MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
LA Dodgers2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 350
St. Louis2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 x 450
  W: M. Mikolas (1-1)   L: J. Kelly (1-2)   S: J. Hicks (2)
4:45 PM PT5:45 PM MT6:45 PM CT7:45 PM ET19:45 ET23:45 GMT7:45 4:45 PM MST6:45 PM EST7:15 PM VEN3:45 UAE (+1)6:45 PM CT, April 8, 2019
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri  Attendance: 35,858

Cards hope Mikolas can right ship against Dodgers

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Having just lost two of three to the San Diego Padres in their home-opening series to the 2019 season, the St. Louis Cardinals welcome another National League West entry to Busch Stadium Monday for the first of three games.

And after two straight trips to the World Series, the Dodgers (8-2) are off to another fast start as they prepare to face the Cardinals in the first night game of the season. And they come to St. Louis on a five-game winning streak while averaging 8.4 runs per game.

The game will match two Opening Day starters in their third outings of the season.

Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu is 2-0 with a 2.08 earned run average in his first two starts. Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in his first two outings.

The pitchers have one thing in common. Both have been burned by the home run. All three runs allowed by Ryu have come on two homers, including a two-run homer by a Giants pitcher in Ryu's last start. Meanwhile, Mikolas has allowed four homers in his first 10 innings this season after serving up only 16 homers in 32 starts last season.

While the 30-year-old Mikolas was a natural pick to be the Cardinals Opening Day starter after going 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA last season and finishing sixth in the National League Cy Young Award voting, Ryu was actually the Dodgers' fourth choice.

Ryu got the "honor" after Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler and Rich Hill were all eliminated by injuries.

"But Ryu has stepped up like you'd expect your Opening Day starter," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after Ryu's second straight win to open the season. "He's a very dependable pitcher. He's going to consistently give you a good start."

The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Ryu was 7-3 last season with a 1.97 ERA in a season limited to 15 starts by injuries. He allowed 23 runs (18 earned) on 68 hits and 15 walks with 89 strikeouts in 82 1/3 innings.

The 32-year-old Korean has a 1-2 career record against the Cardinals with a 2.25 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP and a .221 opponents' batting average in five appearances and four starts. But he is 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA and a 0.692 WHIP plus a .174 opponents' batting average (and a .409 opponents' OPS) in his two previous starts at Busch Stadium.

Starting his sixth season in the United States and with the Dodgers, Ryu has allowed 10 hits and no walks with 13 strikeouts in 13 innings in his first two starts.

While no one expected Mikolas to duplicate last year's performance in his first season with the Cardinals after a three-season trip to Japan, his slow start has raised some concerns. He has allowed eight runs on 12 hits and three walks with just five strikeouts in 10 innings.

Last season, Mikolas didn't lose his second game until June 12.

"We all think Miles is close," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said after Mikolas' second outing. "He's the same guy he was last year."

That's when Mikolas allowed 1.071 baserunners per inning. He gave up 70 runs (63 earned) on 186 hits and 29 walks with 146 strikeouts in 200 2/3 innings. He averaged a league-best 1.3 walks per nine innings with a 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Mikolas was 8-4 at Busch Stadium last season with a 2.17 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP and a .227 opponents' batting average in 16 starts. He did not face the Dodgers last season.

--Field Level Media

Updated April 8, 2019

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