National League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, June 12th
(All times Eastern)
St. Louis Cardinals (42-22) at New York Mets (23-36), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Shelby Miller (7-3, 1.91)
New York - Dillon Gee (4-6, 5.20)
(Sports Network) - Young hurler Shelby Miller tries to pitch the St. Louis
Cardinals to a third straight victory on Wednesday night in the second contest
of a three-game series against the struggling New York Mets.
Miller, a 2009 first-round pick, is coming off a win over Arizona on Thursday
as he gave up a pair of runs -- both in the first inning -- before settling
down to log six solid innings. He worked around six hits and did not walk a
batter, striking out nine and setting down the final six batters faced.
The 22-year-old was staked to a 10-2 lead by the fourth inning and added to
the offense with a home run the following frame.
Miller is 7-3 with a 1.91 earned run average in 12 outings this season and
that includes his first ever start versus the Mets on May 15. The righty did
not factor into a 4-2 win despite giving up just four hits over 5 2/3
scoreless innings. However, New York scored twice in the seventh frame to
leave Miller without a decision.
Miller follows fellow rookie Michael Wacha, who picked up his first major
league victory with Tuesday's 9-2 win. He recovered from a tough first inning
to hold New York to a pair of runs over six innings of work.
Wacha also got plenty of support in the form of a five-run fifth inning. Allen
Craig capped the big frame with a three-run homer, while David Freese went 2-
for-4 in the game to push his hitting streak to 20 straight games. It is the
longest active hitting streak in the majors.
St. Louis won for the fourth time in five games and owns the best record in
baseball at 42-22.
"I think we're just a relentless group," said Craig. "When somebody has some
success, the top of the lineup guys kind of feed off it and get that
confidence going. We kind of just thrive off each other's success."
Things are moving in the opposite direction for the stumbling and recently
reshuffled Mets, however. The team dropped their seventh game in eight
contests and own the third-worst record (23-36) in all of baseball.
New York demoted struggling first baseman Ike Davis, as well as outfielder
Mike Baxter and reliever Robert Carson, following the team's fifth straight
loss to league-worst Miami on Sunday.
Seven of the Cardinals runs went unearned, including the five scored in the
fateful fifth off Jeremy Hefner, who tossed six frames but was charged with
six runs total. The Mets had just five hits.
Daniel Murphy, filling in at first for the recently demoted Davis, began the
fifth with a throwing error on a Jon Jay grounder as the floodgates opened.
"We've got to catch the baseball, we've got to pitch better, we've got to hit
better," said Mets manager Terry Collins. "It's pretty much the same stuff
New York's lone victory in its past eight games belongs to Dillon Gee, who
takes the mound tonight looking for a third straight winning start.
Gee or Hefner could be the odd-man out when prospect Zack Wheeler arrives from
Triple-A Las Vegas, possibly as soon as this coming Tuesday. The right-handed
Gee is not making the decision for New York easy, giving up just a run in each
of his last two wins while striking out a total of 19 batters.
The 27-year-old stayed in the win column with a 10-1 rout in Washington last
Wednesday. Gee worked seven innings and retired 11 of the final 12 batters
faced, moving to 4-6 on the season with a 5.20 ERA that was sitting at 6.34
before his two recent wins.
"I can't be satisfied," Gee said on New York's website. "I've got to continue
to do it. It feels good to do it again, give the team a chance to win, and the
guys did an awesome job scoring a bunch of runs. Thankfully I was able to keep
Gee is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three career starts versus the Cardinals,
getting the loss on May 14. He was charged with five earned runs over just
four innings of work.
St. Louis won three of four in that series from May 13-16 and has taken seven
of the previous nine encounters overall.
06/12 10:54:58 ET
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