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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Cardinals, Monday 9/10, 2:20 CT

The best-laid plans...

As most of you know I am a member of the Directors Guild of America, and several times a year I go to New York for meetings of their Eastern Directors Council, of which I have been a member since 1999.

So when a meeting was scheduled for tonight -- September 10 -- I thought, "Great! Right in the middle of a Cubs road trip, and an off-day, too!"

Well, not any more it's not an off-day, after the rescheduling of the August 19 rainout for this afternoon. So I'm posting to tell you that I'm off to NYC this afternoon and won't be at today's game. And guess what? Rain is approaching the Chicago area, and just might arrive in time for this afternoon's 2:20 pm CT start. Another rainout would really put a wrench in the scheduling for the rest of this month, as the Cardinals do not have another off day. I cannot imagine either team, or the MLBPA, approving playing two doubleheaders in St. Louis this weekend, in case of a postponement today. They'd have to hold it till the end of the season and play it then, if necessary.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
T. Lilly
vs. Joel Piñiero
J. Piñiero
14-7 W-L 5-3
3.85 ERA 4.28
149 SO 43
51 BB 21
24 HR 10
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs
This pitching matchup is a rematch of the one that occurred three weeks ago, on Monday, August 20 game at Wrigley Field, a game where Lilly threw OK, Piniero threw better, and the Cardinals won 6-4.

So, lazily, I am going to simply repost what I said about these two pitchers that day (with some minor updates):

Joel Piñiero 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 had faced the Cubs before August 20 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). [Jones, of course, proceeded to go 0-for-4 vs. Piñiero on August 20.]

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.

Of course, at that time I couldn't have anticipated that Encarnacion, the only player I mentioned regarding his stats vs. Lilly, would suffer the freak and horrifying injury ten days later, when he was hit by a foul ball while standing in the on-deck circle. Encarnacion will have surgery later this month; that link is mainly about the injury to Chris Duncan, who may be out for the year due to a "sports hernia". Now that doesn't make me unhappy, as Duncan hits the Cubs hard -- lifetime .301/.358/.548 with 5 HR in 73 AB. As for Encarnacion, my best wishes to him for a complete recovery.

The only TV coverage today is on WGN; no St. Louis channel is carrying the game. However, it was on my Comcast EI list, so check there or today's Mediacenter link. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2006 version) Gameday for the Brewers/Pirates game (6:05 CT start)

Discuss amongst yourselves.