Chicago Cubs: With Anthony Rizzo activated, team welcomes in Cardinals

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Two struggling hurlers; an old v. new matchup

In the series opener Tuesday, Tyler Chatwood (0-2, 4.94) squares off against longtime Cardinals hurler Adam Wainwright (0-2, 5.06). Really, what I’m trying to say is this could be a rough go for both bullpens in the opener.

Chatwood has one decent outing and one not-so-great showing under his belt as a Cub. Against the Reds, he twirled a six-inning effort in which he limited Cincinnati to just one run. But if you dug a little deeper, you realize he played with fire. He walked six batters – including issuing free passes to the man preceding Joey Votto on multiple occasions.

Pittsburgh got to him in his last outing, torching him for five runs in five innings.

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Opposite Chatwood, Wainwright looks to be nearing the end of the road. More than a handful of Cardinals fans don’t think he should even be in the rotation at this point. And they may have a point.

Opponents are hitting .286 against the righty this season and he is yet to manage a 100-pitch outing. He failed to get out of the fourth in his season debut. That being said, he rebounded decently in his next start, allowing three earned over seven frames against Milwaukee.

On any given day, Wainwright could serve up a nice BP session or turn in a complete game. It all comes down to his pitch location given he’s lost the ability to overpower most big league hitters.

Lester takes the ball in the finale

Left-hander Jon Lester (1-0, 4.40) starts opposite an up-and-coming Cardinals hurler on Wednesday in Luke Weaver (2-0, 2.08).

Weaver has performed extremely well early in 2018, turning in three outstanding efforts and winning two of them. His last time out, the right-hander allowed two earned – the most in any start this year. In 17 1/3 innings this season, he allowed a whopping one home run. Pair that with the Cubs’ situational hitting and you don’t feel too great about this one – at least not on paper.

Lester, meanwhile, is grinding through another April. After a strong showing his second time out, he turned in another clunker against Pittsburgh last week. He allowed four earned on seven hits, lasting just five innings in a game the Cubs rallied to win in the late innings.