Opening Night – Game One: Cubs (0-0) vs. Cardinals (0-0)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: ESPN2 – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 89, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jon Lester (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–) vs. Adam Wainwright (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–)
Chicago Cubs Baseball is on the Air! It’s Opening Day!
The Cubs and Cardinals kick-off the 2015 season under the lights in the first ever night game opener at Wrigley Field. The old ballyard at the corner of Sheffield and Waveland is under construction and will be a work in progress this season, the same as the team on the field.
Joe Maddon will be at the top step of the dugout tonight as he takes the reigns of a team with a lot of internal and external expectations. Maddon is the 54th manager in franchise history and the third different skipper since the start of the 2012 season.
The front office brought in several veterans this winter, none bigger than Jon Lester. Last October, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer said they wanted the young core to have proven leadership in the clubhouse and the roster needed to get more left handed with bats that know how to get on base. The Cubs added Miguel Montero, David Ross, Dexter Fowler and Tommy La Stella, brought back Jason Hammel and signed Jason Motte and Phil Coke to mix in with the young, power arms in the bullpen.
The first step in the Cubs reaching their goals for this season will be beating their division rivals. The Cubs were 9-10 versus the Cardinals a year ago and just 33-43 against teams in the central.
Jon Lester and Adam Wainwright get the season started tonight. Weather permitting, the season resumes for the Cubs on Tuesday night with Jake Arrieta taking on Lance Lynn. The three-game series, again weather permitting, wraps up Wednesday afternoon with Jason Hammel on the hill for the Cubs.
The 2015 season all starts with Jon Lester …
Jon Lester was arguably the biggest acquisition of the off-season for the Chicago Cubs. Lester posted a 16-11 record in 32 starts for the Red Sox and A’s last year with a 2.46 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 2.80 FIP. In 219 2/3 innings, Lester struck out 220 batters while issuing 48 walks.
Jon Lester makes his official Cubs debut tonight and will face Major League hitters for the first time since March 16. Lester dealt with a tired arm and will be limited to around 100 pitches tonight. Lester downplayed the ‘dead arm’ and says he is fine and ready to go for tonight’s game.
Theo Epstein signing Jon Lester to front the Cubs rotation sent a message to baseball that the Cubs are about winning at the big league level.
Jon Lester makes his second career regular season start against the Cardinals tonight. Lester beat Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals twice (one run on nine hits with a walk and 15 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings) during the 2013 World Series. And tonight marks just the second time Lester has started a game at Wrigley Field.
Cardinals Career Number against Jon Lester
- Jhonny Peralta: 11-for-33 with three doubles, two home runs and five walks
- Mark Reynolds: 8-for-28 with three doubles, one home run and four walks
- Jason Heyward: 4-for-9 with two doubles and one home run
- Yadier Molina: 1-for-9
- Matt Carpenter: 1-for-7
- Peter Bourjos: 2-for-6 with one double
- Pete Kozma: 0-for-5
- Matt Adams: 0-for-3
- Jon Jay: 0-for-1 with one walk
- Adam Wainwright: 0-for-2
Adam Wainwright is coming off another tremendous season. Wainwright was 20-9 in 32 starts for the Redbirds last year with a 2.38 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 2.88 FIP. Wainwright gave up 184 hits with 179 strikeouts and 50 walks in 227 innings.
Like many of the pitchers and teams in the National League over the last five years, Adam Wainwright has owned the Cubs. In five starts last season, Wainwright was 3-1 versus the Cubs with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Wainwright is 11-7 in 36 career appearances, 27 starts, against the Cubs with a 4.09 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. And in 19 games, 14 starts, at Wrigley Field, Wainwright is 8-1 with a 3.54 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Adam Wainwright
- Starlin Castro: 9-for-37 with one double, one triple and two walks
- Anthony Rizzo: 9-for-27 with one double, one home run and two walks
- Welington Castillo: 7-for-20 with three doubles
- Miguel Montero: 5-for-17 with one home run and two walks
- Chris Coghlan: 4-for-16 with one double and two walks
- David Ross: 5-for-16 with two doubles, one home run and one walk
- Ryan Sweeney: 5-for-13 with three doubles, one home runs and two walks
- Dexter Fowler: 2-for-14 with one home run
- Travis Wood: 2-for-8 with one home run
- Arismendy Alcantara: 1-for-6
- Jon Lester: 0-for-3
- Jorge Soler: 0-for-3
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …