What better way to enhance the Memorial Day weekend than with three games between the Cards and Cubs? These games are almost always entertaining events, with the quality of the teams or position in the standings having little bearing on what happens on the field. That's one of the best things about a Cardinal-Cub series.......they are usually completely unpredictable.
The Cards will open with Chris Carpenter on the mound Friday against Randy Wells. I think the pressure is on Carp in this one to have a good game, given that Adam Ottavino will be making his first Major League start on Saturday. Ottavino versus Carlos Silva will be the Saturday pairing with Adam Wainwright and Ryan Dempster closing it out on Sunday. Given that we have Carp and Wainwright both going, I feel good about the Cardinal chances in this series. I think Wells will be good today, but the Cards usually manage to get to Dempster for a few runs.
Of course, the pitching is irrelevant if the Cards offense goes missing again. Hopefully yesterday's offensive breakout in San Diego will be a pre-cursor to more offense this weekend against the Cubbies. This would be the perfect series for Matt Holliday to break out of his season-long malaise.
As usual, the Cards best bet is to get into the Cub middle relief as early as possible. The Cubs starters usually tend to be pretty good against us, so getting them out of the games early will be key. I'm glad we are missing Ted Lilly, who pitched against the Dodgers yesterday. He always seems to have our number.
The Cardinals may be catching somewhat of a break in the fact that notorious Cardinal killer Aramis Ramirez is not performing up to his usual standards. Between slump and injury, he has not been anywhere near his usual level of play. Against the Cardinals, Ramirez is normally good for at least two or three clutch hits a series. He hasn't played in a few days because of a thumb injury, so maybe we'll miss him. Of course, given his history against the Cards, I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see him suit up and be a force this weekend.
Whatever happens, this weekend should be fun. Enjoy the games everyone, and GO CARDS.