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Cubs vs. Cardinals Preview, Wednesday 9/15, 7:15 CT: If He Were A Carpenter

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The last time the Cubs swept a series in St. Louis, one of the Cardinals' starting pitchers was named Cris Carpenter.

No, I didn't spell that name wrong -- on June 10, 1988, Cris Carpenter, who had an eight-year major league career that started with those '88 Cardinals, was the losing pitcher to the Cubs in the first of a three-game series that the Cubs wound up sweeping. The winning pitcher in the third game of that series was some kid named Maddux who was in his second full major league season.

That's 22 years ago -- the Cubs have swept the Cardinals at Wrigley since then, but not in St. Louis.

Tonight, they have a chance to sweep this series -- and if they do so, they will also clinch the season series with the Cardinals.

In a season that's been pretty miserable most of that way, wouldn't that be sweet?

Tonight's lineup via tweet from CubsInsider:

#Cubs lineup @ #Cardinals (9/15): DeWitt 2B, Barney SS, Byrd CF, Ramirez 3B, Nady 1B, Soriano LF, Colvin RF, Hill C, Zambrano P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
Carlos Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Chris Carpenter
Chris Carpenter
Cardinals
8-6 W-L 15-6
3.88 ERA 3.09
96 SO 162
54 BB 54
7 HR 19
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Carlos Zambrano 8-6 38 16 0 0 0 0 104.1 106 50 45 7 54 96 3.88 1.53


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Chris Carpenter 15-6 31 31 0 0 0 0 209.2 191 84 72 19 54 162 3.09 1.17

Z and Chris Carpenter matched up in St. Louis just a month ago -- on August 14. Z pitched reasonably well, so did Carpenter, and the Cubs hung on to win 3-2, with Z posting his first win after his rotation return. Since then Z has been outstanding (4-0, 1.05 in his last five starts) and Carpenter is 2-3 with a 3.96 ERA. Overall the Cubs are 1-1 against Carpenter in three starts this year; Zambrano has historically pitched very well in St. Louis (6-1, 1.27 ERA in 11 starts combined between the old and new Busch Stadiums).

Go get 'em, Z. The Cubs need this "new" Zambrano for 2011. Further note via tweet from Carrie:

#Cubs Carlos Zambrano is only non #Cardinals pitcher with at least 5 wins at Busch Stadium

Today's game is again on CSN Chicago and FSN Midwest. It's also being picked up by ESPN for national coverage. 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 7:15 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 8:15 pm, 9:15 pm and 10 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.