Brewers will see same pitchers in Milwaukee they saw in St. Louis
SEP 20, 2013 11:35a ET
If that proves true this weekend at Milwaukee, the Cardinals could be in trouble.
St. Louis will send out the same three starters in the same order as they did last week when the Cardinals won two of three at Busch Stadium.
That would be Shelby Miller on Friday (on FOX Sports Midwest), Lance Lynn on Saturday (on FSMW) and Joe Kelly on Sunday (on ESPN).
Miller and Lynn turned in strong outings last week, while Kelly gave up four runs, three earned, in five innings of the game the Cardinals lost 5-3.
How will the familiarity factor play out this weekend? Perhaps not as much as it's supposed to, based on how the trio has fared in starts against the same opponent this season. A starter-by-starter look:
This will be his fifth start this season against the Brewers and based on the results, he'd like to face them even more. The rookie right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA and .202 batting average allowed against Milwaukee. In 25 innings, he has allowed 27 base runners and struck out 25.
Though he shut out the Brewers for 6 2/3 innings last week, his first start against the Brewers has been his best. He went seven innings, allowed one hit and struck out eight.
"The first time we saw him, he just threw high fastballs and blew us away," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said after Miller's win last week. "He's really pitching now."
His six-inning, one run (unearned) outing last week was his best against any team in more than a month. He struck out 10 and still used only 93 pitches. In his previous outing against the Brewers, on Aug. 20, he was roughed up for six runs (four earned) in six innings and threw 113 pitches.
Lynn's success seems to depend far more on how he's feeling than any familiarity on either side.
Against the team he has faced the most this season, the Reds, Lynn has had three good outings and two not so good, with the last being his worst. He gave up three homers in five innings of a 6-2 loss that jeopardized his chances of staying in the rotation. He rebounded in his next outing, against the Brewers, and pitched well Monday against the Rockies.
His start last week was his first against the Brewers, but he struggled in two of three outings as a reliever in May.
He knows what it's like to start against a familiar foe, though. His first two starts this month were against the Pirates, and while he allowed only one run and pitched six innings in both, he admitted the second time out was much rougher. He allowed eight hits and walked four after he had given up four hits and two walks at Pittsburgh.
"It feels like they just saw me yesterday," he said. "It's tough, but you have to keep pitching your own game."
Kelly noticed the Pirates were much more aggressive against his fastball early in the count the second time up, and he was slow to adjust.
While Brewers batters will have familiarity on their side, the Cardinals hitters will not, at least not on Friday night when O'Fallon, Mo., product Johnny Hellweg will be making his first start against the team he grew up rooting for.
You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @stanmcneal or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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