Despite losing Adam Wainwright for the season, the Cardinals are off to their best start in basically forever. They are 18-6 on the season, and sit at the top of the NL Central with a 4.5 game lead on the second place Cubs. The Cardinals have won six straight games, and are 11-2 at home, which means they are bound to lose some games! The Cubs come into this series limping on the offensive side of things, not a whole lot is going right at the plate. Despite recent struggles, the Cubs are off to a pretty solid start of their own, and this series is probably the first “big” one of the year as the Cubs would love to split, and hold steady in second place.
- Monday, May 4, 2015 – 7:10 PM CST – CSN Chicago / ESPN
- Tuesday, May 5, 2015 – 7:15 PM CST – WGN TV / MLB Network
- Wednesday, May 6, 2015 – 7:15 PM CST – CSN Chicago
- Thursday, May 7, 2015 – 12:45 PM CST – CSN Chicago
- Game One: Travis Wood (2-1, 3.04) vs. Carlos Martinez (3-0, 1.73)
- Game Two: Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 5.23) vs. Tyler Lyons (0-0, -.–)
- Game Three: Jon Lester (1-2, 4.71) vs. Lance Lynn (1-2, 3.07)
- Game Four: Jake Arrieta (3-2, 2.84) vs. John Lackey (1-1, 3.69)
Who is Hot:
- Cardinals: Of course Matt Carpenter is taking it to another level this year, he’s been fantastic. Over his last seven games he’s hitting .360 (9-for-25) with four doubles, a triple, a dinger, five RBI’s, and five walks. Go away.
- Cubs: After a slow start to the year, Miguel Montero is turning it on. Miggy is hitting .467 (7-for-15) over his last four starts with an RBI, and a walk. Would like to see some extra base hits, but he’s squaring it up.
Who is Not:
- Cardinals: Well, it’s only a matter of time before Yadier Molina starts coming up with big hits, it’s usually against the Cubs. Hopefully that doesn’t happen, the aging backstop is struggling, he’s hitting .111 (3-for-27) in his last seven with only two strikeouts, the BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is getting him.
- Cubs: It was probably a matter of time before Kris Bryant cooled down, he wasn’t going to hit .400 this year contrary to many reports from fans. Bryant is hitting .190 (4-for-21) over his last six with four walks, and ten strikeouts.
I’m so glad the Cubs didn’t cancel the season after Sunday, because that was fun. It was a pitchers day at Wrigley, but I’m not sure if 80 degrees and sun would have mattered as Jake Arrieta, and Lance Lynn were brilliant. Luckily for the Cubs, Arrieta was better, but not by much. Both guys were dealing, and the winning run came as a result of a hit batter, and a wild throw on a pick-off, go figure. After Rizzo was hit by a pitch in the 7th, and advanced to second on said wild pick-off, Starlin Castro delivered the game winning single, it was a super lazy single though…
Back to Arrieta, early on he didn’t have his best stuff as he had to battle through trouble in the first and third inning before settling into a groove. Arrieta worked seven scoreless innings, giving up three hits while walking three, and striking out seven en route to his first win of the season. For the second straight game the Cubs bullpen displayed just how dangerous they could be, dangerous in a good way, not a Carlos Marmol way. Phil Coke, Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon combined to pitch the last two innings with Rondon picking up his first save of the season.
Has the 2015 actually started yet because Sunday Night sure does feel like a long time ago. The weather is not much better than last night, maybe a little warmer, and less wet, so the Cubs will be on schedule this afternoon. Jake Arrieta makes his 2015 debut against Lance Lynn and the Cardinals in the final game of a rain shortened two game set at 1:20 PM CST on ABC 7 Chicago, sounds weird. Here is how both teams will lineup this afternoon.
