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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals at London preview, Sunday 6/25, 9:10 a.m. CT

The Cubs aim to sweep the Cardinals out of London.

Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

LONDON — Once again, a site note: Because of the large crowd expected at this game, and the distance between the stadium and where I’m staying in London, I anticipate the recap of this game will be delayed, possibly by as much as Saturday’s was. So it could be as much as two hours after game’s end before the recap is up at BCB, hopefully by mid-afternoon Central time in the USA.

Back to our regularly scheduled Sunday notes...

  • STREAKING: The Cubs have won 11 of their last 13 games. They have had at least one 11-2 span in each of the last nine seasons, including two in 2016. In the Live Ball Era, they have had 11-2 spans that did not overlap 49 times. But before the current streak began in 2015, they had had only three in 20 years: 2001, 2004 and 2007. The Cubs have been 13-0 in four spans that did not overlap: 1906, 1932, 1935 and 1936. They have been 12-1 in at least one span during 14 seasons since 1920, but only four after 1977: 2001, 2015 and 2016 twice. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • HAPP-ENSTANCE: Ian Happ will be mic’d up during this game for the ESPN broadcast. That should be fun after his two-homer game Saturday, which brought his numbers up to .268/.386/.430 (.816 OPS). Hope his hot streak continues.
  • FOR STARTERS: Cubs starting pitchers have posted a 3.74 ERA (167 earned runs in 402 innings) this season, tops among N.L. starting rotations and fifth-best in the majors.the rotation’s 1.194 WHIP ranks sixth among major league teams and second in the N.L. to the Phillies.
  • LONDON CALLING: London Stadium is the 127th ballpark in which the Cubs have played a regular season game and the team is 66-60-1 in debut games at those 127 ballparks. (Since you’ll likely ask, the tie happened Friday, September 28, 1877 at Avenue Grounds in Cincinnati.) Overall, the Cubs have played games in 23 states in the USA, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, two Canadian provinces (Quebec, Ontario), Japan (Tokyo) and England (London).
  • HAPPY CLIMATE: Julian Merryweather, last 28 appearances since April 17: 0.98 ERA (three earned runs in 26⅔ innings) with one win, and allowed 22 hits and 14 walks with 41 strikeouts.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Cardinals lineup:

Marcus Stroman, RHP vs. Matthew Liberatore, LHP

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Stroman is having the best year of his career, and at the perfect time, when he can opt out of his deal with the Cubs and become a free agent after the 2023 season.

Get him extended, Jed.

Anyway: Stroman leads the N.L. in ERA, wins, hits allowed per nine innings and WHIP and leads MLB in ERA+ (196). Over his last seven starts: 1.29 ERA, 0.863 WHIP, .161 opponents BA, just one home run allowed in 48⅔ innings, averaged almost seven innings per start. That’s just outstanding.

Stroman has not faced the Cardinals this year. Current Cardinals are hitting .260 (39-for-150) against Stroman with six home runs, three of them by Paul Goldschmidt (8-for-21, also two doubles).

Jack Flaherty was supposed to start this game but was scratched due to illness, so Matthew Liberatore takes the start that he would have been the next Cardinals starter up in their rotation anyway.

Liberatore has not faced the Cubs this year, but last year he pitched twice against them and posted a 9.00 ERA in six total innings, with three home runs allowed. Unfortunately, only one of those was by a Cub still on the team — Ian Happ, who homered twice on Saturday. So maybe that’s good.

What haven’t been good are Liberatore’s numbers so far this year: 6.12 ERA, 1.597 WHIP. He got hit pretty hard by the Mets in his last start June 18.

Go get him, Cubs hitters.


Today’s game is on ESPN. Announcers: Michael Kay, Alex Rodriguez and Tim Kurkjian.

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 2023 Game Thread procedure will be like last year’s, 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.