In Carlos Martinez’s first eight starts of the year Kyler Murray Jersey , the St. Louis Cardinals right-hander pitched at a only 3-2,
his ERA was a miniscule 1.62 and he gave up only five earned runs in a seven-start stretch.
But a strained right lat cost him four weeks, and Martinez hasn’t been the same pitcher since being activated from the 10-day disabled list on June 5. He has walked a whopping 12 batters in 7 2/3 innings, including seven on Sunday in 3 2/3 innings during
a 6-3 loss at Cincinnati.
Martinez will need to be sharper Saturday night when St. Louis tries to square its three-game weekend series with the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium, where it absorbed a frightful 13-5 pounding Friday night.
Chicago (39-27) produced seven extra-base hits, including homers by Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ. Bryant’s two-run blast over the Cubs’ bullpen in the third snapped an 0-for-17 skid, and Schwarber’s 465-foot moonshot to center in the fifth was
one of the longest homers in stadium history.
Bryant’s homer also snapped a 24-game streak without a long ball. It came after manager Joe Maddon gave him two days off in Milwaukee
http://www.arizonacardinalsteamonline.com/byron-murphy-jersey , followed by a schedule-enforced
off-day on Thursday.
“Rest in this game cures everything,” Maddon said.
Does that work for Martinez as well? Martinez (3-3, 2.50 ERA) admitted he didn’t completely turn it loose in his return outing against Miami on June 5.
He aired it out to 99 mph in his last appearance but simply couldn’t control his breaking pitches and was reduced to a one-pitch pitcher by the time the Reds touched him for four runs in the fourth inning.
While upset with umpire Gerry Davis’ strike zone, Martinez knew command was a bigger issue than what was or wasn’t being called.
“I think some of my breaking balls were not good,” he said. “I couldn’t find the strike zone with my breaking ball and cutter, too. That’s why you saw a lot of four-seamers. They hit a lot of foul balls. I missed a lot.”
Martinez has been up and down in his career against Chicago, going 4-4 with a 4.53 ERA in 24 outings, 14 of them starts. It will be his first start of the year against the Cubs.
Chicago counters with right-hander Kyle Hendricks (4-6 Andy Isabella Jersey , 3.48), who is coming off a 7-1 loss Sunday to Pittsburgh
that had little to do with his performance. Hendricks permitted just three hits and a run in five innings, but Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison led off the game with a homer. The Pirates feasted on the Cubs’ bullpen for five runs in the sixth.
Hendricks has pitched fairly well in his career against the Cardinals (36-31) with little to show for it, going 2-2 in 10 starts with a 3.32 ERA. This will be his first appearance in 2018 against St. Louis.
Chicago’s Friday outburst against Michael Wacha, who had an eight-game winning streak snapped, led to the Cardinals running up the white flag early. They removed catcher Yadier Molina after five innings and even let reliever John Brebbia take an at-bat in
the ninth after using all of their position players.
“We were trying to conserve arms and get a couple of guys off their feet,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said.
Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is scheduled make a minor league rehab start on Saturday as he continues his recovery from a strained lower back. The three-time NL Cy Young Award could be back pitching in the majors soon.
According to manager Dave Roberts, Kershaw will be limited to four innings and 60 pitches when he returns to the mound with Triple-A Oklahoma City at Omaha. If the outing goes well
Alexander Mattison Jersey , Roberts hoped the left-hander’s next appearance would be with Los Angeles.
Kershaw threw a three-inning simulated game before the Dodgers’ postponed series opener against the Chicago Cubs on Monday night. Afterward, Kershaw said he felt really good.
Roberts said Kershaw returning when the Dodgers play at the New York Mets this weekend was considered, but the team opted for the minor league start to give the lefty ”the best chance for success and health.”
The 30-year-old Kershaw was sidelined for nearly a month with left biceps tendinitis before returning May 31 against Philadelphia. He pitched five effective innings in a no-decision against the Phillies, and then went back on the disabled list the next day
with the back injury.