After a successful start to the season, the Chicago Cubs have struggled thus far in the month of May and are in danger of losing their second straight series if they’re unable to split with the St. Louis Cardinals.
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Just like Monday, the Cubs (13-12) were able to score runs and even had themselves a three-run lead, but that was quickly erased by Matt Carpenter and his three-run home run.
This bullpen has really struggled since last Saturday at home with the Milwaukee Brewers in town – hopefully they’re able to keep things together if they have themselves another lead tonight.
Chicago is in danger of not only losing ground behind the Cardinals in the N.L. Central, but the second-place slot as well. They currently lead the third-place Cincinnati Reds by a half game and the fourth-place Pittsburgh Pirates by a whole game entering tonight’s contest.
Tonight, they’ll turn to veteran southpaw Jon Lester in hopes of ending their four-game losing streak against this red-hot Cardinals (20-6) team who are currently riding an eight-game winning streak.
Lester (1-2, 4.71 ERA) is coming off a dominant start against the Brewers this past Friday – his best outing as a member of the Chicago Cubs. He allowed just seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts across seven scoreless innings of work, dropping his ERA from 6.23 down to 4.71 to start the second month of the young campaign.
He’ll surely have his hands full tonight with this heavy hitting Cardinals lineup, who has erased multiple deficits during their win-streak including several walk-off wins. The early run production hasn’t necessarily been a problem for this Cubs team, but it seems as if the tempo changes once the bullpen enters the game.
Rookie second baseman Addison Russell, on the other hand, has had himself a wonderful road start against St. Louis pitchers. So far in this series, Russell has gone 4-for-8 at the plate with two doubles, two strikeouts, one home run and one RBI while increasing his monthly batting line to .389/.421/.833.
If he continues to get on base, Russell could definitely see himself jumping up a couple spots in the lineup.
Starting opposite of Lester will be veteran right-hander, Lance Lynn. Lynn (1-2, 3.07 ERA) picked up a no-decision in his first May start while hosting the Pirates – he allowed just one earned run on seven hits and a 10/1 K/BB ratio across seven frames.
First baseman Matt Adams helped keep the Cardinals’ streak alive by recording a walk-off single in the 10th inning.
Here’s a look at tonight’s starting lineup for both clubs:
First pitch is slated for 7:15 pm central time and will be aired live on both CSN and WBBM 780.