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2015 National League Division Series Game 2 Preview: Cubs vs. Cardinals, Saturday 10/10, 4:37 CT

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The Cubs don't want to go down two games to none. In order to not have that happen, they must win tonight.

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

ST. LOUIS -- If you're going to bring doom-and-gloom here, don't. Just don't.

Losing Game 1 of a five-game playoff series isn't good, but neither is it the end, nor anywhere close to the end. Win this one and you've made it a best-of-three with two games at Wrigley Field.

One other thought I had about this one -- including the end of the regular season, the Cubs had won nine straight games by taking the wild-card game from the Pirates. It's hard to sustain that for much longer, especially when you are playing good teams. The Cubs did this for almost the entire second half of the season -- run off long winning streaks, have them ended, and then almost immediately start another long streak.

Prediction: the Cubs wore their blue alt jerseys through the entire road trip through Milwaukee and Cincinnati, and then in Pittsburgh. With the streak snapped wearing them Friday night, I'd think they'll change things up to the road-gray uniform tonight. As Joe Maddon said, he might not be superstitious, just a "little-stitious."

Obviously, what uniform the Cubs wear has zero bearing on how they play. Just fun stuff, as Joe says, "Never let the pressure exceed the pleasure."

Let's win this one. Go Cubs.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Soler RF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Castro 2B, Jackson LF, Montero C, Hendricks P, Russell SS

Cardinals lineup:

Carpenter 3B, Piscotty RF, Holliday LF, Heyward CF, Peralta SS, Moss 1B, Molina C, Wong 2B, Garcia P

Today's Starting Pitchers

Kyle Hendricks

Kyle Hendricks


Cubs

vs. Jaime Garcia

Jaime Garcia


Cardinals

vs. StL

--

vs. Cubs

Kyle Hendricks had his struggles much of this year, but was very good to lights-out over his last three regular-season starts: 1.50 ERA in 18 innings, a 0.500 WHIP (seven hits and two walks allowed) and 25 strikeouts, this from a guy who really isn't a strikeout pitcher. He gave up no runs at all in his final 12 innings, six of those against the Royals. He'll have to be careful around Matt Holliday, who is 6-for-12 against him with two home runs.

Jaime Garcia has missed big chunks of time over the last three seasons with various injuries. Thus he has not faced the Cubs since April 23, 2012, and I include that boxscore for amusement value only. Interestingly enough, though Miguel Montero usually doesn't hit lefties well, he has two hits in his only two career at-bats against Garcia, including a home run. Starlin Castro is 4-for-13 against him with a double.

Those are very small-sample-size bits and likely mean little. What might mean more is Garcia's 4.25 ERA and 1.382 WHIP over his last five regular-season starts this year, with two home runs allowed. Is he wearing down? Let's hope so.

Today's game is on TBS. Announcers: Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Dennis Eckersley and Joe Simpson (analysts) and reporter Matt Winer.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Cardinals site Viva el Birdos. If you do go there to interact with Cardinals fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2015 Game Thread procedure has changed a bit. Here's how it will work going forward. (And a reminder that a "Rapid Recap" will be posted here by Josh shortly after the game ends, with my own recap at the usual time, 8 a.m. CT tomorrow.)

You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream™ containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap 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 the game's StoryStream™ as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.