Game One Hundred Thirty-Eight: Cubs (80-57) vs. Cardinals (87-51)
- Game Time – 12:45pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: WBBM 780, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Jon Lester (9-10, 3.59/1.21/3.07) vs. Carlos Martinez (13-7, 3.04/1.29/3.31)
Weather permitting … The Cubs look to complete the three-game sweep over the Cardinals behind Jon Lester this afternoon. The Cubs have already won the series (2-0) and picked up two games on the Redbirds in the standings. But with the way the Cubs struggled early in the season in St. Louis, winning the last regular season game at Busch Stadium (3-6) could pay dividends down the road.
The Cardinals are not happy and will be out to prove a point this afternoon. The Cubs will have to play mistake free ball and take advantage of every scoring opportunity against Carlos Martinez and the Cardinals bullpen.
Kyle Schwarber returns to the starting lineup this afternoon, which is good timing for the Cubs. Carlos Martinez hasn’t had the same amount of success against left-handers (.264/.342/.382) that he’s had with right-handers (.238/.303/.283) this season.
The last time Jon Lester started a game the Cubs put a 14-spot on the scoreboard with eight of those runs coming in the fifth inning. Lester did not go back out for the sixth inning. Lester limited the Diamondbacks to two runs on five hits in five innings. And he was just good enough last Friday afternoon while the game was still in question. The Cubs could use a better performance out of Lester today.
Jon Lester is 5-2 in his last nine starts with a 3.59 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. And in nine road starts, Lester is 2-3 with a 3.70 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Lester makes his fourth start of the season against the Redbirds today.
In three starts versus the Cardinals this season, Jon Lester is 1-2 with a 1.96 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. Lester has allowed nine runs, four earned, on 17 hits with six walks and 20 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings. And those numbers include the not-so-good debut on Opening Night when ESPN decided to make him the story.
Cardinals Numbers against Jon Lester in 2015
- Jhonny Peralta: 13-for-42 with three doubles, three home runs and five walks
- Mark Reynolds: 8-for-34 with three doubles, one home run and five walks
- Jason Heyward: 8-for-18 with four doubles and one home run
- Matt Carpenter: 3-for-15 with two walks
- Peter Bourjos: 3-for-10 with one double
- Pete Kozma: 1-for-8
- Brandon Moss: 2-for-5
- Kolten Wong: 1-for-4 with one walk
- Jon Jay: 1-for-3 with one walk
- Randal Grichuk: 0-for-3
- Tommy Pham: 0-for-3
The Cubs get their fourth look of the season at Carlos Martinez today. Martinez has really struggled of late and appears to be running out of gas. The Cubs must make him work and not allow him to get comfortable on the mound.
Martinez is 3-4 in his last nine appearances, eight starts, with a 4.13 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. And he’s coming off a rather rough outing against the Pirates.
At Busch Stadium this season, Martinez is 6-4 in 14 games, 13 starts, with a 3.39 ERA and 1.38 WHIP.
In three appearances, two starts, against the Cubs this season Carlos Martinez is 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA and 1.78 WHIP. Martinez has walked eight batters while giving up 11 hits in 10 2/3 innings to the Cubs this year.
Cubs Career Numbers against Carlos Martinez
- Starlin Castro: 1-for-11
- Anthony Rizzo: 1-for-6 with one home run and two walks
- Chris Coghlan: 1-for-6 with two walks
- Miguel Montero: 2-for-6 with one double and two walks
- Dexter Fowler: 2-for-6 with one double and one walk
- Kris Bryant: 1-for-4 with two walks
- Chris Denorfia: 3-for-5
- Addison Russell: 1-for-4
- David Ross: 0-for-2
- Jonathan Herrera: 1-for-1
- Tommy La Stella: 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …