ST. LOUIS – As the old cliche goes, there is no time like the present.
For the Cardinals (29-32), taking advantage of their upcoming opportunity will be highly important, as they enter a 4-game bout with the division leading Brewers starting with Tuesday’s day/night doubleheader at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals entered Friday of last week having lost 7 straight games, but enter their series with the Brewers on the heels of a sweep against the Phillies over the weekend. St. Louis outscored Philadelphia 16-7 in those three games, with ace Carlos Martinez picking up his first career complete game victory, a 4-hit, 11 K shutout in the middle tilt. The Birds will need similar pitching performances in order to contain the Brewers, who entered Sunday sporting the National League’s third best team home run total at 87.
Much of the Cardinals’ success over the weekend was due in large part to better defense (error count), stronger pitching, particularly out of the bullpen, and timely hitting, all reasons why the club has struggled through 61 games in 2017. It seems at least to some degree that the shakeup John Mozeliak provided recently has, even if only slightly, begun to move the Cardinals in a better direction…(let’s not forget about the continued baserunning issues, which the Cards showed fans plenty over the weekend).
The Cardinals will send Lance Lynn to the hill in Tuesday’s opener at 1:15 pm, where he’ll look to build off of a 5-inning, 78 pitch no decision on June 7th against the Reds. Lynn surrendered just one run on three hits before exiting for a pinch hitter in the 6th inning.
The Brewers will take a 2.5 game lead into the doubleheader matchup with the Cardinals to open up the series, and will look to end a 2-game slide against Arizona while maintaining the top position in the division.
- Yadier Molina missed all three games against the Phillies this weekend due to back soreness. The Cardinals could have their gold-glove catcher back behind the plate on Tuesday depending on how he feels.
- Marco Gonzales will be called up from Triple A Memphis on Tuesday to start game two of the Cardinals’ twin bill. Gonzales underwent Tommy John surgery in April of 2016 and will make his first start at the big league level since 2015.
- The Cardinals have won 4 of their 7 meetings against the Brewers so far this season.