Most importantly for the Giants, they're 9-6 in Johnson's starts, including victories in five of his last six outings.
Only three of the currently active Cardinals have 10 or more at-bats against Johnson: first baseman Albert Pujols (.429, 9-for-21), third baseman Mark DeRosa (.077, 1-for-13) and backup catcher Jason LaRue (.000, 0-for-10).
SF: LHP Randy Johnson (7-5, 4.68 ERA)
Johnson pitched seven strong innings for the fourth time this season on Wednesday against the Oakland Athletics. Johnson allowed one run on six hits and struck out six. He's now won three starts in a row and five of his last six. In two games against the St. Louis Cardinals last season, the Big Unit went 0-1 with an ERA of 9.31.
STL: RHP Chris Carpenter (5-2, 1.78 ERA)
One rocky inning on Thursday sent Carpenter's ERA soaring -- all the way to 1.78. With only one more start before All-Stars are chosen, the loss may have cost him a chance to pitch in the Midsummer Classic, but few in the National League have been better this year. Carpenter is throwing everything he's got and throwing it all for quality strikes -- fastball, cutter, curveball and changeup. He's a handful, though once again it appears that he'll be facing off against a fellow former Cy Young Award winner -- for the fourth time this year.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, each of San Francisco's four pitchers who won their Major League debut before Ryan Sadowski did so on Sunday earned this distinction by beating the Florida Marlins: Salomon Torres (1993), Jamie Brewington (1995), Osvaldo Fernandez (1996) and Joe Nathan (1999). ... Matt Downs' homer on Sunday was the first this season by a Giants second baseman. San Francisco has homered in five consecutive games and in 24 this month, compared to 12 in April and 14 in May, both National League-low totals. ... The Giants' 7-0 victory Sunday at Milwaukee was their first shutout win on the road this season.
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Official game notes
Wednesday: Giants (Matt Cain, 9-2, 2.57) at Cardinals (Adam Wainwright, 8-5, 3.51), 5:15 p.m. PT
Thursday: Giants (Barry Zito, 4-7, 4.55) at Cardinals (Todd Wellemeyer, 6-7, 5.68), 4:15 p.m. PT
Friday: Giants (TBD) vs. Astros (Felipe Paulino, 2-4, 5.51), 7:15 p.m. PT