Game Seventy-Three: Cubs (39-33) vs. Cardinals (49-24)
- Game Time – 6:15pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 89, 844
- Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Donn Roach (0-0, -.–/-.–/-.–) vs. Michael Wacha (9-3, 2.85/1.09/3.21)
The Cubs hand the ball to Donn Roach tonight looking to end the team’s three-game slide. The Cubs begin play 9 1/2 games behind the Cardinals and while that is a large number, today is the only game that matters. The Cubs have shown they can play with the Redbirds. The next step is Joe Maddon’s team showing they can beat the Cardinals.
While Donn Roach throws his sinker and keeps the infielders busy, the Cubs will have the tall task of figuring out Michael Wacha. The right-hander is back from the injuries that slowed him down last season. And he’s been pretty good for Mike Matheny this year. In order for the Cubs to beat Wacha, the offense will have to do a better job of hitting with runners in scoring position.
Tonight all starts with Donn Roach …
Donn Roach makes his Cubs’ debut tonight and just his second Major League start. Roach has performed well for the Iowa Cubs this year. Roach was 7-1 in 14 starts for the Iowa Cubs with a 2.29 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. In 82 2/3 innings, Roach allowed 76 hits with 15 walks and 33 strikeouts.
The 25-year old right hander did not face the Cardinals in his short-time with the Padres last year. And will be thrown in the middle of one of the most heated-rivalries in the history of the game.
Donn Roach appeared in 16 games and made one start for the Padres last season. Roach was 1-0 with a 4.75 ERA, a 1.68 WHIP and a 4.75 FIP. Roach allowed 17 runs, 16 earned, on 36 hits with 15 walks and 17 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings.
Mark Reynolds (0-for-1) is the only player on the Cardinals’ roster that has had an at bat against Donn Roach in a regular season Major League game.
On the flip side, the Cubs’ offense has the pleasure of facing Michael Wacha tonight. And a year after dealing with injuries, Wacha has bounced back this season for the Cardinals.
Wacha has not been as sharp of late. Teams have gotten their hits against him. But Wacha has struck out 22 batters while issuing only three free passes in his last three starts. Wacha is 2-2 in his last four starts with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.
At Busch Stadium, Michael Wacha is 3-1 in five starts this year with a 3.16 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. In 31 1/3 innings, he has allowed 11 runs in 22 hits with nine walks and 22 strikeouts.
The Cubs missed Wacha earlier this season. Wacha has been rather good against the Cubs over this course of his short career. Wacha is 2-1 in five games, four starts, with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Last year, Michael Wacha was 2-1 in three starts against the Cubs with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Michael Wacha
- Anthony Rizzo: 4-for-11 with one home run and one walk
- Starlin Castro: 5-for-11 with one double and one home run
- Miguel Montero: 1-for-7 with one walk
- Jonathan Herrera: 1-for-2
- David Ross: 0-for-2
- Chris Coghlan: 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …