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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals preview, Monday 9/7, 3:10 CT

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The Cubs look to end a three-game losing streak.

Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

First, and most importantly, about Jason Heyward:

Monday notes...

  • WILLSON!: Since the calendar turned to September, Willson Contreras has been a hot hitter: .455/.520/.636 (10-for-22) with a double, a home run and seven runs.
  • STREAKING: The Cubs have had a weird pattern of winning and losing this year. After starting 13-3, they went 3-7, followed by a 7-5 run. That was followed by the current three-game losing streak. So... perhaps it’s time for them to start winning again?
  • THE PROFESSOR: Kyle Hendricks enters having allowed two or fewer walks in each of his last 37 starts dating to April 7, 2019. That’s tied for the franchise mark (since 1901) set by Bill Hands, who went 37 straight starts having allowed two or fewer walks from September 11, 1967-April 13, 1969. More on Kyle below.
  • HAPP-INESS: Ian Happ leads all major league switch hitters with a .408 OBP this season, 10th in the N.L. overall. In his last 48 games dating to September 21, 2019, he is hitting .329 (52-for-158) with 12 doubles, a triple, 17 homers, 36 RBI, a .424 on-base percentage, a .741 slugging percentage and a 1.164 OPS.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Cardinals lineup:

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Johan Oviedo, RHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Well. Thank heavens Kyle Hendricks is pitching at home, because:

Kyle at home: four starts, 27⅔ innings, 2.60 ERA, 0.795 WHIP, two walks, 23 strikeouts
Kyle on road: four starts, 22⅓ innings, 5.24 ERA, 1.522 WHIP, four walks, 20 strikeouts

If you can figure out why this is happening, let David Ross and the coaching staff know. This isn’t a new thing, either — the same thing happened last year.

This is bad enough that if the Cubs had a reasonable alternative, I’d suggest skipping his turn in Milwaukee this weekend and holding him out for a home game.

Anyway, Kyle pitched 6⅓ innings against the Cardinals in the first game of a doubleheader August 17 at Wrigley Field and threw well enough: three hits, three runs, one walk, five strikeouts. The offense was nowhere to be seen that day, scoring only one run. Let’s hope for better today.

Johan Oviedo, a 22-year-old righthander from Cuba, made his major-league debut against the Cubs in the second game of a doubleheader August 19 at Wrigley Field. He threw reasonably well, two runs in five innings, the Cubs won the game off the St. Louis bullpen.

His second start matched the first one, his third wasn’t quite as good, this will be MLB start No. 4 for him. He has yet to throw 90 pitches in a MLB game or pitch more than five innings. His first two starts were in seven-inning doubleheader games, the third was in a nine-inning game. It appears that if you can get to him early, you can have success.

You listening, Cubs hitters?

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here is a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. It’s also on ESPN (outside the Cubs and Pirates market territories).

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, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week/Date) game threads.” It will contain every thread related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

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.