Cheap Seats

Another day, another unfamiliar pitcher

The Cardinals on Saturday face another unfamiliar starter. This time it's Tim Stauffer with all of six starts under his belt this season and a total of nine dating back to the beginning to the 2006 season.

Stauffer is only 1-4 in 2009. But he has a pretty impressive 2.90 ERA. His record is deceptive because he has given his team a chance to win whenever he has started. But the bullpen hasn't exactly done him any favors.

blog post photo

Padres starter Tim Stauffer pitches July 30 against the Reds. AP photo.

In his most recent start, Aug. 9, Stauffer threw five innings against the Mets, allowing one run on five hits and a walk while striking out six. The Padres lost 5-1.

While Stauffer has been effective, he hasn't been able to go especially deep in games, usually pitching five or six innings. So the Cardinals need to use the same tactics they did Friday night: Working the young pitcher early to get him to put his stuff on display and then punishing him and the bullpen in later innings.

The Cardinals can't afford to have a bad day because the Cubs are getting their ship righted by feasting on a talent poor Pittsburgh team. Come Monday the Birds head for a west coast trip against the first place Dodgers while the Wee Bears will continue to play weak opposition. They'll take on San Diego after the Bucs.