|10:15 AM PT11:15 AM MT12:15 PM CT1:15 PM ET13:15 ET17:15 GMT1:15 10:15 AM MST12:15 PM EST12:45 PM VEN21:15 UAE12:15 PM CT, May 8, 2019
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri Attendance: 42,309
Cardinals look for home series win over Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals
- The Cardinals have gone 16-6 (.727) against the Phillies at home since 2013, their second-best home record versus a single opponent in that span (16-4, .800 vs. Rockies, min. 10 games). Using the same games minimum, Philadelphia has only been worse against Cincinnati (3-16) on the road since 2013.
- The Phillies took two of three from the Nationals and have gone 6-2 since April 26. Philadelphia has outscored its opponents 48-29 in this span despite being outhit 73-69; the Phillies have a .356 on-base percentage since that date while holding opponents to a .310 OBP.
- Cesar Hernandez has reached base in every game that he has started since April 20, hitting safely in all but one of those games. He is hitting .346 in 14 games since that date with six extra-base hits (all doubles) after opening the season hitting .246 with five extra-base hits in his first 18 games.
- The Cardinals have lost four in a row after being swept by the Cubs in their most recent series. St. Louis averaged 2.8 runs over these four games immediately following a 10-1 stretch between April 20 and May 1 during which it averaged 5.8 runs.
- Paul DeJong picked up three hits, including a home run, in St. Louis' loss to the Cubs yesterday. DeJong is slashing .336/.403/.590 and is one of four players in MLB with a slash line of .330+/.400+/.550+, along with Cody Bellinger (.412/.486/.840), Christian Yelich (.346/.450/.804) and Hunter Dozier (.343/.446/.667) (min. 125 PA).
- St. Louis' Miles Mikolas allowed one run over six innings in his last outing, walking one batter; Mikolas owns a MLB-best 1.42 BB/9 since last season (min. 150 IP). Philadelphia's Vince Velasquez lasted only 3.2 innings against the Tigers but struck out seven batters, his third straight start with at least six strikeouts.
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At least for this season, there's no place like home for the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals used their return home Monday to break a season-high, four-game losing streak in a 6-0 victory over the Phillies. After Philadelphia cruised to an 11-1 win Tuesday, St. Louis will look to resume its successful home form when right-hander Jack Flaherty starts the rubber game of the three-game series on Wednesday afternoon.
After the Monday result, St. Louis, which is accustomed to playing before a sold-out Busch Stadium, sported the largest home and road winning percentage difference in the National League.
The Cardinals held a .765 winning percentage at home under the arch but featured just a .444 victorious mark on the road -- a difference of plus-.321. Meanwhile, the Phillies were second with a plus-.282 difference.
"We're looking to get wins every night and take it day by day, and look at where the body of work takes us," said Cardinals manager Mike Shildt, whose club is 13-5 at home. "It is important, for sure, to be able to play well at home."
Flaherty (3-2, 4.17 ERA) will try to combat his biggest nemesis in his eighth start of 2019 -- the long ball.
Home runs have been a problem for the 23-year-old, who has allowed eight this season.
In the former first-round pick's last five starts, he has yielded seven dingers, including six in a dreadful three-start streak from April 10 to April 22.
Command was just as big a problem in his most recent outing last Friday against the Cubs in Chicago. He managed to fan nine, but he gave up a homer and four walks in 5 2/3 innings in his club's 4-0 loss.
In one career start against the Phillies, Flaherty is 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA. He allowed only one run in 7 2/3 innings.
Despite being shutout in the first game in St. Louis, the first-place Phillies have been scoring runs all season long, just as they did Tuesday, when they got a grand slam from Bryce Harper as well as Rhys Hoskins' team-leading 11th homer.
Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff (1-1, 2.05 ERA) will start for Philadelphia as it attempts to win the series finale.
Eickhoff has been a pleasant surprise and stabilizing force in the rotation after replacing struggling Nick Pivetta. The 28-year-old Eickhoff is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in his only career appearance against St. Louis.
Offensively, this year's Phillies club resembles the franchise's teams from the first decade of the 2000s, lineups buoyed by dynamic hitters like Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley.
The current Phillies went out in the offseason and bolstered their offense by acquiring the bats of Harper, Jean Segura, J.T. Realmuto and Andrew McCutchen -- all of them All-Stars at some point in their careers.
The Philadelphia offense is producing quite a bounty -- 5.22 runs per contest. The Phillies haven't generated a figure that large over a full season since they averaged 5.51 runs per game in 2007.
Catcher Andrew Knapp said the Phillies' plate prowess makes them feel they are never out of a game.
"We can give up one or two (runs), and in years past, maybe feel like we were behind the eight ball a little bit," he said. "But now, we've just got to wait it out and trust that our offense is going to do what it's going to do."
--Field Level Media
Updated May 8, 2019