July 8: Cardinals @ Cubs

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Records: Cardinals (54-30, +4.5 in NL Central), Cubs (46-37, -7.5 in NL Central)

First pitch: 7:05 pm CT

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

Cardinals: Tommy Pham (CF), Matt Carpenter (2B), Jhonny Peralta (SS), Jason Heyward (RF), Yadier Molina (C), Mark Reynolds (3B), Randal Grichuk (LF), Dan Johnson (1B), Michael Wacha (RHP)

Cubs: TBA

Transactions: The Cardinals optioned LHP Tyler Lyons and RHP Marcus Hatley to Triple-A Memphis. The club purchased the contract of 1B Dan Johnson

Reading material:

  • As of Wednesday morning, Carlos Martinez was in third place in a tight Final Vote race (link)
  • The Cardinals are offering incentives (including autographs, free tickets) to those who #VoteTsunami (link)
  • Cardinals frustrated with seventh-inning call, which couldn’t be reviewed with replay (link)
  • Kolten Wong is dealing with a concussion after hitting his hard making a defensive play in Game 1 (link)
  • Cards bring up Dan Johnson, send down Marcus Hatley after Tuesday’s game (link)
  • Game recap from the Cardinals’ 5-3 loss in Game 2 of Tuesday’s doubleheader (link)
  • Preview for Wednesday’s series finale in Chicago (link)

Follow me on Twitter (@LangoschMLB), Instagram (LangoschMLB) and Facebook (Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com)


Dan Johnson brought up tonite to play 1B. A left-hitting, right-throwing 35 y/o, who had a .364 BA in 2012 when he was with the CHW. Life-time .265.

Hard to see them fending off Pittsburgh much longer with Holiday, Adams, Jay, Wainwright, Wong, and Garcia out and from the bullpen Belisle and Walden. Will see if Holiday has an impact this weekend but with a .265 minor league hitter as the best replacement option, the offense will be worse than ever. And starting pitching cannot stay this good forever either.

Can’t argue any of that, unfortunately…

Did he play for CWS at MLB level? Minor league stats don’t look great this year, though he does have some power.

They need to spend a bit more in future on a bench, backup catcher and bullpen if they want to get further than the past few off-seasons. Their strategy of developing their own is sound, but they need better backup (eg someone who can play a bit more and take pressure of Yadi, who will be worn out again by the post-season, if they do hang on to their division lead or grab a WC position).

Not sure. The stats page didn’t say. Btw…his lifetime BA is .236….not .265. All the teams he previously played for, were in the AL. And at 6′ 2″ & 210lbs…I suppose he probably has some decent power.

As for the catching situation? I personally think that Pierzynski fit in well here. But then there’s Yadi, himself. My guess is that he’s the one insisting on playing so much. I have no doubt he’d wanna’ play, even if we had Johnny Bench on the team. Hahaha.
When Lackey & Lynn pitch….Cruz would probably do fine…at least every other outing if not all. The young guys need Yadi, tho’.

Aw, rats. There’s a weather warning for Wrigley tonite. : (

Well Wacha is pitching so of course it will rain.

More worrisome is Jenifer’s tweet about Holiday’s absence this weekend. Pirates will probably catch us by All-star break with the offense we have now.

Yeah….I’ve been reading that Holliday will hopefully be back AFTER the All-Star break…at the earliest. As for the Pirates? I don’t wanna’ think bad thoughts. Just yet, anyway. ; )

Just what we needed. Hammel out with a hamstring, and our new-guy Dan Johnson gets a hit first time up!

The wheels are coming off now – that ump looked like he retaliated with that awful call to start Peralta’s at bat.

Horrible calls. Period.

Pirates will pass us by Sunday. they are on a torrid pace now.

Thee spoke too soon! Lol!

Last nights game was huge.Up 4-0 I saw the swagger,but as the lead slipped away I saw great frustration that I hadn’t seen thus far this year. MM getting thrown out seemed more desperate than a managed ploy.Peralta’s game winner my prove to be that moment we’ll look back on and say it was the key game of the season.The Pirates are hot,but even they must be shaking theiir heads.Last night’s game should be remembered come September.
And Bob,you’re sounding like the sky is falling.Don’t worry its just Peralta’s HR ball.