1. Carpenter – 3B
2. Heyward – RF
3. Holliday – LF
4. Adams – 1B
5. Peralta – SS
6. Jay – CF
7. Molina – C
8. Wong – 2B
9. Lynn – SP
1. Fowler – CF
2. Soler – RF
3. Rizzo – 1B
4. Castro – SS
5. Coghlan – LF
6. Montero – C
7. Alcantara – 2B
8. Arrieta – SP
9. La Stella – 3B
Money Line – St. Louis -101
Over/Under: 6.5 runs
It was still exciting, it was cool to get the national exposure on opening night, it sucked getting shut out, it is what it is. Jon Lester struggled with his command early and often, and the Cubs couldn’t find a clutch hit all night in a 3-0 loss to the Cardinals. A little more about not being clutch, the Cubs were 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position tonight, no bueno. Conversely the Cardinals went 3-got-14 and that was the difference. Wainwright was his usual self, but had trouble with his breaking pitches early on which drove up his pitch count. Waino was able to work his way through six innings to get the win. Lester took the loss in this one as he wasn’t able to escape the 5th inning, he gave up three runs on eight hits, while walking two, and striking out five.
One of the bright spots of the evening was the Cubs bullpen, Phil Coke, Jason Motte, Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon combined to work 4.2 scoreless inning, giving up two hits while waking two, and striking out five. I was happy with the at bats the Cubs players had tonight, not many of them were thrown away, they battled. You’re not going to face a pitcher the caliber of Wainwright every night , tip you cap and go take your frustrations out on Lance Lynn on Tuesday Night. One down, one hundred and sixty one to go, I still think there will be more good than bad, but can someone kidnap Heyward and send him to the Indians or something? All in all I think the new look/unfinished Wrigley held up well, I’m sure we will hear some horror stories from fans tomorrow, but on the surface it looked good.
The 2015 season is finally here, and the Cubs get a golden opportunity on National television to serve notice that they are a team to be reckoned with in the NL Central. Sure, I think winning the NL Central in 2015 is a reach, but that doesn’t mean the Cubs can’t make some noise, and turn some heads. A revamped roster, and a confidence that hasn’t been seen here in the better part of a decade should help the Cubs compete, something they actually did last year when facing the Cardinals. Despite another down year in 2014 the Cubs finished the season 9-10 against the Cardinals, all things considered that is not that bad seeing as the Red Birds won 90 games and the Central a year ago. Speaking of things that are new this year…. the video board.
Yes, Wrigley Field is undergoing a massive face lift, and the video board will be on full display Sunday night, it’s extra-mongus, just like the 2015 expectations. The other thing about the Wrigley construction is that it’s not done yet, and I’m sure ESPN will cover it extensively tonight. There was a rumored plan to place Ernie Banks memorial tarps over the construction in the bleachers, I wasn’t thrilled about it, but it came out great, looks like it belongs.
2014 – (20 – 9, 2.42 ERA)
Career vs. Cubs [36 G/ 27 GS] – (11 – 7, 4.09 ERA)
2014 – (16 – 11, 2.46 ERA)
Career vs. Cardinals [1 G / 1 GS] – (0 – 0, 2.45 ERA)
2014 – (15 – 10, 2.74 ERA)
Career vs. Cubs – [11 G / 10 GS] – (6 – 3, 3.18 ERA)
2014 – (10 – 5, 2.53 ERA)
Career vs. Cardinals – [5 G/ 5 GS] – (2 – 0, 0.92 ERA)
2014 – (14 – 10, 3.82 ERA)
Career vs. Cubs – [3 G / 3 GS] – (1 – 1, 2.70 ERA)
2014 – (10 – 11, 3.47 ERA)
Career vs. Cardinals – [4 G / 4 GS] – (1 – 2, 6.10 ERA)
Cubs win two out of three games, and Jorge Soler does bad things to Cardinals pitching.
As a baseball fan these games are fun to watch. No matter what the records are the Cubs and Cardinals always seem to play close, hard-fought games. Tonight was no different as Travis Wood and Lance Lynn were locked in a battle all night long. The Cardinals took an early 1-0 lead on a solo home run from Allen Craig, and that’s all they would get the whole night. The Cubs erased that deficit and turned it into a lead in the fourth inning, all with two outs as well, something this team hasn’t been great at. Alfonso Soriano looped a single to right then Nate Schierholtz put a good swing on a 3-1 fastball and deposited it in the right center, well more center than right center, bleachers to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead and that’s how this one would end. Tremendous job top to bottom tonight from the Cubs, love beating the Cardinals, and hey, that’s two wins in a row!
