A huge series begins tonight with the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium, and the St. Louis Cardinals will be looking to recapture 1st place in the NL Central with a win while the Pittsburgh Pirates are idle.
The Cards come into the game winners of 7 of their last 10 including taking 3 of 4 this past weekend from the Atlanta Braves.
Tyler Lyons will be on the hill in place of the injured Jake Westbrook, and the Cards hope he can turn in a solid performance, or at least a performance good enough to give them a chance to hit their way to victory.
The Reds, on the other hand, come in playing .500 ball over their last 10 contests, yet still only trail the Birds and the Buccos by 2.5 games.
Mike Leake will take the hill for the Reds tonight, and his last outing against St. Louis was brutal if you are a Reds fan as he yielded 7 earned runs in 5 innings as the Cardinals blasted the Reds 15-2. Leake has had 1 other previous outing against the Cardinals this season, and it went slightly better, but he still allowed 3 earned runs in 5 innings on the way to a 9-2 Cardinals win.
In Leake’s last 2 outings coming in to this game, he has allowed 4 earned runs in each contest, tossing 5 innings and 6 innings respectively. So, it appears Leake is vulnerable right now.
The Cards need to take advantage of Leake’s current rough patch, and start this major series out on a high note by announcing their offensive presence with authority.
Today’s lineup for the Cardinals:
- Carpenter 2B
- Jay CF
- Holliday LF
- Craig RF
- Molina C
- Adams 1B
- Freese 3B
- Descalso SS
- Lyons P
With the above lineup, Matheny has opted to play some historically sound matchups in game 1, and with the way the Cardinals have been playing lately I see a fair amount of success in their future tonight.
Successful Cardinals Historical numbers vs. Leake in their careers:
Jon Jay has hit .313 with 5 hits in 16 at bats. Matt Holliday has hit .450 with 9 hits in 20 at bats. Yadier Molina has hit .286 with 4 hits in 14 at bats. David Freese has hit .538 with 7 hits in 13 at bats. Finally, tiny sample size, but Matt Adams has hit .667 with a 2-3 day his last time against Leake.
The way I see it, all of this adds up to a Cardinal win tonight and reclamation of first place in the NL Central.
Enjoy the game, and GO CARDS!