MLB Baseball

4
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
St. Louis0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 462
Miami1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 271
2
  W: R. Helsley (1-0)   L: S. Alcantara (0-1)   S: A. Reyes (2)
3:40 PM PT4:40 PM MT5:40 PM CT6:40 PM ET18:40 ET22:40 GMT6:40 3:40 PM MST5:40 PM EST6:10 PM VEN2:40 UAE (+1)4:40 PM CT, April 6, 2021
loanDepot park, Miami, Florida  Attendance: 4,982

Veteran reliever John Gant starts for Cardinals vs. Marlins

According to STATS
According to STATS

St. Louis Cardinals at Miami Marlins

  1. Since the start of the 2015 season, the Cardinals are 12-4 in road games against the Marlins. They've won or split all five series in Miami over that span.
  2. St. Louis was outscored 27-18 in dropping two of three games in Cincinnati to open the season. That's the fourth-most runs the Cardinals have allowed through the first three games of a season in the modern era, and most since 2001 (32).
  3. The Marlins exploded for 12 runs in Saturday's 12-7 win over the Rays, after losing the first two games of the series. Miami scored in seven of its eight innings at bat on Saturday, the team's first game scoring in seven or more innings since May 23, 2010 against the White Sox.
  4. Starling Marte registered his 14th career game with four or more hits on Saturday, going 4-for-5. His only game with more hits came in 2018 against the Marlins, while playing for Pittsburgh (5-for-5).
  5. Nolan Arenado hit safely in all three games against Cincinnati, including his first homer as a Cardinal on Saturday. His 208 home runs since the start of the 2015 season rank second only to Nelson Cruz's 220.
  6. Daniel Ponce de Leon is 1-7 in 20 career starts, with the lone win coming in his final start of 2020 against the Brewers (6.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R). He struck out 12.5 batters per nine innings in his eight starts last season (45/32.1), the best single-season rate by a Cardinal all-time with a minimum of five starts.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/5/2021 thru 4/7/2021

St. Louis Cardinals right-hander John Gant, who made 81 relief appearances the past two years, will make his first start since 2018 when he faces the host Miami Marlins on Tuesday night.

The Cardinals won the series opener 4-1 on Monday.

For his career, Gant has been more effective as a reliever (13-5, 3.60 ERA) than as a starter (6-10, 3.99).

However, the 28-year-old Georgia native made an impressive transition back to starting this year in spring training, striking out 13 batters in 14 1/3 innings.

The key, Gant said, was sharpening his mechanics.

"I would describe it as learning to use my athleticism more," Gant said. "Instead of going out there and 'country-boy slinging,' I'm trying to be more efficient."

Gant, who is 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA in seven career appearances (two starts) against the Marlins, went back to basics this past winter, working with pitching guru Javier Magria, a former Pirates minor-leaguer.

Magria helped refine Gant's biting changeup, a pitch that can bedevil hitters.

"I want all my pitches to look exactly the same," Gant said, "until the hitter has to make a decision whether to swing or not. From there, the pitch will do what it does."

Gant, however, probably won't go past five or six innings on Tuesday. That's because the OPS against him the first time through a batting order is .641, but, on the third trip through, it's a much more dangerous .863.

As for Miami's offense, it's hard to know what to expect. The Marlins erupted for 12 runs on Saturday, scoring in seven of their eight innings. But in their other three games combined, the Marlins have scored a total of just five runs.

The Marlins have a veteran lineup, including a trio of 32-year-olds: center fielder Starling Marte, shortstop Miguel Rojas and right fielder Adam Duvall. In addition, left fielder Corey Dickerson and super-sub Jon Berti are 31, and first baseman Jesus Aguilar and outfielder Garrett Cooper are both 30.

Cooper, however, is on the injured list after a bad reaction to taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

That still leaves a lot of veteran hitters to face Gant. Marte, by the way, is batting .417 in 12 career at-bats against Gant.

Miami will start right-hander Sandy Alcantara, who was acquired from the Cardinals in the Marcell Ozuna trade of December 2017.

Ozuna is no longer with the Cardinals, but the Marlins are happy with their end of the trade as Alcantara became an All-Star in 2019 and went 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA in seven starts last year.

Alcantara was brilliant in Miami's 2021 season opener, tossing six scoreless innings and striking out seven.

"I felt like he did his job," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Alcantara's performance in that 1-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.

For his career, Alcantara is 11-19 with a 3.63 ERA in 54 appearances, including 46 starts. Alcantara, 25, is 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA in his only appearance against St. Louis.

The Cardinals' offense is led by third baseman Nolan Arenado, who is batting .412; first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (.375); and catcher Yadier Molina, who drove in two runs in Monday's victory.

Cardinals leadoff batter Tommy Edman, who got zero fielding chances at second base on Monday, made his mark on the game with a walk, a homer and two runs.

"Obviously," Edman said, "you have to stay ready."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 6, 2021

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