Pregame Notes: Jake Arrieta, Cubs look for series win against the Cardinals


Teams in the position the Chicago Cubs are in always get labeled. Dangerous. Scrappy. Nothing to lose. The honest truth is the Cubs would love nothing more than to make the St. Louis Cardinals think even more about what they might be dealing with next year. Taking two out of three while the Cards make a push for the NL Central crown can help do just that.

The Cubs (70-88) needed extra-innings last night to even the series with the Cardinals (88-70). Tonight they send their top starter to the mound as Jake Arrieta (9-5, 2.65 ERA) looks to close his breakout season with a win over their rival.

Arrieta is coming off his near no-hitter, which ended as a complete game shutout, his first. In his last three outings, he’s allowed only three runs in 21 1/3 innings. At home this season, the right-hander is 5-1 with a 1.60 ERA at Wrigley.

The Cubs will have Edwin Jackson in the bullpen, as he will not get another start as the Cubs will take a look at some rookies in the final series.

John Lackey (3-2, 4.50 ERA) takes the mound for the Cards, and is one of the most experienced St. Louis starters in terms of postseason performances. Lackey has been to the playoffs in six different seasons and has two World Series rings, one from 2013 against the the team he now plays for. He’s struggled since joining the Cardinals, posting a 4.50 ERA, but he comes off a quality start against the Reds in which he allowed only one run and six hits in 7 2/3 innings.

Matt Holliday has been a thorn in the side of Cubs’ pitching this season. Of his 20 home runs, six have come against them.

The Cubs will play their final game at Wrigley tonight of the 2014 season, a 7:05 p.m. CT start. CSN will have the television coverage, and WGN 720 AM will cover its last Cubs’ home game.

Here are the starting lineups for tonight’s contest: