The St. Louis Cardinals need something good to happen and turn their fortunes around. After a two-game series split against Houston following a sweep by the Rangers, the Birds turn their attention toward Oakland.
The bright spot? In limited exposure to him, Holliday and Beltran hit .667 and .333 against him. Take that with a grain of salt, they combine for six plate appearances. For Miller’s part, he’s hitting a rough patch. He’s 1-2 with a 4.32 ERA in his last three starts. Only Jed Lowrie has faced Miller, and just once. He didn’t get a hit.
There are many question marks entering Friday’s contest, but none bigger than whether Miller can right the ship. Don’t expect any mercy for Cards hitters against Colon. He’s their Wainwright, and with the exception of the two hitters mentioned above, the Birds success against him is largely unknown.
The good news? He’s susceptible to the home run. He gave up two in his last start, alone. On the other hand, Oakland hitters have some experience against Wainwright, given his time of service. Lowrie hits .200 against him, Moss just .100, Rosales hit .500 against him in just two at bats, and Young is hitting .143 against him in seven.
It would appear that the Cards have the advantage in game two. While Waino appears to be on a skid, in his last three starts, he’s 1-2, but with just a 2.18 ERA. He simply hasn’t been getting run support in recent games. That’s indicative of a solid pitcher on a team whose bats are slumping. By the numbers, is Wainwright can simply pitch as well as he has been in the last half month, the Cards have an excellent chance against Parker.
The Cardinals get their final shot on Sunday when Jake Westbrook goes up against Tommy Milone. Westbrook is 4-2 on the season with a 2.21 ERA, and 2-1 with a 3.5 ERA in his last three starts. That’s significant since his first start coming back from injury was relatively awful.
Since then he’s pitched well. Most recently he went six innings allowing four hits. Milone is 0-2 with a 5.94 ERA in his last three starts, and 6-7 with a 4.06 ERA on the year.
No current Cards have faced Milone, but Westbrook has seen plenty of A’s. Rosales and Young are .400 and .333 with 5 PA and 3 PA respectively. Coco Crisp has faced Westy seven times and has a .286 average against him.
The challenge for the Cardinals Sunday will be that Milone is a lefty. They’ve struggled against them historically, despite having some solid power coming from the left-hand side. Expect to see Matt Adams against Milone on Sunday.
Final note: If you’re sick of the Cardinals getting robbed of home runs, you may want to stay away from the TV this weekend. Oakland’s outfielders are slick, providing lots of Web Gem caliber footage.
This series will boil down to one question, though: Have the Cardinals bats got it figured out, yet? The Cards have shown they can beat pretty much anyone this year…when they hit.
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- 13-5 win over Astros starts out eight game road trip (sammystava.mlblogs.com)