Preview: Cardinals at Phillies
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[June 20, 2017]
The St. Louis Cardinals appeared
to be on the verge of turning their season around following a sweep
of the Philadelphia Phillies two weekends ago, but the losing ways
of the worst team in the majors seems to have rubbed off on them
instead. The Cardinals seek only their third win in a stretch of 15
road contests Tuesday when they open a three-game set in
St. Louis ended a season-high seven-game slide by silencing the
Phillies' bats from June 9-11 at Busch Stadium, as the rotation
recorded a 1.80 ERA while picking up the win in every contest during
the three-game set. While the offense has held up its end of the
bargain by scoring 44 runs in the seven games since, Cardinals'
starting pitchers have not - posting a 9.39 ERA while the team has
won only two of seven. Philadelphia (22-46), which has mustered a
total of 30 runs while dropping 11 of 12, fell in extra innings for
the third time in a week Sunday against Arizona and has lost six
one-run affairs during its slide. Phillies first baseman Tommy
Joseph has been a rare bright spot for the majors' second-lowest
scoring offense, batting .339 during his career-high 14-game hitting
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), CSN Philadelphia
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Mike Leake (5-6, 3.14 ERA) vs.
Phillies RH Jeremy Hellickson (5-5, 4.91)
Since opening the season with nine quality starts, Leake has been
unable to do so once in his last four turns - the last of which came
against Milwaukee on Wednesday when he was tagged for a season-high
six runs in as many frames. The Arizona State product has lost each
of his outings during the slide while posting a 6.20 ERA - a far cry
from the 5-2 record and 1.91 ERA he boasted leading into Memorial
Day. Leake is 3-3 with a 5.40 ERA in 10 starts versus the Phillies.
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Like his counterpart Tuesday, Hellickson has dropped
four straight decisions, including Wednesday's loss against Boston
in which he surrendered six runs on nine hits and three walks over
five innings. Walks have been a problem for the 30-year-old Iowa
native during his five-start winless spell, as he has issued 14 of
his 23 on the season while posting a 7.57 ERA. Hellickson took the
loss in arguably his best outing in that time on June 9 in St.
Louis, allowing three runs and a season-high 10 hits in six frames.
1. Cardinals CF Dexter Fowler has seven two-hit efforts over his
last 10 games and homered in each of his last four. He has also has
driven in at least one run in seven of his last eight contests.
2. Phillies RHP Pat Neshek hasn't allowed a run in his last 14
outings - spanning 13 1/3 innings - and his 0.67 ERA is the lowest
in the majors among pitchers with at least 25 innings.
3. Since moving into the leadoff spot on June 7, St. Louis 1B Matt
Carpenter has hit safely in 10 of 12 games while batting .405.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 6, Phillies 4
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