|Cardinals hope for better results against Yelich, Brewers|
Major League Baseball didn't do the St. Louis Cardinals any favors with their early-season schedule.
How so? Well, the Cardinals will see Christian Yelich and Milwaukee Brewers for the third series already this season on Monday when the National League Central rivals open a three-game set in St. Louis.
Those in the Gateway City may wish to avert their eyes if recent history repeats itself.
Yelich, who is the reigning NL Most Valuable Player, is a staggering 12-for-24 with eight homers, 19 RBIs and 10 runs scored in seven home games against the Cardinals. The Brewers won five of those contests.
The 27-year-old Yelich, who leads the majors with 13 homers, nearly added to that total on Sunday before Cody Bellinger reached over the wall to deny him another in the eighth inning of a 6-5 setback to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Bellinger added the final salvo with a homer off closer Josh Hader in the ninth inning, sending Milwaukee to its fourth loss in five outings.
"We can't just sit on this and act like the season's over," Hader said. "We've got a long season ahead of us. Just really focus on the little things and get back to the baseball we know how to play."
Yelich will get his second look this season at right-hander Jack Flaherty (1-1, 5.00 ERA), against whom he is 4-for-15 with four strikeouts.
Although Flaherty kept Yelich in check in Tuesday's 8-4 setback to Milwaukee, he didn't fare as well against the rest of the Brewers. The 23-year-old surrendered five runs on nine hits -- including homers to Lorenzo Cain and Yasmani Grandal -- in 2 2/3 innings to take the loss.
The setback dropped Flaherty to 1-2 with a 4.58 ERA in seven career encounters with Milwaukee.
St. Louis has found its offense at home, scoring at least four runs in each game during its 7-1 surge following Sunday's 6-4 victory over the New York Mets.
"If we play like this most of the time, a lot of good stuff is going to happen to this team this year," outfielder Jose Martinez said.
Signed to a five-year, $130 million contract in the offseason, Paul Goldschmidt has two homers, six RBIs and five runs scored as he takes his current eight-game hitting streak into Monday's tilt against a familiar foe.
"I don't think there's truly an advantage or disadvantage," the 31-year-old Goldschmidt said of frequently facing the Brewers already this season. "Both teams have the same info and same stuff. It really comes down to execution."
Yadier Molina carries a nine-game hitting streak into the series opener versus right-hander Adrian Houser, who will make his first career start in the majors in place of the injured Freddy Peralta (shoulder).
Houser did not receive a decision to go along with a 3.29 ERA in 13 2/3 innings of relief in 2018. The 26-year-old has pitched well with Triple-A San Antonio this season, posting a 1-0 mark with a 1.10 ERA and 0.73 WHIP in three starts (16 1/3 frames).
Following the conclusion of this series, the Cardinals and Brewers will have to wait until Aug. 19 to renew acquaintances.
--Field Level Media