Vargas (6-6, 4.57)
Marquis (9-11, 4.22)
Another day, another pitching match-up that favours Arizona - not that this helped us much in the previous two games. But Vargas has been our best pitcher of late, while Marquis has only one win since June 10. I'm sure we'll do our best to help out there though. Also, in four games against us, Marquis has a 1.59 ERA; Vargas has four career starts against St. Louis...and is 0-3 with a 6.97 ERA.
We've scored only nine runs total in six games this year versus the Cardinals, so the key to not losing today - I daren't even use the W word - is rediscovering our offense. I'm not asking for much: four runs, even if that would be a season-high facing St. Louis. But I figure Vargas will be good enough to keep us in the game. The only time he's allowed more than three earned runs for us, was back on June 21, and he's given us seven quality starts in a row.
It would also be nice if we could avoid handing the Cardinals any early unearned runs. It seems to suck the life out of us when we sent a throw sailing into the stands, and have to watch the opponent trotting over home-plate. We've done that both games of this series, and it doesn't help. I imagine Jackson will be back to riding the pine today, with Clark at first and Green in center. Lineup to follow shortly.
Update [2005-8-18 15:58:14 by Jim McLennan]:
And here's the line-up:
- Craig Counsell, 2B
- Chad Tracy, RF
- Luis Gonzalez, LF
- Tony Clark, 1B
- Troy Glaus, 3B
- Shawn Green, CF
- Royce Clayton, SS
- Kelly Stinnett, C
- Claudio Vargas, P
Clayton back down from lead-off to seventh, making way for Counsell at the top. As expected, Clark at first instead of Jackson, which should help the defense, though our outfield remains as doubtful as ever. [I have been impressed with how Green and (especially) Tracy have made their transitions so far, but I'm not expecting many outfield assists from that trio.]
Should be around for much of it; not sure if we have plans for later on, but that may depend on how the game goes.