Previewing Sunday Night Baseball: Cards at Cubs
With the Cardinals and Cubs about to bring the first half of the season to a close, here’s some things to consider...
On the bump
- Adam Wainwright (9-5, 3.09) toes the rubber for the Cardinals. He tossed 8 1/3 shutout innings in his last start against the Brewers on Tuesday. Wainwright has allowed two runs or less in four out of his last five starts, lowering his ERA from 3.49 to 3.09 in the process. He has pitched six or more innings in 16 straight starts dating back to April 11.
- Randy Wells (4-3, 2.48) starts the nightcap for the Cubs. Wells allowed two runs over six innings in a 4-2 win over the Braves in his last start on Monday. He has won four consecutive starts, allowing two runs or less in each of them. This is his first career start against the Cardinals.
Back in the lineup
- Derrek Lee is back in the lineup after leaving Saturday’s game with neck spasms. After a .189 April, the 34-year-old first baseman has rebounded, compiling a .281/.356/.514 line with 17 homers and 56 RBI.
Rookie of the Year?
- After struggling through April and May, Colby Rasmus has asserted himself as the prohibitive favorite in the National League Rookie of the Year race. He currently leads all rookies in hits, runs, doubles, homers and RBI.
- Ted Lilly (9-6, 3.18) is the lone Cubs All-Star while Albert Pujols (.338, 32 HR, 85 RBI) Yadier Molina (.280, 5 HR, 30 RBI) and Ryan Franklin (0.82 ERA, 20 saves)will represent the hometown Cardinals.
On the mend
- The Cubs will be without catcher Geovany Soto for about a month. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a mild left oblique strain on Saturday. Hampered by a shoulder issue in the early going, the 2008 National League Rookie of the Year got off to a slow start, but regained some pop with six homers in 74 June at-bats. Koyie Hill will fill in for now.
- Aramis Ramirez is 10-for-25 (.400) with a homer, four doubles and four RBI against Wainwright in his career.