September 20: Cardinals @ Cubs

Jenifer Langosch/

Records: Cardinals (92-56, +4.0 in NL Central), Cubs (87-61, -5.0 in NL Central)

First pitch: 1:20 pm CT

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Midwest, TBS, 1120 KMOX

Cardinals lineup: Matt Carpenter (3B), Tommy Pham (CF), Jason Heyward (RF), Jhonny Peralta (SS), Stephen Piscotty (LF), Kolten Wong (2B), Yadier Molina (C), Brandon Moss (1B), Carlos Martinez (RHP)

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

Transactions: None

Reading material:

  • The Cardinals become the Majors’ first team to clinch a spot in the postseason (link)
  • A day after being called vigilantes, the Cardinals watch the Cubs hit their batters three times (link)
  • Game recap from the Cubs’ 5-4 win over the Cardinals on Saturday (link)
  • Manager Mike Matheny declines to engage in a war of words with Cubs manager Joe Maddon (link)
  • Preview of Sunday’s series finale in Chicago (link)

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Pre-game, they were talking about the idea of taking Martinez of the rotation and putting him in the bullpen for post-season. Reason being, that Martinez would then be available for more games as a reliever. With his nasty stuff, he’d be our best bet to shut games down…and could likely do it easier than anybody else.

Well the kids have certainly taken on energy from the close call and HBP yesterday and the great slide by Heyward shows their commitment today. Will see if Martinez can have the energy in an effective way to keep them ahead and keep his emotions in check. But Kershaw again faltered so Pirates did make up some ground yesterday.

But I hope they don’t overdo it either – best if Molina doesn’t go in hard at second as it would be much worse for him to be injured than for an out to be made there.

And then the over aggression on the steal attempt with he slow Moss. But at least the top of the order will lead off the 3rd.

Yes, some pre-game discussion that MM’s been telling Yadi he needs him to stay in the games. So, even if he doesn’t have the best at-bats, don’t worry. Don’t over-do base-running, and other things either.

They will need Martinez in the rotation. Lynn cannot cut it and they need 4 starters, with Lackey, Wacha and Garcia. Demoting Carlos would also demoralize him I fear.

Well, Maddon uses specific starters, but also picks different bullpen guys as his starters too. Like yesterday. MM could try going that route too, no?

Now the Cubs are tweaking the field at first base to compensate for Lester’s inability to hold people on base? Looks like Madden has brought a new standard of “fair play” to the division (and I don’t think Kang’s statement on the slide which ended his season proved it wasn’t dirty – what else is a rookie from another culture supposed to say given the culture of the sport).

Oops a bit over confident in Lester’s weakness there – at least they added tot he lead a bit.

You apparently weren’t the only one who underestimated Lester’s pick-off abilities. Hahaha.

And again too aggressive there. Let’s hope Martinez can keep his cool after that last inning; very poor calls on some pitches. Momentum appears to be shifting here.

If HBP is renewable how come Matheny didn’t review the HBP on Rizzo on Friday? Ridiculous gamesmanship by Castro as that looked like another miss.

Well, even tho’ the ball didn’t exactly hit Rizzo….it did brush against the pant-leg fabric. So, a slight touch might be considered contact, anyway. Not worth challenging, but definitely worth taking another look later on.

With that double play the 8th by Heyward and Molina, this has been a truly extraordinary game. Will have to hope Molina is not badly affected how can he catch Rosenthal’s heavy pitches. Will catching 100 miles and hour make him worse?

Cruz earned his entire pay check today with that throw!!!

…and THEN some, Dave! That’s what I was frustrated about the other day, when asking instead of Cruz…why go with another back-up catcher like Cody Stanley (at the time) or Ed Easley. Cruz doesn’t get the respect he deserves, in my opinion.
I’m only glad this didn’t go into extra-innings. The poor guys gotta’ catch a plane back & play another series tomorrow. Whew.
And Rosie was sure sumpin’! He hit 101mph from what I saw. Who knows…he could’ve hit 102 when I wasn’t looking. Hahaha.

Yes he did. Not good if Yadi misses extended time though. I think its the same thumb which kept him out last year. Pirates look set to take 2 of 3 from Dodgers so the lead will probably stay at 4.

Given how Matheny keeps things close t his chest, this is worrisome:

Jenifer Langosch ‏@LangoschMLB 33m33 minutes ago
Matheny said he’s “concerned” over thumb injury to Yadier Molina. The #STLCards catcher will have an MRI tomorrow.

The only thing we can do…is wait & see, Roberto. The replay honestly didn’t look or seem that bad. But in slow-mo, nothing looks as fierce as it probably is in real-time.
Will keep my thumbs, er…uh…my fingers crossed. : )

I just now checked to be sure. Yadi’s right thumb (on his throwing hand) was the one he hurt before and had tendon surgery on a few months ago.
Today’s injury however….was to his gloved or left hand thumb. So at least it wasn’t a re-injury to the same thumb he’d hurt before.

All the above is true about Yadi. The good news is he could sit the rest of the way because we are in the playoffs.Of course winning the division is a major prioity. Check out tonight’s line up. Looks like alot of our future is playing tonight.Glad that Grichuk is back. He’ll need some games to shake the rust off, but he, more than Holiday, will be needed in the playoffs…….IMO. Garcia tonight. A good outing and he will cement his starting role in the playoffs……..Wacha Garcia Lackey with Martinez the 4th man if needed. Lynn should be in the pen AND will be, I think, in an off-season trade. That trade might even include Lyons if the right bat is available.Hmmm,
lets say Lynn,Lyons and Borjous for …..let me think……. POLLOCK!!!!!!!
Get me Pollock MO!!!! My wife and A.J.’s mom were on the phone the other night. A.J. misses the local Fire Dept.’s chicken barbecue, which is next weekend.

I think you might be right. Lynn & Lyons with Bourjos for somebody. And if that happens? Lynn’s gonna’ be surprised. He’s been convinced that his fast-ball is stellar & what wins games. Unfortunately his win/loss column’s been creeping down toward the .500-range lately. I was all for trading him last year, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt since MM seemed to think he could do the job.
Lyons may turn out to be a great pitcher eventually. But he needs a year or two yet, to hone his skills.
Sure, nice if we COULD get Pollock but…

Molina has very slightly torn thumb ligament, but hopes to be good for post season. Mo purchased contract of 27 y/o 6′ 0″, 205lb catcher Travis Tartamella from Memphis Red Birds. He used to catch for Rosenthal before Trevor came up. BA currently only around .200….but Mo said he wanted him primarily for his defense.
Tonite, Grickuk, Pham & Heyward in OF, Piscotty at 1B. Otherwise, the usual suspects, including Cruz of course.
Not quite sure what it meant today, when they posted that “Wainwright is cleared for baseball activities”.

A bit of a blow to have Yadi out, as division might slip away. But he hasn’t been strong at the plate lately and would be refreshed for the playoffs. Just will be tougher for our young starters. I hope the hitters change their approach against those good Reds rookies and they can win 2 or 3 in this series.

Well, at least Cruz has had a few good at-bats lately. Maybe that will continue.

Oh, apparently Scruggs WAS on our 40-man roster. But he was sent back down to the minors to make room for this new catcher, Tartamella.

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