September 4: Cardinals (76-63) @ Brewers (73-66)
Xavier Scruggs, summoned from Memphis today, won’t have to wait long for his Major League debut. Manager Mike Matheny has him in tonight’s starting lineup, batting seventh. He takes the place of Matt Adams, who looks like he could use some rest amid a 5-for-44 skid. Instead of waiting to substitute Scruggs for Adams when the team faces a lefty (Scruggs hit .350 against left-handed pitching in Triple-A), he’ll draw righty Wily Peralta in his first assignment.
Adams is 2-for-14 in his career against Peralta.
UPDATE: General manager John Mozeliak just informed the media that Adams tweaked his left oblique on his final swing yesterday, necessitating a quicker-than-expected call-up for Scruggs. Adams is day-to-day.
The Cardinals arrive in Milwaukee enjoying the comforts of being in the NL Central driver’s seat. In the span of six days, the club went from trailing the Brewers by 1 1/2 games to leading the division by three. Worst case scenario, the Cardinals leave Milwaukee on Sunday night trailing by one game. But if the club wins any one of the four games, it is guaranteed to finish the series in first.
Michael Wacha makes his much-anticipated return to the mound tonight after 11 weeks away nursing a stress reaction in his right shoulder. There remain questions about his command and the crispness of his pitches, though the organization felt comfortable enough to forgo having him make a second rehab start. Wacha will likely not exceed a pitch count of 60 tonight. Look for Marco Gonzales to enter behind him.
Other items of note: Peter Bourjos will make his third straight start, while Oscar Taveras is out of the lineup for a third straight day. … Jon Jay, who is tied with Matt Carpenter for second on the team in OBP (.375), moves up to the two-spot in the lineup, a place that he should fill well given that propensity to get on base. Quite frankly, I’m a bit surprised Matheny hasn’t bumped him up there sooner. … Yadier Molina is starting for the seventh straight day, so it appears his thumb is holding up well.
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