Cards Home Again, To Face The First-Place Nationals

washington_nationals_logoThe Cardinals returns home to Busch Stadium for a 10-game series against the National League East, beginning with three against the first-place Nationals.

First-place Nationals? Yes, I was surprised too — I hadn’t looked at the standings in a week or so. Yet they are, and they’ve been on roll as of late — they won three straight over the Giants in San Francisco before losing yesterday afternoon after taking two of three last weekend in San Diego.

Here’s a preview of the upcoming three games, from the latest issue of the United Cardinal Bloggers email preview series The Bird’s Eye View.

If you don’t yet receive it, subscribe now here to stay up-to-date throughout the season.

Birds Eye View HeaderWashington Nationals (35-30) at St. Louis Cardinals (34-32)
June 13-15, 2014
Busch Stadium

How We Got Here
Does this sound familiar? The Cardinals, coming off a disappointing loss of an interleague game in which they had a lead, enter the weekend facing the East’s first place team, one that’s been hot and won eight of its previous 10 games, with Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller and Jaime Garcia set to start?

Yes, it’s deja vu all over again – only with the Cardinals back at home to face the National League East-leading Washington Nationals this weekend. St. Louis is the final stop on the Nationals three-city road trip where they’ve taken two of three from the Padres, three of four from the Giants and the NL East lead from the Braves. The Cardinals return home after their own three-city journey through Kansas City, Toronto and Tampa Bay that began with a victory over the Royals and included three straight shutout wins — two over the Blue Jays, one over the Rays. The other three games were losses — and the Cards scored first in all three. Ah, these 2014 Cardinals …

As mentioned, the Nationals are in first place in the NL East and have a one-game lead over both the Braves and the Marlins. (Yes, the Marlins.) The Cardinals remain in second place in the NL Central, now 5 1/2 games behind Milwaukee after the Brewers beat the Mets in 13 innings last night. (Nice work, New York. Why just give up one run in the 13th to the Brewers when you can give up four?)

The Nats and Cards played a four-game series in mid-April, with each team winning two games.

The Starters
Friday, June 13
7:15 p.m. Central Time
FOX Sports Midwest, MASN2, WUSA 9 and MLB Network

Jordan Zimmermann (5-2, 3.17 ERA) vs. Lance Lynn (6-4, .49 ERA)

Zimmermann vs. the Cardinals: 0-4 in seven starts, 7.03 ERA.
Lynn vs. the Nationals: 2-1 in four appearances and two starts, 6.23 ERA.
These two were the starters in Washington on April 19, which the Cards won 4-3.

Saturday, June 14
6:15 p.m. Central Time

Stephen Strasburg (6-4, 2.99 ERA) vs. Shelby Miller (7-5, 3.59 ERA)

Strasburg vs. the Cardinals: 0-1 in three starts, 2.37 ERA.
Miller vs. the Nationals: 2-0 in three starts, 0.50 ERA.
Both pitchers started on Easter Sunday in Washington, though neither figured in the final walk-off outcome.

Sunday, June 15
1:15 p.m. Central Time
FOX Sports Midwest, MASN2, WUSA 9 and MLB Network

Doug Fister (5-1, 2.68 ERA) vs. Jaime Garcia (2-0, 4.26 ERA)

Fister vs. the Cardinals: This will be his first appearance.
Garcia vs. the Nationals: 3-1 in five starts, 3.29 ERA.

The Numbers
Cardinals team hitting: .250/.319/.360 (8th/5th/13th in NL)
Cardinals team ERA: 3.33 (4th in NL)

Nationals team hitting: .251/.318/.392 (7th/6th/7th in NL)
Nationals team ERA: 3.01 (1st in NL)

Cardinals team leaders
Batting average: Matt Adams, .325
On-base percentage: Matt Carpenter, .385
Slugging percentage: Matt Adams, .474
OPS: Matt Adams, .811
Home runs: Jhonny Peralta, 10
RBI: Allen Craig, 33
WAR – batting: Jhonny Peralta, 2.4
Stolen bases: Kolten Wong, 8
Wins: Adam Wainwright, 9
ERA – Reliever: Sam Freeman, 0.00. Starter: Adam Wainwright, 2.15
Strikeouts: Adam Wainwright, 91
Saves: Trevor Rosenthal, 17
WAR – pitching: Adam Wainwright, 3.1

Nationals team leaders
Batting average: Adam LaRoche, .310
On-base percentage: Adam LaRoche, .420
Slugging percentage: Adam LaRoche, .509
OPS: Andrew McCutchen, .928
Home runs: Ian Desmond, 13
RBI: Ian Desmond, 42
WAR – batting: Anthony Rendon, 1.9
Stolen bases: Denard Span, 9
Wins: Stephen Strasburg, 6
ERA – Reliever: Tyler Clippard, 1.23. Starter: Blake Treinen, 2.49
Strikeouts: Stephen Strasburg, 108
Saves: Rafael Soriano, 13
WAR – pitching: Tanner Roark, 2.0

Who’s Hot and Who’s Not (last seven games)
Hot: Mark Ellis, .364
Jon Jay, .357
Tony Cruz, .300

Not: Matt Carpenter, .150
Oscar Taveras, .133
Randal Grichuk, .100
Kolten Wong, .000

Hot: Jayson Werth, .360
Ian Desmond, .345
Jose Lobaton, .300

Not: Denard Span, .172
Nate McLouth, .167
Ryan Zimmerman, .138

2 thoughts on “Cards Home Again, To Face The First-Place Nationals

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