The St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds will meet for their second series of the year over the weekend, playing three games at Great American Ballpark starting Friday. Kyle Lohse and Bronson Arroyo are scheduled to kick off the series, with noted kicker Johnny Cueto and Chris Carpenter appearing in the second and third games of the series, respectively. The Cardinals come into the series having taken two of three from the Chicago Cubs, while the Reds, 1.5 games back of St. Louis in the National League Central, won two against the Houston Astros before dropping Wednesday's finale.
Brandon Phillips might not be quite so antagonistic this time around, but with the NL Central still a toss-up there'll be no shortage of genuine intensity from these rivals-of-necessity. The youngster-heavy lineup the Cardinals won with Thursday in Chicago won't likely be in attendance this weekend; for better or for worse, the Reds just won't get a chance to see Allen Craig at second base. Ryan Theriot, out with oblique pain on Thursday, is likely to play this weekend but could remain a push for Friday night.