When last I did one of these, a Sunday night game thread, it became a prelude to an injury to Chris Carpenter and a Cubs' series win. Hopefully, we can at least keep our starting pitcher healthy tonight.
Volquez has to be the favorite for the Rookie of the Year. He's been positively outstanding this year -- Wayne Krivsky's last hurrah before being replaced by Walt. He's struck out 146 in 144.2 IP and, amazingly, has only given up 10 homers while pitching 12 times at Great America Ballpark.
He has struggled a bit of late, however, w/ a 5.33 ERA in his 27 innings since the All-Star break. It's a terribly small sample size but may be an indicator that he's starting to tire, that major league hitters are beginning to adjust to him, or both. He has tied his season-high in innings w/ the 144.2 he's thrown this year so the Reds are now entering uncharted waters. Hopefully, the Cards can take advantage.
Lohse, too, has struggled of late. He has a 5.65 ERA in the 36.2 innings he's thrown since the All-Star break and, for the season, has a 5.40 ERA in 11 road starts. The pens could see a lot of action today.
The Cards begin a big homestand following this game and have just 1 more road trip as long as the one they're finishing today. Overflow will go up around 1:45.