Well, in the post-game interview…MM uncharacteristically sorta’ laughed, saying he’d been watching Yadi the last few pitches before they were ejected, rather than keeping his eye on the ball like normal. MM said he could tell that Yadi was getting more & more frustrated by how he’d perfectly framed many of the called-balls…(ones that should’ve been called-strikes).
MM added that he’d actually wanted run out to the field earlier than he did, to calm Yadi down. But that would’ve been interference at the plate, he pointed out. Just that he knew Yadi was on the verge of blowing up.
What none of the replays showed….was Yadi jumping up, whipping around…and getting into Hoberg’s face, a nano-second after that one hit.
I don’t see it as desperation, frankly. Merely the built-up frustration of the missed calls from BOTH the last 2 games. Stuff like that, just doesn’t happen very often.
No doubt that MM will be sure that his players keep the win in mind…as an example of what’ll always be possible in future games. ; )

Interesting. Just ran across an NBC post [Hardball Talk] about the foul then ultimately but questionably fair ball down the first-base line in the 7/8 Cubs-Cards game. They likened it to the magic-bullet theory in the Kennedy assassination. And Hammel says WE stole last nite’s game? Tsk, tsk.

OK, Bob…I checked out the article, and it’s silly. Quote: “The comedian found a fellow Cubs fan in the crowd and talked about Chicago’s recent double-header sweep against the hated rival Cardinals.”
Duh…it was a split series, NOT a sweep! Hehehe.

HUGE doubleplay in the 1st inning against the Pirates.
Haley I agree that frustration is a better word for last night’s game.I do believe that it will be a game we’ll see as bigger than we thought come Sept.

Fer’ sure Dave, like double-huge! Lol. Wonder why Dan Johnson’s not on 1st, instead of Scruggs. (<<< correct sp by the way). The Cards should see if he's on a roll.
Martinez can get a little jazzed up sometimes, but he's awesome. Glad to see him pitching our first game with the Bucco's.
And you bet! That game last nite, will be kept as a reminder of what the Cards ARE capable of. Even when things don't look so good. ; )

According to Pittsburgh doppler radar…the little storm front is moving east. Nothing immediately behind it. So? The game should resume, shortly.

Hope we can finish this game tonite. With Starling Marte out? Should make it a bit easier to play the Pirates.

Another great start by Martinez. I hope he can get enough votes to make it to Cincinnati next week. (Yes the article was poorly written but I always find Bill Murray funny despite his support for the Cubs.

Well, yeah. I love Bill Murray! Just that it wasn’t really a legit comment to pay attention to. Know what I mean, bean?
Man, I can’t watch good ole’ “Choke”, now that MM’s put him in there. Just hope he doesn’t screw up our lead. : (
Will turn the game back on in about 5 minutes.
PS? MM just put Dan Johnson in. Let’s see if he’s on a roll.

Great start to the series. Hope they can get at least one more win to keep a good lead at the break, when hopefully most of them will rest up for future battles.

One down, 3 to go! Martinez gave the Cards a good start. Choate didn’t mess things up. Rosenthal hit 100mph! How good does it get!

Cards Win…..Cards Win!! Murray is classic,even if he’s a Cubs fan.

It sure looked like the Cubs gave us more trouble than Pittsburgh (who’s the ONLY other team besides us, with over 50 wins)!
Bill Murray is a classic, definitely….and will always be kool! ; )

Oh, wait. I was just wondering. How many starters do ya’ suppose, have the ability to throw an occasional 100 mph fast-ball? Just sayin’. Hehehe.

Check out MLB and ESPN sites.Both say something about Martinez and his win over the Pirates being his big push to make the All-Star game.Now I may be missing something,but who gives a crap? The All-Star game is T.V. theatre and doesn’t mean a darn thing.That’s why they created the stupid ‘if your league wins’ rule for the WS. Pumping up Martinez’s win so he’ll be on the All-Star team is self promoting by MLB + ESPN. How about the fact that two 50 game winners were going at it and that this is the toughest div. in baseball AND the win meant a whole lot more than making some over glorified sporting event.

