Phillies-Cubs Preview

The Chicago Cubs’ Jake Arrieta and Philadelphia Phillies’ Kyle

Kendrick are hardly imposing pitchers.

Don’t tell that to two of the hottest hitters in this weekend

series – the Phillies’ Michael Young and the Cubs’ Starlin

Castro.

Young has never gotten a hit off Arrieta and Castro has come up

empty against Kendrick heading into Sunday’s matchup at Wrigley

Field.

These teams have traded one-run victories in a series

highlighted by interim Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg’s return to

Wrigley.

Young is 7 for 10 with three RBIs through two games while Castro

is 4 for 9 with three doubles, three RBIs and his first homer since

July 31 in Saturday’s 4-3 win.

It’s possible – and probably surprising given who they are –

that Sandberg and Cubs manager Dale Sveum are using the perfect

starters to slow those hitters down.

Young, 10 for 17 against Chicago (57-78) this year, is 0 for 10

against Arrieta (1-1, 4.50 ERA), and the only pitcher he has fared

worse against in his career is the now-retired Esteban Yan (0 for

14).

Castro is 0 for 9 against Kendrick (10-11, 4.40) to match his

mark against Reds left-hander Tony Cingrani for his worst against

any pitcher.

Sunday’s right-handed starters have been plagued by poor run

support.

Kendrick is 1-5 with a 6.11 ERA over his last seven outings, and

his offense has produced 11 total runs of support in that span.

Eight came in his lone win since the All-Star break – a six-inning

stint against the Cubs in which he gave up five runs for a 9-8

victory Aug. 6.

The Phillies were shut out for the third time in Kendrick’s last

four outings Tuesday against the Mets as he gave up five runs – one

earned – over six innings in a 5-0 loss.

Kendrick is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in four career starts against

the Cubs, limiting them to a .208 average.

Chicago has scored one run or zero in three of Arrieta’s four

starts since he was acquired from Baltimore on July 2.

The Cubs gave him no support Tuesday, as Arrieta was charged

with four runs over five-plus innings in a 6-2 loss to the

Dodgers.

Arrieta’s lone career start against Philadelphia (62-74) came

June 8, 2012, with Baltimore. He surrendered nine runs over four

innings in a 9-6 loss.

Both clubs’ bullpens have been busy this weekend with 13 1-3

innings. Each team’s starter allowed three runs in five innings

Saturday before five Cubs relievers finished with four scoreless

innings.

Chicago improved to 4-16 at home since the All-Star break.

“They haven’t come around too often lately so it was nice to get

the lead and all the relievers did a great job, made the plays when

they had to and did a nice job to get a win at home,” Sveum

said.

Phillies third baseman Cody Asche has missed three straight

games with a right hamstring strain, but should return to the

lineup Sunday.