Preview: Game #57, Diamondbacks @ Cardinals

Jeff Curry

Into the den of the team with the best record in major-league baseball. What could possibly go wrong?

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Trevor Cahill
RHP, 3-5, 2.88

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Lance Lynn
RHP, 7-1, 2.91

Diamondbacks Line-up

  1. Gerardo Parra, RF
  2. Martin Prado, 3B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Miguel Montero, C
  5. Cody Ross, RF
  6. Willie Bloomquist, 2B
  7. Didi Gregorius, SS
  8. A.J. Pollock, CF
  9. Trevor Cahill, P

Having learned my lesson from ZM's preview, I will be sticking entirely to facts about the St. Louis Cardinals gleaned from the impeccable source which is their Wikipedia article. The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. Making Busch Stadium their home field since 2006, the Cardinals compete in the National League (NL) Central Division of Major League Baseball (MLB). Known prior as the Browns, St. Louis established themselves in 1882 in the American Association (AA), joined the NL in 1892 and adopted Cardinals as their official name in 1900. I trust everyone is satisfied with this analysis?

Might - and I say this in a hushed voice, for fear of extinguishing its flickering flame - Montero have turned the corner? He has hits in eight of the last nine games, going 11-for-36 over that time, and enjoyed back-to-back multi-hit games, against the Cubs, for the first time this season. He's back over the Uecker Line, and considering his season average cratered to a low of .180, after the Marlins series, perhaps there's reason for hope. Of course, he'll be facing a St. Louis Cardinals pitching staff whom...dammit, Wikipedia has nothing to say on the topic of their pitching staff's quality this season. So I'm not sticking my neck out and going there.

On the other hand, after a sterling spell of five starts where he had a 1.64 ERA, Trevor Cahill's last couple of outings have fallen short of the quality label. There ave been four earned runs allowed in each, over a total of 14 innings, which is an ERA north of five for those. Hard to say exactly why they haven't gone so well: he hasn't been lit up, allowing a line of .264/.286/.434, his BABIP was .271, Cahill has allowed one home-run, and walked just two people. I do note a lower than expected five strikeouts, which would mean quite a few balls in play, and a hefty line-drive rate of 30%. Hopefully, just a random aberration, not an ongoing trend.

Weather in St. Louis appears to be quite good according to eye-witness reports, which will be a bit of a relief considering both the unpleasant conditions faced in Chicago, and the last series here being disrupted by tornado warnings. I quite like these early evening starts: gives us something to watch over dinner, and I can get the recap up afterward, still with enough time to watch a movie or whatever before bedtime. It should be an interesting series: if the season ended today, this could be a potential NLCS match-up. We got the best of the Cardinals in the set at Chase Field, but a lot of games have been played since. As mentioned yesterday, I'd settle for a split of these four.

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