National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, July 25
(All times Eastern)
St. Louis Cardinals (54-47) at Chicago Cubs (41-59), 4:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Joe Kelly (2-1, 2,84)
Chicago - Travis Wood (7-9, 5.12)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The St. Louis Cardinals hope to avoid a fourth straight
loss on Friday when they open a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs at
St. Louis found itself tied with Milwaukee atop the National League Central
standings at the beginning of the week, but heads into the weekend trailing
the Brewers by three games after a two-game sweep at the hands of the Tampa
Bay Rays, including a 3-0 setback on Wednesday.
"The last two days (Tampa Bay) has just had our number," said Cardinals
manager Mike Matheny.
Matheny is hoping right-hander Joe Kelly can continue to pitch well in
Friday's opener. Kelly was terrific on Saturday against the Los Angeles
Dodgers, as he allowed just a run and four hits in seven innings to improve to
2-1, while lowering his ERA to 2.84.
"It's a good start," Kelly said. "I'm going to keep doing [the different
motion] and do it as much as I can to just try and mix up pitches and hide
Kelly gave up just an unearned run over six innings of a no-decision against
the Cubs back on April 11. He is 3-2 in eight games (5 starts) against them
with a 2.19 ERA.
Chicago, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Travis Wood, who has lost his last
three starts. Wood dropped his fourth straight decision on Saturday in
Arizona, as he surrendered seven runs (5 earned) in 5 1/3 innings to fall to
7-9 on the year to go along with a 5.12 ERA.
Wood hasn't won since June 15 and over his last six starts, he owns a 6.82 ERA
and 1.96 WHIP while allowing opponents a .328 average.
"It's not like I'm sailing balls all over the place, I'm just missing," Wood
said after his last start. "I really want to go out and give seven, eight
innings as strong as I can every time, and so far it hasn't been happening.
Like I said, I promise we'll get there."
Wood has faced the Cardinals 13 times and is 5-5 against them with a 4.99 ERA.
Chicago enters this series having lost seven of eight after falling in the
final two games of its three-game series with the San Diego Padres, including
an ugly 13-3 loss on Thursday.
"It seems that anything that could go wrong has gone wrong over the past
couple of weeks," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said.
St. Louis has won five of its nine meetings with the Cubs this season.
07/25 10:37:48 ET