The Cubs did a great job rebounding from a sweep in a really boring city by taking two of three from a hot Rockies team. They had a chance to sweep, but could not get anything going against a rookie making his first major league start. While that was annoying, the Cubs still did a good job in the series. They currently sit tied with Milwaukee for the NL Central lead and are seven games over .500 at 34-27.
Since last weekend’s set, the Cards went 1-1 against the Reds, with one game being postponed by rain. The Redbirds got dominated by Luis Castillo and lost 4-1, then won 3-1 thanks to a late inning Paul DeJong two-run homer off of Michael Lorenzen.
The Cardinals’ starting pitching was okay against the Cubs last weekend. Miles Mikolas and Adam Wainwright both went at least seven innings, but I wouldn’t call their performances particularly dominant. Mikolas relied heavily on contact, which he typically does, but the Cubs simply had bad luck.
Wainwright walked seven and was able to avoid any type of trouble by bearing down when it mattered most. I attribute that more to the Cubs’ inability to make him pay for his lack of command. Those types of games happen, just don’t expect to see more of the same this weekend.
Kolten Wong (.444/.421/.556), Matt Carpenter (.313/.389/.500), Harrison Bader (.200/.368/.467), and Marcell Ozuna (.412/.421/.412), have been very good over the last seven days for the Cardinals. They have only been as good as the contact they have generated, however, as indicated by the difference between their batting average and on base percentage.
Suffice to say, Bader is the only one among that group who’s walking at a high rate. So if the Cubs can avoid providing free passes and keep the contact relatively weak, they should be able to have success against the Cardinals.
TV and Broadcast
- Friday, June 7 at 1:20 CT on NBC Sports Chicago and MLB Network
- Saturday, June 8 at 6:15 on FOX
- Sunday, June 9 at 6:05 on ESPN
What to Watch for
- The Cubs had issues getting that crucial hit against the Cardinals all weekend. They either couldn’t make contact or hit the ball right into their opponents’ gloves. Look for them to do better in those situations this time around.
- Hendricks continues to pitch extremely well and work deep into games. He has gone at least seven innings in five of his last seven starts, and at least five innings in all seven. Look for him to continue that trend and save the bullpen. Also, be sure to listen to the wonderful analysis that the ESPN announcers will undoubtedly have for him on Sunday night.
- Jon Lester looked really good the last time he pitched, which broke a three-game stretch in which he struggled immensely with his command. Watch for him to build on that positive start on Saturday.