September 7: Cubs @ Cardinals

Jenifer Langosch/

Records: Cardinals (87-49, +5.5 in NL Central), Cubs (78-57, -8.5 in NL Central)

First pitch: 1:15 pm CT

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Midwest, 1120 KMOX

Cardinals lineup: Matt Carpenter (2B), Stephen Piscotty (LF), Jason Heyward (RF), Jhonny Peralta (SS), Brandon Moss (1B), Yadier Molina (C), Jon Jay (CF), Mark Reynolds (3B), Lance Lynn (RHP)

Cubs lineup: Dexter Fowler (CF), Tommy La Stella (3B), Chris Coghlan (LF), Anthony Rizzo (1B), Kris Bryant (RF), Miguel Montero (C), Starlin Castro (SS), Dan Haren (RHP), Addison Russell (SS)

Transactions: None

Reading material:

  • Gerrit Cole was too much to handle for the Cardinals on Sunday (link)
  • Randal Grichuk has been activated from the DL, but he’s only cleared to contribute in one way (link)
  • Matt Belisle throws another live BP session, inches closer to return (link)
  • Game recap from the Cardinals’ 7-1 loss to the Pirates on Sunday (link)
  • Preview for Monday’s series opener against the Cubs (link)

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Line-up was switched about an hour before the game. Matheny says Wong feels a very minor calf tightness, so he’s been scratched from today’s game.
MM stated “We’re just being cautious. That’s all.”

Not looking good so far. Lynn also is down a step,and with the youngsters potential fatigue, it could turn into a long and difficult month, given how important pitching has been to their success so far.

They look like they have lost the urgency that has marked most of this season – playing as if trailing in the division. There is a ways to go though.

Yeah, Lynn has his good days & bad. Today is one of those bad days. At least the Reds are up 3-0 on the Pirates.
Pre-game interview, someone ask MM what some of the keys to winning might be. He said switching our pitches around, and not relying on just one or two types of pitches. I honestly think it was pointed toward Lynn, if he was in the clubhouse watching/listening.

Will check the final later as this is no longer entertaining. 3 of 4 games as blowout losses at home against your key rivals is not a good sign going forward. Why not look to a long relief option rather than press Maness into service so early?

You’re right. Kinda’ too pathetic to watch. Also right about using somebody other than Maness at this point.

Cody Stanley seems a little nervous. But then again, it’s his first big league appearance as a catcher. (I think?)
Whoa, wait just a minute. Choate only walked one and whiffed the next two. How ’bout it!
Good to see Kozma get a hit, at least.

Yes with no pressure, Choate doesn’t do too bad; but when something is on the line …. Good to get Yadi the rest of the afternoon off too be strong for the next two games to prevent another series loss.

Lynn’s weakness will make it tougher for them to reduce the workload for Wacha and Martinez as well which will not be great running up to the playoffs.

I didn’t think about that. Reducing workloads certainly would be affected.
Yadi needs as much rest as he can get. Lyons did OK.
I think Socolovich started one game a while back. So if we’d need another starter at some point? I suppose it’d be him…don’t you? Lyons just doesn’t have much movement on his pitches. And for a big, strong kid like him? I think his fastballs are only around 92-93mph, tops.
I’ll bet Lynn only threw fastballs today. I mean mostly. MM has a difficult time getting him to use anything other than his four-seamer. That makes me suspect that Yadi may not be crazy about catching for him, either.

That’s the worst 24 hours of the season so far; and worst 72 hours overall aside from Garcia’s good work. Hope the problems on offense and pitching don’t become ingrained and they can find a way to win this series still.

Yeah, well…we have been beaten up before, but then we came back the next day and kicked butt. : )

I always try to keep in mind that the Cards ARE at the top of the standings. They’re capable of doing a lot of things right….or they wouldn’t even BE there. Just maybe not today.
Oh, Lynn just did a post-game interview. He said his command wasn’t there. It was everywhere he didn’t want it to be, including straight over the plate.
Plus, being off for extra days can throw ya’ out of your rhythm. But you just go pitch when you name’s called.

Funny, but one KMOX guy said things have seemed odd ever since Gonzales “pinch-pitched” for Martinez. He went on to say he wonders if all these push backs have had an affect? I guess he means being a little too cautious & switching things up, messes up everybody’s routine?
Lynn, he added….was walking around just fine the day after the ankle episode. He had another 4 full days to rest anyway, if he’d been kept in the normal rotation. Interesting, that’s all.

Lance Lynn needs to be shuffled out of a Cardinal uniform!!!! He is extremely lucky to have as many wins as he has! He is lazy, and has a mental problem!

Tsk, tsk….Don. Lynn had a few issues last year. But think about how many games he HAS won for the Cards THIS year. THAT…isn’t luck.
Heck, the first coupla’ games Moss played? Everybody was criticizing HIM, of which you were probably one, no doubt.
Apparently, it was nerves…and once Moss felt comfy being an actual part of the team? He fell into a groove.
Shelby too. He was certainly a “late-bloomer”. Plus he had his stellar streaks…but could go also into a short slump, once in a great while.
As for Lynn? I don’t think he’s lazy….just a bit introverted yet emotional. Besides…at this late date, who would you officially replace him with, anyway?
He can keep starting…and then when he gets in a funk? MM may now know to yank him a bit sooner.
Baseball’s a head-game. Nothing’s really black & white. Nobody performs the same way every time. Maybe YOU do…but I personally, don’t know anybody who does the 100% thing.

What to do in the short term to solidify the rotation? They need it to be near perfect because the offense seems on again off again but rarely spectacular. Too bad Gonzales progressed so slowly this year and Cooney has recovered slowly also from appendicitis.

They apparently are bringing Tuivailala back but not Greenwood or Gonzales for the time being. So one more piece to play around with in the bullpen but nothing re starters. Villanueva has started in the recent past for other teams but of course is uneven in that role.

Yeah, I didn’t think Gonzales’ last appearance on the mound, was anything special. Nice youngster, but not quite MLB caliber yet.
As I’ve asserted all along…I feel that Tuivailala is almost another Martinez. He also, is capable of 100 mph pitches like Martinez. Matheny’s even said so.
Control keeping his pitches down in the zone, needs a bit more work, tho’. And as we all know? Control is there sometimes, and sometimes not.
I dunno’….Villanueva, has done pretty good so far. Has pitched decently. Doesn’t give up too many runs if any.
Maybe Villanueva coul be a back-up starter. We could surely use one, with Martinez & Lynn not being real consistent.
Mitch Harris started once, too…hasn’t he? Possibly another option.
Tomorrow is an evening game. But Wed…is another day game. I sure hope we do better then. Shew…

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