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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals preview, Tuesday 8/18, 7:15 CT

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Just one game today!

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

After two seven-inning games Monday, will having nine full innings today feel weird?

Tuesday notes...

  • NOBODY BEATS THE RIZ: Anthony Rizzo has reached base safely in his last 31 games at Wrigley Field dating to August 7 of last season. Rizzo, who reached safely in 33 straight home games from April 5-June 24, 2014, is just one of eight Cubs will multiple streaks of 30 or more games having reached safely at Wrigley Field. (H/T Ed Hartig)
  • WHO ARE THOSE OTHER SEVEN? The first seven with multiple streaks of 30 or more games having reached safely at home since 1901: Kiki Cuyler (twice), Augie Galan (twice), Mark Grace (twice), Stan Hack (four times), Billy Herman (twice), Jimmy Sheckard (twice) and Hack Wilson (four times).
  • GETTING OFF TO A GOOD START: Cubs batters have scored 12 runs in the first inning this season, tied for second-most in the N.L. behind the Dodgers (13). And pitchers are keeping up their end of this deal, too: Cubs starting pitchers lead the majors with an 0.86 ERA (two earned runs in 21 innings) and a 0.857 WHIP in the first inning of games.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Kris Bryant is just getting the day off:

Cardinals lineup:

Yu Darvish, RHP vs. Daniel Ponce de Leon, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Yu Darvish has been excellent lately, after a rough first start. He has a 0.90 ERA (two earned runs in 20 innings) in his last three outings since July 31. He’s walked just four, struck out 22 and limited opponents to a .123 average (8-for-65) with a .370 OPS in that span.

His last start against the Cardinals, September 22, 2019 at Wrigley Field, was brilliant for eight innings (no walks, 12 strikeouts), then... well, we shouldn’t talk about the rest.

Daniel Ponce de Leon has made one start and one relief appearance this year with a 6.75 ERA and 1.250 WHIP in a small sample size four innings.

Despite making 24 appearances (12 starts) for the Cardinals in 2018-19, his only career appearance against the Cubs is one inning of scoreless relief in garbage time September 30, 2018, the last day of that regular season.

Ponce de Leon does have some history with Victor Caratini, though — when both were in Triple-A three years ago, a line drive off Caratini’s bat hit Ponce de Leon in the head. Fortunately, Ponce de Leon recovered and the two are happy for each other that they both made the big leagues. Tonight will be the first time the two will play in the same game since that happene on May 9, 2017.

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here is a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. It’s also on FS1 (no blackouts). FS1 announcers: Kevin Burkhardt and Eric Karros.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com 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 2020 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/Date) 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.