Adam Wainwright making the start for Labor Day in Game One facing the Pirates.
HAPPY LABOR DAY TO ALL ~ PITTSBURGH PIRATES HOSTING THE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS.
The Cardinals broke their three game losing streak before heading East to face the Pirates for three games. The Pirates have dropped their last six, being swept by the Chicago Cubs on the road; and, being swept by the Milwaukee Brewers in their weekend series at home.
Cardinals Adam Wainwright (9-8/4.53 ERA) will face Pirates rookie Chad Kuhl (3-2/3.70 ERA).
Wainwright has been 4-4 on the road, and holds a 6.06 ERA away from Busch Stadium. Facing the Pirates, 19.1 IP he has given up seven earned runs while striking out 17 for a 3.26 ERA. His last start we saw the Wainwright of old with a 1.29 ERA going 7 IP/1 ER on only three hits allowed with seven strikeouts. And, after his own survey taken, look for him to be sporting the short pants/stirrups on the hill. A "High Socks Labor Day". Look for the Pirates to have their lefties in their line-up. From the left, batters have hit Wainwright with a .307 BA; and, a .258 from the right.
Kuhl, yet another unfamiliar starter to St. Louis, as he makes his first start against the Redbirds today. He made his major league debut June 26 for one game and had three game starts in early July. He was recalled August 9 to replace Pirates starter Gerrit Cole. Cole was placed on the 15-Day DL with posterior inflammation in his right elbow. He is expected to rejoin the Pirates rotation September 12. Kuhl is 2-1 at home, 19.1 IP/3 HR/11 ER/10 SO for a 5.12 ERA. He has allowed lefties a .272 BA while holding those from the right to a .213 average. His last outing, and second facing the Cubs, at Wrigley Field he went 5 IP/1 HR/3 ER/5 SO.
Part of the Pirates demise recently may have been due to their 3B Jung Ho Kang being on the 15-Day DL with shoulder inflammation. Kang, holding a season .243 BA/14 HR/41 RBI/.326 OBP, is expected to return for the series against the Cardinals. Wainwright has held him to a .200 BA.
TODAY'S GAME COVERAGE BEGINS AT 3:00 CST (ESPN & Fox Sports Midwest).
The Cardinals are still in the "Hunt for Cardinals Red October". At the moment they are holding the second NL Wild Card spot, 1.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants. The New York Mets move ahead of the Pirates being only 1 game back of St. Louis. The Pirates are now 3.5 games out. Therefore, this series is very important for the Cardinals. They did leave Cincinnati with a win, but lost the first two games to the Reds. This is a must win series, hands down, to keep the Mets at fingers length in the run for postseason.
CARDINALS DL REPORT
Cardinals starter Mike Leake, was placed on the 15-Day DL, August 22, as he had been diagnosed with shingles. He was with the team in their last game against the Reds and participating in a bullpen session. He is feeling much better with energy returning and the pain caused by the illness subsiding. He feels he will be ready for his next start, Monday, September 12. However, per Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, it will be a wait and see situation. As of today, rookie Alex Reyes will make the start.
Per CBS Sports on rookie SS Aledmys Diaz rehab: "Diaz (thumb) began a rehab assignment at High-A Palm Beach on Saturday, going 0-for-3 with a walk. Diaz played the full nine innings and is expected to play in another rehab game Sunday as he looks to work back from the thumb injury. If all continues to go well down on the farm, he could be activated from the DL at some point this week to rejoin the Cardinals. Diaz's return would likely result in Greg Garcia seeing his at-bats fall by the wayside." When the All Star rookie, RoY contender Diaz went down, July 31, sustaining a hairline fracture due to HBP, he held a .312 BA/14 HR/57 RBI/.376 OBP. Greg Garcia, getting playing time in his absence, has a .271 BA/3 HR/17 RBI/.390 OBP. Diaz become Cardinals everyday shortstop while Jhonny Peralta was on the 60-Day DL. Upon Peralta's return to the roster, Diaz remained at shortstop and Peralta was moved to third base, relocating Matt Carpenter to second. With a few more rehab games for Diaz, hopefully a healthy bat returns with his return to the team.