Monday, September 25, 2023
2023 National Football League Schedule, Book 1

MLB Preview: San Diego Padres (62-71) at St. Louis Cardinals (57-76)


Padres fall 6-5 to Cardinals and drop their 11th extra-inning game, forcing today’s rubber match

  • Starter Seth Lugo went 6.0 IP of 6-hit ball, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 1 walk and 6 punchouts…it was his 13th quality start, trailing just Blake Snell’s 15 for the most on the team.
  • Robert Suarez allowed an 0-2, 2-out home run to Willson Contreras that tied the game at 5-5, and in the 10th, Tommy Edman singled off Josh Hader to the game-winning run.
  • Jose Azocar had his 1st multi-RBI game since May 28 @ NYY… Luis Campusano homered in the 6th, and Matthew Batten logged a career-high 4 hits, going 4-for-4 with a walk.

Friars are 0-11 in extras this year

  • This season marks the latest in which the Padres have gone without a win in extra innings, with the previous latest in a season being their 114 games into 1973 (Elias)…the last team to go an entire 162-game season without winning a game in extras was the 2016 Angels, and the only team to play in at least 11 extra-inning games and not win any of them was the 1969 Expos (went 0-12).

Cue the rubber game

  • San Diego looks to win their 1st road series since taking 2 of 3 from the Rockies from July 31-August 2…they enter today having lost 4 of their last 5, and they are 8-10 so far in rubber games. Starter strength
  • Padres starters lead the NL in ERA (3.78) and quality starts (61)…their .238 opponent average is 2nd in the NL to the Brewers’ .232, and their 1174 punchouts are 3rd behind Atlanta (1226) and Miami (1232).

Statcast says…

  • Padres pitchers have the lowest opponent exit velocity in the Majors (88.0 mph) and the lowest hardhit percentage (36.5%)…on the defensive side, the Padres defenders lead all of baseball in outs above average (30) and runs prevented (24).

Padres have 29 games to turn it around

  • With 29 games left in the regular season (including today), the Padres are -7.5 games back in the NL Wild Card, behind the Marlins (-3.0 GB), Reds (-2.0 GB), and D-backs (-0.5 GB)…occupying the 3 NL Wild Card spots are the Giants (0.0 GB) Cubs (+1.0 GB), and Phillies (+5.0).

Hill set for his 11th career start vs. STL, 2nd this season
43-year-old Rich Hill takes the mound for his 2nd start of the season vs. STL, having faced the RedBirds earlier in 2023 on June 4 with PIT, earning his 5th win of the season behind 6.2 innings of 4-hit, 1-run ball…10 of his 11 career appearances vs. STL have come as a starter, going 5-2 with a 4.09 ERA…he’s yet to be tagged with a loss in his 4 career starts at Busch Stadium, going 2-0 with a 1.02 WHIP, 3.57 ERA and .138 opp. AVG.

First relief appearance since 2021 with the Mets
His last appearance came last Fri, Aug 25 at MIL in relief of Yu Darvish, which marked Hill’s first relief since Aug 10, 2021 vs. WSH w/ NYM…he allowed 2 ER on 4 hits in SD’s 7-3 defeat… the last time he made multiple relief outings in a single season was in 2014 with NYY.

Back-to-back starts vs. the Snakes
Made back-to-back starts vs. ARI on Aug 12 and 17 vs. ARI in search of his first winning decision since August 1, 2006 (with CHC)…Hill’s 11 career losing decisions (including Postseason) are his most against any team, and more than half as many as the next closest teams he has 5 losing decisions against (MIL, SD, WSH)…he’s made 17 career starts vs. ARI, and among all pitchers who have made 15+ starts vs. ARI (reg + Postseason), he has the highest all-time ERA (6.23).

