THE BEST NL RIVALRY IN THE MLB
Rest assured, Cardinals fans are looking for major payback baseball today against the northenders of Chicago, the Cubs.
The St. Louis Cardinals came into Chicago late Thursday night to face the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. After a rain-delayed game against the Washington Nationals, the Cardinals won the series, but fell short for the sweep. Even though, they have four straight series win. And look to add number five this weekend.
Cardinals Looking to take Game One against the Cubs proved to be difficult against Cubs Kyle Hendricks who went the distance for a 4-0 shutout. He breezed through each inning with an effective off-speed pitch most of the game. It is what it was. Argument: Cubs had Thursday off - Cardinals didn't? Could be. However, this is life in baseball ~ no matter the circumstances, you take the field to play ball. On the flip-side, old adage: "You can't win them all". "Everyone has an off day".
Cardinals Jack Flaherty, not all bad with 9 K's into his sixth. He did receive some calls that were questionable - when you see Yadier Molina turn his head to look at the umpire is a confirmation your own conclusion ... "you're kidding me".
Flaherty did, again, go into deep counts issuing four walks which lent to a major difference ~ the 3-Run homer by Anthony Rizzo in his third.
Cubs capitalized on their six hits. Cardinals, with chances, weren't able to on their four. But ~ no excuses in baseball - no crying in baseball. Cubs win in a 4-0 shutout to take Game One.
This Series is NOT yet over, Cardinals Fans ....
Definitely not what we wanted to see in yesterday's game by our Cardinals. Hendricks and HPU were on the same page in his complete 4-0 shutout.
TODAY ~ New day - New GAME ON, #TimeToFly
With a night of rest, the Cardinals teamwork has to be an A++ level today to get the win. The teamwork that has placed them in first in the NL Central. To close game two with a split in this series to go into the third and final game, Sunday, on a positive note.
Cardinals Michael Wacha (2-0/4.78 ERA) will make his second start since returning from the 10-Day "IL" due to knee tendinitis. This will be his first outing against the Cubs since 2017 due to an injury riddled 2018.
Facing the Cubs has not been his strong suit in his career. He is 4-8/5.43 in 15 game starts. At Wrigley Field he holds a 1-4/5.57 ERA. This season on the road, Wacha has been very solid with a 2-0/3.18 ERA in his three outings, with back-to-back wins over the Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Nationals in his last two starts. He was the first of Cardinals rotation to go deep into a game for six innings in the Opening Series against the Brewers. However, handed a no-decision for his work.
Fastball and change-ups are his mainstay. He will need to keep them low in the zone - inside - to be effective against the Cubs. He has been able to hold hitters to under .250 BA this season. Right: .246 BA and more encouraging, from the left for a .237 BA. Wacha will look to change his history facing the Cubs today to earn his third win this afternoon.
He will face Cubs "multi-million dollar arm" of Yu Darvish (2-3/5.02 ERA). This will be Darvish's career debut facing the Cardinals.
Since being signed by the Cubs in February 2018, he has only made a total of 14 starts for the northenders between last season to current. He dealt with arm issues in 2018 which shut him down for most of the season.
This season, at home, he is 0-2/6.10 ERA giving up 4 HR/7 ER in his 10.1 IP. However, on the road, his last outing he logged his season best thus far going six one-run innings, but with a 4-8/BB-SO ratio.
Darvish's claim to fame is his fastball which most have been right in the middle of the zone this season. In his arsenal he also serves up sinkers, sliders and breaking balls. He has been able to hold right-handers to a .200 BA. Southpaws have fared a couple of ticks better facing him with a .246 BA.
This afternoon's match-up could prove to be very interesting. There have been only four of the current Cardinals' roster to face Darvish: Dexter Fowler, Paul Goldschmidt, Marcell Ozuna (3-6 AB/1-2B/1-3B/3 RBI) and Matt Wieters.
Cardinals look for some payback in today's game to overcome a 4-0 shutout start. On a mission to Keep On - Keeping ON as they have done coming into this current series.
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