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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals preview, Friday 5/21, 7:15 CT

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Here we go.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Today’s roster move: Here

Friday notes...

  • KEEPING PACE: The Cubs are 12-7 since April 29, just one game behind the Cardinals (13-6) in that time frame. Six of the seven Cubs losses in that span are by one run, the other by two runs.
  • IMPROVED PITCHING: Cubs starters this month have a 4.01 ERA (38 earned runs in 85⅓ innings) and Cubs relievers have produced a 2.12 ERA (16 earned runs in 68 innings).
  • HOT HITTING, PART 1: Joc Pederson is hitting .400/.436/.480 (20-for-50) in May with two doubles, two triples, a home run and six walks.
  • HOT HITTING, PART 2: Ian Happ is batting .375/.394/.938 (12-for-32) in May with three doubles and five home runs.
  • HOT HITTING, PART 3: Willson Contreras is hitting .346/.407/.500 (18-for-52) in May with two doubles, two home runs and seven runs scored.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Cardinals lineup:

Kyle Hendricks, RHP vs. Carlos Martinez, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

After a horrific April, Kyle Hendricks has been more “himself” in May — three starts, 2.70 ERA, 1.300 WHIP, just two walks and 17 strikeouts in 20 innings. He’s coming off his longest outing of the year, eight strong innings in Detroit last Sunday.

St. Louis has always been a place he’s pitched well. He’s made eight career starts at Busch Stadium with a 2.92 ERA and 1.084 WHIP in 49⅓ innings. Current Cardinals are hitting .247 (45-for-182) against him with four home runs, two of those by Nolan Arenado.

Kyle seems to be back in his usual groove, hope it continues tonight.

As noted in the series preview, Carlos Martinez has not made a start since May 8 because he hurt his ankle celebrating a teammate’s home run.

He’s had some very good starts this year and also some where he’s been pounded. One of the things different about him this year is his K rate is way down from his career norms — just 4.8 per nine innings. Per Fangraphs he’s been using his fastball less and his cutter more this year than in any previous season.

Despite a relatively high ERA (4.35), he’s held hitters to a .219/.299/.335 slash line with only two home runs allowed.

This could be a low-scoring affair tonight.

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Cardinals site Viva el Birdos. If you do go there to interact with Cardinals fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2021 Game Thread procedure will be a bit different than previous years. It will be similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.

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, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of week/date) game threads.” It will contain every post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.