At The Plate – Lance Lynn came into this one 5-0 and he didn’t disappoint as he matched Travis Wood pitch for pitch. The Cubs didn’t generate a lot as they only had five hits, but it was enough for the win. Starlin Castro had a rough night at the plate and made a questionable error, but did manage a double in his last at bat to finish the night 1-for-4. Alfonso Soriano was a big part of the offense tonight going 2-for-3 with a run scored, fonsi has his average up to a respectable .276, need more production out of him however. Nate Schierholtz was the offensive hero tonight going 1-for-3 with his fourth home run of the season, two RBI’s and a run scored.
On The Mound – How about Travis Wood, he was outstanding again tonight and has been all season. Wood improved his record to 3-2 and lowered his ERA to a sparkling 2.33 by going 6.2 innings giving up one run on five hits while walking two and striking out eight. Carlos Marmol (yes I held my breath when he came in) was really good in this one. Marmol worked 1.1 scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one, but he worked around the free pass. Kevin Gregg has been reborn, he was spotless again in the ninth inning, he didn’t give up any hits and struck out one.
Up Next – The Cubs go for the sweep, okay it’s only a two game series, but a sweep over the Cardinals is a SWEEP OVER THE CARDINALS. Carlos Villanueva will battle Jake Westbrook at 1:20 PM CST, both pitchers have been outstanding this year, should be another good one.
Thanks for reading,
Bring on the Cardinals. The Red Birds and their fans descend on Wrigley Field tonight for a quick two game series against the Cubs. The Cubs haven’t seen the Cardinals all year, but they know what to expect. The Cardinals are scoring runs, as they usually do, they have scored 150 runs so far this year which is good for seventh in all of baseball. The Cubs on the other hand have scored just 122 runs and sit twenty-second in the majors, but they are steadily improving. The Cubs typically have the pitching advantage as they have started out so well this year, well that’s not the case in this series. The Cardinals pitching is a big reason why they have the second most wins in the Majors (20-11), they have a team ERA of 3.09 which is tops in all of baseball. The Cubs are no slouch when it comes to team ERA as they sit at 3.82, good for eleventh in the Majors. It should be a good series featuring some good pitching. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will have the most success, that usually holds true throughout baseball, but it’s even more clear in this series. Coming into this one the Cubs have committed a league worst twenty-seven errors, the Cardinals have only committed thirteen, fifth fewest in the Majors. Pitch, hit, field…. win.
The Cubs lost two out of three to the Reds at home, and beat the Rangers yesterday in a make up game.
The Cardinals swept the Brewers in Milwaukee, it was a three game sweep, and the Cardinals have won six straight.
Game Times and Broadcast Information:
- Tuesday, May 7, 2013 – 7:05 PM CST on WGN TV
- Wednesday, May 8, 2013 – 1:20 PM CST on CSN Chicago
Starting Pitchers Scheduled:
Game One – Travis Wood (2-2, 2.50)
– Career vs. Cardinals (6 GS) (2-2, 5.36)
Game Two – Carlos Villanueva (1-2, 2.85)
– Career vs. Cardinals (25 appearances, 7 GS) (5-3, 3.10)
Game One – Lance Lynn (5-0, 2.75)
– Career vs. Cubs (5 appearances, 4 GS) (4-0, 2.73)
Game Two – Jake Westbrook (2-1, 1.07)
– Career vs. Cubs (8 GS) (5-2, 4.14)
The Cardinals are playing their best baseball of the year, winning six straight heading into tonight. The Cubs have shown flashes of brilliance yet still find ways to lose games because of themselves. The result, I think the Cubs split with the Cardinals in this brief series.
Thanks for reading,