It wasn’t that long ago that the Cardinals were embarking on a nine-game stretch against the Cincinnati Reds, the Atlanta Braves, and the Cincinnati Reds again. At the time, it seemed a perfect opportunity for the Cardinals to make up some ground on the Cubs and stretch out a potential wild card lead. The Cardinals struggled with that stretch going just 4-5. They are now confronted with a similar stretch as 12 of the next 15 games are against the Phillies, A’s, Brewers, and Reds with three games against the Mets as well. The Cardinals should destroy the Phillies.
I usually try to do a rundown of the position players and what they are up to, but time-wise I’m a bit under the gun here so I will say that Ryan Howard is still on the Phillies and has hit well since the All-Star Break, although whether he has been hitting well or poorly in the past has seemed to have little effect on him hitting the Cardinals well. Ryan Howard is from St. Louis.
Speaking of St. Louis, also on the roster is former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder and lightning rod for debate Peter Bourjos. He hasn’t played as much center field this year as the team is trying to get Odubel Herrera to take that spot for years to come. Aaron Alther is also out there and he seems like an interesting player with some pop and he could be playing center field, too. The Phillies seem to have a lot of players capable of playing center field.
Pitching tonight for the Phillies is Adam Morgan. The lefty is not having a good season with a 6.62 ERA and a 5.40 FIP. He doesn’t walk a lot of hitters but he does give up a lot of home runs, which is tough in the Phillies home ballpark where this series takes place. He’s been on the disabled list for a while, and in his first start back, only lasted three innings against Colorado, giving up two runs while striking out nobody and walking two. Adam Wainwright looks to do better than he did last time out, where he lasted just two innings against the Cubs.
Tomorrow, Jeremy Hellickson will pitch for the Phillies. Apparently, he wasn’t sought after at the trade deadline despite his 3.65 ERA and not-so-bad FIP around four. Hellickson has been decent all year, but back problems caused the Phillies to skip his last start. Luke Weaver will make his second career start in this game.
On Sunday, Vincent Velasquez will take the mound for Philadelphia. Velasquez is extremely talented, striking out 27% of batters faced this season. He walks a decent amount and has given up his share of homers this season to put his ERA and FIP both right around four. He missed a bunch of June and has been inconsistent in his return. His last start, he had 10 strikeouts against just one walk, which is good. He also gave up 3 homers and five runs, which is not. It was his second straight start against the Dodgers and he gave up three home runs both times. Mike Leake will start for the Cardinals.
Tonight’s game is at 6:05 pm CT and will be on FOX Sports Midwest.
Saturday’s game is at 6:05 pm CT and will be on FOX Sports Midwest.
Sunday’s game is at 12:35 pm CT and will be on FOX Sports Midwest.