Despite striking out 14 times in last night’s game, the St. Louis Cardinals still managed to tally 13 earned runs on 15 hits against the Astros in route to a 13-5 series opening win. Once again, Team RISP was the reason why, as the Cardinals went 5-9 while batting with runners in scoring position.
In their past 2 games, the Astros pitching staff has given up 24 earned runs. Their starters for those 2 games gave up 12 of those 24 earned runs. Tonight, the Astros will send Erik Bedard up against Lance Lynn, who will be seeking his 11th win on the season.
In his 4 June outings, Bedard is 2-1 with an 18:9 K:BB ratio over 25 innings pitched. He has went 6 or more innings pitched in 3 of his 4 appearances this month, and in his last 2 outings he has posted 14 strikeouts against 5 walks. Aside from a pure clunker in his 2nd start of the month against the Royals in which he allowed 6 earned runs in 4.2 innings, he has been fairly solid in June.
The Cardinals have countered with the following lineup per the Cardinals twitter account:
#STLCards lineup vs HOU: Carpenter 2B, Molina 1B, Beltran DH, Craig RF, Holliday LF, Freese 3B, Robinson CF, Kozma SS, Cruz C, Lynn P
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 26, 2013
No doubt, Shane Robinson is making a surprise appearance because he is 5-10 in his career against Bedard. Other notable Cards who’ve had some success against Bedard that are appearing tonight are Allen Craig (4-9, .444), David Freese (3-9, .333), Yadier Molina (4-8, .500), and Matt Holliday(6-18, .333).
Matheny was very creative in getting Molina’s hot bat in the lineup tonight by placing him at first base, but it does lead to a quick question. By deploying both catching options in the starting lineup, who will catch if something silly takes place and both get thrown out of the game, or heaven forbid, both get injured? Hopefully it won’t matter at the end of the day, but it’s certainly interesting that Matheny opted to go this direction tonight.
It will be interesting to see if Bedard is immune to the ER Disease that has afflicted the Astros starting pitchers their past 2 games. He has been known for working at near glacial pace, virtually rocking hitters to sleep in the process. Couple his tempo control measures, with the Cardinals noted struggles against LH pitching this season (.232 batting average against), and I expect a possible low scoring affair. However, when it’s all said and done I think Lance Lynn will pick up his 11th win, and the Cardinals will win for the 12th time in their last 13 games against the Astros.
Enjoy the game!