Saturday, June 22, 2024
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MLB Preview: St. Louis Cardinals (61-79) at Cincinnati Reds (73-69)

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS NOTES:

RECENT REDBIRDS: The St. Louis Cardinals are playing a nine-game, three-city road trip through Atlanta (2-1), Cincinnati (Sept. 8-10), and Baltimore (Sept. 11-13). Tonight, the Cardinals open a three-game series against their National League Central Division rivals, the Cincinnati Reds. St. Louis arrived at their Cincinnati hotel at 2:30 a.m., after completing a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves in Cobb County, taking the first two games before dropping last night’s contest 8-5, despite a 9th inning rally putting the tying run at the plate.

FLIGHT PATTERN: The Cardinals enter today in 5th place in the N.L. Central, 16.5 games out of first. St. Louis has spent 122 of 157 days in last place on the MLB schedule (April 26-May 19, May 29-July 7 & July 28-present). The Cardinals 61-79 record is their lowest at the 140-game mark since 1995 when they were also 60-80. St. Louis would need to go 20-2 (.909) over its remaining 22 games to avoid finishing under .500 for the first time since 2007 (78-84). Major League Baseball has the Cardinals elimination number from the N.L. Central at seven and postseason at 11.

T.G.I.F?: The St. Louis Cardinals are the only people who do not look forward to Friday. This season, the Cardinals are 3-17 on the final day of the business work week with wins vs. Pittsburgh (4/14), at Boston (5/12) and vs. Cincinnati (6/9). They have lost 10 straight Friday contests, but have dodged three other Friday’s due to a scheduled Opening Weekend rain date (3/31), a travel day in London (6/23) and a rain out (6/30). The good news is the last time the Cardinals won on Friday, their opponent was the Cincinnati Reds on June 9 at Busch Stadium. Since Divisional play began in 1969, the Cardinals previous worst Friday mark was 8-18 (.307) in 1978.

INSERT (CD) ROM: Tonight’s starting pitcher for the Cardinals is left-hander Drew Rom, acquired at the trade deadline from the Baltimore Orioles in a four-player trade for RHP Jack Flaherty. Rom is a local product to Cincinnati playing his high school baseball at Highland High School in Fort Thomas, Ky., less than five miles from Great American Ballpark. Rom was Kentucky’s Mr. Baseball as a senior in 2018 and led Highlands to the State Championship game.

STEPPING UP TO THE CHALLENGE: The Cardinals recently won a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves, owners of the best record in Major League Baseball at 91-48. This season, the Cardinals have won 17 series with eight coming against teams with winning records (at Boston, Milwaukee, Los Angeles-NL, New York-AL, Miami, at Arizona, at Tampa Bay and at Atlanta). The Reds enter this weekend’s series at 73-69.

FIVE ALIVE: The Cardinals offense has scored five or more runs in five straight games, tied with the Orioles for the longest active streak in MLB. Earlier this season, the Cardinals ran off seven straight games scoring five or more runs, July 14-20. The Braves have the longest streak this season at 10 games of five-plus runs from Aug. 7-15.

STOP THIEF!: Tommy Edman enters tonight’s game 14-for-14 in steal attempts against the Cincinnati Reds, the most thefts with a perfect steal percentage among his opponents. He joins Frankie Frisch (35-for-35, 1927-30), Pepper Martin (22-for-22, 1928-44) and Ernie Orsatti (15-for-15, 1927-35) of Cardinals with perfect steal marks against the Reds with 14 or more stolen bases. Edman leads all active players with an 86.4% (102 SB/118 SB ATT) and ranks 2nd in Major League Baseball history behind only Chase Utley (87.5%, 154 SB/176 SB ATT).

STORMIN’ NOLAN GORMAN: Wednesday night, Nolan Gorman connected for two home runs giving him five multi-home run games this season, he ranks behind only Matt Olson (ATL, 7) and Mookie Betts (LAD, 6) for the most in Major League Baseball. His six multi-home run games prior to turning age 24 are tied for the most in Cardinals history with Albert Pujols. Gorman’s 3rd inning home run snapped a career-long streak of 16 games without a home run and currently leads the team with 27, including 10 since the All-Star Break.

HEIR JORDAN: Since August 28, Cardinals rookie Jordan Walker is batting a Major League-best .471 (16-34) and also ranks 5th in the circuit with a .486 on-base percentage and 4th with a .912 slugging mark. The 21-year-old Walker has 15 home runs this season before turning age 22, which passed Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby (14 HR from 1915-18). Curt Flood is next on the list with 17. Albert Pujols holds the franchise record with 37 blasts during his 2001 National League Rookie of the Year campaign.

THE LAUNCH: Rookie Jordan Walker has been instrumental in the Cardinals success in the second half of the season. Ever since he crushed a two-strike, two-out home run to cap a huge Cardinals comeback in Miami on July 5, before the Cardinals lost in the bottom half of the 9th on an error, the Cardinals have utilized his contributions in wins. In the 13 games which Walker has recorded an RBI since that game in Miami, the Cardinals are 12-1 with the only loss vs. Pittsburgh on Sept. 2, a game which the Cardinals held a 6-5 lead with one out in the top of the 9th.

TONIGHT’S STARTING PITCHER: LHP DREW ROM (0-2, 7.24)
TONIGHT’S GAME

  • Rookie LHP is making his fourth career start for the Cardinals, and his 1st ever appearance/start against the Cincinnati Reds. The Cincinnati area native hails from nearby Fort Thomas, Kentucky where he graduated from Highlands High School and pitched them to the 2018 State Championship game as Kentucky’s Mr. Baseball. Was acquired from the Orioles at the trade deadline with minor league infielder Cesar Prieto and right-handed pitcher Zack Showalter, in exchange for RHP Jack Flaherty. Recalled for two days May 9-10 with Baltimore, but did not see any game action. Was hit for eight runs in his MLB debut at PNC Park over 3.2 innings on 8/21 in an
    11-1 loss. Became the 7th Cardinals player to make his Major League debut this season and third pitcher with RHP Guillermo Zuñiga (5/2 vs. LAA) and RHP Kyle Leahy (7/7 at CWS). Made two starts in Memphis (AAA) and held his opposition to one hit in each start throwing five and six innings. Struck out 10 batters in his Memphis Redbirds debut (8/9 at Durham), the second double-digit strikeout game of his career.

LAST TIME OUT

  • Made his Busch Stadium debut last Sat. (9/2) and took a ND as the Pirates rallied for a 7-6 win with two runs in their 9th.

DATE vs. RESULT DEC IP H R ER BB SO HR NP-S
9/2 PIT L 7-6 — 4.2 5 3 3 3 1 0 84-46

CINCINNATI REDS NOTES:

TODAY’S TRANSACTIONS

  • Reinstated from the COVID-19 injured list RHP Fernando Cruz (#63). Designate for assignment RHP Kevin Herget. Sent to Louisville on rehabilitation assignments 2B Jonathan India (left foot plantar fasciitis) and 1B Joey Votto (left shoulder discomfort).

TONIGHT’S GAME

  • Is Game 1 of a 3-game series vs Chris Tunno’s Cardinals and Game 8 (4-3) of a 10-game homestand that included visits by the Cubs (2-2) and Mariners (2-1). The “32” in center field is part of the Pennington Seed field design program… it honors Reds Hall of Famer Tom Browning and the perfect game he threw on September 16, 1988.

SERIES NOTES

  • The Reds and Cardinals are meeting for the third time this season, including a 2-2 series split in May at GABP and a 2-1 Reds series win in June at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals’ .506 winning percentage at Great American Ball Park (87-85) is the highest among NL Central Division opponents and seventh-highest of any National League team. In 2022, the Cardinals won 12 of the 19 games and 5 of the 6 series.

ROTATION

  • Rookie pitchers have made 47 starts for the Reds. In LHP Andrew Abbott, tonight the Reds will start a rookie pitcher for the sixth time in the last 7 games. RHP Lyon Richardson (4gs), who began the season at Class A Daytona, has started twice in that span. LHP Andrew Abbott (17gs), who began the season at Class AA Chattanooga, started Sat’s 2-1 walkoff win vs Cubs. RHP Carson Spiers (1gs), who began the season at Class AA Chattanooga, made his Major League debut in Sun’s 15-7 loss vs Cubs. RHP Connor Phillips (1gs), who began the season at Class AA Chattanooga, made his Major League debut in Tue’s 7-6 walkoff win. Richardson, Abbott, Spiers and Phillips made their Major League debuts this season, along with fellow starters LHP Brandon Williamson (19gs) and RHP Levi Stoudt (2gs), each of whom began the season at Class AAA Louisville.

