Where’s Pete Kozma when you need him?

The Cardinals (2-4, 4th in NLC) head to Washington (3-3, T-2nd in NLE) for their first road series of the season. They’re looking to gain some traction as the starting pitching has typically been strong, but the offense has been lacking. Seemingly plenty of opportunities, just failure to convert, which has been the typical story in St. Louis for awhile now.

The Nationals played a rare three game home series to open up the season before heading on the road for three games and then return home. They come into the series having lost their three game series against the Phillies.

Game 7: Wainwright v. Roark

Adam Wainwright will be looking to get the Cardinals’ season pointed in the right direction as he takes the mound for his second start. Wainwright allowed 2 earned runs over 5 innings in a very mixed start against the Cubs. Wainwright was 1-0 against the Nationals last season, allowing 4 earned over 7 innings of work. He has made six regular season starts in Nationals Park and is 4-2 with a 3.55 ERA.

On the other side, Tanner Roark will be making his second start of the season. He allowed 2 earned runs over 6 innings of work and picked up the win in his season debut against the Marlins. The last start he made against the Cardinals was in 2013 where he allowed 4 earned runs in 5 innings of work and took the loss. He is 22-13 and has a 2.79 ERA in 274 innings of work in Nationals Park.

Game 8: Lynn v Gonzalez

You can call it a successful return to the mound for Lance Lynn who allowed 2 earned runs over 5.1 innings of work in his season debut against the Cubs, especially against a team that has given him fits in the past. He last pitched against the Nationals in 2015, allowing 1 earned run over 6.1 innings of work. He’s made two starts in Nationals Park in his career and has a 3.86 ERA.

A rain delay was not enough to derail Gio Gonzalez‘s season debut as he threw six shutout innings against the Marlins. He made one start against the Cardinals last year and was blown out to the tune of 6 runs over 4.2 innings of work. He has made 74 starts in Nationals Park in his career and is 33-20 with a 3.24 ERA.

Game 9: Leake v Scherzer

Lost in a game where the offense didn’t show up, Mike Leake was downright dominant in his debut against the Reds, allowing 1 earned run on 6 hits and 1 walk over 8 innings of work. He was 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 2 starts against the Nationals last season. He is 1-6 with  3.75 ERA in 6 starts in Nationals Park in his career.

St. Louis native Max Schezer allowed 2 earned runs in 6.2 innings of work in his season debut against the Phillies. He was 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA in 2 starts against the Cardinals last season. He is 13-10 with a 3.01 ERA in 31 starts in Nationals Park for his career.

Who’s hot, who’s not

Aledmys Diaz hit two home runs on Saturday afternoon and went 1-for-4 on Sunday to put his batting average on the season at .296, which leads the team. And for the Nationals, Daniel Murphy went 1-for-4 on Sunday which moved his batting average to .480.

Matt Carpenter was going to be my guy here, but getting on base twice on Sunday bumped him, instead I’m going with Jhonny Peralta. Peralta is 2-for-11 on the season and is hitting .182. He, along with Diaz, are the only two Cardinals who have not taken a walk yet this season, but Peralta has 6 strikeouts in those 11 ABs.

And for the Nationals, I’m going with their bullpen. It features Blake Treinen, Enny Romero, Oliver Perez, Sammy Solis, and Shawn Kelley, all of whom have ERAs over 8.

On the shelf

Trevor Rosenthal is expected to be activated by the Cardinals for this series, Sam Tuivailala was sent to catch up with the Memphis Redbirds after Sunday’s game. Tyler Lyons is scheduled to make his second rehab start on Wednesday for Memphis. Stephen Piscotty was out of the lineup over the weekend with knee soreness, but is expected to be back in the lineup this week.

For the Nationals, shortstop Trea Turner is day-to-day with a hamstring problem. He is expected to miss 2-3 days, which would put him returning in the middle of their series against the Cardinals.