St. Louis(10-4) at Pittsburgh(5-8)April 21, 2012
7:05 PM ET, 6:05 PM CT, 5:05 PM MT, 4:05 PM PT
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TV: FSMW, ROOT
RADIO: KMOX 1120
J. Westbrook (2-0, 0.64) A J Burnett (0-0, 0.00)
Link for entire article: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/cardinals- ... --mlb.html
Facing the Pittsburgh Pirates has a way of making a starting rotation look good.
The St. Louis Cardinals don't seem to need the help.
Coming off another stellar pitching performance, the Cardinals send Jake Westbrook and his microscopic ERA to the hill Saturday night as they continue their weekend series in Pittsburgh.
The only team in the NL Central with a winning record, St. Louis (10-4) is already building a sizable lead atop the division, and starting pitching may be the biggest reason. Despite the fact ace Chris Carpenter is on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, the Cardinals' rotation sports a 2.87 ERA, and even that figure may be deceptively high. St. Louis starters have given up more than two runs only four times all April, and three of those outings were by Adam Wainwright - still finding his form after Tommy John surgery caused him to miss last season.
St. Louis starting pitchers other than Wainwright are 9-0 with a 1.52 ERA.
Those numbers improved in Friday night's series opener, as converted reliever Lance Lynn became the staff's first three-game winner by limiting the Pirates to one run - on an Alex Presley inside-the-park homer to lead off the game - and four hits in seven innings of a 4-1 victory.
Now, the Pirates (5-8) must face the Cardinals starter with the lowest ERA of them all. Westbrook (2-0, 0.64 ERA) is bouncing back strong from an off year in 2011. The right-hander, who dropped 20 pounds in the offseason, has allowed one earned run and seven hits in 14 innings to win his first two starts.
Westbrook went seven strong innings in Sunday's 10-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs, recording 12 ground-ball outs and throwing first-pitch strikes to nine of the first 11 batters he faced.
"That's how I'm able to be successful, when I get ahead and control some counts,'' Westbrook said. "Just keeping the hitters on their toes.''
Westbrook is 0-3 with a 5.46 ERA in eight appearances - four starts - versus the Pirates, with all three losses coming at PNC Park.
Cardinals utilityman Skip Schumaker, activated Friday when Lance Berkman went on the disabled list with a calf strain, left Friday's game after he got shaken up leaping for Presley's home run in center field. He said he expects to be available Saturday.The Series:
St. Louis leads season series 1-0
April 20, 2012-St. Louis 4, Pittsburgh 1
April 21, 2012-STL (Westbrook) @ PIT (Correia)-6:05 PM CDT
April 22, 2012-STL (Lohse) @ PIT (Bedard)-12:35 PM CDTPNC Park, 115 Federal Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 Baseball Reference 2012 Cardinals Statistics2012 Current MLB Standings2012 Current MLB Wild Card Standings2012 Current MLB vs. Division Standings2012 Current MLB vs. Expanded Standings
Last Game:St. Louis 4, Pittsburgh 1
WP: L. Lynn (3-0) S: J. Motte (3)
LP: C. Morton (0-1)
HR: STL - D. Descalso (1), PIT - A. Presley (1)
Link for Complete Article: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/lynn-leads ... --mlb.htmlLynn leads Cardinals to 4-1 win over Pirates
The Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) A detour to the bullpen has made Lance Lynn a better starting pitcher.
Lynn allowed only an inside-the-park homer to Alex Presley in seven innings, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
Filling in nicely for injured ace Chris Carpenter, Lynn (3-0) gave up four hits. He walked one and struck out four. He has won each of his starts this season and compiled a 1.42 ERA while Carpenter has been on the disabled list with a nerve problem in his pitching shoulder. Lynn pitched primarily in relief last season as a rookie when St. Louis won the World Series.
''What I did when they moved me to the bullpen last year was challenge hitters, get ahead in the count and make them hit my pitch,'' Lynn said. ''When I was starting, I tried to nitpick. I'd get behind in the count and have to give the hitters good pitches to hit. I learned a lot from pitching out of the bullpen. I'm more aggressive and more confident now as a starter.''
Lynn showed that aggressive approach against Pittsburgh as he needed just 88 pitches to get through seven innings. He allowed four hits and one walk while striking out four.
''Efficient is the right word,'' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said in describing Lynn's outing. ''He had good life on the ball and later in the game he really mixed in all his pitches. He had a good tempo, a good rhythm with (catcher Yadier Molina). He really kept them off balance.''
Schumaker, who said he thought he would be able to play Saturday, was shaken up on the play and left the game. He had been activated from the disabled list prior to the game after missing the first 13 games because of a strained right oblique.
''Obviously it was not the debut I was looking for,'' Schumaker said with a half-smile. ''First of all, I should of caught the ball. Second of all, I couldn't breathe. Coming off an oblique injury and getting your ribs rattled wasn't something you wanted to do. They pulled me as a precautionary measure. I felt I could have stayed in but it is what it is.''
Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte, who notched his third save in three tries, each pitched a hitless inning to complete the four-hitter for St. Louis.
After St. Louis tied it in the second inning on Molina's RBI double, Lynn led off the fifth with a single. He took second on Rafael Furcal's groundout, advanced to third on Matt Holliday's fielder's choice and scored on Beltran's line hit to right field.
Descalso homered - a liner into the right-field stands - in the eighth off Jared Hughes to start a two-run inning. Furcal added a run-scoring double.
NOTES: Schumaker was activated and 1B Lance Berkman was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained left calf. Schumaker's rehab assignment at Triple-A Memphis was cut short after four games because the Cardinals needed someone to fill in for CF Jon Jay, who sprained his right shoulder on Thursday and is day to day. Schumaker was 3 for 13 (.231) with two walks and two strikeouts at Memphis. ... Pittsburgh RHP Jeff Karstens, who was removed from his start after one inning Tuesday and placed on the DL, will rest seven to 10 days before beginning a throwing program. The Pirates do not have a timetable for Karstens' return. RHP Brad Lincoln is expected to start in Karstens' place Monday night against Colorado. ... Jake Westbrook (2-0, 0.64) will start for St. Louis against Kevin Correia (1-0, 1.50) on Saturday night. Westbrook is 0-3 with a 5.46 ERA in four career starts against the Pirates.