MLB

Wed, Sep 12, 2012 - 6:35 PM ET
 

Cardinals-Padres Preview

Share This Story

   
 

The St. Louis Cardinals have been in possession of a wild-card spot for the last three weeks.

It seems unlikely they'll still be in that position when the season concludes if they don't break out of their funk.

The scuffling Cardinals try to avoid being swept by the red-hot Padres for the first time in 17 years Wednesday at Petco Park.

St. Louis (75-67) has lost five of six and is 4-10 since Aug. 28, but still owns a one-game lead over Los Angeles for the NL's second-wild card spot. The Cardinals, who are averaging 2.0 runs while batting .203 in their last 10 defeats, continue their road trip Thursday with a crucial four-game series against the Dodgers, who've also lost five of six.

While St. Louis' struggles haven't caused it to lose that grip on a playoff spot - something it's occupied since Aug. 22 - they have allowed surging Milwaukee and Philadelphia to pull within four games.

"It's where we are at right now, and it's tough," Skip Schumaker said. "We are letting other teams in and it's going to make these next couple of weeks interesting.''

The Padres (68-75) are probably too far back to make a serious run, sitting 7 1/2 games behind St. Louis, but they've been one of baseball's most dangerous teams lately, compiling an NL-best 16-5 record since Aug. 19.

The Padres have won 10 of 12 in San Diego, and things appear unlikely to get any easier for the Cardinals on Wednesday. They'll face new dad Clayton Richard (12-12, 3.78 ERA), who has won his last four starts at Petco and has a 0.38 ERA in his last three there.

The left-hander also didn't seem to have too much trouble in St. Louis on May 21, allowing two runs in 7 1-3 innings.

At Dodger Stadium last Wednesday, Richard was shaky, giving up three runs and 10 hits - all singles - in 4 2-3 innings of a 4-3 win. Two days later, Richard and his wife, Ashley, welcomed their first child, a son.

Opposing starter Kyle Lohse (14-2, 2.81) has actually had the best success of any St. Louis player against Richard, going 2 for 4.

Matt Holliday is 2 for 10, Yadier Molina 1 for 8 and Carlos Beltran hitless in three at-bats. Those three are a combined 4 for 24 (.167) with three walks in the first two games of the series for St. Louis, which hasn't been swept by the Padres since August 1995, in San Diego.

Logan Forsythe has carried the Padres' offense in the first two, going 4 for 10 with two doubles and three RBIs. He is also batting .400 with 10 RBIs and 10 runs in his last 13 games, raising his average 28 points to .288.

"We're playing good ball right now,'' he said. "Big hits in big situations. We're having fun.''

Much of his success this season, however, has come against lefties, as he's batting .374 against southpaws compared to .239 against righties. This will be his first appearance against the righty Lohse, who has an eight-game winning streak over his last 15 starts.

Following a rain delay of 2 hours, 20 minutes against Milwaukee on Friday, Lohse gave up two runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-4, 13-inning loss. He bounced back after being shelled for eight runs against Washington on Sept. 1 to allow two runs or fewer for the sixth time in seven starts.

He hasn't faced the Padres since yielding a run and five hits in eight innings of a 3-1 win at Petco on May 23, 2011.

Tagged: Cardinals, Padres, Kyle Lohse, Clayton Richard

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..