For once the schedule may have finally allowed the St. Louis faithful to take a breath as long as you have trust in the newly-rediscovered Lance Lynn. As C70 put it better than I could, this is the kind of game the Cardinals should win if they want to be divisional champs. Two things favor the visitors tonight in Colorado, and both have to do with expanded rosters. First, Lynn will be on a short leash given how important every win is the next two weeks. That means prepare yourself for a healthy dose of the Cards bullpen as well as a possible Jake Westbrook sighting!
Second and much more important in my opinion, the Rockies confirmed their best left-handed starter has been scratched from taking the mound this evening. That leaves Collin McHugh to make the spot start, a turn of events that surely would not have happened without just the right amount of luck. McHugh was traded from the Mets to Colorado June 18th for Eric Young, and I was in attendance for his first appearance as a Tulsa Driller. As if the Birds on the Bat needed any extra incentive, the opening game of the road trip shapes up much like yesterday’s getaway game.
McHugh will not overpower the potent St. Louis lineup, but he does show solid control. That should help Lynn as well if the home plate umpire has a wide zone. The big negative for the 26-year old righty is the lack of a true out pitch, and that has caught up with McHugh at the major league level. He is still looking for his first big league victory, but that can come the final series of the season against the Dodgers. After all, there is still that little thing called home-field advantage up for grabs in the National League.