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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals Preview, Wednesday 9/9, 12:45 CT

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A sweep of the Cardinals is possible this afternoon.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

ST. LOUIS -- The Cubs have had a tough time winning in St. Louis in recent... decades. While they've held their own against the Cardinals at Wrigley, both the old and new Busch Stadiums have been houses of pain for the Cubs for as long as I can remember.

I noted in the recap of Tuesday's game that the Cubs last swept the Cardinals in St. Louis in September 2010, a weird series where that team played way over its heads. Not even the great regular-season team the Cubs had in 2008 managed to sweep the Cardinals in St. Louis.

Before 2010, the last time a Cubs team swept the Cardinals in St. Louis was June 10-12, 1988. The winning pitchers in that series were Jeff Pico, Rick Sutcliffe and Greg Maddux.

One sweep by the Cubs in St. Louis in the last 27 years. Also, the last time the Cardinals were swept in a three-game series at home by anybody was more than two years ago, June 21-23, 2013, by the Texas Rangers. It's time to change all that, starting today.

Here are today's particulars.

Cubs lineup:

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

Just a day off for Kris Bryant. Joe Maddon must have a hunch about Tommy La Stella, because he has weird reverse splits -- hits lefthanders (.297, 64 career AB) better than righthanders (.230, 287 career AB).

Cardinals lineup:

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

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jon Lester

Jon Lester


Cubs

vs. Carlos Martinez

Carlos Martinez


Cardinals

vs. StL

--

vs. Cubs

Jon Lester has started three times against the Cardinals this year. Let's forget about his Opening Night debacle and focus instead on this game and this game, both very good outings in which he threw 14 total innings and allowed just one earned run.

The Cubs signed Lester, in part, to win games like this one. I'd very much like to see him step up and do it.

Carlos Martinez has one relief appearance and two starts against the Cubs this year. I'd like to focus on this game, the start in St. Louis. Never mind the final score, the Cubs scored seven runs off Martinez in less than four innings, including a home run by Anthony Rizzo. Of note: since July 30 Martinez has a 5.13 ERA in seven starts covering 40⅓ innings. I would love to see the Cubs keep him on that downward spiral.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. In most of the USA this game will also be shown on MLB Network (check your cable/satellite listings).

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.