|5:15 PM PT6:15 PM MT7:15 PM CT8:15 PM ET20:15 ET0:15 GMT8:15 5:15 PM MST7:15 PM EST7:45 PM VEN4:15 UAE (+1)7:15 PM CT, June 25, 2019
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri Attendance: 40,556
Flaherty, Cardinals aim to keep momentum going vs. A's
After a day off to recover from the emotion of Albert Pujols' return to St. Louis, the Cardinals will open a two-game series against the visiting Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.
The Cardinals, 4-3 with two games remaining on their homestand, will start right-hander Jack Flaherty (4-4, 4.24 ERA) against Oakland righty Chris Bassitt (4-3, 3.64) in the opener.
Flaherty is 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in his last seven starts. Last time out Flaherty rebounded from a pair of subpar outings and gave up three runs on four hits over seven innings of a 6-0 loss to the Miami Marlins. He struck out eight with one walk.
Flaherty held the Marlins scoreless until Starlin Castro's solo home run in the fifth, and Brian Anderson added a two-run homer in the seventh.
"I loved Jack tonight," St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said. "He was really good. Lots of quality pitches. I thought he was tremendous."
Flaherty has never pitched against Oakland.
Control issues had contributed heavily to Bassitt's 5.88 ERA over five starts prior to his last outing. Facing the Orioles, he carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before allowing two runs on two hits and three walks over 5 2/3 innings to earn the win. He struck out six.
Ironically, Bassitt said a key to his success was not worrying about throwing strikes.
"I'm not a strike thrower," Bassitt told MLB.com. "I tried to be a strike thrower for two or three outings, and it's more just, whatever you have on your fastball or slider or changeup, just throw the crap out of it and try to make them hit your nasty stuff."
Bassitt will be making his first appearance against St. Louis.
Days after losing ace Frankie Montas to an 80-game suspension, the A's sent closer Blake Treinen to the injured list with a right shoulder strain.
Oakland has shifted right-hander Liam Hendriks into the closer's spot. He's fashioned a 1.49 ERA over 42 1/3 innings this season and picked up his first save on Saturday night.
"At this point we're thinking that's a pretty good role for him right now," manager Doug Melvin told the East Bay Times.
St. Louis has its own pitching woes. Reliever Jordan Hicks left Saturday's game with one out remaining because of irritation and swelling in his right triceps. He was unavailable Sunday and could be headed to the injured list.
Oakland opens a six-game road trip coming off a four-game split with the Tampa Bay Rays after dropping Sunday's finale 8-2 to a team they could be competing against for a wild-card spot. They finished a 10-game homestand 6-4.
"You always want to play above .500 at home," Melvin told MLB.com after Sunday's game. "It could have been a lot better if we win today, but we go out on the road for a couple of tough games in St. Louis and some more games in our division (versus the Angels). Guys are looking forward to getting out and climb up more on .500 than we are now."
St. Louis took two-of-three from Pujols and the visiting Angels in a series that exposed the young Cardinals to a playoff-type atmosphere.
"It was a good vibe, and when our guys see that they see what a beautiful place St. Louis is to be a part of, what it means to win, and when they see it they can enjoy it and I hope learn from it," Yadier Molina told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "They can know what can happen here."
--Field Level Media
Updated June 24, 2019