Series Preview: Cubs @ Cardinals (9/13/2010 - 9/15/2010)
The Cubs longest road trip of the season continues tonight as the Big Blue Train (credit: Dan Plesac) rolls into St. Louis. Despite scoring just 5 runs, the Cubs managed to get 2 out of 3 up in Brewers (including absolute gems by Demp and Big Z). They'll likely need to score more than 5 runs in the next 3 days against the Cardinals with the starting pitching we'll be trotting out there. With the Cubs playing for nothing - and the Cards still having faint playoff hopes, it would be VERY nice for this Cubs fan if we could absolutely bury the Redbirds this week. Enough of that though - let's get to the pitching matchups!
Monday 9/13 - Jeff Samardzija (0-1, 18.90) vs. Jaime Garcia (13-7, 2.69)
Its Shark Week! Smardge is back up with the big club and he'll be making the start tonight in place of Carlos Silva, who's hurt again. At this point, I really dont think we should see Silva the rest of the year. The season's lost, and might as well let Smardge or Gorzo make the last 4 turns to see if either are guys you would want to pencil into the rotation for next year. The Cardinals trot out Garcia, who got hit around pretty good in his last start. Still, he's one of the favorites for NL Rookie of the Year (and what a stacked NL group of candidates there are..), and he's a guy the Cardinals are heavily relying on as they try to get back into the playoff race in the season's waning days.
Tuesday 9/14 - Randall T. Wells (6-13, 4.61) vs. Adam Wainwright (18-10, 2.61)
Despite the fact that he's had a shaky sophomore campaign, Wells is a guy who I think should be written into next year's rotation in pen. I like the way he pitches, and stats suggest he's been a bit unlucky. He could hold down the #4 spot admirably next year behind Dempster and Zambrano, and ahead of someone out of the Gorzo/Cashner/Samardzija/Silva group. Wainwright was considered a frontrunner for Cy Young about a month ago, but has scuffled some since. He could still finish strong and have a chance, as he did last year. Either way - this will be a 2nd straight night the Cards have a decided advantage on the pitching front.
Wednesday 9/15 - Big Z (8-6, 3.88) vs. Chris Carpenter (15-6, 3.09)
This would be the only matchup you might be able to argue the Cubs have an edge in...and thats only if you use the argument about how good Z's been over the past few weeks. His effort on Friday against the Brewers was unbelievable. That was vintage Z. Here's to hoping for more of that. Carp's one of those guys I dont like and don't have a ton to say about. The Cubs got to him last time we faced him, let's hope for more than that.
Say it with me.. SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP!