The St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs, rivals since the St. Louis Hegelians were torn apart in the 19th century by Chicago's rise to prominence, I think, will return to Busch Stadium for another rivalry series that promises to involve a lot of mostly-for-fun backslapping and namecalling, at least while all parties concerned are sober. Jaime Garcia and Ryan Dempster get the call in game one on Friday night at 7:15 PM; Garcia's scheduled start was pushed back a day by Kyle McClellan's injury and Lance Lynn's emergence, which is likely just fine for a pitcher who was roughed up, to say the least, in his last start against the Colorado Rockies.
Saturday afternoon (3:10) Kyle Lohse and Randy Wells will take the mound. Lohse continues to make an outstanding comeback from fascial release surgery; he's 7-2 with an ERA of just 2.13. Wells, who's spent much of 2011 on the disabled list, is 1-1 with an ERA of 5.40.
In the series capper, the deans of the rivalry will take the mound as Carlos Zambrano comes up against Chris Carpenter. Neither ace is up to his best stuff in 2011; Zambrano at least has the wins, at 5-2 with a 4.23 ERA, while Carpenter's solid peripherals are masked by a 1-5 record and a 4.52 ERA. The game takes place, in grand rivalry tradition, Sunday afternoon at 1:15.