated Atlanta on the last day, that game would have been made up). Of course, all bets are off if today's game is also postponed. You can bet they'll do whatever they can to get five innings in today.
Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
T. Lilly
Cubs
vs. Joel Piniero
J. Piniero
Cardinals
13-5 W-L 3-2
3.74 ERA 4.25
129 SO 30
43 BB 16
21 HR 6
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs
Joel Piniero was throwing exclusively in relief for the Red Sox -- 31 appearances covering 34 innings, with a 5.03 ERA. (The stats in the box above are his combined AL & NL stats for this year.) Since coming to the Cardinals he's made three starts, one bad one, one very good one, and one decent one, totalling a 2-1 record with a 2.84 ERA. The only time he has faced the Cubs was when he was a Mariner, on June 7, 2002, a game the Cubs won. He has faced very few of the 2007 Cubs, but one who hits him hard is the currently-hot Jacque Jones (.355/.355/.581, 11-for-31, 4 doubles, 1 HR).

Ted Lilly lost to St. Louis on April 20 at Wrigley Field, though he gave up only two ER in 7 IP, and beat them in St. Louis last month, giving them only one run in 7 IP. Juan Encarnacion has gone 7-for-14 in his career vs. Lilly.

Here is today's Mediacenter link; the game is a cable-only telecast in both Chicago & St. Louis.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2006 version)

MLB.com Gameday for tonight's Brewers/Diamondbacks game

Discuss amongst yourselves.