With deadline looming, streaking Cards face off with Cubs

With deadline looming, streaking Cards face off with Cubs

Much like his team, St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty has fared pretty well of late — and just as the trade deadline looms.

Chicago Cubs All-Star Justin Steele, meanwhile, hopes to continue bounce back from a rare rough outing and continue his recent success against the Cardinals

Flaherty eyes a fifth straight victory while trying to help the visiting Cardinals extend their season-best winning streak to seven games on Friday against the Cubs

Though St. Louis is fourth in the National League Central, it has won nine of 11 and totaled 46 runs while going 6-1 since the All-Star break. Rookie Jordan Walker and Paul DeJong each clubbed two-run homers during a 7-2 win over Chicago on Thursday in the series opener.

“We know we have so much potential as a team, we’re starting to show that now,” outfielder Tyler O’Neill told Bally Sports Midwest of the Cardinals, who entered the All-Star break 38-52

Flaherty (7-5, 4.29 ERA) has allowed just three runs over 18 2/3 innings while winning all three of his July starts. That has come after he yielded six runs and 10 hits in each of his final two June outings — though Flaherty earned a winning decision on June 19 at Washington.

The right-hander gave up all three of his July runs, on three hits and three walks while striking out seven, through six innings of St. Louis’ 8-4 victory against the Nationals on Sunday.

Even amid their current surge, the Cardinals‘ brass has indicated the club could be willing to deal veterans such as Flaherty by the Aug. 1 deadline

“My job is to get ready for my next start,” Flaherty said. “I did my job (versus Washington).

“I’ve got the Cubs in Wrigley, and that’s always fun.

Flaherty allowed three runs, including a two-run homer by Dansby Swanson, on seven hits and five walks over five innings in St. Louis’ 6-4 road victory over the Cubs on May 9

Swanson, 9-for-20 with two homers, five doubles and nine RBIs against the Cardinals this season, has been bothered by a heel issue that has kept him out of action since July 5. However, he could return this weekend for the Cubs, who are 5-5 in their past 10 and also might be sellers in the coming days

“We all know where we’re at, and we know the situation,” Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks said

Steele (9-3, 2.96 ERA) made his first All-Star appearance this month, tossing a scoreless inning.

He is 2-0 with 2.37 ERA in his past three starts against the Cardinals — including two this season. However, he allowed a season-high six earned runs plus 10 hits during an 11-5 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Sunday

St. Louis stars Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are a combined 9-for-24 (.375) against the left-hander. Meanwhile, ex-Cub Willson Contreras is 1-for-6 vs. Steele, but batting .364 (8-for-22) against Chicago in 2023.

With a two-run double on Thursday, Arenado is batting .370 (17-for-46) with 19 RBIs in his past 12 games.

Chicago’s Cody Bellinger is 1-for-12 with five strikeouts vs. Flaherty, but he is hitting .427 (35-for-82) during his past 22 contests.

–Field Level Media

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.