Chicago Cubs turn to Lackey in series finale against the Cards on ESPN
It has been a wild month for the first-place Chicago Cubs who put together an impressive and season high 11-game winning streak. That streak came to an end at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. Tonight, Joe Maddon‘s club has the opportunity to start another positive run.
A streak that has featured fantastic pitching from both the starting arms and bullpen. One downside of that winning streak was the injury sustained to Pedro Strop‘s left knee. An MRI revealed that he suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee.
No doubt, a massive blow to their bullpen that was felt yesterday afternoon when St. Louis (61-56) busted things wide open with a late grand slam. Which brings us to our next topic. The longball.
While the Cubs were winning games, it wasn’t like they were lighting up opposing pitchers by taking them deep. Sure, they had a couple of bats leave the yard but the fireworks wouldn’t officially start until Friday.
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Following their five home run happy performance, Chicago’s offense failed to complete their late-inning rally. They would lose by the final score of 8-4, ending their streak on Saturday.
John Lackey (9-7, 3.56 ERA) was absolutely lights out against his former team, the Los Angeles Angels, on August 9th. Maddon’s 37-year-old veteran held Mike Trout‘s team to one earned run on three hits while issuing one walk and striking out six in eight innings of work.
He has been on a tear in his previous three outings, surrendering a combined five earned runs in 21 innings of work. The last time he took on the St. Louis Cardinals, Brandon Moss, and Jhonny Peralta took him deep in the 3-2 loss on Monday, June 20th.
Since then, he has managed to record two wins while dropping four. Taking the hill for the visiting team will be Mike Leake (8-9, 4.79 ERA) who has struggled with errors in his first year with the Redbirds.
Next: How will Collmenter fit in with the Cubs?
With Leake on the mound, St. Louis has committed a whopping 19 errors. Four errors were charged to Leake. Hopefully, Chicago will be able to capitalize on any errors committed by the visiting team.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. central time and will be aired live on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer will have the call on 670 The Score.
Here is a look at tonight’s starting lineup for both the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals.