The St. Louis Cardinals are riding a nice wave of late, having won four of their last five contests. Staff ace Adam Wainwright looks to close out the Cardinals' most recent homestand with a win. That would mean another series win for the Redbirds, on a rare Monday finish.
A series win would be especially meaningful, as the Cardinals head out on the road for nine games, before returning to Busch Stadium on June 13th.
Wainwright will be trying for his third quality start in a row, after pitching a combined fifteen innings, and giving up just two earned runs in his last two starts. His most previous start was against the Houston Astros, in which he threw eight dominant innings.
Wainwright is having a quiet, but extremely productive year. He has posted a 5-2 record with a 2.86 ERA. The stats don't lie either: Wainwright has 54 strikeouts to 17 walks, which is better than a 3:1 ratio.
Most importantly about tonight's game, however, is the statistical advantage that the Cardinals have over the Bucs on the mound. While Wainwright's stats are clearly known, he will be facing a struggling Tom Gorzelanny tonight. After performing admirably in 2006 and 2007, Gorzelanny has underachieved thus far in 2008.
Gorzelanny carries a 4-5 record with a 7.38 ERA, which is absolutely astronomical. His last tiime out, was perhaps the worst of his career: 0.2 IP, 6 ER. It is almost certain that Gorzelanny will be looking for redemption tonight, so the Cardinals need to attack him early, being aggressive at the dish.
After a Saturday night 14-4 drubbing, the Cardinals look to feed off of their 7-4 win yesterday, and win three of four against the lowly Pirates. If Wainwright has his stuff tonight, it should be lights out.
If the Cardinals can score some early-inning runs, I like their chances in this one.
Prediction: Cardinals 5, Pirates 1