St. Louis Cardinals: Five Things to Watch in First Chicago Series
How are the Cardinal defectors received in their first trip back to Busch?
We all know how just about every other former Cardinal has been welcomed back to Busch Stadium in the past.
But will things stay warm and friendly with the latest Cardinals-gone-rogue? What will the crowd response be when Jason Heyward and John Lackey have their names called over the PA system for the first time?
We aren’t going to have to wait long to find out the answer to each of those questions tonight.
Lackey throws game one here tonight for Chicago, meaning he’ll have his name announced with the starting lineup.
Heyward figures to see his first plate appearance in the top of the first, as he’s hit primarily out of the two-hole for Joe Maddon‘s club.
Lackey is 2-0 on the young season, sporting a 5.68 ERA in 12 2/3 innings thus far. Interestingly, Lackey has never made a start against the Cardinals in the regular season. His only start against the Redbirds came in a clinching World Series Game Six when he was with Boston in 2013.
Jason Heyward is slashing .205/.314/.250 through the seasons first two weeks. He’s yet to hit a home run, although he has driven in seven runs and has drawn six walks in 51 plate appearances.
Heyward seems to be the natural target of the boo-birds tonight, given the failed attempt by the Cardinals at a long-term relationship with the superstar(ish) right fielder.
Equally, Lackey’s antics on the mound were somewhat tolerable when he was in a Cardinal uniform. I don’t think they would be received quite as well with the baby bear on his chest.
You could say that Lackey has something of a legitimate beef after his contract situation in 2015 and I wouldn’t disagree with you.
That’s all the more reason why he should be amped up making his second start against the club he beat to win the 2013 World Series, and pitched for a season ago.
Maybe we see some fireworks.
Next: Cards Starting Pitching vs. Chicago's Lineup