Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman will try to reestablish his All-Star form when the San Francisco Giants host the St. Louis Cardinals Monday.
The Giants will start Gausman (8-2, 1.68 ERA) in the opener of their three-game series. In his last start, he allowed three runs on three hits and a season-high five walks in five innings in a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Gausman struggled with his command of his split-fingered pitch.
“A lot of uncompetitive pitches, uncompetitive splits out of my hand,” Gausman said. “I almost hit four or five righties trying to throw that pitch down and away to them, so it definitely wasn’t the same as it has been throughout starts this year. I made it pretty easy for them to lay off it. I felt like I would throw two bad ones in a row, and then throw a really good one.
“But I just wasn’t consistent enough with it for them to chase. I should have given up a lot more than three runs. Just the command wasn’t there. It was a grind for sure.”
That was just the second time in 16 starts this season that Gausman allowed more than two runs. That consistency earned him a spot on the National League squad for the All-Star Game in Denver.
“It’s my first one, and I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I think it will be a little bit more special being that I only grew up about 30 minutes down the road from Coors Field,” Gausman said.
He is 0-2 with a 4.60 ERA in six career appearances against the Cardinals, including two starts. Paul Goldschmidt (2-for-2, homer), Paul DeJong (2-for-4, homer, two RBIs) Matt Carpenter (3-for-7, two walks, RBI) and Jose Rondon (1-for-3, double) have fared well against him.
The Giants come into this six-game homestand after sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks. They lead the National League West by a half-game over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Meanwhile the Cardinals extended their midseason swoon by losing three of four road games to the Colorado Rockies over the weekend. The Cardinals scored just six runs in those losses.
“Our guys care,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said after Sunday’s 3-2 loss. “They want to compete. Nobody likes the feelings that we felt the last two nights. It’s combination of things. I think maybe some guys are pressing. I think some of it is just guys are pitching well. But we weren’t as consistent as we’d like offensively.”
The Cardinals will give Kwang Hyun Kim (2-5, 3.79 ERA) his first career start against the Giants. He won his last outing, holding the Arizona Diamondbacks to one run on three hits and three walks in five innings.
“KK has been improved as far as just controlling counts, good pace and just making quality pitches,” Shildt said.
Cardinals outfielder Tyler O’Neill is questionable for Monday’s game with a finger injury that sidelined him for the last two games.
Giants catcher Buster Posey suffered a left thumb contusion Sunday night. The club reported that X-rays came back negative.
–Field Level Media