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Series Preview 5/28-30: Cardinals at Phillies

MLB: Game Two-Kansas City Cardinals at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals are in Philadelphia this week for a three-game series with the Phillies, marking their final series in the month of May. St. Louis enters the series with 26-26 record, placing them four games back in the National League Central, trailing the Cubs and Brewers. The Phillies lead the East by 1 12 games over the Braves.

In the first game of this series on Tuesday evening, Nick Pivetta and Adam Wainwright will be the mound matchup. Pivetta will make his fifth start of the season for the Phillies and first since 4/16. Since mid-April, Pivetta has been in Triple-A, where he maintained a 3.41 ERA over six starts. Pivetta had 50 strikeouts and 20 walks in 37 innings for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Wainwright will make his 11th start of 2019 on Tuesday. Wainwright has allowed three homers in May, and left-handed batters are batting .322 off him this year. (It’s probably worth noting that Bryce Harper has went yard five times in his last seven games.) This will be Wainwright’s 14th career start against the Phillies; he has a 1.18 WHIP in 87 innings against them.

Wednesday’s contest will feature Aaron Nola for the Phillies. Nola struck out seven and held the Cardinals to three hits (a Matt Wieters homer was one of those) when he faced them in early May. Nola leads Philadelphia’s staff with 66 strikeouts, and his start on Wednesday will be his 12th of the year - and put him one up on teammates Jake Arrieta and Zach Eflin.

The Cardinals will promote left-hander Genesis Cabrera to start on Wednesday, taking the rotation spot formerly held by Michael Wacha. The 22-year-old Cabrera has appeared in nine games (seven starts) at Triple-A this year and has 39 strikeouts in 39 23 innings. The Cardinals acquired Cabrera last summer from the Rays in the Tommy Pham trade, and this will be his Major League debut.

This series will conclude on Thursday with Jerad Eickhoff and Dakota Hudson; this will be the last game between the Cardinals and Phillies in 2019, unless the clubs meet in the postseason. Eickhoff has an ERA north of five runs in May after a 2.12 mark in April. The 5.04 ERA in his last five starts is due to, in large part, seven home runs and, in general, the Brewers. Milwaukee scored nine earned runs off him in seven innings combined between two starts.

Hudson worked into the seventh inning his last start, on Saturday against the Braves. Though he didn’t pick up the win, it was the Cardinals’ only victory of that three-game series against Atlanta. Hudson limited the Phillies to two runs in his five-inning outing against them back on 5/7.

So, to recap:

Tuesday, 5/28, 6:05 | Pivetta v Wainwright | MLB Network, FSMW, KMOX, CRN

Wednesday, 5/29, 6:05 | Nola v Cabrera | FSMW, KMOX, CRN

Thursday, 5/30, 12:05 | Hudson v Eickhoff | MLB Network, FSMW, KMOX, CRN

Notes from around the league:

  • Two former Cardinals were placed on the injured list on Monday. Houston’s Aledmys Diaz hit the shelf with a hamstring issue, and Arizona’s Luke Weaver has tightness in his forearm. Speaking of injuries, one has to wonder if we have seen the last of Dustin Pedoria. The 35-year-old, longtime Red Sox second baseman’s left knee ailment has lingered for quite some time, and he was transferred to the 60-day injured list on Monday.
  • The Astros enjoyed a 6-5 win over the Cubs on Monday, led by Gerrit Cole’s solid start. Cole whiffed 12 batters in the outing to lift his season total to 112 strikeouts. Max Scherzer of the Nationals has 102, and Cole and Scherzer are the only pitchers with more than 100 strikeouts entering Tuesday.