The Cubs invade St. Louis this Labor Day to kick off a three-game series with the best team in baseball.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon's key to the series was simple: Beat the Cardinals in their home ballpark.
Maddon has liked the way the Cubs have played at Busch Stadium in several series this year, but wants to see his young team close out the Cardinals when they have late leads.
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Of course, the Cubs will have to be doing that without the red-hot Jake Arrieta (who started Saturday) and possibly without Kyle Schwarber, who is still dealing with a rib injury.
Maddon said he is not sure if Schwarber will be ready for the Cardinals series at all, but he is preparing as if the power-hitting rookie will be unavailable. While Schwarber has been out, veteran Austin Jackson - acquired last week from the Seattle Mariners in a waiver deal - has played right field and hit second in the Cubs lineup, the spot Schwarber typically occupied.
Baseball players don't forget grudges. Javy Baez and Reds pitcher Amir Garrett gave an example of that on Saturday.
Garrett struck out Baez in the seventh inning of the first game of the Cubs-Reds doubleheader. Garrett showed some excitement with the strikeout and then said something to Baez. They both started jawing at each other and suddenly the benches cleared.
At first glance, it looked like Garrett was a bit too excited to get a strikeout with no one on base. Turns out Baez had his own bit of swag for Garrett last year (Friday was the one-year anniversary) in the form of a grand slam at Wrigley Field.
This time Garrett got Baez and wanted to even things up a bit.
Things didn't get too feisty despite the benches clearing, but Anthony Rizzo did rush to Baez's side at some speed. This could be a matchup to keep an eye out for in the future.
Siera Santos, Kelly Crull, and David DeJesus go into the audio archives to break down the biggest games for the Cubs in Cincinnati.
David DeJesus gives us his top 3 ballgames with such gems as The Schwarber Game, The Kris Bryant Game, Starlin Castro’s debut, and Jake Arrieta’s second no hitter.
Listen to the full Cubs Talk Podcast right here: