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Series Preview: Cardinals @ Brewers

Hopefully the Cardinals will be looking for a little payback when they arrive at Miller Park this afternoon to take on the Brewers.

Milwaukee swept the Birds in a two-game set in St. Louis the last time the clubs met, which helped send the Cardinals on their playoff death spiral.

Only 4-10 in their last 10 games, the Brewers helped the Cardinals Sunday by cooling off the red hot Phillies, currently the leader in the wild card derby. Of course, the Cardinals haven't been able to make much of the assistance, improving to 3-7 over their last 10 with a pair of victories over the Reds in a three-game home set.

Albert Pujols carried the Birds for a while. But he is now as cold as he was red hot a couple of weeks ago. He's got one hit in his last 20 at bats, falling out of the triple crown race as his batting average dwindled to .309. Pedro Feliz is also 1-for-20 over the last two series. Of course, he didn't have as far to fall and his batting average stands at .224.

Pitching matchups:

Jake Westbrook (1-3, 4.03) tries again for his second win as a Cardinal Monday afternoon against Yovani Gallardo (11-7, 3.86). Westbrook has buckled a little bit over his last three starts, posing an 0-3 record with a 4.74 ERA. But he continues to accumulate strikeouts with 15 over that span, a high number for him. Gallardo has been terrible lately with an 0-2 record and a 12.27 ERA over his last three starts. 

In the middle game, the Cardinals will send Kyle Lohse (2-6, 7.12) and his $41 million contract to the hill against Milwaukee starter Chris Narveson (10-7, 5.33) despite the please of St. Louis fan that Lohse never appear in a St. Louis uniform again. Since returning from forearm surgery, Lohse is 1-2 with a 11.48 ERA. Narveson is 0-1 with a 4.30 ERA in his career against his former club.

Rookie Jaime Garcia (13-6, 2.35) will start the finale against Chris Capuano (2-3, 4.62). Garcia has turned in gems two of his last three stats with a 3-0 record and 0.86 ERA and 19 strikeouts over that stretch. He's 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA against Milwaukee. Capuano is 0-1 with a 7.00 ERA in his last three starts and is 4-5 with a 5.59 ERA lifetime against St. Louis.