The Cubs roll into to Busch Stadium having lost two of three to the Reds over the past three days. Meanwhile, our Cards have not done any better, dropping the last two games of their three game set against the Pirates earlier in the week. As the standings sit currently, the Cards are 1.5 games back from the Brew Crew and are in charge of the Wild Card race. The Cubs are once again waiting for next year.
The Pitching Matchup: Shelby Miller (8-9, 4.26 ERA) is making his 26th start of the season tonight after taking a no decision in his last outing against the Phillies. So far, Miller has had a miserable month of August, posting a 4.88 ERA as the Cards have dropped three of the four games he has started. Overall, outside of a spectacular month of April, Miller has been average at best for the Cardinals, even being relegated to the bullpen for a time before the All-Star Break. Against the Cubs this year, Miller has made one start lasting 5 2/3 innings and earning a no decision. In that game, Miller gave up 2 earned runs on three hits, one of which was a homer.
From the other dugout is Cubs’ rookie Kyle Hendricks (5-1, 1.78 ERA). In limited innings pitched this year, Hendricks has dominated Major League hitting, giving up four earned runs in his debut but never more than two in the seven starts since. A huge part of Hendricks’ success has come from his ability to stifle opposing bats, posting a .217 opposing batting average in 2014. Hendricks made one previous start against the Cards this season, taking the loss in the 1-0 game. The only run scored in that game was off of a solo home run from the bat of Matt Holliday.
The Skinny: Hendricks is a young pitcher who has sustained a string of success to begin his short career, but his one loss has still come by the hand of this Cards’ team. In order to break their two game losing streak, the Cards will need to play long ball with Hendricks and hope that the good Shelby Miller shows up today.