- Shelby Miller starts opposite Tom Koehler tonight at 6:10 central.
- Adam Wainwright is set to pitch game two against the recently acquired Jarred Cosart tomorrow at 6:10.
- Justin Masterson will attempt to right the ship vs Nathan Eovaldi Wednesday, also at 6:10.
The Marlins were generally panned in the media for the trade, but Cosart certainly has talent, and it should be noted that Miami received both Eovaldi and Alvarez in trades over the last couple of years. If their scouts and coaches are as sharp with Cosart as they were with Eovaldi and Alvarez, the Fish might find themselves holding the lone valuable piece in the swap. John Sickels' take seems balanced, and includes this sentence about Cosart: "If a time traveling scout told me that Cosart would flame out due to command problems or injury I'd believe them, but if they told me he developed into a 200-inning-per-year-for-a-decade workhorse I'd believe that too." Look for a hard cut fastball and a good curve with iffy command and hopefully not great results. If he's good, it won't take him long to show up here:
How many can you name?
While the Cardinals' offensive struggles have been at the root of the team's poor performance, the performance of the trio of Redbird starters pitching in this series might be the real key down the stretch. Adam Wainwright pitched well last time out, though still not quite to the level he flashed earlier in the season. Another good start would go a long way toward convincing me he's back on track after his recent stretch of poor games.
Shelby Miller has twelve strikeouts against just one walk in his last three outings. He looked good against Boston, and if he can be an effective pitcher down the stretch, it's possible Wainwright, Lynn, Lackey, Miller can bring back the joy of those halycon days before Jaime and Wacha were hurt.
Justin Masterson is the final person of interest here. He was awful against Baltimore, but he's also made just two starts now after a lengthy DL stay. We should expect him to have at least a couple more opportunities to show why the John Mozeliak shopped for him, but with Tyler Lyons and Carlos Martinez pitching very well in AAA right now, Masterson will not stay in the rotation too long if he continues to struggle.
After escaping Baltimore with a series salvaging win in the final game, the Cardinals have it relatively easy the rest of the month. Three games in Miami are followed by seven games at home against the Padres and Reds, a trip East to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and then back home to close out the month with four games in Busch against the Cubs. Just two games back of the Brewers entering play today, the Cardinals are set up well to enter September in a competitive position. We'll see.
Keys to the series
Do better, human beings.
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