Pitching critical as Cards try to keep wins coming vs. Nats

Pitching critical as Cards try to keep wins coming vs. Nats


The St. Louis Cardinals are feeling pretty good about their first three-game winning streak in more than a month

They will have to shake up their formula for their Tuesday game against the host Washington Nationals

The Cardinals certainly won’t have closer Jordan Hicks available after he notched his third save in three days in an 8-6 victory on Monday in the series opener

“Just preparing the right way,” Hicks said of cashing in on the opportunities. “Anytime I’m in the bullpen, that’s the situation I would like to be in.”

While St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol appreciates what Hicks has done, he also knows there will need to be other ways to keep the team’s streak going. Hicks hadn’t worked on the mound in three consecutive days since 2019, so a fourth straight day is out of the question for Tuesday.

The Cardinals have other remedies after rallying from a five-run deficit on Monday

“That’s the kind of game we probably lose earlier in the year,” St. Louis center fielder Tommy Edman said. “We’ve been playing well recently and hopefully we keep this momentum up.”

The Nationals are learning their lessons the hard way. They have lost four games in a row and are 3-12 in June

Washington scored five runs across the first two innings on Monday, then managed just one run the rest of the way.

“We need to hit with guys on,” Nationals outfielder Lane Thomas said

Washington’s six runs matched the team’s highest total in the past 14 games.

The concern for Nationals manager Dave Martinez stemmed more from the pitching side. He said the Cardinals, who drew four walks to go with 11 hits, have the ability to make pitchers uncomfortable

“When you’ve got two strikes, you’ve got to finish them off,” Martinez said. “If you don’t make your pitches, they’re going to make you work.”

Thomas had two doubles, two runs and a stolen base on Monday. He played for the Cardinals from 2019-21

“You want to play good against your old team,” he said.

The starting pitchers for Tuesday haven’t given their teams boosts in the win column very often this year.

Left-hander MacKenzie Gore (3-5, 3.74 ERA) will be Washington’s starter, trying to build on one of his best outings of the season. Gore blanked the Houston Astros for 5 2/3 innings on four hits last Thursday.

More notably, the Nationals won that game. It marked the end of an eight-game stretch of Washington losses when Gore pitched. Now, the Nationals are 4-10 in games when Gore starts

Left-hander Jordan Montgomery (3-7, 3.91 ERA) is slated to be the St. Louis starter. The Cardinals have won one of the past 12 games that Montgomery has started, and they’re 3-11 overall when he goes to the mound

Montgomery didn’t get a decision in his lone career outing against the Nationals, giving up one run in 6 2/3 innings of a home game last September

This will be Gore’s first appearance against St. Louis.

–Field Level Media


Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.