Cardinals Vs. Cubs Preview: Chris Carpenter Returns To Take On Chicago

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 20: A fan tries to catch a home run ball hit by Welington Castillo #53 of the Chicago Cubs in the 8th inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field on September 20, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Reds defeated the Cubs 5-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Chicago Cubs are looking to play spoiler on Friday afternoon when Chris Carpenter returns to the St. Louis Cardinals after previously undergoing "season-ending" surgery.

Chris Carpenter wasn't supposed to pitch again considering the right-handed starter underwent season-ending surgery in mid-July, but the St. Louis Cardinals ace decided that diagnosis didn't matter. In fact, Carpenter is slated to start Friday afternoon's game for the Cardinals against the Chicago Cubs.

Carpenter has missed the majority of the season after experiencing numbness in his shoulder during spring training and then having surgery in July for thoracic outlet syndrome, but the Cardinals pitcher has decided that he's now healthy enough to try and help St. Louis make the playoffs.

The Cubs don't have much to play for considering their 58-92 record has rendered them out of the playoffs for quite awhile, but they could attempt to play the spoiler role considering the Cardinals are trying to hold off the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card race.

Chris Volstad, by the way, is starting for the Cubs as he attempts to better the 4.76 ERA he's posted in nine starts since returning to the team in August.

Additional coverage on the Cardinals can be found at Viva El Birdos. For more on the Cubs, be sure to visit Bleed Cubbie Blue. Baseball Nation is the place to go for news and analysis from around the league.

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