(BaseballStL) – The three newest members of the St. Louis Cardinals will step to the field at Busch Stadium for the first time with the birds on the bat across their chest and it comes at a critical time in the Redbirds’ schedule – a weekend series against the first place Milwaukee Brewers.
AJ Pierzynki, Justin Masterson and John Lackey will all play against the Brewers this weekend with Masterson and Lackey starting Saturday’s and Sunday’s games, respectively.
And with the additions of Masterson and Lackey, some uniform numbers are changing. Lackey will wear number 41 which means Pat Neshek has changed his number to 37 while Masterson will wear number 63 which changes Coach Chris Maloney’s number to 77.
Pierzynski, who will be introduced to Cards fans for the first time Friday night, said it’ll be nice to receive a warm welcome for his new fans.
“It’ll be a little different than the way things in Boston ended,” he said, “It’ll be nice to get a nice ovation if it happens.”
And he said he certainly knows what’s at stake this weekend with the Brewers in town and this weekend he’ll have to catch Masterson and Lackey in the pivotal series. Fortunately for the Cardinals, Pierzynski’s spent the whole week getting to know his new pitchers.
“He’s done a real nice job. He came in with just a blank canvas with each guy and said, ‘Show me what you do,’” said manager Mike Matheny, “[It’s] just a matter of the small details of what each guy does. He’s done a great job staying in conversation to figure out what the make-up of what these guys are.”
With Adam Wainwright throwing Friday night and Masterson and Lackey throwing the remainder of the series against the Brewers, Lance Lynn has been pushed back to start Tuesday’s game against the Boston Red Sox.
Wainwright takes the hill in first game of series
Adam Wainwright will make his 22nd start against the division rival Brewers and he’s won the last three of them, including one this season just prior to the All-Star break.
In fact, Wainwright hasn’t lost to the Brewer since July 18 of 2012. He’s struck out Ryan Braun 15 times in 55 at-bats while posting a career 2.19 ERA against the Brew Crew.
Currently, Wainwright ranks third among NL pitchers with a 0.96 WHIP and second with a 1.96 ERA.