|11:20 AM PT12:20 PM MT1:20 PM CT2:20 PM ET14:20 ET18:20 GMT2:20 11:20 AM MST1:20 PM EST1:50 PM VEN22:20 UAE12:20 PM CT, September 25, 2021
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois Attendance: 32,918
Jon Lester leads Cards' charge for record 15th straight win
St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
- The Cubs are 7-5 against the Cardinals this year (4-1 at Wrigley Field), though St. Louis has won four of the last five games in the season series. The Cubs have outscored the Cardinals, 30-9, from the seventh inning on in their 12 head-to-head games this year.
- The Cardinals' current 12-game winning streak is their longest win streak since April 1982, when they also won 12 consecutive games. The longest winning streak in Cardinals history is 14 games, a mark set in July 1935. The Dean brothers, Dizzy and Paul, recorded seven of the team's wins during that franchise-record streak (Dizzy 4, Paul 3).
- J.A. Happ is 9-8 with a 6.02 ERA this season, pitching for the Twins (5-6 in 19 starts) and Cardinals (4-2 in nine starts). Happ has the highest ERA in the major leagues this season among the 46 pitchers with 15 or more decisions who have a winning record.
- The four games in this series will be the Cubs' final four games at Wrigley Field this season. The Cubs are 39-38 in home games this year. They need at least two wins in this series to clinch a winning record in home games for the eighth consecutive season. The last year in which the Cubs did not have a winning record at home is 2013 (31-50).
- Zach Davies is scheduled to start for the Cubs in the second game of Friday's day/night doubleheader. Davies is 0-5 with an 8.31 ERA over his last 10 starts, but he is 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA in three starts against the Cardinals this year.
- Paul Goldschmidt leads the Cardinals in hits (17), extra-base hits (11), runs scored (19), home runs (5), walks (7), batting average (.378), on-base percentage (.463) and slugging percentage (.844) during the team's current 12-game winning streak.
- Altuve, Correa HRs lift Astros by BoSox
- Dodgers plan to start Scherzer in Game 1
- Cubs hire Cleveland's Hawkins as new GM
- Giants' special season ends abruptly
- Cards fire Shildt despite playoff berth
The St. Louis Cardinals will bid for their team-record 15th consecutive victory when they visit the Chicago Cubs Saturday.
The Cardinals (85-69) swept the Cubs 8-5 and 12-4 in a doubleheader Friday to push their winning streak to 14 games, which tied the 1935 team for longest in franchise history.
They increased their lead over the Philadelphia Phillies to five games for the second National League wild-card spot. They reduced their magic number for reaching the playoffs to four with eight games to play.
"It's unbelievable, it's really unbelievable," Cardinals outfielder Lars Nootbaar told Bally Sports Midwest after hitting two homers in the second game Friday. "The guys are just having a great time in the clubhouse, we got out here and have a good time, we feed off of each other."
Meanwhile the rebuilding Cubs (67-87) have lost 11 of their last 13 games. But manager David Ross figured his youthful squad could benefit from facing the streaking Cardinals.
"They're the hottest team in baseball right now," Ross said. "They're coming in playing really good baseball. I think it's a great environment for a lot of these guys, the young guys."
Cardinals starting pitcher Jon Lester (7-6, 4.59 ERA) has won his last two starts and he has allowed two earned runs or fewer in his last six starts. He has allowed just nine runs on 26 hits in last 35 2/3 innings.
His 5-2 victory over the Brewers on Monday was the 200th in his career.
"What a tremendous addition. He's done a great job," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. "This guy's got such heart. He's like John Wayne. He's got that true grit. Big, strong silent type. That's a heck of a milestone."
Lester lost his only start this season against the Cubs, one of his former teams, while pitching for the Washington Nationals in May. He allowed five runs on eight hits, including three homers, in 5 1/3 innings.
He is 2-1 with a 6.50 ERA in three career starts against the Cubs. Willson Contreras (2-for-3, homer), Matt Duffy (3-for-6, double) and Austin Romine (2-for-6, RBI) have had success against Lester.
Adrian Sampson (1-2, 2.84) will make his ninth appearance and fourth start of the season for the Cubs. Sampson is 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his career against the Cardinals.
He will deal with an offense that scored 20 runs against the Cubs Friday night as Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O'Neill hit their 30th homers to join teammate Nolan Arenado in the club this season.
"That's a heck of an accomplishment," Shildt said. "Those three guys, there's a reason why we're doing what we're doing -- a lot of reasons, actually -- but those three are big ones."
The Cardinals will play without shortstop Edmundo Sosa, who suffered a hand contusion in Game 1 of Friday's doubleheader when he was hit by a pitch. He is expected to miss several games.
--Field Level Media
Updated September 25, 2021