Game Ninety-Eight: Cubs (40-57) vs. Cardinals (53-46)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Travis Wood (4-5, 4.33/1.25) vs. Lance Lynn (12-4, 3.10/1.21)
It is Ron Santo Day at Wrigley Field. The Cubs will honor the Hall of Famer during pre-game ceremonies and throughout the game. Ron Santo’s number will be on display in the outfield grass and all of the players will don a number 10 patch on their uniform.
After a much-needed day off following a 2-4 road trip, Dale Sveum’s team returns to the field this afternoon. The Cubs open a six-game homestand with the first of three against the Redbirds. The homestand concludes Wednesday with the last of three with the Pirates. The Cubs take off next Thursday to the West Coast for a six-game trip through Los Angeles and San Diego.
The Cardinals dominated the Cubs last weekend in St. Louis. The Cardinals have won seven of the 11 games against the Cubs this season and outscored the Cubs 23-1 last weekend. The Cubs really struggled with Cardinals’ pitching and it does not figure to get any easier this weekend. After today’s matchup of Travis Wood and Lance Lynn, a rematch of the series finale last Sunday in St. Louis, Jeff Samardzija is scheduled to face Joe Kelly in game two with Paul Maholm and Adam Wainwright slated to pitch the finale on Sunday afternoon.
The Cardinals are playing good ball right now. Mike Matheny’s team took three of four from the Dodgers after completing the sweep against the Cubs … but the Cubs have played a lot better at home this season (24-21) than on the road (16-36).
In other news … Jairo Asencio was outrighted to Triple-A Iowa on Thursday after he cleared waivers.
This afternoon it all starts with Travis Wood … Travis Wood needs to put together a good outing this afternoon. After an unbelievable four-game stretch, Wood has done more than come back to earth in his last two outings.
Wood lasted just 4 2/3 innings against the Marlins back on July 17 and allowed eight runs on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts. The Marlins hit a pair of homers, including a grand slam off the bat of Carlos Lee. Wood struggled with his location and did not make any improvement in his next outing. The Cardinals lit up Wood to the tune of seven runs, six earned, on nine hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Wood served up two more dingers to the Cardinals.
Travis Wood allowed two home runs from June 3 through July 6, a span of seven starts. In his last two outings, Wood has served up four longballs. Wood has to keep the ball in the park this afternoon or it is going to be another long afternoon for the Cubs’ pen. Wood is 2-2 in his last four starts with a 5.92 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP (25 hits, five home runs, eight walks and 17 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings).
Until his last start against Miami, Wood had good numbers at Wrigley this season but is just 2-3 in six home starts this year with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.
Travis Wood has faced the Redbirds just once this season … and it was the clunker last weekend in St. Louis. For his career, Wood is 2-1 in four starts with a 3.91 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP.
Cardinals Career Numbers against Travis Wood
- Carlos Beltran – 1-for-3 with a home run
- Lance Berkman – 5-for-8 with a double, a home run and a walk
- Matt Carpenter – 1-for-4 with a double
- Allen Craig – 1-for-4
- Tony Cruz – 1-for-3 with a double
- Daniel Descalso – 1-for-3
- David Freese – 2-for-4 with two walks
- Tyler Greene – 1-for-6 with a double
- Matt Holliday – 4-for-12 with a double and a home run
- Jon Jay – 5-for-6 with a double and two walks
- Lance Lynn – 0-for-1
- Yadier Molina – 3-for-9 with a double and a home run
Lance Lynn has owned the Chicago Cubs. Lynn has posted 12 wins already this season and three of them have come at the Cubs’ expense. Lynn tossed six innings of shutout ball against the Cubs last Sunday. The Cubs ran up his pitch count and earned three walks but the offense scattered only four hits.
Lance Lynn is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 0.47 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP … just one earned run on 14 hits with five walks and 22 strikeouts in 19 innings.
Lynn has been very good on the road this year (6-2 in 11 starts with a 3.33 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP) and as mentioned is a perfect 3-0 against the Cubs this season with a 0.84 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP … in his only appearance at Wrigley, Lynn tossed eight innings of one-run ball and allowed just six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
Cubs Career Numbers against Lance Lynn
- Jeff Baker – 0-for-1
- Darwin Barney – 1-for-7 with a double and a walk
- Tony Campana – 0-for-4
- Starlin Castro – 3-for-10 with a double
- Steve Clevenger – 1-for-6 with a double
- David DeJesus – 1-for-7 with three walks
- Bryan LaHair – 4-for-7 with a home run and a walk
- Anthony Rizzo – 1-for-2 with a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-10
- Geovany Soto – 0-for-3
- Luis Valbuena – 0-for-2
- Travis Wood – 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …
Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO