RECORDS: Cubs 31-23 Cardinals 27-28
GAMETIMES: Friday 7:15, Saturday 6:15, Sunday 1:15
TV: NBCSN Friday, Fox Saturday, WGN Sunday
DON’T EVEN BOTHER: Viva El Birdos
PROBABLE CUBS LINEUP
Kyle Schwarber – LF
Kris Bryant – 3B
Anthony Rizzo – 1B
Javier Baez – SS
Victor Caratini – C
Albert Almora Jr. – CF
Jason Heyward – RF
David Bote – 2B
PROBABLE CARDINALS LINEUP
Dexter Fowler – RF
Paul Goldschmidt – 1B
Paul DeJong – SS
Marcell Ozuna – LF
Matt Carpenter – 3B
Yadier Molina – C
Kolten Wong – 2B
Harrison Bader – CF
The Auld Rivals move down I-55 tonight and this weekend, where the Cubs and Cards will clash for the for the first time in front of the illiterate and toothless in West East St. Louis. Perhaps for the first time ever, most everyone will be paying attention to the Blues instead, at least tomorrow night. If you’re making the trip…what’s wrong with you?
The Cardinals haven’t burst out of the gates with the Cubs and Brewers, and currently are 4.5 games back and under .500. They can’t seem to get everything firing at the same time. The offense has had its moments, but currently Paul DeJong, Dexter Fowler, and Kolten Wong have been trying to shove the bat up their nose. On the flip side, Matt Carpenter is doing that thing again where he comes close to sucking you into the idea that he’s finished at the beginning of the season, and now is going nuclear (he’s slugging nearly .600 the past two weeks). Paul Goldschmidt has been good, but maybe not quite the MVP-candidate the Cards hoped they were getting this winter. Harrison Bader has also been molten the past couple of weeks, but overall has been defense-first. The offense has potential to really carry this team through the summer, but hasn’t yet.
It may have to, as we went over some of the rotation’s problems in the spotlight. The two kids have hit their speed-bumps, and at some point this goddamn team is going to have to admit the Wainwright is dunzo and it’s never going to happen for Michael Wacha. I mean, it’s fine with me if they keep sending Wacha out there to hang a curve or groove a fastball at the worst possible time, but you’d think that an organization that is still convinced it’s miles ahead of the curve would crack the code on two-fifths of their rotation turning odd colors in the sun.
The pen has gotten yeoman’s work out of John Gant and John Brebbia. You’ll hear all about the 102 MPH that Jordan Hicks throws, which always seems to ignore the fact he’s not that good. He walks too many guys, and as hard as that fastball is it’s string-straight and he doesn’t seem to have another pitch so hitters do get to it. Andrew Miller is joining Wainwright in the breeding farm these days, carrying a FIP near 6.00 as he also doesn’t seem to have any idea where the ball is going. Always a genius move to sign and aging reliever who has been worked like a mule the past four years to a multi-year deal, don’t you think? Let’s say the Cards are a touch short in the pen, but not like, Cubs-short.
For the Cubs, they’ll hopefully welcome Pedro Strop back sometime this weekend, and seeing as how everyone else in the pen is stepping on their tongue that will be greatly welcomed. Kris Bryant can look forward to being booed the whole weekend because he happened to speak a very unthreatening truth on a fake fucking talk show that was essentially a platform for aspiring bullhorn Ryan Dempster to get a show on Marquee. Not even joking, that’s what it was. But any slight is taken an a declaration of war down there, and don’t be shocked if Yadier just tackles Bryant in the batter’s box to defend the honor of his chosen hovel. This will be point #1 on his Hall resume according to St. Louis media and fans after the game, you watch.
It’s been a bit of a rough patch. The Cubs are 4-6 over their last 10, the pen is beaten down and dusted, and the rotation needs to reclaim its standing this weekend. They got a primer stopper effort from The Cerebral Assassin on Wednesday. Hopefully the rest pick up the baton. They swept these assholes last time. Let’s have that again.