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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals preview, Friday 7/21, 1:20 CT

The Cubs try to even up their series against the Cardinals.

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Friday notes...

  • STRIKEOUT STREAKING: In his first 46 games, Christopher Morel had 12 walks and 55 strikeouts. In his last nine, he has six walks and 13 strikeouts. Morel has fanned at least once in 12 straight games, tying Matt Mervis for the second-longest such streak by a Cub this season. The longest? 20 games, by Morel, May 9-June 2. Other double-digit streaks: Mervis and Seiya Suzuki, 11; Ian Happ and Mike Tauchman, 10. Miguel Amaya has an active streak of nine. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
  • IN THE DIVISION: The Cubs are 12-12 vs. N.L. Central opponents (3-4 vs. Brewers, 2-4 vs. Cardinals, 6-0 vs. Pirates, 1-4 vs. Reds). Other N.L. Central teams’ records within the division: Brewers 20-9, Cardinals 15-17, Pirates 11-15, Reds 17-10. Teams will play a total of 52 divisional games this year.
  • HE’S HOT: Seiya Suzuki, last 13 games since July 4: .340/.379/.509 (18-for-53) with a double, a triple, two home runs and nine runs scored.
  • HE’S NOT: Trey Mancini, last 15 games since June 27: .200/.227/.225 (8-for-40), one double, 16 strikeouts.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Cardinals lineup:

Justin Steele, LHP vs. Jack Flaherty, RHP

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

Justin Steele got hit pretty hard in his last start, Sunday against the Red Sox.

So let’s hope this one goes better. He threw six innings and allowed one run to the Cardinals June 24 in London and six innings with three runs allowed to St. Louis May 10 at Wrigley Field.

Something in that range works today.

Jack Flaherty allowed three runs in five innings to the Cubs May 9 at Wrigley Field, with five walks. He had a 6.18 ERA after that start.

Despite a couple of clunkers, since then in 10 starts: 3.03 ERA, 1.399 WHIP, just one home run in 59⅓ innings. He’s still walking a lot of hitters — 4.7 per nine innings — so perhaps the Cubs can be patient hitters this afternoon.


Today’s game is on Apple TV+ (how to watch). Apple announcers: Alex Faust (play-by-play), Ryan Spilborghs (analyst) and Tricia Whitaker (reporter).

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.