Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals Series Preview

Coming off of their first three game sweep of the season, the Braves managed to right the ship with a two win double header at Citi Field against the Mets. The team hopes to keep that momentum going on their current road trip as they visit the Cardinals in Busch Stadium. Currently the Braves are further out of first place than any second place team in baseball, but still solidly have a hold on the Wild Card and are .5 games from the second best NL record held by the Brewers.

St. Louis is typically in the hunt for the playoffs, but this year, it seems like the Brew Crew were just a bit too good. The Cardinals currently have a record of 76-67, good for second in the NL Central Division. However, they sit a distant 8 games back of Milwaukee and 7.5 games behind the Braves in the Wild Card race. It seems as though the Cards may miss the playoffs for a second consecutive year.

Obviously the loss of Adam Wainwright in Spring Training wasn't helpful for the St. Louis ball club. Don't let anyone fool you though, Albert Pujols is still good. Lance Berkman has also had a resurgent year in St. Louis and the Braves pitching staff will try to keep that duo's home run totals to 34 and 30 respectively. The Cardinals altogether hold a .270 batting average on the year, that is good for first in the National League.

The Braves will face off against a middle of the road pitching staff. Overall they rank ninth in team ERA with a 3.85. Their bullpen has an ERA lower than that of the rotation at 3.66, but they haven't used any one reliever in the closer role all season. Ryan Franklin and his terrible goatee didn't exactly start the season off on the right foot so LaRussa has used Fernando Salas, Mitchell Boggs, Miguel Bautista (now a Met), and most recently Jason Motte to fill the role.

Matchups after the jump:

Friday 8:15 PM Eastern


Randall Delgado

#40 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-3

200

R

R

Feb 09, 1990


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Randall Delgado 0-1 3 3 0 0 0 0 15.0 12 8 7 3 6 10 4.20 1.20


Edwin Jackson

#22 / Pitcher / St. Louis Cardinals

6-3

205

R

R

Sep 09, 1983

 


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Edwin Jackson 4-2 8 8 0 0 0 0 52.1 60 26 20 8 14 35 3.44 1.41

Randall Delagado flirted with a no-hitter two outings ago, but goes up against a pitcher that already has one under his belt. That being said, Delgado has pitched terrifically in his last two starts, showing pinpoint control that Edwin Jackson could only dream of.

Saturday 7:15 PM Eastern


Derek Lowe

#32 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-6

230

R

R

Jun 01, 1973

 


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Derek Lowe 9-13 30 30 0 0 0 0 168.1 182 92 87 11 65 124 4.65 1.47


Jaime Garcia

#54 / Pitcher / St. Louis Cardinals

6-2

215

L

L

Jul 08, 1986

 


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jaime Garcia 11-7 28 28 2 2 0 0 170.0 184 88 69 13 47 138 3.65 1.36

Derek Lowe gave up five earned runs in his last outing, but had been pretty darn good in the three preceding starts. Let's hope that D-Lowe can get his September magic back.

Sunday 2:15 PM Eastern


Tim Hudson

#15 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves

6-1

175

R

R

Jul 14, 1975

 


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Tim Hudson 14-9 29 29 1 1 0 0 189.0 162 75 66 14 51 136 3.14 1.13


Jake Westbrook

#35 / Pitcher / St. Louis Cardinals

6-3

215

R

R

Sep 29, 1977

 


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jake Westbrook 11-8 31 29 0 0 0 0 166.1 188 93 86 16 62 93 4.65 1.50

One would have to think Huddy is favored in this start. Hudson is looking more and more like the obvious game one starter for whatever postseason action the Braves see.

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