Friday, June 2, 2023
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MLB Preview: St. Louis Cardinals (13-25) at Boston Red Sox (22-16)


RECENT REDBIRDS: The Cardinals continue a six-game road trip over seven days through Chicago and Boston. Following their three-game series in Chicago, the Cardinals arrived in Boston at 3:30 AM early Thursday and enjoyed their first open date since May 1 in St. Louis, which followed a 10-game/11-day West Coast road trip. St. Louis has won three of their last four games and moved up two games in the standings over that period sitting 8.0 games behind first place Pittsburgh and 3.5 games behind fourth place Cincinnati. The Cardinals have been in last place for 17 days straight since April 25.

SURELY YOU CAN’T BE SERIES-OUS?: St. Louis snapped their streak of 11 straight series openers without a win when they defeated the Chicago Cubs on Monday 3-1 at Wrigley Field. They had the longest streak without winning a series opener to begin the season since the 1981 Kansas City Royals, who dropped their first 13 series openers…then went on to make the postseason. The last time the Cardinals won back-to-back series openers was last September when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 23 as Albert Pujols hit home runs 699 and 700. They followed it by clinching the National League Central at Milwaukee in their next series opener on Sept. 27.

ROAD TRIP RELICS: The Cardinals continue a three-city road trip through the three oldest active ballparks in Major League Baseball all in succession on the road. The journey started with Dodger Stadium (1962) April 28-30 during their last road trip. Wrigley Field followed, which opened in 1914 (but housed the Cubs for their first game in 1916), May 8-10. St. Louis continues their barnstorming trip into Boston for the completion of the road trip with three at Fenway Park (1912) this weekend.

FALL CLASSICS: The Cardinals have faced the Red Sox in four World Series (1946, 1967, 2004, 2013), winning in seven games in both 1946 and 1967 before losing all four in 2004 and in six games in 2013. The Cardinals 12 World Series games at Fenway Park are their 2nd-most at any road stadium (15 at Original Yankee Stadium) and most by any opponent in Fenway Park history.

‘BIRDS & ‘SOX: Since Interleague play began in 1997, the Cardinals and Red Sox have played 19 times over seven series with four in Boston and three in St. Louis. The Red Sox have won 6 of the last 7 contests against the Cardinals dating back to May 16, 2017. St. Louis was 6-2 to begin the series before the ‘Sox took 8 of the last 11. The Red Sox swept a pair of two-game series (both in 2017), but neither team has swept a three-game series.

STARTING AND DEPARTING: The Cardinals first three wins of the season were earned by starting pitchers (Jack Flaherty & Jordan Montgomery twice). Since April 9, the Cardinals have seen three wins from starting pitchers (Jake Woodford 4/19 vs. ARI; Jack Flaherty 4/23 at SEA & Miles Mikolas 4/27 at SF). St. Louis has six wins (6-16) from starting pitchers, ranking tied for last in the National League with Cincinnati (6-13) and 2nd from last in MLB (Oakland, 2-21). The 14 days between wins from a starting pitcher is the longest active stretch in MLB.

WHIZ-KNIZ: Since being named starting catcher on Saturday, Andrew Knizner has batted .333 (7-21) with four doubles, a home run and three RBI. Knizner leads all National League catchers with 44 innings caught and three double plays since Saturday. Is tied for the Cardinals team lead with four doubles in the month of May.

INTERLEAGUE ACTION: St. Louis is 223-222 all-time in Interleague play, with a .501 win pct., ranking 4th-best all-time among National League clubs (Boston ranks 1st in MLB at .592, 293-201). The Cardinals have finished with a winning Interleague record 13 times in 25 seasons (since 1997) and finished .500 last season (10-10). This season, the Cardinals are 4-8 in interleague play (2-1 vs. TOR, 1-2 at SEA, 0-3 vs. LAA, 1-2 vs. DET).

CAPE COD CARDINALS: Cardinals to have played in the Cape Cod Baseball League include pitchers Packy Naughton (Harwich 2016), Andre Pallante (Chatham 2017), Chris Stratton (Harwich 2011), Drew VerHagen (Hyannis 2010); catchers Tres Barrera (Cotuit 2014; Orleans 2015); Andrew Knizner (Wareham 2014-15); infielders Brendan Donovan (Hyannis 2017) and Tommy Edman (Yarmouth-Dennis 2015); outfielders Alec Burleson (Bourne 2019) and Lars Nootbaar (Orleans 2017); and broadcaster Ricky Horton (Chatham 1978).

FAMILIAR FACES: Of the 39 players in MLB history (1876-2022) to have played 18 or more seasons exclusively with only one franchise, five have appeared with St. Louis or Boston: Carl Yastrzemski (23 seasons from 1961-83); Stan Musial (22 seasons from 1941-44, 1946-63); Ted Williams (19 seasons from 1939-42, ‘46-60); Yadier Molina (19 seasons from 2004-22); and Adam Wainwright (18 seasons from 2005-10, ‘12-22).

A PITCHER’S REAL BEST FRIEND: Yesterday afternoon, Cardinals Extended Spring Training pulled off a triple play in the 8th inning as shortstop Jonathan Mejia caught a line drive, stepped on second base for the second out and fired to first baseman Javier Bolivar to complete the trifecta.

THE INFIRMARY: Cardinals outfielder Tyler O’Neill (left lower back strain; 10-day I.L.) has begun hitting off a tee and is projected to start
a rehabilitation assignment with Memphis (AAA) next week. Right-handed pitcher Jake Woodford (right shoulder inflammation; 15-day I.L.) will start a throwing program.


  • Makes his 2nd start of the season & 459th career appearance (392nd career start).
  • Missed the first 33 games of the season due to a groin injury he suffered while working out during the WBC Finals. Made two injury rehab starts for Springfield (AA) and one for Memphis (AAA).
  • Tonight is Wainwright’s 392nd career start, ranking 3rd all-time among Cardinals pitchers: Bob Gibson (482) & Bob Forsch (401).
  • Waino’s 392 career starts, all with St. Louis, tie Kansas City’s Paul Splittorff for 14thmost exclusively with one organization in MLB history, while Gibson (482) ranks 6th. Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators leads at 666.
  • With two outs recorded tonight, Wainwright (299.1 IP) will become the 21st pitcher in MLB history (5th active) to throw 300+ career innings in Interleague play.
  • Has wins at 25 different stadiums during career; Fenway Park is one of five current stadiums that he has yet to win at (Camden Yards, Comerica, T-Mobile, Yankee Std).
  • 2023 is his 18th season played with the Cards, 2nd only to Stan Musial (22) and Yadier Molina (19). His 19th season overall as a Cardinal, missing all of 2011 (elbow surgery).
  • Is five wins shy of 200 career, 15 wins from 210 (T-2nd all-time Cardinals history with Jesse Haines), and nine starts away from reaching 400 career.
  • At age 41, Waino is one of four active players age 40+ with Rich Hill (43), Nelson Cruz (42) and Miguel Cabrera (40).
  • Tonight is his 40th start after age 40, surpassing Jesse Haines (39, 1933-37) for 2nd among Cardinals behind only Grover Cleveland “Pete” Alexander (80, 1927-29).


  • Made his season debut in last Saturday’s 6-5 loss to the Tigers in 10 innings at Busch Stadium. After 4.0 scoreless frames to begin the game, was touched for four runs before departing as the Tigers won in extras.
    5/6 DET L 6-5 (10) — 5.0 8 4 4 0 5 0 90-64

BUSCH STADIUM III (2006-present)

  • Needs one Home win to tie Jesse Haines (107) for 2nd all-time among Cardinals.
  • Has 106 career regular-season wins at Busch Stadium III, tying Dazzy Vance (Ebbets Field) for 22nd-most wins at a single stadium.
  • Is one of 22 pitchers in MLB history to hold a stadium’s record for both appearances (236) and starts (205). Joins Bob Forsch (233 app/207 GS at Busch II) as Cardinals on that list.
  • His 205 starts at Busch III tie Red Ruffing (205 at Original Yankee Stadium) for 20th all time at a single stadium.
  • Has 1,180 regular-season strikeouts at Busch Stadium III, 15th-most all-time at a single stadium. Jim Palmer (1,191 SO at Memorial Stadium) ranks 14th.
  • Is tied with Lance Lynn and Trevor Rosenthal for most Postseason appearances at Busch (13). Leads in PS starts (8), IP (62.0), strikeouts (72) at Busch III.


STATE OF THE SOX: The Red Sox (22-16, .579) hold the AL’s 2nd Wild Card position…They own the 4th-best record in the AL and 6th-best in MLB.
The Red Sox went 3-2 over their 5-game road trip at PHI (2-1) and ATL (1-1), the last 2 NL champions.

Rk. Team Division W-L Pct.

  1. Tampa Bay AL East 30-9 .769
  2. Atlanta NL East 25-12 .676
  3. Baltimore AL East 24-13 .649
  4. Texas AL West 23-14 .622
  5. Los Angeles-NL NL West 23-15 .605
  6. Boston AL East 22-16 .579

RED HOT SOX: The Red Sox are 9-2 in their last 11 games… They are 17-8 (.680) in their last 25 games (beginning 4/14), MLB’s 2nd-best record in that span (BAL 17-7, .708). During that 25-game span, the Sox have averaged 5.8 runs/game (145 runs) on 9.9 hits/game (247 hits). Since 4/14, the Red Sox lead MLB in hits, AVG (.286), OBP (.353), and OPS (.818).

SERIES BUSINESS: The Red Sox are 3-0-1 in their last 4 series (2-1 vs. CLE, 4-0 vs. TOR, 2-1 at PHI, 1-1 at ATL). The Sox are 8-3-1 overall in series play (5-1-0 at home). Last season, the Sox went 3-7-2 in their first 12 series.

SLUGGING SOX: The Red Sox lead MLB in doubles (84) and rank 2nd in hits (351), 3rd in runs (216) and OPS (.788), and 4th in AVG (.269), OBP (.340), and SLG (.448). The Red Sox have scored 5+ runs in 23 games, tied with LAD and TB for most in MLB. The Sox have recorded 10+ hits in 17 games, trailing only TB (19) and TEX (18) for most in MLB.

Stat MLB Rank
216 R 3rd
49 HR 7th
351 H 2nd
135 XBH 3rd
20.4 SO% 4th
Stat MLB Rank
.270 AVG 4th
.340 OBP 4th
.450 SLG 4th
.790 OPS 3rd
114 wRC+ 4th

PITCHING IN: Red Sox starting pitchers have tossed at least 5.0 innings in 14 of their last 15 games. The Sox rank 8th in MLB in relief ERA (3.42; 2022: 4.59). The Red Sox lead MLB in save % (84.6%, 11-for-13) after ranking 22nd in 2022 (58.2%, 39-for-67). 6 of the 10 pitchers to appear in relief for BOS own a relief ERA below 2.50, tied with TB for most in MLB (min. 5.0 IP).

Pitcher Relief ERA IP ER
Kenley Jansen 0.77 11.2 1
Kutter Crawford 1.08 16.2 2
Josh Winckowski 1.50 24.0 4
Chris Martin 1.64 11.0 2
Brennan Bernardino 1.93 9.1 2
John Schreiber 2.16 16.2 4

GET AHEAD, STAY AHEAD: The Red Sox are 14-3 (.824) when scoring 1st, the 4th-best record in MLB (TB 24-2, .923; NYM 13-2, .867; ATL 23-4, .852). The Sox are 16-0 when leading after 6 innings.

TEAM EFFORT: The Red Sox have an MLB-leading 15 players with at least 5 RBI, including 11 with 10+ RBI. From the 7-9 spots in the lineup, the Sox rank 2nd in MLB in hits (109), RBI (64), and XBH (38).

