Cubs vs. Cardinals: Series Thread (Games 62-64)
The third place Cardinals (31-29) roll into Chicago looking to knock the Cubs (34-27) out of first place for the second time in a week. Cubs fans meanwhile will be hoping for another round of turnabout, the Cardinals having answered an earlier sweep in the last faceoff. Since last weekend, the Cards went 1-1 against the Reds and the Cubs went 3-1 against the Angels and Rockies. While three wins is always better than one, the Cardinals should now have the advantage of rest.
The Cubs recently added Craig Kimbrel to the 2019 payroll, but they'll have to muddle through for now as they await the cavalry. Meanwhile, a few position players are trending up lately. After looking fairly injured in the last series against the Cardinals, Javy went 7-16 with 2 homeruns. Unlikely leadoff hitter Kyle Schwarber as 6-17 with a dinger of his own. David Bote boosted his stats with a 4-4, 7 RBI game in which he was a triple short of the cycle. Otherwise he went an abysmal 1-12 with 4 strikeouts. Rizzo and Bryant slumped a bit over the 4-game stretch.
The Cubs will be facing the same three starting pitchers they took on last weekend. Daily match-ups below:
CHC: LHP Cole Hamels (4-2, 3.62 ERA)
STL: RHP Miles Mikolas (4-5, 4.41 ERA)
First pitch 1:20pmCDT
Hamels pitched seven 2-hit innings allowing an unearned run against the Cards. He's been very reliant on groundballs this season, especially during stretches when he's walked a few too many.
Mikolas was good enough in his last start to earn a win against the Cubs. He went seven innings allowing one run on two walks and six hits. He didn't miss many bats, striking out three. It was good enough, but if the Cubs get a few more balls in the air, the same performance might not pass muster.
CHC: LHP Jon Lester (4-4, 3.65 ERA)
STL: RHP Jack Flaherty (4-3, 3.76 ERA)
First pitch 6:15pmCDT
Lester earned the win against the Angels on Monday, pitching seven one-run innings and allowing only four hits and one walk. Before that, he had a string of three rough starts against the Nats, Phillies, and Astros in which he was tagged for 25 hits in 14 innings pitched.
Jack Flaherty struck out eight Cubs in five innings last weekend, but he allowed two solo homeruns and ended up with a no decision in five innings of work. Cubs hitters tagged him for three runs and a loss on May third when he walked four and struck out nine. If he can be gotten to, it's through a mix of homeruns and walks.
CHC: RHP Kyle Hendricks (6-4, 3.14 ERA)
STL: RHP Adam Wainwright (5-5, 4.34 ERA)
First pitch 6:05pmCDT
Hendricks went seven innings to defeat the Rockies, allowing three earned runs on six hits and a walk but also striking out 10. Since his Maddux on May 3, he's looked very much like good Kyle Hendricks. He's allowed 40 walks and hits in 51.2 innings pitched going back to that game.
Based on Wainwright's eight shutout innings and two hits allowed, you'd probably think his win against the Cubs must have been pretty dominant. At the same time, he set a career high 7 walks and struck out 8. He got enough groundballs and strikeouts that, combined with some BABIP luck, he was able to work around the wildness. It's not a winning formula. He's walked 16 in his last 23 innings pitched.
Non-cable subscribers will enjoy being blacked out for the Saturday FOX broadcast and the Sunday night ESPN broadcast. Subscribers will have to suffer through the ongoing disaster that is the ESPN broadcast team.
First.Pitch.120 1 hour 53 min ago (view)
I did 3/4 of a PhD in Ames, IA... no need to apologize. That's time that can jade anybody. The best parts of my years there were 1) Cubs on local AM radio (pre cell network streaming) so I could listen to them on a run, and 2) being able to go see the I-cubs whenever I wanted. Was at a game there on July 4, 2007 & I saw a guy sitting 1 section over, a couple rows up and I thought "that looks like Barack Obama". Turns out it was the whole Obama family... Gotta love IA in a pre-caucus year.
Mike Wellman 4 hours 58 min ago (view)
Magic # = 7 after Colin Rea labors to 13th win vs. baby Brewers (at expense of Jimmy Nelson) & Memphis loses. No sign of Zobrist. Almora runs hitting streak to 2 games. Jim Adduci = a pro’s pro; guy’s a ball player by trade...
crunch 13 hours 31 min ago (view)
paul dejong (STL) took out the M in the "BIG MAC LAND" sign @STL with a big HR...lights went out on the letter and everything. epic-ish.
crunch 13 hours 38 min ago (view)
i know bote will be back in a couple weeks, but dude has been hitting damn well since mid-july after having a big june/july slump.
Eric S 13 hours 44 min ago (view)
David Bote sent down to Iowa today prior to Cishek’s activation off the IL tomorrow — nice of the Cubs do their part to help the I-Cubs down the stretch
Cubster 14 hours 35 min ago (view)
And the Brewers are being no hit by Hudson thru 6.
crunch 15 hours 48 min ago (view)
never really considered how that might be cool for people used to seeing those midwest fields as an everyday occurance. in the south-east US you rarely see the vastly massive acerage of farm-against-farm-against-farm-etc...
also, i spent a good amount of time out in corn fields in ames, iowa in my last job. everyone wanted to go work the research fields in hawaii, but we always ended up in iowa.
Sonicwind75 17 hours 24 min ago (view)
Hey, I'm pretty excited about the Field of Dreams game. I grew up on a farm in middle of nowhere Iowa and my brother and I spent a lot of time trying to hit baseballs into a corn field. I'm seriously considering coming back next summer from Texas to go to that game if prices aren't super stupid expensive. Added bonus, I won't have to listen to A-Rod and Mendoza ignorantly discussing corn and no, you don't eat field corn like you would sweet corn.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
That is truly staggering. Shame on the rest of the Central that we are only one loss behind the pissboys, we should have been buried by now with that kind of stat.
crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
...and strop gives up a hit then walks the bases loaded.
...and he closes it out with a K. neat.
this is the 1st cubs road series win since May 17-19 @WAS.
crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
strop comes in to get the last out, but it has to be some kinda slow-walk back in a game that wasn't a save situation.
homer, hbp, k, k...looks healthy.
crunch 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
welcome back kimbrel.
1st pitch goes about 10 miles outside the park by marte.
crunch 1 day 14 hours ago (view)
one takeaway from this game...a slew of cubs players were fans of Hey Arnold! when they were kids.
crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
woo, a good cubs away game.
crunch 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
heyward / cast / bryant / rizzo / baez / schwarb / caratini / kemp(2nd) / Q
crunch 1 day 18 hours ago (view)
so stoked for the williamsport game.
the increasing amount of off-site games is a bit concerning (middle of nowhere Field of Dreams field, really?), but I love this one. it's played out great so far and giving the kids playing in the LL series some primo seats (hope this continues) is a great touch.