Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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MLB Preview: St. Louis Cardinals (11-24) at Chicago Cubs (17-17)


RECENT REDBIRDS: The Cardinals begin a six-game road trip over seven days to Chicago and Boston. Tonight, the Cardinals play the first of a three-game series against their National League Central rivals the Chicago Cubs. MOVIN’ ON UP: With yesterday’s win, the Cardinals snapped a season-long eight game losing streak, tied with the Colorado Rockies for the longest in MLB this season. With a loss by the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cardinals gained a game in the standings for the first time since April 23, when a win against the Seattle Mariners moved them from 7.0 games back to 6.5.

ROAD TRIP RELICS: The Cardinals continue a three-city road trip through the three oldest active ballparks in Major League Baseball all in succession on the road. The journey started with Dodger Stadium (1962) April 28-30 during their most recent road trip. Wrigley Field, opened in 1914, continues the trip on this stop of a three-game series, before St. Louis barnstorms into Boston for the completion of the road trip with three at Fenway Park (1912) from May 12-14.

SURELY YOU CAN’T BE SERIES-OUS?: St. Louis is the lone MLB team to be winless (0-11) in series openers this season, marking a franchise record of consecutive series-opening losses to begin a season. The MLB record still resides in the same city with the 1897 St. Louis Browns dropping their first 14 series openers. The 1978 Cardinals lost 20 straight series opening games from April 14-June 16, marking the franchise record for longest streak. Elias Sports Bureau

GOLD STANDARD: Yesterday afternoon Paul Goldschmidt hammered three home runs against the Detroit Tigers.
• His third career three home run game and second with the Cardinals (3/28/19 at MIL).

• 25th career multi-home run game and 10th with the Cardinals, moving into a tie with Joe “Ducky” Medwick for 10th all-time in franchise history in multi-home run games.

• First Cardinals three home run game since Paul DeJong at PNC Park (7/24/19).

• First Cardinals three home run game at Busch Stadium since Albert Pujols vs. PIT (9/3/06).

• Moved into a tie with Nolan Gorman for the team lead in home runs (7).

CUB-LIC ENEMY NO.1: Brendan Donovan has hit safely in each of his first nine games at Wrigley Field, the longest streak to begin his career since Willy Adames hits safely in his first 11 from 2021-23. David Eckstein is the most recent Cardinal to hit safely in his first nine games at the Friendly Confines, while Orlando Cepeda hit safely in his first 21 games as a Cardinal at Wrigley Field for the franchise mark.

CUB KILLERS: Paul Goldschmidt hit seven home runs off Cubs pitching in 2022, the most in Major League Baseball last season and one longball shy of tying Matt Carpenter (2018), Jim Edmonds (2004), Albert Pujols (2004), Stan Musial (1950), and Rogers Hornsby (1925) for most by a Cardinal in a season vs. Chicago.

WELCOME BACK, WILLSON: Willson Contreras will be making his first trip back to Wrigley Field tonight after playing his first seven years with the Chicago Cubs organization. Contreras currently leads the National League in two-out batting average (.378) and all primary Major League catchers with nine doubles.

NOLAN STOPPED COOLIN’: Nolan Arenado has started to bust out lately, recording an RBI in each of his last three games, one shy of the team-high of four by Willson Contreras. On Wednesday, Arenado recorded his first extra base hit to snap a career-long 10-game drought. Friday, Arenado snapped a career-long 10-game streak without an RBI. Saturday, his two-run home run into Big Mac Land broke a 20- game homerless streak, his longest (5th longest career) since a career-high 29-game streak with Colorado in 2014.

TWO-STRIKE TERROR: The Cardinals pitching staff has allowed 21 home runs on two-strike counts this season, most in the National League and trailing the Chicago White Sox (22) for the most in MLB. The staff has also blown nine saves this season, tied with the Oakland Athletics for the most in MLB.

NL Ranks: Hits Allowed (53, 1st), Runs Allowed (25, T-5th), ER allowed (24, T-4th), HR Allowed (7, T-9th).
• The 2022 N.L. All-Star is making his team-high 8th start of 2023, 151st career appearance & 123rd career start.

• Ranks 2nd behind only Adam Wainwright (2,572.1 IP) in most innings pitched (669.0) as a Cardinal among actives.

• Will be making his 15th career start, against the Cubs, all with the Cardinals. Made two relief appearances against the Cubs in 2012.

• The Cardinals won 4 of his 5 start vs. the Cubs last season, and St. Louis has won 10 of his 14 starts vs. Chicago.

• He’s the last Cardinals starting pitcher to have earned a winning decision (4/27 at SF).

• Among qualifiers, enters today with the 3rd highest ERA (5.79) and 2nd highest opponent BA (.333) in the National League.

• Is 1-0 with a 3.13 ERA in his last four starts with an opp. BA of .267, after beginning the season 0-1 with an 10.05 ERA and a .420 opp BA in his first three starts.

• Has received no more than three runs of support in 6 of his 7 starts this season. Ranks as 10th-lowest in run support average among N.L. qualifiers (3.62).

• Has walked 118 batters over his first 110 starts with St. Louis. Among Cardinals starters in their first 112 starts with the franchise, only Bob Tewksbury (92) issued fewer.

• Has allowed seven of his 25 runs in the first inning (9.00 ERA).

• Was one of 10 MLB pitchers and two Cardinals (Wainwright) with a perfect 1.000 fielding pct. (31 total chances) in 2022. Hasn’t made an error since 8/2/18 vs. COL.

• Signed a two-year contract extension through 2025 on March 24.

• Threw 5.2 innings allowing three runs on eight hits with no walks and five strikeouts in a no decision as the Cardinals allowed three runs in the top of the 9th inning for a 6-4 loss at Busch Stadium.

5/3 LAA L 6-4 ND 5.2 8 3 3 0 5 1 103-67

• Allowed at least 5 runs and 9 hits in each of his first three starts – first pitcher in MLB to begin a season with three such starts since Alex Cobb (2018, BAL). Became the 16th pitcher in Cardinals history to start a season allowing five or more runs in his first three starts and first since Brett Tomko (2003).

• Received a no decision on 4/11 at COL, departing the game after 5.0 IP and trailing 6-2 after allowing three HR’s tying his career-high. Tied his season-high with 10 hits allowed

• Recorded his 500th career strikeout in the National League on Opening Day.

• Drew his 2nd career Opening Day start (3/30) and had a no-decision in the Cardinals 10-9 loss to Toronto that featured five lead changes.

• Was a 3-0 with 0.00 ERA in three Grapefruit League starts this season, allowing just one unearned run in his 12.0 IP. 123 of his 133 pitches thrown this spring were strikes


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