Game Sixty-Nine: Cubs (28-40) vs. Cardinals (45-25)
- Game Time – 7:15pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 187/844
- Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Jeff Samardzija (3-7, 3.46/1.21) vs. Adam Wainwright (10-3, 2.18/1.01)
The Cubs will look to put their two-game losing skid in the rearview mirror tonight behind Jeff Samardzija. And while the Cubs could use a good outing from Jeff Samardzija, the offense will face a huge challenge in trying to put runs on the board against Adam Wainwright.
The Cubs have seemingly faced good starting pitching day in and day out this season, but Wainwright is back at the top of his game and is having a great year to this point.
Dale Sveum’s team must start playing better ball against the other teams in the NL Central. While the Cubs are a miserable 8-22 versus their division rivals this season, the poor play is much deeper than the win-loss record. Until the Cubs start doing the little things and making the routine plays, the losses against the central division will continue to mount.
Tonight it all starts with Jeff Samardzija …
Jeff Samardzija is in the middle of a rough stretch. Samardzija is coming off a no decision in the 14-inning marathon against the Reds and while the Cubs won the game, Samardzija struggled for the third consecutive start. Samardzija gave up a season-high 10 hits to the Big Red Machine while allowing a season-high five runs for the second time this season. Samardzija struck out six and walked four over six innings of work.
Since his gem on the South Side back on May 27, Samardzija is 0-1 in three starts with a 5.89 ERA and a 1.85 WHIP. While wins and losses as well as ERA are not the best indicators of how a pitcher is performing, the 1.85 WHIP gives a good indication that Samardzija is struggling. In his last 18 1/3 innings, Samardzija has walked nine batters with 24 strikeouts and 25 hits allowed.
Unlike last season, Jeff Samardzija has been much better on the road this year than at Wrigley. Samardzija is 2-5 in seven games outside of Wrigley with a 2.83 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP compared to a 1-2 mark at Wrigley in seven starts with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.
Samardzija did not face the Cardinals back in May and he owns a 3-2 record in 16 career appearances, five starts, versus the Redbirds with a 4.95 ERA and a 1.85 WHIP. Last year Samardzija was 1-0 in three starts against St. Louis with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP … at Busch Stadium, 1-0 in one start with a 9.00 ERA and a 2.20 WHIP.
Cardinals Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Carlos Beltran – 3-for-9 with a walk
- Matt Carpenter – 2-for-6 with a triple and three walks
- Allen Craig – 2-for-4 with a double
- Daniel Descalso – 1-for-8 with two walks
- David Freese – 2-for-8
- Matt Holliday – 3-for-13 with four walks
- Jon Jay – 5-for-12 with a walk
- Yadier Molina – 7-for-15 with a double and a walk
- Shane Robinson – 1-for-2
- Adam Wainwright – 0-for-3
- Ty Wigginton – 0-for-3
The Cubs are facing arguable the best starting pitcher they have seen all season tonight in Adam Wainwright. Wainwright has been just about unbeatable this season and the Cardinals are 11-3 in his 14 starts. Wainwright will not help a team out and refuses to walk hitters. In 103 innings this season, Wainwright has struck out 97 batters and walked only nine while allowing 95 hits. Wainwright is coming off a four-hit performance against the Mets in which he walked two batters and struck out six over seven shutout innings.
Wainwright is 3-0 in his last three starts with a 1.17 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP while holding teams to a .224 average. Wainwright has 23 strikeouts and three walks in his last 23 innings. For as good as he has been this season, Wainwright has been even better at home. The Cardinals’ ace is 7-1 in nine starts at Busch Stadium with a 1.35 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP … 25 hits, four walks and 43 strikeouts in 40 innings.
The Cubs have had success over the years against Wainwright (6-5 in 27 games, 18 starts, with a 4.46 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP) and beat him in four tries last season (0-1 in four starts with a 6.14 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP). Wainwright is all the way back to his previous Cy Young form this year and figures to offer a big challenge to the Cubs tonight.
Cubs Career Numbers against Adam Wainwright
- Darwin Barney – 5-for-15 with two doubles
- Welington Castillo – 0-for-2
- Starlin Castro – 5-for-14 with a double and two walks
- Dioner Navarro – 1-for-3
- Cody Ransom – 2-for-3
- Anthony Rizzo – 3-for-6
- Jeff Samardzija – 0-for-4
- Nate Schierholtz – 1-for-8 with a double
- Alfonso Soriano – 10-for-39 with five doubles, a triple and five walks
- Ryan Sweeney – 0-for-3
- Luis Valbuena – 0-for-1 with a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …