The former club staff ace will be making his 31st start Sunday and will be looking to end a career-high four-game losing streak.
The Cardinals after winning the first two games of the final series of the season at Busch Stadium are sitting on 99 wins for the season. If the Cardinals can sweep the Reds with a win Sunday it will be the first time the Cardinals have had back to back seasons of 100 wins or more since the glory days of the Billy Southworth's Cardinals, when they did it three season in a roll, from 1942-1944.
If Morris can pick up his 15th win it would match his season total of last season (15-10). He had five chances in September to pick up his 15th win, going 0-4 with a 4.08 ERA in five starts.
Morris started the season going 10-2 with a 3.10 ERA in the first half. After the All Star break the starter has struggled, going 4-8 with a 4.98 ERA in 14 starts.
Morris has faced the Reds twice this season and holds a 1-0 record with a 1.38 ERA giving the Reds just seven hits and two earned runs over his 13.0 IP, add this to the fact that he is receiving 6.31 runs of support/ 9 IP which ranks 2nd in the league and the Cardinals chances of picking up win 100, look pretty good.
The start could be Matt Morris' last regular season start for the Cardinals, as there is much speculation that Morris, a free agent at the end of the season, will most likely be playing somewhere else in 2006.
According to the Cardinals official website, St. Louis Cardinals' manager Tony La Russa said that he didn't intentionally set it up so that Matt Morris would get the ball in the final regular-season game at Busch. However, it's quite appropriate, since Morris ranks third in wins at the old stadium and holds the mark for single-season victories at Busch with 15 in 2001.
"It's a really neat and special coincidence, but it's nothing but a coincidence," the manager said. "This wasn't set up to give Matt that kind of honor. We're setting things up to be as successful as we can in October. It just worked out that way, and it's a neat extra."
A win on the final day of the season in front of a sold out crowd on the final day of Busch Stadium would be kinda neat too.
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