The St. Louis Cardinals will continue their western jaunt over the weekend, visiting the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field for a three-game set. They'll meet Ubaldo Jimenez, struggling to round into form after a rough start, with Jake Westbrook Friday night; Jimenez's walk rate has jumped by two full bases-on-balls per nine innings from his All-Star season of 2010, with 21 walks in just 28 innings in five May starts. He's 0-4 on the season. Westbrook has been similarly schlubbish, with 27 strikeouts against 26 walks on the season.
Jaime Garcia, 5-0 with an ERA of 1.93, will get the Saturday start against Juan Nicasio, making his Major League debut. A hard-thrower who can flirt with the triple-digits on his fastball, he's shown outstanding control in AA as well, striking out 63 batters while walking just 10 in the high-offense Texas League.
On Sunday the startlingly brilliant Kyle Lohse will face Jhoulys Chacin in the final game of the series. Lohse's 74 innings are third in the National League, and he's tied for the league lead in wins. Chacin is off to a strong start in 2011 after a breakout 2010; his strikeout rate is down slightly but he's also reduced his walk rate.