|ST LOUIS ( MILLER )|
ATLANTA ( MEDLEN )
|905||ST LOUIS||-115||Ov 7.5,-120||-115||Ov 7.5,-110|
|906||ATLANTA||+105||Un 7.5,+100||+105||Un 7.5,-110|
|vs Right-handed Starters||51-26||+17.1||38-37||5.1||0.281||0.338||3.5||0.244||0.297|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||-0.2||1-6||3.6||0.228||0.287||2.6||0.260||0.317|
|vs Right-handed Starters||44-33||+0.8||38-32||4.4||0.250||0.318||3.5||0.250||0.303|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+0.3||2-5||3.1||0.228||0.296||2.6||0.208||0.266|
|7/14/2013||WAINWRIGHT(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||WOOD(L)||10-6||W||-150||7 ev||O||21||15||0||11||7||1|
|7/19/2013||WESTBROOK(R)||SAN DIEGO||MARQUIS(R)||9-6||W||-190||9 un||O||14||7||0||13||9||0|
|7/20/2013||LYNN(R)||SAN DIEGO||VOLQUEZ(R)||3-5||L||-210||8.5 ov||U||4||3||0||9||9||0|
|7/21/2013||WAINWRIGHT(R)||SAN DIEGO||STULTS(L)||3-2||W||-240||7.5 un||U||8||6||0||10||7||1|
|7/26/2013||WAINWRIGHT(R)||@ ATLANTA||MINOR(L)||1-4||L||-115||7 ov||U||4||4||1||8||4||0|
|7/27/2013||KELLY(R)||@ ATLANTA||TEHERAN(R)||0-2||L||120||8.5 un||U||2||3||0||9||10||0|
|7/28/2013||MILLER(R)||@ ATLANTA||MEDLEN(R)|| |
|7/29/2013||WESTBROOK(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||LIRIANO(L)|| |
|7/30/2013||LYNN(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||BURNETT(R)|| |
|7/30/2013|| ||@ PITTSBURGH||GOMEZ(R)|| |
|7/31/2013||WAINWRIGHT(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||LOCKE(L)|| |
|8/1/2013||KELLY(R)||@ PITTSBURGH||MORTON(R)|| |
|8/2/2013||MILLER(R)||@ CINCINNATI||ARROYO(R)|| |
|8/3/2013|| ||@ CINCINNATI||CINGRANI(L)|| |
|8/4/2013|| ||@ CINCINNATI|| || |
|7/19/2013||HUDSON(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||DANKS(L)||6-4||W||-115||9 un||O||9||2||0||9||6||0|
|7/20/2013||MAHOLM(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||PEAVY(R)||6-10||L||105||9 un||O||10||4||1||13||7||1|
|7/21/2013||MINOR(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)||1-3||L||-125||8.5 ov||U||9||11||1||5||4||0|
|7/22/2013||TEHERAN(R)||@ NY METS||GEE(R)||2-1||W||-125||7.5 ov||U||6||8||0||5||8||0|
|7/23/2013||MEDLEN(R)||@ NY METS||TORRES(R)||1-4||L||-130||7.5 ov||U||7||9||0||9||4||0|
|7/24/2013||HUDSON(R)||@ NY METS||HEFNER(R)||8-2||W||-135||7.5 ov||O||8||4||0||6||4||2|
|7/25/2013||WOOD(L)||@ NY METS||WHEELER(R)||4-7||L||-120||7.5 un||O||5||5||2||14||14||1|
|7/26/2013||MINOR(L)||ST LOUIS||WAINWRIGHT(R)||4-1||W||+105||7 ov||U||8||4||0||4||4||1|
|7/27/2013||TEHERAN(R)||ST LOUIS||KELLY(R)||2-0||W||-130||8.5 un||U||9||10||0||2||3||0|
|7/28/2013||MEDLEN(R)||ST LOUIS||MILLER(R)|| |
|7/29/2013||BEACHY(R)||COLORADO||DE LA ROSA(L)|| |
|8/2/2013||MEDLEN(R)||@ PHILADELPHIA||LEE(L)|| |
|8/3/2013||BEACHY(R)||@ PHILADELPHIA||PETTIBONE(R)|| |
|8/4/2013|| ||@ PHILADELPHIA|| || |
|ST LOUIS: HITTING: Alienate and trade your talented young centerfielder for bullpen scraps and a middling, impending free-agent starter. Justify your ludicrous pitching changes by blaming crowd noise and your innocent bullpen coach'and you too could win a World Series! This was Tony La Russa baseball. But he's gone now, as is the all-world Albert Pujols. SS RAFAEL FURCAL liked his short stint in the Show Me State enough to sign up for more. OF CARLOS BELTRAN will hit second after an impressive 2011 campaign during which he produced solid numbers in pitchers' parks amidst weak lineups. 2Bs TYLER GREENE and DANIEL DESCALSO are the latest plucky 'gamer' to play infield at Busch. Resuscitated slugger 1B LANCE BERKMAN shifts to a much more suitable defensive position. OF MATT HOLLIDAY's OPS remains as strong as ever. 3B DAVID FREESE will never have to buy a drink in Missouri again after his postseason heroics. C YADIER MOLINA is a defensive whiz behind the plate and an underrated hitter. OFs ALLEN CRAIG and JON JAY are more suited to platoon roles, but Jay will be starting in center on Opening Day. |
STARTING PITCHING: His stuff isn't nearly what it used to be, and he's more than earned his reputation within the game as a towering crybaby. But on the mound, CHRIS CARPENTER remains ruthlessly effective when he's healthy. But he'll miss the first couple of months of the 2012 campaign due to shoulder problems. ADAM WAINWRIGHT should be ready to go on Opening Day, and has shown every reason to think he'll be his old brilliant self. JAIME GARCIA cannot sustain a sub-2.00 ERA for a full season. He's a mid-rotation starter, but one of the better ones in all of baseball. Did KYLE LOHSE really register a 1.17 WHIP over an entire season? Really? He just doesn't miss enough bats to keep that going. JAKE WESTBROOK stayed healthy for a full season again, which is a relief given his past dalliances with the DL. He's an innings eater who's capable of another dozen wins. LANCE LYNN gives the Cardinals enviable depth in the rotation. He'll probably slide back to the bullpen once Carpenter returns. Uber-prospect SHELBY MILLER could be a second-half call-up.
RELIEF PITCHING: It doesn't look pretty when JASON MOTTE winds up and delivers a pitch, but in the end, results are results. The converted catcher has finally nailed down the closer role that many predicted would be his a few years ago. The only way he loses it this time is if he hurts himself with that painful delivery. FERNANDO SALAS can more than hold his own if that happens. He'll slot into the eighth-inning role, but he provides more of the pitching depth that is a hallmark of this Cardinals team. KYLE McCLELLAN, like Lynn, is serviceable both in relief or in the rotation. But he's better in the former role.
|ATLANTA: HITTING: The Braves were 27th in the majors in steals last year, but that number should rise with a full season of speedster OF MICHAEL BOURN, who was acquired from Houston last July. OFs MARTIN PRADO and JASON HEYWARD comprise the corner outfield spots, and are both are looking to bounce back after disappointing, injury-riddled 2011 campaigns. 2B DAN UGGLA smacked a career-best 36 HR in his first year with Atlanta, his fifth straight 30-homer season. Steady veterans C BRIAN McCANN and 3B CHIPPER JONES comprise a solid middle of the lineup. McCann has four straight 20-HR, 70-RBI seasons, while Jones, who turns 40 in April, has a career .402 on-base percentage. 1B FREDDIE FREEMAN was the N.L.'s best offensive rookie last year, batting .282 with 21 HR and 76 RBI. The starting shortstop will be one of two highly-touted, 22-year-old prospects, TYLER PASTORNICKY or ANDRELTON SIMMONS. |
STARTING PITCHING: Even with significant injuries to three starters, the Braves rotation still ranked ninth in the majors in ERA (3.73), thanks to TIM HUDSON posting a 3.22 ERA in 215 innings. The right-hander was lights-out at Turner Field again, going 10-4 with a 2.31 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. But he'll be out at least a month because of back problems. JAIR JURRJENS was outstanding through the end of July (12-3, 2.38 ERA), but a knee strain bothered him in August and shut him down for September. Although many teams inquired about Jurrjens in the offseason, it doesn't look like the Braves want to deal him just yet. TOMMY HANSON is another young star (25) that had to be shut down in early August due to a partially torn rotator cuff. His ERA was a career-worst 3.60, but he notched a career-best 9.8 K/9 rate. BRANDON BEACHY, also 25, posted a whopping 10.7 K/9 ratio with a respectable ERA (3.68) and WHIP (1.21). Atlanta is loaded with young pitchers, but expect MIKE MINOR (5-3, 4.14 ERA) and RANDALL DELGADO to start in the majors, with JULIO TEHERAN, who has the most upside of the trio, to begin 2012 in Triple-A.
