Game Day Preview with Ray Mileur

Cardinals starter Jeff Suppan pitched 8.1 scoreless innings in his last start vs. Milwaukee on April 15th.

The Milwaukee Brewers are coming to St. Louis, this time without their staff ace Ben Sheets available to play. That could mean another series sweep could be in the works.

It may be Miller time at Busch Stadium for the Brewers before they even get their bags unpacked.

The hapless 7-11 Brewers will be facing the St. Louis Cardinals, perhaps the hottest team in Major League Baseball, for sure the hottest team in the NL Central.

The Cardinals start the day in sole possession of first place in the NL Central with a 11-5 record.

The Cardinals have managed to sweep their opponents in three of the last four series. In addition they have won four straight and nine out of 10. The Cardinals have managed to win despite scoring four runs or fewer in five of the 10 games.

If you are waiting for the bats to come alive, your wait may be over tonight as the Milwaukee Brewers send Wes Obermueller to the mound in place of Ben Sheets for tonight's game.

Sheets the Brewers staff ace has been suffering with ear inflammation that caused him to spend two days in a Houston hospital last week. Sheets did rejoined the team Sunday but has been bothered by dizziness and nausea. He will not be available during this series.

Obermueller has been effective out of the bullpen this season, he has given up just two runs and 12 hits in eight innings over four appearances.

Obermueller spent most of last season as a starter, going 6-8 with a 5.80 ERA in 25 appearances -- 20 starts.

The Cardinals will send Jeff Suppan to the mound tonight. This will be his fourth start as Jeff comes off of a 3-1 loss to Chicago last Wed. (4/20). In that game he allowed three runs (two earned) on nine hits in 6.1 innings.

Suppan pitched 8.1 scoreless innings in his last start vs. MIL on 4/15 and is 8-2, 4.16 in 12 career starts vs. the Brewers.

Last season Suppan struggled some with the Brewers, he finished with a 1-1 won loss record and a 5.40 ERA verses Milwaukee.

Jeff Suppan known as a Road Warrior, will try to duplicate his success at home and improve on his sub .500 record at Busch Stadium. Jeff is 8-11 all-time at Busch Stadium

The series between the two NL Central foes closes out an eight-game home stand for the Cards, with games Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon.

After the Brewers leave town, the Redbirds are on the road again, east bound and down for games in Atlanta and Cincinnati.

WHO'S HOT - WHO'S NOT

HOT

HERE HE IZ AGAIN...Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen leads the team lead in appearances with nine, picking up seven saves in seven opportunities, including one in each of his last five outings.

25 - Albert Pujols has reached base in 25 consecutive games dating back to last season.

Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen have appeared in all the Cardinal games.

Yadier Molina got seven hits this past week and may be breaking out of his early slump.

NOT

The team hasn't been hitting early on but it appears that even that is coming around and that spells trouble for the National League. Expect the Cardinals batting averages to rise significantly with the Brewers in town.

WEK IN REVIEW

4/24 - W vs. Houston, 8-5

4/23 - W vs. Houston, 1-0 (10th)

4/22 - W vs. Houston, 8-7 4/27

4/21 - W vs. Chicago Cubs, 4-0

4/20 - L vs. Chicago Cubs, 1-3

Sunday's win was St. Louis' fourth straight win and ninth in the past 10 games.

The Cardinals have swept three of their four series this season .

TRAINERS TABLE

Mike Lincoln - DL 4/1 - Lincoln had elbow surgery around the middle of July of last season. Earlier reports that Mike would be ready when the season opens was premature as we reported. Lincoln who has been shut down, has just been cleared to begin throwing again.

Lincoln is with the team, but we don't expect him back on the active roster any time soon.

Cal Eldred - DL 4/11 Eldred has been diagnosed with viral myopericarditis – a viral infection that causes mild inflammation around the lining and muscles of the heart.

Eldred will be followed closely by team doctor Dr. Jim Loomis, and a team of cardiologists from Washington University. He should make a complete recovery but will be out for a minimum of three to four weeks.

Bill Pulsipher - DL 4/12 - Bill Pulsipher threw a bullpen session before Sunday's game. Heis expected to go on a rehab assignment this week.

COMING UP

Mon., April 25 vs. BREWERS: Jeff Suppan (1-2, 3.38) vs. Ben Sheets (1-3, 3.95) 7:10 p.m.*

Tue., April 26 vs. BREWERS: Chris Carpenter (3-1, 4.15) vs. Doug Davis (2-2, 4.76) 7:10 p.m.*

Wed., April 27 vs. BREWERS: Jason Marquis (3-0, 2.77) vs. Victor Santos (1-0, 1.64) 12:10 p.m.*


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