Game One Hundred Fifteen: Cubs (50-64) vs. Cardinals (66-48)
- Game Time – 7:15pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 188/844
- Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Chris Rusin (1-1, 3.98/1.23) vs. Lance Lynn (13-5, 3.78/1.23)
Weather permitting … The Cubs open a three-game series tonight in St. Louis against the second place Cardinals. The Cubs are coming off a bad trip to Philadelphia. Not only did they drop two of three to the Phillies and were outscored 29-14 but Dale Sveum lost two players to injury, one for the rest of the season, and it is unclear if Dioner Navarro will have to make a trip to the DL.
The Cubs will play a man short tonight and two relievers short in the bullpen after Eduardo Sanchez and Hector Rondon were extended on Thursday. Chris Rusin faces the Cardinals for the first time in his career. If he struggles early, he might have to wear one for the team due to the overworked bullpen.
The Cubs finished July with a 14-13 record but are only 1-6 in August and will face a Cardinals team that is counting on three easy wins this weekend to stay in the race with the Pirates. Dale Sveum’s team is 4-6 in the first 10 games against the Redbirds this season.
After tonight’s matchup of Chris Rusin and Lance Lynn, Carlos Villanueva takes on Michael Wacha on Saturday night. The series and six-game road trip wraps on Sunday with Edwin Jackson scheduled to face Joe Kelly.
Pat Hughes will be back in the booth with Keith Moreland and Judd Sirott for this series in St. Louis after taking the last three days off.
Tonight it all starts with Chris Rusin …
If Chris Rusin thought facing the Dodgers was fun, he is in for a treat tonight in St. Louis. Rusin did not have the same success in his last start against LA that he had in San Francisco. After tossing seven innings of shutout ball against the Giants, Rusin lasted only five innings against the Dodgers and allowed four runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Chris Rusin has been serviceable in his four big league starts this season but if he did not learn anything from his last start, the Cubs taxed, barely big league bullpen is going to have a lot of innings to cover once again tonight.
Of the four starts Rusin has made this season, three have come on the road (Oakland, Arizona and San Francisco) and Rusin is 1-0 in those three starts with a 2.93 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP.
Chris Rusin makes his first career start against the Cardinals tonight. And no one on the Cardinals’ active roster has faced Chris Rusin in a big league ballgame.
The Cubs will get their fourth look of the season at Lance Lynn tonight. Lynn is coming off a dominant eight-inning performance against the Reds in which he struck out 11 batters. Lynn and the Redbirds pounded Cincinnati 15-2.
Lance Lynn has bounced back nicely after a rough stretch in June and July. Lynn is 2-1 in his last four starts with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP (25 strikeouts and 11 walks in 26 innings).
For the first time in his young career, Lance Lynn has struggled against the Cubs. Lynn is 1-2 in three starts against the Cubs this season with a 4.67 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. For his career, Lynn is 5-2 in eight games, seven starts, with a 3.50 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.
Cubs Numbers against Lance Lynn in 2013
- Darwin Barney – 3-for-7
- Welington Castillo – 3-for-4 with a home run
- Starlin Castro – 2-for-9 with a double
- Dioner Navarro – 1-for-3
- Anthony Rizzo – 0-for-8 with a walk
- Nate Schierholtz – 1-for-6 with a home run
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …