Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Sportsbook Advisor

MLB Preview: St. Louis Cardinals (56-72) at Philadelphia Phillies (69-58)

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS NOTES:

THE KEYSTONE STATE TOUR: The Cardinals resume their road swing thru the Keystone State of Pennsylvania this weekend when they open a three-game series against the defending NL Champion Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Cardinals, who were off yesterday, are facing the Phillies for the 1st time since dropping last season’s Wild Card Series (0-2) at Busch Stadium. This weekend’s series marks the Redbirds first visit to Citizens Bank Park since July 1-3, 2022 – a series that featured a cycle by Nolan Arenado on July 1 and a record four consecutive homers by the Cardinals (Arenado, Gorman, Yepez & Carlson) on July 2.

PHILLY PHACTS: The Cardinals are seeking their first series win at Citizens Bank Park since 2017 (June 20-22). The Cardinals swept their season series here (3-0) in 2006 and have yet to have been swept in a series here. St. Louis is 27-30 all-time at Citizens Bank and 579-528 in the City of Brotherly Love.

IMACCUALTE CARDS & PHILLIES: According to Baseball Reference, there have been 31 players to have played exclusively for both the Cardinals & Phillies, the most recent JoJo Romero and Edmundo Sosa who were traded for each other last season. Other notables include Solly Hemus, Greg Mathews and Klondike Douglass.

ROSTER MOVES: The Cardinals announced prior to tonight’s game that RHP Drew VerHagen has been placed on the Bereavement List and RHP Guillermo Zuñiga (#60) has been recalled from Memphis (AAA). Zuñiga, 24, has pitched in just two games this season for St. Louis, including an inning in relief last Sat. (8/19) vs. the NY Mets. The team also activated INF Nolan Gorman (lower back strain) from the 10-Day I.L. and optioned INF José Fermín to Memphis (AAA). Gorman is 2nd to Nolan Arenado (26) in HR’s this season with 24.

FLIGHT PATTERN: The Cardinals posted a 6-4 win at Pittsburgh on Wednesday to avoid a winless season at PNC Park…St. Louis enters the day in 5th place in the NL Central, a season-low 14.5 games out of first and 11.0 games back in the NL Wild Card chase …St. Louis has spent 110 of 144 days in last place on the MLB schedule (April 26-May 19, May 29-July 7 & July 28-present) … This season is the Cardinals slowest start since 1995 when they were 56-72 (.438) after 128 games … St. Louis needs to finish 25-9 (.735) over their remaining 34 games to avoid finishing under .500 for the 1st time since 2007 (78-84).

PENNANT FEVER: Beginning with this weekend’s series in Philadelphia, the Cardinals will play 31 of their remaining 34 games against teams in the playoff chase. The Cardinals will see the Phillies (69-58) for six games, San Diego (61-67) for six, Milwaukee (70-57) for seven, Cincinnati (67-62) for six, Atlanta (82-44) for three and Baltimore (79-48) for three. The lone non-playoff contender they have games remaining with are the Pirates (57-71) for three games next weekend in St. Louis. The Cardinals remaing schedule of opponents has a combined .544 winning pct. (485-407).

HEAD EAST: The Cardinals are a combined 20-15 (9-6 on the road) against East Division teams this season, going 11-12 vs. NL East clubs and 9-3 against the AL East…the Cardinals won their season series from Miami (4-3) and Washington (4-2), went 3-4 vs. the Mets and are 0-3 vs. Atlanta…they have six games still to play with Philadelphia, three at Atlanta and three at Baltimore.

FIRST STRIKE: The Cardinals are 9-1 in their last 10 games when scoring first, winning six-straight…for the season, the Cardinals are 42-22 when they get on the scoreboard first.

THE MEMPHIS MOB: With the addition of pitcher Guillermo Zuñiga to the active roster today, the Cardinals currently have 10 players on the team with as many, if not more, games played at Memphis (AAA) then they do with St. Louis this season: 1B Luken Baker (84 Memphis games/13 St. Louis games); INF Taylor Motter (56/25); OF Richie Palacios (40/7); INF Masyn Winn (105/6); RHP Jacob Barnes (11/1); RHP Daktoa Hudson (11/11); RHP Casey Lawrence (3/2); LHP Drew Rom (2/1); LHP Andrew Suárez (28/5); Guillermo Zuñiga (29/2),

JOJO’S CIRCUS: Lefty reliever JoJo Romero, acquired by the Cardinals from Philadelphia at the trade deadline last season, has taken to the back end of the bullpen role, appearing in 18 games since his call-up in early July. Romero has posted 3 of the Cardinals 4 saves since the trade deadline earlier this month, and he has four Holds as well, with St. Louis winning each of his last seven games pitched… JoJo recorded a six-out save on Wednesday, and has fanned 29 in 23.2 IP with a 0.89 WHIP, no HR’s allowed & just 3 walks since July 7.

TONIGHT’S STARTING PITCHER: RHP MILES MIKOLAS (6-9, 4.55)
TONIGHT’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 28th start of 2023, 171st career appearance & 143rd career start.
  • Celebrated his 35th birthday on Wednesday (Aug. 23).
  • Has lost four-straight decisions and the Cardinals are just 3-12 in his 15 games started since June 4. He’s had 5 Quality Starts in that span and logged 6.0+ IP nine times.
  • Received no more than 3 runs of support in 20 of 27 starts this season, including just one run or less in 12 of 27 (44.4%) starts.
  • Last win came on July 17 vs. Miami (6-4) and his last road win was July 8 at CWS (3-0).
  • Received a five-game suspension and undisclosed fine from Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Cubs Ian Happ on July 27. Served the suspension Aug. 2-6.
  • 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 79 runs in the 1st inning (6.75 ERA, .336 BA); His ERA after the opening inning is 4.05 (57 ER/126.2 IP).
  • 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 (144) is 2nd. His 1.63 walks/9 IP is 2nd behind Zack Greinke (1.60) 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 (2,640.0 IP) in most career innings pitched (784.0) as a member of the Cardinals. Can pass Harvey Haddix (786.1) and Pink Hawley (786.0) for 62nd and 63rd in Cardinals history with 3.2 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).

LAST TIME OUT

  • Surrendered a season-high seven runs over 4.2 innings including a grand slam to Daniel Vogelbach, his 4th career grand slam allowed, and first since 2019. Marked His 4th straight loss matching his season-high and one shy of his career high.

DATE vs. RESULT DEC IP H R ER BB SO HR NP-S
8/19 NYM L 13-2 L-9 4.2 7 7 7 2 4 2 91-56

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES NOTES:

GAME #127 RECAP: The Phillies lost a wild one, 8-6, in 10 innings against the Giants at CBP .. Starter Michael Lorenzen (ND) went 5.2 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits with 3 walks and 4 strikeouts … Down 4-0 in the 6th, the Phillies crept back into it with back-to-back solo homers from Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner … The Giants added another run in the 7th to make it 5-2 and that held until the bottom of the 9th … After Schwarber and Turner both walked, Bryce Harper stepped to the plate and smashed a 112.9 MPH homer off the foul pole in right to tie the game … The Giants scored 3 runs (2 ER) in the top of the 10th off Craig Kimbrel and held on to avoid the sweep … San Francisco used 10 pitchers in the game.

BALL GO BOOM: The Phillies have hit an MLB-best 43 home runs in the month of August (next: ATL, 40 HR) which marks only the 16th time in club history they have reached 40 home runs in a single month … The Phillies have 6 games remaining in August and they are averaging 2.05 home runs per game this month … The club record for home runs in a single month is 46, set in Sept. of 2019 … During the month of August, the Phillies are slashing .276/.349/.516 with an .865 OPS – among all clubs in MLB, their .516 SLG and .865 OPS both rank 2nd, behind only ATL (.522 SLG, .896 OPS) … The last time the Phillies put up either a .516 SLG or .865 OPS in a single month both came in July of 2007 (.526 SLG/.911 OPS).

REMEMBER THE FIGHTINS: The Phillies are 44-26 over their last 70 games (since 6/3) and their .629 winning percentage since June 3rd ranks 3rd in MLB behind only ATL (49-20, .710 win %) and LAD (43-25, .632 win %) … The Phils opened the 2023 season on the road and went 1-5 in six games through TEX (0- 3) and NYY (1-2) … Since then (4/7-current), they are 68-53 with a .562 winning percentage that ranks 3rd in the National League behind only ATL (.639) and LAD (.613) and T-7th in MLB.

THE GHOSTS OF RED OCTOBER: The Phillies and Cardinals open up a three-game series at CBP which marks the first meeting between the two clubs since last year’s NL Wild Card Series in STL (2-0 Phils) … In Game 1 (6-2 Phils), the Phillies trailed 2-0 before scoring 6 runs in the 9th as they sent 10 batters to the plate … Alec Bohm was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score the first run and then Jean Segura hit a 2-run single to right – Zack Wheeler tossed 6.1 scoreless innings in his postseason debut … In Game 2 (2-0 Phils), Aaron Nola earned the win and tossed 6.2 scoreless innings in his postseason debut … Bryce Harper put the Phils up 1-0 with a home run in the 2nd inning and Bohm scored on a Kyle Schwarber sac fly in the 5th.

SEE THE BALL, HIT THE BALL, HARD: On Wednesday, Bryce Harper put four balls in play 110.0 MPH or harder: 112.9 MPH (9th inning, HR), 110.8 MPH (4th inning, single), 110.7 MPH (1st inning, lineout, .710 xBA) and 110.2 MPH (6th inning, lineout, .640 xBA) … Per Statcast, Harper is only the third player in the Statcast era (since 2015) to put four balls in play over 110.0 MPH in the same game: NYY’s Aaron Judge (5x on 9/18/22 at MIL) and MIA’s Giancarlo Stanton (4x on 5/7/15 at SF).

HARP ON IT: Over his last three games, Bryce Harper has homered in each and has multiple hits and RBI in all three games … In the month of August, Harper is slashing .333/.420/.707 with a 1.127 OPS in 88 plate appearances over 20 games – his SLG and OPS in August rank 2nd in the National League, trailing only LAD’s Mookie Betts (.817 SLG, 1.334 OPS) … Harper has seven home runs this month in 75 at bats and is averaging a home run every 10.7 at bats … Harper returned from “Tommy John” surgery on May 2 this season, only 160 days after the procedure – from May 2-July 31, he totaled five home runs in 273 at bats, and averaged a homer every 54.6 at bats.

HARPER BY MONTH
LEADING MAN: Since Kyle Schwarber was put back into the leadoff spot on June 2, he has posted an .825 OPS in 70 games played with 51 runs, 21 HR, 54 RBI and 58 walks, and the Phillies are 44-27 (.620 win %) while averaging 5.2 runs per game (372 R, 71 G) … Since June 2, there are two players in MLB with 20+ home runs and 50+ walks: Schwarber and LAA’s Shohei Ohtani (29 HR, 54 BB) … Further, the last two Phillies players before Schwarber to put up 50+ runs, 50+ RBI, 50+ walks and 20+ homers in a 70-game stretch were MVP Bryce Harper in 2021 and Ryan Howard in 2007 and his 2006 MVP season … Schwarber has already set a career high in walks this season with 98 (previous: 86 in 2022) and he ranks 2nd in MLB in both walks and walk rate (17.3 %) behind only Juan Soto (106 BB, 19.0%) … Since June 2, the Phillies are 31-8 when Schwarber scores a run (.795 win %).

TREA DAY: Over his last 18 games (since 8/4), Trea Turner is slashing .342/.385/.630 with a 1.015 OPS, 12 R, 6 2B, 5 HR, 15 RBI and 5 BB …Turner has 4 game-winning RBI since Aug. 4 which ranks T-2nd in MLB and he has 5 go-ahead RBI since Aug. 4, which ranks T-6th in MLB … Over his last 45 games at CBP (197 PA, since 5/6), Turner is slashing .293/.350/.503 (.853 OPS) with 28 runs scored, 21 extra-base hits (12 2B, 3B, 8 HR), 30 RBI, 14 walks and 9 stolen bases … Saturday at WSH, turner became the first MLB player in history to hit two home runs in one inning off the same relief pitcher – Turner hit two home runs in the 8th inning off WSH reliever Cory Abbott … Turner became just the third Phillies player to ever homer twice in the same inning as he joined Von Hayes (6/11/1985 vs NYM, 1st inn.) and Andy Seminick (6/2/1949 vs CIN, 8th inn.)

