Division Gauntlet Continues This Weekend For St. Louis Cardinals

By Michael Augustine
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals trudge through another series against a divisional opponent this weekend as they take on the Milwaukee Brewers. The series will feature a Saturday afternoon matchup of aces Adam Wainwright and Yovani Gallardo and mark the return to Busch Stadium–in a different uniform–for Kyle Lohse.

The Cardinals have won their last two series–the last against division foe Cincinnati Reds–while losing only one against the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this month. The schedule won’t get much easier for St. Louis as it prepares for a long road trip with stops against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals.

A series win against the Brewers will be a huge boost heading into the coming week–the Cardinals were 38-43 on the road in 2012 and 5-8 playing against the three aforementioned teams away from Busch. At home against Milwaukee, the Cardinals were 4-2 last year and outscored them 30-19.

Tonight the Cardinals will march Shelby Miller out to the mound to face Milwaukee for the first time in his career. The Brewers will counter with former Cardinal Lohse who makes his first start of 2013. The game will be bittersweet for Cardinals Nation seeing their most successful pitcher of 2012 as an opponent for the first time in his career.

As mentioned, Saturday will be must-see baseball as aces collide in an afternoon match-up. In eight career starts, Wainwright is 3-2 with two complete games at home against Milwaukee.  He’s gone at least six innings each start never allowing more than three earned runs with 58 strikeouts. Gallardo has not fared well at Busch posting a 1-4 record in six starts. There have been two starts–one last season and another in 2010–where the Cardinals offense has knocked him out by the third inning.

For the final game of the series Jamie Garcia battles Marco Estrada Sunday afternoon. Both pitchers have one victory with one no decision. Garcia loves pitching at Busch while Estrada has not won in two career starts.

The series appears to heavily favor the Cardinals and they’ll need to take this series if they want to follow up last April’s 14-8 mark where they outscored their opponents 113-60. The key game will be tonight as it will all depend on what kind of nerves Lohse has making his debut at Busch as the ‘enemy’.

Michael Augustine is a writer for Rant Sports covering the Saint Louis Cardinals.
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