Jeff Samardzija takes the ball for the Cubs (3-6), who haven't
scored in his first two outings. "I see these guys work every day
and I know what they're doing," Samardzija told reporters about the
Cubs' hitters. "If it was a different situation and I thought they
were lazy, it'd be different. Guys come to work every day and do
everything they can. It's early in the season and we'll keep going,
keep pushing and figure this out." The Cubs, though, have scored 25
runs in four games between Samardzija starts, including Thursday's
5-4 loss to Pittsburgh when the Pirates erased a 4-0 lead with five
runs in the seventh to hand Chicago its seventh straight series
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, CSN Chicago Plus, FSN Midwest (St. Louis)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH Jeff Samardzija (0-1, 1.29 ERA) vs.
Cardinals RH Joe Kelly (1-0, 1.69)
Samardzija received a no-decision in Chicago's 1-0 loss in 10
innings at Pittsburgh on March 31 and was the loser in a 2-0 setback
versus Philadelphia on Saturday as he yielded 11 hits and struck out
11 in the two outings covering 14 innings. The 29-year-old
Merrillville, Ind., native is 4-3 with a 4.47 ERA in 18 appearances
(seven starts) against St. Louis while splitting a pair of starts in
2013. Yadier Molina and Jon Jay are a combined 17-for-35, but with
only four RBIs against Samardzija.
Kelly yielded one run, six hits, walked four and struck out four in
5 1/3 innings of St. Louis' 6-1 victory at Pittsburgh on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Anaheim, Calif., native earned the No. 5 spot in
spring training and has impressed manager Mike Matheny. "We think
he's made some huge strides, just as far as his philosophy on
pitching," Matheny told reporters. "... I think he's kind of found
that rhythm to where he knows he has the stuff to get the strikeout,
and he's also capable of getting those quick outs.'' Kelly is 3-2
with a 2.61 ERA in seven games (four starts) against the Cubs while
dominating Anthony Rizzo (1-for-13, three strikeouts).
[to top of second column]
Chicago 2B Emilio Bonifacio went 0-for-4 on Thursday, dropping
his average from .500 to .452.
St. Louis Yadier Molina has three of the Cardinals six home runs
and also leads the team with seven RBIs.
Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo is 11-for-18 in his last five games after
going 2-for-17 in his first four contests.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 1, Cubs 0
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