Series Preview: St. Louis Cardinals

MLB: Spring Training-Minnesota Twins at St. Louis Cardinals

It looked for a while like it would be a devastating start to a long homestand. The Mets had lost two of their first three against Atlanta, with all of the positive momentum built up on the road being washed away with each Curtis Granderson out, but then, in the series’ final game, in the bottom of the 14th, the man they call Grandy came through. A walk-off sacrifice fly to give the Mets a much needed victory at Citi. It improved their record to 9-9 on the early season. Surely, a respectable start for a ballclub that many expect 90 losses rather than 90 wins. The Mets will look to build off their Easter Sunday win with a four-game tilt against the Red Birds.

The Cardinals

Like the Mets, the Cardinals Easter Sunday ended in dramatic fashion via the sacrifice fly, except for them, in a loss. The Nationals beating them 3-2 in the bottom of the 9th to complete a four game series in which each team took two games. The defending National League champion Cardinals come to Citi with an 11-8 record, playing mostly hot and cold through the start of the season. They have struggled to find much power, like the Mets, and haven’t done much better drawing walks, like the Mets. But they strikeout less and have hit a little bit more, with Yadier Molina leading the way with an impressive .344/.373/.547 slash line.

The St. Louis Cardinals strength has been their starting staff – second only to Atlanta in the National League in team ERA. Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha becoming one of the deadliest 1-2 punches in baseball. Of course, that leaves out Lance Lynn who is off to a 4-0 start. Their bullpen has not been quite as strong with closer Trevor Rosenthal off to a shaky start. Overall, the Cardinals are still a tough team to beat, and will only be tougher once they get clicking on all cylinders.

2014 Lineup

  1. Matt Carpenter 3B
  2. Kolten Wong 2B
  3. Matt Holliday LF
  4. Matt Adams 1B
  5. Yadier Molina C
  6. Allen Craig RF
  7. Jhonny Peralta SS
  8. Peter Bourjos CF

Key Injuries

  • SP Jaime Garcia on 15-day DL for shoulder inflammation.
  • SP Joe Kelly on 15-day DL for strained hamstring.
  • RP Jason Motte rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

Interesting Notes

  • Jhonny Peralta was a potential shortstop target for the Mets. He is off to a dreadful start in St. Louis, batting .183/.258/.433. The one bright spot is that he has 4 home runs.
  • With Joe Kelly batting back from injury, Tyler Lyons will take his spot in the rotation. He will start against the Mets on Monday.
  • The Mets have made a habit of scoring first, which will be helpful against St. Louis who is 7-2 when securing the first run.

Pitching Probables

Monday (7:10): RHP Jenrry Mejia (2-0, 2.81) vs. LHP Tyler Lyons (0-0, —)
Tuesday (7:10): RHP Dillon Gee (1-0, 3.71) vs. RHP Adam Wainwright (3-1, 1.80)
Wednesday (7:10): LHP Jon Niese (0-2, 2.84) vs. RHP Michael Wacha (2-1, 1.73)
Thursday (1:10): RHP Bartolo Colon (1-3, 5.40) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (4-0, 3.42)