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."
|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:
Wacha vs the Cubs: