All posts by Marilyn Green

St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of September 21-27

photo: St. Louis Cardinals clinch playoffs, September 27, 2020

The St. Louis Cardinals went 4-4 in the final week of the regular season and clinched the number five seed in the NL Wild Card Series against San Diego. Austin Gomber pitched well in two important starts and Harrison Bader paced the sputtering offense. In our history feature, we look back at the 1934 World Series, won by the famous Gashouse Gang.



Game Recaps

Monday, September 21, 2020 – Cardinals 1 at Royals 4

The St. Louis Cardinals began a three-game series in Kansas City against the Royals on Monday.  Game 1 was a 4-1 loss for the Cardinals.

Starter Adam Wainwright suffered his second loss of the season.  The right hander pitched 5 2/3 innings and gave up three runs on six hits.  He fanned seven and walked two.   Wainwright threw 91 pitches, 58 for strikes

Tyler Webb relieved and tossed a scoreless inning.  Giovanny Gallegos surrendered a run in 2/3 of an inning. Seth Elledge secured the final out.

St. Louis’ scoring consisted of a solo home run by Matt Carpenter in the second inning.  The Redbirds had a total of six hits, with Yadier Molina going 2-for-4. Tommy Edman, Paul Goldschmidt and Dexter Fowler each singled.

 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 – Cardinals 5 at Royals 0

St. Louis fared much better in the second game of the series, blanking the Royals 5-0 behind very good pitching from left hander Austin Gomber.  Gomber tossed six scoreless innings on four hits, no walks and struck out three. He threw 76 pitches, 52 for strikes.  Ryan Helsley, Genesis Cabrera, and Jake Woodford each added a scoreless inning of relief.  Gomber earned his first win of the season.

Austin Gomber via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Rookie Dylan Carlson shined offensively with three hits and was a home run short of a cycle.  His second inning double drove in two of the team’s five runs.  Kolten Wong was 2-for-3 and plated a run on a single in the second inning.

Brad Miller doubled in a run in the fifth, and Tommy Edman’s sac fly in the sixth scored the final run.  Paul Goldschmidt contributed a double but was stranded.

Wong was caught stealing for the second time this season.  Edman and Matt Carpenter both made throwing errors.

 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 – Cardinals 3 at Royals 12

The third and final game of the series was a disaster for the Cardinals.  The Royals pummeled starter Carlos Martinez before the right-hander left the game with an oblique injury.  Martinez pitched five innings, giving up eight runs on nine hits.  The right hander struck out three and walked two.

Seth Elledge relieved in the sixth and compounded the woes by yielding three additional runs on four hits.  Kodi Whitley surrendered one run in the seventh inning.  Only Jake Woodford tossed a scoreless frame, the eighth and final inning for St. Louis pitching.

The offense produced nine hits, but only three runs were the result.  Harrison Bader drove in two of the three on a line drive single to left in the ninth inning.  Prior to that, the offense scored one run in the fifth on a single by Dexter Fowler.

Bader and Yadier Molina contributed multiple hits; Molina was 2-for-3 and Bader was 2-for-4.

 

Thursday, September 24, 2020 – Cardinals 4, Brewers 2

The Cardinals’ final series of the regular season began on Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium.  This first of five contests ended with a Cardinals victory against one of the best pitchers in the National League, Corbin Burnes.

St. Louis’ offense got the Burnes in the third inning.  It started with back to back singles by Kolten Wong and Tommy Edman. Paul Goldschmidt singled to drive in Wong.

The Brewers knotted the game up 1-1 in the top of the fourth.  In response, the Redbirds scored two in the bottom half of the inning.  Dexter Fowler drew a walk and Dylan Carlson blasted a ball long and high into right field, but just fair for a two-run home run.  The Cardinals led 3-1.

Dylan Carlson via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Carlson once again plated the fourth and final Cardinals run in the sixth following another Fowler free pass.  This time it was an RBI double in the left center field gap that brought Fowler home.

The Brewers made it closer in the ninth with one run to make it 4-2, but St. Louis prevailed.  Edman and Carlson each had two hits.  One other Cardinal had two hits, and the second one was very special.  Yadier Molina’s 2,000th career hit was a line drive single to center.  He became just the 12th catcher in MLB history to reach the 2,000 hit milestone.

The offense had many chances to put the game away, but continued to struggle to produce in scoring situations. The Cardinals hitters stranded 11 baserunners and went just 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position.

Kwang-Hyun Kim was St. Louis’ starter on the mound.  The left hander tossed five innings and allowed one run on five hits, escaping a key two-on, two-out jam in his final frame.  Kim struck out three and walked two.

Giovanny Gallegos pitched a scoreless, hitless sixth and Genesis Cabrera followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings.  Alex Reyes took over with one out in the eighth and got the final two outs.  The right hander returned to start the ninth, struck out one hitter but yielded two singles.  Andrew Miller came in and surrendered a single but struck out the final two hitters to seal the victory. His fourth save protected Kim’s third win.

Friday, September 25, 2020 – Cardinals 0, Brewers 3 (seven innings, Game 1)

The Cardinals continued the final homestand of 2020 with a Friday doubleheader against the Brewers.  In Game 1, the Cardinals offense couldn’t get anything going against Milwaukee pitching.  A total of five hits was all St. Louis batters could muster against Brewers starter Brent Suter and relievers Devin Williams and Josh Hader and their only runner to reach second base did it in the final inning.

Kolten Wong reached to begin the home first on an infield single to third base.  He was erased in a double play off the bat of Paul Goldschmidt.  Paul DeJong singled to right in the fourth but was stranded.

