Game Sixty-Eight: Cubs (47-20) vs. Cardinals (35-33)
- Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 186, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
John Lackey, RHP (7-2, 2.66/0.93/2.99) vs. Jaime Garcia, LHP (4-6, 3.93/1.33/3.57)
Its round three of the Cubs and Cardinals as Mike Matheny’s team makes its way to Wrigley Field for the first series of the season in Chicago. The Cubs begin play tonight 12 ½ games up on the reeling Cardinals in the NL Central. The Cubs are 4-2 in the first six games against the Redbirds. And the Cardinals are looking to win the next three games.
The Cardinals are coming off a horrible homestand (0-5). While the players, namely Matt Carpenter, kept talking about the Cubs, the Cardinals lost both games to the Astros and the Rangers took all three games over the weekend. The Cardinals enter play just two games above .500. The Cubs have the opportunity to create even more distance between themselves and the Cardinals over the next three days.
John Lackey gets the ball tonight and he will have Willson Contreras behind the plate. Joe Maddon announced Sunday that Contreras will catch the veteran right-hander. Lackey will help guide the rookie catcher through his first big league start.
Joe Maddon should have a right-handed heavy starting lineup with lefty Jaime Garcia on the mound. And that should also help Contreras, at least offensively. Contreras hit .377/.459/.679 with a 1.138 OPS versus lefties for Triple-A Iowa. Contreras was 20-for-53 with five doubles, a triple and three home runs.
Albert Almora Jr. should be in center field with Kris Bryant in left and Javier Baez at third base.
Tonight all starts with John Lackey …
For the third time this season, the Cubs kick off a series against the Cardinals with John Lackey on the mound. Lackey beat the Nationals his last time out and the Cubs are 4-0 in his four previous starts. Lackey held the Nats to two runs on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in six innings. Lackey was sharp in what turned out to be his shortest outing in almost a month.
Lackey is 2-0 in his last three starts with a 0.92 ERA and 0.81 WHIP. And at Wrigley this season, Lackey is 4-1 in six starts with a 1.66 ERA and 0.92 WHIP.
John Lackey takes on the Cardinals for the third time this season. Lackey is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 0.71 WHIP. The Cubs are 1-1 in the two games and he allowed a combined three runs on eight hits with two walks and 20 strikeouts in 14 innings.
Cardinals Numbers against John Lackey in 2016
- Matt Carpenter: 0-for-5 with two walks
- Aledmys Diaz: 1-for-5 with one double
- Matt Holliday: 2-for-6
- Yadier Molina: 2-for-6
- Brandon Moss: 0-for-6
- Stephen Piscotty: 0-for-5
- Kolten Wong: 1-for-5
- Matt Adams: 1-for-1 with one home run
Jaime Garcia has struggled in each of his last two starts. Garcia was roughed up by the Reds for 4 2/3 innings back on June 8. Garcia allowed five runs on 13 hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Garcia lost to the Astros six days ago after giving up four runs, three earned, on eight hits with no walks and two strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
Garcia is 0-2 in his last three starts with a 5.63 ERA and 1.88 WHIP (11 runs, 10 earned, 26 hits, three home runs, four walks, eight strikeouts, 16 innings). And he is 2-1 in six starts outside of St. Louis with a 4.15 ERA and 1.56 WHIP.
Jaime Garcia lost to the Cubs back on April 19. Garcia gave up two runs on four hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in five innings. The Cubs won 2-1 at Busch Stadium. Garcia has the stuff to shut the Cubs down. Garcia is 2-2 in seven career appearances, six starts, against the Cubs with a 2.20 ERA and 1.20 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, Garcia is 3-1 in four starts with a 2.05 ERA and 1.27 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jaime Garcia
- Dexter Fowler: 1-for-12 with five walks
- Jason Heyward: 2-for-15
- Miguel Montero: 3-for-4 with one home run and two walks
- Kris Bryant: 1-for-5
- Anthony Rizzo: 0-for-4
- Chris Coghlan: 1-for-3
- David Ross: 0-for-3
- Addison Russell: 0-for-2
- Ben Zobrist: 1-for-1 with one walk
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