Who takes the Cards-Braves series?

After two low-scoring contests in games one and two of their current series in Atlanta, the St. Louis Cardinals are in a position to take the road series on Wednesday, improving their road record above .500 (4-4 now) and bolstering their overall tally to 15-7. They move on to Washington for a four-game set this weekend, where I’ll be catching up with the club.

In a match-up of a pair of veteran front-liners, Adam Wainwright takes on Javier Vazquez on Wednesday evening at Turner Field.

Vazquez is in his 12th season as a major league hurler, having debuted with the 1998 Montreal Expos at the tender age of 21. The Puerto Rican native pitched in the American League in four of the last five years, so many of the current Cardinals have not faced him extensively. The right-hander was brought in to Atlanta along with Derek Lowe over the winter to bolster an injury-devastated rotation.

Those Cardinals with a history facing Vazquez have decent results, with two of the four having collected home runs against him, Khalil Greene and Albert Pujols. Injured Troy Glaus also has a long ball off Vazquez, likely from their time together in the American League. In addition, the two were teammates in 2005 as each spent a single season with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Vazquez G/Starts IP W-L ERA WHIP BAA
Career vs. StL 9/9 58 1/3 2-6 4.01 1.22 0.237
2008 vs. StL none
Career at Turner Field 12/12 76 1/3 5-5 3.54 1.09 0.225
Start ’em
Khalil Greene 3-for-9 (.333) 1HR, 2K
Jason LaRue 2-for-5 (.400) 1BB, 3K
Albert Pujols 5-for-13 (.385) 1HR, 3K
Yadier Molina 1-for-3 (.333)
Sit ’em

A player the Braves wish they had back is Wainwright. The 27-year-old native of Brunswick, Georgia was Atlanta’s first-round pick in the 2000 draft. The right-hander became a Cardinal in the J.D. Drew trade in December, 2003, a deal made by former Cards GM Walt Jocketty with then-GM, now-president of the Braves John Schuerholz.

No matter how you cut the numbers, Wainwright has pitched very well against his former organization. With good-hitting catcher Brian McCann on the disabled list, his replacement David Ross ironically has an identical 2-for-9 history against Wainwright. Ross does have a home run, but also fanned 1/3 of the time. As has been proven many times in the past and reinforced in the first two games of the series, pitching around Chipper Jones seems a worthwhile consideration.

Wainwright G/Starts IP W-L ERA WHIP BAA
Career vs. Atl 6/3 24 3-0 1.13 0.96 0.195
2008 vs. Atl 1/1 6 1-0 1.50 1.00 0.238
Career at Turner Field 2/1 9 1-0 1.00 1.11 0.182
Start ’em
Gregor Blanco 1-for-3 (.333)
Matt Diaz 2-for-3 (.667)
Chipper Jones 3-for-5 (.600) 1BB, 1K
Sit ’em
Yunel Escobar 0-for-5 (.000) 1BB
Jeff Francoeur 1-for-5 (.200) 2BB
David Ross 2-for-9 (.222) 1HR, 3K
Kelly Johnson 0-for-8 (.000) 2K