You’re exactly right. Even Al Hrabosky [KMOX radio] commented last nite (in so many words)…that the All-Star game is pretty worthless. He felt it should go back to the way it used to be. As it stands, the game is only about trying to play each player for a least one inning, and not that focused on winning. I mean, who’s gonna’ risk injury considering the season’s only half-way thru, by playing 100%?
He went on to say that the All-Star players have typically left the premises in past years, immediately after putting their time in. So it’s looked like the players themselves, have had no real interest in the All-Star game.
It does appear to be a biased, popularity event…and nothing more than that. Therefore, in all honesty…the All-Star Game shouldn’t hold any weight regarding home-field advantage….or anything else for that matter.
The important thing to watch right now, is which teams are best positioning themselves to win each division.
About the only upside to the All-Star game? Is that it affords all the teams some off-time, to get some sorely needed rest.

Agreed, but money talks and ESPN has a loud mouth!! Best overall record should recieve home field advantage throughout the playoffs……….period.

I agree with your skepticism about the ASG but Tsunami is in the lead again and it would be a boost for his confidence to make the team. Not trivial for young guy who appears to have found his feet.

Sure Bob, I agree. It would certainly boost Carlos’ confidence. Example: Did you see how pumped Martinez got, after fielding that hit ball and perfectly throwing to 3rd for an out? It was text-book! He threw right to where the ball needed to be…not to where Reynolds was. And then, his pitching improved noticeably right after that. Goes to the point of how important one’s mental state is.
I actually voted for Martinez a bunch of times, but ONLY because making the AS team could feasibly make him a better pitcher for the Cards for the rest of the season. : )

I’ll be watching SNY tonight as the Mets will be hosting the D-Backs and Pollock is leading off. His parents are getting a bat and some balls signed by him and others for a community event.Probably a raffle or auction. A bus load went down to N.Y.My wife and I couldn’t make it.My daughter and her friends are going to see Toby Keith tonight and we want to be around in case a ride home is needed…wink wink! Next week its Tim McGraw and him I want to see.His concert is a benefit for the SandyHook shooting victims from a few years back. (26) children and (2) teachers were murdered.

Sounds like you’re a busy bee, Dave. I hope AJ kicks butt. Stats say his bat’s been hot lately.
A fan of country music? You must’ve been born in the south, no? Hehehe. Have fun & go Cards!

I expected a tough game from Cole but not how off Lynn was (though you cannot expect the starters to carry the team every night). Hope they can steel one tomorrow or pressure will be on young Cooney on Sunday.

Me, neither. No idea that Lynn wouldn’t be able to find his groove. Tomorrow Lackey, who’s been relatively consistent. Cooney’s doing OK so far. Let’s hope he won’t give up too many runs and our offense can heat up Sunday.
Dan Johnson’s had some good at bats. He appears to have a good eye for taking balls.
Grichuk is a concern, tho’. If you think about it…his count often goes to 0-2 pretty quick, which means he’s chasin’ balls.

9 game lead to 4.5 game lead………ooouuuccchhh!! That said we’re still up and it shows how important getting off to a good start in April and May really is. Pittsburgh is using alot of mental and physical energy just to get to 4.5 games back.Can’t help but think they may have started this run too far back and when they return to earth they’ll fall back some.Imagine playing for Milwaukee? Almost in the playoffs last year to out of it this year by mid-June.Makes a 4.5 lead sound real good.

I hope we didn’t peak too soon too as that was the Brewers problem last year. As they outlined the schedules and record so far, we have played ore strong opponents and will have a slightly easier time coming up so hope we can add some distance before playing mostly in the division in September.

The Cards have more talent than the Brewers from last year and being in the lead its a surprise like it was for them.
The next two games feel like playoff games to me.Good test for both squads!!!

isn’t a surprise I tried to say………sorry

Yeah, that’s the funny thing. These next 2 games DO sorta’ feel like it’s down to the wire when it really isn’t. Hmmm….

Did you hear about the Twins/Tigers game? Detroit’s Verlander had 7 scoreless innings & gave up only 1 run in the 8th, putting Tigers ahead 6-1 before the bullpen took over.
But the Twins scored 7 runs in the 9th, to comeback & win 8-6! Wow!
Clearly something for the Cards can keep in mind when they’re up against the likes of DeGrom, Sale, Samardzija who the Cards will be facing soon.
Sorry the DBacks lost….but Syndergaard brought his A-game. What cha’ gonna’ do.
And yeah, the Cards were so far ahead early on, that the lead now may seem small. But? It’s NOT! It still gives the Cards some decent breathing room ; )
Plus, Holliday’s supposed to be back after the All-Star break.

Yes I saw the highlights to that game and it was a great comeback.Nice to see Verlander throwing well again.
And you are correct about those pitchers,but I like to think of it that they have to face us.Also,if you ask me in April that we would have a 3 to 4 game lead in the NL Central I’d take it.

Hugely disappointing turn in the 8th. Why not go to Maness for DP opportunity once McCutcheon got on? And how do you weaken defense in right at the end rather than keep your best in there. They win in spite of not because of Matheny.

Well that was epic, but a potential momentum changer in the division race. With two identical blown calls leading to runs, it was not a deserved win. But the roster is getting pretty thin with Harris down, though Tuivailala did very well. Hope somehow they can salvage tomorrow’s game but Yadi probably needs a night off after this marathon which will not work well for Cooney’s effort.

Yep, tomorrow…if Yadi doesn’t play? Cooney’s at a disadvantage. We can only hope for some freaky luck.

Whoa, what a game! Too bad we didn’t win. However, if we had to lose any game this season? I’m OK with this one. The ump’s call that Reynolds foul-tipped the ball, was clearly wrong….and got us an undeserved run.
On top of it, when your catcher & manager are ejected (as the Cards can well relate to)? A win feels even more important.
Just gotta’ take tomorrow’s game. That’s all. Go Cooney & Cards!

One blown save all the first half for Rosenthal; then two straight? Another epic marathon which wen the wrong way despite a fair effort by Conney. We can only hope this is not an omen for the second half, but it looks like the Bucs have finally matured into a real contender and with the Cubs pushing up young talent, the MO formula may need some tweaking to keep the Redbirds in front.

Talk about a bad two weeks.We went from a 9 game lead to 2.5, in what seemed to be a blink of an eye.The good news is we have a few days to catch our breath and evaluate.Last night’s talk was about how teams will be buyers,but few sellers.Pitchers’
that teams have some control over are at a premium.
Last nights and the night before were tough to watch, because we are not use to losing that way,winning yes losing no.That said,its not even August yet and the 31st
is still two weeks off for any moves.
Speaking of moves our so called insider Jen has disappeared again.Vacations must be nice!

Homerun Derby was better than it ever was.Put the clock on pitchers with no one on and lets get this game moving some.

Damn! I had my fingers crossed that Pollock would get on base. Funny how during the All-Star introductions, the Cards all got boos. Even good ole’ former Cardinal, Albert Pujols. However, Yadi actually seemed to enjoy it. Haha.
Heck, that little altercation was way back in 2010. Cincy sure has the memory of an elephant, eh?. Lol!
And yessir! It was a very good Home Run Derby. ; )
As usual tho’…the AL is leading. Ugh.

I still think A.J. was thrilled. To me DeGrom and Chapman were the most impressive pitchers.DeGrom was flat out nasty.Something is wrong with Kershaw,too many pitches weren’t even close. Yadi got fooled by Holt’s delayed steal, which I felt was more of going because the ball was in the dirt.Still Yadi looked surprised. Hope we can get back in the grove against the Mets.Facing DeGrom will be REAL tough.
And who cares if Cinncy boos, its a crummy city.Makes Cleveland look great.

Alright the Cards are playing the Mets. I’ll be able to watch them via the SNY outlet tonight. Looking forward to them bouncing back with a win!!

I have a sneaking suspicion that our many comments (57 in this string alone) have worn Jenifer out. Consequently, she may not want to regularly post her previews anymore…or at least less often. Just a guess, considering she also has to keep up with Twitter, Instagram, regular emails…not to mention needing the time to write her articles. And frankly, I wouldn’t blame her. ; ) Btw….Holliday’s slotted to bat 3rd tonite….

