National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, September 26th
(All times Eastern)
St. Louis Cardinals (84-71) at Houston Astros (50-105), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Chris Carpenter (0-0, 3.60)
Houston - Bud Norris (5-13, 5.05)
(Sports Network) - Veteran righty Chris Carpenter makes his second start since
returning from a right shoulder injury Wednesday when the St. Louis Cardinals
close out a three-game series with the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Carpenter, who won 11 games in 34 starts last season, was hurt before the
start of the 2012 schedule and shelved for its duration until hitting the
mound on Sept. 21 against the Chicago Cubs.
He turned in a five-inning stint and allowed two runs on five hits while
getting a no-decision in the Cardinals' 5-4 loss. Carpenter walked one and
struck out two in his return against the Cubs.
The start against the Astros is the 20th of his career in this matchup. Over
the first 19, he's 8-5 with a 2.62 earned run average across 144 1/3 innings,
with 32 walks, 104 strikeouts and an opposition batting average of .224.
Houston replies with righty Bud Norris, whose long-term skid reached 18 starts
in his last outing on Sept. 20.
He allowed five runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings in a 5-4 loss to the
Cardinals and has now gone 0-12 since defeating the Cubs to improve to 5-1 on
the season back on May 21.
He's lost to the Cardinals three times in the stretch, combining to allow 20
hits and 12 runs in 17 1/3 innings.
The Astros are 1-17 in games he's pitched since the last win.
On Tuesday, Jaime Garcia pitched seven shutout innings and Jon Jay drove in a
pair of runs as the Cardinals downed the Astros, 4-0.
St. Louis, which has won four straight, now sits 4 1/2 games ahead of the Los
Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers for the final wild card spot in the
Garcia (6-7) gave up just six hits with five strikeouts to win his second
straight start while Yadier Molina and Peter Kozma each drove in a run for the
Cardinals, who have won 10 straight over the Astros.
"I'm feeling good right now, physically," Garcia said. "I'm just worrying
about one game at a time, one pitch at a time; just make my pitches and give
the team a chance to win."
Lucas Harrell (10-11) remained winless over his past seven starts as he gave
up two runs on seven hits in five innings of work for the Astros, who have
lost six of eight. Brandon Laird and Jose Altuve each had two hits in the
"I felt like I never picked up a baseball before," Harrell said. "It was
embarrassing and it was bad."
The Cardinals won nine of the first 12 games between the teams in 2012,
including eight in a row since June 6. St. Louis won the season series in
09/26 10:41:47 ET