After a heartbreaking 7-6 defeat in yesterday’s slugfest, the Cards look to end a four-game losing streak when they face the Cubs at 3:05 CST at Wrigley.
Pitching Matchup: Shelby Miller (7-8, 4.25 ERA) gets the nod on the mound today after a lengthy rest that will hopefully alleviate his recent struggles. Miller’s last start was all the way back on July 10th against the Pirates, and he allowed four earned runs and issued four walks in just five innings of work. Overall, Miller has given up three or more earned runs in his last five starts, but he did pitch a scoreless inning in relief on Sunday against the Dodgers. His last start against the Cubs dates back to June 2013, when he tossed five scoreless innings while notching a win. One encouraging sign is that Miller is 3-2 with a 3.09 ERA in day games this season, so maybe this start will be the one that turns things around for him.
As for the Cubs, Jake Arrieta (5-2, 2.12 ERA), who has been the lone bright spot of the Cubs pitching rotation, will face off against Miller. In two starts against the Cards this year, Arrieta has been nearly unhittable, as he has conceded just one earned run on eight hits in 9.1 innings of work. To make matters worse for the Cards, Arrieta is deadly at home (1.76 ERA) and during day games (1.86). While the Cards are hitting just .197 against him as a team, Matt Adams (4 for 5) and Jhonny Peralta (5 for 10) are the two players with success against Arrieta, so look for them to power the Cards offense.
The Skinny: Let’s face it, the Cards are due for a win, but the pitching matchup simply does not favor them today. Unless Shelby Miller can return to form or the offense can break through against Arrieta, the Cards will have to rely on a late-inning comeback against the Cubs bullpen
if they hope to avoid a five-game skid.