Saturday, June 22, 2024
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MLB Preview: St. Louis Cardinals (21-28) at Cincinnati Reds (20-27)

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS NOTES:

RECENT REDBIRDS: The St. Louis Cardinals continue their 7-game tour of the Buckeye State tonight with the 2nd game of a 4-game series against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park…the road-trip will continue this coming weekend with a 3-game set against the Cleveland Guardians…the Cardinals wrapped up a 7-game homestand (2-1 vs. MIL, 3-1 vs. LAD) on Sunday with a 10-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers…this week’s series with the Reds marks the first meeting of the season between the two clubs…it’s the latest in the season the two NL Central rivals have met for their initial series since doing so in June of 2004.

ROAD TRIPPING REDBIRDS: Last night, the Cardinals began a stretch in which they will be playing 13 of 15 games on the road (May 22-June 7)…their only two home games over that time span are with cross-state rival Kansas City on Memorial Day, May 29, and Tuesday, May 30.

FLIGHT PATTERN: Winners of 11 of their last 15 games (May 7-present), the Cardinals enter today tied with Reds for 4th place in the NL Central, 5.0 games behind first place Milwaukee… St. Louis is within 5.0 games of the division lead for the first time since April 17 (gaining 5.0 games in the division since May 7) … The Cardinals were in last place for 24 straight days (April 25- May 20) … Tonight’s game is the 12th game of a season-high 19 consecutive without an off-day (8-3 record).

REDBIRD RESURGENCE: Since May 7, the Cardinals are 2nd in MLB in win pct. (.733, 11-4), 1st in runs scored (106), 1st in runs per game (7.1), 2nd in slugging (.499), 1st in OPS (.848), 1st in RBI (102), tied for the MLB lead in wins (11) and rank 2nd in stolen bases (18), homers (30) and total bases (260).

CLOSE CALLS: Last night’s 6-5 loss was the Cardinals 29th by a one-run margin here at Great American Ball Park…the Cardinals have posted 18 one-run victories at GABP all-time, and hold a slim 86-85 advantage in all-time games played here since the ballpark’s opening in 2003.

BURGER PHONE HOTLINE: The Cardinals are 5th in MLB in home runs this season (68) this season while ranking 3rd in the month of May (36) to the Yankees (39) and Braves (37) … The Redbirds sport a 18-14 record in games when they go yard this season, but are 3-14 in homerless games. REDBIRD RIBEYES: The Cardinals have had six players enjoy 4+ RBI games in the last nine games, as Andrew Knizner (4), Nolan Gorman (5), Nolan Arenado (4), Willson Contreras (6), Paul DeJong (4, twice) and Óscar Mercado (5) all had games with 4 or more RBI in that span.

BOTTOMS UP: The Cardinals 9th place hitters are leading the NL in HR (8), and OPS (.829) and rank 2nd in RBI (24), one behind Colorado (25) … the Cardinals .663 OPS out of the 9th spot last season was their highest in the modern era as MLB went to full-time DH.

AND THE ÓSCAR GOES TO…: Playing in just his 5th game since joining the Cardinals roster from Memphis (AAA) on May 17,Óscar Mercado enjoyed a career day in Sunday’s win, going 3-for-4 and matching his career-best with 5 RBI, including 4 with two-outs against Clayton Kershaw…Mercado became just the 4th Cardinal to collect 5 RBI out of the 9th spot in the lineup, joining Chris Carpenter (6 RBI), Bob Gibson & John Mabry.

GO-AHEAD GORMAN: Nolan Gorman hit his NL-leading 7th go-ahead home run of the season Sat. night, which trails only reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge (8) in MLB … Of Gorman’s 13 homers this season, six have come in either the 8th or 9th inning, the most in the major leagues … Gorman entered today leading the NL in slugging pct. (.636) and OPS (1,028) while ranking 2nd in RBI (39).

TONIGHT’S STARTING PITCHER: RHP ADAM WAINWRIGHT (1-0, 5.74)
TONIGHT’S GAME

  • Makes his 4th start of the season & 461st career appearance (394th 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).
  • Has not won against the Reds since Aug. 16, 2019 at Great American Ball Park. Last win vs. the Reds at Busch Stadium was in 2016.
  • Has departed with the lead in each of his first three starts.
  • Tonight is Wainwright’s 394th career start, ranking 3rd all-time among Cardinals pitchers: Bob Gibson (482) & Bob Forsch (401).
  • Waino’s 394 career starts, all with St. Louis, ranks 14th-most, exclusively with one organization in MLB history, while Gibson (482) ranks 6th. Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators leads at 666.
  • 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 four wins shy of 200 career, 14 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).

LAST TIME OUT

  • Earned his first win of the season and 196th career. Gave him 107 career home wins with the Cardinals, T-2nd most in Cardinals history with Jesse Haines. Held a 9-2 lead when he departed and Cardinals held on for 16-8 win.

DATE vs. RESULT DEC IP H R ER BB SO HR NP-S
5/18 LAD W 16-8 W-1 5.2 5 5 2 3 1 0 96-53
2023

  • Became the 21st pitcher in MLB history with 300.0 or more career innings in Interleague play in his start at Boston (5/14). Passed Jesse Haines (39) for 2nd place all-time among Cardinals with 40 starts over the age of 40. Trails only Grover Cleveland Alexander (80). Allowed back-to-back home runs for only the 9th time in his career.
  • Made his season debut vs. DET (5/6) and took a no decision the Cardinals lost in 10 innings

CINCINNATI REDS NOTES:

RED HOTS

  • Today the Reds reinstated from the 10-day injured list OF TJ Friedl (left oblique strain) and optioned to Louisville OF Will Benson.
  • Class AA Chattanooga IF Noelvi M1arte has been named Southern League Player of the Week (5/15-5/21)…is his second weekly award (5/1-
    5/7)…last week he recorded 3 multi-hit games and collected 5 extra-base hits…for the season ranks fourth in the league in hitting (.292), T2nd in HR (8), T1st in hits (42) and T4th in runs scored (26).

