Cardinals-Rockies Preview


Matt Holliday and the St. Louis Cardinals have routinely found success at the plate against the Colorado Rockies.

Jake Westbrook is looking to continue doing the same on the mound.

Holliday seeks another strong performance against his former team Wednesday night as Westbrook tries to remain unbeaten versus the last-place Rockies.

Holliday spent his first five seasons with the Rockies (37-64), helping them reach their only World Series in 2007. He owns a .368 average with six homers and 18 RBIs in 22 games against them since being traded to Oakland after the 2008 season.

He's taken full advantage of Colorado's struggling staff this year, going 10 for 20 with two doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs as the Cardinals (55-48) have won four of five meetings. Holliday had a double and a homer while driving in four runs in Tuesday's 11-6 win to open this three-game series at Coors Field.

St. Louis has won 12 of its past 15 meetings with Colorado, hitting .289 overall and .345 with 29 runs during a 3-1 stretch in Denver.

Westbrook (9-8, 3.61 ERA) has gotten - but hasn't necessarily needed - ample offensive support while going 3-0 with a 2.18 ERA in four games - three starts - against the Rockies.

The right-hander is 5-2 with a 2.78 ERA in his last eight starts overall, pitching into at least the seventh inning in each of the last four. Westbrook went seven innings Thursday, yielding four runs - three earned - and seven hits, all singles, in a 7-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"Each guy on their day takes pride in going out there and doing their job," Westbrook told his team's official website. "Our starting pitchers, our goal is to get deep into the game, give our team a chance to win."

The Cardinals made an effort to bolster their bullpen at the trade deadline, acquiring right-hander Edward Mujica from Miami on Tuesday.

Mujica has a 4.38 ERA in 41 games, holding right-handed hitters to a .211 average. Last year, he was 9-6 with a 2.96 ERA in 67 appearances for the Marlins.

"We think he's going to be a nice fit," manager Mike Matheny said. "He's got a good arm and a good split. That split really works well for right-handed and left-handed hitters. He's coming off a strong year last year. He just has that reputation as being a guy who can come in and fill a few different roles for you at the back end of your bullpen."

An ineffective rotation has been Colorado's biggest downfall, with the starters posting an 8.55 ERA while the team has dropped 12 of 15. During the Rockies' four-game losing streak, their starters have allowed 21 runs in 18 innings.

Colorado's relievers also had major problems Tuesday, allowing six runs in the final four innings.

"Bottom line is 11 runs," manager Jim Tracy said. "That's a big number."

Drew Pomeranz (1-6, 4.99) will make his first start against the Cardinals and try again for his first home win of 2012. He's 0-4 with a 4.31 ERA in six starts in Denver.

The rookie left-hander has lost all three of his starts overall since the All-Star break, posting a 10.13 ERA while allowing opponents to hit .356.