The St. Louis Cardinals averaged more than 51 home wins over their last five years at the old Busch Stadium. Little seems to have changed now that they are in a new ballpark.
The Cardinals look for a three-game sweep in the first series at the new Busch Stadium when they take on the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.
St. Louis (5-3) finished in the top three in home wins among NL clubs four times between 2001-05, totaling 257 victories in that span.
One year after winning 11 of 16 against Milwaukee, St. Louis has won the first two meetings this season with its NL Central rival. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, though, expects the Brewers to be contenders for the division title.
“Hit rewind, I didn’t hear that,” La Russa said. “It’s a brand new year and they’re going to have a winning year. We’ve had a lot of tough games with these guys and that score (Wednesday) was misleading.”
The Cardinals beat the Brewers 8-3 in a game highlighted by Jim Edmonds circling the bases after a pair of errors on a three-run double in the fifth inning.
“They don’t stop putting on the pressure, they keep coming, they capitalize on mistakes,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said of the Cardinals.
St. Louis third baseman Scott Rolen had two RBIs for the third straight game to take over the team lead with 11, one better than Albert Pujols. The reigning NL MVP, though, did drive in a run for the third consecutive game.
Milwaukee (5-3) got off to its best start in 19 years by winning its first five games against lightly regarded Pittsburgh and Arizona before dropping the series finale against the Diamondbacks and the first two games in St. Louis.
The Brewers scored 23 runs and tallied 44 hits during their winning streak, but have managed only seven runs and 23 hits since. Milwaukee pitchers have surrendered 21 runs over the last three games after giving up 14 in the first five.
After struggling against the Brewers at home over the last three seasons, Jeff Suppan will try to change his luck against them when he makes his first start in the new park.
Since joining the Cardinals in 2004, Suppan is 1-1 with a 6.60 ERA in three starts at home against the Brewers. He’s 4-0 with an 0.29 ERA in four starts at Milwaukee in the same span.
Suppan, a right-hander who has recorded a career-high 16 wins each of the last two seasons, took the loss in his first start in 2006. He lasted only five innings, allowing five runs and eight hits on Friday in a 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Left-hander Doug Davis has pitched effectively in his first two starts for Milwaukee, but doesn’t have a decision to show for it.
He gave up two runs and six hits over six innings on April 3 in a 5-2 win over Pittsburgh. Five days later, he limited Arizona to four runs and five hits through five innings in a 5-4 victory.
Davis is 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA in his career against the Cardinals, but both wins came in St. Louis in 2004.