Thursday, May 24, 2012

Series Preview: Phillies at Cardinals, May 24-27

Last season the St. Louis Cardinals ousted the Philadelphia Phillies from the postseason, en route to a surprising World Series victory.  In the first rematch between the two teams, since that National League Division Series which the Cards won 3-2, the Phillies will visit St. Louis' Busch Stadium to begin a four-game series on Thursday night.

Currently, the Cardinals (25-19) have maintained the level of success that took them deep into the October playing schedule last year, as they hold the top spot in the National League Central division, despite losing top slugger Albert Pujols to free agency, following their 2012 title run.  Meanwhile, the Phillies (22-23) have been missing a pair of injured stars, namely Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, and haven't been able to stay atop the NL East division that they have won each of the past five season. Philadelphia currently occupies the bottom spot in the five-team division.

Read ahead for details on the pitching match ups and loads more statistical details from this series.



Thursday, 8:15 PM. Joe Blanton (4-4, 3.74 ERA) vs. Jake Westbrook (4-3, 2.41 ERA). In 3 regular season starts at Busch Stadium, Blanton is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA with a .211 batting average against. Blanton is a 3-2 record with a 3.03 ERA in 6 career regular season games against St. Louis. On the road this season, Blanton is 1-3 with a 3.48 ERA in 4 games. Carlos Beltran is 3-for-16 (.188 avg) in regular season action against Blanton. At home this season, the right-handed Westbrook has a 2-1 record with a 3.55 ERA in 4 starts. In 3 career starts against Philadelphia, Westbrook is 1-1 with a 3.52 ERA. Hunter Pence is 7-for-12 (.583 avg) in his career against Westbrook.


Friday, 8:15 PM. Cliff Lee (0-2, 2.66 ERA) vs. Kyle Lohse (5-1, 2.91 ERA). Lee has posted a 0.56 ERA with no decisions in 2 road starts this season. Dating back to 2011, Lee has a 0.89 ERA in his last 8 road starts. In his career against St. Louis in the regular season, Lee has a 3-1 record with a 1.48 ERA in 4 starts. In 10 career regular season starts against Philadelphia, Lohse, a former Phillie, has a 3-4 record with a 3.43 ERA. Jimmy Rollins is 5-for-27 (.185 avg) in his regular season career against Lohse.


Saturday, 7:15 PM. Kyle Kendrick (0-4, 5.23 ERA) vs. Jaime Garcia (3-2, 3.55 ERA). In his regular season career against the Cardinals, Kendrick is 4-1 with a 3.32 ERA in 7 games (5 starts). Opponents are batting .310 against Kendrick this season in 10 games. In 6 road outings this season, Kendrick has posted a 0-1 record with a 5.19 ERA. Matt Holliday is 2-for-14 (.143 avg) with a double and a homer in regular season action against Kendrick. In 4 home starts this season, the lefty Garcia has posted a 1-1 record with a 3.38 ERA. Jimmy Rollins is 1-for-11 (.091 avg) in his regular season career against Garcia. In 6 career regular season outings (4 starts) against the Phillies, Garcia has a 2-1 record with a 1.20 ERA and a .178 batting average against.


Sunday, 2:15 PM. Roy Halladay (4-4, 3.58 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (3-5, 4.78 ERA). Halladay has a 3-1 record with a 3.72 ERA in 5 road starts this season. Halladay did not earn a win in 2 starts against St. Louis last season. Carlos Beltran is 14-for-42 (.333 avg) with a double and 2 homers in his career against Halladay. In 5 home starts this season, Wainwright has a 2-3 record with a 6.67 ERA. Wainwright has a 2-1 record with a 2.30 ERA in 8 career regular season appearances (6 starts) against the Phils. Jimmy Rollins is 6-for-17 (.353 avg) with 2 doubles in his career against Wainwright.


Juan Pierre is fresh off a dismal home stand in which he went 1-for-19 (.053 avg).  Pierre is a .263 career hitter in 71 games against St. Louis.

Carlos Ruiz's .357 batting average ranks 3rd in the National League.  In 18 road games this season, Ruiz has posted a .397 batting average. 

Ty Wigginton in 21 May games is batting .148 with 0 extra-base hits. In 8 career games at Busch Stadium, Wigginton has a .208 batting average with 1 HR.

Rafael Furcal, who is batting .339 this season, for the Cards, has posted a .259 batting average with 7 HR and 38 RBI in 117 career regular season games against Philadelphia. In 4 regular season games against the Phillies last year, Furcal went 7-for-17 (.412 avg) with 3 doubles. Furcal is 12-for-62 (.194 avg) in 15 career postseason games against the Phillies.

Cardinals closer Jason Motte has allowed 11 earned runs in 8 1/3 career regular season innings pitched (11.88 ERA) against the Phillies. Motte did, however, throw 3 1/3 scoreless innings against Philadelphia in the postseason last year.

David Freese is batting .218 in 16 home games this season. In 20 May games, Freese has posted a .194 batting average, while in 20 April games, Freese sported a .333 average.

Carlos Beltan's 14 homeruns are tops in the National League.  

The Cardinals lead the National League in runs scored with 231.  The Phillies rank 9th in the NL with 178.

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