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Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals Preview and Predictions 09-25-2020

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The National League playoff race will intensify when the St. Louis Cardinals face the Milwaukee Brewers in a doubleheader Friday in St. Louis.

The Cardinals (28-26) are in second place in the NL Central, 2 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs. The Brewers (27-29) are 4 1/2 games off the division pace and one game out of the NL's second wild-card slot.

The Brewers will serve as the home team in the first game, which is making up a game that was lost during the Cardinals' run of postponements during their COVID-19 hiatus.

The Cardinals opened this five-game series at Busch Stadium with a 4-2 victory on Thursday night. They will start right-hander Jack Flaherty (4-2, 4.84 ERA) and right-hander Daniel Ponce de Leon (0-3, 5.74) in the doubleheader.

Flaherty's one start against the Brewers this season proved disastrous. He allowed nine runs on eight hits -- including two homers -- in just three innings of an 18-3 loss in Milwaukee on Sept. 15.

But in his last start, a 2-1 victory in Pittsburgh, Flaherty struck out 11 batters and allowed just one run on two hits in six innings.

"He got back to who he is," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said after that game. "He had all his repertoire working and was really back to being an elite, quality starter, and that's Jack Flaherty. He was him today."

Ponce de Leon struck out 18 batters in 11 innings over his last two starts as the Cardinals beat the Brewers 3-2 and then the Pirates 7-2. He helped win the latter game while demonstrating great command despite working on just three days' rest.

"When he dominates that strike zone, he dominates," Shildt said. "His stuff's good. He's got that pop on his heater, and his breaking ball is really good. He's in the zone, and when he does that, you see what you get. Very effective."

Ponce de Leon allowed two runs on four hits and a walk with nine strikeouts during that one appearance against Milwaukee this season.

The Brewers are expected to start right-hander Josh Lindblom (2-3, 4.81) in one of the games. Manager Craig Counsell might use multiple pitchers, including left-hander Brent Suter (2-0, 3.58) to get through the other game.

Lindblom won his last start 5-3 against the Kansas City Royals, allowing one run on three hits in 5 1/3 innings. In his only appearance against the Cardinals this season, he threw five scoreless innings in a 2-1 victory in the first game of a doubleheader on Sept. 14.

He remained with the Brewers while his wife, Aurielle, underwent a medical procedure. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, he could not be in the hospital with her.

"It was a hard week, but my focus was good," Lindblom said. "The one thing that I'll say is that there's people that are going through difficult times. There's people that are struggling every single day. And to go out there and to play for 3 1/2 hours, that's a mental break for me from everything else that's going on. I'm thankful for my teammates and coaches and the organization for their support."

The Cardinals added another live arm for this series with Johan Oviedo, who replaced pitcher Carlos Martinez (oblique strain) on the injured list.

The Brewers shuffled their pitching deck as well, placing key reliever Freddy Peralta on the paternity list and recalling Eric Lauer from their alternate training site. Starting pitcher Corbin Burnes left Thursday night's loss with a sore back.

--Field Level Media

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Key Players to Watch

Stadium

Miller Park
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
Capacity: 45,808

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Last Injuries

Milwaukee Brewers

  • Brett Anderson

    Finger
    Ques Wed | questionable

    Anderson is tending to a blister to one of the fingers on his left hand, and his status for Game 1 of the National League wild-card round versus the Dodgers is up in the air.

  • Corbin Burnes

    Oblique
    Out indefinitely | 10-day IL

    Burnes has been shifted to the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain. Team officials have yet to provide an exact return date.

  • Daniel Vogelbach

    Hamstring
    Ques Wed | questionable

    Vogelback is nursing a hamstring injury, but he is projected to be ready for Game 1 of the NL wild-card round versus the Dodgers.

  • Ben Gamel

    Quadricep
    Ques Wed | 10-day IL

    Gamel has landed on the 10-day injured list with a left quad strain. It is undetermined if he will be activated prior to Game 1 of the NL wild-card round versus the Dodgers.

  • Freddy Peralta

    Personal
    Out indefinitely | out

    Peralta is allowed to miss up to three days as he is away from the team due to the birth of his child.

  • Keston Hiura

    Rest
    Ques Tues | questionable

    Hiura is not expected to play Tuesday against the Reds due to a day of rest.

  • Josh Lindblom

    Personal
    Prob Sun | probable

    Lindblom is on the bereavement list, but he will make his return Sunday versus the Royals.

  • Ryan Braun

    Back
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Braun exited the last game due to lower back tightness, and it is unknown if he will face the Royals on Saturday.

St. Louis Cardinals

  • Carlos Martinez

    Oblique
    out for season | 10-day IL

    Martinez has been ticketed for the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain, and he is likely to miss the remainder of the season.

  • John Gant

    Lower Body
    Out indefinitely | 10-day IL

    Gant has hit the 10-day injured list with right groin tightness, and is in danger of missing the remainder of the season.

  • Dakota Hudson

    Elbow
    out for season | 45-day IL

    Hudson has been added to the 45-day injured list with a right forearm strain, and he is likely to miss the remainder of the season.

  • Yadier Molina

    Rest
    Ques Fri | questionable

    Molina will not be in the starting lineup for Game 2 of Friday's doubleheader against the Brewers.

  • Giovanny Gallegos

    Groin
    Prob Mon | 10-day IL

    Gallegos has popped up on the 10-day injured list with a right groin strain. It is anticipated that he will return for Monday's matchup against the Royals.

  • Dexter Fowler

    Personal
    Prob Mon | COVID-19 IL

    Fowler has landed on the COVID-19 list as he is taking medication that compromises his immune system, leaving him susceptible to contract the virus. It is anticipate that he will be activated in time for Monday's game versus the Royals.

  • Yadier Molina

    Wrist
    Prob Sun | probable

    Molina was pulled from the last game with a bruised left wrist. He is expected to play Sunday against the Pirates.

  • Austin Dean

    Elbow
    Out indefinitely | 10-day IL

    Dean has been entered onto the 10-day injured list with a right elbow strain and will be sidelined for an indefinite length of time.

milwaukee-brewers Stats 2020

Hitting Statistics
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Pitching Statistics
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Field Statistics
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB

st-louis-cardinals Stats 2020

Hitting Statistics
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Player G GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB K CS Avg SP OBP
Pitching Statistics
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Player G GS OP ST HBPA HA HRA IWA RA SFA SHA SBSA WA PT
Field Statistics
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB
Player GP GS CI SABC SCBC FE OA PB