SD Debut — at 43 years old
The former Dodger (2016-19) made just his 3rd career start vs. LAD and allowed 6 ER across a season-low 3.0 IP, his fewest since also throwing 3.0 IP on Aug 3, 2022 @ HOU w/ BOS… at 43 years and 148 days old, and he was the 2nd oldest Padre to make a start, behind just David Wells back in 2007 (his last start was when he was 44 and 78 days old)…today will be his 26th start of the season, which makes him 1 of only 7 southpaws in ML history to have made 25 starts at age 43-or-older, joining Jamie Moyer (153), Tommy John (85), Randy Johnson (57), Warren Spahn (55), Wells (42) and Kenny Rogers (30).

Welcome to the Pads, career squad #13
Acquired by SD with 1B/DH Ji Man Choi from PIT as 1 of the club’s 3 trade deadline deals this past Tuesday…he’s in the midst of his 19th MLB season and SD is the 13th club he’s played for…if he plays for a different team in 2024, he’ll tie Edwin Jackson as the only 2 players to play for 14 different teams…has played for the Cubs (2005-08), Orioles (2009), Red Sox (2010-2012, 2015, 2022), Indians (2013), Angels (2014), Yankees (2014), A’s (2016), Dodgers (2016-2019), Twins (2020), Rays (2021), Mets (2021), Pirates (2023), and Padres (2023).

Among all active pitchers…
Among all active pitchers, Hill ranks 25th in total wins (89) and games started (246)… among all active pitchers who have made at least 240 career starts, he ranks 9th in opponents’ batting average (.233), 11th in SO/9 IP (9.14), 16th in opponent OPS (.702), T16th in WHIP (1.25), T-20th in ERA (3.98) and pitchers per batter faced (3.93), 25th in ground ball percentage (38.8%) and 25th in total pitches thrown (23,075)


RECENT REDBIRDS: The St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres play the rubber match of their three-game series today at Busch Stadium … Manager Oliver Marmol won his 150th career game last night as pinch hitter Tommy Edman and the Cardinals came from behind to walk off the Padres, 6-5, in 10 innings (Edman also had the walk-off hit in Marmol’s 100th career victory on April 16, 2023 vs. Pittsburgh) … After tomorrow’s off day, the division-rival Pirates visit St. Louis for three games this weekend as rosters expand to 28 players for the final month of the regular season.

FLIGHT PATTERN: St. Louis enters the day in 5th place in the NL Central, 17.5 games out of first … St. Louis has spent 115 of 149 days in last place on the MLB schedule (April 26-May 19, May 29-July 7 & July 28-present) … The Cardinals 57-76 record is their lowest at the 133-game mark since 1955 when they were 55-78 (.414) … St. Louis would need to finish 24-5 (.828) over its remaining 29 games to avoid finishing under .500 for the first time since 2007 (78-84).

WHO’S YOUR PADRE: The Cardinals all-time .665 (169-85) home win percentage over the Padres (1969-present) is the 2nd-highest win pct. by one team vs. any opponent at home in MLB history behind the Yankees (.668, 175-87) success over the Royals in New York … Since Busch Stadium III opened in 2006, the Cardinals .696 home win pct. (39-17) vs. the Padres is their 2nd-best against any visitor behind only Colorado (.750, 45-15) … No team has higher all-time win pct. over than Padres than the Cardinals (.587, 296-208) among all 30 MLB teams.

VETERAN OPPOSITION: 43-year-old Rich Hill makes his second start of the season against the Cardinals today … The last pitcher age 43 or older to make a multiple starts against the Cardinals in the same season was Arizona’s Randy Johnson in 2008, who was age 44-357 (Sept. 1, 2008 at Chase Field) and age 45-013 (Sept. 23, 2009 at Busch III) … The oldest pitcher to ever start against St. Louis was Philadelphia’s Jamie Moyer at age 47-244 (July 20, 2010 at Busch III).

BIG WILLIE STYLE: Willson Contreras last night produced his 14th career multi-homer game and 3rd this season, 2nd among MLB catchers to Seattle’s Cal Raleigh (4) … Contreras also joined Tom Pagnozzi (3 in 1996) as the 2nd Cards backstop with 3+ multi-homer games in a single season … Contreras’ 15 homers this season tie Todd Zeile (1990) and Darell Porter (1983) for 11th-most by a primary catcher in Cardinals single-season history.

