Kyle Lohse is making himself millions of dollars as the free-agent-to-be has been the Cardinals’ best pitcher this season. He is 2-0 with a 3.32 ERA in his past three starts and takes the mound Friday night vs. two-time Cy Young winner Roy Halladay.
Cincinnati at Chicago Cubs – Reds RHP Homer Bailey (9-7, 3.98) vs. Cubs RHP Justin Germano (1-1, 2.37): Bailey has given up 10 earned runs over 8 1-3 innings in his last two starts. He’s given up 18 hits and three walks in those starts. … Germano scattered three hits over 5 1/3 innings in his last start, then ran out of gas after 77 pitches. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out three, all encouraging signs. This is his chance to make a good impression for next year.
San Diego at Pittsburgh – Padres RHP Edinson Volquez (7-8, 3.73) vs. Pirates RHP James McDonald (10-5, 3.42): Volquez allowed four runs and exited after just 1 2/3 innings his last time out due to a blister on his thumb. He said the thumb feels good, and he looks to rebound from his shortest outing of the season. … J-Mac hasn’t been very effective since the All-Star break. In five starts, he’s 1-2 with a 7.76 ERA. Opponents are hitting .315 off him, and have taken him deep six times. He has also issued 20 walks to go with 22 strikeouts.
St. Louis at Philadelphia – Cardinals RHP Kyle Lohse (12-2, 2.79) vs. Phillies RHP Roy Halladay (5-6, 4.02): Owner of the league’s top winning percentage, Lohse continues to lead the rotation. Even when he isn’t sharp, he finds ways to keep his team close. Lohse has made 17 quality starts and 11 of his last 12 fall in that category. … Halladay is coming off one of his best starts of the season. He shut out the D-backs on Saturday, allowing just three hits over seven innings. It was a positive sign for Doc, who hadn’t won since coming off his right lat injury.
Atlanta at NY Mets – Braves LHP Paul Maholm (9-7, 3.75) vs. Mets RHP Matt Harvey (1-2, 3.86): Maholm gave up two homers to Justin Maxwell and lost to the Astros, 3-2, in his debut with the Braves at home on Saturday. He had allowed just one homer while going 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA in his last seven games for the Cubs. … Following two strong starts to open his career, Harvey scuffled against the Padres on Sunday, lacking his best fastball command and giving up five runs as a result. His fourth start, Friday against the Braves, will mark his Citi Field debut.
LA Dodgers at Miami – Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (9-6, 2.88) vs. Marlins LHP Mark Buehrle (9-10, 3.70): After giving up eight runs in 5 2/3 innings vs. the Cards on July 24, Kershaw has been fantastic. He threw a five-hit shutout against the Giants on the road and followed that up by giving up just one run and three hits in seven innings vs. the Cubs. … Buehrle has gone four straight starts without a win. He was in line for a victory in Washington, but settled for a no-decision. So he remains a win away from his 12th consecutive double-digit victory season.
Milwaukee at Houston – Brewers RHP Mark Rogers (0-1, 5.91) vs. Astros RHP Bud Norris (5-9, 5.07): Rogers went backwards after his first start this season, giving up five runs on seven hits in just five innings on Saturday against St. Louis. Six of the 13 hits he’s allowed in two games have gone for extra bases. … Norris’ ERA is hovering above five after sitting at 3.14 through nine starts. He pitched well for most of his past start, but he gave up three runs in the sixth and took the loss, his eighth in a row. He hasn’t won since May 21.
Washington at Arizona – Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (12-5, 2.97) vs. Diamondbacks RHP Trevor Cahill (9-9, 3.76): Strasburg was back on his game Sunday against Miami, striking out six Marlins and allowing only three hits over six scoreless innings. The young ace has thrown 127 1/3 innings on the season, and his 11.3 strikeouts-per-nine leads the Majors. … Cahill pitched well his last time out, against the Phils, allowing three runs over seven innings, though he wound up with a no-decision. Cahill faced the Nats earlier this year and got the win after allowing one run on six hits over 7 1/3 innings.
Colorado at San Francisco – Rockies RHP Tyler Chatwood (1-2, 6.61) vs. Giants RHP Tim Lincecum (6-11, 5.43): Chatwood was effective with a live fastball and good breaking ball when he was in the strike zone Sunday, but he wasn’t in the zone enough, walking four and allowing three runs (one earned) in 3 1/3 innings before hitting Colorado’s 75-pitch target. … Lincecum allowed two earned runs over 13 innings in his last two starts, having back-to-back quality starts for the third time this year. Prior to his last two outings, Lincecum was 1-3 in his previous five with an ERA of 6.84.