Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Cardinals square off vs. Cubs behind revamped staff

Field Level Media
03 Aug 2022, 21:40 GMT+10

The St. Louis Cardinals will test their new-look pitching staff against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, Game 2 after Tuesday's trade deadline.

The Cardinals acquired left-handed starter Jose Quintana and reliever Chris Stratton from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday. On Tuesday, they added left-handed starter Jordan Montgomery from the New York Yankees for injured outfielder Harrison Bader.

Stratton joined the bullpen for this three-game home series at St. Louis, bumping Junior Fernandez back down to Triple-A Memphis. Montgomery's arrival will likely move either Andre Pallante or Dakota Hudson into a relief role.

"For us, as we looked at how the season was unfolding we felt it was really important to find a couple of pitchers that could give us those innings," Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said.

The Cardinals regained catcher Yadier Molina from the injured list, and they are hoping for more stretch-run production from outfielder Tyler O'Neill and shortstop Paul DeJong.

"I think we definitely improved our club," Mozeliak said. "It's going to be the impact these (new) guys can make for us, which is important, but also getting healthy, getting guys like O'Neill going, having Paul (DeJong) back. Hopefully we can get back to where we once thought we were."

The Cardinals, who won the opener of the series 6-0, will start Miles Mikolas (8-8, 2.86 ERA) on Wednesday. After getting pounded for six runs at Cincinnati on July 24, Mikolas bounced back to hold the Nationals to two runs on six hits in seven innings of a 6-2 victory on Friday.

Mikolas is 1-0 with a 4.09 ERA in two starts against the Cubs this season. In his last start against them, on June 25, he limited them to one run on four hits while striking out nine.

In his career, Mikolas is 4-2 with a 2.03 ERA in 13 appearances (11 starts) against the Cubs.

The Cubs will start Justin Steele (4-7, 3.86 ERA), who has allowed just six earned runs in his last five starts. But in his last outing, a 4-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants, he allowed four unearned runs in 3 2/3 innings.

"One of those outings he had to work hard in some moments but we didn't play well behind him," Cubs manager David Ross said.

Steele is 0-1 with a 5.25 ERA in two career starts against the Cardinals. But he had a good outing against the Cardinals on June 5, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits and three walks in seven innings in the Cubs' 5-3 loss in 11 innings.

The Cubs continued their talent selloff my moving relievers Scott Effross to the Yankees, Mychal Givens to the New York Mets and David Robertson to the Philadelphia Phillies for pitching prospects Hayden Wesneski, Saul Gonzalez and Ben Brown.

"It is super, super sad to see someone like Scotty go," assistant Cubs pitching coach Daniel Moskos said. "I love Scotty. I wish all my pitchers could be like Scotty. But the fact that we're getting Hayden in return, I am really genuinely excited, not just because I know him, but because I know the caliber of pitcher that we're getting."

Also, second baseman Nick Madrigal came off the injured list and pitcher Steven Brault went on the COVID-19 injury list.

Pitchers Michael Rucker and Anderson Espinoza arrived from Triple-A Iowa to fill roster vacancies.

--Field Level Media

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