RELIEF PITCHING: CRAIG KIMBREL exceeded all expectations last year, establishing himself as one of the best closers in the game. He struck out an eye-popping 14.8 batters per nine (127 K in 77 IP), and converted 46-of-54 (85%) save chances. Even though Kimbrel's job as a closer is probably locked down for the next decade, the Braves have two other great relievers, both lefties. JONNY VENTERS posted a 1.84 WHIP and .176 opponents' BA in 88 innings, and is next in line for saves (five in 2011) should Kimbrel suffer an injury. Fellow southpaw ERIC O'FLAHERTY had a 0.98 ERA (8 ER in 73.2 IP) and 32 holds, just three fewer than Venters.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (ST LOUIS-ATLANTA) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Cardinals-Braves Preview* ==========================
St. Louis (62-38) at Atlanta (58-45), 8:05 p.m. EDT
The St. Louis Cardinals haven't been swept on the road all season and haven't been swept in Atlanta in more than 10 years.
The NL's best offense hasn't gotten untracked this weekend, but could enjoy a favorable matchup against the Atlanta Braves' struggling Kris Medlen in Sunday night's series finale.
St. Louis (62-39) leads the league with 496 runs but has scored one through the first two games of this set. The Cardinals' six hits over consecutive games are their lowest total for an offense batting an NL-best .275.
Yadier Molina's second-inning homer in Friday's 4-1 defeat has been followed by 16 scoreless innings at the plate. Julio Teheran and two relievers combined on a two-hitter in Atlanta's 2-0 victory on Saturday.
The Cardinals have dropped four straight in the regular season at Turner Field, where they won 6-3 in last year's NL wild-card playoff - a loss that still stings for the Braves.
"They're a great team," shortstop Andrelton Simmons said. "They got us last year in a pretty big game. We owe them some. It's good to see this team beating them."
Medlen (6-10, 3.78 ERA) was the starter for Atlanta (59-45) in the wild-card defeat, allowing five runs - two earned - over 6 1-3 innings. He gave up a homer to Matt Holliday - activated off the disabled list Saturday - in his first start of any kind versus St. Louis.
The right-hander has posted an 8.59 ERA in dropping three straight starts for the first time in his career.
Medlen has received two total runs of support during his slide. His average of 3.40 is one of baseball's lowest marks.
He will be opposed by Shelby Miller (10-6, 2.77), who has never faced the Braves. The Cardinals were happy with Miller after the 22-year-old returned from a 12-day break with six scoreless innings in Tuesday's 4-1 home win over Philadelphia.
Miller had given up 10 earned runs in 12 2-3 innings over his previous three starts.
"The biggest thing for me was to clear my head and get back to where I need to be," Miller said. "I just relaxed and threw out there. I got some time away, got time to work on some mechanics and get things straightened away."
Now the right-hander will try to improve on the road, where he has a 4.07 ERA compared to a 1.74 mark at home.
Atlanta is in position for its first three-game home sweep of St. Louis since April 22-24, 2003, but the Braves' offense has actually produced fewer extra-base hits in this series. The Cardinals have five and Atlanta four.
One of those hits for the Braves was Simmons' two-run double in the eighth inning Saturday. Chris Johnson is 4 for 6 in this series for Atlanta.
The Cardinals' Carlos Beltran is hitless in his last 11 at-bats and 1 for 9 overall against Medlen. Molina's homer Friday is his only hit in his last 10 at-bats, while fellow MVP candidate Allen Craig has gone hitless in three straight games for the first time in 2013 with nine empty at-bats.
This series features four of the league's top hitters in Molina (.332), Johnson (.332), Craig (.329) and Matt Carpenter (.321).
|Last Updated: 9/1/2014 8:19:38 AM EST|