Game Ten: Cubs (3-6) vs. Cardinals (5-4)
- Game Time – 7:15pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet Plus – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 186, 844
- Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Jeff Samardzija (0-1, 1.29/1.14/3.67) vs. Joe Kelly (1-0, 1.69/1.88/4.55)
The Cubs kickoff their five-game, two-city road trip tonight with the first of three in St. Louis. The Cubs fly to the Bronx following Sunday’s game to play the Yankees on Tuesday and Wednesday before a Thursday off day.
The Cubs played close games with the Pirates for the last three days and in six of their first nine games, but they will play one of the best teams in baseball over the next three days. The Cardinals are arguably the best team in the National League and will look to make up for a ‘rough’ start to their season this weekend.
While the pitching staff will have its hands full, the offense will see two of the best right handed pitchers in the Senior Circuit this weekend. After tonight’s match-up of Jeff Samardzija and Joe Kelly, Carlos Villanueva takes on Adam Wainwright on Saturday afternoon. The three game set wraps up on Sunday afternoon with Edwin Jackson facing Michael Wacha.
The Cubs were 7-12 in the 19 games with the Redbirds last season.
Look for Rick Renteria to load his lineup with lefties tonight. Left handed hitters have hit nearly 30 points better (.280/.349/.401) against Joe Kelly during his short career than right handers (.252/.318/.300), but last season Kelly fared slightly better against lefties (.245/.306/.353) than righties (.270/.342/.313).
And tonight all begins with Jeff Samardzija …
Jeff Samardzija is coming off another excellent outing and another start he did not receive any run support. Samardzija gave up two runs his last time out and if he could have figured out a way to retire Chase Utley the game might have turned out differently. Samardzija has thrown the ball extremely well and has completed seven innings in each of his first two starts. In 14 innings this season, Samardzija has given up two runs on 11 hits with five walks and 11 strikeouts. Samardzija has gotten up for the first two starts and shouldn’t have a problem preparing for tonight’s outing in St. Louis.
For his career, Samardzija owns a 4-3 record in 18 appearances, seven starts, against the Cardinals with a 4.47 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP. Samardzija was 1-1 in two starts against the Redbirds last season with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP … just one walk and 10 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings. Samardzija has been rather average at Busch Stadium during his career. In eight games, four starts, Samardzija is 4-2 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP.
Cardinals Career Numbers against Jeff Samardzija
- Matt Holliday: 4-for-17 with four walks
- Jon Jay: 8-for-18 with one walk
- Yadier Molina: 9-for-17 with one double and one walk
- Matt Carpenter: 2-for-13 with one triple and three walks
- Daniel Descalso: 2-for-11 with one double and two walks
- Allen Craig: 3-for-8 with one double
- Joe Kelly: 1-for-5
- Shane Robinson: 2-for-4 with one walk
- Matt Adams: 2-for-4 with one double
- Tony Cruz: 0-for-3 with one walk
- Pete Kozma: 0-for-3
- Kolten Wong: 1-for-2
Joe Kelly is making his second start of the season tonight. Kelly beat the Pirates his first time out after limiting the Boomin’ Bucs to one run on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. Kelly walked four and struck out four in the Redbirds’ 6-1 victory.
Joe Kelly beat out Carlos Martinez in the spring for the fifth spot in Mike Matheny’s rotation. Kelly is coming off an excellent year (10-5 in 37 games, 15 starts, with a 2.69 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP), one in which he dominated the Cubs.
Kelly owns a career mark of 3-2 in seven games, four starts, against the Cubs with a 2.61 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. Last year, Kelly was a perfect 3-0 in five games, three starts, against the Cubs with a 1.96 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Joe Kelly
- Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-13 with one double and one walk
- Starlin Castro: 3-for-12 with one double
- Welington Castillo: 3-for-9 with one walk
- Nate Schierholtz: 4-for-10 with three doubles
- Justin Ruggiano: 1-for-9
- Darwin Barney: 2-for-6 with one walk
- Junior Lake: 1-for-5 with one double and one walk
- Luis Valbuena: 0-for-5 with one walk
- Jeff Samardzija: 0-for-5
- Ryan Sweeney: 0-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …