Friday, June 2, 2023
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MLB Preview: St. Louis Cardinals (23-29) at Cleveland Guardians (21-28)


RECENT REDBIRDS: The St. Louis Cardinals continue their 7-game tour of the Buckeye State tonight (2-2 at CIN, 3 at CLE) as they open up the Memorial Day weekend with a 3-game series at Cleveland’s Progressive Field…the Cardinals gained a split of their 4-game series in Cincinnati with a 2-1 win yesterday afternoon, improving to a Major League best 13-5 since May 7…St. Louis began the season 10-24 before going on their current run.

ERIE(LY) INFREQUENT: Cleveland is among the ballparks/cities the Cardinals have visited the least among the current MLB cities, playing just 13 games at Progessive Field (1998, 2001, 2009, 2015 & 2021)…other infrequent stops for the Redbirds include NY Yankees (6 total: 3 at original Yankee Stadium & 3 at current Yankee Stadium); 8 at Oakland Coliseum; 9 at Baltimore’s Camden Yards, 11 at St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field & Toronto’s Rogers Centre, 12 at Seattle’s T-Moblie Park & in Minneapolis (6 at Target Field & 6 at Metrodome).

ROAD TRIPPING REDBIRDS: This week’s roadtrip began a stretch in which the Cardinals 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 next Tuesday, May 30.

FLIGHT PATTERN: Winners of 13 of their last 18 games (May 7-present), the Cardinals enter today in 4th place in the NL Central, 5.0 games behind first place Milwaukee…St. Louis had drawn to within 5.0 games of the division lead, 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 15th game of a season-high stretch of 19 consecutive without an off-day (10-4 record).

REDBIRD RESURGENCE: Since May 7, the Cardinals are 1st in MLB in win pct. (.722, 13-5), 1st in runs scored (119), 1st in runs per game (6.6),
1st in slugging (.491), 1st in OPS (.836), 1st in RBI (114), 1st in total bases (306), 1st in MLB in wins (13) and hey rank 2nd in stolen bases (22) & homers (34).

REDBIRD RUNNERS TAKE 1st PLACE: Congratulations to the Cardinals Front Office & their Coach Carol Lueke for winning 1st place in yesterday’s St. Louis Biz Dash 5K sponsored by Bally Sports Midwest…it was the Cardinals sixth Gold Medal effort in their eight years of competing in the Sports, Fitness & Recreation sectional.

“GO-AHEAD” GORMAN STILL STREAKING: Nolan Gorman’s 8th inning RBI-double helped the Cardinals to a 2-1 win yesterday in Cincinnai and extended his career, and Cardinals season-best, hitting streak to 15 games…for Gorman, the late inning heroics have become frequent, as he’ collected 19 of his team-high 40 RBI in the 7th inning or later and has posted a .409 BA (9-22) with 4 HR & 11 RBI in close & late situations…Gorman leads the team with 10 go-ahead RBI and is the National League co-leader with his 7 game-winning RBI.

BURGER PHONE HOTLINE: The Cardinals are 5th in MLB in home runs this season (72) this season while ranking 3rd in the month of May (40) to the Yankees (44) & Braves (42)… The Redbirds sport a 19-15 record in games when they go yard this season, but are 4-14 in homerless games. REDBIRD RIBEYES: The Cardinals have had six players enjoy 4+ RBI games in their last 12 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 Tue. 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.

PLUS/MINUS: The Cardinals (+14) are one of just six NL teams with a plus run differential, joining the Braves (+58), Dodgers (+56), Cubs (+19), Diamondbacks (+15) and Pirates (+13)…the Cardinals & Cubs are the only MLB teams with a plus rating & yet a sub-.500 W-L mark.


  • Making his 2nd start of the season and 9th career start (12th app.). This will be his first career start and appearance against Cleveland, his first American League opponent.
  • Enters on a career-high 5.0 scoreless inning streak as a starting pitcher (allowed two runs in his last appearance in relief vs. LAD on Sunday).
  • Was 4-1 with a 3.13 ERA and 56 strikeouts over 46.0 innings pitched covering eight starts at Memphis (AAA) this season. Posted a 10-strikeout game at Gwinnett (4/12).
  • Named Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April and International League Pitcher of the Month for April with a 3-0 mark and 2.14 ERA over 33.2 innings pitched with 45 strikeouts covering six starts in March/April.
  • Wa leading all Minor League pitchers at any level with 46.0 innings pitched and all Triple-A pitchers with 56 strikeouts (3rd in MiLB) at the time of his recall.
  • The Cardinals are 6-2 in his eight career starts last season and 9-2 overall in his 11 total appearances.
  • 2021 Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
  • Acquired in trade with Tampa Bay Rays on January 9, 2020 in a deal that sent OF Jose Martinez and OF Randy Arozarena to Tampa.
  • Originally selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the first round (16th player overall) of the June, 2018 First-Year Player Draft, making him the highest drafted high school player in Rays franchise history.
  • Started for the National League in the 2021 SirusXM All-Star Futures Game at Coors Field in Denver and worked a perfect 1st inning retiring a trio of then-top 10 prospects in Bobby Witt, Jr., Jarred Kelenic, and Julio Rodriguez on just 13 pitches.


  • Came on in relief. for an inning after Jack Flaherty started and Drew VerHagen made a relief appearance. Allowed two runs on a hit and a walk with a strikeout. Was four days after his last start vs. MIL (5/17) in which he fired 5.0 scoreless innings in his 2023 debut.

5/21 LAD W 10-5 — 1.0 1 2 2 1 1 0 24-14

  • Began the season with Memphis (AAA) and made eight starts before getting recalled to St. Louis for a May 17 start vs. Milwaukee.
  • Made his 2023 debut and threw 5.0 scoreless innings of three-hit ball with three walks and six strikeouts. Posted the exact same line in each of his first two starts vs. the Brewers (5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 SO).
  • Named Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Month and International League Pitcher of the Month for April with a 3-0 mark and 2.14 ERA over 33.2 innings pitched with 45 strikeouts covering six starts in March/April.
  • Was leading all Minor League pitchers at any level with 46.0 innings pitched and all Triple-A pitchers with 56 strikeouts (3rd in MiLB) at the time of his recall.


The Guardians dropped Wednesday’s rubber match to the White Sox, getting shut out for the sixth time this season in the wake of a 6-0 final at Progressive Field…the club is 1-2 halfway through this 6-game homestand against Chicago-AL (1-2) and St. Louis (3 games)…Cleveland has still won 3 of 5 and 6 of last 11 home games (10-14 at home overall) entering tonight’s opener.

The ChiSox hung the game’s first tally in the 3rd inning and then jumped on starter CAL QUANTRILL for 5 more runs in the 4th (4.0IP, 4H, 6R-ER, 3BB, 2SO, WP, 64 pitches)…on an afternoon that saw Chicago’s offense win with the benefit of just 4 hits, 3 of those came in that pivotal 4th-inning; the Sox loaded the bases twice, inflicting damage with a 2-run double, a pair of sac flies and a run-scoring wild pitch by Quantrilld…Michael Kopech piled up 9 strikeouts across 7.0 scoreless frames to notch his third win (7.0IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 9SO, 92 pitches)…Cleveland’s offense struck out 12 times overall and was held to 4 singles, 2 of those coming off the bat of ANDRÉS GIMÉNEZ…though the final outcome was unimpacted, Cleveland’s bullpen went into lockdown mode, as four relievers combined for 5.0 scoreless/hitless frames with 6 K’s to close out the contest.

Guardians have dropped 22 of last 34 overall since starting year 9-6…Guardians (21-28) sit in 3rd place in AL Central standings, 4.5 games behind 1st-place Minnesota (26-24) and 2.5 games behind 2nd-place Detroit (-2.0G, 23-25)…last season, club went 9-12 in April & 12-12 in May (21-24), though Cleveland is 7G below .500 for the first time since Aug. 25, 2015 (59-66).

This marks the 13th all-time series between Cleveland and St. Louis…the last time the clubs met was from July 27-28, 2021 at Progressive Field with the series resulting in a 1-1 split…Cleveland owns the all-time series 20-13 with a +56 run differential…since the start of 2018, the series is a 5-5 split with St. Louis winning 3 of the last 5 contests.

This series signifies the Cardinals sixth trip to Progressive Field…the Guardians are 8-5 on their home field against St. Louis with a +33 run differential…prior to the 2-game series in 2021, the last time the Redbirds traveled to Cleveland was May 12-14, 2015, taking 2 of 3 from the Guards…during the Terry Francona era (since 2013), the Clevelanders are 6-7 against the Cardinals.

Following a 3-game sweep by New York-NL from May 19-21, Cleveland is now 4-8 in Interleague play this season with a 1-3 series record…since 2013, the club is 109-103 in Interleague play.

The Guardians bullpen combined to throw 5.0 perfect innings of relief on Wednesday afternoon against the White Sox…marks the 5th instance in franchise history that Cleveland’s bullpen has thrown 5.0+ perfect innings of relief and first since September 15, 2010 (6.0IP)…the last MLB club to accomplish the feat was Baltimore on June 24, 2022, twirling 6.0 perfect innings…since 2008, the Guardians have finished three games with 5.0+ innings of perfect relief, the most in MLB during that span.

ELI MORGAN provided 2.0 perfect innings, including striking out the side in order in the 6th inning…marks the 6th time a Cleveland reliever has struck out the side in an inning this season…owns a 0.87 ERA (1ER/10.1IP) at home this season, the lowest among Guardians relievers at home (min 8.0IP)…his 0.48 WHIP at home ranks 4th among MLB relievers with 10.0-or-more innings pitched at home…through 21.0IP this season, he is inducing a 50% groundball rate, his career average is 33%.

