CARDINALS (73-58) AT BREWERS (67-65)
2:10 p.m. ET; FSWI, MLBN, FS-M, MLB.TV
Jack Flaherty, a candidate for National League pitcher of the month, will try to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a road sweep of the reeling Milwaukee Brewers when the teams conclude a three-game series Wednesday afternoon.
The Cardinals, who lead the National League Central by three games over the Chicago Cubs, have won six consecutive games and 15 of their past 18. They also have eight victories in their past nine meetings with the Brewers.
The third-place Brewers have lost six of their past nine games to fall 6 1/2 games off the division pace. And they must face one of the league’s hottest pitchers.
Flaherty (8-6, 3.32 ERA) is 4-0 with a 0.28 ERA, 40 strikeouts and just eight walks in 32 innings during five August starts.
Going back to the All-Star break, Flaherty has a 0.73 ERA in eight starts. Opponents are batting just .152 against him during that span.
However, against the Brewers this season, Flaherty is 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three starts. He is 2-2 with a 4.79 ERA in eight career starts against Milwaukee.
Brewers starting pitching Jordan Lyles (8-8, 4.69) will look to maintain his strong form since arriving from Pittsburgh in a late-July trade. He is 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA in his first five starts for Milwaukee after going 5-7 with a 5.36 ERA in 17 starts for the Pirates.
Lyles held the Arizona Diamondbacks hitless for six innings in his most recent start, Friday in Milwaukee, before departing the game after 99 pitches.
“This is kind of like a second season for me, being over here in Milwaukee,” Lyles said. “Quality outing after quality outing — that’s what I’m looking for.”
As a Pirate, he was 1-1 with a 7.04 ERA against the Cardinals this season. He is 1-4 with a 5.35 ERA in 11 career appearances against them, including six starts.
Lyles will deal with an offense that is operating in high gear. The Cardinals have scored six or more runs in each game of their current winning streak.
Marcell Ozuna has hit safely in his past eight games, going 14-for-30 (.467) with four walks, two doubles, a triple, two homers, nine runs and 10 RBIs.
Yadier Molina has three homers, four runs and six RBIs in the first two games of the series. Kolten Wong has been sidelined with a bruised toe, but he came off the bench to go 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a stolen base Tuesday.
“What’s happened any time our offense has been good this year, I feel like it hasn’t just been one guy going off and driving in everyone,” Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “It’s been one through eight, nine with the pitcher, with quality at-bats.
“One day it’s the top of the order. The next time it’s the bottom of the order. I think that’s when you make everyone’s job easier, too.”
Meanwhile, Brewers slugger Christian Yelich has as gone nine games without hitting a home run, his longest power outage of the season.
Brewers third baseman Mike Moustakas is sidelined on a day-to-day basis with a wrist bruise sustained Monday night while trying to field a hard smash off the bat of Harrison Bader.
–Field Level Media