St. Louis Cardinals: Birds MUST Win in Mets Series
The St. Louis Cardinals continue their series against the wild-card-door-knocking Mets on Wednesday night.
The St. Louis Cardinals, currently in the second NL Wild Card slot, have a few competitors literally knocking on the door in the Miami Marlins (1.5 games back), the Pittsburgh Pirates (3.0 games back), and the New York Mets (3.5 games back). This series could go a long way in pushing one of those “knockers” farther away.
Last night’s game, a loss to the Mets, did not help in the cause. The game was hard-fought but the Mets pulled away in the end. Or rather, the Mets pulled away in the first inning and then again a few innings later. Why? Credit for this is shared between a down night for Jaime Garcia and a good night for the Mets offense.
With so much at stake, the St. Louis Cardinals must find a way to win tonight to force tomorrow night’s game to be a deciding factor in the short-term as it relates to these two teams.
Before diving into tonight’s lineup, let’s look at last night’s highs and lows. On the high side of things, Yadier Molina continued his offensive tear by going 3 for 5 at the plate. Along with this, Randal Grichuk blasted his 16th home run of the season. Unfortunately, however, this home run came with no runners on base.
Speaking of runners on base, the downside to last night’s game came in the form of the statistic: left on base. In last night’s game, the St. Louis Cardinals left a total of 21 runners on base through the nine-inning contest. Even worst, many times these runners were stranded in scoring position. That does not spell a successful postseason team.
What would spell a successful postseason team? While there are many variables in the mix, pushing the New York Mets farther away by taking the remaining two games of this series as wins would certainly go a long way for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Can they do this? It will not be easy. For starters, tonight the St. Louis Cardinals must face Jacob deGrom. deGrom is no easy feat to face but these Cardinals fare pretty well the last time they faced him. To help with this, deGrom is coming off a poor start in his last start against the Giants in which he allowed 8 runs on 13 hits.
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Let’s hope the St. Louis Cardinals team that takes to the diamond tonight can embody the 2016 Giants and muster 8 runs against deGrom.
To help the St. Louis Cardinals drive to victory tonight, Carlos Martinez takes the mound. Martinez has been the top-of-the-rotation dude the Cardinals have needed this season and has allowed one run or no runs in each of his last ten starts. We Cardinal fans need to hope this firehouse is who takes the mound tonight.
Tonight’s starting lineup looks like this:
Matt Carpenter returns to the lead-off spot and will play first base.
Home run hitter, Jedd Gyorko, will fill the two spot and play second base.
St. Louis Cardinals home run king, Brandon Moss, will sit in the three spot and play left field.
Stephen Piscotty will bat cleanup and play right field.
Offensive hot spot, Molina, will bat fifth and sit at catcher.
Once shortstop now third baseman, Jhonny Peralta will bat sixth and play third tonight.
After hitting his home run last night, Randal Grichuk will bat seventh and play center.
Utility player, Greg Garcia, will man short stop tonight and bat eighth.
Rounding out the lineup will be Martinez in the ninth slot.
Can the St. Louis Cardinals win tonight? Can Martinez hurl this team even farther ahead in the wild card standings? Will the offense show up and smash hits against deGrom? Follow us on Twitter for live updates!