Chicago Cubs, Lester look to even things up at Wrigley with Cardinals

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 17: Jon Lester
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 17: Jon Lester /

The Chicago Cubs had a “hiccup” of sorts out of the bullpen, but they’re ready to leave that behind them. Jon Lester will take the mound as he faces Adam Wainwright in Saturday’s game at Wrigley Field.

The race in the NL Central is tightening up. The Chicago Cubs have played well out of the gate, but they aren’t the only ones. The St. Louis Cardinals are just 3 1/2 games back, with the Pittsburgh Pirates at two games back. The Cubs are chasing the Milwaukee Brewers as well at just one game back. Things look to get very interesting in the second half.

The Cubs (49-46) hope Jon Lester can keep the consistent stretch of starting pitching going. He held the Atlanta Braves to just one run on three hits in his last outing. Lester (6-6, 4.07) picked it up and was fantastic in the second half last season. The Cubs are hoping for more of the same this year. In three starts against the Cards this season he’s 0-1 with a 3.78 ERA.

More from Cubbies Crib

The Cardinals (47-49) look to continue with their hot bats as Adam Wainwright (11-5, 5.08) takes the mound. Wainright has won his last four, but it hasn’t been pretty. He’s benefitted from solid run support as he won on July 3 against the Marlins after allowing six earned runs as the Cards scored 14.

The good news for the Cubs is that Kris Bryant will return to the lineup. It was one of many moves today as the Cubs prepare for the return of Kyle Hendricks. Tommy La Stella was sent to Iowa, and Felix Pena was called-up. Also, Mike Montgomery returns to the bullpen, where I feel he’s most valuable to the Cubs this season. This could be the last chance for Justin Grimm as in his last four appearances he’s allowed seven runs on 10 hits in just five innings of work.

Here are the lineups for today’s game:

The game is scheduled for a 3:05 p.m. CT start at Wrigley Field. FS-1 and Comcast Sports Chicago will have the television coverage while 670 The Score will have the radio broadcast. Be sure to check back for more news and coverage after the game.