|CHICAGO CUBS ( SAMARDZIJA )|
ST LOUIS ( WESTBROOK )
|957||CHICAGO CUBS||+160||Ov 7.5,+100||+160||Ov 7.5,+100|
|958||ST LOUIS||-170||Un 7.5,-120||-170||Un 7.5,-120|
|vs Right-handed Starters||44-73||-22.1||52-59||3.8||0.236||0.292||4.4||0.244||0.312|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-2.3||2-4||2.0||0.248||0.283||4.4||0.254||0.330|
|vs Right-handed Starters||76-42||+21||61-52||5.1||0.276||0.334||3.7||0.250||0.306|
|Past 7 Games||6-1||+4.6||3-2||4.9||0.271||0.337||2.0||0.192||0.237|
|9/15/2013||WOOD(L)||@ PITTSBURGH||LIRIANO(L)||2-3||L||165||6.5 un||U||3||5||0||7||6||0|
|9/16/2013||JACKSON(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||PERALTA(R)||1-6||L||115||8 ev||U||5||6||3||8||8||2|
|9/17/2013||SAMARDZIJA(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||ESTRADA(R)||3-4||L||125||7.5 un||U||7||4||2||6||5||0|
|9/18/2013||RUSIN(L)||@ MILWAUKEE||THORNBURG(R)||0-7||L||130||8 un||U||4||8||0||5||3||0|
|9/19/2013||ARRIETA(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||LOHSE(R)||5-1||W||125||8.5 un||U||13||8||0||4||4||1|
|9/27/2013||WOOD(L)||@ ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)||0-7||L||155||7 un||P||7||8||1||10||9||0|
|9/28/2013||JACKSON(R)||@ ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)||2-6||L||187||7 un||O||7||6||0||10||7||0|
|9/29/2013||SAMARDZIJA(R)||@ ST LOUIS||WESTBROOK(R)|| |
|9/16/2013||LYNN(R)||@ COLORADO||MCHUGH(R)||2-6||L||-150||10 un||U||7||4||0||12||8||0|
|9/17/2013||KELLY(R)||@ COLORADO||NICASIO(R)||11-4||W||-135||10 ov||O||18||12||1||9||9||0|
|9/18/2013||WAINWRIGHT(R)||@ COLORADO||CHATWOOD(R)||4-3||W||-175||9.5 ev||U||10||7||1||12||11||0|
|9/19/2013||WACHA(R)||@ COLORADO||OSWALT(R)||6-7||L||-155||9.5 un||O||12||9||0||21||16||0|
|9/20/2013||MILLER(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||HELLWEG(R)||7-6||W||-190||9.5 un||O||16||12||0||13||8||0|
|9/21/2013||LYNN(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||GALLARDO(R)||7-2||W||-140||8.5 un||O||9||5||0||7||9||1|
|9/22/2013||KELLY(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||PERALTA(R)||4-6||L||-145||8.5 un||O||8||9||3||8||5||0|
|9/27/2013||LYNN(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||WOOD(L)||7-0||W||-165||7 un||P||10||9||0||7||8||1|
|9/28/2013||WAINWRIGHT(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||JACKSON(R)||6-2||W||-205||7 un||O||10||7||0||7||6||0|
|9/29/2013||WESTBROOK(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||SAMARDZIJA(R)|| |
|CHICAGO CUBS: HITTING: 'Under New Management' is the motto in Wrigleyville, where Epstein, Hoyer, Sveum and Co. aim to turn SS STARLIN CASTRO and a bunch of straw into gold. OF DAVID DeJESUS was an underrated first pick-up. But OFs ALFONSO SORIANO and MARLON BYRD are overpaid and over the hill. C GEOVANY SOTO has lost his mojo. New 3B IAN STEWART has a lousy career OPS of .737 away from Coors Field. 1B BRYAN LaHAIR is tagged as part of a 'youth movement,' but he's almost 30. The other youths'2B DARWIN BARNEY, IF JEFF BAKER, and IF BLAKE DEWITT 'are interchangeable guys with low ceilings. Fourth OF TONY CAMPANA is fast but one-dimensional. And minor-league reinforcements are scarce. OF BRETT JACKSON is solid, but blocked in the lineup. And former uber-prospect 3B JOSH VITTERS has done nothing to justify his third-overall draft status. This rebuilding process will take time. Meanwhile, somewhere in the Chicago suburbs, Jim Hendry quietly sobs into a pile of Cubs-themed stuffed animals. |