DAY BALL: The Cardinals are 25-21 (.543) in day games this season (12-10 at Busch Stadium) … Among National League teams, the Cardinals .543 win pct. in day ball ranks 4th behind the Braves (.644, 29-16), Phillies (.596, 31-21), and Brewers (.582, 32-23) … Since Busch Stadium III opened in 2006, the Cardinals .621 win pct. (290-177) in home days games ranks 3rd in MLB behind the Yankees (.634, 361-208) and Dodgers (.643, 211-117) over that timespan.

SIX IS A SERIOUS NUMBER: Over their last 15 games (Aug. 14-present), St. Louis has scored six runs or more in all five victories, but just three runs or fewer in all 10 defeats.

TODAY’S GAME Leads MLB NL Ranks: Games Started (27, T-1st), Losses (9, T-9th), Innings Pitched (152.1, 7th), Hits Allowed (167, 2nd), Runs (79, T-8th), Walks/9 IP (1.83, 5th), HR/9 IP (0.95, 8th). The 2022 N.L. All-Star & the team’s Opening Day starter for 2023 is making his MLB-leading 29th start of 2023, 172nd career appearance & 144th career start. Is currently at 51-50 for his career record, has not seen his record dip to .500 since July 27, 2014 (3-4, .429). Trying to avoid becoming the first Cardinal to record five losses in the month of August since Jason Marquis in 2005 (1-5) and the first to go 0-5 since Larry Jaster in 1968. Has lost five-straight decisions, tying his career-long streak, and the Cardinals are just 3-13 in his 16 games started since June 4. He’s had 5 Quality Starts in that span and logged 6.0+ IP 10 times. Received no more than 3 runs of support in 21 of 28 starts this season, including just one run or less in 12 of 28 (42.9%) starts. Last win came on July 17 vs. Miami (6-4) and his last road win was July 8 at CWS (3-0). Came back on two days rest after throwing 3.0 perfect innings (34 pitches) vs. Washington (7/14) in a game that was suspended by weather and picked up a 6-4 win on 7/17 vs. MIA – his first home win since May 30 vs. KC. Has crossed the 100.0 innings threshold for the 4th time in his MLB career. Leads the Cardinals in innings pitched (152.1) and is ranked T-2nd on the team in wins (6). Has allowed 20 of his 84 runs in the 1st inning (6.51 ERA, .333 BA). Has not allowed a homer in the 1st inning, joining Sonny Gray and Marcus Stroman as the only four pitchers with 20 or more starts without. Since joining the Cardinals in 2018, Mikolas leads MLB (min. 700 IP) in fewest walks (142); Justin Verlander (147) is 2nd. His 1.62 walks/9 IP is 2nd behind Zack Greinke (1.59) for the fewest in MLB. Hasn’t committed an error since 8/2/18 vs. COL. One of two pitchers (Erick Fedde) with 100+ total chances and zero errors since 8/3/18. Ranks 9th among MLB pitchers in fielding pct. (.987) since 2018. (min. 100 TC). Was one of 10 MLB pitchers and two Cardinals (Wainwright) with a perfect 1.000 fielding pct. (31 total chances) in 2022. Ranks 2nd among current Cardinals behind only Adam Wainwright (2,644.2 IP) in most career innings pitched (790.0) as a member of the Cardinals. Can pass Pete “Grover Cleveland” Alexander (792.0) and Chappie McFarland (797.0) for 56th and 55th in Cardinals history with 7.1 innings in this start. Ranks 5th among all-time Busch Stadium III leaders in ERA (3.12; min. 300 IP), T-9th in all-time wins (22) with Braden Looper & 8th in innings pitched (400.2).


  • Tied his career-long losing streak at five allowing five runs after the Cardinals took a 2-0 lead in the 1st inning. Marked his 6th straight start receiving three runs of support or less. Did not issue a walk for the first time in three starts (8/8 at TB).

8/25 at PHI L 7-2 L-10 6.0 8 5 5 0 3 1 96-66

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