"It sets up the relievers to just go out there for one inning or a hitter or two," manager Tony La Russa said. "You keep everybody fresh. It would be a great way to play the series -- or play the whole road trip."
The club has been more cautious with Wellemeyer than with some of its other starters, especially since his return from an elbow injury. But even if he's unlikely to get into the final two innings, he has gotten through the sixth in four of his past five starts.
STL: RHP Todd Wellemeyer (8-4, 4.01 ERA)
Over his past three outings, Wellemeyer has begun to regain his form that made him May's Pitcher of the Month. Despite yielding two runs or fewer in each of his past three starts, Wellemeyer has received three straight no-decisions. Now he gets to carry his new-found momentum against the Cubs -- the team with whom he began his big league career. He has made two starts against Chicago in his career, going 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA.
CHC: RHP Carlos Zambrano (12-4, 2.76 ERA)
The hard-throwing Cubs ace lowered his ERA for the third start in a row on Sunday against the Pirates. He threw only 82 pitches over five innings and did not receive a decision, as skipper Lou Piniella played it safe after Zambrano had thrown 243 pitches in his previous two starts. That, along with a fifth day of rest, means Zambrano should be well rested for this one. In his previous start against St. Louis, Zambrano worked six scoreless innings for the win, striking out five while giving up four hits. He is 9-4 with a 2.26 ERA in 19 career starts against the Cardinals.
Wellemeyer, who came up through the Cubs' Minor League system, will be making his first start at Wrigley Field. He has a 5.47 ERA in 34 career relief appearances at Wrigley. ... Felipe Lopez is 9-for-31 (.290) against Zambrano with a .405 on-base percentage and a .581 slugging percentage. ... Aaron Miles entered the weekend with a lifetime .229 batting average at Wrigley.
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Official game notes
Sunday: Cardinals (Chris Carpenter, 0-0, 1.00) at Cubs (Ryan Dempster, 12-5, 2.93), 7:05 p.m. CT
Monday: Cardinals (Joel Pineiro, 4-5, 5.04) at Marlins (Anibal Sanchez, 1-1, 4.22), 6:10 p.m. CT
Tuesday: Cardinals (Kyle Lohse, 13-4, 3.80) at Marlins (Chris Volstad, 3-2, 2.67), 6:10 p.m. CT