Game One Hundred Fifty-Five: Cubs (98-56) vs. Cardinals (81-73)
- Game Time – 7:08pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: ESPN Sunday Night Baseball – Radio: WSCR 670 The Score, Cubs Radio Network, XM Radio Channels 183, 844
- Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Jon Lester, LHP (18-4, 2.36/1.01/3.40) vs. Carlos Martinez, RHP (15-8, 3.16/1.22/3.63)
Weather permitting … The Cubs wrap up the series and season series with the Cardinals, the 10-game homestand and the home portion of the 2016 schedule tonight.
The Cubs have split the first two games of the series (1-1) with the Cardinals, and have also split the first 18 games of the season series (9-9). The Cardinals are in must-win mode to stay in the mix for a spot in the postseason tournament. For the Cubs, it’s about beating the Cardinals, winning both series and finish what has been an incredible regular season at Wrigley Field with another ‘W.’
The Cubs enter play tonight, Game No. 81, with a home record of 56-24. The Cubs have supplied one memorable moment after the other this season at Wrigley. Finishing the regular season with a win against the Cardinals would put the cherry on top of what’s been a magical summer at the old ballyard.
Jon Lester takes the hill tonight. Lester started on Opening Night at Wrigley, a game the Cubs won 5-3 over the Reds on an Addison Russell three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth. Lester is looking for win No. 19 tonight and will have David Ross behind the plate in what is his final regular season game at Wrigley.
Javier Baez is expected at third base tonight, which would push Kris Bryant to left field. Joe Maddon said Saturday he was still toying with the idea of starting Baez at second base, but he was leaning toward third. Maddon should have a majority of his everyday lineup behind Lester as the Cubs look to finish off the Cardinals.
Hopefully the next time the Cubs face the Cardinals in a game that counts is Opening Day of the 2017 season in St. Louis.
Tonight all starts with Jon Lester …
Jon Lester had one of his best outings of the season 11 days ago in St. Louis. Lester shut the Cardinals down for eight innings. Lester gave up only three hits and did not allow the Cardinals to put a runner in scoring position. Lester walked one, struck out eight and had just an excellent game.
Lester was not happy with his last start. Lester thought his fastball command was off. Lester gave up one run on six hits to the Reds in seven innings. Lester did not walk a batter and struck out five. And for the second straight start, Lester drove in the eventual game winner with his bat. From the outside looking in, Lester had a good start against a second division team.
Jon Lester is 4-0 in his last four starts with a 0.58 ERA and 0.71 WHIP. And over his last 12 starts (Cubs 11-1), Lester is 9-0 with a 1.46 ERA and 0.91 WHIP.
Jon Lester started the first game of the season at Wrigley, and takes the hill for the last regular season game at the old ballyard. Lester is 9-2 in 14 starts at Wrigley with a 1.86 ERA and 0.91 WHIP.
Tonight is Lester’s third start of the season against the Cardinals. Lester is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 0.71 WHIP (two runs, eight hits, two walks, 14 strikeouts, 14 innings). And for his career in the regular season, Lester is 2-8 in eight starts against the Cardinals with a 2.22 ERA and 1.04 WHIP.
Cardinals Career Numbers against Jon Lester
- Jhonny Peralta: 14-for-55 with three doubles, three home runs and five walks
- Matt Carpenter: 5-for-30 with one double, one triple and three walks
- Yadier Molina: 7-for-28 with two doubles and two walks
- Brayan Pena: 9-for-29 with two doubles
- Brandon Moss: 4-for-15 with one home run
- Stephen Piscotty: 3-for-13 with one double, one home run and two walks
- Kolten Wong: 2-for-13 with one double and one walk
- Randal Grichuk: 1-for-11
- Tommy Pham: 2-for-7 with two home runs and one walk
- Jedd Gyorko: 2-for-6 with one walk
- Matt Adams: 0-for-6
- Aledmys Diaz: 0-for-2 with one walk
- Greg Garcia: 0-for-2
The Cubs have the pleasure of facing Carlos Martinez tonight. Martinez is coming off a win in Denver in which he allowed two runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings. The Cubs were able to get under his skin 11 days ago. Jon Lester and the Cubs beat him 7-0. Martinez allowed four runs on eight hits with no walks and nine strikeouts in six innings.
The Cubs must rattle Martinez early and not allow him to get comfortable on the mound.
Martinez is 3-1 in his last four starts with a 3.75 ERA and 1.58 WHIP. Like many of his teammates, Martinez has played a lot better outside of St. Louis than at Busch Stadium this season. Martinez is 9-1 in 14 road starts with a 2.42 ERA and 1.22 WHIP.
Martinez is 1-2 in four starts against the Cubs this season with a 5.25 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. And at Wrigley this year, Martinez received a no-decision in his only game after allowing three runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts in six innings. The Cubs lost to the Cardinals 4-3 on Aug. 11.
Cubs Numbers against Carlos Martinez in 2016
- Kris Bryant: 2-for-11
- Dexter Fowler: 3-for-11 with one walk
- Jason Heyward: 5-for-12 with one double
- Anthony Rizzo: 4-for-11 with one triple, two home runs and one walk
- Ben Zobrist: 3-for-10 with two walks
- Addison Russell: 1-for-7 with one walk
- Javier Baez: 1-for-6 with one double
- Tommy La Stella: 0-for-4 with two walks
- Miguel Montero: 0-for-5 with one walk
- David Ross: 3-for-6 with one double and one home run
- Jon Lester: 1-for-4
- Chris Coghlan: 1-for-2 with one walk
- Matt Szczur: 0-for-2
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …