Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Arrieta faces Lynn as Cards-Cubs series continues

Following the pomp and circumstance that enveloped Opening Night on Sunday, the Cubs and Cardinals have had to wait two days to resume their rivalry series. The teams enjoyed a scheduled off-day on Monday before the threat of rain and sub-freezing wind chills caused a postponement on Tuesday. Wednesday's series finale at Wrigley Field will feature the two starters -- Chicago's Jake Arrieta and St. Louis' Lance Lynn -- who were supposed to meet a day earlier.
Things to know about the game:
• At 0-for-11, Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter has more hitless at-bats against Arrieta than against any other pitcher in baseball. The drought is especially surprising given Carpenter's career .301 average against right-handed pitchers. In fact, Arrieta is the only right-hander Carpenter has faced at least seven times without recording a hit.
• Last season, Arrieta did not make his first Major League start until May 3, spending Spring Training rehabbing a tight right shoulder. This spring was different, and he feels like he's further along than he was last year. His goal is to pitch 200 innings this season, something he has yet to accomplish in his career.
• Expect changes to manager Mike Matheny's batting order, as he has indicated that he will try to split up his left-handed bats with a right-hander on the mound for Chicago. Jhonny Peralta and Matt Adams, who batted fourth and fifth, respectively, on Sunday, are likely to swap spots. Yadier Molina might drop as low as seventh so Matheny can separate the left-handed-hitting Jon Jay and Kolten Wong.

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