The Cubs (58-92) have 12-games remaining this season beginning with a three-game home series against the Cardinals this afternoon at 1:20pm.
Chicago needs five more wins to avoid a 100-loss season, and just one more victory to avoid matching the franchise-worst mark of 103-losses (surely that will happen, yes?)
K ZONE: Brett Jackson struck out in his only at-bat yesterday giving him 54-punchouts on the season. Through 37-games he’s struck out at least once in all but five-games. His strikeout rate through 126 plate appearances is a whopping 43-percent. Not good.
It’s also been a difficult stretch for BJax lately. He’ managed just two hits in his last 33 at-bats…walking 5 times with 17 Ks. Slash line: .063/.189/.094.
TALE OF TWO SEASONS: Bryan LaHair before the All Star break: 14 HR, 30 RBI, .286/.364/.519…74-games. After the All Star break: 1 HR, 5 RBI, .188/.264/.271…45-games.
GOLD GLOVE: Darwin Barney’s errorless streak at second base has reached 135-consecutive games. Pretty awesome. But, any idea who holds the record for most consecutive games without an error at the catcher’s position?
It’s St. Louis manager Mike Matheny, a four-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner who set the major league record of 252-consecutive games at catcher without committing a single miscue. Wow.
THE INDESTRUCTABLE MAN: The last time Chris Carpenter toed the rubber was last fall in Game 7 of the World Series. He pitched six innings and earned the win against the Rangers.
This afternoon Carpenter makes his season debut at Wrigley Field after missing the first 150-games of the season with a sore shoulder.
It seems his National League leading 34-starts and 237.1 innings pitched, in addition to the playoffs, finally took its toll on Carpenter who sat out the the entire first half of the season before succumbing to neurogenic thoracic outlet surgery (sore right shoulder) on July 19.
If healthy, however, the Cards add a real difference-maker to its rotation to make another October run. And there’s probably not a better place for Carpenter to make his comeback other than Wrigley Field where his 11-wins since 2004 are the most against the Cubbies.
Similar to the Red Wings’ Nicklas Lidstrom, who retired after 20-seasons in the NHL, I’ll be thrilled when Carpenter, 37, finally walks away, too. Those are two guys the Blackhawks and Cubs can do without. With all due respect, good riddance.
FIRST TIME FIVE: For the first time in Cardinals’ history the club has five players with 20 or more home runs: Beltran (29), Holliday (27), Craig (22), Molina (20), Freese (20). The 2008 season was the last time St. Louis had four players turn the trick: Pujols (37), Ludwick (37), Glaus (27), Ankiel (25).
The Cubs have one player with 20-plus HR: Alfonso Soriano (30)…next closest is Bryan LaHair (15), Rizzo (14) and Castro (13).