The Chicago Cubs will try to continue their hold on the St. Louis Cardinals when the teams meet again at Wrigley Field on Saturday night.
The Cubs are 6-1 against the Cardinals this season after a 10-5 win Friday in the opener of a three-game series.
The victory was just the Cubs’ second in their past 14 games. The Cardinals have lost four of their past six.
The Cubs will start right-hander Zach Davies (5-5, 4.28 ERA), who has shut out the Cardinals through 11 2/3 innings in two starts this season. He is 3-3 with a 3.78 ERA in 12 career starts against them.
Overall, Davies has allowed just four runs over 15 innings in his past three starts.
The Cubs’ offense was bolstered by Kris Bryant, who delivered a three-run, pinch-hit double on Friday. He didn’t start because of a sore right hamstring.
“His words are more ‘achy’ than ‘tight,’ so I would say there’s not a (huge) level of concern,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “He feels better every day. I don’t think it’s any kind of IL thing at this moment.”
The Cardinals will start left-hander Kwang Hyun Kim (3-5, 3.39). Kim is coming off his best performance of the season; he blanked the San Francisco Giants for seven innings in a 5-3 victory Monday while allowing just three hits and two walks.
He has allowed just seven earned runs over 26 1/3 innings in his past five starts. His role has increased with the losses of Jack Flaherty (oblique strain), Miles Mikolas (forearm strain) and Carlos Martinez (torn thumb ligament).
“Jack was 8-1 and headed to the All-Star Game, headed to a Cy Young-caliber year,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “Miles has been an All-Star and is an innings-eater and strike-thrower; Carlos is a two-time All-Star.
“When you don’t have them, you do your best to overcome it, fight scratch and claw, make no excuses, but there’s a reality to it as well.”
This will be Kim’s first start against the Cubs this season. In his only career start against them he last just 3 2/3 innings while allowing one run on three hits and three walks in a 3-1 win on Aug. 17, 2020.
Both teams adjusted their bullpen for this series.
The Cubs placed left-handed reliever Brad Wieck (irregular heartbeat) on the injured list Friday and activated right-handed reliever Ryan Tepera. They also sent right-hander Cory Abbott to Triple-A Iowa and recalled lefty Kyle Ryan.
In February 2020, Wieck had heart surgery to repair an atrial flutter.
“With his history, anything you’re dealing with is extremely serious,” Ross said. “We want to all be on the same page of making sure he’s safe and able to go out there and compete.”
The Cardinals signed veteran RHP Luis Garcia on Friday and pitched him later in the day (one run, two hits, two-thirds of an inning). RHP Johan Oviedo was sent to Triple-A Memphis to make room for him on the roster.
–Field Level Media