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Series Preview 9/2-5: Giants vs. Cardinals

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Two doubleheaders over the weekend, and the Cardinals are right back at it on Labor Day as they open a four-game series with the Giants at Busch Stadium. At the start of play on this holiday Monday, the Cardinals are 76-60 and lead the National League Central by three games over the Cubs and six games over the Brewers. The Giants are 66-70, just four games away from official elimination in the West and seven back of a Wild Card spot.

On Monday afternoon, Adam Wainwright and Tyler Beede will get the starting assignments. Wainwright was pulled in the fourth inning of his most recent start, last week in Milwaukee, with 90 pitches and two runs allowed on six hits and three walks. Wainwright has a 3.31 ERA in just over 100 23 innings of regular-season work against the Giants, who he will face Monday for the first time in nearly a year.

Beede gave up 18 earned runs in 22 13 innings in five starts in August. Beede pitched into the sixth ion his last start for the first time since late July. This will be Beede’s 20th appearance of the season and 19th start, the first of his career against the Cardinals.

Jack Flaherty and Dereck Rodriguez will go on Tuesday evening. You may recall that Flaherty carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning when he faced the Giants in his final start before the All-Star break. (Evan Longoria spoiled that with a solo homer.) Flaherty took a tough loss in his last outing, where he went six innings and held the Brewers to three runs (two earned) with seven strikeouts. In Flaherty is a solid candidate for National League Pitcher of the Month after posting a 0.71 ERA in six starts in August.

Rodriguez has allowed 11 earned runs over his last two starts, which have totaled nine innings. In the start before that, Rodriguez held the Diamondbacks scoreless for seven innings in what was his best start of the season so far. Since the All-Star break, opponents have hit .290 off Rodriguez with five homers.

The Cardinals have not publicly confirmed their starting pitching plans beyond Tuesday; nonetheless, they will face Madison Bumgarner and Logan Webb on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

Bumgarner held the Padres to one run in seven innings of work against the Padres in his last start. Five of Bumgarner’s last eight starts have been at least seven innings long, and the lefty will make his 30th start of the season on Wednesday - something he hasn’t done since 2016. Paul Goldschmidt is 23-for-67 (.343) with five doubles and a homer off Bumgarner. Webb is a 22-year-old right-hander who will make the fourth start of his career on Thursday afternoon. Webb was drafted by the Giants in 2014 and made his Major League debut on August 17th. Webb has fanned 16 batters and walked four with a 3.52 ERA in 15 13 innings of big league work for San Francisco.

So, to recap:

Monday, 8/2, 1:15 | Wainwright vs. Beede | FSMW, KMOX, CRN

Tuesday, 8/3, 6:45 | Flaherty vs. Rodriguez | FSMW, KMOX, CRN

Wednesday, 8/4, 6:45 | TBA vs. Bumgarner | FSMW, KMOX, CRN

Thursday, 8/5, 12:15 | TBA vs. Webb | MLB Network, FSMW, KMOX, CRN

Notes from around the league:

  • With a no-hitter on Sunday against the Blue Jays, Astros hurler Justin Verlander became the sixth pitcher in Major League history with at least three career no-hitters. He joined a class that features Nolan Ryan, Cy Young, Sandy Koufax, Bob Feller, and Larry Corcoran. Verlander leads the Majors with 257 strikeouts and a 0.77 WHIP in 193 innings.
  • After fighting cancer for almost three months, Indians righty Carlos Carrasco made his return to the mound on Sunday in the seventh inning of their game against the Rays. This was fantastic to see, regardless of what team you cheer for!