STARTING PITCHING: RYAN DEMPSTER should bounce back from an unlucky year in which there was nearly a full-run difference between his ERA and his FIP. He's no ace in good times, but he's an underrated and dependable source of innings and strikeouts. MATT GARZA didn't disappoint in his debut season on the North Side, but he was an odd acquisition to begin with: the Cubs dealt top prospects from a thin system when all signs pointed to a belly-flop of a season. He's already trade bait again. JEFF SAMARDZIJA is moving to the rotation after a strong year in the bullpen (2.97 ERA, 87 K in 88 IP), but he needs to cut down on his walks (5.1 per 9 IP). What killed TRAVIS WOOD in 2011 was uncharacteristic wildness. His walk total spiked by over 50 percent from 2010. He's better than this, though it's hard to say how much. It could be that a 40-inning jump from 2010 to 2011 aided his freefall. Subpar newcomers PAUL MAHOLM and CHRIS VOLSTAD will also compete for rotation spots. The lefty Maholm is coming off his best season in Pittsburgh (3.66 ERA, 1.29 WHIP), but was awful after the All-Star break (0-5, 5.75 ERA, .355 Opp. BA). The 6-foot-8 Volstad was 5-13 with a 4.89 ERA for the Marlins last year, but still has time to figure things out at age 25.
RELIEF PITCHING: Because of his contract and the head-scratching faith in the 'closer mentality' that still pervades even the most enlightened front offices, CARLOS MARMOL will enter the 2012 campaign with a near-ironclad grip on ninth-inning duties for the Cubs. Trading away Sean Marshall, arguably Chicago's best reliever last season, is yet another vote of confidence for Marmol. His lack of command leads to more hittable pitches (along with tons of walks), though his ceiling for strikeouts and saves is sky-high. KERRY WOOD will be the main set-up man again after a triumphant return to Chicago last season (3.35 ERA, 57 K in 51 IP).
|ST LOUIS: HITTING: Alienate and trade your talented young centerfielder for bullpen scraps and a middling, impending free-agent starter. Justify your ludicrous pitching changes by blaming crowd noise and your innocent bullpen coach'and you too could win a World Series! This was Tony La Russa baseball. But he's gone now, as is the all-world Albert Pujols. SS RAFAEL FURCAL liked his short stint in the Show Me State enough to sign up for more. OF CARLOS BELTRAN will hit second after an impressive 2011 campaign during which he produced solid numbers in pitchers' parks amidst weak lineups. 2Bs TYLER GREENE and DANIEL DESCALSO are the latest plucky 'gamer' to play infield at Busch. Resuscitated slugger 1B LANCE BERKMAN shifts to a much more suitable defensive position. OF MATT HOLLIDAY's OPS remains as strong as ever. 3B DAVID FREESE will never have to buy a drink in Missouri again after his postseason heroics. C YADIER MOLINA is a defensive whiz behind the plate and an underrated hitter. OFs ALLEN CRAIG and JON JAY are more suited to platoon roles, but Jay will be starting in center on Opening Day. |
STARTING PITCHING: His stuff isn't nearly what it used to be, and he's more than earned his reputation within the game as a towering crybaby. But on the mound, CHRIS CARPENTER remains ruthlessly effective when he's healthy. But he'll miss the first couple of months of the 2012 campaign due to shoulder problems. ADAM WAINWRIGHT should be ready to go on Opening Day, and has shown every reason to think he'll be his old brilliant self. JAIME GARCIA cannot sustain a sub-2.00 ERA for a full season. He's a mid-rotation starter, but one of the better ones in all of baseball. Did KYLE LOHSE really register a 1.17 WHIP over an entire season? Really? He just doesn't miss enough bats to keep that going. JAKE WESTBROOK stayed healthy for a full season again, which is a relief given his past dalliances with the DL. He's an innings eater who's capable of another dozen wins. LANCE LYNN gives the Cardinals enviable depth in the rotation. He'll probably slide back to the bullpen once Carpenter returns. Uber-prospect SHELBY MILLER could be a second-half call-up.
