Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Aces in the Cards


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Much has been made about how the Toronto Blue Jays really don't have a "true" ace in their starting rotation, but more like a 1a in Shaun Marcum and a 1b in Ricky Romero.

Well, if that's the case ... then the St. Louis Cardinals have a 1a in Adam Wainright, 1b in Chris Carpenter and a 1c in Jaime Garcia.

Of course, the rotations line up that the Blue Jays must face the heart of the Cardinals starting rotation, which will definitely be the toughest pitching staff the Blue Jays have faced all season.

If the Jays are hoping to employ the long ball strategy against the St. Louis Cardinals pitching, forget it. Jaime Garcia's HR/9 is second lowest in the National League at 0.23, and Adam Wainright is not too far behind at 0.50 HR/9.

Just like Ubaldo Jimenez though, Jaime Garcia is due for a blowup sooner or later. Garcia has not only posted a quality start in each of his 13 starts this season, he has held opponents to 3 runs or less on each and every occasion.

Garcia's counterparts have very similar numbers: Wainright has only given up 4 earned runs on 2 occasions, and Carpenter has only been lit up once (if you really want to call it that) for 5 earned runs.

Unfortunately, things don't get any easier once the Cardinals hand things over to the bullpen. The Cards relievers collectively have the second lowest ERA in the National League at 3.18. Ryan Franklin's beard alone converted 13 of 15 save opportunities.

So the Blue Jays have quite the tall order ahead of them in the next three games against three of the best starters in the National League. Jaime Garcia and Brett Cecil kick off the series tonight, and be sure to check out tonight's live blog of the Cardinals vs. the Blue Jays over at The Score starting at 7pm.

Also, tune into the United Cardinals Bloggers Radio Hour coming up Wednesday at 10:30pm EST as I'll be chatting Jays/Cardinals with Daniel Shotpaw of C70 At The Bat.

2 comments:

  1. I worry about tonight, because of Cecil being a lefty. Plus the Jays look to have a strong pitching presence as well.

    You know, the Cards had a series in SF earlier this year where I don't think the two teams combined for 10 runs. This could be another one of those series.

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  2. I also have a feeling it will definitely be a pitcher's series rather than a hitter's series. If the Blue Jays can't hit home runs, they have a tough time scoring runs ... and the Cards seem to be very good at avoiding the long ball.

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