The guy who is suppose to post for the D-Backs hasn’t bothered to post since March.
Last night was a good night,we won and the Pirates lost.I didn’t see the game,went to Tim McGraw concert………….wow what an entertainer.Great music and the way he plays to the crowd is impressive.
Back to the game.Checked the box score Lynn must have been pretty dominate. He needed the time off.Not only is Holiday back,but soon Jay,Garcia and Gonzalves will be back too.Although I distrust Garcia’s health,but when he was pitching he was tough.Glad to have ya back Jamie! Now stay Healthy.
About Jen, wondering too what the issue was/is.If its too much than let us know you’re not posting anymore or you’ll be doing it once a week.Just let us know.This sudden disappearence ( the 2nd time this year ) isn’t professional.If she is sick ,hurt or having personal isssues just let us know.No details need to be included,just a heads up would be polite. Afterall we seem to be decent people and would forgive and be sympathetic.I hope she found someone and ran off to a tropical paradise.Toes in the sand and a drink in the hand. ( Zac Brown ) referrence.Now I’m jealous:)

If you look up at the top right of this page, you can see her recent tweets…so I trust that Jen’s around & doing OK.
I do miss her posts. They’re typically all-inclusive of any current info/updates out there.
And yep, I’ve heard some buzz about Gonzales. Jen’s tweet (top right), references his last scoreless outing, albeit only 3 innings.
I just don’t know about Garcia. Jaime’s status has as much to do with his “mental” as it does his physical health, me thinks.
Last nite, Lynn did well…but Rosie gave up a run before shutting down the Pirates. Scary there, for a minute.
Do you have a twitter acct? Mine btw…is @haleno44 (Altho’ I don’t check it very often unless I’m checking for something in particular.)
Jen’s posts on twitter usually contain good info, so you know.

I don’t twitter.My phone is an old flip kind,but tough as nails.Its even been in our pool.
Just took out the battery and left them in the sun for an hour,plug the battery in and turn it on………worked like a charm.
Up against Colon tonight.Lots of fastballs and first pitch strikes.I stay we go after him early in the count.

Ha, an oldie but goodie, eh? You may want to look into Cricket’s present deal. Unlimited everything for a flat $35/month, taxes included. Plus they’ll give you a nice smart phone to go with their plan for $29-$39. (No contract, either.)
As for the game tonite? Lackey’s been solid of late, and I have faith in him.
If ya’ look at the Cards’ BA vs Colon? Almost all the Cards are hitting .300 against him….or even better.
Sure hope Carp will be swingin’ away at first pitches this evening, specifically because of what you pointed out.
Geez, if there ever was a guy who doesn’t look like a baseball player? It’s good ole’ Bartolo. Lol!

I like my phone.Whenever I need to make or receive a call it works. Playing games or watching T.V. on it isn’t for me.Plus people walking and staring at their phones look pretty pathetic. Once saw a guy walk into a bike rack, with bikes,on Martha’s Vineyard
The best part was the guy sitting one table over had to ask me what happened because he was looking at his phone.
Last night’s game was the first time this year I actually relaxed while watching.Bob you are right,lately Lackey has been lights out and was again last night. Nice to see others from the bullpen used.MMbetter be careful in the second half our pen has been
pushed too hard,MM needs to ease up.Heyward and Grichuk had an awsome night.Both combined 8 for 8 with 8 RBIs.I’ll bet you’re glad they didn’t take your advice Bob of sending Grichuk down about a week ago.
I’m very concerned about Yadi.No power and he looks so small.Too much weight loss,I feel,and its hurt his numbers.Next on the concern list is Carp.He’s falling back on the ball and looks real uncomfortable at the plate.He’ll figure it out soon,but Yadi really worries me.
Cooney tonight vs Niese.We’ll see if MM puts out a modified line-up.Bet the squad is happy they didn’t face DeGrom,who I think has the nastiest stuff in the majors today.
Interesting fact about the Mets staff……..they all have had Tommy John surgery so you could say they’re all done with the major injury stuff.
Would love for Jen to Post again.

Unbelievable marathon with a bad ending. Neither team had any finish on offense with so many left on base and missed opportunities. Too bad C-mart got tagged for a loss and hope it doesn’t disrupt the rotation too much, with that nuisance extra KC game disrupting what should be a slow week. Grichuk has had some great moments but is still learning as yesterday clearly showed.

Based on the out come and the taxing of the bullpen, I kinda wish Wong didn’t hit the homer in the tenth.Take the loss and move on,but who can predict results?

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