The St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs will continue baseball's greatest rivalry Friday afternoon when the 2011 World Champions finally arrive home after two weeks of baseball on the road to begin the season. Adam Wainwright will get the start for the St. Louis Cardinals, making his second start since returning from elbow surgery this season, while Jeff Samardzija, who was outstanding in his first start of the season, is scheduled to take the ball for the Cubs.
Notably absent for the Cardinals will be Lance Berkman, who aggravated his calf stretching out for career triple number 29 earlier this week. Matt Carpenter, who made the roster himself after Allen Craig's rehab extended into April, is likely to start at first base in his place. World Series hero David Freese and new acquisition Carlos Beltran also sat on Wednesday, leaving them well-rested for the Busch Stadium-opening Cardinals vs. Cubs series.
That extra day of rest might have hurt the Cardinals on Wednesday, but it should help them against the Cubs Friday. It's good to know, then, that even with Mike Matheny in place of Tony La Russa the Cardinals have their priorities in order.