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Friday, May 2, 2014
Series preview: Cardinals at Cubs

By Jesse Rogers

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs welcome the St. Louis Cardinals to town this weekend for the first time this season. The Cardinals took two of three from the Cubs last month in St. Louis.

The series:
Friday, 1:20 p.m.: Travis Wood (1-3, 3.52) vs. Adam Wainwright (5-1, 1.20)
Saturday, 12:05 p.m.: Jake Arrieta (0-0, 0.00) vs. Michael Wacha (2-2, 2.48)
Sunday, 7:05 p.m.: Jason Hammel (4-1, 2.08) vs Lance Lynn (4-1, 3.60)

Arrieta debut: Due to the rainout on Tuesday in Cincinnati, right-hander Jake Arrieta's season debut got pushed to Saturday as he missed the first month of the season due to shoulder stiffness. A healthy Arrieta has dominating stuff although he tends to walk too many hitters. He could pitch himself into being a core player for the Cubs. That's what this season is about for him.

Who's hot/Who's not: Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo finished the first month of the season in fine fashion. They were on base a combined nine times on Wednesday night. Castro was 9-for-20 on the just completed road trip while Rizzo redeemed himself from a rough week by getting on base five times in the finale against the Reds. Meanwhile, Mike Olt continues to struggle as he was 1-for-12 on the road trip, including an 0-for-5 with two strikeouts on Wednesday although he made contact with the bases loaded to drive in a run. His batting average is down to .164.

Sunday's game: The Cubs' first Sunday night game is featured on ESPN with Dan Shulman and John Kruk broadcasting from the right field bleachers. They'll sing the seventh inning stretch as well.