Series Preview: St. Louis Cardinals (10-8) @ Washington Nationals (10-8)

Patrick McDermott

Coming off of a series loss to the New York Mets, the Washington Nationals come back home to face off against the team that ended their 2012 season. The Nationals will look to bounce back at home in their first series at Nationals Park since being swept by the Atlanta Braves.

The Washington Nationals have struggled in their last three series against division rivals, so they get a break and now play their postseason rivals from a year ago. The Cardinals still have Pete Kozma, Adam Wainwright and Daniel Descalso but this time, the Nationals have Stephen Strasburg in the series finale. (Sorry, still too soon?)

Let's take a closer look at the three-game set.

Probable Pitchers
Monday, 7:05 p.m.
WSH: Dan Haren (1-2, 8.10 ERA)
STL: Shelby Miller (2-1, 1.96 ERA)

Tuesday, 7:05 p.m.
WSH: Ross Detwiler (1-0, 0.90 ERA)
STL: Adam Wainwright (3-1, 2.48 ERA)

Wednesday, 1:05 p.m.
WSH: Stephen Strasburg (1-3, 2.96 ERA)
STL: Jaime Garcia (1-1, 3.22 ERA)

Projected Cardinals Lineup (via MLB Depth Charts)
1
. CF Jon Jay
2. 2B Matt Carpenter
3. LF Matt Holliday
4. 1B Allen Craig
5. RF Carlos Beltran
6. C Yadier Molina
7. 3B David Freese
8. SS Pete Kozma

Cardinals Bench
C Tony Cruz
1B Matt Adams
2B Daniel Descalso
IF/OF Ty Wigginton
OF Shane Robinson

Cardinals Bullpen
RHP Edward Mujica
RHP Trevor Rosenthal
RHP Mitchell Boggs
LHP Marc Rzepczynski
RHP Fernando Salas
LHP Randy Choate
RHP Joe Kelly

WASHINGTON NATIONALS


Batting

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Gio Gonzalez 4 5 1 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 .400 .400 1.000
Bryce Harper 17 65 13 24 3 0 7 14 7 12 1 1 .369 .431 .738
Steve Lombardozzi 12 27 2 9 3 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 .333 .357 .444
Wilson Ramos 6 20 3 6 0 0 2 3 3 1 0 1 .300 .391 .600
Ian Desmond 18 69 9 20 7 1 3 4 2 16 2 0 .290 .306 .551
Jayson Werth 18 69 13 19 2 0 3 8 4 15 2 0 .275 .324 .435
Denard Span 16 59 9 16 2 0 0 5 11 8 2 1 .271 .386 .305
Kurt Suzuki 13 35 5 9 3 1 2 5 6 8 0 0 .257 .372 .571
Ryan Zimmerman 15 53 3 12 2 1 1 11 7 14 0 0 .226 .311 .358
Adam LaRoche 15 50 6 10 1 0 3 8 7 17 0 0 .200 .298 .400
Dan Haren 3 5 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .200 .200 .400
Danny Espinosa 14 47 5 8 5 0 1 3 2 8 0 0 .170 .220 .340
Stephen Strasburg 4 6 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 .167 .167 .333
Tyler Moore 11 19 2 3 2 0 0 4 0 9 0 0 .158 .158 .263
Chad Tracy 11 21 0 3 0 0 0 1 3 7 0 1 .143 .250 .143
Roger Bernadina 10 15 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 6 0 0 .000 .063 .000
Jordan Zimmermann 4 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Ross Detwiler 3 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 0 0 .000 .125 .000
Anthony Rendon 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Jhonatan Solano 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Craig Stammen 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Drew Storen 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Ryan Mattheus 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Tyler Clippard 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Rafael Soriano 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Henry Rodriguez 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Zach Duke 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

Pitching

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Ross Detwiler 1-0 3 3 0 0 0 0 20.0 17 3 2 1 3 11 0.90 1.00
Jordan Zimmermann 3-1 4 4 1 0 0 0 27.0 23 8 8 2 6 15 2.67 1.07
Stephen Strasburg 1-3 4 4 0 0 0 0 24.1 22 12 8 3 7 21 2.96 1.19
Craig Stammen 2-1 6 0 0 0 0 1 8.2 8 4 4 1 3 12 4.15 1.27
Henry Rodriguez 0-0 7 0 0 0 0 0 6.1 4 3 3 1 5 4 4.26 1.42
Ryan Mattheus 0-0 7 0 0 0 0 1 8.1 12 4 4 0 3 8 4.32 1.80
Tyler Clippard 1-0 8 0 0 0 0 0 8.0 3 4 4 1 6 8 4.50 1.13
Rafael Soriano 0-0 8 0 0 0 6 1 8.0 7 4 4 2 2 8 4.50 1.13
Gio Gonzalez 1-1 4 4 0 0 0 0 20.0 18 13 13 2 11 20 5.85 1.45
Zach Duke 0-0 5 0 0 0 0 0 9.2 13 8 7 1 1 8 6.52 1.45
Drew Storen 0-0 6 0 0 0 0 1 6.1 10 7 5 2 1 8 7.11 1.74
Dan Haren 1-2 3 3 0 0 0 0 13.1 26 16 12 5 1 12 8.10 2.03



Washington Nationals Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Ryan Zimmerman hamstring 04/18/2013


ST. LOUIS CARDINALS


Batting

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Matt Adams 8 24 5 13 3 0 3 8 3 5 0 0 .542 .593 1.042
Yadier Molina 17 68 8 22 5 0 2 11 3 7 1 0 .324 .352 .485
Carlos Beltran 18 60 7 17 1 0 4 12 4 11 0 1 .283 .328 .500
Adam Wainwright 4 11 1 3 0 0 0 2 0 4 0 0 .273 .273 .273
Matt Carpenter 17 64 15 17 6 0 2 7 6 11 0 0 .266 .338 .453
Matt Holliday 16 57 12 14 4 0 2 12 10 9 0 0 .246 .368 .421
Allen Craig 16 64 7 15 5 0 0 12 3 11 0 0 .234 .275 .313
Pete Kozma 16 56 7 13 4 0 1 6 3 10 0 0 .232 .262 .357
David Freese 10 31 4 7 2 0 0 3 4 9 1 0 .226 .314 .290
Jon Jay 17 72 14 15 1 1 2 8 3 17 0 0 .208 .250 .333
Daniel Descalso 13 44 5 8 3 0 0 3 0 8 2 0 .182 .200 .250
Jake Westbrook 3 6 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 .167 .286 .167
Shane Robinson 13 14 4 2 0 0 0 0 3 3 0 0 .143 .294 .143
Ty Wigginton 11 16 2 2 0 0 0 1 1 7 0 0 .125 .176 .125
Jaime Garcia 4 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Lance Lynn 4 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0 0 .000 .143 .000
Shelby Miller 3 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Tony Cruz 3 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 .000 .200 .000
Ryan Jackson 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Edward Mujica 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Fernando Salas 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Marc Rzepczynski 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Randy Choate 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Mitchell Boggs 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Trevor Rosenthal 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Joe Kelly 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

Pitching

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Jake Westbrook 1-1 3 3 1 1 0 0 21.2 18 4 3 0 14 8 1.25 1.48
Edward Mujica 0-0 6 0 0 0 1 0 6.1 5 1 1 1 1 7 1.42 .95
Shelby Miller 2-1 3 3 0 0 0 0 18.1 11 4 4 1 5 18 1.96 .87
Adam Wainwright 3-1 4 4 1 1 0 0 29.0 31 9 8 0 0 28 2.48 1.07
Jaime Garcia 1-1 4 4 0 0 0 0 22.1 24 12 8 2 11 22 3.22 1.57
Randy Choate 0-0 7 0 0 0 0 0 2.2 2 1 1 0 1 0 3.38 1.13
Lance Lynn 3-0 4 4 0 0 0 0 22.0 18 9 9 2 10 25 3.68 1.27
Trevor Rosenthal 0-0 10 0 0 0 0 2 10.2 14 6 5 1 1 13 4.22 1.41
Fernando Salas 0-2 7 0 0 0 0 1 7.2 8 4 4 1 1 6 4.70 1.17
Marc Rzepczynski 0-0 7 0 0 0 0 0 7.1 10 4 4 0 2 7 4.91 1.64
Joe Kelly 0-0 4 0 0 0 0 0 5.2 9 4 4 2 0 3 6.35 1.59
Mitchell Boggs 0-2 10 0 0 0 2 2 8.2 13 13 12 1 7 8 12.46 2.31



