The Chicago Cubs will ride their two-game losing streak into St. Louis while visiting the first-place Cardinals. The last time these two teams met, Travis Wood was a member of the starting rotation and the Redbirds took three out of a four-game set which featured Jon Lester being the only Cubs pitcher who was able to record a win during that series in early May.
Taking the mound tonight for Joe Maddon and this young Cubs (39-32) team will be their 29-year-old ace, Jake Arrieta. Arrieta (7-5, 3.07 ERA) worked a complete game shutout on Father’s Day this past Sunday, holding the Minnesota Twins to just four hits while striking out nine batters as the North Siders plated eight runs.
Starting opposite Arrieta, will be the man who defeated him on Thursday, May 7 at Busch Stadium, John Lackey. Lackey (6-4, 3.41 ERA) has been fantastic for the Cardinals (48-24) this season, allowing a combined three earned runs on 10 hits with a 9/3 K/BB ratio in 15 innings between the Twins and Philadelphia Phillies.
He’s only had one terrible start this year, dating back a couple of weeks ago when visiting Troy Tulowitzki and the Colorado Rockies. Lackey was pulled after just four innings of work as the Rox tagged him for eight earned runs on 12 hits and two big flies in the 11-3 loss.
Chicago needed to at least grab the final two games of their four-game set with the Los Angeles Dodgers considering how challenging this weekend series will be. They’ve swapped places with the Pittsburgh Pirates since their last meeting.
First pitch for tonight’s series opener is slated for 7:15 p.m. CT and will air live on ABC-7 TV and WBBM 780 AM radio broadcast.
Here’s the starting lineup’s for both clubs: