• The Giants arrived at Busch Stadium on Thursday winners of six of their last seven games with the best record in the Majors.
"They've had some consistency. They're one of the best teams in baseball right now. Pitching, good amount of power, consistent offense, pretty impressive group of relievers," Matheny said. "So they've got the whole package working right now."
• If the statistics hold up, the Cardinals and Giants could be in for a low-scoring four-game series at Busch Stadium. The Giants (3.03) ranked second in the National League in ERA entering Thursday's series opener, with the Cardinals (3.25) third.
• With a single in the first inning Thursday, third baseman Matt Carpenter moved his hitting streak to 11 games, the longest active streak in the NL.
Alex Halsted is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.