St. Louis Cardinals Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Rafael Furcal elbow 03/22/2013
Jason Motte elbow 03/22/2013

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Chris Carpenter shoulder 02/22/2013

TEMPERATURE CHECK (Last 7 Days)

Who's Hot
Yadier Molina (STL): 9/20 (.450/.476/.550), 1 2B, 4 RBI
Carlos Beltran (STL): 9/24 (.375/.400/.792), 1 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI
Bryce Harper (WSH): 8/19 (.421/.500/.842), 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 K
Adam LaRoche (WSH): 5/16 (.313/.450/.563), 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 7 K

Who's Cold
Jon Jay (STL): 2/19 (.105/.150/.158), 2 RBI, 7 K
Matt Carpenter (STL): 2/17 (.118/.211/.294), 2 RBI, 3 K
Danny Espinosa (WSH): 1/7 (.143/.143/.286), 2 K
Roger Bernadina (WSH): 0/12 (.000/.000/.000), 1 RBI, 3 K


NL East Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Atlanta 13 5 .722 0 Lost 3
Washington 10 8 .555 3 Lost 1
New York 9 8 .529 3.5 Won 1
Philadelphia 8 11 .421 5.5 Won 1
Miami 4 15 .210 9.5 Lost 2

(updated 4.22.2013 at 11:30 AM EDT)




NL Central Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Cincinnati 11 8 .578 0 Won 2
St. Louis 10 8 .555 0.5 Lost 1
Pittsburgh 10 8 .555 0.5 Won 3
Milwaukee 9 8 .529 1 Won 7
Chicago 5 12 .294 5 Lost 3
Houston 5 13 .277 5.5 Lost 2

(updated 4.22.2013 at 11:30 AM EDT)


MATCHUPS TO WATCH

Detwiler vs Wainwright

Last time "The Boss" was in the matchups, he was going against the other team's ace. That team was the Miami Marlins. The ace was Ricky Nolasco. Detwiler won the battle. In this series, he faces off against a better pitcher but Detwiler will likely need to win this battle for the Nationals to have a shot to win the series. It's not that I lack confidence in Dan Haren... Well, OK, it's that I lack confidence in Dan Haren. I think Haren can turn it around, but Detwiler is the key to the series for the Nationals since it seems like Strasburg is snake bit when it comes to run support.

Rendon vs Major League pitching

Opinions vary on whether Anthony Rendon is ready for the Major Leagues, but what it comes down to is that the Nationals would rather see what they have in Rendon than have Chad Tracy in the every day lineup. With Roger Bernadina struggling, Tracy is the top left-handed bat off the bench and having him in the starting lineup leaves a pretty significant hole there. You can't expect Rendon to have the impact of Bryce Harper right away, but I feel that he has a very real chance to be on the post-season roster at the end of the year should Washington be in the playoffs.

Bonus Battle: The Bullpens

Last series, I had Zimmerman vs Wright in the battles and Ryan Zimmerman didn't play and was put on the disabled list after the opener so I feel I owe it to you to have another battle. The Nationals bullpen had a very good series against the Mets, and could signal a sign of better things to come. They aren't as dominant as they should be, but it's still early and I would expect them to continue to improve. The fact that they are facing the Cardinals this series should amplify the magnifying glass the bullpen is under. The Cardinals are without closer Jason Motte, but still have a very solid bullpen. Led by cagey veterans and young prospects, they are a pretty good group. This series could very well come down to whose relievers can shut down the opposing offense.

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