Game One Hundred Sixteen: Cubs (48-67) vs. Cardinals (64-49)
Game Time – 7:15pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Thomas Diamond (0-2, 8.00/1.89) vs. Jake Westbrook (0-0, 3.46/0.85 – 6-7, 4.54/1.34)
Updated 4:00pm CDT – Derrek Lee reinstated from the bereavement list – Micah Hoffpauir Optioned to Triple-A Iowa
After dropping three of four in San Francisco by a total of three runs, the Cubs will limp to St. Louis for the first time this season. Thanks to the wonderful schedule makers, the Cubs first trip to Busch Stadium this year takes place in August … on Friday the 13th. What would ESPN do if the Yankees did not play in Boston until game number 116?
Lou Piniella is expected to be back in the dugout tonight after taking care of personal business over the last four days. But he might end up wishing he’d stayed in Florida. The Cubs have lost 13 of 15 and are just one loss away from falling 20 games under .500.
Derrek Lee made the trip from San Francisco to St. Louis with his teammates and will be back in the starting lineup. Micah Hoffpauir will be sent back to Iowa and try to pick up where he left off. Aramis Ramirez’s status for tonight’s game is uncertain.
Jim Hendry will be with the roster he assembled this weekend. Hendry made the trip to St. Louis … could he have another deal in the works? Xavier Nady figures to be the next one out the door.
The Cardinals will be without their leader for the next two games. Major League Baseball handed down suspensions from Tuesday’s brawl between the Cardinals and Reds. Tony LaRussa and Dusty Baker received two games each … and Johnny Cueto got seven games to ponder why he kicked Jason LaRue in the back of the head. Chris Carpenter, Yadier Molina, Brandon Phillips and Russ Springer received fines, but no suspensions.
The Cubs have played decent ball against the Cardinals this season. The Cubs took two of three from the Redbirds at Wrigley back at the end of July (the last time the Cubs won back-to-back games) and are 3-3 on the season versus St. Louis.
Tonight it all begins with Thomas Diamond … Thomas Diamond will make his third big league start tonight. After a decent debut against the Brewers, Diamond was horrible in his last outing. The Cubs defense did not help but Diamond had little to no command. Diamond lasted just three innings against the Reds and gave up five runs, all earned, on four hits with three walks and a strikeout.
Welington Castillo should get the start behind the plate tonight. Castillo was Diamond’s battery mate, for the most part, in Iowa and that could help Diamond’s command … as well as his confidence.
Tonight will mark the first time Diamond has started a big league game outside of Wrigley Field … and the first time he’s faced the St. Louis Cardinals.
Jake Westbrook came over from the Indians in the three-way deal with the Padres at the deadline. The Cardinals sent Ryan Ludwick to the Padres and received cash and Nick Greenwood in the deal.
Westbrook will make his third start in a Cardinals uniform tonight. The 32-year old right-hander has two no decisions under his belt. Westbrook has allowed five runs on 10 hits with a walk and 16 strikeouts in 13 innings.
Florida touched Westbrook for three runs on six hits in seven innings. Westbrook did not issue a free pass and struck out nine in the 5-4 loss to the Fish.
Tonight will be Jake Westbrook’s first career appearance against the Chicago Cubs.
Only three active Cubs have faced Jake Westbrook … Marlon Byrd – 0-for-3, Aramis Ramirez – 0-for-2 and Alfonso Soriano – 2-for-15 with a walk.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …