It's a big night for Sam LeCure tonight, no doubt. The native of Jefferson City, MO makes his second big league start against a team that was likely his favorite growing up and he'll be facing the Cardinals' ace as well. You'll have to excuse him if his nerves get in the way. That may be the main reason why last night's win was so big. It meant that the Reds were in the lead, so if they lose tonight, they'll still be tied for first.
Chris Carpenter, as you know, has pretty much dominated the Reds over the last 5 years. Over his last 7 starts, he's pitched 50 innings and allowed 6 runs, getting the victory in all seven games. Sure he's turned into a bit of a whiny baby on the mound a few times, but you have to respect the fact that he stifles the Reds bats. It doesn't have to stay that way. In fact, the start just before this string of seven straight gems, he gave up 6 runs in 7 innings to the Reds. Then again, that game was so long ago that Ryan Franklin got the win that night....for the Reds.
The rubber match of the series tonight will be the last time these two teams face each other until August. A lot is going to happen between now and then. Teams will get hot. Teams will get cold. So, regardless of who wins or loses this one, we've still got a long way to go.
That being said, I want to see the Cardinals beaten to a pulp tonight. Leave them with something to remember for the next 2 months. And leave St. Louis with a 2-game lead. Go Reds! They're my favorite team!