Todd Wellemeyer (7-2, 3.67) vs. Nate Robertson (6-6, 5.60)
After trotting off the field around 1 a.m. this morning, the Tigers and Cardinals are back on the field for a matinee series finale. And hey, if the players can turn around quickly following a late night, so can the bloggers. (Once the game resumed in the seventh inning last night, Mike McClary - who's now in Cleveland for the SABR convention - and I joked that today's game would be one of the worst ever played, with skeleton lineups. Obviously, I hope that's not the case.)
As I watched the St. Louis batting order progress through the game last night, it occurred to me that maybe I just don't follow baseball (i.e., other teams) as closely as I used to, because I hadn't heard of virtually anyone in the Cardinals' lineup. And that's the case yet again today, as the Cards start a pitcher who's having much more success than anyone had any reason to expect.
The workload might be catching up with Todd Wellemeyer, however, as he came down with elbow soreness in his last outing, which resulted in his first loss in eight starts. Against the Phillies, Wellemeyer lasted only 3 1/3 innings, giving up eight runs on eight hits, three walks, and three home runs. There's still a possibility that the Cards could start Mitchell Boggs today instead, if Wellemeyer can't go.
Nate Robertson reverted back to his five-run form last time out, but still got the win, which was his third in a row. He's pitched at least six innings in his last four appearances, which is the kind of innings-eating production generally expected from him. With Monday's off-day, the Tigers moved Robertson up so he could go on his normal five-day rest. He beat the Cardinals last May, holding them to two runs in five innings, despite issuing four walks.
One big lineup note on the St. Louis side: Albert Pujols has been activated from the disabled list (coming back a week sooner than expected) and will be the Cards' designated hitter today.