Series Preview: The Cardinals

Current record: 68-59, 3rd place in NL Central, 8.0 games back

Up Next: St. Louis Cardinals, 70-57, 2nd place in NL Central, 6.0 games back

Season Series: 6-6 (1-2, 1-2, 2-1, 2-1)

Notes: This is the Pirates final series against the Cardinals. Pittsburgh needs to win some games, but taking them against St. Louis would be extra helpful. To make that happen, they’ll have to hit and pitch better than they have for the bulk of August.

Familiar Faces: None

Probable Pitchers
Monday: RH Kyle Lohse (13-2, 169.0 IP, 104 K, 2.61 ERA, 1.08 WHIP)
vs. RH A.J. Burnett (15-4, 151.1 IP, 133 K, 3.63 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)

Tuesday: RH Jake Westbrook (13-9, 159.1 IP, 96 K, 3.67 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)
vs. RH James McDonald (11-6, 152.0 IP, 135 K, 3.73 ERA, 1.22 WHIP)

Wednesday: RH Joe Kelly (4-5, 77.1 IP, 55 K, 3.26 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
vs. LH Wandy Rodriguez (8-13, 164.0 IP, 107 K, 4.01 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)

No lineup yet.

Sunday 4/22 Pregame

Gametime: 1:35

St. Louis, 10-5, 1st place in Central
Pittsburgh, 6-8,  3rd place in Central

Pitchers:
Kyle Lohse: 2-0 (3 starts), 0.89 ERA, 20 IP, 11 SO, 10 H, 2 BB
Erik Bedard:  0-3 (3 starts), 2.65 ERA, 17 IP, 10 SO, 17 H, 6 BB

The Pirates have scored only 29 runs, last in the NL. Next on the list is Philadelphia at 42 and Cincinnati with 49.

However, the Bucs have only allowed 39 runs all year, best in the NL. Next is Philadelphia at 40, with Washington and St. Louis tied at 45.

Today’s Lineup:
Nate McLouth LF
Jose Tabata RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Neil Walker 2B
Garrett Jones 1B
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Clint Barmes SS
Michael McKenry C
Erik Bedard P

Cardinals On Deck

The Pirates emerged from their nine game west coast trip with a 5-7 record; good for third place in the Central and a game better than I feared they would be after all the tough pitchers they’ve faced so far this year. This weekend, the first place (and Albert Pujols-less) Cardinals bring their 9-4 record to Pittsburgh for a three game set.

Pitching matchups:
Friday: Lance Lynn (2-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Charlie Morton (0-0, 5.40 ERA)
Saturday: Jake Westbrook (2-0, 0.64 ERA) vs. Kevin Correia (1-0, 1.50 ERA)
Sunday: Kyle Lohse (2-0, 0.89 ERA) vs. Erik Bedard (0-3, 2.65 ERA)

Lance Berkman will miss the series with an injury and Jon Jay was recently injured as well. The real key for the Pirates will be, as always, trying to score some runs against pitchers who have been very effective this season. Hopefully a little home cooking will help.

Tonight’s lineup:
Alex Presley LF
Jose Tabata RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Neil Walker 2B
Garrett Jones 1B
Rod Barajas C
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Clint Barmes SS
Charlie Morton P

I’d rather see Casey McGehee at 3B, but Pedro’s gotta play to get better I guess.

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