June 29, 2008

I-70 rubber match pits Looper against Bannister

Braden Looper (9-5, 4.22) will try for his tenth win today as the St. Louis Cardinals attempt to win the rubber game of the second phase of the I-70 series in Kansas City. Looper will go head with the Royals' Brian Bannister (7-6, 4.47), who all but stumped the Cardinals' offense in mid-June at Busch Stadium, permitting only two runs in seven innings of work. Bannister has never lost to the Cardinals.

What might make the difference in this current set of games versus the Royals is that Albert Pujols has been available, Yadier Molina is healthier, and the Cardinals have made some breakthroughs on offense. Of note, Rick Ankiel has hit several home runs on this recent road trip. Also of note, is that utility infielder Aaron Miles has hit so well, overall, that he is currently the most successful interleague hitter, all-time.

The Cardinals can claim a winning road trip if they win today, as well as taking two out of three road series (won-Boston; lost-Detroit; ?-Kansas City).