Cardinals face familiar foe in Giants RHP Jordan Hicks

Field Level Media

June 21, 2024 at 5:52 pm.

Jordan Hicks spent parts of five productive seasons pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals, primarily in relief.

Hicks converted back to a starter after signing with the San Francisco Giants as a free agent during the offseason. He will be back in St. Louis to face the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon for the first time since heading West.

As a Cardinal, Hicks had 24 holds in 2018 and 14 saves in 2019. Last season he saved eight games and earned six holds in St. Louis before moving onto the Toronto Blue Jays in a trade.

Hicks (4-3, 2.82 ERA) has held opponents to three or fewer runs in all but one of his 15 starts this season. But the right-hander has failed to complete six innings in his last nine starts.

He threw five scoreless innings in his last outing, a game the Giants eventually won 7-6 over the Chicago Cubs on Monday. He allowed four hits and four walks in that game while striking out four.

The Cardinals won the opener of this three-game series 6-5 Thursday at historic Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Ala. The event honored Negro Leagues players like Giants legend Willie Mays, who died on Tuesday.

Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski left Thursday’s game with side muscle tightness. He was scheduled for medical evaluations Friday in St. Louis.

“More disappointed than anything,” Yastrzemski told MLB.com. “It felt like an atmosphere that I really wanted to be in the whole time. Unfortunately, I had to be as cautious as possible because it doesn’t feel like it’s potentially losing six weeks if I really did a ton of damage in there. Hopefully, there’s not too much.”

The Cardinals appreciated Friday’s travel day, which will allow them to reset their bullpen. St. Louis had to deploy a bullpen start in Miami on Wednesday after scheduled starter Kyle Gibson bowed out with back stiffness.

With many of their relievers unable to pitch Thursday, Adam Kloffenstein arrived from Triple-A Memphis and pitched the eighth inning in his major league debut. He threw a scoreless frame, then watched closer Ryan Helsley convert his 25th consecutive save to set a team record.

“I was like, ‘Who is coming in after me?’ Then I turned around and saw 6-5 in the eighth,” Kloffenstein told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I was like, ‘Oh, Helsley is coming in.’ I was like, ‘I just set up for Helsley?'”

Right-hander Miles Mikolas (5-6, 4.59 ERA) will start for St. Louis on Saturday and try to continue his recent success. He met the quality start metric in his previous five starts, and he held the Chicago Cubs to one run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings in his last outing, a 2-1 victory.

Mikolas is 3-1 with a 2.22 ERA in eight career games against the Giants, including four starts.

The Cardinals may be without third baseman Nolan Arenado for a second straight game. He experienced hand numbness after suffering a right elbow contusion after being hit by a pitch Wednesday.

“It (stinks) that it’s my throwing hand, so I don’t know,” Arenado told MLB.com. “I don’t know how long it’s gonna be. Hopefully there’s no IL stint, but, you know, it’s gonna probably be a few days. So hopefully I can get back Saturday.”