Monday, June 20, 2016

Cardinals visit Wrigley to face old friend Lackey

Cubs starter John Lackey has helped and hurt the Cardinals over the course of his career after he joined the list of 152 pitchers who have pitched for both clubs last offseason. On Monday night, he'll face his former team for the third time this season when the division rivals open a three-game set at Wrigley Field.
Lackey will be welcoming the Cards to Chicago for the first time. The Cubs, who've won three straight, dropped his start at Busch Stadium on May 23, when Randal Grichuk hit a walk-off home run after Lackey pitched seven innings and gave up three runs on four hits. But Lackey won in St. Louis on April 18, tossing seven shutout innings.
Lackey has also hurt the Cubs in similar fashion. He made three starts vs. Chicago in 2015, allowing a total of three runs and striking out 19 over 21 2/3 innings.
St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia has pitched his entire career in the Cardinals' organization and has experienced some success against the Cubs. He's 2-2 in six starts against Chicago, and 1-0 at Wrigley Field with a 2.05 ERA. He didn't receive the necessary run support earlier this season, when he went five innings and gave up two runs on four hits April 19 against the Cubs in St. Louis.
The Cardinals will look like a different team Monday than in their last series against the Cubs. Jhonny Peralta will likely be in the lineup for the first time against Lackey this season. The shortstop is hitting .355 against him lifetime, with 11 hits in 31 plate appearances. Seth Maness returned to the St. Louis bullpen Sunday, while Grichuk and Jeremy Hazelbaker are now at Triple-A with Tommy Pham getting called up.
Three things to know about this game
• It's been more than five years since Garcia's last win against the Cubs, which came on June 3, 2011. However, Cubs hitters have hit just .174 (8-for-46) against Garcia.
• The Cardinals' two wins against the Cubs so far this season are tied for the fewest against opponents they've faced in more than one series.
• Cubs catcher Willson Contreras is expected to make his first Major League start in this game. Contreras hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer in his first career at-bat on Sunday and hit .350 with Triple-A Iowa before his promotion.

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