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Shout It From The Rooftops: Cubs vs. Cardinals Preview, Sunday 8/15, 1:15 CT

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The Cubs have a chance today to win a series for the first time since the last time they played the Cardinals at Wrigley Field at the end of July. Oddly enough, the wretched 2006 Cubs, who lost 96 games, swept the Cardinals twice. This year, I suppose we've got to settle for a couple of series wins. The Cubs still have six more games against the Cardinals after today, a pair of three-game series in September.

Today's Tribune featured a long article on the financial troubles the rooftop businesses across from Wrigley are having this year. This should be no real surprise -- Cubs attendance is down and in a recession, discretionary spending like this tends to decline. The article has some items of interest that I did not know before, including the approximate seating capacity of the 16 rooftops (about 3,000), some details on how these clubs came into existence and how the deal with the Cubs for a share of their revenue was struck, and some other financial details of the various businesses. And then there's this:

The suddenly treacherous financial footing for some rooftops has generated talk that the new owners of the Cubs, the Ricketts family, have designs on investing in the clubs or even buying them out. The family's investment in the 3621 N. Sheffield Ave. rooftop in May only fed the speculation. The family also had discussions with the owners of the Lakeview Baseball Club who were seeking investors after last season, but no deal was struck, sources said.

It would not surprise me if this happened. Tribune Co., the previous team owner, could have bought virtually every building on both Waveland and Sheffield in the early 1980's for perhaps $2 million. (I personally know of one such building that was offered for sale in the late 1970's for about $38,000 -- that building would sell for probably $3 million today.) Had they done so, they could have been pocketing all the rooftop cash for more than 20 years. If the Ricketts do buy out the clubs, once the economy (and the team) recover, they'll have a built-in new revenue source, new skyboxes of sorts, without having to construct a single new structure.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
Cubs
vs. Kyle Lohse
Kyle Lohse
Cardinals
10-8 W-L 1-4
3.66 ERA 5.89
147 SO 25
64 BB 18
20 HR 2
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Ryan Dempster 10-8 25 24 1 0 0 0 157.1 144 77 64 20 64 147 3.66 1.32


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Kyle Lohse 1-4 10 9 0 0 0 0 47.1 63 39 31 2 18 25 5.89 1.71

Kyle Lohse had a good year for the Cardinals in 2008, not so good last year, and was awful this year before having forearm surgery in May. This is his first start back from the DL after a rehab start with Memphis. He made two starts vs. the Cubs in 2009 with a 7.20 ERA. Current Cubs are hitting .355 (38-for-107) against Kyle, with the best performance being Alfonso Soriano's (.385, 15-for-39, three doubles, two HR).

Ryan Dempster has not had much success vs. the Cardinals -- ever. In his career he's posted a 4.51 ERA and 1.53 WHIP against them in 43 appearances (17 starts), which includes a loss and a no-decision earlier this year. Dempster did start that Sunday night game vs. the Cardinals on July 25 at Wrigley Field; he threw well but the Cubs lost in 11. Albert Pujols has homered five times off him (in 45 AB), but his real nemesis is Skip Schumaker -- 16-for-37 (.432).

Today's lineup via tweet from CubsInsider:

#Cubs lineup @ #Cardinals: Fukudome RF, Castro SS, Lee 1B, Ramirez 3B, Byrd CF, Nady LF, DeWitt 2B, Hill C, Dempster P

Today's game is on WGN and KSDK-5 in St. Louis. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Cardinals site Viva el Birdos.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 1:15 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.