Dylan Carlson hit an infield single in the fifth, but was erased in a double play, this time by Brad Miller.  The double play struck again in the sixth after Harrison Bader singled to center and Wong followed with a ground ball that enabled the Brewers to turn two.

The Cardinals finally got a runner safely to second base in the seventh when Paul Goldschmidt doubled to left field. A ground out and two strikeouts ended that scoring possibility and the game.

St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty continued to have issues with Milwaukee hitters.  Flaherty pitched five innings and allowed three runs on four hits, one of which was home run.  The right-hander also fell victim to the walk, issuing four free passes, though he did fan five.

John Gant started the sixth in relief, but after facing one hitter, left the game with groin tightness, a recurring issue for him.  Ryan Helsley replaced Gant and pitched a scoreless frame.  Tyler Webb tossed a scoreless seventh inning. Following the game, Gant was placed on the 10-day injured list.

Friday, September 25, 2020 – Cardinals 9 “at” Brewers 1 (seven innings, Game 2)

A pitching gem from Cardinals starter Daniel Ponce de Leon plus a much better offensive performance led St. Louis to a decisive win over the Brewers in the second game of the twin bill. St. Louis was designated as the road team in this make-up contest from August 2.

Ponce de Leon kept the Milwaukee offense not only scoreless but hitless until the sixth inning.  In his six innings of work, the right-hander yielded one run on one hit, a home run by Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia.  Ponce de Leon struck out six and walked two, throwing 99 pitches, 60 for strikes, to earn his first win of the season. It was also his first career win as a starter in his 20th try.

Daniel Ponce de Leon via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Kodi Whitley made his second appearance since being activated from the injured list on Tuesday and pitched a scoreless seventh inning.  He allowed one hit, struck out one, and walked one.

The offense got on the board in the first inning, when Tommy Edman singled to right field, and Matt Carpenter drove him home on a double to right.  Two more runs came home in the second.  Paul DeJong singled and later scored on a wild pitch. Matt Wieters drew a walk, and Kolten Wong followed with an RBI triple to center.

The big inning was the fifth. Wong singled to lead off and came home when Edman thumped a home run to center to make it 5-0.  Matt Carpenter singled on a ground ball to third base and Harrison Bader pinch ran.  Dexter Fowler and Paul DeJong each walked to load the bases.  Dylan Carlson doubled to left to score Bader and Fowler. Wieters then drove DeJong and Carlson home on a single to center.

Wong, Edman, and Carpenter each had two hits. Edman, Carlson, and Wieters had two RBI each.

Saturday, September 26 – Cardinals 0, Brewers 3

The Cardinals needed a win against the Milwaukee Brewers to clinch a postseason spot but they did not get it.  A virtually non-existent offense caused the Cardinals to suffer a 3-0 defeat on Saturday night at Busch Stadium.

As has been the case through a significant portion of the shortened season, the St. Louis offense faced pitching that thwarted their efforts.  Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff held them scoreless throughout his eight innings pitched.  Only two Redbirds managed a hit against Woodruff.  Kolten Wong had a leadoff single in the first inning but was left stranded.  Yadier Molina led off the second inning with a single and was likewise stranded.  When all was done, the Cardinals struck out 11 times and walked only once. No baserunners advanced as far as second base.

No offense put the lion’s share of the burden on starter Adam Wainwright.  The veteran right-hander tossed 6 2/3 innings and yielded three runs on eight hits.  He gave up two solo home runs and suffered his third loss of the season.

Andrew Miller relieved with one out in the seventh inning and walked his first batter but struck out the second to end the inning.  Miller returned for the eighth and fanned the first hitter and was replaced by Ryan Helsley, who got the final two outs of the inning.  Tyler Webb hurled a scoreless ninth, with one hit allowed and three strikeouts.

Sunday, September 27, 2020 – Cardinals 5, Brewers 2

The 30-28 Cardinals clinched a spot in the postseason, the fifth seed in the NL, with a 5-2 win over the Brewers at Busch Stadium.  A Monday trip to Detroit was avoided and the team gets a much-needed two days off before their postseason starts in San Diego on Wednesday.

Starter Austin Gomber pitched four innings and yielded one run one hit.  The left-hander fanned three and walked two.  Gomber threw 75 pitches, 47 for starts.

Giovanny Gallegos tossed two scoreless innings.  He fanned three and earned the win, his second of the season.  Genesis Cabrera followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Alex Reyes closed and allowed one run on two hits.  The right-hander earned his first and only save of the regular season.

St. Louis’ offense got going in a big way in the bottom of the third.  Harrison Bader led off with a triple into center field.  Tyler O’Neill then drew a tough walk, down 0-2 to get the free pass.  He followed that with a steal of second base.  Kolten Wong then singled to the pitcher, who bobbled the ball then threw wildly.  Bader scored from third and O’Neill scored on the error.  Paul Goldschmidt singled to left to plate Wong.   Yadier Molina walked, and Paul DeJong singled to left to drive Goldschmidt home.  The Cardinals led 4-0.

The Brewers added a run in the top of the fourth but the Cardinals took the run right back in the bottom of the inning.  Bader again led off and obliterated a ball into the middle of Big Mac Land, striking a painting created by Fredbird.  The home run was clocked at 106+ mph off the bat.

Harrison Bader via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The score remained 5-1 until the ninth inning.  The Brewers added a run against reliever Reyes, but that was it.  The Cardinals won and celebrated their postseason berth in a Covid-19 appropriate way and the 29-31 Brewers also backed into the playoffs when San Francisco lost.

 

The Big Picture

The last week of the regular season started badly but ended well.  The Cardinals lost 2 of 3 to the Royals, a team they generally play well against and especially in Kaufmann Stadium, a ballpark in which they have generally dominated.  The deciding game of the series was 12-3 trouncing.

In the end, the Cardinals took 3 of 5 from the Brewers, and slid into a postseason spot.  They finished the regular season with a record of 30-28, taking second place from the 31-29 Reds by percentage points.  Four of the five NL Central squads are in the postseason, with Chicago taking the crown by three games.  The Brewers got in by the skin of their teeth on a loss by the Giants on Sunday.  They finished with a record of 29-31.

Throughout the 60-game season (58 for the Cardinals) the offense has been the sore spot.  Inconsistent at best, the offense never did find a rhythm.  There could be one or several reasons for this, but in the end this issue is the Achilles heel going into the playoffs.

By OPS, the top five hitters on the team for the season are Paul Goldschmidt, Brad Miller, Dexter Fowler, Harrison Bader, and Tommy Edman.  However, only Goldschmidt and Miller have an OPS over .800.  Only Bader and Fowler have an OPS over .700, but Edman was close with .685.  Fowler might have fared better had he not missed significant time on the IL.

In the last seven days, the top six hitters by OPS were Harrison Bader, Dylan Carlson, Matt Carpenter, Kolten Wong, Paul Goldschmidt and Yadier Molina. Bader and Carlson were 1.198 and .957, respectively.  Carpenter and Wong were .788 and .754, respectively.  Goldschmidt and Molina were .689 and .679.

Pitching has been fine, both starting and relieving, in the last week.  The only strugglers were Carlos Martinez and Seth Elledge.  Martinez is injured and not likely to pitch in the postseason.  Dakota Hudson is out for the season with Tommy John surgery so he will not figure into the equation either.  Daniel Ponce de Leon had an excellent start in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader.  Both he and Austin Gomber have filled in for holes in the rotation very nicely.

Defense and baserunning remain a plus for the Cardinals during the regular season and they hope will remain so for the postseason.

The Cardinals are in the Wild Card Series, a best-of-three game set against the Padres in San Diego beginning Wednesday.  The 37-23 Padres are a strong team, with a good enough record to have won the Central or East, so this will be a tough matchup.

 

Final NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Chicago 34 26 0.567
St. Louis 30 28 0.5172 3
Cincinnati 31 29 0.5167 3
Milwaukee 29 31 0.483 5
Pittsburgh 19 41 0.317 15

Cardinals clinch postseason berth

On the final day of the regular season, the Cardinals clinched a spot in the postseason with 5-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.  The win eliminated the need for the Cardinals to play the doubleheader with Detroit on Monday and gives the team a much needed two day break before postseason play begins.

It was a very tough season for St. Louis.  They lost 17 days at the beginning of the season due to a Covid-19 outbreak and had to play catchup with 11 doubleheaders during the remainder of the season.   The Marlins had a similar outbreak but were down for the count for a shorter period of time.  The Marlins also reached the postseason.

The Cardinals are the #5 seed in the NL and will play the Padres in the best-of-three NL Wild Card Series beginning Wednesday.

 

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

 

Transactions

  • 9/21 The Cardinals activated OF Dexter Fowler from the 10-day injured list.
  • 9/21 The Cardinals activated RHP Giovanny Gallegos from the 10-day injured list.
  • 9/21 The Cardinals designated RHP Roel Ramirez for assignment.
  • 9/21 The Cardinals optioned OF Justin Williams to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/21 The Cardinals optioned RHP Nabil Crismatt to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/22 The Cardinals transferred RHP Dakota Hudson from the 10-day injured list to the 45-day injured list.
  • 9/22 The Cardinals activated RHP Kodi Whitley from the injured list.
  • 9/22 The Cardinals optioned RHP Junior Fernandez to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/24 The Cardinals recalled RHP Johan Oveido from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/24 The Cardinals placed RHP Carlos Martinez on the 10-day injured list. Left oblique strain.
  • 9/25 The Cardinals recalled RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/25 The Cardinals placed RHP John Gant on the 10-day injured list.
  • 9/25 The Cardinals sent RHP Roel Ramirez outright to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/25 The Cardinals recalled RHP Nabil Crismatt from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/26 The Cardinals optioned RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/27 The Cardinals activated OF Austin Dean from the 10-day injured list.
  • 9/27 The Cardinals optioned RHP Nabil Crismatt to the Alternate Training Site.

 

Injury Report

  • RHP John Brebbia underwent Tommy John surgery on June 1. He will miss the entire 2020 season.
  • RHP Jordan Hicks (Tommy John surgery) has opted out of the 2020 season.
  • RHP Miles Mikolas (right forearm strain) had arm surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
  • RHP Kodi Whitley (Covid-19 positive) was activated from the injured list and has appeared in games.
  • OF Austin Dean was activated from the 10-day injured list.
  • LHP Ricardo Sanchez was transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 45-day injured list. Left elbow pain.
  • RF Dexter Fowler was activated from the 10-day injured list and has been starting games.
  • RHP Giovanny Gallegos was activated from the 10-day injured list and has appeared in games.
  • RHP Dakota Hudson was transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 45-day injured list. The right hander will have Tommy John surgery on Monday and will be out for 9-15 months.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez exited his last start on Wednesday and was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left oblique strain. He is not likely to pitch for the remainder of the season.
  • RHP John Gant was placed on the 10-day injured list with a recurrence of his groin strain.

