The Cardinals are hosting the Cubs for the second
time this season. St. Louis to date has a 2-4 record, after being sweeped
by the Cubs at Wrigley Field during the first weeked series of the
The Cardinals have 14 series wins of the 18 played this season.
Going into tonight's game, the Cardinals are 20-8 at home, the best home record in the majors.
ENCARNACION REPORT: After getting off to a very slow start in April hitting just .220 (20-90) with only two homers and seven RBI, Juan Encarnacion improved during May by hitting .274 for the month, with five home runs and 17 RBI. The Cardinals need for him to keep it up during June, as center fielder Jim Edmonds is sidelined with a abdominal wall strain that could land him on the DL.
COMING UP SATURDAY: Prior to tomorrow's 3:03
game, Cardinals ownership will present Albert Pujols with a shadow box to
commemorate his 14 home runs in April that set a Major League
Hector Luna and Adam Wainwright will be receiving watches in recognition of their home runs in their first major league at bat.
ON TO THE GAME:
The Cubs defeated the Cardinals in a 14 inning marathon, 5-4 on a Todd Walker's RBI grounder scored Juan Pierre with the go-ahead run in the 14th inning, Friday night.
The Cubs coming off one of the worst months in their history, with only seven (7) wins, (this is not a typo) were looking forward to moving on into June.
The Cubs have enjoyed a winning month in June in each of their past two seasons, going 14-13 last June and 15-12 in 2004. (Sometimes you have to look hard to find something positive.)
The Cardinals closed out May with a 17-11 record and visions of a sweep of the Chicago Cubs at home, were dancing in the minds of a lot of St. Louis Caridnals fans minds.
The Redbirds are on an amazing streak of 14 consecutive winning months (two this year, six in 2005 and six in 2004), the longest since 1942-44 when it posted 16 consecutive winning months under legendary manager Billy Southworth. (He should be in the Hall of Fame and the fact that you have never heard of him, continue to disturb me, just in case you wonder why, I'm disturbed.)
The Cardinals had a season-high 19 hits last night, in spite of a short bench. Jim Edmonds unavailable due to an abdominal injury that could land eventually him on the 15-day disabled list and Scott Spiezio remained at home due to illness and has missed three games as well.
The decision to place Edmonds on the DL was expected Friday night, but just prior to game time, the Cardinals purchased the contract of outfielder Timo Perez and sent Anthony Reyes back to Triple-A Memphis.
Cardinal starter Sidney Ponson lasted six innings and the bullpen did an amazing job through the 14th inning.
Reliever Josh Hancock picked up the loss, but it was after pitching four exceptional innings of relief, giving up just one hit, striking out four and walking only two.
The Cubs bats had started to come to life before arriving in St. Louis. Over their last seven games, the Chicago had batted .308 (78-253) after hitting just .220 (72-327) over their previous 10 games and they needed some hot bats Friday night.
It was a 14 inning marathon, with nine runs being scored on 35 hits, and a total of 16 pitchers being used Friday.
The two teams take on each other again Saturday, in a 3:05 start, that will be carried by the Fox network. The Cubs will send Glendon Rusch (1-5, 7.05) to facing the Cardinals' Mark Mulder (5-3, 4.52).
Sat., June 3 vs. CUBS: Mark Mulder (5-3, 4.52) vs. Glendon Rusch (1-5, 7.05) 3:05 p.m.+
Sun., June 4 vs. CUBS: Jason Marquis (7-4, 4.75) vs. Kerry Wood (1-1, 4.50) 1:15 p.m.#
Mon. June 5 vs. REDS: Jeff Suppan (5-4, 5.06) vs. Brandon Claussen (3-6, 5.40) 7:10 p.m.*
Tue. June 6 vs. REDS: Chris Carpenter (4-2, 2.63) vs. Eric Milton (3-2, 4.89) 7:10 p.m.*
Wed. June 7 vs. REDS: Sidney Ponson (4-0, 2.92+) vs. Aaron Harang (5-4, 3.70) 7:10 p.m.*
Times listed are Central...All games broadcast on KTRS Radio
# WB11-TV * Fox Sports-Net/Midwest + FOX Network % ESPN @ESPN2
Chicago's Kerry Wood is scheduled to start Sunday, but according to Cubs officials, he may be pushed back until Monday.