Contreras 2 HRs, Butler 6 scoreless, Cubs stop Cardinals 3-2


Relievers Trevor Rosenthal and Kevin Siegrist picked up the last six outs for St. Louis, polishing off its second shutout of the season and its first at home. "He put the uniform on and went out there and hit a homer". Narratives haven't quite taken hold this season, but I can sort of feel one coming on: the Cardinals can't beat good teams. With six wins in a row and an edge over the Central Division, the Cardinals want to keep this momentum going and it's an important weekend to send a message to the Cubs. The Cubs had runners on the corners with one out when Anthony Rizzo hit the ball back to Cardinals ace Carlos Martinez. That clubhouse contains some of baseball's biggest stars and most accomplished names, fresh off a World Series win, making Happ's ability to seize the moment all the more remarkable.

John Mozeliak had to be expecting another side of Leake when he signed him to a five-year, $80 million contract in free agency before the 2016 season, but the lengthy and substantial financial commitment meant Leake would have every opportunity to offer a better second impression. It won't necessarily be wrong, but it is alos rather obvious as beating good teams is harder than beating easier teams. "He was really good". They will still make the playoffs. Of Arrieta's eight starts this season, only three have been quality starts.

For Joe Maddon and the Chicago Cubs, the focus Saturday was more on the rules. Outfielder Jason Heyward is expected to be activated from the 10-day disabled list prior to the homestand starting Tuesday at Wrigley Field. Willson Contreras provided two of those and one hell of a night. That probably won't continue all year.

ASTROS-YANKEES: The Houston Astros game at the New York Yankees on Saturday has been postponed because of inclement weather.

Although he was not as dominant past year, Arrieta still managed an 18-8 record with a 3.10 ERA. Max Kepler connected to give the Twins a home run in 14 straight games, their longest streak since 1988. He has just 17 strikeouts in 30.2 Triple-A innings, which is pretty consistent with his peformance in the majors thus far. But the Cubs still are waiting for Arrieta's velocity to rise from the low-90s.

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Manager Mike Matheny has been more than pleased with both how well Pham and Sierra have filled in for the injured players. The losing pitcher on Saturday also doesn't understand why the rule exists. Lester is pitching just as well as he always has. I'm over the rule. Lester's velocity is down slightly from last season, and his walks are up a bit, but nothing to get too alarmed about. The Predators hadn't allowed four goals in any game during their excellent Stanley Cup playoff run before Anaheim finally got rolling for its sellout crowd.

Should the Cardinals go with Martinez, the Cubs will have their hands full.

Maddon's chances are aided by the fact that he will be sending Jake Arrieta to the mound to make the start for the Cubs (18-18).

Maddon was just getting started, adding that he recalled Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies getting nailed by a foul ball by pitcher German Marquez while in the on-deck circle on Wednesday.