National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, June 19th
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (29-40) at St. Louis Cardinals (45-26), 8:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Edwin Jackson (3-8, 5.40)
St. Louis - Jake Westbrook (2-2, 2.05)
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Cubs target another win over their longtime NL
Central-rival St. Louis Cardinals when the two ballclubs resume a four-game
series Wednesday from Busch Stadium.
The Cubs dropped Monday's opener of the set, 5-2, then responded with a 4-2
triumph the next night. Ryan Sweeney hit a two-run homer and Cody Ransom added
a solo shot during a four-run first inning. The blasts came off Cardinals ace
Adam Wainwright, who was aiming for win No. 11 and allowed four runs and seven
hits in seven hits.
Jeff Samardzija aided the Cubs in this rivalry by holding the Cardinals to a
pair of runs in 8 1/3 innings, while giving up seven hits with six strikeouts
and one walk.
"It's a rivalry game, and with that aside, you have a respect for (the
Cardinals) and how they play the game and how they set their lineup up, one
through nine," Samardzija said.
"You know you've got to come at it," he said. "I'm watching film five days
before, and trying to find some weaknesses, and you can look as hard as you
want and you're not going to find it. You just know your margin of error
against this team is real small and you've just got to deal with it."
Chicago, which stopped a five-game slide in the Gateway City, has won four of
the past six games and is 3-2 on a seven-game road trip.
The Cubs have won each of Edwin Jackson's last two starts and will turn to the
right-hander again Wednesday. Jackson, who started the season 1-8, has ripped
off back-to-back wins against Pittsburgh and the New York Mets.
Jackson tamed the Mets at Citi Field last Friday and held the hosts to a run
on five hits and three walks over six innings with seven strikeouts. He has 15
K's in the past two outings and is 3-8 with a 5.40 ERA in 13 starts this
season. Jackson had lost three straight starts until his modest resurgence.
The former Los Angeles Dodgers draft pick is only 1-3 with a 4.58 ERA in seven
career games (6 starts) against St. Louis and played with the Cardinals back
2011, going 5-2 in 13 games, 12 of which were starts.
St. Louis has alternated wins and losses over the past eight games and still
have the majors' best record at 45-26.
Carlos Beltran homered and Yadier Molina ended with three hits in defeat. The
Cardinals were hoping Wainwright could grab a major league-leading 11th win of
the season, but a rough first inning did him in.
"After that (first inning), he was the Adam that we've seen all year long,"
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He did a great job really sticking
through there and picking up our bullpen. More importantly, he kept us in
there. We had a chance."
The Cardinals lead the NL Central by 2 1/2 games ahead of Cincinnati and are
1-1 on a seven-game homestand.
Jake Westbrook will make his second start since coming off the disabled list
for the Cardinals Wednesday. Westbrook returned to action in last Friday's 5-4
loss at Miami and was reached for five runs, three of which were earned, in
Westbrook has allowed six runs in his past two starts and owns a 2-2 mark in
seven starts with a 2.05 ERA. The right-hander faced the Cubs on May 8 in a
5-4 win and did not record a decision, as he permitted four runs (3 earned)
and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. Westbrook is 5-2 with a 4.24 ERA in nine
career starts against the Cubs.
The Cubs and Cardinals split a two-game series at Wrigley Field last month.
06/19 10:47:14 ET