clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cardinals next three games are against the Reds

New, comments

A series preview

MLB: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals just finished a hard-fought series against the Chicago Cubs, losing two of three. All three games were winnable, but the Cardinals didn’t quite do enough of the little things to pull out the series. Some slightly better sequencing might have helped as the team did poorly with runners on base, and the bullpen wasn’t great. A little bit of pop wouldn’t hurt either. Fortunately, the Cardinals next three games are scheduled against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds just got through winning two of three from the Phillies who are not supposed to be very good. The Reds rotation isn’t great right now as their best pitcher, Anthony Desclafani is on the disabled list, and I’m just going to assume Homer Bailey is there as well. Joey Votto is still awesome, but old Brandon Phillips was shipped to the Braves for essentially nothing as the Reds would have released Phillips if he had not agreed to a trade.

As for who is still there, the super-speedy Billy Hamilton patrols center field at a high level and the Cardinals need to keep him off the bases, although Hamilton and Molina going against each other is must-see television. Zack Cozart is still the defensively steady shortstop, and Eugenio Suarez will always have those couple of really good weeks in April last season.

Jose Peraza (from the Todd Frazier trade) and former Milwaukee Brewer are at second base. Devin Mesoraco is hurt again (or still, not sure which one) so Tucker Barnhart is catching right now. Adam Duvall is trying to pull off a Grichuk-style two true outcomes, foregoing walks, but hitting homers and striking out a lot. Despite 3 homers last season, Duvall put up a 104 wRC+ due to a .297 on-base percentage. Scott Schebler is a roughly average bat out in right field.

The Cardinals got really got strong starting pitching in the series against the Cubs, putting up 20 strikeouts against just three walks and gave up just four runs in 17.2 innings pitched. Of course, two of those three pitchers will not go in this series.

As for the Reds, rookie Amir Garret makes his debut tonight. Garret is one of the better prospects in baseball, finishing in the latter half of most top-100s. Garret doesn’t look to offer too much this season, but this is what Eric Longenhagen had to say about him:

While Garrett lacks monster stuff, he’s on the precipice of the big leagues and has been remarkably healthy throughout his career. His arm has very few miles on it, as Garrett, a former college basketball player, only began pitching full time in 2014. That, along with his athleticism, affords him late-blooming pitch quality and command projection.

Garret will face off against former Red Mike Leake who did about as expected last season, but will hope to have a better defense behind him.

On Saturday, Bronson Arroyo is pitching for the Reds. Yes, that Bronson Arroyo. No 40 years old, the righty hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2014 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Reds set a record for home runs allowed last season. While unlikely to match that this year, Arroyo is the type of pitcher who could make it possible. Michael Wacha makes his first start of the season for the Cardinals after a strong spring.

On Sunday, Reds Opening Day pitcher Scott Feldman pitches for Cincinnati. Feldman pitched mostly out of the bullpen last season between the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays after two lackluster seasons starting in Houston. Feldman had six strikeouts in the opener in Philadelphia, but also only went 4.2 innings while giving up two walks, two homers, and three runs. In the bottom of the tenth inning of Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, Scott Feldman relieved Darren Oliver with runners on second and third and one out. A groundout by Ryan Theriot and a single by Lance Berkman later, the game was tied. The Cardinals went on to win that game in the 11th inning. It was a pretty good game. Cardinals’ ace Carlos Martinez will start Sunday against Feldman.

Friday, April 7, 7:15 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest

Saturday, April 8, 1:15 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest

Sunday, April 9, 1:15 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest