Adam Wainwright looked as though he would keep the Arizona Diamondbacks‘ offense in check last night, but it all fell apart by the fourth inning.
All of the sudden it was too late as the St. Louis Cardinals opened the season with a loss in Arizona.
The Cardinals’ lineup looked as though it might tee off against Ian Kennedy–a pitcher they’ve had success against–but he held them down all night. I thought they would get a better outing from Wainwright, but it was clear the Diamondbacks hitters were ready for him.
So tonight the Cardinals turn to Jaime Garcia, a seven game winner last season due to an injury-shortened year. Garcia-known for not pitching well away from Busch Stadium–has a road ERA of 4.47, though April is when the Cardinals get the best out of him. Another negative for Garcia is that teams have hit .285 against him when he pitches on the road. Garcia has pitched once in his career in Arizona in 2010–a game he won–going five innings allowing one run with four strikeouts and five walks. He also beat Arizona at home in 2011 but did not pitch against the Diamondbacks in 2012.
Arizona will counter with 13 game-winner Trevor Cahill, who is actually the opposite of Garcia as he pitches much better on the road–nearly two earned runs better. Opponents also hit for more power and get on base much more against Cahill at home.
Could it be that Cahill just needed a season to get used to his new digs in Arizona after coming over from the Oakland Athletics?
In any case, Cahill faced St. Louis for the first time in his career last season at Busch in which he had a no decision. He went six strong innings allowing one run on five hits with four strikeouts. Two hitters not in the Cardinals lineup–David Freese and Rafael Furcal–had two hits of Cahill that day.
Will Garcia show that he’s ready to return to his former dominance and/or will Cahill finally be able to pitch strongly in Arizona?
So we have two pitchers that are expected to pitch badly tonight at Chase Field, though I expect to see a low-scoring affair as both apparently have something to prove.