National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, June 7th
(All times Eastern)
St. Louis Cardinals (29-28) at Houston Astros (24-32), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Lance Lynn (8-2, 2.63)
Houston - J.A. Happ (4-5, 4.31)
(Sports Network) - J.A. Happ has been a consistent hurler for the Astros over
the past month, but it hasn't resulted in as many wins as he would have liked.
The left-hander tries to avoid a third straight defeat tonight when Houston
plays the rubber match of a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Happ has gone at least six innings in each of his last four outings while
pitching to a 2.13 earned run average and striking out 27 in that span. He won
the first two starts over that time, but has dropped consecutive outings to
the Dodgers and Reds even though he has been charged with just five earned
The 29-year-old gave up three runs on five hits and two walks over a season-
high seven innings on Friday versus the Reds, but didn't get much support in a
"I made some good pitches, but then I didn't make a few there," said Happ.
"Sometimes there's games where you have no room for error and tonight was one
Happ fell to 4-5 with a 4.31 ERA in 11 starts this season, including a loss to
the Cardinals back on May 6 in which he was hammered for six runs -- five
earned -- on six hits and four walks over five innings. Happ gave up a two-run
homer to Allen Craig in the first inning and another two-run shot to Tyler
Greene in the fourth.
He fell to 1-7 with a 6.70 ERA in nine career games versus the Cardinals.
The Cardinals counter with Lance Lynn, who is tied for the major league lead
in wins but has split four decisions since his 6-0 start. He needed 105
pitches to get through a season-low 4 2/3 innings on Saturday versus the Mets,
picking up a loss to snap a two-start win streak.
Lynn allowed three runs -- two warned -- on five hits and four walks, but the
Cardinals offense was shut out by New York's R.A. Dickey in a 5-0 decision.
"Dickey pitched a great game and I wasn't able to match him. That's what it
comes down to," said Lynn. "I gotta pitch better than that, and I wasn't able
to do that today."
The right-handed Lynn has a 2.63 ERA in 11 starts this season and is 1-0 with
a 1.50 ERA in his career versus the Astros.
St. Louis' offense got off to a quick start in last night's 4-3 win, plating
three runs in the first and stretching its lead to four on Craig's solo homer
in the third. However, Houston pitching retired the final 20 St. Louis hitters
in the game and nearly pulled off a comeback with a three-run sixth.
Adam Wainwright got the win thanks to the early support, allowing three runs
and striking out eight over 5 2/3 innings. Craig had two hits, including an
RBI single, and Daniel Descalso hit a solo homer.
"The guys did a great job, every one of them," remarked Cardinals manager Mike
Matheny. "I'm extremely proud of how we threw the ball and of how this offense
St. Louis has now won two of three since a five-game skid, while Houston had a
two-game winning streak halted. Bud Norris took the loss after giving up four
runs over six innings with a season-high 12 strikeouts.
Jose Altuve, Brett Wallace and Brian Bogusevic all had RBI singles in the
sixth inning for Houston.
The Astros have won six of their past 10 versus the Cardinals, including
two of three at home in early May.
06/07 10:35:10 ET