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Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals preview, Sunday 5/23, 6:08 CT

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The Cubs go for the series win in St. Louis.

Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Sunday notes...

  • MAY NUMBERS: The Cubs are 12-7 in May and the team’s .632 winning percentage to start this month ranks tied for second in the N.L. with the Dodgers, Mets and Cardinals behind the Padres (14-5/.737). All seven losses have been by one run. 12 of the 19 games in May have been decided by one run and 13 have been within two runs.
  • LET’S GET SOME RUNS: The Cubs are 18-6 when scoring four or more runs, but 5-16 while scoring fewer than four.
  • WHAT A RELIEF: The Cubs bullpen has tossed 20⅔ consecutive scoreless innings in the team’s last seven games, including 3⅓ scoreless frames in the first two games of this Cardinals series. During this stretch the bullpen has walked six, struck out 30 and held opponents to a .127 average (9-for-71) and a .356 OPS.
  • HAPP-Y NEWS: Ian Happ has 15 hits in his last 10 games since May 1 (15-for-40/.375), with four doubles, five homers and 10 RBI. The nine extra-base hits are all in his last nine games since May 2 after he had none in his first eight games of the season

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Cardinals lineup:

Zach Davies, RHP vs. Adam Wainwright, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

Zach Davies in May: Four starts, 2.11 ERA, 1.359 WHIP in 21⅓ innings.

That’s much more like it, more like the guy the Cubs thought they were getting in the Yu Darvish deal.

Davies has made 10 career starts vs. the Cardinals and the results aren’t great: 4.55 ERA, 1.326 WHIP. His numbers are a bit better in St. Louis: 3.67 ERA, 1.370 WHIP, only three HR in 27 innings.

Current Cardinals, though, have torched him for a .392 BA (31-for-79) with five home runs, three by Matt Carpenter.

Let’s hope Zach is on his game tonight.

Tonight will be Adam Wainwright’s 43rd career start vs. the Cubs — by far the most he’s had against any team. Further, in the divisional play era (since 1969), only five pitchers have made more starts vs. the Cubs: Steve Carlton (65), Bob Forsch (49), Phil Niekro (46), Steve Rogers (45) and Tom Seaver (44). It seems likely Wainwright could move into third place on that list by the end of 2021.

Anyway, Wainwright has struggled at times this year, perhaps to be expected from someone who will turn 40 in August. He’s had three pretty good starts and three really bad ones and a couple in the middle. Overall his peripherals are decent and he still doesn’t walk guys, so the Cubs will have to take advantage of mistakes.

His last start against the Cubs was September 5, 2020, the first game of a doubleheader at Wrigley Field, and he threw well: 6⅓ innings, two runs.

Ian Happ has had some career success against Wainwright: 8-for-14, four home runs.

Today’s game is on ESPN.

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.