Cardinals, Cubs welcome upcoming days off

MLB

The St. Louis Cardinals and host Chicago Cubs will look to enter the All-Star break on a positive note when they meet in the rubber match of a three-game series Sunday afternoon.

The Cardinals are coming off a 6-0 victory Saturday that marked their first win in five games at Wrigley Field this season. Paul Goldschmidt, Tommy Edman and Paul DeJong hit home runs in the victory.

That followed Friday’s series opener in which the Cubs cruised to a 10-5 win.

In the series finale, the Cardinals will give the ball to veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright (7-5, 3.58 ERA). The 39-year-old has a career record of 174-103 with a 3.39 ERA, and he ranks third in franchise history for victories behind only Bob Gibson (251) and Jesse Haines (210).

Wainwright has a long history against the Cubs. In 52 career appearances (43 starts), he is 17-13 with a 4.00 ERA. He has walked 81 and struck out 237 in 270 1/3 innings.

The Cubs will counter with right-hander Trevor Williams (3-2, 5.51 ERA), who is slated to make his 11th start of the season. He is looking to bounce back from a rough outing his last time out in which he allowed seven runs (three earned) on six hits in 3 2/3 innings against Philadelphia on Tuesday. The Phillies won 15-10.

In 16 career games (13 starts) against St. Louis, Williams is 4-6 with a 5.64 ERA.

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina will look to finish strong before heading into the All-Star break. He was selected as a replacement for the All-Star Game this week but elected to bypass the contest.

The 18-year veteran will turn 39 on Tuesday and decided that rest is more important at this time.

“It’s something that I decided because it’s my health,” said Molina, who was selected to his 10th All-Star Game this season. “I want to take those four days and rest and try to do it for the team also, because they’re going to need me. I think that was the smart decision.”

Cardinals manager Mike Shildt supports Molina’s decision.

“I said, ‘You made yourself a tremendous teammate,'” Shildt said. “Regardless of how many times you’ve been (to the All-Star Game), you want to go and enjoy that experience and receive the accolades and be with the best in the game for a special night. … But I think he’s being such a gracious teammate for making sure he’s physically recouping and ready to go play in the second half.”

Meanwhile, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was bypassed for the All-Star Game. He has 13 homers and 31 RBIs this season while providing solid defense.

“He’s definitely been an All-Star to our group, for sure,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “Sometimes it gets recognized over the league and sometimes it doesn’t.

“I’m glad he’s getting some time off. You’d have to ask him about how he feels about that, but he’s a two-time All-Star already. … To be selected to go to the All-Star Game is an amazing honor, but selfishly as his manager, I like that he’s going to get four days off.”

–Field Level Media

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