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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals preview, Thursday 9/28, 6:15 CT

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It’s time for the “hangover game.”

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Today in Cubs history:

  • 1952: Future Hall of Famer Stan Musial pitches for the Cardinals against the Cubs. Frank Baumholtz reaches on an error, the only hitter Musial faced. (Details on this bit of fun are at Baumholtz’ SABR biography page.) The Cubs won the game 4-0.
  • 1997: Ryne Sandberg plays the final game of his career. He goes 0-for-2 in a 2-0 loss to the Cardinals.
  • 2003: The Cubs retire Ron Santo’s No. 10. It’s the day after the division clinching and a makeshift lineup of mostly subs (kind of like today’s lineup, see below) loses to the Pirates 3-2.

Here’s hoping for a better result today! A couple more notes for today’s game:

  • A win today would be the Cubs’ 90th of the year, and that would make them the first defending World Series champions to get to 90 wins since the 2009 Phillies. It would also make this the third straight year with 90 or more wins for the Cubs. That last happened for this franchise in 1928-29-30.
  • Yes, the Cubs were out having some fun after the clincher Wednesday night:

Fun Cubs/Cardinals fact: Since 2007, both teams have the same number of N.L. Central titles (four) and World Series titles (one).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Martin CF, La Stella 2B, Happ RF, Avila C, Schwarber LF, Caratini 1B, Davis 3B, Freeman SS, Hendricks P

Insert “other split squad” joke here. Also, absolutely, today is a day you can start Mike Freeman at shortstop.

Cardinals lineup:

Carpenter 2B, Pham LF, Fowler CF, Martínez 1B, DeJong SS, Gyorko 3B, Piscotty RF, Kelly C, Lynn P

Kyle Hendricks vs. Lance Lynn

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Hendricks has put up a second half very similar to his performance of last year. Since returning from the DL: 12 starts, 2.34 ERA, 1.192 WHIP. The Cubs are only 5-7 in those 12 starts, largely because of lack of run support: they’ve scored 47 runs in the 12 starts, but 17 of those came in a win over the Phillies August 26, so just 30 runs in the other 11 outings.

Kyle’s last outing against the Cardinals, September 16 at Wrigley Field, was excellent: one run on six hits in 7⅔ innings.

Lance Lynn had the worst start of his career in his last outing, against the Pirates last Saturday in Pittsburgh. He faced 10 batters, eight of them reached base and all eight scored, and he didn’t finish the first inning.

That, along with a four-inning start vs. the Cubs September 17 at Wrigley Field, gives him a 13.03 ERA and 2.379 (!) WHIP over his last three starts.

You’re seeing a theme here, I think — Cardinals starters running out of gas as the season comes to a conclusion. Hopefully Lynn has another start like the last one.

Today’s game is on WGN.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday (classic mode) (Note: Going forward, I am going to link to the “classic” Gameday here because MLB.com broke the links I used to use to get to their “new” Gameday. If you click on this link, you can then click on “New Gameday” at the bottom of the page to get to the updated version. Note that the “classic” Gameday won’t load until just before game time.)

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

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The 2017 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2016. 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.

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Discuss amongst yourselves.