(BaseballStL) – If you can believe it, there’s a 30 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms in Kansas City Thursday night which can only mean one thing – Michael Wacha takes to the mound!
Wacha is looking for his fifth win against the Royals, who have just 14 total at-bats against the 22-year-old. Wacha faces 23-year-old Yordano Ventura who hasn’t started a game since May 26 where he was taken out after just 2.2 innings due to stress overload in his elbow.
The Redbirds have never seen Ventura before, but the righty from the Dominican Republic gave up five earned runs to the Houston Astros in his last start.
Ventura relies on his four-seam fastball which he throws as the first pitch more than 60 percent of the time to both lefties and righties. And if he’s ahead in the count, he throws an 83 mph curve-ball 41 percent of the time to righties and 33 percent to lefties.
Neshek's first MLB save
The Cardinals almost gave the game away to the Kansas City Royals Wednesday night after blowing a two-nothing lead in the bottom of the ninth.
Cut to the bottom half of the eleventh inning with the Cards leading the Royals 5-2 and out walked 33-year-old Pat Neshek in his 29th appearance of the season. But this appearance was different, as the 8-year veteran had the opportunity to earn the first save of his career.
Neshek isn’t a stranger to saves, he collected 97 throughout 9 seasons in the minors, but not yet in MLB.
Throwing 14 pitches, the side-armer retired the side with two pop ups and a strike-out to give the Redbirds their first victory since Saturday.
With the Cardinals this season, Neshek has finished nine games and thrown 26.1 innings. His ERA of 1.03 ranks number six among NL relievers with 20 or more innings pitched.