Series Preview: Cardinals (54-47) at Cubs (41-59)

In Uncategorized by berselius

The Cubs worked on racing to the top in their last series, winning one of three against the Padres with a combined score of 12-21. Giving up an average of seven runs a game to this year’s historically bad Padres offense is pretty impressive. Though to be fair in the last game, to quote MO, “Padres could turn their backs, fart at the ball & it would be a single up the middle right now”. The Cardinals are on a three game losing streak of their own, and just dropped two games at home to Tampa.

Team Overviews


  • wRC+: 94 (7th)
  • UBR: -7.3 (15th)
  • UZR: -4.7 (10th)
  • DRS: -7 (14th)
  • SP FIP-: 91 (2nd)
  • RP FIP-: 90 (3rd)
  • Run Diff: +8 (8th)


  • wRC+: 86 (13th)
  • UBR: 4.2 (3rd)
  • UZR: 17.9 (3rd)
  • DRS: 52 (1st)
  • SP FIP-: 96 (3rd)
  • RP FIP-: 94 (5th)
  • Run Diff: -47 (11th)

News, injuries, vengeance pacts, etc.

The Cardinals are missing several big names. Jaime Garcia is done for the year with a torn rotator cuff, and Michael Wacha has been out since mid-June with a stubbornly healing scapula injury. Yadier Molina had surgery for a torn ligament in his thumb a few weeks back and is expected to be out until September. No word on which opposing player he’ll choose to blame and start a meaningless beanball war.

The Cardinals have been playing Bullpen Test with young starters Carlos Martinez and Shelby Miller, who have both struggled this year.

The funny thing about last night’s EJax start was that it was probably the best one he’s had in a while. He left with cramps in his hand but should be okay. FYI, all other baseball teams, he’s available!!

Nate Schierholtz won the MLBPA’s “Heart and Hustle” award for the Cubs. Ooooookay then. I hadn’t even heard of this, apparently it’s voted on by former players and is awarded to each team. (dying laughing). It’s a good thing he’s gritting it out, otherwise he’d be somewhere around -1.2 fWAR instead of his current -0.6.

Kyuji Fujikawa could be on his way back soon. He’s been pitching since early July and was moved to the I-Cubs earlier this week. Hey, I bet he and Tsuyoshi Wada know each other and are best friends, because only 1000 people or so live in Japan. Maybe they can call up Kosuke Fukudome and find out the best places to eat lunch, which should help Wada’s not so great numbers.

Justin Ruggiano has had a minor groin injury for most of the week but it hasn’t been bad enough to DL him.

Mendy’s line on the year so far: .277/.327/.532

The MLBPA filed a grievance over the Astros handling of their draft this year. A little surprising, given how little the players’ union has cared about draftees. It would be pretty awesome if the Astros lost their picks. (FIRST REPORTED BY BLOGGER MURRAY CHASS)

Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas ———-> HOF this weekend. Three deserving guys, from what I hear.

Presented without context

I can see why the NFL is so blindsided by all this Ray Rice suspension backlash. Didn’t we already know that they’re Strong Supporters of Women, because players wear pink cleats in October?

Pitching Probables

ERA, xFIP, projected FIP

Friday: Joe Kelly, RHP (2.84, 3.76, 3.94) vs Travis Wood, LHP (5.12, 4.68, 4.27), 3:05 PM CT

Wood’s 4.29 FIP is about on the money from what I expected from him. What one could not expect is his .310 BABIP. He posted BABIPs of .244 and .248 in his first two seasons as a Cub, and while he was surely due for some regression he is after all a fairly extreme fly ball pitcher. There’s not much reason to worry though, unlike Edwin Jackson his LD% is actually slightly below his career average. His walk rate has gone up fairly significantly this year, but I’m wondering if this isn’t some partial consequence of all the hits he’s given up changing his approach a bit.

Kelly began the year in the rotation but suffered a severe hamstring strain in April that knocked him out for nearly three months. He’s only made five starts but his numbers are right in line with his projections. Perhaps not shockingly, he’s a ground ball pitcher, and his sinker has been especially heavy in his starts this year. He has yet to give up a HR on the season.

Saturday: Shelby Miller, RHP (4.25, 4.88, 3.95) vs Jake Arrieta, RHP (2.12, 2.79, 3.94), 3:05 PM CT


I’m not sure what’s up with Miller’s bullpen test, as it lasted all of one inning. Miller went from a 8.78 K/9 and 2.96 BB/9 in 2013 to a 5.97 and 4.50 respectively this year. Probably safe to say that’s not good. He struggled late last season and in the playoffs too. He’s mostly a fastball guy, and hasn’t seen any drop in velocity at least. I guess he’s just having trouble locating.

Sunday: Adam Wainwright, RHP (2.02, 3.33, 2.84) vs Kyle Hendricks, RHP (2.77, 3.59, 4.40), 1:20 PM CT

It’s too bad for Waino that Kershaw is in the same league, since he should be cleaning up on CYAs. It’s hard to believe he hasn’t won one yet. His strikeout rate has dropped a bit but he’s obviously still one of the top five pitchers in baseball.

Hendricks looked great in his Wrigley debut, going seven innings with no runs allowed against the Padres. He did walk three more batters though, which is a little surprising given how stingy he was with BBs in the minors. He gets a much tougher assignment this weekend.

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