 

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals defeated the Brewers 5-2 on Sunday to clinch a postseason berth.  They will be the NL’s #5 seed and will play the Padres in San Diego in a best-of-three Wild Card Series starting Wednesday.  No pitchers for the series are official but the first game will likely be a Jack Flaherty start with Kwang-Hyun Kim another possibility.

Should the Cardinals win the series with the Padres, they will move on to the National League Division Series, which begins on Tuesday, October 6. They would face the winner of the Brewers at Dodgers first-round match-up.


Blast from the Past

Last week’s Blast From the Past looked at the 1944 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Browns.  This week’s segment remembers another World Series from the past, this one 10 years earlier in 1934.

The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals team was an unusual group.  They were nicknamed the “Gashouse Gang” with the name reportedly coined by shortstop Leo Durocher.  The moniker stuck because of the general appearance of the players, who weren’t exactly clean, often taking the field in dirty and smelly uniforms.  A gas house was a factory that turned coal into gas for lighting and cooking, a dirty and odiferous process back in those days.

1934 St. Louis Cardinals

The team had some interesting players as well, starting with pitching brothers Jay and Paul Dean, a/k/a “Dizzy” and “Daffy”.  The aforementioned Durocher was a notorious gambler who hung out with the wrong crowd and was accused of hitting his wife multiple times.  The two were in divorce proceedings that year.  Pepper Martin was the prankster of the group.  Rounding it all out was a newcomer, 22-year old Joe Medwick, known as “Ducky”.  Headlining the Gashouse Gang were Dizzy, Daffy, and Ducky.  In mid-season, the Cardinals added “Dazzy” Vance, a 43-year old veteran pitcher, to the roster.

Dizzy and Daffy Dean

Dizzy Dean predicted before the 1934 season started that he and his brother would win 45 games together.  They actually won 49 – 30 for Dizzy, 19 for Daffy.  At one point during the season the two were embroiled in a pay dispute with general manager Branch Rickey.  The two failed to show up for an exhibition game in Detroit in early August.  Manager Frankie Frisch fined them and they tore up the locker room in a fit of pique.  After refusing to play for a week, the brothers returned, and the season went on.

In early September, the Cardinals were down seven games to the New York Giants.  On a stretch run from the fifth through the 14th, the Cardinals won 7 of 10 games, including 5 in a row.  In a doubleheader against the Giants on the 16th, Dizzy won the first game and his brother won the second.  On the 21st against Brooklyn in a twin bill, Dizzy threw a three-hit shutout in the opener and Daffy threw a no-hitter in Game 2.  Dizzy was reported to have said after that if he knew his brother was going to throw a no-hitter he would have thrown one also.

Dizzy won his 30th game against the Reds in the final game of the regular season.  Brooklyn aided the Cardinals by beating the Giants in a doubleheader and the Cardinals won the NL pennant.

The 1934 World Series between the Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers began on Wednesday, October 3.  The Cardinals won Game 1, 8-3.  Dizzy pitched a complete game, allowed eight hits, struck out six and walked two.  Medwick went 4-for-5 including a solo home run.

Ducky Medwick

The Cardinals lost Game 2, 3-2.  Medwick had an RBI single to left field.  Bill Hallahan was the starter but got a no decision.  The loss went to relief pitcher Bill Walker.

St. Louis bounced back to beat Detroit 4-1 in Game 3.  Like his brother in the opener, Daffy threw a complete game for the win.  He allowed only one run on eight hits, fanned seven and walked five.  Dean also contributed a sacrifice fly on offense.

Detroit won Game 4, 10-4.  Tex Carleton made the start but was relieved by Vance after 2 2/3 innings.  Bill Walker, the second of four relief pitchers, took the loss.  Dizzy appeared as a pinch runner in the fourth inning and was hit in the forehead by a throw from second while running from first base.  He was taken off the field in a stretcher and taken to the hospital.  From this incident came the memorable quote that “X-rays of his head revealed nothing”.

Game 5 was another loss for the Cardinals by the score of 3-1.  Dizzy was the losing pitcher, receiving no run support other than a solo home run by Bill DeLancey.

The Cardinals were undaunted and went on to win Games 6 and 7.  Game 6 was a 4-3 win with Daffy earning his second win of the Series.  In a complete game, he gave up three runs, only one earned, on seven hits.  He struck out four and walked two.  Medwick went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Game 7 was an 11-0 trouncing.  Dizzy won his second game of the series, pitching all nine innings.  He allowed six hits and fanned five.  There was a fight of sorts in this game, initiated by Medwick.  With a 7-0 lead, Medwick tripled and slid into Tigers third baseman Merv Owen aggressively, which Owen took exception to, and the two got into it.  The fight didn’t last long, but Detroit fans responded by throwing bottles, scorecards, and anything else that would fly at Medwick as he came off the field.  The crew would clean it up and the fans would throw things again.  The game was delayed 20 minutes and Commissioner Kennesaw Landis ordered Medwick to shake hands with Owen to quell the crowd, but Ducky refused. So, Landis had Medwick removed from the game.

The Cardinals won Game 7 and the World Series title.  Dizzy had predicted they would win it, and once again, his prediction was realized.   He had said at the time he made the prediction that “It ain’t braggin’ if you do it”.  They did indeed do it – Dizzy, Daffy, Ducky, Dazzy, and all of the Gashouse Gang.


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Walton’s Cardinals Wild Card Roster Predictions – “Dance With Who Brung You!”


