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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Cardinals, Friday 9/14, 7:10 CT

The Cubs have had several "biggest series in four years" already this summer.

This one certainly ranks as the biggest. After struggling for several weeks, the Cubs are now on a nice 4-out-of-6 run; their 53-40 record since June 2 is still best in the NL -- and one-half game better than the Red Sox record since that date.

A few miscellaneous stat notes: the 20 HR the Cubs have hit in 13 September games is more than they hit the entire months of July (13) and August (19). Keep this up and, as we saw the last two days, good things can follow. They are 8-4 vs. St. Louis this year, 4-1 at Busch Stadium III.

Site note: please head over to this diary if you have expressed interest in the BCB shirts that we discussed last month. In order to get the order fulfilled, azweber needs you to send your money in soon. Thanks.

Fun for today: Bruce Miles speculates on what might have been if the Cubs had actually won, instead of lost, in 2003.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
C. Zambrano
vs. Adam Wainwright
A. Wainwright
15-12 W-L 13-10
4.26 ERA 3.75
163 SO 117
92 BB 61
21 HR 11
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs
Z threw well in his last start, something the Cubs desperately need him to do in order to win this thing. He's supposed to be the #1 guy, the "ace". He's owned the Cardinals, not only this year (2-0, 2.03), but in his career (7-4, 2.45, in 17 starts and one relief appearance). He's handled Albert Pujols (.205/.294/.455 in 44 AB) well. Go get 'em!

Adam Wainwright is the Cardinals' best starter -- some would say their ONLY starter, as the rest of the rotation is converted relievers and castoffs and minor leaguers. The Cubs have beat the living daylights out of him three times already this year, including two times in St. Louis (0-2, 11.44 ERA in 2007 vs. the Cubs). Jacque Jones (.462/.533/.615 in 13 AB) and Ryan Theriot (6-for-10) have hit him particularly hard.

Today's game is once again cable-only. It's also available on EI, and at the Mediacenter. Gameday (2007 version) Gameday (2006 version) Gameday for the Brewers/Reds game (7:05 CT starting time)

Discuss amongst yourselves.