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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals preview, Sunday 6/2, 1:15 CT

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The Cubs kind of need this one.

Photo by Michael B. Thomas /Getty Images

Hey, here’s some good news: The St. Louis weather forecast for today!

Today Sunny, with a high near 80. North wind 8 to 10 mph.

Absolutely perfect weather for baseball.

Fun fact of the day, after Anthony Rizzo’s homer Saturday night:

Rizzo has 16 home runs this year. He’s on pace for (about) 45. If he gets there, he’ll pass Gabby Hartnett into seventh place on the all-time Cubs list. He’ll pass Aramis Ramirez next year. Fifth place: Ryne Sandberg (282).

More Rizzo: He now has 456 extra-base hits with the Cubs, 15th-most in franchise history and six behind Wildfire Schulte for a tie for 14th place (462).

Other Sunday notes:

  • Here’s one reason why the Cubs have struggled recently: They hit .284 (76-for-268) with a .393 OBP, a .515 slugging mark and a .325 BABIP with runners in scoring position in its first 32 games of the season through May 6. But over the last 24 games, the team has hit .167 (27-for-162) with a .297 OBP, a .309 slugging mark and a .175 BABIP with runners in scoring position.
  • The Cubs need more baserunners for their home runs. Since Albert Almora Jr.’s grand slam May 22 vs. the Phillies, the Cubs have hit 23 home runs: 18 solo homers and five two-run shots. Of the 18 solo homers, seven have come to start a game or inning and three have been on the tail end of back-to-back efforts.
  • Since being recalled from Triple-A Iowa, May 6, Carl Edwards Jr. has three holds and a 2.61 ERA (three earned runs in 10⅓ innings), walking just one, striking out 10 and holding opponents to a .118 average (4-for-34) in 11 outings. Maybe he’s ready for more high-leverage appearances.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Cardinals lineup:

Cole Hamels, LHP vs. Adam Wainwright, RHP

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, look! Here’s a pitching matchup straight out of 2010.

Cole Hamels and Adam Wainwright have faced each other four times previously, twice in 2010, once in 2013, once in 2014. If you think that matters (and granted, it probably doesn’t), in those previous four starts, Hamels threw 30⅓ innings, allowed 19 hits and 10 walks for a 0.956 WHIP, gave up six earned runs for a 1.78 ERA and struck out 31.

So... let’s hope Hamels channels that previous performance tonight.

Cole Hamels was going along, having a fine, consistent year, then ... whoops, let’s not talk about his last start, which was pretty bad. Hopefully that’s a one-off.

He has not faced the Cardinals this year. His last start against them was September 29, 2018 at Wrigley Field, when the Cubs really needed a good game in a tight playoff race. Hamels gave them seven outstanding innings, although the Cubs lost the game because they couldn’t score off Miles Mikolas.

Current Cardinals are hitting .221 (33-for-149) against Hamels with three home runs, all of those by Marcell Ozuna. So — maybe stop Ozuna today, and good things will follow.

Adam Wainwright allowed six runs in five innings to the Cubs May 5 at Wrigley Field. Since then: 5.32 ERA, 1.591 WHIP, three home runs in 22 innings. This is likely Wainwright’s last year and he’s not really having too good of a sendoff.

Wainwright’s last start was his 37th against the Cubs, his most against any team as I mentioned the last time he took the mound against them, and with today’s 38th start vs. the Cubs for him, only eight pitchers in the divisional-play era will have made more against the Cubs (Steve Carlton, Bob Forsch, Phil Niekro, Steve Rogers, Tom Seaver, Jerry Reuss, Jerry Koosman and Dwight Gooden). If he makes two more starts vs. the Cubs this year (seems likely), he’ll pass Koosman and Gooden on that list.

Today’s game is on WGN. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Cubs and Cardinals market territories).

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 2019 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. 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.