The Cardinals are doing something this year they haven't done in quite some time.
What's that? you ask.
They've got a losing record at home, 15-21. The Cardinals haven't finished a season with a losing record at home since 1999 (38-42). The Cubs have helped them to that 15-21 mark by winning four of six in St. Louis this year.
Since this is the Cardinals' first visit to Wrigley this year, what does that St. Louis road record mean? Let's have a detailed look: The Cardinals have won road series in Atlanta, Anaheim and Pittsburgh (sweeps) and San Diego, Arizona, Milwaukee and Cincinnati (two of three). They lost two of three at Dodger Stadium, split four in Washington... and also got swept in Pittsburgh. That might be instructive, as the "got swept" happened the first three games of the year at PNC Park. The Cardinals returned the favor last week, but by then the Bucs were battling injuries.
Here are today's particulars.
Zobrist 2B, Heyward RF, Bryant LF, Rizzo 1B, Contreras C, Baez 3B, Russell SS, Almora CF, Lackey P
The Cardinals lineup was not available at the time I wrote this preview. Please check the BCB Twitter feed for the Cardinals lineup.
Since John Lackey's outing in a losing cause against the Cardinals May 23 in St. Louis, he has posted a 1.01 ERA and 0.900 WHIP in four starts, with 30 strikeouts in 26⅔ innings. Overall against the Cardinals this year in two starts he has allowed three earned runs in 14 innings with 20 strikeouts. He'll be caught by Willson Contreras tonight, but I have full confidence that these two will do fine together. Keep up the good work!
The Cubs got four hits and four walks off Jaime Garcia in five innings April 19 in St. Louis, and the two runs they scored were enough to win the game. Garcia has had a rough go lately, with a 6.04 ERA over his last five starts and four home runs allowed in 25⅓ innings in those starts. The Cubs have been on a homer binge lately (11 in the last four games), so perhaps that can continue.
Today's game is on CSN 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.