Game Ninety: Cubs (40-49) vs. Cardinals (55-34)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 184/844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Edwin Jackson (5-10, 5.50/1.51) vs. Jake Westbrook (5-3, 2.78/1.35)
The Cubs begin their final series before the break tonight with the first of four against the first place St. Louis Cardinals. Outside of Wednesday’s lopsided loss, the Cubs have played better ball of late but will face a big challenge in the last four games leading up to the All-Star break.
The Cubs are 3-2 on the homestand and have won four of the last six. And while they have struggled against their rivals in the central this season (13-26), Dale Sveum’s team has won their last two series against division foes. The Cubs are 2-4 in the first six games of the season against the Cardinals and will have their hands full with arguably the best team in baseball.
After tonight’s matchup of Edwin Jackson and Jake Westbrook, Carlos Villanueva is scheduled to face Joe Kelly on Friday afternoon. Matt Garza remains on the schedule for Saturday night’s game and will square off against Lance Lynn. Travis Wood is slated to face Adam Wainwright in the finale on Sunday night.
The Cubs could be forced to make a roster move to bring in a bullpen arm. Brooks Raley threw the final 4 1/3 innings of Wednesday night’s game and does not figure to be available for this series. The rest of the bullpen is well rested so the Cubs might decide to add a position player to finish up the final four games.
Brian Bogusevic is expected to return tonight to the starting lineup, along with Nate Schierholtz. Both lefty outfielders are dealing with minor injuries and will benefit from the All-Star break.
Dale Sveum should load his lineup with as many lefties as possible tonight. Left-handers are hitting .348/.405/.457 against Jake Westbrook while right-handers are hitting just .197/.288/.215 against him. Even giving Alfonso Soriano a breather would be the right move considering the way he does not hit Jake Westbrook.
Tonight it all starts with Edwin Jackson …
Edwin Jackson is coming off one of his better starts of the season. Jackson held the Pirates to one run on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Jackson ran out of gas in the sixth before he could qualify for a quality start. Jackson looked good early before Dale Sveum got him out before the one bad inning happened.
Edwin Jackson has won his last two starts and is coming off his second best outing of the season at Wrigley. Jackson has allowed four runs on 11 hits with three walks and nine strikeouts in his last 11 2/3 innings (3.08 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP).
Edwin Jackson makes his second start of the season against the Cardinals tonight. Jackson lost the game back on June 19 in St. Louis after allowing four runs on six hits with two walks and one strikeout in 5 1/3 innings. For his career, Jackson is 1-4 in eight games, seven starts, versus one of his former teams with a 4.85 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP.
Cardinals Career Numbers against Edwin Jackson
- Carlos Beltran – 2-for-8 with three walks
- Matt Carpenter – 2-for-3 with two walks
- Allen Craig – 3-for-9
- Daniel Descalso – 0-for-3
- David Freese – 0-for-5 with a walk
- Matt Holliday – 6-for-22 with a double, a home run and a walk
- Jon Jay – 2-for-8 with a double
- Pete Kozma – 1-for-3
- Yadier Molina – 9-for-15 with three home runs and two walks
- Jake Westbrook – 0-for-1 with a walk
Jake Westbrook has made five starts since returning from the DL in the middle of June and he has been very good in two of them … and one was against the Cubs on June 19. If the Cubs use the same game plan tonight the results will be very similar. Westbrook held the Cubs to one unearned run on two hits in seven innings and beat Edwin Jackson 4-1. The key to beating Westbrook has always been to not swing at his pitch … let’s see if the Cubs read the scouting report tonight.
Westbrook held the Marlins to one run on three hits in seven innings his last time out. Westbrook has won three of his last four starts. Westbrook has had success against the Cubs since he landed in St. Louis during the 2010 season.
Jake Westbrook is 6-2 in 10 career starts against the Cubs with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP … at Wrigley, 2-1 in four starts with a 5.85 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jake Westbrook
- Darwin Barney – 3-for-17 with a double and a walk
- Brian Bogusevic – 1-for-4 with a double and a walk
- Starlin Castro – 7-for-28 with a double and a walk
- Edwin Jackson – 0-for-1 with a walk
- Dioner Navarro – 3-for-13
- Cody Ransom – 1-for-5
- Anthony Rizzo – 4-for-8 with a double
- Nate Schierholtz – 3-for-12 with a double and a walk
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-33 with two walks
- Luis Valbuena – 2-for-6 with two walks
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …