Pregame Notes: Cubs looking to lock down first series victory against the Cardinals


Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

After an 11-inning grudge match last night, the Chicago Cubs (4-6) will look to build on that terrific victory, meanwhile searching for their first series win at the same time. Before the game, however, there was a roster move coming out of St. Louis.

According to CSN`s Patrick Mooney, after playing in three extra inning games in ten days, the Cubs have brought up left-hander Chris Rusin who served as a starter in Triple-A, and optioned Brian Schlitter back to Iowa. The Cubs were likely in need of a possible long reliever in Rusin to take some of the stress off the busy bullpen.

Carlos Villanueva (1-2, 4.26 ERA), the man who beat Rusin out for the fifth starter job in Spring Training, will get his second start of the year in place of Jake Arrieta. Last time out, Villanueva did exactly what you want a swing man to do, pitching  five innings of one-run ball against the Phillies. With Arrieta progressing in his rehab stint, Villanueva might only have a couple more starts left for the time being.

The Cubs have a very difficult opponent in this one, with Adam Wainwright (1-1, 1.29 ERA) set to take the mound. Wainwright has allowed just just two runs in 14 innings so far in the season, so the Cubs might need a little luck to beat one of the National League`s best pitchers.

The lineup looks a bit different for today`s contest, with Junior Lake leading off and playing left instead of Ryan Kalishand Emilio Bonifacio on the bench. With just one hit in his last nine at-bats, Bonifacio will sit today in favor of Darwin Barney who has certainly been having better at-bats in the early going (six walks, .391 OBP). Luis Valbuena once again gets the start against the right-hander, Starlin Castro is back in the six slot, and last night`s hero, Welington Castillo, will ride the pine.

The game today will be on CSN if you want to watch, and will be on the radio once again at WGN 720. First pitch is slated for 1:15 CT, and here`s how the two teams will go at it: