Cardinals-Brewers Preview

Shelby Miller experienced a small portion of the St. Louis

Cardinals’ pennant race last season, though he was in a role that

didn’t carry the same significance as what he’s been trusted with

this year.

With the Cardinals’ NL Central lead down to one game, Miller

looks to win his third straight start and beat the host Milwaukee

Brewers for the fourth time Friday night.

Miller (14-9, 3.01 ERA) has pitched very well in his first full

season after making five relief appearances and one start in

September of last year. He also pitched twice in relief the NL

championship series as St. Louis lost in seven games to San


The right-hander, who became the first Cardinals rookie to win

14 games since Dick Hughes won 16 in 1967, now is trying to help

St. Louis (89-64) push toward a division title. It leads Pittsburgh

by one game and Cincinnati by two with nine to play after its 7-6,

15-inning loss to Colorado on Thursday.

“Last year, I pitched in games when we were down or we were

winning by a lot and I had a role, but it wasn’t near as big as it

is this year,” Miller told the team’s official website. “This year,

there’s more pressure on my part as far as knowing that when I take

the ball every five days we’ve got to get a win, no matter what.

We’re trying to win this thing, not just the division but the whole


Miller can help St. Louis increase its chances of winning the

Central with another dominant performance against Milwaukee on

Friday. He’s 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA while striking out 25 and allowing

three runs in 25 innings.

Jean Segura is 0 for 12 with five strikeouts against Miller,

though its unclear if the Brewers’ rookie shortstop will play this

series as he nurses a strained right hamstring.

The All-Star sat out Thursday’s 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs

after suffering the injury while scoring from second base in

Wednesday’s 7-0 win. Manager Ron Roenicke said he’s not going to

rush Segura back, especially with nothing to play for.

“He’s day to day,” Roenicke said. “And I say day to day, but

that doesn’t mean tomorrow. We’re not going to be dumb about this.

I’d like to get him back out there, but not at the risk of putting

him out there too early.”

The Brewers (68-84) had won four straight and six of seven prior

to Thursday’s defeat, mustering only four hits. They’ve been

outscored by 32 runs while dropping 12 of 16 meetings with the

Cardinals this season.

St. Louis is averaging 7.0 runs over its last five games. Jon

Jay, Carlos Beltran and David Freese each had two hits in

Thursday’s loss, while Matt Holliday finished 3 for 4 with three

walks and two RBIs.

Holliday went 8 for 12 over the final three games of the

four-game split with Colorado.

The Cardinals look to win for the seventh time in eight meetings

at Miller Park this season as they face the struggling Johnny

Hellweg on Friday.

Hellweg (1-4, 8.31) will be making his sixth start of his rookie

season after allowing four runs and eight hits in five innings

while suffering a 7-3 loss to Cincinnati on Saturday. He hit three

batters, and he’s walked 17 in 21 2-3 innings in six appearances


The 6-foot-9 right-hander has yet to face St. Louis.