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Game Recap – Saturday, September 26, 2020

photo: Adam Wainwright via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Saturday, September 26 – Cardinals 0, Brewers 3

The St. Louis Cardinals needed a win against the Milwaukee Brewers to clinch a postseason spot but they did not get it.  A virtually non-existent offense caused the Cardinals to suffer a 3-0 defeat on Saturday night at Busch Stadium.

As has been the case through a significant portion of the shortened season, the St. Louis offense faced pitching that thwarted their efforts.  Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff held the Cardinals scoreless throughout his eight innings pitched.  Only two Redbirds managed a hit against Woodruff.  Kolten Wong hit a leadoff single in the first inning but was left stranded.  Yadier Molina led off the second inning with a single and was likewise left stranded.  When all was done the Cardinals struck out 11 times and walked only once. No baserunners advanced as far as second base.

No offense put the lion’s share of the burden on starter Adam Wainwright.  The veteran right hander tossed 6 2/3 innings and yielded three runs on eight hits.  He gave up two solo home runs and suffered his third loss of the season.

Andrew Miller relieved with one out in the seventh inning and walked his first batter but struck out the second to end the inning.  Miller returned for the eighth and fanned the first hitter and was replaced by Ryan Helsley, who got the final two outs of the inning.  Tyler Webb hurled a scoreless ninth inning, with one hit allowed and three strikeouts.

The loss puts the Cardinals one game over .500 at 29-28.  It also enabled the Cubs to clinch the NL Central Division title.  The Cardinals remain in second place in the NL Central  by winning percentage as the Reds lost to the Twins.

A win for the Cardinals in Sunday’s game will clinch a postseason berth for the team.  If the Cardinals lose, then other scenarios exist for the Cardinals to get a postseason spot, including a likelihood to have play the make-up doubleheader of Game 59 and 60 in Detroit against the Tigers on Monday.

Those games will be necessary only if Milwaukee beats the Cardinals and San Francisco bests San Diego on Sunday.

For full details on the various playoff scenarios affecting the Cardinals, including possible seedings, please check out this thread on The Cardinal Nation’s free message board.

Sunday’s game: vs. Brewers at 2:15 p.m., Austin Gomber (1-1, 1.80) vs. Brett Anderson (4-3, 4.00) FOX Sports Midwest/KMOX/WIJR


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St. Louis Cardinals Draft Recap 2009-2019 – 21st-50th Rounds


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Games Recaps – Friday, September 25, 2020

photo: Daniel Ponce de Leon via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

After a dismal offensive showing in Game 1 of Friday’s twinbill vs. Milwaukee, the St. Louis Cardinals pitched and hit well in Game 2 for a decisive win and split. Daniel Ponce de Leon pitched no-hit ball into the sixth inning.



Friday, September 25, 2020 – Cardinals 0, Brewers 3 (seven innings, Game 1)

The St. Louis Cardinals continued the final homestand of 2020 with a Friday doubleheader against the Brewers.  In Game 1, the Cardinals offense couldn’t get anything going against Milwaukee pitching.  A total of five hits was all St. Louis hitters could muster against Brewers starter Brent Suter and relievers Devin Williams and Josh Hader and their only runner to reach second base did it in the final inning.

Kolten Wong reached to begin the home first on an infield single to third base.  He was erased in a double play off the bat of Paul Goldschmidt.  Paul DeJong singled to right in the fourth but was stranded.

Dylan Carlson hit an infield single in the fifth, but was erased in a double play, this time by Brad Miller.  The double play struck again in the sixth after Harrison Bader singled to center and Wong followed with a ground ball that enabled the Brewers to turn two.

The Cardinals finally got a runner safely to second base in the seventh when Paul Goldschmidt doubled to left field. A ground out and two strikeouts ended that scoring possibility and the game.

St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty continued to have issues with Milwaukee hitters.  Flaherty pitched five innings and allowed three runs on four hits, one of which was home run.  The right hander also fell victim to the walk, issuing four free passes, though he did fan five.

John Gant started the sixth in relief, but after facing one hitter, left the game with groin tightness, a recurring issue with the right hander.  Ryan Helsley replaced Gant and pitched a scoreless frame.  Tyler Webb tossed a scoreless seventh inning. Following the game, Gant was placed on the 10-day injured list.

Gant’s Injured Groin Finally Requires an Injured List Move

Friday, September 25, 2020 – Cardinals 9 “at” Brewers 1 (seven innings, Game 2)

A pitching gem from Cardinals starter Daniel Ponce de Leon plus a much better offensive performance led St. Louis to a decisive win over the Brewers in the second game of the twin bill. St. Louis was designated as the road team in this make-up contest from August 2.

Ponce de Leon kept the Milwaukee offense not only scoreless but hitless until the sixth inning.  In his six innings of work, the right hander yielded one run on one hit, a home run by Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia.  Ponce de Leon struck out six and walked two, throwing 99 pitches, 60 for strikes, to earn his first win of the season. It was also his first career win as a starter in his 20th try.

Kodi Whitley made his second appearance since being activated from the injured list on Tuesday and pitched a scoreless seventh inning.  He allowed one hit, struck out one, and walked one.

The offense got on the board in the first inning, when Tommy Edman singled to right field, and Matt Carpenter drove him home on a double to right.  Two more runs came home in the second.  Paul DeJong singled and later scored on a wild pitch. Matt Wieters drew a walk, and Kolten Wong followed with an RBI triple to center.

Tommy Edman via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)h

The big inning was the fifth. Wong singled to lead off and came home when Edman thumped a home run to center to make it 5-0.  Matt Carpenter singled on a ground ball to third base and Harrison Bader pinch ran.  Dexter Fowler and Paul DeJong each walked to load the bases.  Dylan Carlson doubled to left to score Bader and Fowler. Wieters then drove DeJong and Carlson home on a single to center.

