October Confidential: Cubs vs. Cardinals

October Confidential: Cubs vs. Cardinals

After blanking the Pirates, 4-0, to advance to the National League Division Series for the first time since 2008, the Cubs take on the arch-rival Cardinals for the first time in the postseason with Game 1 getting underway on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET on TBS.

What's the best way to beat each of these teams? To find out, we asked players from across their respective divisions to give the inside intel on how these clubs can be beaten. Our sources were granted anonymity in exchange for their candor.

Game Date Results
Gm 1 Oct. 9 STL 4, CHC 0
Gm 2 Oct. 10 CHC 6, STL 3
Gm 3 Oct. 12 CHC 8, STL 6
Gm 4 Oct. 13 CHC 6, STL 4

CHICAGO CUBS
Kyle Schwarber
"His bat stays through the zone for a long time, the same as Bryant but from the left side of the plate. He's on time for fastballs. You have to be mixing in another pitch pretty well. I don't have a lot of history with him yet. The more times we face him and the more reports that come out, the better chance we have to find something on him. From what I have seen, he stays on fastballs really well. He seems like a special player."
-- NL Central pitcher

Jon Lester
"He has the really hard slider-cutter thing. For me, I like to see him out over the plate. As a right-handed hitter, anything that's moving down and in is going to be a ball. His fastball has to start middle away for it to be a strike because it's going to cut in there. You can rattle him on the bases. If guys get huge leads over there, he won't pick, because he can't pick. He has trouble throwing the ball to the bases. As a baserunner, you have to be aggressive and make him think about you a little bit. If you do that, he'll hopefully make a mistake out over the middle for the hitter." 
-- NL catcher

Hector Rondon
"Rondon's fastball is straight. He could make a mistake to you, but he likes to pitch away from the hitters. I think you have to look over the plate and try to hit something hard the other way or up the middle. You have to get in him early, because I don't think you want to be deep in a count with him." 
-- NL catcher

Read the complete Cubs October Confidential » 

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Jason Heyward
"Veteran guys like Heyward, they're tough. They know themselves better than anyone and what they do well. They take advantage of the mistakes that are made. They don't miss many pitches, especially up in the zone or mistakes. It makes it tough."
-- NL Central catcher

Jhonny Peralta
"You're always trying to mix it up and not be predictable with him. We just make sure to execute our game plan because he can really change the game with one swing. He's very dangerous, and you don't want to get beat by him."
-- NL Central catcher

Trevor Rosenthal
"When he first came up he didn't have the arsenal of pitches he has now. Now, he has a fastball, a curveball and a really good changeup. It makes him extremely difficult to hit against."
-- NL Central catcher

Read the complete Cardinals October Confidential »