MLB Game Preview - Kansas City at St. Louis
Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:15 PM EDT

TOR
6
TB
4
F
MIA
11
WSH
8
F
CHC
9
DET
3
F
MIN
3
CLE
2
F
OAK
2
TEX
3
F
CIN
2
MIL
4
F
KC
3
STL
9
F
LAA
4
HOU
11
F
COL
3
ARI
2
F
Cards' Wainwright hopes to give bullpen a rest against Royals
Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:03 AM

Adam Wainwright will try to eat more innings for the St. Louis Cardinals when they face the visiting Kansas City Royals Tuesday.

The Cardinals won 9-3 Monday in the opener of this three-game series at Busch Stadium.

Wainwright (2-0, 2.00 ERA) has taken the lead role for the Cardinals staff as it tries to rebuild endurance. He worked seven innings in his last start, allowing four runs (two earned) in a 5-4 victory.

He settled down to retire 15 consecutive batters after struggling early.

"My stuff, the first two or three innings, was just really bad," Wainwright said after that game. "I was leaving it up in the zone. Wasn't getting that late finish on my breaking ball. Wasn't getting that late movement on my fastball or my cutter. That certainly got better as I went. I came in with the expectations to go nine (innings). That was my expectation."

The Cardinals welcomed the seven innings because their pitchers are still rebuilding arm strength after the team's 17-day COVID-19 shutdown.

"If you look at a No. 1 starting pitcher in the big leagues, a No. 1 starting pitcher affects at least three days out of the five," Wainwright said. "Because when you know a No. 1 is going the day before that guy, guys know you can use your 'pen a lot more because he's got the next one. When he goes, he's going long, so the next day's bullpen is saved, too."

Wainwright won his only start against the Royals last season, but he allowed three runs on six hits and four walks in five innings. In his career, he is 5-2 with a 3.84 ERA in 12 appearances against them, including nine starts.

Royals batters Hunter Dozier (homer in two at-bats), Adalberto Mondesi (2-for-3, RBI) and Whit Merrifield (1-for-2, double) enjoyed success against Wainwright last year.

The Royals will give Matt Harvey (0-1, 9.00 ERA) his second start since he joined the team. He allowed three runs in three innings in his first start, a 5-0 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

In his first outing, Royals manager Mike Matheny limited Harvey to 54 pitches. He topped 95 mph with his fastball in the first inning, but his velocity dipped to 91 mph by the end of his stint.

"The fastball has been coming out pretty good at the alternate site," Harvey said. "I spent a lot of time trying to throw that down in the zone. I was working the corners pretty well. I was pretty happy with that. It's in there."

Matheny was happy too. "I was really, really impressed," he said. "It was better than even what I expected or from what I saw on video, seeing it live, I'm really happy with how the ball was jumping out of his hand.

"I don't know if Matt realizes how good his fastball is right now. Hitters need to see how good that fastball is, and then his breaking stuff will be that much better."

Harvey is 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA in six career appearances against the Cardinals, including five starts. Paul DeJong (2-for-4, double, RBI) and Yadier Molina (4-for-13, RBI) have hit him well.

--Field Level Media

Team Record Comparison

Team Standings GB W-L Aw/Hm Stk L10
Kansas City            
St. Louis            

Scheduled Starting Pitchers

Brad Keller - KC
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. St. Louis
Jack Flaherty - STL
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Kansas City

Hot Batters (Last 10 team games)

Injury Report