After taking 2 of 3 from San Diego, the Cardinals head to Arizona looking to continue their winning ways out West
The Cardinals and DBacks are similar right now when it comes to overall records. Headed into tonight’s game, the Redbird have a record of 10-8 while Arizona sits at an even .500 record of 10-10. These teams are about to get very familiar with each other, as this one will be a four-game series out in the desert.
While the DBacks are looking to win this series to keep pace with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants in the National League West, the Cardinals are looking to cap off a west coast road trip that has been good to them thus far.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) April 25, 2016
So far this season, it seems like the Cardinals have had trouble beating quality opponents while beating up on teams that are clearly less talented. The Diamondbacks find themselves in the middle of the pack, so it will be interesting to see how the Cardinals are able to attack this series. With that being said, let’s head straight in to some game-by-game analysis.
This game will feature two top-tier starters in the National League. The Diamondbacks paid an extremely high price to acquire Zack Greinke this past offseason, and so far the move has not paid off. Coming into tonight’s game, Greinke owns a 1-2 record with a 5.25 ERA and 1.417 WHIP through 24.0 innings pitched. This kind of start is not what the Diamondbacks were hoping for out of their $206,500,000 investment.
For the Cardinals, Jaime Garcia will take the mound at Chase Field looking to continue the string of great outings that he has had to start 2016. After pitching a one-hit complete game shutout vs. the Milwaukee Brewers, Garcia pitched five innings of two-run ball with seven strikeouts against a very tough Chicago Cubs lineup. However, Garcia is known to be a different pitcher on the road, so he will have to bring his best against another tough lineup headlined by first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
The second game of this series will feature another great pitching matchup, as Baby Pedro will be taking on the former Cardinal Shelby Miller. While Miller will be looking for revenge against his former team, the Cardinals know that the young hurler has struggled to begin 2016. Through four games started, Miller owns an 8.59 ERA and 1.78 WHIP with only 10 strikeouts and 11 walks allowed. The Cardinals will rely on Aledmys Diaz and the rest of the crew to make sure that Miller’s 2016 performance continues to be rocky.
Carlos Martinez should not have too hard of a time vs. the Diamondbacks, as he has been very effective to start 2016. While the Diamondbacks have a lethal offense (just ask the Pirates), Martinez has nasty stuff that should be able to fool hitters all night. If Martinez can avoid the disastrous inning that has plagued him so far in 2016, the Cardinals should be able to win this game comfortably.
Out of all four games in this series, this one has me the most worried. It’s no secret that Adam Wainwright is off to a very poor start this season, and he will have to get on track in order for the Cardinals to win this ballgame.
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) April 24, 2016
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, guys like Goldschmidt, Wellington Castillo, and Jean Segura own Wainwright in the past five years, all with batting averages above .300 vs. Waino. On the other side, no active Cardinals hitter has a batting average above .300 vs. Corbin with the exception of Jedd Gyorko. Unless Gyorko can use his home run power to carry the Cardinals to victory, this might be a tough game for the Cardinals to win.
Michael Wacha has been on a tear lately, allowing two runs or less in each of his last three starts. Coming off a six-inning outing of two-run ball in San Diego, I expect Wacha to continue his streak of quality outings vs. the Diamondbacks on Thursday night.
Rubby De La Rosa has not been great this year, so hopefully the Cardinals can scrape a few runs together and head back home to St. Louis on a positive note. At this point in the series, the Cardinals will be tired after seven straight road games with no days off. I would have low expectations for the offense in this one, while hoping that Wacha can continue his string of good starts.
Overall, I believe that the Cardinals will take 3 out of 4 from the Diamondbacks, with the lone loss coming in the Adam Wainwright start on Wednesday night. I could also see the Cardinals losing tonight because Greinke pitches so well against the Redbirds usually, but Garcia should pitch well enough to win the game. I feel extremely confident that the Cardinals will at the very least split the four game set in Arizona. Now, let’s sit back and watch it all play out.