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They're ALL Big Series: Cubs vs. Cardinals, Friday 4/24, 7:15 CT

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Oh, sure. NOW it's 85 degrees and sunny in Chicago. Fortunately, the weather in St. Louis looks just as nice this weekend. This preview is posted a little early today because it's Friday, and I thought people might want to get an early start on it before they leave work.

With Milton Bradley out for an unspecified length of time, if he has to go on the DL perhaps it's time for Jim Hendry to call up his old buddy Jim Edmonds and get him back on board. Edmonds would be a perfect temporary replacement (Kosuke Fukudome could move back to RF), platooning with Reed Johnson, and then Edmonds could (if willing) play a bench role, with Joey Gathright let go.

In regard to Milton Bradley's recent -- well, I can't call it anything more than a "tiff" with the media, I call your attention to this language from the MLB-MLBPA Basic Agreement (link opens .pdf):

Players will be available to the media before and after games for interviews. These periods should not be limited except for the pregame period described in #1 above, and the post-game period described in #2, above. Upon request by the media, players who had key roles in the first game of a doubleheader are to be made available for a time between games. The trainer’s room and players’ lounge may be off-limits to the media, but each club controls these areas, and it is vital these areas not be used as a sanctuary for players seeking to avoid the media. It is very important to our game that ALL players are available to the media for reasonable periods and it is the player’s responsibility to cooperate.

As Bruce Miles said in his blog entry yesterday, the capitalized "ALL" is in the original (I added the italics). Thus, both the union and management agreed that all players have a responsibility to cooperate. If Milton doesn't want to talk to the media on a certain day, that's his right, as Bruce wrote:

I've run across a number of players, even the more accessible ones, who ask for a "day off" and get it. And out of respect to those guys, we never even mentioned that so and so didn't want to talk.

But he really ought to be nicer about it and not blame the media for his problems. He did start this season with a blank slate, I think, as far as Cubs media and fans are concerned. Only two weeks in, there are already negative marks on that slate.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals' pitching staff has more trouble: Kyle Lohse is having an MRI on his right knee after it "popped" yesterday as he was fielding a slow roller.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
Cubs
vs. Adam Wainwright
Adam Wainwright
Cardinals
1-0 W-L 2-0
5.00 ERA 3.31
15 SO 17
10 BB 12
3 HR 1
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Ryan Dempster 1-0 3 3 0 0 0 0 18.0 16 10 10 3 10 15 5.00 1.44


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Adam Wainwright 2-0 5 3 0 0 0 0 16.1 14 6 6 1 12 17 3.31 1.59

Only 15 games into the season, the Cubs face a pitcher for the second time. Adam Wainwright gave up six hits and four runs to the Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 16. Kosuke Fukudome homered off him. Aramis Ramirez, who is a .391 lifetime hitter off Wainwright and is off to a fine start, went 2-for-3 that day.

Ryan Dempster seems to be lapsing back into old habits. One of the reasons for his success last year was the fact that he didn't walk a lot of people (only 76 walks in 206.2 innings). He has issued 10 free passes in 18 innings already this year. He's got to start throwing strikes consistently if he's going to repeat last year's fine season. He also faced the Cardinals last weekend on April 18, and like Wainwright, gave up six hits and four runs in six innings, along with one home run (Khalil Greene). Albert Pujols, who needs two RBI to get to 1000 in his career, is 8-for-32 lifetime against Dempster.

Tonight's game is on cable in St. Louis and Chicago, on EI and at the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Please visit our SB Nation Cardinals site Viva El Birdos for the Cardinals fan point of view. They're good people over there and we welcome them here to share insights on our rivals.

Discuss amongst yourselves.