#Cubs lineup: Lackey vs. Cardinals

John Lackey pitched two seasons with the Cardinals but has never faced them in the regular season. That will change Monday night when the right-hander opens the Cubs’ three-game series in St. Louis. Here’s the lineup:

Fowler CF

Heyward RF

Zobrist 2B

Rizzo 1B

Bryant 3B

Montero C

Soler LF

Russell SS

Lackey P

Lackey was 11-4 with a 2.03 ERA (35 ER/155 1/3 IP) in 22 regular season starts at Busch Stadium in his two seasons with the Cardinals. That’s the lowest ERA of any pitcher who has made 10 or more starts at the new Busch Stadium. The right-hander picked up the win in his last start on Wednesday against the Reds, giving up two runs over 6 2/3 innings.

Although he’s never faced the Cardinals in the regular season, he’s 1-1, 2.57 ERA in three appearances (two starts) against them in the 2013 World Series.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:09 p.m. CT, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN, WPWR and 670 AM radio.


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Tonight`s game will be televised by the MLB Network with Bob Costas, John Smoltz, and Tom Verducci commenting. They`re an excellent broadcasting team. We need a well pitched game from Hammel, because as Dan Plesac put it today on that same network, “Jaime Garcia looked like Steve Carlton in his prime in his last outing.” Dan, who`s a former Cubs` pitcher, refers to this current edition of the Cubs as “The Big Blue Train.” You have to like that.

Aloha jhosk- agreed about Garcia. I am sure Jaime still remembers his game in the NLDS last year. So this is going to be a good test for Hammel and the team. Patience at the plate. Plus the defense has to be good again tonight as I am hoping Hammel gets a lot of ground ball outs. By the way, my mother loves to listen to Plesac, enjoys his intelligent commentary! Mahalo!

Am impressed your mother likes Plesac, k.g., because I surely do. Is one of my favorite commentators. He`s almost always positive, and that`s refreshing. The Cubs won tonight, but I want to comment on Milt Pappas. You will appreciate what I`m going to say more than most. The only major league game I`ve ever seen in San Francisco was August 1971. The Giants versus the Cubs. Candlestick Park, of course, and it was a very cold night. Many fans wore parkas to the contest. We were unprepared, meaning we were not dressed appropriately for the conditions. It was summer; but you know better than most that August in the Bay area can involve cold temps. And Candlestick`s location lent to unfavorable windy conditions. It was legendary for that. Guess who was the starting pitcher for the Cubs that night. Milt Pappas. Joe Pepitone played first base for the Cubs that night. Unfortunately for me, Willie Mays was being rested that night, but Bobby Bonds, Barry`s father, did play. It was the second time I saw Bobby Bonds play a professional baseball game, because I observed him play for Waterbury, Connecticut in the summer of 1967, where I resided at the time. Waterbury was a Giants` affiliate back then. Milt pitched very well that night, and we won the contest, if memory serves. Bob Costas mentioned Milt Pappas on tonight`s broadcast as being involved in a lopsided trade reminiscent of the Lou Brock/Ernie Broglio disaster, that is, it was a disaster from the Cubs` viewpoint. But my recollection is that Milt Pappas was a talented pitcher who had a decent career. May he rest in peace.

Aloha jhosk- that is cool that you saw Pappas pitch at Candlestick park! Anyone that wins 200+ games is no slouch! Gosh, one of his best years was at the end of his career in 72′ when he went 17-7 with a 2.77era and that was for the Cubs. And let us not forget he was part of that 70′ rotation of Jenkins-Holtzman-Hands that is considered one of the best starting rotations of all-time! So kudos to him and as you say Pappas-san RIP. Mahalo.

Those are excellent points you make, k.g. I like what Milt`s widow said after her husband`s passing. Judi Pappas revealed that Milt always considered himself a Cub, even though he spent far more time with the Orioles. As for today`s game, I was thinking Matt S. deserves a start in left field, and Soler needs to sit for at least two reasons, the violent collision with the fence last night, and his proclivity to chase pitches way out of the zone. You`ll recall Jorge was very disciplined in that area in last season`s playoffs. He consistently laid off those pitches off the plate. It looked as if he had overcome that weakness, but unfortunately that bad habit has returned in 2016. All that said, the manager`s decision to start Bryant in left and Tommy L. at the hot corner could work out.

Speaking of collisions, did y`all see video of a freakish play which occurred in a college contest yesterday betwixt Kentucky and Louisville? A fly ball was hit into medium right-centerfield, and the second baseman, rightfielder, and centerfielder all converged on the ball. The second baseman and rightfielder collided rather violently and the ball popped into the air off one their gloves, and the centerfielder caught the ball for the out.

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