The St. Louis Cardinals hit the road
By Rodney Davis
The St. Louis Cardinals hit the road. Coming off a home-stand that saw them go 9-2, the St. Louis Cardinals are set to embark on a road trip that will see them play 13 of their next 16 games away from Busch Stadium.
What better way to kick off a road trip than to do so against a rival? Just last weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals played three closely, contested contests against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
All three games saw the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates battle it out through extra games. All three also saw the Cardinals come on top in the end due to timely hitting from clear-cut MVP candidate Matt Carpenter with contributions from others such as Kolten Wong, Jhonny Peralta and Mark Reynolds.
Off to their greatest start in team history with a 21-7 record, the St. Louis Cardinals aren’t looking to cool off. They are looking to stay hot and build off of the momentum they have established through 28 games.
To kick off their road trip, they will send Michael Wacha to the mound against Francisco Liriano. Here is the St. Louis Cardinals lineup below.
1. Bourjos – CF
2. Wong – 2B
3. Holliday – LF
4. Peralta – SS
5. Reynolds – 1B
6. Heyward – RF
7. Molina – C
8. Kozma – 3B
Some key notes to the series opener in Pittsburgh:
The St. Louis Cardinals took the first two games of last weekend’s series against the Pirates with 2-1 wins followed by a 3-2 win on Sunday for the sweep. While Liriano has a 4-1 career record against the St. Louis Cardinals with a 1.86 era in 9 career starts, there are guys in the lineup tonight who hit him well.
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As a matter of fact Jhonny Peralta (.326 average), Peter Bourjos (.304 average) and Matt Adams (.308 average) have all hit him well in the past. Yesterday’s start by John Lackey against the Chicago Cubs saw him go 7 and 2/3’s, giving up 1 run, walking 1 and striking out 10, and got a RBI double, allowing much of the bullpen time to rest.
Pittsburgh is off to a less than stellar 13-15 start, but as they have shown over the past few seasons, they are a resilient group and with their young team built around former MVP Andrew McCutchen, Gerrit Cole, Starling Marte and others, they will be in the thick of things.
Manager Mike Matheny admires his club’s toughness the past couple of days heading into the Pirates series and had this to say to mlb.com.
"“I saw a toughness in some big situations that you don’t necessarily see,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of his team’s recent stretch. “Sometimes you’re waiting around to August to see that group that grinds. It’s nice to see it early. That’s the bar. That’s what it should look like.”"
For the St. Louis Cardinals, they are in need for another strong outing from their rotation, and hopefully Michael Wacha is up for the challenge against a savvy veteran in Francisco Liriano.
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