MLB Baseball
Scoreboard|Postseason|Stats|Standings|Teams|Players|Player News|Injuries|Transactions
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
St. Louis1 4 0 7 0 3 1 2 0 18181
Chi Cubs0 1 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 5100
  W: J. Flaherty (4-4)   L: J. Lester (12-3)
11:20 AM PT12:20 PM MT1:20 PM CT2:20 PM ET14:20 ET18:20 GMT2:20 11:20 AM MST1:20 PM EST1:50 PM VEN22:20 UAE1:20 PM CT, July 20, 2018
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 41,077

Cards starting fresh against Cubs

According to STATS
According to STATS

St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs

  1. The Cardinals have posted a 5.01 team ERA while dropping 10 of their last 16 games, though they're 1-0 under new manager Mike Shildt, who replaced Mike Matheny on Saturday. They're facing a Cubs team has averaged a MLB-high 6.8 runs and hit an NL-best .302 since June 26.
  2. The National League-best Cubs open the second half having won 13 of their last 17 games overall and 9 of 10 at Wrigley Field since Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Dodgers on June 19. They've also gone 10-2 at home versus St. Louis since September 25, 2016.
  3. Chicago All-Star second baseman Javier Baez is hitting .382 with five home runs, 10 doubles and 21 RBI over his last 17 games. He's also batted .400 with four home runs and eight RBI in his last nine starts against the Cardinals. Baez is 4-for-9 with a homer and four RBI all-time versus Luke Weaver.
  4. Cubs All-Star catcher Willson Contreras is 11-for-22 with a home run, two doubles, a triple and five RBI over his last six home games. He's 6-for-15 with a home run lifetime versus Carlos Martinez, though he's hit just .194 with two homers and six RBI in his last 19 meetings overall against St. Louis.
  5. St. Louis third baseman Matt Carpenter is batting .324 with four home runs, four doubles and seven RBI over his last 10 games, but his .211 career average against the Cubs is his lowest versus any NL opponent. Carpenter has gone just 6-for-40 (.150) lifetime versus Jon Lester.
  6. Lester has gone 8-0 with 2.80 ERA over his last nine starts overall and he's 4-0 with a 2.01 ERA in his last five versus St. Louis. Jedd Gyorko has had success against the left-hander, going 9-for-24 (.375) lifetime with three home runs.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/19/2018 thru 7/21/2018

CHICAGO -- When the St. Louis Cardinals fired manager Mike Matheny just before the All-Star break, beginning the second half of the season strong was a pivotal first step for a team attempting to move on from the disappointment of the past few months.

A five-game series at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs, however, would prove to be a stiff test and it continues on Friday afternoon.

"It's important for us to go out there and try to win the series. Right now, we need that as a club," Cardinals veteran catcher Yadier Molina told NBC Sports Chicago earlier this week at the All-Star Game. "It's going to be tough. The Cubs, they're playing good baseball right now, they've got chemistry there. It's going to be tough, but our concentration is on trying to win the series."

The Cardinals didn't get off the start to the series they hoped for as the Cubs used a five-run fifth to rally from behind in a 9-6 victory on Thursday. Molina had four hits and scored a pair of runs, but St. Louis couldn't respond despite totaling 15 hits.

Jack Flaherty (3-4, 3.24 ERA) will start Friday's matinee against the Cubs.

Flaherty is winless in his last six starts but was effective in his last outing when he didn't allow a run and just two hits over five innings against the Cincinnati Reds. But prior to that start, Flaherty allowed at least three runs in his previous outings. The right-hander is 0-0 in two career outings (one start) against the Cubs.

Flaherty and the Cardinals will face a tough test as the Cubs will counter with All-Star Jon Lester, who put together a masterful first half with a 12-2 record and a 2.58 ERA. Lester hasn't lost since May 23 and continued his winning ways in his last outing against the San Diego Padres on July 15 when he struck out seven and allowed three runs and six hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Lester is 7-4 with a 2.26 ERA in 17 career starts against the Cardinals.

While Lester has been by far the Cubs' steadiest starter this season, Chicago's bullpen will have to do without closer Brandon Morrow for the immediate future. The Cubs placed Morrow on the 10-day disabled list on Thursday with right biceps inflammation.

According to the Chicago Tribune, manager Joe Maddon suspected there was an issue with Morrow's arm when his velocity dipped in his final appearance against the Padres before the All-Star break.

Maddon told reporters on Thursday that he will the Cubs will be closer by committee until Morrow can return. In his first season with the Cubs, Morrow has 22 saves in 24 appearances and a 1.47 ERA in 35 appearances.

"It has been bothering him a bit, but we thought it was manageable," Maddon said, according to the Tribune. "But now it's not. We have to take a little bit of a break. We don't anticipate him being gone for a long time, but it seems to be prudent to go this course."

A radio report in Chicago on Thursday linked the Cubs as a major player for Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton as the trade deadline approaches. Adding a pitcher, whether a starter or to add depth to the bullpen has been the most discussed possibility for the Cubs, who rank second in the National League in team ERA, which was at 3.56 before Thursday's series opener.

"Our numbers are among the best," Maddon told reporters, "but you're always looking to make it better. That's what GMs do."

The Cubs did make a move after Thursday's game by acquiring left-hander Jesse Chavez from the Texas Rangers. Chavez was 3-1 with a 3.51 ERA in 30 apperances spanning 56 1/3 innings.

Updated July 19, 2018

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