June 17: Mets (31-39) @ Cardinals (38-32)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

wpid-img_20140617_152059277.jpgThe Cardinals can seal a series win over the Mets and their first five-game winning streak of the season with a  victory tonight. Michael Wacha, coming off his worst start of the season, will take the mound for St. Louis. His fastball command will be key, as that has been a bit off for Wacha in recent starts. In order for his changeup to be a weapon, the fastball has to first be established.

Several lineup changes today, in part due to the Mets sending lefty Jon Niese to the mound. As a result, right-handed hitters Peter Bourjos and Mark Ellis get a start, while left-handed Matt Adams and Kolten Wong move to the bench for a night. Matt Carpenter is also sitting, but not in a matchup-related move — he is actually 4-for-7 in his career against Niese. But manager Mike Matheny said he has seen Carpenter fighting some fatigue lately and after Carpenter’s 0-for-4 night on Monday thought this would be an opportune time to find him rest.

This is just the second time Carpenter has been out of the Cardinals’ starting lineup this season. The other came more than two months ago on April 16.

In other news:

  • Matheny said that Adam Wainwright is scheduled to throw on flat ground Wednesday to test his inflamed right elbow. There is still every expectation that Wainwright will make his next scheduled start on Saturday.
  • The Cardinals will play short two relievers tonight since Nick Greenwood and Carlos Martinez are hands-off following lengthy outings on Monday. The club also continues to play one-man-down on the bench. Regardless, the Cardinals opted not to make a roster move on Tuesday to fortify either. Matheny said that situation will be evaluated day-by-day.
  • Jack Flaherty, the No. 34 overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, signed with the organization here at Busch Stadium this afternoon. Flaherty’s bonus is for $2 million, which is over the recommended slot of $1.6504 million. Flaherty is reporting to the Gulf Coast League team this week.

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