St. Louis (93-45) at San Diego (73-65)

Partly Cloudy Currently: San Diego, CA
Temp: 77° F
  • Game info: 3:35 pm EDT Wed Sep 8, 2004
  • TV: ESPN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The pitching of Matt Morris this season has been just as important to the St. Louis Cardinals as their powerful offense.

Morris and the Cardinals look to continue their winning ways as they face the San Diego Padres in the deciding game of their series at Petco Park.

Morris, who won a combined 39 games in 2001-02, won just 11 games a year ago, but is 15-8 this season.

In his last start, Morris pitched a two-hitter and struck out a season-high 11 to lead the Cardinals to a 3-0 win over the NL West-leading Dodgers on Friday night.

It was the right-hander’s third straight win, second shutout this season and the eighth of his career. He has 16 complete games, including three this season.

“Anytime during the season, this is a very encouraging start,” Morris said. I’m going to try to go out there with the same stuff (Wednesday), the same mental approach, and see what happens.”

St. Louis’ 4-2 victory at San Diego on Tuesday night was its 10th win in 11 games.

The Padres, trying for their first postseason appearance since 1998, lost for the sixth time in eight games and remained 2 1/2 games behind Chicago in the NL wild-card race.

The Cardinals, who have baseball’s best record, swept the Padres last week at St. Louis, outscoring them 20-7.

“We know we’ve got to get going,” San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Morris Pit vs. D. Wells LAD
15-10 Record 12-8
4.72 ERA 3.73
131 K 101
56 BB 20
1.29 WHIP 1.14