Suppan (7-7, 4.34)
Estes (6-6, 4.30)
Suppan is the closest thing to a weak link for the Cardinals this year. I mean, he's only got seven wins, f'heavens' sake, the least in their rotati... What's that? How many D'backs have more? Well, just Brandon Webb, but that's hardly the point, dammit.
Actually, for the second game in this series, our starter has a better ERA than the oppositions, but I'm not inclined to think this gives us any great edge. Estes has been up and down all season; in six games last month he allowed two or less earned runs in three starts, five or more in all of the others. Disturbingly, his monthly ERA and WHIP have shown a relentless trend:
which leads me to expect a July ERA of six or so.
Adding to the concern, a number of the St. Louis players pretty much tee off on Estes: Pujols and Sanders both bat over .400, with Rolen not far behind at .355. On our side, Clayton and Clark are both at .308, but Green is only 2-for-18 against Suppan. Gazing into my crystal ball, I see the following:
- Estes: 6 IP, 8 H, 2 BB, 5 R, 4 ER.
- Bullpen allow a couple more runs.
- We go down 7-2.
- Green hits a late, meaningless homer. Make that 7-3.