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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, May 27th (All times Eastern)

Philadelphia Phillies (25-23) at St. Louis Cardinals (25-22), 2:15 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - Roy Halladay (4-4, 3.58) St. Louis - Adam Wainwright (3-5, 4.78)

(Sports Network) - A terrific pitching matchup is on tap in St. Louis this afternoon, as Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals try to avoid a four-game sweep at the hands of Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies at Busch Stadium.

Philadelphia will be trying to complete its first four-game sweep over the Cards since Aug. 26-28, 1937, and its first in St. Louis since Aug. 3-6, 1913.

Wainwright, who missed all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery, tossed his third career shutout his last time out against San Diego, scattering four hits and striking out nine to run his record to 3-5 to go along with a 4.78 earned run average.

"I told (fellow starter) Jake (Westbrook) that might be the best feeling I've ever had pitching," said Wainwright, whose sensational performance came in front of a Busch Stadium crowd of 39,151. "I've done some things that are pretty fun, but I can never remember feeling that emotional after a game."

He retired 16 of the game's first 17 batters and the four hits he allowed were a season-low. He had averaged 16.8 pitchers per inning through his first eight starts, but against the Padres needed only 111 pitches to get the job done.

"I tried to let the end of the game sneak up on me," Wainwright said. "I think there have been a lot of times this year looking up at the scoreboard, counting the innings. Tonight I wanted to pitch, and when the end of the game came, I wanted it to be a surprise."

Wainwright has faced the Phillies eight times (six starts) and is 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA.

While Wainwright is seemingly starting to put it together, Halladay appears to be going in the other direction, losing four of his last five decisions and pitching to a 4.75 ERA in his last seven outings.

Halladay was awful in a loss to the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, as he allowed five runs and nine hits in six innings, dropping him to 4-4, while raising his ERA to 3.58.

"A lot of guys, including myself, are trying to carry the weight of the team. You can't do that," Halladay said. "A lot of us need to go out there and have fun playing the game. You start pressing and it makes things worse."

Halladay has faced the Cardinals four times and is 2-1 with a 2.10 ERA.

The Phils can only hope Halladay gives them the type of effort Kyle Kendrick did on Saturday. Kendrick needed to throw just 94 pitches for his first career shutout and led the Phillies to a 4-0 win.

Kendrick (1-4) earned his first win in his sixth start of the season, giving up seven hits and no walks while striking out four. He threw 70 of his 94 pitches for strikes, pushing the game along to a finish shy of 2 1/2 hours.

"Once you get out there (for the ninth), you definitely want to finish it with that third out," Kendrick said.

Jaime Garcia (3-3) struck out six batters in six innings but took the loss after giving up four runs on six hits and two walks.

Unable to solve Kendrick, the Cardinals fell to 5-11 in their last 16 games.

St. Louis won six of nine meetings with the Phillies during the regular season last year.

05/27 10:40:14 ET