Chicago (8-7) at St. Louis (8-5)

Light Rain Currently: St. Louis, MO
Temp: 41° F
  • Game info: 1:10 pm EDT Thu Apr 21, 2005
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Nomar Garciaparra went down hard and may be out for some time.

The Chicago Cubs will play the first of what will likely be many games without their star shortstop when they conclude their two-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Garciaparra was carried off the field with a groin injury during the third inning of Chicago’s 3-1 victory on Wednesday

“I’ve strained my groin before but I’ve never felt anything like this before,” Garciaparra said. “It’s kind of a freak thing.”

Garciaparra, who is batting .157, will undergo an MRI exam on Thursday, but the Cubs are already fearing the worst, a torn groin.

“It’s not good, it’s a bad groin,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Hopefully it’s not as bad as anticipated, but we know it’s not good—especially for a shortstop.”

Garciaparra will likely join starting second baseman Todd Walker on the disabled list. Walker is out four to six weeks with a sprained knee ligament.

Due to Garciaparra’s injury, Derrek Lee will be counted on to carry even more of the offensive load for the Cubs. The slugging first baseman continued his torrid hitting with two doubles and two runs scored on Wednesday.

Lee is batting .411 with four home runs, 17 RBIs and three stolen bases. He’s tied with Corey Patterson for the team lead in runs with 12.

Albert Pujols’ fourth homer of the season accounted for the Cardinals’ only run off of Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano, who was outstanding over 8 2-3 innings.

Chris Carpenter will try to do the same for St. Louis on Thursday.

Carpenter is 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA and 30 strikeouts in five career starts against Chicago. The veteran right-hander allowed three runs and five hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 5-3 win over Milwaukee on Saturday, his second victory in three starts.

Carpenter bounced back nicely after getting roughed up for eight runs over 3 1-3 innings in a 13-4 loss to Philadelphia on April 10.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Dempster ChC vs. C. Carpenter StL
5-3 Record 21-5
3.13 ERA 2.83
89 K 213
49 BB 51
1.43 WHIP 1.06