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|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, August 8, 2018
Marlins Park, Miami, Florida Attendance: 7,306
Unlikely pitching matchup for Cardinals-Marlins game
MIAMI -- The starting pitchers for Wednesday's series finale between the St. Louis Cardinals and host Miami Marlins don't lack for humility.
John Gant, a third-year, 26-year-old major-leaguer for the Cardinals, served as a high school girls' basketball scorekeeper as recently as two years ago, although the team he worked for was coached by his father, John Sr.
Trevor Richards, a 25-year-old rookie for the Marlins, spent this past offseason as a substitute teacher.
On the mound, Richards, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound right-hander, has been better than expected, considering he signed with Miami as an undrafted free agent and the fact that he is playing for a last-place club. He is 3-6 with a 3.92 ERA in 16 major-league starts, striking out 78 batters in 80 1/3 innings.
His 90.9-mph fastball is below average, but he is able to neutralize hitters with his changeup. Over his past four starts -- encompassing 23 2/3 innings -- Richards has posted a brilliant 0.76 ERA.
Despite that, Richards hasn't won a game in nearly a month, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 2-0 on July 14.
In Richards' most recent game, he was the losing pitcher in a 5-1 defeat against the Phillies despite allowing just one run in five innings.
"I threw a couple of good changeups, but it wasn't quite there consistently," Richards told the media following that game. "Same with my fastball. My command was off, and I was yanking some balls, mechanically flying open."
Richards faced the Cardinals on June 7, allowing three runs and seven hits in five innings and taking the loss in a 4-1 defeat.
Gant, who played high school ball in the Central Florida area, was the New York Mets' 21st-round pick in 2011, signing for $185,000.
He is now on his third major-league organization, including the Atlanta Braves between the Mets and Cards.
He is 3-4 with a 4.12 ERA this season, and he is 4-9 with a 4.48 ERA over his three major-league seasons.
Interestingly, Gant has never won a game in the second half of a season, going 0-4 with a 5.44 ERA.
Gant has never faced the Marlins.
As for the two offenses that will compete on Wednesday, the Cardinals are led by reigning National League Player of the Week Matt Carpenter at first base.
In Tuesday's 3-2 Cardinals win over Miami, Carpenter pulled a tie-breaking homer over the right-field fence in the eighth inning.
Carpenter, who leads the National League with 30 homers, hit a 3-2 fastball off of reliever Elieser Hernandez (2-6). Carpenter became the first major-leaguer this year to reach 30 homers and 30 doubles.
It was Carpenter's 11th homer since the All-Star break; the rest of his Cardinals team has just 10 long balls during that span. Carpenter also leads the majors with 20 road homers.
In addition, Carpenter, with that homer, extended his streak of reaching base to 26 games, the longest active run in the majors.
Cardinals left fielder Marcell Ozuna, who is 5-for-8 in this series so far while playing against his former team, said he felt great about a video tribute to him the Marlins put on big screen on Monday night.
"I didn't know they were going to do that for me," said Ozuna, who leads the Cards with 33 multi-hit games, including two in this series. "I appreciate how much (Marlins fans) love me."
Shortstop Paul DeJong, who on Tuesday slugged a two-run homer -- his 10th blast of the season -- is another Cardinals player to watch.
Miami's hottest hitter at the moment is Derek Dietrich, who went 3-for-4 on Tuesday and made a pair of nice catches.
Updated August 7, 2018