RELIEF PITCHING: It doesn't look pretty when JASON MOTTE winds up and delivers a pitch, but in the end, results are results. The converted catcher has finally nailed down the closer role that many predicted would be his a few years ago. The only way he loses it this time is if he hurts himself with that painful delivery. FERNANDO SALAS can more than hold his own if that happens. He'll slot into the eighth-inning role, but he provides more of the pitching depth that is a hallmark of this Cardinals team. KYLE McCLELLAN, like Lynn, is serviceable both in relief or in the rotation. But he's better in the former role.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (CHICAGO CUBS-ST LOUIS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Cubs-Cardinals Preview* ========================
By ALAN FERGUSON STATS Writer
Chicago (66-94) at St. Louis (95-65), 2:15 p.m. EDT
In what's likely his final appearance in a St. Louis uniform, Jake Westbrook will try to help the Cardinals grab home-field advantage in the NL playoffs.
The injury-plagued right-hander is expected to pitch a couple of innings before giving way to Joe Kelly in Sunday's regular-season finale against the Chicago Cubs.
With Atlanta losing to Philadelphia on Saturday, St. Louis (96-65) needs a win or another Braves loss Sunday to finish with the NL's best record and have an opportunity to face a wild-card team in the division series. Atlanta holds the tiebreaker after going 4-3 in this season's series.
"Keep building the momentum," first baseman Matt Adams told the team's website. "We're playing great baseball right now, so if we keep that going we're going to have a lot of confidence going into (the postseason)."
The Cardinals are giving Westbrook (7-8, 4.67 ERA) a chance to finish a difficult year on a positive note. The team is not expected to pick up his $9.5 million mutual option for 2014 and he's likely not going to be included on the playoff roster.
Westbrook was 2-1 with a 1.62 ERA in his first six starts this season before the first of his two stints on the disabled list. He was 5-7 with a 5.97 ERA over his next 13 appearances and headed to the DL for a lower back strain Aug. 23.
Westbrook was sent to the bullpen after his return Sept. 6 and his relief appearance against Pittsburgh that same day remains his only one this month.
"He's done a lot for a lot of people around here," manager Mike Matheny told the team's website. "We're real proud with how Jake has been able to help our club in many different ways and decided to get him out there to start."
Westbrook will need a better start against Chicago (66-95) to give the Cardinals some help. He gave up three runs in the opening frame Aug. 16 and seven over 6 2-3 innings in a 7-0 loss at Wrigley Field.
Kelly, meanwhile, pitched four-hit ball over six innings in his most recent matchup, a 4-0 win Aug. 17.
Like Westbrook, Jeff Samardzija (8-12, 4.33) will try to end a lackluster season in positive fashion. The Cubs' opening day starter has been inconsistent for much of this campaign but had a pair of solid efforts in his past two games.
Neither of those have resulted in wins, though. He gave up one run over six innings in a 2-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Monday.
While Samardzija will likely return next season barring a trade, the fate of manager Dale Sveum is unknown. Team president Theo Epstein is expected to decide whether Sveum, 127-196 in two seasons, will return Monday.
"It's pretty standard at this time of year to take your time to look back at the season and make decisions on what can put the organization in the best position going forward," Epstein said. "This is part of the process. At the same time, we owe it to everyone involved to get it done quickly and move forward. We'll finish up the process on Monday."
Samardzija will try to spoil the Cardinals' hopes with another strong start against them. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA in his last three matchups and gave up two runs over 8 1-3 innings in a 4-2 win June 18.
Yadier Molina (9 for 17) and Carlos Beltran (5 for 12) have had success against Samardzija but it's unknown if they will start this game or rest.
|Last Updated: 9/18/2014 12:44:17 PM EST|