Wong, Edman, and Carpenter each had two hits. Edman, Carlson, and Wieters had two RBI each.

The Cardinals have a record of 29-27 and are in second place in the NL Central by winning percentage.  The Cardinals and Reds are three games back of the Cubs. The Cubs and the Reds have clinched postseason berths with two games left in the regular season.  The Cardinals, by virtue of not having played 58 games but only 56 games, have not yet clinched, but could do so by winning either Saturday or Sunday. A doubleheader against the Tigers on Monday is tentatively scheduled and will be played if needed to either determine postseason qualification or Wild Card Round home field advantage, but not seeding.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Brewers at 6:07 p.m.  Adam Wainwright (5-2, 3.05) vs. Brandon Woodruff (2-5, 3.43). FOX Network/KMOX/WIJR


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Game Recap – Thursday, September 24, 2020

photo: Yadier Molina via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals took the opener of their five-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium. Kwang-Hyun Kim and Dylan Carlson starred and Yadier Molina reached a very significant career milestone Thursday evening.



Thursday, September 24, 2020 – Cardinals 4, Brewers 2

The St. Louis Cardinals’ final series of the regular season began on Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium.  This first of five contests ended with a Cardinals victory against one of the best pitchers in the National League, Corbin Burnes.

St. Louis’ offense got the Burnes in the third inning.  It started with back to back singles by Kolten Wong and Tommy Edman. Paul Goldschmidt singled to drive in Wong.

The Brewers knotted the game up 1-1 in the top of the fourth.  In response the Redbirds scored two in the bottom half of the inning.  Dexter Fowler drew a walk and Dylan Carlson blasted a ball long and high into right field, but just fair for a two-run home run.  The Cardinals led 3-1.

Dylan Carlson via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Carlson once again plated the fourth and final Cardinals run in the sixth following another Fowler free pass.  This time it was a double into the left center field gap that brought Fowler home.

The Brewers made it closer in the ninth with one run to make it 4-2, but St. Louis prevailed.  Edman and Carlson each had two hits.

One other Cardinal had two hits, and the second one was very special.  Yadier Molina’s 2,000th career hit was a line drive single to center.  He became just the 12th catcher in MLB history to reach the 2,000 hit milestone and the sixth Cardinal, following Stan Musial, Lou Brock, Rogers Hornsby, Enos Slaughter and Albert Pujols.

The offense had numerous opportunities to put the game away, but continued to misfire in scoring situations. The Cardinals hitters stranded 11 baserunners and went just 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position.

Kwang-Hyun Kim via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Kwang-Hyun Kim was St. Louis’ starter on the mound.  The left hander tossed five innings and allowed one run on five hits, escaping a key two-on, two-out jam in his final frame.  Kim struck out three and walked two.

Giovanny Gallegos pitched a scoreless, hitless sixth and Genesis Cabrera followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings.  Alex Reyes took over with one out in the eighth and got the final two outs.  The right hander returned to start the ninth, struck out one hitter but yielded two singles.  Andrew Miller came in and surrendered a single, but struck out the final two hitters to seal the victory. His fourth save protected Kim’s third win.

The victory positioned the Cardinals a half-game ahead of the Reds, who were off. It also put the Cardinals 2.5 games back of the Cubs, which lost to the Pirates.  The Cardinals are two games over .500 with a record of 28-26.

Friday’s games:  vs. Brewers at 4:15 p.m., RHP Jack Flaherty (4-2, 4.84) vs. RHP Josh Lindblom (2-3, 4.81) (Game 1), RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon (0-3, 5.74) vs. TBA (Game 2).


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of September 14-20

photo: Daniel Ponce de Leon via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals played 10 games on the road in the last seven days, going 6-4. In the process, they have maintained their slim hold on a playoff berth. Daniel Ponce de Leon returned from the alternate camp to make two important starts, the last on short rest. Our history feature recalls the last World Series to be played in one site, the 1944 set played at St. Louis’ Sportsman’s Park.

Game Recaps

Monday, September 14, 2020 – Cardinals 1 at Brewers 2 (eight innings, Game 1)

The St. Louis Cardinals began the week with a five-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.  The series featured two sets of doubleheaders with the first played on Monday.  In Game 1, the Cardinals were edged by the Brewers 2-1 in extra innings.

Kwang-Hyun Kim made the start, his first since returning from the 10-day injured list.  Kim was very good, tossing seven scoreless innings during which he allowed only three hits.  The left hander fanned six and walked three.  He threw 87 pitches, 54 for strikes.

Kwang-Hyun Kim via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Ryan Helsley relieved in the eighth inning and yielded both Milwaukee runs, only one earned. A leadoff walk and an RBI in favor of was replaced by Austin Gomber. Gomber walked his first batter and allowed the sac fly that represented the winning run.  That run was charged to Helsley.

Both offenses were held scoreless until extra innings.  In the top of the eighth, with Tyler O’Neill on second to start the inning, Tommy Edman singled to center, and O’Neill scored.  The Brewers came back in the bottom frame of the eighth with the two runs for the walk off.

St. Louis’ offense managed five hits, all singles from Kolten Wong, Tommy Edman, Paul Goldschmidt, Paul DeJong, and Harrison Bader.

Bader was caught stealing for the first time in 2020.

