The Chicago Cubs will need to put the disappointment of last night’s loss behind them quickly as they face the Cardinals in the second game of the three-game series. Jason Hammel looks to bounce back after losing his first game of the year in his last outing.
It really came down to two swings for the Chicago Cubs in last night’s 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. John Lackey made a mistake to Matt Adams who hit a pinch-hit two-run home run to tie the game, and Adam Warren surrendering the game winnings blast to Randall Grichuk. Outside of that, the Cubs looked in charge most of the game. They’ll try to rebound tonight as Jason Hammel (5-1, 2.31) takes on Michael Wacha (2-4, 4.03) in game two.
The Cubs (29-14) aren’t playing very good baseball right now as they’re 4-6 over their last ten games–and they still have the best record in baseball in spite of that. But when playing the Cardinals (24-21) the records are out the window as these two are sure to clash head on every game.
Last night’s win pulled the Cards within six games of the Cubs, the Pirates now sit five games back. The once mighty offense has gone quiet, averaging just 2.75 runs over the last eight games. Part of the reason is the Cubs aren’t taking walks like they did in the first few weeks.
Anthony Rizzo went 1-for-5 in last night’s defeat, but hopefully, he’ll be able to turn the corner now that he’s seen a ball fall in for a hit. His history against Wacha could help as well. He owns a .455 average against him in 22 at-bats with two home runs and four RBIs. But one of the most encouraging signs for the Cubs could be the return of Jason Heyward to the lineup.
After the collision with the wall following his spectacular grab on a ball in San Francisco, it was feared he could miss extensive time. But the injury was deemed a contusion, and he’ll return to the lineup tonight against his former team.
Wacha has been anything but impressive as of late, as he’s lost four in a row while lasting just eight innings combined in his last two. The Cubs couldn’t have asked for a better chance to get the bats going then they’ll get tonight. Now it’s just a matter of getting the job done.
Here are the lineups for tonight’s game:
First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. CT at Busch Stadium. ESPN will have national coverage while CSN will have the local TV. And as always, Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer will have the radio broadcast on The Score 670. Be sure to check back after the game for our postgame coverage!