TONIGHT’S GAME

  • Is Game 2 (1-0) of a 4-game series vs Mike Shannon’s Cardinals and Game 5 (1-3) of a 7-game homestand that included a 3-game series sweep loss to the Yankees.
  • Following Thu afternoon’s game, the Reds hit the road again for 3-game series in the two oldest ballparks in the Major Leagues, Chc’s Wrigley Field (1914) and Bos’ Fenway Park (1912).

SERIES NOTES

  • The Reds and Cardinals are meeting for the first time this season.
  • In 2022, the Cardinals won 12 of the 19 games and 5 of the 6 series.
  • The Cardinals’ .503 winning percentage at Great American Ball Park (85-84) is the highest among NL Central Division opponents and seventh-highest of any National League team.
  • From 7/15-7/24 and surrounding the 2022 All-Star break, the Reds and Cardinals played 5 straight games for the first time since 9/7-9/11, 1962.
  • From 9/15-9/18, 2022 at Busch Stadium, the Reds and Cardinals faced off in a 5-game series (3-2 Cardinals series win) for the first time since 7/25-7/27, 1958 (3-2 Reds series win).

CUBS UP NEXT…

  • The Reds in 2022 went 8-11 vs Cubs, including 5-4 at Great American Ball Park, 3-6 at Wrigley Field and a 4-2 “home” loss on 8/11 in the Field of Dreams game in Dyersville, Iowa.
  • Since a 4-1 Reds win on 6/25/14 and beginning 9/15/14, the Cubs have won 30 of the last 42 night games vs the Reds at The Friendly Confines.
  • The teams met in the final 6 games of the 2022 championship season (3g at Wrigley Field, 3g at Great American Ball Park), the longest continuous stretch of games between the Reds and Cubs since they played 7 straight games from 8/29-9/5, 1931…@EliasSports.
  • The game scheduled for 4/5 at Great American Ball Park was postponed by threatening weather…it has been rescheduled as part of a day/night doubleheader on Fri, 9/1 (1:10, 6:40).

…FOLLOWED BY THE RED SOX

  • The Red Sox lead the all-time series, 14-3, including a split of the home-and-home 2-game series last season.
  • The Sox won 5 of the 7 series, tied the other 2 series and swept 4 series.
  • The Reds’ 2-1 win on 5/31/22 was their first victory at Fenway Park since Game 7 of the 1975 World Series.
  • In the June 2005 series at Fenway, the Reds were outscored by the Sox, 23-4, and hit .167 (15-90, 32k) while posting an 8.25era (.340ba)…game-time temperature on 6/13/05 was 91 humid degrees, dropped to a chilly 54 for Game 2 and then plummeted to a frigid 49 for the series finale.
  • The Red Sox won 8 of 10 games at Great American Ball Park, including an 8-game winning streak (6/14/08-9/20/22), the best winning percentage of any opposing team (.800).
  • Before the interleague schedule expanded this season to include games vs all 15 American League teams, from 1997-2022 the Redlegs went 188-
    247 vs the American League, at .432 the lowest interleague winning percentage of any Major League team…in 2022 the Reds went 12-8 vs AL teams (0-2 vs Cle, 2-0 at Cle, 1-2 at Tor, 1-1 at Bos, 3-0 vs TB, 2-1 at NYY, 2-1 vs Bal, 1-1 vs Bos)…last season’s was their first winning
    record vs the American League since 2013 (11-9)…in the 8 seasons between the 2013 & 2022 season series wins, the Reds went 61-99 vs AL teams (.381).

Tonight’s Pitcher – #51 Graham Ashcraft, RHP

  • Tonight is making his third career appearance and start vs the Cardinals.
  • Produced 5 of the Reds’ 8 quality starts.
  • In Wed’s 11-6 loss at Col, didn’t allow a run through the fourth inning (3h)…in the fifth allowed 5 runs on 5 hits and was charged with 2 more in the sixth scored off Lucas Sims.
  • Became the first Reds pitcher to begin a season with 6 starts without allowing more than 2 earned runs in any of those starts since Luis Castillo began the 2019 campaign by allowing 2 ER or fewer in each of his first 7 starts.
  • In his first 3 starts (19ip, 3er) became the eighth Reds pitcher, since 1901 and including Nick Lodolo in 2023, to begin a season with at least 17.0 innings while allowing 4 earned runs or fewer.
  • Between a solo HR by Pit’s Bryan Reynolds in his season debut and a 2-run HR by WSox’ Hanser Alberto’s on 5/7 in his seventh start, Ashcraft recorded a career-high homerless streak of 33.0 innings.
  • In the 17-4 loss on 5/7 vs WSox allowed a career-high 8 runs in 1.2 innings…was the shortest start of his career and the shortest start by a Reds pitcher to that point in the season…was charged with all 8 runs in the second inning after throwing a perfect first…entered that 5/7 start leading all National League pitchers in bWAR (2.1), the third-best bWAR among all players in the Major Leagues (Gerrit Cole 2.5, Ronald Acuña Jr. 2.2).
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