ROOKIES ON THE ROSTER

  • The Reds have 10 rookies on today’s roster. RHP Fernando Cruz, IF Elly De La Cruz, IF Christian EncarnacionStrand, IF Noelvi Marte, IF/OF Spencer Steer, LHP Andrew Abbott, RHP Daniel Duarte, RHP Connor Phillips, RHP Lyon Richardson and RHP Carson Spiers. Had a season-high 12 rookies on the 27-player roster for the 8/23 day/ night doubleheader at LAA. 16 Reds players made their Major League debuts this season, the most of any team in the majors…listed below in the order in which they debuted: RHP Casey Legumina, RHP Levi Stoudt, IF Matt McLain, LHP Brandon Williamson, RHP Eduardo Salazar, OF TJ Hopkins, LHP Andrew Abbott, IF Elly De La Cruz, RHP Ricky Karcher, RHP Randy Wynne, RHP Jake Wong, IF Christian Encarnacion-Strand, RHP Lyon Richardson, IF Noelvi Marte, RHP Carson Spiers, RHP Connor
    Phillips. 23 rookies played in at least 1 game for the Reds, the most of any team in the Major Leagues and tied for fourth-most in club history (26 in 1909, 25 in 2016, 24 in 1914 & 2017, 23 in 2022)…courtesy @EliasSports. 63 players have appeared in at least 1 game for the Reds…IF/OF Alejo Lopez was on the roster briefly (8/29-8/30) but did not appear in a game… in 2022, the Reds used a club record 66 players.

LET THE KIDS PLAY

  • The Reds are the first team in Major League history with 3 rookies, in a single season, with at least 10 HR & 10 stolen bases each (Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Spencer Steer). For the first time since 1890, when Cincinnati joined the National League, 3 Reds rookies have produced at least 10 HR…courtesy @ EliasSports. With 54 HR the Reds have tied the franchise record for home runs in a season by rookies (Spencer Steer 20, Matt McLain 16, Elly De La Cruz 11, Christian Encarnacion-Strand 6, Noelvi Marte 1)…the 2008 team also recorded 54 home runs by rookies (Joey Votto 24, Jay Bruce 21, Chris Dickerson 6, Ryan Hanigan 2, Paul
    Janish 1). On 8/22 at LAA, in his 64th career game, Elly De La Cruz recorded his 20th stolen base to become the fastest player since 1900 to accumulate at least 10 HR and at least 20 steals…Barry Bonds did it in his 65th career appearance, just ahead of Reds rookies Chris Sabo (66g) and Gary Redus (67g)…courtesy @EliasSports. Elly De La Cruz is the only Major League player since RBI became an official statistic in 1920 to produce in his first 80 career games at least 79 hits, 11 HR, 36 RBI and 25 stolen bases…courtesy @EliasSports. Elly De La Cruz and Spencer Steer on 7/4 at Wsh became the first set of rookie teammates in Major League history to finish in the same game 4-for-4 with at least 1 RBI (since RBI became an official statistic in 1920)…courtesy @EliasSports. IF Matt McLain (5/22-5/28) and IF Elly De La Cruz (6/19-6/25) each earned National League Player of the Week awards, McLain in the second week of his career and De La Cruz in his third week.

Tonight’s Pitcher – #41 Andrew Abbott, LHP

  • Tonight is making his 18th Major League appearance and start…will be his second appearance vs the Cardinals. Since his debut on 6/5, ranks among the National League leaders in starts (T2nd), wins (T6th), ERA (7th), strikeouts (7th), batting average against (8th, .223), innings pitched (T11th) and WHIP (14th, 1.20). In his 4-3 win on 7/2 vs SD recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts, tied for the most by a Reds pitcher this season (Nick Lodolo, 4/8 at Phi). Began his career with 17.2 scoreless innings, a new club record since 1893, until Col’s Brenton Doyle hit a leadoff HR in Abbott’s fourth start…the previous team record was held by Wayne Simpson, who in 1970 began his Major League career with 15.0 scoreless innings…@EliasSports. Since the mound was moved to its current distance in 1893, is the only Major League pitcher to begin his career with 3 consecutive scoreless starts of at least 5.0 innings…@EliasSports. Abbott’s 16.0-inning scoreless streak was snapped in the second inning of the 6-5 win on 7/31 at Cubs…when snapped was tied for the longest active streak in the Major Leagues.
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