History will favor Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks when he faces the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.
Hendricks is 12-3 with a 2.82 ERA in 24 career starts against the Cardinals. He has walked just 25 batters in 153 1/3 innings against them.
But current events favor the Cardinals, because the rebuilding Cubs have lost 14 of their last 17 games coming into their three-game road series at Busch Stadium.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals have won 10 of their last 13 games at home and they are coming off a four-game road split at Milwaukee, which kept them tied with the Brewers atop the National League Central.
“Overall we competed well,” manager Oliver Marmol said after the Cardinals fell to the Brewers 6-4 Thursday. “Offense did a nice job.”
Hendricks (2-6, 5.43 ERA) will be looking to snap a six-game winless streak. His last victory came on May 9.
“I know he wants to be as consistent as he possibly can and puts in the work, for sure,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “Right now just repeating that outing to outing is just, been a little bit of a struggle.”
In his last start, Hendricks allowed six runs on eight hits and a walk in just 4 1/3 innings in a 6-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
“A lot of the replays looked like stuff in the middle of the zone,” Ross said. “(Pitches were) just leaking back. Trying to go in, pulling it middle. Trying to go in, pulling it middle.”
Hendricks, who missed time with shoulder soreness earlier this season, will be making his first start against the Cardinals in 2022. He will need to pay particular attention to Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado in the middle of their order.
Goldschmidt is 13-for-41 with nine doubles in his career against Hendricks, and Arenado is 10-for-36 with three homers.
After posting a 1.288 on-base plus slugging percentage in May, Goldschmidt has produced a 1.047 OPS thus far in June. Arenado is batting .305 this month with five doubles, five homers and 16 RBIs.
The Cardinals will counter Hendricks with rookie Andre Pallante (2-2, 1.69). He faced the Cubs on June 4 and allowed one run on four hits and four walks in four innings.
Since moving from the bullpen to the starting rotation, Pallante has gone 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three starts. He worked 5 2/3 innings in his last start while allowing two runs on four hits and a walk in a 6-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox.
“I felt really good and (had) some of the best stuff I had since I’ve been a Cardinal,” Pallante said. “I felt like I had command of all three of my pitches, mixing some good sinkers in situations I needed to. I felt really good, it’s just a shame I let a couple of bad pitches let a couple of runs score.”
The Cubs adjusted their bullpen ahead of this series, putting Daniel Norris on their 15-day injured list with a left index finger strain and promoting Adrian Sampson from Triple-A Iowa.
–Field Level Media