Both photos are credited to Getty Images.
The Cardinals and Nationals will meet at Busch Stadium this weekend for their first series since early September of last season.
On Friday night, the first game of the series, the Cardinals will send Mike Leake to the hill. Leake’s last start came against the San Diego Padres. Leake went five innings, allowing five runs (three earned) and struck out four. Leake also had a single and RBI of his own in the start, his first of each as a member of the Cardinals. Opposing Leake will be Stephen Strasburg. In his last start, Strasburg faced the Minnesota Twins and struck out ten batters through 7 1/3 innings. Strasburg has made four starts this season for the Nationals and has gone at least seven innings in three of them.
The middle game of the series will feature lefty Jaime Garcia for St. Louis. Garcia’s last start came against the San Diego Padres, one where he threw over nine pitches through five innings plus two batters in the sixth. Garcia allowed four runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out three. Toeing the rubber opposite of Garcia will be Joe Ross, a 22-year-old righty who made his major-league debut in July of last season. Ross’s most recent start — which came on April 20 against the Marlins — ended prematurely, as Ross was forced to exit by a blister on his middle finger. Ross’s last start was skipped, but he is expected to be a go for Saturday’s game.
The series finale will feature Carlos Martinez for the Cardinals, and Martinez is coming off of one of his most polished outings. In eight innings on April 26, Martinez shut the Diamondbacks out to three hits and struck out six. Martinez boasts a team-best 1.93 earned run average entering this three-game series. Squaring off against Martinez will be Max Scherzer, a St. Louis native. Scherzer faced the Phillies in his previous outing, holding Philadelphia’s offense to three runs in six innings and recording six punchouts.
WAS: Bryce Harper, right fielder. Harper has six hits over his last seven games with two homers, three RBIs, six walks, and has stolen two bases.
STL: Stephen Piscotty, right fielder. Piscotty has collected fifteen hits and seven RBIs in his last 36 at-bats, including two of his four long balls on the young season.