Dodgers aim to start new streak in St. Louis (Jun 01, 2017)
ST. LOUIS -- About 10 minutes after the Los Angeles Dodgers' six-game winning streak ended Wednesday night in Busch Stadium, manager Dave Roberts was already looking forward to starting another one.
"You want to win them all," he said after a 2-1 defeat to the St. Louis Cardinals, "but they pitched well and they beat us tonight. We'll come back tomorrow. We've got (Brandon) McCarthy going."
And that's usually been good news for Los Angeles (33-21), which finished the first third of the year on a 99-win pace. McCarthy (5-1, 3.28 ERA) is coming off a 5-0 win Saturday over the Chicago Cubs, who managed just two hits and a walk against him in six shutout innings.
McCarthy, who fanned six, is averaging almost a strikeout per inning in 46 2/3 innings -- with a strikeout-walk ratio of nearly 3.5-1. He has worked three times in his career against St. Louis, not earning a decision in any of those starts and pitching to a 4.15 ERA.
He gave up only one hit and three walks in 6 1/3 innings last July when facing the Cardinals, but was no-decisioned in a game St. Louis won 4-3 on Matt Adams' walk-off homer in the 16th inning.
The Cardinals (25-25) will counter with Adam Wainwright (5-3, 4.20), who has of late pitched more like the guy who has been the ace of the staff for nearly a decade. He shut down Colorado on Saturday night at Coors Field, permitting just three singles in seven shutout innings of a 3-0 victory.
In his last three outings, all dominant wins, Wainwright has yielded one run in 20 1/3 innings. All his pitches have been working from multiple arm angles, including a cutter that was so bad in April and early May that Wainwright said he put it in "timeout" like it was a child acting out of line.
Wainwright is 4-5 with a 2.90 ERA in 14 career outings, 11 of them starts, against the Dodgers.
Like every other St. Louis starter, Wainwright has had to work without much of a safety net lately. The Cardinals simply aren't hitting as many thought they would, with a spate of key players posting averages 20 to 60 points below their career totals.
They have managed only 17 runs over their last seven games, and are averaging just 4.2 runs in 50 games. Little wonder that they are hoping that Dexter Fowler's game-winning homer in the bottom of the eighth inning Wednesday night might be the blast that sparks a sea change offensively.
"Like I said, it's momentum," Fowler said. "It's what guys feed off, and hopefully we can keep this going tomorrow."
Manager Mike Matheny keeps trying different lineup combinations in an attempt to unlock the offense's potential. Wednesday night, he moved Matt Carpenter from the third spot to the second spot for the first time in his 45 starts and hit Yadier Molina third for just the third time in his 44 starts.
St. Louis still produced just five hits, but one was the Fowler homer that ended Los Angeles' winning ways for a night.