|5:15 PM PT6:15 PM MT7:15 PM CT8:15 PM ET20:15 ET0:15 GMT8:15 5:15 PM MST7:15 PM EST7:45 PM VEN4:15 UAE (+1)7:15 PM CT, June 13, 2018
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri Attendance: 44,094
Padres, Cardinals face each other with struggling pitchers
San Diego Padres at St. Louis Cardinals
- The Cardinals went 6-1 against the Padres in 2016, averaging 6.1 runs per game. Since then, the Red Birds have gone 6-5 against the Friars, scoring an average of 3.7 runs.
- St. Louis has won three of its last four games after dropping the series finale, 6-3, in Cincinnati on Sunday. The Cardinals return to St. Louis where they started the year 12-5 but have gone 7-9 since for an overall home record of 19-14.
- San Diego has started June 6-3 and have won four straight series dating back to their final series in May (swept Miami at home). The Padres' current four-series winning streak is their longest since August 2015 and is the second-longest active streak in MLB (min. 3 games in series -- trail Cubs -- 5).
- Jose Martinez is hitting .500 (14-28) in June, tied with Paul Goldschmidt and trailing only Brandon Crawford (.533) for the MLB lead among qualifiers. Martinez's 1.036 slugging percentage in the month trails only Goldschmidt (1.139).
- In his four starts since taking a perfect game into the eighth against Colorado, Jordan Lyles has a 7.89 ERA, a 1.85 WHIP. The Padres, however, won the first three of these starts before falling 14-1 to Atlanta on June 5 with Lyles allowing eight earned runs in 4.1 innings.
- Jack Flaherty has posted a 6.30 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP in his last two starts after marks of 2.15 and 1.02 in his first five starts of 2018. Flaherty, who allowed seven earned runs in his first five starts, has allowed seven earned in his last two outings.
Two young starters searching for consistency will try to find it Wednesday night in the rubber game of a three-game series between the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Padres left-hander Eric Lauer (2-4, 6.64 ERA) is undergoing on-the-job training with mostly painful results, while Cardinals right-hander Luke Weaver (3-5, 4.35) has won once in his last 10 starts, struggling to put hitters away and frequently running up high pitch counts.
The last start for each summarized their seasons. Lauer suffered a 4-0 loss Friday night in Miami, while Weaver was no-decisioned in a 7-6, 10-inning victory that same evening in Cincinnati as each failed to command the strike zone.
Lauer, who is in the majors because Bryan Mitchell (0-3, 7.08) was horribly ineffective, has allowed a whopping 81 baserunners (57 hits, 24 walks) over 39 1/3 innings in nine starts.
Seven of those walks occurred in Miami, where Lauer threw 111 pitches and gave up three runs in a five-inning stint. Lauer at least managed to minimize damage, escaping a bases-loaded spot in the fifth without ceding extra runs.
"It was a good learning experience for me," Lauer said to MLB.com. "And a good mental sign for me that (manager Andy Green) was comfortable leaving me in in those situations and letting me get that chance to grow. Being able to work through those tough situations is something I need to do."
Lauer was shelled in a 9-5 loss to St. Louis at Petco Park on May 11, allowing four homers and six runs over 2 1/3 innings before getting hooked.
Weaver, who pitched well over the last two months of the 2017 season, came out of the gate strong in 2018 with two wins in his first three starts. But Weaver has lasted seven innings just two times in his last 10 outings, taxing a bullpen that hasn't exactly been a model of consistency.
The Reds touched Weaver for seven hits, five walks and four runs in five-plus innings on Friday, but only a blown save by Bud Norris in the ninth prevented Weaver from notching a win.
"Today was a tough one with the weather conditions and the rain, with it getting a little muddy," Weaver said to MLB.com. "It is one of those where you have to put your stuff down and grind through it and make some good pitches."
Weaver has stumped San Diego (32-37) in both career outings, winning both and not allowing a run over 12 innings.
The Padres evened this series Tuesday night as their bullpen checked the Cardinals (36-29) on five hits in a 4-2 victory. Matt Strahm and submarining right-hander Adam Cimber combined to retire the first 15 St. Louis hitters.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said the difference between Cimber and Strahm, a left-hander who touched 94 mph with his fastball, was difficult for his hitters.
"That was unique stuff from the right side," Matheny said of Cimber. "Most of the time, he's using the (arm) angle to hit the top of the zone. It's certainly like an upshoot."
Updated June 13, 2018