RUNNIN’ RED SOX: The Red Sox rank 2nd in MLB in SB% (89.3%, 25-for-28), trailing only CWS (91.3%, 21-for-23). The Sox ranked 22nd in SB% in 2022 (72.2%, 52-for-72)… They have been successful in 15 of their last 17 attempts.

HOME COOKING: The Red Sox enter their 6-game homestand vs. STL (3 games) and SEA (3 games) on a 6-game winning streak at Fenway Park. The Sox also finished 2022 on a 6-game home winning streak…Their last winning streak of 7+ games at Fenway Park was from 6/14-7/9/21 (9 G). The Sox are 13-7 (.650) at home, the 6th-best home record in MLB, including 11-3 in their last 14. The Sox are 5-1-0 in home series, winning each of their last 4 (3-1 vs. LAA, 2-1 vs. MIN, 2-1 vs. CLE, 4-0 vs. TOR).

Stat MLB Rank
13 wins 3rd
6.2 R/game 2nd
10.5 H/game 1st
4.0 XBH/game 2nd
Stat MLB Rank
.297 AVG 1st
.363 OBP 1st
.489 SLG 2nd
.852 OPS 1st

SOX & CARDINALS: The Red Sox are 10-9 all time against the Cardinals…The Sox have won 6 of the last 7 matchups, dating back to the start of 2017. BOS won a 3-game series vs. STL from 6/17-19/22 (2-1). The Red Sox and Cardinals have also faced off in the World Series 4 times…St. Louis won 7-game series in 1946 and 1967, while Boston won in 2004 (4-0) and 2013 (4-2).

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: The Red Sox are in a stretch during which 17 of their 23 games from 5/5-6/1 are against NL teams, including the current series and each of their last 2 (2-1 at PHI, 1-1 at ATL). The Red Sox are an MLB-best 293-201 (.593) all time in Interleague play.

CLOSING TIME: Kenley Jansen recorded his 400th career save Wednesday at ATL, becoming the 7th player to reach the milestone since saves became an official stat in 1969. At 35 years, 222 days old, Jansen became the 2ndyoungest pitcher ever to join the 400-save club, behind only Francisco Rodriguez (34 years, 138 days). Wednesday was Jansen’s 9th save of the season, tied for 2nd most in the AL and 3rd most in MLB.

Rk. Pitcher SV

  1. Mariano Rivera …..652
  2. Trevor Hoffman …..601
  3. Lee Smith …………..478
  4. Francisco Rodriguez..437
    Rk. Pitcher SV
  5. John Franco………..424
  6. Billy Wagner……….422
  7. Kenley Jansen .. 400
  8. Craig Kimbrel ……..397

ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD: The Red Sox’ outfielders lead MLB in AVG (.306), OBP (.376), SLG (.514), OPS (.890), hits (138), doubles (39), XBH (58), runs (84), and RBI (81).

DON’T START WITH US: Starting pitchers have completed at least 6.0 innings in just 6 starts against the Red Sox this season, fewest of any team in MLB. Starters have lasted fewer than 4.0 innings in 12 starts vs. BOS this season, most in MLB…The Dodgers (8) are the only team with more than 7 such starts against them. Starting pitchers are 12-13 with a 5.98 ERA vs. BOS.

SOX SPLITS: The Red Sox lead MLB with a .277 AVG against RHP…They rank 2nd in SLG (.472) and OPS (.814). The Sox are tied for 2nd in the AL with 38 HR vs. RHP. Right-handed starting pitchers have a 5.92 ERA vs. BOS; left-handed starters have a 6.05 ERA. Against LHP, the Sox rank 2nd in the AL in hits (106), XBH (41), and walks (46).

SOX SWINGS: The Red Sox have swung and missed at just 0.42 pitches per plate appearance, lowest in the AL and 4th-lowest in MLB (WSH-0.37, ARI-0.40, NYM-0.40). The Sox’ 23.9% whiff rate (629 swings and misses) is 3rd-lowest in the AL and 7th-lowest in MLB.

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