St. Louis has seized control of the National League Central race as of late, building a healthy four-game advantage over the division-rival Chicago Cubs with just under three weeks left in the regular-season schedule. However, they still have their hands full down the stretch of the season. After their three-game series versus Colorado, St. Louis will face the Milwaukee Brewers, Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks and the Cubs again to close out the season. That will mark a brutal stretch of five straight series versus teams contending for a postseason spot, including two against the second-place Cubs. Can the Cardinals stay on the winning track at Coors Field or will they get caught looking ahead on Wednesday night?
Rockies trying to play spoiler down the stretch
There are under 20 games left in the regular season and the Rockies are sitting at 60-84, trying to avoid a 100-loss campaign. Colorado will have the opportunity to play the role of spoiler down the stretch, as only six of their remaining games come against teams not vying for a playoff spot. The Rockies will also continue to get an early look at their potential pitching rotation for 2020, as Jeff Hoffman, Peter Lambert and Tim Melville continue their bids for a future roster spot.
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) September 11, 2019
Right-hander Antonio Senzatela is scheduled to toe the rubber for the Rockies in Game 2 on Wednesday evening. The 24-year-old is 8-10 with a 7.19 ERA in 21 starts this season, but he’s struggled mightily since the All-Star Break, posting an ugly 17.08 ERA to go along with a 1-4 record in five starts. Senzatela is fresh off allowing five earned runs in three innings of work on the road versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Rockies’ right-hander has lost each of his last four outings and he’s allowed at least five earned runs in six consecutive starts.
Senzatela has yet to face the Cardinals in 2019, but he’s had trouble against them in the past, going 1-2 with a 4.84 ERA in four career outings versus the Red Birds. According to Baseball Savant, current Cardinals are batting .333 in 95 plate appearances off the Rockies’ right-hander heading into this game.
Ozuna wants to resign with Cardinals
The Cardinals have plenty of young, talented outfielders waiting in the wings, but veteran slugger Marcell Ozuna plans to have a spot on the roster next season. Ozuna, who turns 29 in November, will be entering free agency for the first time and should have plenty of suitors, including the Cardinals. When questioned about a possible return to St. Louis next season, Ozuna told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “That’s my priority. My agents just have to do their job.” The Cardinals’ slugger is batting .255 with 26 home runs and 81 RBIs in 112 games so far this year.
.@DannyMacTV: "They just don't quit."
Incredible! Goldschmidt delivers once again and the #STLCards take the lead!
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) September 5, 2019
St. Louis is scheduled to send right-hander Dakota Hudson to the hill at Coors Field on Wednesday night. Hudson’s arsenal should play well at the high altitude in Colorado, as he’s one of the best ground ball artists in the big leagues. Hudson’s 57.1 percent ground ball rate leads the major leagues and he enters the week having tossed scoreless outings of six innings or more in four of his last five outings. The 25-year-old is 5-0 with a 1.11 ERA during that span and he’s 8-2 with a 3.23 ERA in 11 starts since the All-Star Break. Last time out, the Red Birds’ right-hander blanked the San Francisco Giants, allowing just one hit in six innings of work.
Hudson is just three starts removed from a two-hit shutout in his only start of the year against the Rockies. According to Baseball Savant, current Rockies are batting just .192 in 30 plate appearances off Hudson heading into Wednesday’s matchup.
- Cardinals are 9-0 in their last 9 during game 2 of a series.
- Cardinals are 7-1 in their last 8 vs. National League West.
- Cardinals are 11-3 in their last 14 road games vs. a team with a losing record.
- Rockies are 2-8 in their last 10 Wednesday games.
- Rockies are 1-5 in their last 6 games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Rockies are 1-10 in their last 11 vs. National League Central