Carpenter will make just his third start this season since returning from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. Still looking for his first win, Carpenter looks a lot like the "Carp" of old. He's allowed one run in two starts (nine innings), striking out four and walking two.
The Cubs will counter with All-Star Ryan Dempster, who is 12-5 this season with a 2.93 ERA. He went just five innings on Monday but that was due to the game going into a rain delay. Dempster is 10-2 at home this season. The Cardinals are now 20-31 when their opponent scores first but 44-22 when they score the first run.
Today's game may determine if the Cardinals still have a chance to compete for a division crown, or will they have t settle to get to the postseason, by the way of the Wild Card.
Six games out at the begin of play today, the Cardinals cannot afford to fall back any farther in the standings. This is a make or break road trip for St. Louis, because after this series against the Cubs the Cardinals have four games at Florida and three games at Cincinnati as part of this 10-game road trip.
NOTES AND QUOTES:
The 2008 season series between Chicago and St. Louis is tied at four games apiece. The Cubs were 11-5 against the Cardinals last season.
St. Louis is two games off Milwaukee's pace in the NL wild card standings and put the brakes on a two-game losing streak with Saturday's win.
Pujols is 9-for-19 with three home runs and seven RBIs in his last five contests and is batting .379 (11-for-29) with three home runs against the Cubs this season.
"We know what's ahead of us," said manager Tony La Russa, "Ten games, three tough places to play. This club has risen to the occasion all year long, and I expect them to do that again." After this series against the Cubs the Cardinals have four games at Florida and three games at Cincinnati as part of this 10-game road trip.