The St. Louis Cardinals will visit the Milwaukee Brewers for a doubleheader Monday evening as both teams pursue a spot in the postseason.
St. Louis (20-20) is coming off a 2-1 series loss against the Cincinnati Reds as it prepares for a 13-game road trip. The Cardinals are in second place in theNational League Central, four games behind the division-leading Chicago Cubs and two games ahead of the Brewers.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee (20-24) is looking to quickly turn the page after being no-hit by Chicago Cubs right-hander Alec Mills on Sunday. The Brewers also are coming off a 2-1 series loss, hindering their effort to make a late run.
Milwaukee and St. Louis are scheduled to face each other 10 times before the end of the month.
"We have 10 games against the team that's directly ahead of us," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said to reporters when asked about the upcoming series. "We haven't made it easy on ourselves, but we still have an incredible opportunity in front of us. It's up to us what we do with that opportunity."
Even though the Cardinals have yet to face the Brewers this season, they are quite familiar with Milwaukee. The team was quarantined there in late July and early August as it experienced an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.
The Cardinals plan to stay at the Pfister Hotel once again, the same place where they spent the quarantine.
"Between there and Chicago, we've taken up residence," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said to reporters. "I enjoy it there. This series, thankfully and hopefully, we'll be at the field a lot. It'll be a bed, shower and bolt situation more at the Pfister, but I enjoy it."
In an intriguing pitching matchup in Game 1, Cardinals right-hander Kwang Hyun Kim (2-0, 0.83 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound against Brewers righty Josh Lindblom (1-3, 6.06 ERA), who gets the nod after making his last two appearances in relief.
The 32-year-old Kim will make the fifth start of his first season in the majors after spending the bulk of his career in his native South Korea. He pitched five scoreless innings in his last outing Sept. 1 against the Cincinnati Reds.
Kim never has faced the Brewers in his brief career. Lindblom has not allowed a run in seven career appearances against the Cardinals.
In Game 2, Daniel Ponce de Leon (0-3, 7.47 ERA) is slated to take the ball for the Cardinals, while the Brewers will hand the ball to right-hander Corbin Burnes (3-0, 1.99 ERA).
Burnes, 25, is coming off a great start in which he struck out a season-high 11 over seven scoreless innings against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday. He is 1-1 with a 7.94 ERA in five career games (two starts) against St. Louis.
Ponce de Leon has not pitched more than 4 2/3 innings in five starts this season. In his last outing, he gave up two runs on five hits and one walk in three innings against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.
Ponce de Leon has faced the Brewers twice (one start) in his career with a 1.50 ERA.
--Field Level Media