ENYEL DE LOS SANTOS boasts a 2.08 ERA (4ER/17.1IP) in 18 appearances this season…opposing hitters own a .162 (6-for-37) average against his 4-seam fastball compared to a .229 (25-for109) mark in 2022…in 7 appearances in one-run games, he has a 1.42 ERA (1ER/6.1IP) and has allowed 1 of 9 inherited runners to score (11.1%)…recorded 3 straight strikeouts after entering the game with bases loaded and no outs on Tuesday.

As Cleveland’s longest-tenured player on its roster, JOSÉ RAMÍREZ ranks near the top of several categories in the franchise’s record book…Ramírez (534) needs just two extra-base hits to pass Nap Lajoie (535) for 6th-most extra-base hits in club history…he has 198 career home runs as a Clevelander, and is 3 homers away from passing Travis Hafner (200) for 9th-most in franchise history.

The Guardians have struck out an MLB-low 351 times, ahead of Washington (357), and own a 21.7% strikeout rate…Cleveland is 1st in the AL and 3rd in MLB, behind Arizona (22.2%) and Washington (21.7%), with a 23.0% swing and miss rate…the Guards are the only club to have 3 players ranking in the top-20 for lowest swing and miss rate with STEVEN KWAN (3rd, 10.8%), MYLES STRAW (4th, 12.2%) and JOSÉ RAMÍREZ (16th, 15.6%)…Kwan is also 2nd in MLB behind BAL’s Adley Rutschman (6.3%) with a 7.3% first-pitch swing rate…since debuting last season he leads MLB with an 8.5% first-pitch swing rate ahead of Rutschman (11.9%)…Cleveland swings at the first pitch at a 27.1% rate, 2nd-lowest in MLB behind Milwaukee (26.5%).


2023 2-1 2.41 3 3 18.2 16 5 5 8 17
Career 22-16 2.84 69 68 444.1 367 150 140 89 506

2023 3-3 3.08 10 10 64.1 63 23 22 15 47
Career 57-29 3.17 123 121 767.1 681 290 270 168 878

The 2020 Cy Young winner is scheduled to make his 11th start of the season, fourth at home, in the series opener of a 3-game set with St. Louis…the 27-year-old right-hander is making his 3rd career start against the Cardinals…is making this appearance on 4 days rest after his last outing on Sunday at New York-NL; is 30-13 with a 3.28 ERA (142ER/390.0IP) in his career on 4 days rest… Cleveland has a 78-43 record in Bieber’s 121 career starts but is 3-7 in 2023.

Bieber suffered the loss on Sunday in a 2-1 defeat against the Mets, allowing 2R/ER on 7 hits with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts across 8.0 innings…the 8.0 inning start tied for his longest outing of the 2023 season and gave Bieber his 5th career complete game…this was Bieber’s first career loss in a complete game…he allowed a single in each of the first 4.0 innings and pitched a 1-2-3 5th inning to be scoreless through 5.0 innings of work…to lead off the 6th, former teammate Francisco Lindor hit a solo home run to tie the game at 1-1…after a 1-2-3 7th inning, the Mets tallied their first and only multi-hit inning against Bieber in the 8th…after singles from Francisco Álvarez and Lindor, Jeff McNeil hit a sacrifice fly to give New York-NL a 2-1 advantage…after retiring the final Mets batter, Cleveland did not score in the 9th, giving him a complete game… Bieber’s record is now 47-8 all-time when allowing 2-earned runs-or-fewer.

This is Bieber’s third career start against the Cardinals and his first time facing St. Louis at Progressive Field…his most recent start came on June 8, 2021, earning the victory by going 6.0 innings and allowing 1 run (earned) on 5 hits with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts in 98 pitches…Bieber’s 1.50 ERA (2ER/12.0IP) is his 2nd-lowest against any opponent in his career (min. 2GS), behind Baltimore (1.45ERA/5ER/31.0IP).

In his 11 career starts against the NL Central, he owns an 8-1 record with a 3.48 ERA (25ER/64.2IP)…his last appearance against an NL East opponent was April 12, 2022 at Cincinnati… he did not factor into the decision, throwing 5.1 innings with 3 runs (earned) on 2 hits with 3 walks and 5 strikeouts…Bieber’s .889 winning percentage against the NL Central is the highest among any MLB pitcher since 2018 (min. 10 GS).

Tonight marks his 21st career Interleague start and fourth this season…owns a 10-5 record with a 3.71 ERA (49ER/119.0IP)… from September 20, 2019 to June 8, 2021, Bieber rattled off 7 consecutive Interleague wins, the longest such streak in franchise history and T3rd longest in MLB history…Corey Kluber and Cliff Lee both had streaks of 6.

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