This series bookends the last day of August and the first days of September in St. Louis where the Nats have a crucial 3 game series.
The Cardinals bring their MLB best 84-46 record into this series, and as we know the Nats need to turn their 66-63 record into at least 68 or 69 wins before they leave St. Louis. No pressure.
Do you want some good news or bad news? Well we already told you the Cardinals have the best record in the MLB as the bad news, and the good news is Gio has a 2-1 record against them in his career with a 1.85 record. The Cardinals are on another run winning 7 of their last 8 games and finding consistency with rookie callups and some of their veterans.
John Lackey (RHP) pitches for the Cardinals. The Nats have little experience against Lackey except for 1 game of data for some of the players, and the exception is Jayson Werth and Yunel Escobar. Werth has 12 ABs with a .500 BA and Yunel Escobar has faced him 34 times with a .400 BA. Ryan Zimmerman is 2-3, Ian Desmond 1-3, Lobaton is 1-3.
Lackey is a fastball and slider pitcher with the occassional slow curve at 78mph and a changeup that comes in at around 84mph. Lackey has the 4-seam and sinker versions of the fastball and stays at 92mph. His slider is his putaway pitch and has late break which gives him swing & miss on that pitch. The key is hitting Lackey’s fastballs and finding holes if you swing over his sinker and hit it on the ground.
On 2 strikes Lackey will try to get you to chase inside, outside or below the zones as you can see and doesn’t go above the zone much. He will throw you a “chase” slider outside the zone in 2 strikes. The key is hitting his fastball before he can get to his slider.
By the way, Happy 80th birthday Frank Robinson! Do you have an extra birthday wish or 2 for the Nats?
Here is the lineup:
- Werth LF
- Rendon 2B
- Harper RF
- RZ 1B
- Yuni 3B
- Desi SS
- Lobo C
- MAT CF
- Gio P