September 9: Cubs @ Cardinals

Jenifer Langosch/

Records: Cardinals (87-51, +4.5 in NL Central), Cubs (80-57, -6.5 in NL Central)

First pitch: 12:45 pm CT

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Midwest, 1120 KMOX

Cardinals lineup: Matt Carpenter (2B), Stephen Piscotty (LF), Jason Heyward (RF), Jhonny Peralta (SS), Randal Grichuk (CF), Yadier Molina (C), Brandon Moss (1B), Mark Reynolds (3B), Carlos Martinez (RHP)

Cubs lineup: Dexter Fowler (CF), Kyle Schwarber (LF), Chris Coghlan (RF), Anthony Rizzo (1B), Tommy La Stella (2B), Javier Baez (3B), David Ross (C), Jon Lester (LHP), Addison Russell (SS)

Transactions: The Cardinals have activated 1B Matt Adams from 60-day DL and designated LHP Nick Greenwood for assignment

Reading material:

  • Believed to be unable to bat until the weekend, Randal Grichuk make surprise pinch-hit appearance and blasts 451-foot home run (link)
  • The Cardinals’ starters have not pitched well on extra rest. Why the Cards are convinced they still need it (link)
  • Game recap from the Cubs’ 8-5 win over the Cardinals on Tuesday (link)
  • Marco Gonzales’ season ends without a call-up to the Majors (link)
  • Former Cardinals pitcher Joaquin Andujar died at the age of 62 (link)
  • Preview of Wednesday’s series finale against Chicago (link)

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Another “great” start; 6 hits in two innings? There is little to be positive about at present I fear as that rock solid pitching has disappeared completely. The Cubs with their funds for big contracts, their excellent manager and rising prospects could become the key force in the division for the next few years,

One key issues will be the actual health of some of the players they are activating like Grichuk and Adams by Belisle. Will they be ready to make a sustained impact to reinforce the offense and bullpen? They need a jolt from somewhere. 2 hits through 5 innings today.

And all those strikeouts. Lester is sharp but the hitting coach needs to get them to take a different approach (even bunting as the announcer said) to break up the flow and put Lester off his rhythm or something. 72 strikeouts in the home-stand? Unreal. They just don’t seem to be able to amend their approach and the coaches stand pat, even though other teams seem to have figured them out.

The majority of games are on the road from this point out including trips to Chicago and Pittsburgh. And the young pitchers will be losing confidence from these mounting losses (5 straight weak starts for Martinez for instance). Where can we find any reasons for optimism?

Well Piscotty has been the main savior for almost a month now. The biggest hit of his career.

Well, a win is a win irrespective of how the game began, so we’re good.
And yup, Lester was really good today. Maybe you’re right about trying a few different offensive approaches. Hopefully they’ll try to change that up a little, in the near future.
All there is to say, is we’ve gotten this far with the players we have. The Cards were winning before Piscotty even came up.
Adams has been activated. Sounds like Belisle is about ready to go. Grichuk’s very young, and the younger you are? The better & faster you heal. Wong should be back very soon.
I have high hopes for Tuivailala being a regular in the bull pen now. They’ll probably figure out how to get Martinez back in his groove. We know he’s got talent….right? He just needs a few adjustments….whether it’s his mental, his mechanics or both.
I think I heard that Waino threw a bullpen with Martinez this morning. He’s put himself on the case, it seems….to figure out how to help Martinez get right again.
Remember too….that everybody else is worn out like the Cards are. So I don’t know that it’s time yet, to wave the white flag. It’ll be a while ’til the fat lady sings.
Besides, slumps happen to everybody. Look what Milwaukee did to the Pirates not all that long ago.

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