Daily Egyptian

A rivalry renewed at SIU

By Ted Ward, @TedWard_DE

For the first time in Major League Baseball history, the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals will play against each other in the postseason and the university will be a location of the tense rivalry.

The Daily Egyptian interviewed student Cardinals and Cubs fans to get their perspective of the rivalry.

Cardinals fan Cortez Rohr, a senior from Effingham studying zoology, is intrigued by the upcoming series.

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“A Cubs-Cardinals series is healthy for the game of baseball,” Rohr said.

Cubs fan Ben Brandolino, a senior from Braidwood studying accounting, said campus will be tense next week, even though fall break is looming.

“There will be a lot of smack talk around campus,” Brandolino said. “It would be a milestone if [the Cubs] knock off the Cardinals.”

The Cardinals (100-62), who had the best record in MLB, won the NL Central and did not know who their first opponent would be before the Chicago Cubs (97-65) played the Wild Card game in Pittsburgh against the Pirates (98-64) on Wednesday.

Chicago defeated Pittsburgh 4-0, which moved them to the NLDS.

Cardinals fan Courtney Kabat, a junior from Scheller studying public relations, was happy with the result.

“As a Cardinals fan, I think it is fun to see the Cubs win [against the Pirates] just for an exciting series to take place for the love of the sport,” she said.

Entering that game, the Cubs have not been to the postseason since 2008, and have not won a postseason game since Oct. 11, 2003. The Cardinals have won four division titles, two National League pennants and one World Series championship since 2008.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment since 2008,” said Cubs fan Matt Szkodyn, a senior from Libertyville studying finance.

St. Louis won the regular season series 11-8 against Chicago, but the Cubs have won four of the last six games. The past does not matter, as both teams will have new life in a best of five series.

But, perhaps it does. As the Cubs pitched Jake Arrieta — who led MLB with 22 wins — on Wednesday. He pitched a complete game shutout and recorded 11 strikeouts. That means he likely will not be ready to pitch the first two games of the NLDS.

The Cardinals probable pitcher is John Lackey, who had a 13-10 record and a 2.77 ERA. Lackey was 2-0 in three starts against the Cubs this season. In those starts, Lackey pitched 21 2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs.

Jon Lester is the probable pitcher opposing Lackey. Lester finished 11-12 with a 3.34 ERA this season. Against the Cardinals, Lester finished 1-3 in five starts. In those, he pitched 31 1/3 innings and allowed nine earned runs.

The Cardinals and Cubs first play at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Ted Ward can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @TedWard_DE

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