The St. Louis Cardinals will complete a 10-game road trip Wednesday with a matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Cardinals managed to pull off a 3-2 victory over the Dodgers on Tuesday not long after they learned that right-hander Jack Flaherty was headed to the 10-day injured list with an oblique issue.
Flaherty was 8-1 over his first 11 starts with a 2.90 ERA. His contributions will be difficult to replicate.
That the injury came swinging a bat during Monday’s game against the Dodgers adds to the exasperation. That the Dodgers only scored two runs against Flaherty on Monday in five innings and seven runs in three frames against the bullpen shows his importance to the club.
Right-hander John Gant was the first to start for the Cardinals on Tuesday, in the wake of the Flaherty news, and stepped up with six scoreless innings.
Right-hander Carlos Martinez (3-4, 4.22 ERA) will get the call Wednesday. In 11 career appearances against the Dodgers (seven starts), Martinez is 3-3 with a 3.09 ERA.
The Cardinals will go with Adan Wainwright and Kwang Hyun Kim in that order to open a home series against the Cincinnati Reds later this week. Saturday is undecided, with right-handers Daniel Ponce De Leon and Jake Woodford as possibilities.
“They’ve been built up, they’ve done it, they’ve worked in spring training, so I can’t rule out some version of that,” manager Mike Shildt said. “… (It’s) hard to build a guy up to start at the big league level, because that only impacts your bullpen even more.”
The Dodgers know what the Cardinals are feeling. They lost hard-throwing right-hander Dustin May (Tommy John surgery) for the season, leading to multiple bullpen days of late — including one Tuesday started by David Price.
Los Angeles will send Walker Buehler (3-0, 2.66 ERA) to the mound Wednesday.
Buehler is to the Dodgers what Flaherty is to the Cardinals. In three career starts against the Cardinals, the most recent in 2019, Buehler is 1-0 with a 2.37 ERA.
The Dodgers had their chances Tuesday with seven hits and five walks, but went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. Cardinals center fielder Dylan Carlson made a sliding catch with two Dodgers runners in scoring position to end the sixth.
In the ninth inning, with the Dodgers’ tying run at second base and the winning run at first, left fielder Tyler O’Neill made a running catch in the left-field corner to end the game.
The Dodgers have lost four of five after winning nine of 10 and 13 of 15. Los Angeles is also 2-4 on a seven-game homestand that ends Wednesday.
While former National League MVP Cody Bellinger is back from a leg injury and rookie standout Zack McKinstry has returned from an oblique injury, the duo is just 1-for-23 combined since leaving the injured list. The lone hit came from Bellinger in the ninth inning Tuesday.
The Dodgers are now 7-13 in one-run games.
“I think there is a little bit of (bad luck) but you have to make your own breaks,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “If we look back at those games, we could have done some other things that probably got us over the top and won those games. A lot of times you make your own luck.”
–Field Level Media