Chicago Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals Preview
It was not a pretty three-game series for the Cubs last time these two teams met. Chicago was dejected with a sweep by their archrivals, which also snapped their streak of four-series victory. Starting a six-game homestand today, the North Side of Chicago tries to get back on track.
Chicago (40-57) moved on after that series and ended the road trip more positively taking two games out of three against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Their 40th win of the year came on Tuesday but are still sitting at the fifth place in the National League Central.
Both starting pitchers in today’s contest have already seen each other last Sunday.
Cubs starter, Travis Wood (4-5, 4.33) suffered in that 7-0 loss. The southpaw labored through six innings giving up six runs on nine hits including two back-to-back solo homers to Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran on back-to-back pitches in the fifth inning while other four runs were conceded in the opening frame.
The loss was his second in a row after claiming four straight wins.
Lance Lynn, who counters with Wood today, is having an outstanding season in his first full season in majors. He (12-4, 3.10) has a career-high 12 victories and is enjoying a four-game winning streak.
His career numbers against the Cubs are good too; he is 3-0 with an ERA of 0.84 striking out 19 in 21 1/3 innings in his young career.
Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano carried most of the Cubs’ offense in Pittsburgh, producing six runs out of nine.
Soriano had two multi-hit and multi-RBI games, including a club-leading 19th home run of the year before his day rest on Wednesday. The veteran outfielder is one shy of having at least 20 dingers in a year for 11 seasons in a row.
Rizzo launched his fifth long ball of the season on Wednesday, his first extra-base hit since July 7. The first baseman also hit a RBI-single which tallied David DeJesus in the same game.
The Cardinals (53-46) ended their seven-game homestand beating the Los Angeles Dodgers three games out of four. Shortstop Rafael Furcal ripped a game-winning single to end a 12-inning affair in a 3-2 win on Wednesday. Their offence pounded the Dodgers with seven runs and 18 hits and starter Jake Westbrook dominated in seven innings for yesterday’s 7-4 defeat.
Chicago and St. Louis have played 11 times so far this season while the Cardinals top the Cubs with 7 wins.
Patrick Au Yeung