Game Thirteen: Cubs (9-3) vs. Cardinals (7-5)
- Game Time – 7:09pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: WPWR, ESPN – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 186, 844
- Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
John Lackey (2-0, 5.68/1.42/4.40) vs. Mike Leake (0-1, 6.97/1.83/3.23)
Weather permitting … The Cubs begin a seven-game, two-city road trip tonight with the first of three in St. Louis against the Cardinals. The Cubs have two night games and a day game at Busch Stadium then make the short trip to Cincinnati for four games with the Reds.
The Cubs get the pleasure of playing in front of the best fans in baseball and both John Lackey and Jason Heyward should receive a warm welcome in their return to St. Louis. The Cardinals spent a ton of time focusing on the Cubs throughout the off-season and Spring Training. This is just round one and the first of 19 games with the Cardinals in the regular season.
The Cubs were 8-11 in the 19 games versus the Redbirds a year ago and just 3-7 at Busch Stadium in the regular season. The Cubs learned how to beat the Cardinals as the season progressed. Joe Maddon’s team knocked the Redbirds out of the playoffs.
Mike Matheny and the Cardinals have been gearing up for this series for months and will look to make a statement over the next three days.
On paper, the pitching matchups favor the Cardinals. The Cubs will miss Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha but will have to deal with two of their best starting pitchers and Mike Leake, who has had a ton of success against the Cubs.
After tonight’s matchup of John Lackey and Mike Leake, Jason Hammel squares off against lefty Jaime Garcia on Tuesday night. Kyle Hendricks and Carlos Martinez are scheduled to take the hill on Wednesday afternoon.
Joe Maddon should load his lineup with lefties tonight against Mike Leake. Over his career, left-handers (.277/.324/.444/.768) have had more success than right-handers (.256/.306/.409/.716) against Leake. The splits have favored right-handers (.353/.389/.471/.859) after two starts compared to what left-handers (.273/.429/.455/.833) have hit against him this season.
Tonight all starts with John Lackey …
John Lackey has given up early runs in each of his first two starts with Cubs and must keep the Cardinals off the board in the first inning tonight. The longer that Lackey can keep the friendly crowd at Busch Stadium out of the game the better it will be for the Cubs and set a tone for the entire series.
Lackey posted a quality start his last time out against the Reds. Lackey allowed two runs on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.
The Cubs signed Lackey for series like this in order to give Joe Maddon another starter capable of performing in big games. And while it’s only April, it is the Cubs and Cardinals.
John Lackey knows how to pitch at Busch Stadium in front of the home crowd. In 17 starts last season, he was 9-4 with a 1.93 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. It will be interesting to see how he performs tonight as a visiting player on the Cardinals biggest rival.
Cardinals Career Numbers against John Lackey
- Matt Holliday: 1-for-13 with one triple and two walks
- Brandon Moss: 4-for-8 with one double and one walk
- Matt Adams: 1-for-7
- Matt Carpenter: 3-for-7 with one double
- Yadier Molina: 2-for-7
- Jedd Gyorko: 1-for-6
- Eric Fryer: 0-for-3
The Cubs get their first look at Mike Leake in a Cardinals uniform tonight. Leake hasn’t gotten off to the best of starts this season but has pretty much owned the Cubs over the course of his career.
Leake was touched up by the Brewers for four runs on eight hits with a walk and six strikeouts in six innings his last time out. Leake has given up four runs in each of his first two starts and will look to get on track tonight against the Cubs.
Tonight will be the 20th time that Mike Leake has started a game against the Cubs. Leake is 9-2 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in the first 19 starts. Last season, the right-hander was 1-0 in four starts against the Cubs with a 3.67 ERA and 0.81 WHIP before he was traded from Cincinnati to San Francisco.
Cubs Career Numbers against Mike Leake
- Anthony Rizzo: 10-for-30 with two doubles, two home runs and three walks
- Dexter Fowler: 3-for-14 with one double
- Jason Heyward: 1-for-14
- Miguel Montero: 3-for-11 with one home run
- Jorge Soler: 1-for-9 with one home run
- Kris Bryant: 3-for-8 with one double
- Addison Russell: 1-for-7 with one double
- David Ross: 0-for-5
- Ben Zobrist: 2-for-3 with two doubles
- Tommy La Stella: 0-for-2
- Matt Szczur: 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …