Friday, April 9 Miller Park | 7:10 PM CT
Kyle Lohse, RHP (0-0, -.--)
Cardinals (2-1) @ Dave Bush, RHP (0-0, -.--)
Cardinals: Lohse will be looking to put a frustrating and at times painful 2009 season in the rear-view mirror as quickly as possible. His performance didn't live up to what he managed in an outstanding 2008, and he was beset by one malady after another. Lohse dealt with a string of injuries and even a nasty stomach illness in one start. He's stayed healthy this spring, though, and looks poised to put together a better season in '10. He may not repeat his '08 success, but he should be better than he was last year, and that would be a good start for the Cardinals.
Brewers: Bush entered Spring Training in something of a tenuous situation because of his $4.215 million salary, which wasn't guaranteed until Opening Day. But he pitched his way into the Brewers' mix, going 1-1 with a 4.34 ERA in four Cactus League appearances. That ERA is a bit deceiving because Bush surrendered six earned runs in his final Arizona start; before that he had allowed only one run in each of his three outings. When Bush is hitting his spots he is extremely effective; he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in each of the past two seasons. His 2009 season was marred by an elbow injury -- the result of a line drive off Hanley Ramirez's bat in Florida that caused Bush trouble throughout the summer. He says he's 100 percent healthy this year.
Saturday, April 10 Miller Park | 2:10 PM CT
Chris Carpenter, RHP (1-0, 3.00)
Cardinals (2-1) @ Yovani Gallardo, RHP (0-1, 3.86)
Cardinals: Carpenter had one frustrating inning in Monday's win over the Reds but otherwise looked a lot like the guy who steamrolled the National League Central in 2009. Of all the things Carpenter accomplished in '09, one of the most impressive was his dominance within his own division. In 15 starts within the Central, Carpenter went 11-0 with a 1.58 ERA. He's already off to a good start in that regard this year, so you can expect to see him pitching an awful lot in division games in 2010. He was especially brilliant in two starts at Miller Park last year, allowing no runs, three hits and two walks over 17 innings -- with 20 strikeouts.
Brewers: The Brewers briefly considered bringing a fifth starter into the mix here, but instead will go back to Gallardo on regular rest. He was the team's pick to pitch Opening Day against the Rockies after winning the team's pitcher of the year honor in 2009, and he should be on a longer leash this season with a full Major League season under his belt. Gallardo has struggled against the Cardinals in his career, going 0-2 with a 5.70 ERA in four starts.
Sunday, April 11 Miller Park | 7:05 PM CT
Jaime Garcia, LHP (0-0, -.--)
Cardinals (2-1) @ Randy Wolf, LHP (1-0, 5.40)
Cardinals: Garcia entered camp as the longest shot of three candidates to make the Cardinals' rotation, but he pitched so well that the club simply didn't have any choice. The lefty was the clear winner of the competition with Kyle McClellan, who will go to the Cardinals bullpen, and Rich Hill, who will go to Triple-A Memphis. He has good stuff, developing but already decent command and a solid mound presence. He's also still pretty inexperienced as a professional pitcher and is less than two years removed from Tommy John surgery. That means the club will handle him gently, with hopes of keeping him healthy by limiting his innings and pitches.
Brewers: The prime-time assignment goes to Wolf, who could have his hands full with Cardinals hitters like former Brewer Felipe Lopez (7-for-21, .333 lifetime against Wolf), Albert Pujols (5-for-16, .313) and Matt Holliday (5-for-16, four extra-base hits). Wolf surrendered nine hits in his Brewers debut but won after allowing four runs in 6 2/3 innings thanks to an offense that scored seven times. He may spend some time between starts working on some ideas against left-handed hitters; Wolf is traditionally tough on them but gave up six hits to lefties on Tuesday night.