The St. Louis Cardinals open a three-game series against the New York Mets at Citi Field on Friday night with a match-up between two pitchers that were once considered aces, Adam Wainwright and Johan Santana. At times this season, both pitchers have looked they belong at the top of the rotation, especially recently.
After a lackluster start to the season that saw Wainwright showing some obvious rust after Tommy John surgery, he's looked far better over his past two starts. On May 22, he pitched his first shutout of the season, and the third of his career, against the San Diego Padres. He followed that up with six innings of one-run ball against the Phillies last Sunday.
Santana similarly has shown signs of his previous greatness recently after dealing with injuries over the past few years. With the Padres once again playing the role of victim, Santana pitched his first shutout since August 2010 last Saturday, just one day before Wainwright shut down Philadelphia. Now the two will face each other while finally gaining stride.