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Cubs vs. Cardinals Preview, Tuesday 9/23, 7:05 CT

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The Cubs must win tonight and tomorrow in order to have a winning season at Wrigley Field in 2014.

Brian Kersey

The numbers again, and they aren't pretty:

  • The Cubs must win four of the five remaining games to avoid losing 90 for the fourth straight year.
  • The Cubs must win both of the remaining home games to have a winning season at Wrigley Field for the first time since 2009.

It won't be an easy task. The potential good news is that winning even one of the two remaining home games would prevent the Cardinals from clinching the N.L. Central title at Wrigley. Now that's a goal we can all get behind, I think.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Alcantara CF, Baez SS, Rizzo 1B, Soler RF, Valbuena 3B, Castillo C, Valaika 2B, Szczur LF, Hendricks P

Cardinals lineup:

Carpenter 3B, Jay CF, Holliday LF, Adams 1B, Peralta SS, Molina C, Grichuk RF, Wong 2B, Miller P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Kyle Hendricks

Kyle Hendricks


Cubs

vs. Shelby Miller

Shelby Miller


Cardinals

vs. StL

--

vs. Cubs

This will be Kyle Hendricks' third start against the Cardinals, so it will be a good test of how he does when a team has seen him multiple times. He did well in the other two starts, throwing a total of 12⅓ innings and allowing just three runs. Hendricks is already slated to start the final game of the season in Milwaukee. It would be good to see him have a strong finish to 2014.

This will also be Shelby Miller's third start against the Cubs this year. Like Hendricks, he did well in the other two outings, a total of 13⅔ innings with four runs allowed. The Cubs won the second of the previous two Miller starts, August 29 in St. Louis, off the Cardinals' bullpen. That would work for me tonight.

It's supposed to be another cool evening, and though we didn't get a pitchers' duel Monday night, I think we could have one tonight.

Today's game is on WCIU. WCIU games can also be seen on the following channels: Springfield/Decatur/Champaign, WCIX 49.2; Peoria, WAOE 59.1; Des Moines, WHO 13.2; Quad Cities (Davenport/Moline), WQAD 8.2 or 8.3; Ft. Wayne, WANE 15.2; South Bend, WMYS 69; Rockford, WTVO 17.2; Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City-Dubuque KCRG 9.2.

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.

For 2014, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as 2013. Here's how it works.

You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.