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Series Preview 8/9-11: Pirates vs. Cardinals

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St Louis Cardinals v Seattle Mariners Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

After a very lackluster trip though Oakland and Los Angeles, the Cardinals are back in St. Louis this weekend to take on the Pirates. The Cardinals and Pirates are both 2-8 in their last 10 games and enter play Friday on five-game skids. St. Louis will look to take advantage of a Pittsburgh bunch that is 3-22 since the All-Star break.

In the series opener on Friday evening, Dakota Hudson and Chris Archer will be the pitching matchup. Hudson will look to bounce back after allowing nine runs (eight earned) over his last 7 23 innings. This will be Hudson’s fourth appearance against the Pirates this season and third start. Starling Marte is 4-for-8 with a homer in his career facing Hudson, and Josh Bell has a pair of doubles.

Archer held the Mets to one run and whiffed six in his six-inning outing back on August 3. This season, his first full year with the Pirates, Archer is on track for the worst walk and home run rates of his career. With 49 walks and 11 homers allowed through 20 starts (107 23 frames) this year, Archer has a 4.43 BB/9 and a 2.09 HR/9; his previous highs were 3.33 and 1.34, respectively.

On Saturday, Adam Wainwright and Joe Musgrove will take the mound. Wainwright will look to work past the sixth inning for the first time since mid-July. Wainwright walked four in a five-inning start against the Pirates on July 24, one of the Cardinals’ most recent games in Pittsburgh. Wainwright has a 2.26 ERA with a 60:21 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 10 starts at Busch Stadium this season.

Musgrove was knocked for eight runs on 10 hits (two of them homers) against the Mets in his last outing and enters his weekend assignment with 15 earned runs allowed over his last 14 innings. Dexter Fowler, Paul Goldschmidt, and Jose Martinez have five hits apiece off the 26-year-old, and this current Cardinals roster has slashed .295/.369/.527 off the second-year Pirate.

The series will conclude on Sunday, with Miles Mikolas and Steven Brault on the bump. The Cardinals opted to skip the fifth spot (the Michael Wacha/Daniel Ponce de Leon spot) and go with Mikolas on Sunday, who will be starting on regular rest after a day off on Thursday. Mikolas worked into the seventh inning against the Dodgers in his last start and held them to two runs with seven strikeouts - his first time with more than six strikeouts since May.

Brault returned from the injured list on August 6th after missing a month with a left shoulder strain. In his first start back, Brault held the Brewers to two runs in 5 13 innings. This will be Brault’s second start of the season against the Cardinals. Back on May 12th in St. Louis, Brault allowed six runs in four innings, highlighted by two-run homers from Goldschmidt and Martinez.

So, to recap:

Friday, 8/9, 7:15 | Hudson vs. Archer | FSMW, KMOX, WJIR, CRN

Saturday, 8/10, 6:15 | Wainwright vs. Musgrove | FSMW, KMOX, WJIR, CRN

Sunday, 8/11, 1:15 | Brault vs. Mikolas | FSMW, KMOX, WJIR, CRN

Notes from around the league:

  • Major League Baseball announced that the Yankees and White Sox will play a regular-season game at the ‘Field of Dreams’ in Iowa next season. Mark your calendars; it’s happening on August 13, 2020.
  • Not long after he was released by the Angels, catcher Jonathan Lucroy signed with the Cubs and officially joined the team on Thursday. And after the Cubs released reliever Brad Brach, the right-hander signed with the Mets on Thursday.