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So, it's been a little while since our last preview and for that, I'm sorry. But we have a humdinger today, as the Cardinals attempt to win their first game before losing ace Adam Wainwright to a torn Achilles suffered while trying to outrun a sudden and vociferous debate over the DH in the NL. Or a popup. In any case, the Cardinals have been scuffling, having just last night lost to...hmm, my sheet says the Phillies. But that can't be right.
Moving on, the Cardinals have a lot to play for tonight, inasmuch as any team has anything to play for in the first month of the season, as they're only one game up on hot new pop sensation Kris Bryant and The Cubs. And the Phillies have, uh...well something to play for I'm sure. With the Mets in firm control of the division (4.5 games up over THE BRAVES) the Phillies really have no huge stake here. They're seven games back, and with a loss tonight, could share or even usurp the cellar of the division from the Nationals. Actually, Washington struggling is funny enough to root for a 3 game winning streak, so let's go with that.
Severino Gonzalez -- Here's the hope I hinted at in the beginning of the piece. Now, listen, if you like scouting reports, don't get too excited: Sev looks the part of an Antonio Bastardo Starting Pitcher Special. He might look great tonight, for two games, whatever, but he's not likely to become a stalwart in the rotation. Now, if you like raw stats without context -- as a massive cheer rises -- maybe you get a little more hopeful. Sev has a 3.57 ERA so far in Lehigh Valley, with some admittedly troublesome peripherals (a K/9 of 4.58 and an HR/9 of 1.02) and some okay ones too (BB/9 of 1.02). Maybe in a perfect world he's Kyle Kendrick at no cost. Oh god wait.
Michael Wacha -- Speaking of pitchers like Rorschach Tests, heeeeere's Michael Wacha. The 1.33 ERA looks great, as does the 1.77 BB/9 and the 55.7% ground ball rate. The 3.77 FIP and unsustainable .206 BABIP is a little troubling. The 5.31 K/9 looks positively Tim Hudsonian, though, and checking my numbers, I'm seeing that...yes, most pitchers with a K/9 under 6 do not become Tim Hudson. And uhhhh I expect he will not strand 98.8 percent of all runners all year. So your guess is as good as mine.
In any case, if you hate strikeouts, then this is the game for you!