Monday, September 14, 2020 – Cardinals 3 at Brewers 2 (nine innings, Game 2)

The Cardinals took the second game of Monday’s twin bill, again in extra innings.  Daniel Ponce de Leon received the Game 2 start, and pitched six strong innings.  The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits, fanned nine and walked one.  He threw 97 pitches, 67 for strikes.

Alex Reyes relieved and tossed a scoreless seventh. The right hander struck out three and walked one.  Genesis Cabrera hurled a scoreless eighth, also with three strikeouts and one walk.  Tyler Webb closed the ninth with a scoreless performance that included one strikeout and one walk.  Cabrera earned the win and Webb, the save.

Tyler Webb via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Redbirds offense scored three runs on 10 hits.  The first run was put on the board in the fifth inning after the Brewers took a 2-0 lead in the fourth.  The inning began with a walk from Tommy Edman.  Three batters later, Paul DeJong singled to right to move Edman to second.  After Rangel Ravelo drew a walk, Tyler O’Neill singled to plate Edman from third.

The Cardinals knotted it up at 2-2 in the seventh when Paul Goldschmidt doubled, and Brad Miller drove him in via a single.

The game went into extra innings, and neither team scored in the eighth.  In the ninth, Edman began on second base and was brought home on a single by Paul DeJong.  The Brewers failed to score in the bottom of the ninth, and the Redbirds took he win.

O’Neill stole his second base of the season and Matt Wieters had a passed ball.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 – Cardinals 3 at Brewers 18

The Cardinals were the victims of a bludgeoning by the Brewers in a regulation game on Tuesday at Miller Park.  The Cardinals scored immediately in the first inning on a RBI double by Paul Goldschmidt. The Brewers responded with two in the home first to take a 2-1 lead.  Two more runs in the bottom of the third increased the Brewers lead to 4-1.

To begin the fourth, the game was still a manageable for the Cardinals.  However, things then went off the rails as the Brewers scored seven runs to essentially put the game out of reach.  Though St. Louis added a run in the fifth on two singles and two walks, the Brewers came back in the bottom of the inning with six additional runs to make it 17-2.

The Cardinals tacked on their final run in the seventh on a single by Paul DeJong.  In tota,l the offense had seven hits, the double by Goldschmidt and singles by Tommy Edman with two, Goldschmidt, DeJong, Brad Miller, Matt Wieters, and Harrison Bader.

Jack Flaherty had his worst start of the short 2020 season.  The right-hander pitched only three innings and gave up nine runs on eight hits.  He fanned six and walked two.  Jake Woodford relieved in the fourth and tossed 1 1/3 innings in which he yielded five runs on three hits. Rob Kaminsky allowed three runs, one earned in 2/3 innings and Nabil Crismatt surrendered one run on the final three innings. Flaherty took the loss.

There were two errors, a catcher interference on Yadier Molina, and a fielding error by Lane Thomas.  The former led to a small skirmish between the Cardinals and the Brewers in front of the Brewers dugout after Molina was struck on the wrist by Milwaukee batter Ryan Braun’s backswing. St. Louis manager Mike Shildt was suspended one game for some combination of his team going on the field, words that were exchanged between Shildt and the Brewers dugout and his removal of his mask.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 – Cardinals 4 at Brewers 2 (seven innings, Game 1)

In the second twin bill of the series, the Cardinals defeated the Brewers 4-2 behind an excellent complete game start by veteran Adam Wainwright.  Wainwright yielded two runs on four hits, fanned nine and walked one.  The two runs allowed came on a long ball in the first inning.  Wainwright shut it down for the rest of the game.

Adam Wainwright via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Cardinals hitters put up four runs on seven hits.  Brad Miller was 2-for-3 with a double and a solo home run in the sixth inning. Tommy Edman doubled in the fifth to drive in a run.  The first St. Louis run came on a solo home run by Tyler O’Neill in the second inning.  O’Neill drove in the second run on sac fly in the fourth.   Paul Goldschmidt, Yadier Molina, and Justin Williams each singled.

Tommy Edman was caught stealing for the fourth time in 2020.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 – Cardinals 0 at Brewers 6 (seven innings, Game 2)

The Cardinals were blanked by the Brewers in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.  The meager St. Louis offense managed only two hits off Brewers starter Brent Suter, singles by Paul DeJong and Tommy Edman

St. Louis rookie starter Johan Oviedo tossed 5 1/3 innings and surrendered six runs, five earned, on seven hits.  The right-hander struck out five and walked two.  He threw 94 pitches, 61 for strikes.  Seth Elledge relieved with one out in the sixth inning and allowed no runs or hits and issued one walk.

Brad Miller committed an error, a dropped foul ball.  Matt Wieters had a passed ball.

Thursday, September 17, 2020 – Cardinals 1 at Pirates 5

The Cardinals arrived in Pittsburgh to face the Pirates at PNC Park on Thursday night in the opener of a five-game weekend series.  St. Louis starting pitcher Dakota only went two innings and the offense was stymied on just two hits on the way to a disappointing 5-1 loss.

The troubles began when Hudson was removed after the second inning due to injury.  It was originally called “right elbow tightness,” but after the game, manager Mike Shildt labeled it a “mild forearm strain”. X-rays showed nothing structural, but Hudson would end up going on the injured list on Friday.

Hudson’s early exit forced Friday’s tentative doubleheader Game 2 starter Austin Gomber into relief action starting in the third inning. The lefty pitched one scoreless frame, but in the fourth, he walked the first two batters. After two consecutive Pirates struck out, Gregory Polanco hit a three-run home run to right center field. Gomber yielded a fourth run on a single and a double before being pulled with two out, still in the fourth.

