Four times this season, the Cubs have gone into the final game of a three-game series having split the first two.
It's time to end that sort of thing, don't you think? A win today takes the series, would give the Cubs a four-games-to-two lead in the season series against the Cardinals, and would make the road trip record 4-5. That isn't great, but after starting 2-4, it would finish the trip on a high note and really let the team enjoy tomorrow's off day.
There's a fair chance of thunderstorms this afternoon in St. Louis. Let's hope they don't interrupt Jake's start.
Here are today's particulars.
Fowler CF, Heyward RF, Bryant LF, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, La Stella 3B, Montero C, Russell SS, Arrieta P
Wong 2B, Diaz SS, Holliday LF, Piscotty RF, Adams 1B, Molina C, Grichuk CF, Tejada 3B, Martinez P
Jake Arrieta has not faced the Cardinals yet this year. The last time he faced them was in Game 3 of the division series, and even he admitted he had pretty much run out of gas by then. Still, he struck out nine in 5⅔ innings. He faced them four times during the 2015 regular season -- but not at all after July 7, which was about the time he started his historic run. He posted a 2.42 ERA in those starts, with a 1.154 WHIP, 25 strikeouts in 26 innings and no homers allowed.
Carlos Martinez gave the Cubs just one run in seven innings April 20 in St. Louis, the only game the Cubs lost in that series. The run was a solo homer by Anthony Rizzo, but you might remember Randal Grichuk making this great catch on another Rizzo blast that stole a two-run homer from Rizzo:
So, at least we know Rizzo has hit Martinez in the past. Martinez has a 5.85 ERA in four starts in May, so maybe he can be hit harder by the Cubs this time.
Today's game is on ABC7 Chicago.
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The 2016 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used at the end of 2015. Here's how it works.
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.