St. Louis Cardinals (Martinez 3-0, 2.70) at Arizona Diamondbacks (Miller 0-1, 8.59) 9:40pm ET on ESPN
Carlos Martinez will take to the hill tonight for the Cardinals, coming off his best start of the season: a 7-inning, 1-run effort against the vaunted Cubbies in a 5-3 St. Louis win. Martinez was brilliant in 2015, going 14-7 with a 3.01 ERA in 179 ⅔ innings while striking out 9.2 per 9IP, but had his season cut short by a shoulder strain in late September, putting a slight kink in the Cards’ playoff rotation. The injury wasn’t deemed serious enough to require surgery, so it’s good that rest appears to have been enough. Still, there may be slight cause for concern, as Martinez’s strikeouts are way down – a career low 7.2 per 9IP – but the ultimate results thus far have been good.
Facing off against Martinez is ex-Card Shelby Miller, who had both a brilliant and brutal 2015 as he was named to the All Star team thanks to a 2.38 ERA at the break, but finished the season 6-17, for a .261 winning percentage, the second-worst ever by a starting pitcher named to the All Star team behind (ahead of?) the Chicago White Sox’ Eddie Smith, who in 1942 was invited to the Midsummer Classic in a year when he went 7-20. Anyway… Miller’s 2016 has been just brutal, as he lasted just 14 ⅔ innings over 4 starts, with an 8.59 ERA, while allowing more hits (18), more runs (14 – all earned) and more walks (11) than strikeouts (10). His mechanics appear to be off, with his hand now occasionally scraping his the ground during his follow-through, which could be a result of his sudden change in pitch selection, as he’s all but abandoned sinking two-seamer, notes Jim McLennan of AZ Snakepit. After giving up the farm for Miller, the D’backs are so desperate to get some value out of him that they recently had him pinch run and play outfield during a 13-inning loss to the Pirates.
High-priced free agent starter Zack Greinke had another bad start for Arizona last night, giving up 7 runs on 9 hits, including 3 home runs in just 4 innings, but his teammates got him off the hook with a 9-run 6th inning to power a 12-7 win over the Cardinals. Diamondbacks shortstop Jean Segura made the most hay, with 4 hits in 6 at-bats, including a double, a homer and 3 RBI. The Cards are currently 10-9, 4 games behind the Cubs and in third place in the NL Central, while the D’backs are 11-10, good enough for second place in the NL West, a game and a half behind the Dodgers.
Don’t miss more MLB action on the FOX Sports regional networks across the land:
Baltimore Orioles (Jimenez 1-1, 3.71) at Tampa Bay Rays (Odorizzi 0-1, 3.97) 7:10pm ET on Fox Sports Sun
Boston Red Sox (Price 2-0, 7.06) at Atlanta Braves (Wisler 0-1, 3.10) 7:10pm ET on FOX Sports South
Cincinnati Reds (Finnegan 1-1, 3.74) at New York Mets (Colon 1-1, 2.89) 7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Cincinnati
Oakland Athletics (Hill 2-2, 3.32) at Detroit Tigers (Pelfrey 0-3, 3.68) 7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Detroit
Milwaukee Brewers (Nelson 3-1, 3.46) at Chicago Cubs (Hendricks 1-2, 4.00) 8:05pm ET on FOX Sports Wisconsin
New York Yankees (Severino 0-2, 4.86) at Texas Rangers (Griffin 2-0, 3.18) 8:05pm ET on FOX Sports Southwest & YES
Cleveland Indians (Anderson 1-2, 4.50) at Minnesota Twins (Nolasco 1-0, 2.66) 8:10pm ET on FOX Sports North & SportsTime Ohio
Kansas City Royals (Volquez 3-0, 1.46) at Los Angeles Angels (Weaver 2-0, 3.12) 10:05pm ET on FOX Sports Kansas City & FOX Sports West
Miami Marlins (Koehler 1-2, 4.80) at Los Angeles Dodgers (Kershaw 2-0, 1.50) 10:10pm ET on FOX Sports Florida
San Diego Padres (Shields 0-3, 4.15) at San Francisco Giants (Cueto 3-1, 3.49) 10:15pm ET on FOX Sports San Diego