It seems as if the St. Louis Cardinals‘ first run through the starting rotation has been long and drawn out.
In many ways, it has. A scheduled off day and a rainout during the Chicago Cubs series have strung out the rotation.
We’re not even to the fourth game of the season and Michael Wacha hasn’t taken his turn yet, but that changes today at the Great American Ballpark when St. Louis goes up against the Cincinnati Reds in game two of a three-game set.
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Wacha has a tall order ahead of him as Reds ace Johnny Cueto is on the hill. Cueto looked dazzling against the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this week, as he struck out 10 batters but did not get a decision. Still, Cueto looks like he’s in midseason form and that can’t be good news for the Cardinals.
Whatever happens, do not expect to see Wacha pitch deep into the game. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has told media Wacha’s innings will be limited. This is to be expected. Wacha threw 107 innings last year while working through right shoulder issues, and the last thing the team wants is to have Wacha suffer another injury to thin the pitching ranks.
One more thing: If it seems like the Cardinals aren’t hitting at Great American, it’s not an illusion. The park looks small on TV (and it is in person… I’ve been there), but Cardinal hitters only have a .206 average against the Reds in that park.
The lineup for today’s game has not been posted, but expect Matt Carpenter, Jason Heyward and Matt Holliday to once again bat 1-2-3. Whether Matt Adams stays in the cleanup role remains to be seen, as Adams has been in a slump to start the year.