Ray Mileur's Game Day Preview - 04/30

Brian Walton is with the Cardinals in Atlanta, be sure to check back here "In the House" for his exclusive post game reports and interviews.

The National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals continue defense of their 2004 pennant tonight when they play game two of a 3-game weekend series with the Altanta Braves at Turner Field. The Cards & Braves will be meeting this weekend for the first of their two series this season - the lone series in Atlanta. The Braves will make their farewell visit to Busch Stadium in August 5-7).

The Cardinals were 4-2 (2-1 at ATL) vs. the Braves last season, one of just two winning seasons that the Cardinals have had against Atlanta dating back to 1996. The Redbirds are 1,001-860 all-time against the Braves dating back to 1900.

Tonight it will be game two of the three game set with the St. Louis Cardinals (15-6) visiting the Atlanta Braves (13-10) at Turner Field, game time at 6:05 CDT.

The Cardinals are coming off a 6-5 win in the series opener with the Atlanta Braves. The much-anticipated pitching matchup between Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson didn't live up to expectations and the hype.

The Cardinals will be sending Matt Morris to the mound. Matt Morris has gone 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA to begin the season after starting the year on the DL as he continued his recovery from off-season shoulder surgery...posted an 8-5 win (5.0 IP, 2 ER) over the Astros last Sun. (4/24)...was a 7-1 winner in his ‘05 debut, 4/19 at PIT, allowing just one run in 6.0 IP while fanning seven.

Morris has never looked better in my humble expert medical opinion a clean bill of health is in order, in contrast Matt Morris is happy with the way he's performed since coming off the disabled list, but he's isn't ready to declare himself back at full strength. So who are you going to believe him or me.

Morris, who won 15 games last year despite pitching through shoulder pain, had surgery in the offseason to relieve the pressure in the joint. He made a pair of minor league rehab starts before making his season debut in a 7-1 win over Pittsburgh on April 19, needing just 71 pitches to get through six solid innings.

On Sunday, Morris threw 91 pitches and surrendered two runs and five hits over five innings in an 8-5 win over Houston. Morris didn't have any problem with manager Tony La Russa pulling him out after the fifth.

Morris this season signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal that could pay him up to $4.5 million in performance bonuses this year and at this rate it appears that he could be well on his way earning a lot of that bonus money.

The Braves counter Morris today with John Thomson. Thomson is 2-2 for the season with a 3.12 ERA in four starts.

It should come as no surprise, but the Braves' 15 quality starts (in 23 games) leads the majors and Thomson has been a part of that, making his fifth start of the season tonight.

There may not be the big buildup to the pitching matchup tonight between Matt Morris and John Thomson, but you could very well see a much better game pitched game than Friday's marquee matchup between Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson.

The Redbirds and Braves wrap up their three-game series on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. CT. Afterward, the Cards fly to Cincinnati, where they'll play three games against the division rival Reds.


Sat., April 30 at BRAVES: Matt Morris (2-0, 2.45) vs. John Thomson (2-2, 3.12) 6:05 p.m.#

Sun., May 1 at BRAVES: Jeff Suppan (2-2, 3.42) vs. John Smoltz (1-3, 3.64) 12:05 p.m.#

Mon., May 2 at REDS: Chris Carpenter (4-1, 4.01) vs. Eric Milton (2-2, 6.75) 6:10 p.m.*%

Tues., May 3 at REDS: Jason Marquis (3-1, 3.27) vs. Aaron Harang (1-1, 4.30) 6:10 p.m.*

Wed., May 4 at REDS: Mark Mulder (2-1, 3.10+) vs. Brandon Claussen (1-1, 2.61+) 6:10 p.m.*%

Times listed are Central.

All games broadcast on KMOX Radio

# WB11-TV * Fox Sports-Net/Midwest + FOX Network % ESPN @ESPN2

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories