Friday, June 2, 2023
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MLB Preview: St. Louis Cardinals (22-28) at Cincinnati Reds (20-28)


RECENT REDBIRDS: The St. Louis Cardinals continue their 7-game tour of the Buckeye State tonight with the 3rd 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 posted an 8-5 win last night, evening the series at 1-1…the Redbirds 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: This weeks road-trip 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 12 of their last 16 games (May 7-present), the Cardinals enter today in 3rd 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 13th game of a season-high 19 consecutive without an off-day (9-3 record).

REDBIRD RESURGENCE: Since May 7, the Cardinals are T-1st in MLB in win pct. (.750, 12-4), 1st in runs scored (114), 1st in runs per game (7.1), 1st in slugging (.507), 1st in OPS (.858), 1st in RBI (110), 1st in total bases (282), tied for the MLB lead in wins (12) and rank 2nd in stolen bases (20), homers (32).

50 GAMES IN THE BOOK: The Cardinals played their 50th game of the season last night, and reached a pair of milestones, becoming just the 4th Cardinals team with 70+ HR’s in the first 50 games (98 HR in 2000, 72 in 2001, 70 in 1998, 70 in 2023). They also became the first-ever Cardinals team to reach both 70+ HR & 40+ stolen bases in their first 50 games.

CLOSE CALLS: Monday 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 86-84 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 (70) this season while ranking 3rd in the month of May (38) to the Yankees (41)… The Redbirds sport a 19-14 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 10 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.

GOLDY’S POWER PAIRINGS: For the third time this season, Paul Goldschmidt packed multiple HR’s into his game, hitting a pair of round-trippers last night in his 1st two at-bats…Goldy has had three consecutive multiple homer games when he has gone deep…he’s had two games when he’s homered just once in a game (last 4/18 vs. ARI) and has combined to hit his 9 HR’s in just 5 games, with 7 of the 9 longballs coming in his three multi-HR contests. SOLO ARTIST: Eight of Goldschmidt’s 9 HR’s this season have been solo shots.

BOTTOMS UP: The Cardinals 9th place hitters are leading the NL in HR (8), and rank 2nd in OPS (.821) and T2nd in RBI (25), one behind the Cubs (26) … 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.

NL Ranks: Losses (5, T-5th), Hits (57, 8th)

  • Makes his 165th career appearance (155th start) and 19th start as a Cardinal.
  • With a win as a starting pitcher tonight (had one in relief last year), would be the 5th pitcher to start 3-0 vs. the Reds in his first four starts as a Cardinal joining Ray Sadecki, Jack Harper, Luis Arroyo and Milt Watson
  • Last win came against the Reds in relief on Sept. 17, 2022 in extra innings and his last win as a starting pitcher came at Great American Ballpark on July 23, 2022.
  • Prior to the 7/23/22 start at Cincinnati, Matz had missed approx. two months with a left shoulder impingement.
  • Ranks 10th in MLB in Pitch Tempo with bases empty (12.0 sec/pitch) and 41st with runners on base (16.7 sec/pitch), leading all Cardinals.
  • Limiting opposing left-handed batters to a .189 BA (7-37) with one home run.
  • Did not allow a home run in his last two starts, his third start this season without serving up a longball and the twice since allowing one in five starts, one shy of a career-high.
  • Lifetime 9-8 with 3.31 ERA in May, his lowest ERA in any calendar month.
  • Since joining the Cardinals in 2022, is 5-8 with a 5.15 ERA in 24 appearances (19 starts) while leading Cardinals starting pitchers in strikeouts/9 IP (9.25).
  • The Cardinals lost his first six games started this year, before posting a 12-6 win vs. Detroit (5/7).
  • Missed 102 games on the Injured List with a left shoulder impingement (5/23-7/16) and strained left knee (7/24-9/16). Was activated from his second stint in mid-September and was added to the bullpen where he made five appearances.
  • Only win as a Cardinals starting pitcher at Busch Stadium came on May 2, 2022, a rescheduled game tossing 6.0 scoreless innings in a 1-0 win.


  • Suffered his 5th defeat of the season in a 5-0 Cardinals loss to the Dodgers last Fri. (5/19) at Busch Stadium. Was touched for just one uneared run in his 4.2 innings pitched, before the Dodgers broke the game open with a 4-run 8th inn.

5/19 LAD L 5-0 L-5 4.2 6 1 0 2 5 0 103-66


  • Has pitched 5.0 innings or more in 7-of-8 starts.
  • Suffered his 4th straight loss on 5/2 vs. LAA. All four of his runs allowed came in the opening frame, including a Taylor Ward 3-run homer.
  • Surpassed 800 career innings pitched in his start at SEA (4/21).
  • Surrendered a lead-off home run to Ke’Bryan Hayes, then settled in allowing just one run on two hits over the next 17 outs. Matched his career-high with five walks. Received a no-decision in a 6-3 Cardinals loss in 10 innings vs. PIT (4/15). Threw a season-high 110 pitches, 2nd most in MLB this season at the time (Ohtani, 111).
  • Allowed a season-high six runs on nine hits in a 7-4 loss at COL (4/10). Allowed only three doubles of his nine hits for extra bases.
  • Struck out a season-high seven batters over 5.1 innings in a 4-1 loss vs. ATL (4/4). Allowed a career-high 10 hits (6th time) for the first time as a member of the Cardinals. Surrendered two home runs, including a 479-foot blast to Austin Riley, the 2nd-longest opposing HR at Busch Stadium III in the StatCast Era.


  • Today the Reds selected from Louisville the contract of RHP Eduardo Salazar (#81) and designated for assignment RHP Silvino Bracho…when he pitches, Salazar will become the fifth Reds player this season to make his Major League debut (RHP Casey Legumina, RHP Levi Stoudt, IF Matt McLain, LHP Brandon Williamson).
  • Class AA Chattanooga IF Noelvi Marte 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).


  • Is Game 3 (1-1) of a 4-game series vs Brian Bartow’s Cardinals and Game 6 (1-4) of a 7-game homestand that included a 3-game series sweep loss to the Yankees.
  • Following tomorrow 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).


  • 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’ .506 winning percentage at Great American Ball Park (86-84) 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).


  • 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 c 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).


  • The Red Sox lead the all-time series, 14-3, including a split of the homeand-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)…gametime 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 AL 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 – #59 Ben Lively, RHP

  • Tonight is making his fourth appearance and second start for the Reds…will be his first career appearance vs the Cardinals.
  • Fri’s start vs the Yankees was his first in the Major Leagues since since 4/26/18 for Phi vs Ari…allowed just 2 hits in 5.2 innings, including a solo HR by Aaron Judge in the first…was charged with a second run scored on Anthony Rizzo’s 2-out, 2-run HR off Ian Gibaut.
  • Made his Reds debut in the second inning of the 5-0 win on 5/11 vs NYM…relieved spot starter Derek Law and threw 3.0 scoreless innings, still tied for the longest appearance by a Reds reliever this season…was his first Major League appearance since 4/28/19 for KC vs LAA, his only appearance of that season, and his first win since his last appearance of the 2017 season (9/27/19 for Phi vs NYM).
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