Adam Wainwright has looked like a pitcher approaching the end of the line.
Wainwright (3-4, 7.66 ERA) will come off the injured list to make the start against Arizona in the opener of a three-game series. He has been sidelined due to shoulder irritation and will be making his first appearance since July 4.
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said that Wainwright will throw approximately 65 pitches
Wainwright is fine with that amount. He said the shoulder received multiple cortisone shots and has held up well in three bullpen sessions, the last being a 50-pitch effort on Friday.
Wainwright said his pitches have more life than earlier in the season.
"It's a dramatic difference because I can get that end-of-the-pitch life, but I guess we'll have to wait and see what these hitters tell us," Wainwright told reporters, before laughing. "The catchers who I have pitched to and the pitching coaches have all told me this looks different, and this looks like last year, so that's what we're going for."
Wainwright went 11-12 last season with a 3.71 ERA.
This season, Wainwright has allowed 84 hits and 19 walks in just 51 2/3 innings over 11 starts. In his last three outings before going on the IL, Wainwright went 0-3 with a 19.13 ERA.
Wainwright, who has 198 career wins in 18 seasons with St. Louis, is 11-6 with a 3.35 ERA in 19 career appearances (16 starts) against the Diamondbacks. Christian Walker is 4-for-9 with a homer against Wainwright, while Ketel Marte is hitless in 12 at-bats
The Cardinals have lost three straight games after winning eight of their previous nine. St. Louis lost to the Chicago Cubs 7-2 on Sunday
The Diamondbacks are glad to be back home after losing their last four games of a 2-7 road trip. Arizona fell 7-3 on Sunday as the Cincinnati Reds finished a three-game sweep
Overall, the Diamondbacks have lost 12 of their past 16 games
"Tough stretch for us," Arizona All-Star outfielder Corbin Carroll said. "Everybody's got a lot of belief in each other. It might be a little bit of a small sample. Got to keep playing. Don't change our game. Keep trying to get better."
The Diamondbacks were just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position on Sunday. Arizona loaded the bases in the ninth, but All-Star outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit into a game-ending double play
"We're not playing the type of baseball we've played all year," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. "We're all frustrated by it.
Carroll homered for the second straight day and third time in the past four games. He has 21 on the season.
Right-hander Ryne Nelson (6-5, 4.82) will be on the mound for Arizona.
Nelson, 25, has allowed two or fewer earned runs in three of his past four starts. That includes giving up two runs and three hits in seven innings while defeating the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday.
Nelson had one rough outing during the stretch, giving up seven runs and nine hits over three innings of a loss to the visiting New York Mets on July 6.
Nelson has never faced St. Louis.
Reigning National League MVP Paul Goldschmidt of the Cardinals was given Sunday off and will return to the lineup Monday against his former team
The 35-year-old has just two homers and eight RBIs in 73 at-bats in July.
Goldschmidt was a six-time All-Star in eight seasons with Arizona before being traded to the Cardinals following the 2018 season
Goldschmidt is batting .301 with seven homers and 20 RBIs in 21 games against the Diamondbacks
--Field Level Media