Brewers v. Cardinals: Game Two Preview

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Brewers' Jace Peterson tags out Cardinals' OF Tommy Edman during a 2020 regular season game.
Brewers’ Jace Peterson tags out Cardinals’ OF Tommy Edman during a 2020 regular season game. (Photo courtesy of Morry Gash/AP)

St. Louis’ Gateway Arch, which towers over the right-center field scoreboard at Busch Stadium, represents America’s journey west of the Mississippi River. Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell likely hopes his team takes inspiration Saturday and finds the gateway to their journey away from the offensive struggles that have plagued the team over the last five contests.

The Brewers scored a mere 2.3 runs per game over the last week, leaving a multiple strong pitching performances by the wayside during an up-and-down week. Saturday afternoon’s contest against the Cardinals presents Milwaukee with a chance to kick-start its largely dormant offense while scoring a crucial win that would return the Crew to .500 on the season.

Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher: Adrian Houser (0-1, 3.60 ERA)

Adrian Houser heads to the mound today for his second start of the 2021 season. Houser was solid for the Brewers last weekend, pitching 5.0 innings and allowing two earned runs against the Minnesota Twins. Unfortunately, he received very little in the way of run support, as the Crew managed a single run before Houser left the contest.

The big righty kept Minnesota’s bats in check thanks to an effective sinker that prevented much liftoff. Houser should look to lean on his sinker once again against the St. Louis lineup, as the lack of a strong second or third pitch will limit his ability to dominate a lively Cardinals batting order.

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher: Carlos Martinez (0-1, 7.20 ERA)

The man nicknamed “Tsunami” will look to overwhelm the Brew Crew after a rough outing in his 2021 season debut.

Martinez was tagged for four earned runs in 5.0 innings of work last time out, a lopsided 12-1 loss to the first-place Cincinnati Reds. Don’t expect a redux this afternoon, however – Martinez has been a dependable starter for the Cardinals through his 124 career starts, posting a 3.53 earned run average and 14.4 fWAR over the course of his eight seasons with the club. And although his final stat line failed to flatter, Martinez was perfect through his first three innings of work in 2021.

Brewers lineup

Saturday morning’s big lineup news came as little surprise to Brewers fans but set the weekend off on a sour note. The team announced second baseman Kolten Wong is heading to the 10-day Injured List after aggravating an oblique injury in Thursday night’s 3-1 loss to the Cardinals. Starting in Wong’s place is Jace Peterson.

Peterson has yet to make a plate appearance in 2021 and was used sparingly by the Brewers last season. The 30-year-old infielder, who will bat seventh today, posted a .200/.393/.356 slash line in 45 at-bats for Milwaukee in 2020.

Cardinals lineup

First baseman Paul Goldschmidt returns to the lineup for the Cardinals after missing Thursday’s series opener with back tightness. St. Louis’ dependable slugger is a welcome addition to any lineup but his career success against Houser will provide an additional boost for the Cards this afternoon.

Goldschmidt has found plenty of success against Houser throughout his career, batting .364 with a pair of home runs and six RBI against Milwaukee’s starter.

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