Game One Hundred Sixteen: Cubs (73-42) vs. Cardinals (61-56)
- Game Time – 7:08pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: ESPN – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
John Lackey, RHP (9-7, 3.56/1.05/3.76) vs. Mike Leake, RHP (8-9, 4.79/1.28/4.04)
Round Four of the Cubs-Cardinals series ends tonight. And the Cubs have a chance at winning the series behind John Lackey.
The Cubs won the first two games of the weekend series with a walk-off on Thursday and a run-differential game on Friday afternoon. The Cubs’ bullpen was not up to the task Saturday while the Cardinals’ young arms dominated in their first appearances at Wrigley Field.
John Lackey must keep his old team off the board, make Randal Grichuk very uncomfortable at the plate and give his teammates a chance to put runs on the board against Mike Leake. Mike Matheny will be managing with desperation once again tonight. Early runs, and lots of them, would be a great way for the Cubs to end what has been a good week before Monday’s off day.
Joe Maddon should run out a balanced lineup that includes Chris Coghlan in left field. Right-handers have a .760 OPS against Mike Leake this season with a .295/.318/.443 slash line and 30 extra basehits (22 doubles, one triple, seven home runs). Left-handers have a .762 OPS with 24 extra basehits (11 doubles, one triple, 11 home runs) while slashing .267/.308/.453. Coghlan has absolutely owned Leake during his career (10-for-16, three doubles, two home runs).
While the Cubs have what is viewed as a comfortable lead in the division, a win tonight coupled with handing the Cardinals another loss and hurting their chances at the post-season tournament would be a huge bonus to go along with a 14-game lead in the division.
Tonight all starts with John Lackey …
John Lackey shut down the first organization he played with the last time out. Tonight, Lackey will look to have a repeat performance against the team that previously signed his check. Lackey had one of his better outings against the Angels five days ago. Lackey allowed one run, a first inning homer by Kole Calhoun, to the Angels in eight innings. Lackey surrendered two other hits, walked one and struck out six.
Lackey is 1-0 in his last two starts with a 2.40 ERA and 0.73 WHIP, and since the break he is 2-2 in five starts with a 3.09 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. After a rather bad month-long stretch, as Maddon says Lackey appears to be trending in the right direction.
Tonight is Lackey’s 13th start of the season at Wrigley. Lackey is 6-4 in the first 12 with a 2.67 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. Lackey takes on the Cardinals for the fourth time on the season.
John Lackey is 1-1 in three starts against his former team with a 2.70 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. This would qualify as a ‘big boy game,’ so maybe the Cubs will get the best he has to offer tonight.
Cardinals Numbers against John Lackey in 2016
- Matt Carpenter: 0-for-8 with three walks
- Yadier Molina: 2-for-9
- Brandon Moss: 1-for-8 with one home run
- Stephen Piscotty: 1-for-7 with one walk
- Kolten Wong: 3-for-8
- Randal Grichuk: 1-for-3
- Jeremy Hazelbaker: 0-for-3
- Jhonny Peralta: 1-for-3 with one home run
- Mike Leake: 0-for-2
Mike Leake struggled against the Reds, his former team, in back-to-back outings. Leake will face a team other than one from the Queen City for the first time tonight since July 29. In 11 innings over two starts against the Reds, Leake was 0-1 with an 8.18 ERA and 1.73 WHIP. He gave up 10 runs on 14 hits with five walks and only two strikeouts in 11 innings.
The Cubs must make Leake work tonight. He has struggled with his command of late.
Since the break, Leake is 2-2 in five starts with a 7.39 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. Leake has allowed 24 runs, 23 earned, on 39 hits with five walks and 20 strikeouts in 28 innings. Leake is 6-4 in 12 road starts this season with a 5.01 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. And Leake takes on the Cubs for the second time as a Cardinal tonight.
The Cubs beat Leake in St. Louis back on April 18. The Cubs scored four runs, three earned, on six hits off Leake in seven innings. The Cubs won the game 5-0.
Mike Leake has had a ton of success against the Cubs throughout his career. Leake is 9-3 in 20 starts with a 3.18 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. At Wrigley Field where he made his Major League debut on April 11, 2010, Leake is 3-2 in 10 starts with a 4.20 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Mike Leake
- Anthony Rizzo: 10-for-32 with two doubles, two home runs and three walks
- Dexter Fowler: 5-for-18 with two doubles and one home run
- Jason Heyward: 1-for-18
- Chris Coghlan: 10-for-16 with three doubles and two home runs
- Miguel Montero: 4-for-13 with one home run and one walk
- Jorge Soler: 1-for-12
- Kris Bryant: 4-for-11 with one double
- Addison Russell: 2-for-9 with one double
- David Ross: 0-for-5 with one walk
- Ben Zobrist: 2-for-6 with two doubles
- John Lackey: 1-for-3
- Matt Szczur: 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …