A couple of memorable moments from recent Cubs/Cardinals September series:
The Cubs took two of three from St. Louis in a Wrigley series where Joe Maddon accused Cardinals pitchers of deliberately throwing at Anthony Rizzo and said, famously, “We did not start this, but we will end it.”
One of the wins, September 19, ended on this terrific play at second base:
The Cubs clinched the N.L. Central with a 5-1 win over the Cardinals in St. Louis September 27.
Since 2015, the Cubs are 15-6 against the Cardinals after September 1. That, I think, is a good sign for this series. The Cubs always seem to step up their game against their biggest rival. There’s no more important time to do that than right now.
Here are today’s particulars.
Also of interest (note, this tweet lists Eastern time):
Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Jack Flaherty, RHP
You all know about Kyle Hendricks’ excellence at Wrigley Field this season. His 1.75 home ERA (13 starts, 87⅓ innings) is the best in the major leagues this year.
But perhaps more important is his dominance of the Cardinals. In three starts against them this year he has an 0.39 (!) ERA and 0.829 WHIP. He’s given them one run in 23 innings, with 13 strikeouts and no walks. Cardinals hitters are batting .224/.224/.306 (19-for-85) against him in 2019, and on May 3 he threw an 81-pitch, four-hit complete game shutout against them.
Let’s hope this continues... and seriously, the Cubs should think about holding Kyle back from his next scheduled start Tuesday in Pittsburgh, or somehow flip around the rotation, so he can start against the Cardinals next weekend in St. Louis.
Jack Flaherty since the All-Star break: 12 starts, 1.05 ERA, 0.789 WHIP, 99 strikeouts and 19 walks in 77⅓ innings.
Wow. That’s pretty good. No, that’s outstanding. In September: three earned runs in 22 innings, all of them in his last start against the Brewers.
The Cubs have actually done pretty well against him: 3.80 ERA, 1.078 WHIP, four home runs in 21⅓ innings. On the other hand, the last time he faced the Cubs, August 1 in St. Louis, he allowed just one hit in seven innings.
He’s not quite as good on the road (3.59 ERA, 1.270 WHIP in 15 starts) as at home (2.55 ERA, 0.818 WHIP in 15 starts). He’s also more hittable in night games (3.90 ERA in 19 starts) than day games (1.64 ERA in 11 starts). I’m trying to give you some hope here!
Flaherty is really good. Glad the Cubs have Hendricks going against him.
Today’s game is on Fox-TV (regional — coverage map). A reminder that if you subscribe to MLB.tv or MLB Extra Innings, you can watch this game even if it’s not on the Fox station in your market.
Fox announcers: Joe Davis, John Smoltz and Ken Rosenthal.
SB Nation game preview
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The 2019 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used in previous years. Here’s how it works.
You’ll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads” so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game’s StoryStream as noted above.
The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.