It looked like it didn't take long for Adam Wainwright to regain control of his dominant like 2009-10 campaign. Wainwright flirted with a no-no last time out vs. Colorado before yielding just 2 hits in a CG 3-0 win. Wainwright (5-2 2.30) several starts back had by far his worst outing of the season giving up 5 ER and 11 hits in just 5 1/3 innings against Milwaukee. Wainwright has shined at home, yielding two runs and 11 hits in 25 innings while striking out 25 and walking three. However, he's lost his last three starts versus New York with a 9.92 ERA.
St. Louis has won 6 of its last 7 games and are looking to sweep the Mets, who have lost 6 straight and are a season high 9 games under .500. Ex-Cardinal Rick Ankiel hit a two-run homer in his third game since New York picked him up after being released by Houston last week accounting for the lone Mets offense in last night's 4-2 defeat. David Wright (.295 5 24) leads the club in hitting, but last night struck out three times Wednesday and has no homers with one RBI in the last nine games. John Buck (.232 10 30) after starting out the season looking at perhaps a career year, has cooled off considerably. Daniel Murphy (.278 2 16) seems to be battling out of his doldrums with 7 hits over his last 4 games. Lucas Duda (.205 8 13) has certainly shown some pop, otherwise not much else as evident by his BA and lack of run production. Only Miami has a lower collective batting average than the Mets, who are hitting .227 but have slugged 40 HR.
The Mets counter with a struggling to say the least John Niese (2-4 5.93), who has been anything but nice over his last 4 starts. Niese is 0-4 with a 7.71 ERA since last winning more than a month ago at Minnesota. He has one more walk (22) than he does strikeouts (21) and is making his first start this afternoon at Busch. Carlos Beltran (.296 10 26) looks to be having a strong season and could be the cornerstone in leading the Cards back to the postseason. Yadier Molina (.336 2 19) leads St. Louis in hitting and Alan Craig (.301 2 30) has been clutch in run producing over opportunistic situations. The Cards are hitting .265 overall and have tremendous balance throughout the lineup thanks to Matt Holiday (.268 6 24) and John Jay (.276 4 20) who is hitting .439 with 12 RBI over as many games.
We get a bargain of a price here, and the ball certainly carries a lot better in the ballpark with the arch overlooking the city of St. Louie in left-center field during the day. Niese has lost some velocity on his pitches and needs to show more command to the Cardinal lineup which has had it's way all series with Mets pitchers. You have to believe that NY is well overdue to put together a solid game offensively, and while Wainwright is enjoying a fast start, he cannot overlook making careless pitches against an overmatched lineup. Best of luck however you play!