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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals preview, Saturday 9/25, 1:20 CT

The Cubs will once again try to end the Cardinals’ winning streak.

Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Saturday notes...

  • FRANK THE TANK: If Frank Schwindel gets a hit this afternoon, he will own the longest hitting streak by a Cub this year. Currently his 13-game streak is tied with Kris Bryant (May 17-31). Over the 13 games The Tank is hitting .393/.433/.696 (22-for-56) with eight doubles, three home runs, 12 runs scored and only seven strikeouts, and he is the first Cub with three hitting streaks of at least eight games in a season since both Jason Heyward and Anthony Rizzo accomplished that in 2016.
  • DOUBLE TROUBLE: The Cubs have played four doubleheaders so far in 2021. They swept one (Dodgers), split one (Rockies) and were swept twice (Brewers, Cardinals). Six of the eight games went seven innings, the other two went to extras (nine vs. the Dodgers, 10 vs. the Rockies). Overall in the eight games the Cubs went 3-5 and were outscored 49-40.
  • NOT SO FRIENDLY CONFINES: The Cubs are 39-40 at Wrigley Field. They need to win both of the remaining home games to avoid having their first losing season at home since 2014. After defeating the Phillies July 7 at Wrigley to end their 11-game losing streak, the Cubs were 27-15 at home. Since then they have gone 12-25 in home games.
  • WILLSON!: Willson Contreras has 21 home runs this year. 2021 is Willson’s third career 20-homer season (21 in 2017 and 24 in 2019) and he and Gabby Hartnett are the only Cubs backstops with three 20-homer campaigns. Hartnett hit 24 in 1925, 37 in 1930 and 22 in 1934. Contreras’ 96 career home runs are third-most among catchers in franchise history behind Hartnett (231) and Jody Davis (122).

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Cardinals lineup:

Adrian Sampson, RHP vs. Jon Lester, LHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Sampson has looked pretty good through three starts and five relief appearances for the Cubs since mid-August: 2.84 ERA, 1.184 WHIP. His K rate is pretty low and he has a tendency to serve up first-inning homers. But if he can get his ground ball pitch working, he can be effective for a few innings.

Sampson has one career outing vs. St. Louis, a 5⅔-inning relief appearance May 17, 2019. He allowed seven hits and two runs (one earned). A lot of those guys are still on the Cardinals. I’d take a start today like that outing.

Hi Jon Lester old buddy! After that nice tribute the Cubs gave you when you came back to Wrigley in May with the Nats, then pounded a bunch of home runs off you, we didn’t think we’d see you again until 2016 World Series reunion time.

But here we are. David Ross gave Lester this Instagram tribute after Lester’s 200th career win earlier this week against the Brewers:

Lester has pitched pretty well with St. Louis, in particular his last six stars: 2.27 ERA, 1.010 WHIP. Must be that Cardinals magic pixie dust.

No current Cub has more than six career AB vs. Lester. Matt Duffy is 3-for-6, Willson Contreras 2-for-3 with a home run.

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday 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 2021 Game Thread procedure will be a bit different than previous years. It will be similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.

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 post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, 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 the overflow thread 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 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.