Joel Pineiro's first start at old Shea Stadium was one of the most memorable of his career. He'd love to repeat the feat in his first appearance at shiny new Citi Field.

On Sept. 27, 2007, Pineiro tossed eight shutout innings to lead the Cardinals to a 3-0 win over the Mets. The win was part of a season-ending five-game streak for the Cardinals that helped put a better face on an extremely frustrating season. It was also a costly defeat for New York, which missed the playoffs by one game.

It was also a trip the Cardinals didn't even think they should have had to make. There was frustration in the clubhouse over the rainout that forced that night's makeup game.

"Yeah, definitely," Pineiro said when asked if the game stood out in his memory. "It was my first time pitching against them. I had never pitched against them. Yeah, it was huge. I'm proud of that. It was big. And it made it bigger, the way they set it up, that we had to come in here and make it up."

The stadium where Pineiro pitched that game is now gone. However, the park that stands in its place may suit him even better. An extreme pitch-to-contact pitcher this year, Pineiro is the type of hurler who benefits especially greatly from a pitchers' park. And thus far, Citi Field's reputation is that it's a pitchers' park.

So Pineiro, heavily reliant on his sinking fastball this year, may lean even more on that pitch on Tuesday.

"That's what they've been saying," he said. "I can't tell you until I go out there and see exactly. But from what I've heard, they've got the higher fences, so it's different. So maybe the game plan might change a little.

"The way they say about it, that it might be more friendly to [pitchers], I might throw more [sinkers]. Definitely you've got to use the ballpark to your advantage. It's not like pitching in Philly."

Pitching matchup
STL: RHP Joel Pineiro (5-8, 3.76 ERA)
Pineiro retired 16 straight Tigers on Thursday after giving up four runs in the first inning. He then fell to the ground in pain after striking out Josh Anderson to end the seventh and had to be carried from the field with cramps. Only one of his four runs were earned, and he took the tough-luck loss, saying that he was just a little dehydrated and would be fine for his start in New York. Pineiro has lost five straight starts and eight of his past nine after starting the season 4-0.

NYM: RHP Livan Hernandez (5-1, 4.18 ERA)
Hernandez would have beaten the Orioles last Thursday if not for a blown save, and he still has not lost any of his past 10 starts, dating back to April 23 -- and that from a pitcher who wasn't even projected to make the Opening Day rotation. He is not walking batters -- just 2.5 per nine innings -- and he is stranding men on base. With runners in scoring position, opponents are batting just .183 off Hernandez this season. He'll look to continue that trend against the Cardinals, a team that thumped him for seven runs in 4 1/3 innings earlier this year.

Tidbits
Albert Pujols is 11-for-32 (.344) against Hernandez with three home runs. ... David Wright is 5-for-12 (.417) against Pineiro. ... Pineiro is 2-5 with a 5.27 ERA on the road this year (3-3, 2.32 at home). ... Khalil Greene has been torrid, but his 3-for-20 line against Hernandez could keep him out of the lineup.

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
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On radio
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Up next
• Wednesday: Cardinals (Brad Thompson, 2-2, 3.89) at Mets (Fernando Nieve, 2-0, 1.84), 6:10 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Cardinals (Chris Carpenter, 5-1, 1.53) at Mets (Johan Santana, 8-5, 3.22), 12:10 p.m. CT
• Friday: Cardinals (Adam Wainwright, 8-4, 3.58) vs. Twins (Glen Perkins, 2-4, 5.10), 7:15 p.m. CT