First Pitch: Cardinals unique lineup aims for season series clincher against Cubs | Cardinal Beat

First pitch is 7:05 pm at Chicago’s Wrigley Field

For the second day in a row, the Cardinals will be facing a pitcher making his 2022 debut. Yesterday, Javier Assad made his MLB debut in game one, while today’s starter, Luke Farrell, starts for the first time this season after bouncing around the minor leagues.

A win tonight would clinch the Cardinals fifth-straight winning record over the Chicago Cubs, who last won the season series in 2017. Since then, the Cardinals have gone 52-42 against their oldest rivals.

The Cardinals are using one of their more unique lineups of the season, most notably starting Brendan Donovan at first base and giving MVP frontrunner Paul Goldschmidt the evening off. Donovan has played 13 games at first this season, starting in five of those games. Often times, Donovan uses one of Goldschmidt’s gloves to play the position.

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Albert Pujols continues to get lineup opportunities, even when facing right-handed pitching. The future hall of famer has been on one of the hottest streaks of his career of late, and will hit seventh in the lineup today. He has only hit in the seven hole 29 other times in his 3,045 game career.

While Miles Mikolas and Andrew Knizner have been battery mates for most of the season, Yadier Molina gets the start today after Knizner caught in game two of yesterday’s doubleheader. Mikolas is significantly better with Molina behind the plate, owning a 1.60 ERA when Molina catches compared to the 4.13 ERA with Knizner behind the plate. Molina will hit in his usual eighth spot in the lineup.

Tyler O’Neill continues to be trusted in center field, where he will start and hit fifth. This is now the most he’s played in that position compared to any other year in his career. Corey Dickerson will get the start in O’Neill’s usual left field, with Dylan Carlson getting the day off.

Cardinals notebook: Oliver Marmol tries mix-and-matchups for spark at several positions

Lineups

CARDINALS (71-52)

CUBS (53-70)

Pitching Matchup

RHP Miles Mikolas (10-9, 3.32 ERA): Since his career worst start three games ago, Miles Mikolas has been nothing short of inspired. In both starts since then, “The Lizard King” has gone eight innings, allowed two or fewer runs and struck out 10.

RHP Luke Farrell (0-0, -.– ERA): Making his first appearance in the majors this season, Luke Farrell is the definition of a journeyman. Playing for five teams over his six-year MLB career, Farrell is in his second stint with the Cubs. Farrell, son of former Red Sox manager John Farrell, has pitched against the Cardinals six times, going 0-2 with an 11.57 ERA in 4⅔ innings pitched.

Wild Card

  • A win tonight would clinch the Cardinals fifth-straight winning record over the Chicago Cubs, who last won the season series in 2017. Since then, the Cardinals have gone 52-42 against their oldest rivals.

  • The Cardinals’ 5.5 game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers is the largest they’ve had for the NL Division crown since September 2015.

Transactions

  • LHP Matt Liberatore has been returned to AAA Memphis.
  • C Ivan Herrera has been returned to AAA Memphis off the Taxi Squad.

Injury Report

  • RHP Jack Flaherty (shoulder) will start Friday for Class AAA Memphis in what could be his final rehab appearance before returning to the majors. His target will be 80 pitches. He struck out seven in his start for Class AA Springfield on Sunday, and he continues to recover well days after pushing his pitch count higher. (Updated Aug. 23)
  • Left-hander Steven Matz (torn MCL) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session Saturday, recovered well, and will repeat that workout Wednesday at a higher intensity. There is no timetable for a rehab appearance as of yet. (Updated Aug. 23)
  • RHP Drew VerHagen (hip) and RHP Alex Reyes (shoulder) underwent season-ending surgeries. Both right-handed pitchers are expected to be ready for spring training after a winter of recovery. (Updated Aug. 20)

Who’s Next

Thursday at Chicago: Dakota Hudson (6-6, 4.33) vs. Marcus Stroman (3-5, 3.83)

Friday vs. the Braves: Jose Quintana (4-5, 3.45 ERA) vs. Spencer Strider (7-4, 2.95 ERA)

Up Next

The Cardinals play five games at Wrigley Field, including a doubleheader, before returning home to host the reigning World Series champions, the Atlanta Braves.

Check back here throughout the afternoon and evening for immediate coverage of the game and any news that surfaces from the Cardinals’ pre-game activities. We will publish expanded game coverage online Wednesday night, and also in the pages of Thursday’s Post-Dispatch.

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