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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals preview, Sunday 9/22, 1:20 CT

It’s the last Wrigley Field regular season game of 2019.

Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s something to keep handy during this game:

The forecast looks dire, but they seem bound and determined to play this game no matter what, so here we are.

There will be time later for post-mortems on one of the worst Cubs collapses in recent years, but for now I wanted to praise Anthony Rizzo, the personification of the phrase “team leader.” You can tell this man is in tremendous pain with just about everything he’s done on the field since his return to play Thursday. He is out there because he’s got perhaps the biggest will to win of any ballplayer I have witnessed in many, many years. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been enough. Just seeing Rizzo out there has to be an inspiration to his teammates.

Management needs to lock Rizzo up to a long-term deal that assures he never plays a game in another uniform. He is this generation’s “Mr. Cub.”

It would be nice to end the home season with a win this afternoon.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Cardinals lineup:

Yu Darvish, RHP vs. Miles Mikolas, RHP

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

Yu Darvish since the All-Star break: 12 starts, 73⅓ innings, 2.70 ERA, 0.805 WHIP, seven (!) walks, 106 strikeouts.

That’s really good. Unfortunately, it hasn’t resulted in a lot of winning, as the Cubs are just 6-6 over those 12 starts.

Darvish has been very good at Wrigley Field in 2019, with a 3.09 ERA in 16 home starts this year and 120 strikeouts in 93⅓ innings.

He has a 4.50 ERA in three starts vs. the Cardinals this year, allowing eight earned runs in 16 innings. Five of those runs were in one start; the other two were pretty good.

This one’s going to have to be more than “pretty good.”

Finally, a Cardinals starter who hasn’t pitched well recently. Last eight starts for Miles Mikolas: 5.32 ERA, 1.250 WHIP, nine home runs in 44 innings.

He has a 2.16 ERA and 1.260 WHIP in three starts against the Cubs this year, although they hit him pretty well June 7 at Wrigley Field (four innings, four hits, three runs). He has been significantly worse on the road this year (5.80 ERA, 1.438 WHIP in 16 starts) than at home (3.01 ERA, 1.045 WHIP in 15 starts). Let’s hope the Cubs take advantage of that this afternoon.

Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago. It’s also on TBS (outside the Cubs market territory — should be available in the Cardinals market territory).

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday 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.