Preview: Cardinals at Braves
Current Conditions – Atlanta
P/SUNNY 89 °F
Wind: WNW 10
5-Day Forecast GAME: St. Louis Cardinals (100-60) at Atlanta Braves (65-95)
DATE/TIME: Sunday, October 04 – 4:30 PM EST
WHERE: Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia
LINE: N/A TOTAL: N/A
The St. Louis Cardinals wrap up the regular season Sunday with a doubleheader at the Atlanta Braves, but while the Cardinals’ season will continue into next week’s National League Division Series, who will make up the postseason roster remains up in the air. Outfielder Randal Grichuk is nursing a sore right arm and the Cardinals might not be able to play him in center field when they open the postseason.
Fellow outfielder Stephen Piscotty, involved in a scary collision with teammate Peter Bourjos on Monday in Pittsburgh, continues working through Major League Baseball’s concussion protocol to be cleared to return. Following Saturday’s rainout – the first at Turner Field since May 4, 2013 – St. Louis manager Mike Matheny has two games Sunday to gauge how to construct the Cardinals opening playoff roster. Atlanta, trying to avoid reaching 97 losses for the first time in a quarter-century, has won six of its past seven games at home, including Friday’s 4-0 victory in the series opener. Shelby Miller starts Game 1, looking to end a 24-start winless streak dating back to May 17.
TV: 4:30 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), FSN South (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Lance Lynn (12-10, 3.06 ERA) vs. Braves RH Matt Wisler (7-8, 5.11)
Lynn has steadied himself in his past two starts after a rough beginning to September, pitching 11 shutout innings and allowing seven hits in a win over the Reds and a no-decision to the Pirates. He lost his first two starts of the month, and the Sept. 23 victory against Cincinnati was his third in the past seven decisions. Lynn is 4-4 with a 3.67 ERA in four career starts against Atlanta.
Wisler endured a miserable stretch during which he allowed five earned runs or more four times in seven starts from Aug. 1-Sept. 3, but the 23-year-old has steadied himself near the end of his rookie season. He surrendered one run on five hits in seven innings to beat Washington on Tuesday, a week after recording his first victory since July 26 in allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings against the Mets. That July 26 victory came against the Cardinals, as Wisler held St. Louis to two runs in seven innings.
1. Atlanta C A.J. Pierzynski is hitting .300 entering the season’s final day, but his availability for Sunday’s twin bill is in doubt after bruising his shoulder Friday.
2. St. Louis P Adam Wainwright, making his second relief appearance Friday after missing four months with an Achilles injury, threw 12 of his 15 pitches for strikes in a scoreless sixth inning.
3. If the Braves lose both games Sunday they will finish at 65-97; Atlanta has not lost 97 games in a season since back-to-back 97-defeat campaigns in 1989-90.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 5, Braves 1