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NLDS GameThread: St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs - Game 3

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The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs split the first two games of their NLDS matchup in Busch Stadium, but now it's back to Wrigley Field for Game 3 with Michael Wacha on the mound vs Jake Arrieta. Game Time: 6:00 PM TV: TBS; RADIO: ESPN Radio.

David Banks/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals split the first two games of their NLDS matchup in Busch Stadium. Now they're back in Wrigley Field for Game 3 with Jake Arrieta on the mound again, facing off against Michael Wacha in Game 3 at 6:00 PM EDT.

Arrieta, 29, threw a complete game shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Wild Card game to earn the right for the Cubs to face the Cards in the Division Series after going (22-6) with a 1.77 ERA, a 2.35 FIP, 48 walks (1.89 BB/9) and 236 Ks (9.28 K/9) in 229 IP, over which he held opposing hitters to a .184/.236/.271 line.

Cardinals' skipper Mike Matheny talked in his afternoon about having to face a starter that's been on the sort of run that Arrieta has been on this season and what's been different for the right-hander since they last faced him on July 7th.

"Well, I think going even further back than that, there's no question of the stuff," Matheny said. "I think the difference right now is just stuff with confidence. We watched that game in Pittsburgh, and I think he continued to show everybody why he's had the kind of season that he's had, and he feels good about every pitch he has.

"So it's going to be one of those dogfights for our offense, to get in there and grind out at-bats right from the top.

"We know he's in a good spot. He's not going to make a lot of mistakes. If he does we have to be ready and capitalize on it, but he's in the kind of position that he wants to be right now, and we're going to have to do something special."

Michael Wacha, 24, takes the mound for the Cardinals after going (17-7) in his third major league campaign with a 3.38 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 58 walks (2.88 BB/9), 153 Ks (7.59 K/9) and a .232/.300/.373 line against in 181 ⅓ IP in the regular season.

Matheny said he's look good throwing in the leadup to tonight's game.

"I like what I've seen from his side sessions. He likes what he's seen from his side sessions," Matheny told reporters.

"Everything is pointing in a good direction. Velocity has been there, even up a tick, which is great to see from a young player at this point in the season. A lot of things are going in a good direction.

"Once again, we talk about execution is what's going to be the deciding factor in how well he can execute inside the strike zone. We know that he's been good on this stage before, so that's not one of those uncertainties. We've seen him. He's proved to himself and now we just go watch him compete against a very good team."

Today's Lineups:

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS CHICAGO CUBS
Matt Carpenter - 3B Dexter Fowler - CF
Stephen Piscotty - 1B Jorge Soler - RF
Matt Holliday - LF Kris Bryant - 3B
Jason Heyward - RF Anthony Rizzo - 1B
Jhonny Peralta - SS Starlin Castro - 2B
Tommy Pham - CF Kyle Schwarber - LF
Yadier Molina - C Addison Russell - SS
Kolten Wong - 2B Miguel Montero - C
Michael Wacha - RHP Jake Arrieta - RHP

Arrieta vs the Cardinals:

Cardinals PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP missG
Jhonny Peralta 29 27 6 3 1 2 4 .222 .276 .333 .609 1
Matt Carpenter 21 16 5 4 .000 .238 .000 .238
Kolten Wong 21 21 5 1 8 .238 .238 .286 .524 1
Jason Heyward 18 18 6 1 1 3 .333 .333 .389 .722
Matt Holliday 17 15 1 2 5 .067 .176 .067 .243
Jon Jay 16 15 2 1 5 .133 .188 .133 .321
Yadier Molina 16 15 3 1 5 .200 .250 .200 .450
Mark Reynolds 12 12 2 1 1 4 .167 .167 .417 .583
John Lackey 6 5 1 1 1 1 3 .200 .333 .400 .733
Tony Cruz 3 3 1 1 .333 .333 .333 .667
Randal Grichuk 3 3 1 1 1 1 .333 .333 1.000 1.333
Lance Lynn 3 3 1 1 .333 .333 .333 .667
Brandon Moss 3 2 1 1 .000 .333 .000 .333
Tommy Pham 3 2 1 1 .500 .667 .500 1.167
Greg Garcia 2 2 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Tyler Lyons 2 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Michael Wacha 2 2 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Adam Wainwright 2 1 1 .000 .500 .000 .500
Total 179 164 30 6 1 1 5 15 48 .183 .251 .250 .501 2

Wacha vs the Cubs:

Cubs PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP missG
Starlin Castro 23 22 10 2 2 7 1 5 .455 .478 .818 1.296
Anthony Rizzo 23 22 10 2 4 1 2 .455 .478 .727 1.206
Miguel Montero 16 15 2 1 4 1 4 .133 .188 .200 .388 2
Kris Bryant 11 10 3 1 1 1 3 1 4 .300 .364 .900 1.264
Chris Coghlan 9 8 1 1 1 .125 .222 .250 .472
Dexter Fowler 6 5 2 1 .400 .500 .400 .900
Austin Jackson 6 6 1 1 .167 .167 .167 .333
Addison Russell 6 5 1 2 .000 .167 .000 .167 1
Jorge Soler 6 5 2 1 1 1 2 .400 .500 1.000 1.500
Javier Baez 5 5 2 2 2 .400 .400 .800 1.200
Jason Hammel 4 4 1 1 1 .250 .250 .250 .500
David Ross 4 3 1 2 .000 .250 .000 .250
Trevor Cahill 3 2 1 1 .000 .333 .000 .333
Travis Wood 3 2 1 2 .000 .333 .000 .333
Jake Arrieta 2 2 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Chris Denorfia 2 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Clayton Richard 1 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Total 130 119 34 7 1 6 20 11 29 .286 .346 .513 .859 3