HATS OFF TO YOU, THOMS: Since he was named manager on June 3, 2022, Rob Thomson has the Phillies 30 games over .500 at 134-104 with a .563 winning percentage that ranks 6th in MLB, trailing only ATL (.669), LAD (.654), HOU (.604), BAL (.593) and SEA (.584) … The Phillies are 71-44 under Thomson at CBP and their .617 winning % at home in that span ranks 4th in MLB behind only ATL (.714), LAD (.694) and TB (.653).

TONIGHT’S STARTER – CRISTOPHER SÁNCHEZ • LHP #61
2023: 1-3, 3.36 ERA Career: 4-5, 4.31 ERA

LAST START: 8/19 at WSH: ND, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO … Sánchez vs Irvin … The Phillies defeated the Washington Nationals, 12-3, at a sold out Nats Park in D.C. … Seranthony Domínguez (W, 3- 3), Andrew Bellatti and Luis Ortiz made scoreless appearances in relief … Down 3-0 in the 7th, Nick Castellanos hit a 3-run homer to tie it on the day he reached 10 years of ML service … Bryson Stott hit a 3-run homer in the 8th and Trea Turner homered twice in the frame as the Phillies plated 8 runs in the inning TONIGHT’S START:

  • Last Time at CBP: Sánchez earned his first win of the season and the 3rd in his career as a starter … The offense put up 11 runs in support of Sánchez and it marked the second time in his career he had more than 5 runs in support (other: 6 on 7/5/22 vs WSH)
  • Watch Me WHIP: Since being recalled on 6/17, Sánchez’s 0.98 WHIP is the tied for 4th in the major leagues (min. 50.0 IP)
  • Left In Charge: Sánchez has held left-handers to a .159 AVG (7-44) this season, which ranks 14th in the NL (min. 45 batters faced) … Against his last 27 lefties faced (since 7/14), he has held them to a .080 AVG (2-25) … Among LHP with at least 10 starts this year, Sánchez’s 3.36 ERA ranks 10th
  • Walk the Line: Sánchez ranks in the 94th percentile in walk % and his 1.68 BB/9.0 IP is the 6th in the NL (min. 60.0 IP) … Sánchez only issued 9 walks in his first 10 starts this season … He is one of 11 Phillies starters to walk 9 or fewer batters in their first 10 starts of the season and he is the first since Zach Eflin walked 7 in his first 10 starts in 2021
  • Change It Up: Per Statcast, Sánchez has struck out 28 batters with his changeup this season and has recorded a 34.9% whiff % with it, up from a 29.8% whiff % in 2022 … His downward movement of 43.3 inches (with gravity) on his changeup is the best in baseball and his OPP AVG of .167 against it is 16th in MLB (min. 200 changeups thrown)
  • Reach for the Stars: Per Statcast, Sánchez’s average release extension (where the ball is released relative to the rubber) of 6.9 feet puts him in the 90th percentile among all ML pitchers … As a result, his sinker velocity, which averages at 91.8 mph, has a perceived velocity of 92.9 mph
  • vs NL Central: 1-0, 2.70 ERA (7 ER, 23.1 IP) in 6 games (3 starts)
  • Pitch Usage: Sinker (47.7%), Changeup (30.6%), Slider (21.7%)

HOME:

  • 2023: 1-3, 4.36 ERA (21 ER, 43.1 IP) in 8 starts
  • Career: 3-4, 4.40 ERA (36 ER, 73.2 IP) in 21 games (12 starts)

2023 Season:

  • Work Horse: On 8/11, Sánchez set a new career-high for pitches in a game with 107, surpassing his previous high of 92 set on 7/24 … It is tied for the 7th most pitches in a game by a Phillie this year … He has thrown 972 pitches this season, eclipsing his total of 662 in 2022
  • Carried a no-hitter through five innings before being pulled from the game on 7/30 … It was the longest no-hit bid in his career
  • On 7/24, Sánchez tossed 7.0 IP for the first time in his ML career and set a career-high in strikeouts (8)
  • Was recalled from Lehigh Valley (AAA) prior to his start on 6/17 at OAK … Sánchez is in his 2nd stint with the Phillies this season … He was reinstated from the 15-day IL (left triceps strain) prior to his start on 4/22 and was optioned postgame
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