Instead, a series featuring two division leaders begins with a proven veteran going against a touted rookie as the Giants’ Jason Schmidt faces Dan Haren in the opener of a four-game set at Busch Stadium.
Schmidt was supposed to square off against Cardinals ace Matt Morris, who was 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in two starts against the Giants last season. But the right-hander was scratched because of a sore shoulder.
Morris, who was 39-17 in the previous two seasons and 8-5 with a 3.85 ERA this year, has tentatively been moved back to a Saturday start against the Chicago Cubs as a precautionary move.
Schmidt is coming off back-to-back complete games against the Los Angeles Dodgers—a 2-0 three-hitter on June 19 and a 2-1 four-hitter Tuesday. The right-hander, who is 4-2 with a 1.44 ERA over his last seven starts, threw 127 pitches in each outing, striking out a combined 17 and walking just two.
“I don’t know what happened there,” Schmidt said after Tuesday’s victory, his fourth complete game of the season. “After so many pitches last game I almost felt stronger, so that was a good thing. I was kind of stiff all week but that’s the way it works out.”
Haren will be promoted from Triple-A Memphis to make his major league debut.
The 22-year-old right-hander was 2-1 with a 4.93 ERA with the Redbirds, striking out 35 and walking eight over 45 2-3 innings.
The Cardinals have won four of five with Sunday’s 13-6 rout of the Kansas City Royals to salvage a split of the season I-70 Series.
The NL West-leading Giants have won four of six despite Sunday’s 5-2 loss to Oakland as the teams split the season Bay Bridge Series.
STANDINGS: Giants - 1st place, NL West. Cardinals - 1st place, NL Central.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Schmidt (7-3, 2.23 ERA). Schmidt is 6-6 with a 3.55 ERA in 14 career starts against the Cardinals.
CARDINALS PROBABLE STARTER: Haren (no record). A 2001 second-round draft pick out of Pepperdine, Haren began the season with Double-A Tennessee and dominated the Southern League, going 6-0 with a 0.82 ERA. He struck out 49 and walked just six.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Giants - Durham, .321 avg.; Barry Bonds, 22 HRs, 46 RBIs and 54 runs; Bonds and Marquis Grissom, 7 SBs. Cardinals - Pujols, .391 avg., 72 RBIs and 74 runs; Edmonds, 24 HRs; Edgar Renteria, 17 SBs.
2002 SEASON SERIES: Cardinals, 4-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Giants - 2B Durham is hitting .417 (10-for-24) over his last six games. … With 459 homers in Giants uniform, OF Bonds is tied with Willie Mays for second on the club’s all-time home run list. Willie McCovey holds franchise record with 469. … The Giants’ 37 errors are the second-fewest in the majors. The Cardinals are fourth-best with 38 miscues. Cardinals - OF Pujols and SS Renteria, who had a combined six hits Sunday, are tied for the NL lead with 36th multihit games. … St. Louis lost OF J.D. Drew and C Joe Girardi during Sunday’s game. Drew collided with Ken Harvey on a play at first base and strained his right hip flexor, while Girardi strained his back. Their status for Monday’s game remains uncertain. … OF Edmonds is batting .464 (13-for-28) with five homers and 14 RBIs over his last five games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Giants - 23-17 on the road; Cardinals - 25-15 at home.
INJURIES: Giants - SS Rich Aurilia (abdomen), day-to-day; INF J.T. Snow (groin), 15-day DL; OF Marvin Benard (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Kurt Ainsworth (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Robb Nen (shoulder), 15-day DL. Cardinals - OF Drew (hip), day-to-day; C Girardi (back), day-to-day; C Steve Torrealba (elbow), 15-day DL; C Chris Widger (thumb), 15-day DL; INF Miguel Cairo (hand), 15-day DL; 2B Fernando Vina (hamstring), 15-day DL; OF Eli Marrero (ankle), 15-day DL; RHP Kiko Calero (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Russ Springer (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Chris Carpenter (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Gene Stechschulte (shoulder), 60-day DL.