Since the KC Royals and St. Louis Cardinals are set to match up for the second time in about a month for Interleague Play, Christina Coleman, my fellow AerysSports reporter for the Cardinals, and I decided to collaborate once again. She gives all you Royals fans a head’s up on what’s going on with the Cardinals. You can check out my Royals info on her site, Aaron Miles Fastball.
Via the KC Royals Media Relations Dept.
It is also a meaningful series as the two teams “Unite for Joplin”. You can check out Aaron Miles Fastball to read about what the Cardinals are doing (and check it out for all the latest Cardinals news) and scroll to the bottom of this post to see what the Royals are doing.
After beating the Astros on June 9, the Cardinals had the best record in the major leagues. Since then, theyâ€™ve not won a game â€“ the losing streak is currently at six, after back-to-back sweeps by the Brewers and the Nationals. While the pitching, especially relief pitching, is a big reason for the slide, the offense has not done well either. And the defense was atrocious against the Nationals, with multiple errors made in each game and seven total for the series. Now they return home, hoping to get back on track.
Matt Holliday just returned from 15 days on the disabled list yesterday, although it came at the expense of rookie reliever Eduardo Sanchez taking his place with a strained shoulder. The Cards have seven guys currently on the DL, and have used the list 13 times so far this season â€“ the total number of times they used it in 2010. New to the team since the Cards faced the Royals last month are catcher Tony Cruz, outfielder Andrew Brown and infielder Mark Hamilton.
Matt Hollidayâ€™s return from the DL was with a bang: he homered in his first at-bat last night. He also singled and raised his team-leading batting average to .348. He struggled with the quad injury for several weeks before he officially went on the DL, so his good health is welcome by the Cardinals.
Yadi is not a big home run hitter, but the ones he does hit always seem to have an impact â€“ like last nightâ€™s ninth inning game-tying one against the Nationals. Heâ€™s been hitting well lately, perhaps more consistently than anything, and his batting average has been above .300 for more than a month now. He doesnâ€™t strike out all that much, but conversely doesnâ€™t walk all that much either.
After not being himself on offense for much of the season, Albert looked like Albert again two weeks ago when he hit walk-off homers on back-to-back days. He continued to hit well after that until facing the Brewers last weekend, but all the Cardinals tailed off at that point. He had a good game on offense yesterday, also hitting a homer against the Nationals and singling.
Friday â€“ Chris Carpenter (1-6, 4.47)
Carpenterâ€™s season has been puzzling. Heâ€™s pitched well enough to win far more than one game, but also has victimized himself at times â€“ often having only one bad inning that ultimately costs him the game. That was the case in his last start, when he faced Zack Greinke in Milwaukee. Heâ€™s also had some bad luck, as heâ€™s thrown a complete game loss and pitched nine innings in a 10-inning team win for which he received no decision.
Saturday â€“ Jake Westbrook (6-4, 5. 16)
After four consecutive wins, Westbrook had a rough outing in Milwaukee last weekend and gave up four earned runs in five innings for the loss. He hasnâ€™t been pitching deep into games at all recently, with his last four outings all less than six innings. Heâ€™s had success against the Royals throughout his career, with a 7-3 record.
Sunday â€“ Jaime Garcia (6-2, 3.18)
Garcia received no decision in his last start, when he allowed two runs in six innings to the Nationals on Tuesday â€“ he left with a 6-2 lead in a game the Cards would lose 8-6. Overall heâ€™s had a very good season, having some stellar starts (such as a perfect game for 7.1 innings in May) and was even among the National League leaders in ERA until a disastrous outing against the Rockies at the end of May. He allowed 11 earned runs in 3.1 innings at Coors Field, but has righted himself since then.
This should be an interesting series with both teams struggling and the Royals‘ road struggles. Will the Royals overcome their road demons or will the Cardinals snap out of their funk? Stay tuned.
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