Game One Hundred Forty-Three: Cubs (91-51) vs. Cardinals (75-67)
- Game Time – 7:15pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 89, 844
- Location – Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Kyle Hendricks, RHP (14-7, 2.07/0.98/3.36) vs. Mike Leake, RHP (9-9, 4.61/1.29/3.83)
It’s round five of the Cubs-Cardinals series. And the Cubs are looking to celebrate a division title on Wednesday afternoon before boarding the plane for Chicago.
The Cubs three-city, nine-game road trip continues tonight with the first of three in St. Louis. The Cubs are 3-3 over the last six games and begin play tonight a full 16 games ahead of the Redbirds in the division with a Magic Number of 5.
The Cubs are looking to wrap up the division this week. It will take a sweep at Busch Stadium in order to open the final homestand of the regular season as division champs on Thursday.
The Cubs are 6-7 in the first 13 games of the season series against the Cardinals and have been outscored 66-54. The Cubs are 4-2 at Busch Stadium and will have to play mistake-free ball for the next three games in order to reach their goal. The Cardinals are desperate and Mike Matheny will manage the next three days like an elimination game.
The Cardinals enter play a half-game behind the Mets for the second Wild Card. Six of the Cubs final 20 games of the regular season are against the Cardinals (Sept. 23-25 at Wrigley Field). Joe Maddon’s team can make it very hard for the Cardinals to sneak into the postseason tournament. The Cubs must do what they can to win as many of the six head-to-head games they have against the long-time rival.
Joe Maddon is sending two of his best starters to the mound over the next three days. After tonight’s matchup of Kyle Hendricks and Mike Leake, Jason Hammel gets the ball on Tuesday night (7:15pm CDT) and will take on lefty Jaime Garcia. Jon Lester has the pleasure of facing Carlos Martinez in the last game of the year at Busch Stadium on Wednesday afternoon (12:45pm CDT).
The Cubs are very familiar with Mike Leake and vice-versa. Joe Maddon will likely look at career numbers and set up his lineup based on those stat lines. If he does, Chris Coghlan will be in left field tonight and Miguel Montero will catch Kyle Hendricks.
Lefties have hit .266/.307/.439 with a .746 OPS against Mike Leake this season with 24 extra basehits (12 doubles, one triple, 11 home runs). And righties have batted .303/.326/.440 with a .766 OPS against Leake with 31 extra basehits (22 doubles, two triples, seven home runs).
Tonight all starts with Kyle Hendricks …
Kyle Hendricks wasn’t as sharp as he has been this season the last time out against the Brewers. Hendricks was good and did his job. His command just was just off. Hendricks was not happy and said he would be back on track tonight.
Hendricks allowed one run on five hits in six innings to the Brewers. Hendricks walked two and struck out six in the Cubs’ 7-2 win at Miller Park.
Kyle Hendricks is 7-1 in his last 10 starts with a 1.36 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. And on the road this season, Hendricks is 5-6 with a 3.09 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.
Tonight is Hendricks’ third start of the season against the Cardinals. Hendricks is 0-1 in the first two with a 4.38 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. Hendricks has allowed six runs on 12 hits with two walks and 17 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. One of Hendricks’ worst starts of the year came at Busch Stadium in a 5-3 loss on April 20. Hendricks gave up four runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
For his career, Hendricks is 0-2 in six starts against the Cardinals with a 4.11 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.
Cardinals Career Numbers against Kyle Hendricks
- Matt Carpenter: 7-for-18 with two home runs and two walks
- Jhonny Peralta: 4-for-16 with one double
- Yadier Molina: 4-for-13 with one double and one walk
- Kolten Wong: 4-for-13 with one double, one home run and two walks
- Matt Adams: 1-for-13 with one double and one walk
- Randal Grichuk: 2-for-9 with one double and one home run
- Stephen Piscotty: 3-for-7 with one double
- Jedd Gyorko: 1-for-6 with one home run
- Mike Leake: 0-for-5
- Brandon Moss: 1-for-5 with one home run
- Brayan Pena: 1-for-4 with one double
- Greg Garcia: 0-for-3
- Aledmys Diaz: 1-for-2
Mike Leake is coming off a rough outing against the Pirates. Leake allowed three runs on nine hits with a walk and three strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. Leake missed time with shingles after putting together three very good starts against the Reds, Cubs and Phillies.
Mike Leake had a quality start against the Cubs on Aug. 14. The Cubs allowed Leake to put the Cardinals in a position to win the game, and they did by a 6-4 final score. Leake gave up three runs on six hits with a walk and four strikeouts in six innings.
Leake is 3-2 in his last eight starts with a 5.76 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. At Busch Stadium this season, Leake is 2-5 in 11 starts with a 4.57 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Tonight is his second start of the year against the Cubs.
Mike Leake is 0-1 in two starts versus the Cubs this season with a 4.15 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. For his career, Leake is 9-3 in 21 starts with a 3.24 ERA and 1.13 WHIP.
Cubs Career Numbers against Mike Leake
- Anthony Rizzo: 12-for-35 with two doubles, two home runs and three walks
- Dexter Fowler: 5-for-20 with two doubles, one home run and one walk
- Jason Heyward: 2-for-21 with one double
- Chris Coghlan: 11-for-19 with four doubles and two home runs
- Miguel Montero: 4-for-13 with one home run and one walk
- Kris Bryant: 6-for-14 with one double and one triple
- Addison Russell: 2-for-12 with one double
- Jorge Soler: 1-for-12 with one home run
- Ben Zobrist: 2-for-8 with two double
- David Ross: 0-for-5 with one walk
- Kyle Hendricks: 0-for-3
- Munenori Kawasaki: 0-for-2 with one walk
- Willson Contreras: 0-for-2
- Tim Federowicz: 0-for-2
- Tommy La Stella: 0-for-2
- Matt Szczur: 0-for-1
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …