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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals Preview, Sunday 9/20, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs last swept the Cardinals at Wrigley in 2006... and they can repeat that feat with a win today.

Jon Durr/Getty Images

Before we move on to this afternoon's game, one more look at Addison Russell's fantastic game-ending play from Saturday. This Statcast video includes the numbers on the play, as well as Pat Hughes' call of the play (following Len Kasper's):

And ICYMI last night, the Pirates beat the Dodgers 3-2 to stay one game in front of the Cubs for the top wild-card spot.

Now, here's a story about a Cubs team from not very long ago that did something no Cubs club has done since.

The 2006 Cubs weren't a very good team. They lost 96 games, largely due to players aging and injuries, and after that had a management change.

The 2006 Cardinals won the World Series.

Yet the 2006 Cubs went 11-8 against the Cardinals and swept not one, but two series from St. Louis at Wrigley Field that year. The first was from April 7-9, the other from July 27-30, a four-game set.

Those series are the last two sweeps by any Cubs team over the Cardinals at Wrigley. The Cubs swept the Cardinals in a three-game series in St. Louis September 13-15, 2010, when that bad team had its dead-cat bounce late in the year. That's the last Cubs sweep of any kind over the Cardinals.

That could all change with a Cubs win today. I think they can do it. What about you?

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Fowler CF, Schwarber LF, Coghlan RF, Rizzo 1B, Bryant 3B, La Stella 2B, Russell SS, Ross C, Lester P

Cardinals lineup:

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

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jon Lester

Jon Lester


Cubs

vs. Carlos Martinez

Carlos Martinez


Cardinals

vs. StL

--

vs. Cubs

As I noted in yesterday's recap, this game is a pitching rematch of the game September 9 in St. Louis. Jon Lester outpitched Carlos Martinez. Martinez allowed 10 hits in five innings that afternoon. Lester threw seven innings and allowed just two hits and a run and retired 20 of the last 21 hitters he faced, striking out seven. Lester seems to be in the zone this month, as evidenced by his complete game last week against the Pirates. Martinez followed that one up with eight innings of one-run ball September 15 vs. the Brewers.

I'd expect another hard-fought, well-pitched game. This series deserves that, wouldn't you say?

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. It can also be seen nationally on TBS. Also please note that with the Bears playing today, if you want to listen via conventional radio, today's game is on WCFS, 105.9 FM in Chicago.

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. 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.

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.