CHICAGO -- Adam Wainwright will make his 21st start of the year today, hoping to give the Cards a series victory and keep them in second place behind the Milwaukee Brewers.
He has not had exceptional luck against the Northsiders, with a 1-1 record and a 6.00 ERA this year in three starts. For his career, he is 9-7, 6-1 at Wrigley.
The Cards ended a mini-losing streak yesterday, snapping a four-game skid as they beat the Cubs 6-3, aided by three hits from A.J. Pierzynski, their newest acquisition. The 37-year-old ranks first among active catchers with 1,743 games caught of the 1,836 games in which he has appeared.
Pierzynski’s acquisition gives the Redbirds a potential steady hitter in a line-up that has struggled during Yadier Molina’s absence. Matt Holliday (3-9, HR), Matt Adams (2-10 4 RBIs) Jon Jay (3-8) and Kolten Wong (3-6) have all swung the bat well thus far in the Chicago series.
The Cards will face right-hander Kyle Hendricks (1-0, 2.77 ERA), who started the year in triple A Iowa where he went 10-5 with an ERA of 3.59 in 102 innings. Hendrick is a power pitcher, fanning nearly one man per inning in triple A ball, a trend that continued in his two major league starts.
He was named minor the Cubs league pitcher of the year in 2013. Hendricks came over to the Cubs from Texas along with infielder Christian Villanueva for pitcher Ryan Dempster in 2012.
The Cards will be trying to win their fourth series in the last five while the Cubs will be trying to win their first home series since early June.
•Matt Adams WAR (wins above replacement) is 2.7, third in the National League in that category.
•The Cards head to San Diego immediately after the game and are off on Monday. Lance Lynn (11-7) will face the Padres Jesse Hahn (6-2) Tuesday night.
•Randy Choate could reach 600 game appearances for his career this year. He is 22 away with 58 to play.
•Trevor Rosenthal needs six punch-outs for 200. Lance Lynn needs five more wins for 50.
•Two dubious season-high marks came against the Cubs. The longest game (4:39 on May 13) and the worst defeat (17-5, May 12). The Cards also scored five runs in one inning against the Cubs on May 12, their highest single inning output of the year.
•Wainwright holds several team season records, including strikeouts in a game (12), consecutive scoreless innings ( 25, from April 12-27) and fewest hits allowed (1, April 20 against Arizona.)
•The Cards are 43-16 when scoring first, 12-32 when they don’t. They are 7-28 scoring three or fewer runs, 43-14 when they score at least four.
•The Redbirds are just 15-18 in the final game of a series.