Tyler Webb retired the final hitter in the fourth, and took the fifth, but was replaced by Seth Elledge with one out in the sixth. Elledge finished the frame. Andrew Miller and Junior Fernandez tossed the scoreless seventh and eighth, respectively.  Gomber was tagged with the loss.

The meager Cardinals offense scored one run on two hits, both singles, as they were stymied by Pirates pitcher Steven Brault.  The left-hander went all the way to pick up his first win in 14 starts since September 1, 2019. Tommy Edman’s single in the third inning drove in the only Cardinals run. Kolten Wong had the other hit. Yadier Molina and Rangel Ravelo each drew a free pass.

Ravelo had an outfield assist at home plate.

Friday, September 18, 2020 – Cardinals 6 at Pirates 5 (seven innings, Game 1)

Friday’s Game 1 was Carlos Martinez’ start, his third since being activated from the injured list.  Martinez has struggled since his return, and this outing was no different, as the right hander lasted only 3 2/3 innings.  He was not helped at all by his defense, which committed four errors in the game.  Martinez yielded five runs, only one of which was earned, on three hits.  Four walks with only one strikeout contributed to his early exit.  He was relieved by Genesis Cabrera, who tossed a scoreless inning.

Alex Reyes followed, entering with two outs in the fifth and retiring the only batter he faced.  He returned to pitch a scoreless sixth and retired the first hitter in the seventh, Gregory Polanco.  Ryan Helsley finished the game, though it was no easy matter to do so.  Helsley got the second out of the inning but walked the next batter.  Again, the defense marred the outing with a throwing error by shortstop Paul DeJong, who had committed a fielding miscue earlier in the game.  Helsley then walked the hitter to load the bases.  The right hander induced a fly ball out to left field to save the win for the Cardinals and Reyes.

The offense had a better showing than the previous night, scoring six runs on eight hits. Kolten Wong led off the game with a solo home run to right field.  The lead quickly vanished, however, as the Pirates scored two in the bottom of the inning.

The Cardinals responded with two runs in the top of the second.  Yadier Molina singled, and Tyler O’Neill brought him in with blast to right center field.  St. Louis led 3-2. The offense added on in the third with two additional runs on a Paul Goldschmidt RBI double and a sac fly by DeJong.

Kolten Wong via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Wong drove in his second run in the fourth inning on a groundout.  The Cardinals led 6-2.  However, the Pirates were not done as they put three more runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth to decrease St. Louis’ lead to 6-5.  The Cardinals bullpen kept the Pirates off the board for the remainder of the game.

Goldschmidt and Molina led the way with two hits each.  Wong and O’Neill contributed with the long ball.  Tommy Edman and Harrison Bader each singled.

The defense committed four errors, two from DeJong, a generally solid defensive shortstop.  Molina was called for another catcher interference, his second of the week, and Edman made a fielding error.

Friday, September 18, 2020 – Cardinals 7, Pirates 2 (seven innings, Game 2)

In the second game of the twin bill, the Cardinals earned the sweep with a decisive 7-2 win over the last place Pirates.  In this make-up game from August 12, St. Louis was designated as the home team despite the game being played on Pittsburgh soil.

29th man Daniel Ponce de Leon made the start on three days rest and kept the Pirates off the board until the fifth inning.  An unfortunate pitch led to a two-run blast that marred the nine strikeout outing for Ponce de Leon.  The right-hander walked two and allowed only three hits.  His day was finished after the fifth.

Andrew Miller relieved in the sixth and threw a scoreless frame.  Seth Elledge finished with a scoreless seventh with one hit allowed.

Both teams were held scoreless until the fourth when the Cardinals took a 1-0 lead on Paul DeJong’s RBI single that was preceded by back to back singles from Paul Goldschmidt and Tommy Edman.  Goldschmidt scored on the sac fly.

The Pirates responded by taking the lead on the two-run home run in the top of the fifth.  In the bottom of the sixth, the Cardinals retook the lead with a six-run outburst.  Edman walked and Goldschmidt reached on catcher interference.  Brad Miller walked to load the bases before DeJong’s sac fly to right plated Edman.  Tyler O’Neil reached on a fielder’s choice and Goldschmidt scored on a throwing error by the Pirates third baseman.

Dylan Carlson via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Harrison Bader pinch ran for Miller and a ground ball by Matt Carpenter led to a throwing error by the Pirate first baseman that allowed Bader to score. With Carpenter and O’Neill on base, Dylan Carlson, newly recalled from Springfield, hit a high middle fastball out of the park for a three-run home run, his second long ball of the season.  The home run was Carlson’s second hit in the game.  The Cardinals led 7-2, a lead they would not relinquish.

Saturday, September 19, 2020 – Cardinals 5 at Pirates 4

In an unusual contest in Pittsburgh on Saturday night, the Cardinals were the victors in a one-run game against the Pirates in the fourth of the five-game series.  It began with the Cardinals being no-hit by Pirates starter Mitch Keller through the first six innings.  Keller had recently returned from the injured list and was on a pitch count for the evening.  Following six no-hit innings, Keller was removed after 84 pitches with a 4-0 lead over St. Louis.

In the seventh, the tide turned dramatically in the Cardinals’ favor against the Pirates bullpen.  With Pittsburgh reliever Geoff Hartlieb on the mound, Brad Miller and Paul DeJong walked.  Yadier Molina was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Hartlieb was replaced by left hander Sam Howard.

Tyler O’Neill via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Tyler O’Neill smacked a double to left field to break up the no-hitter and the shutout.  Miller and DeJong scored to make it 4-2.  Dylan Carlson’s sac fly to right plated Molina and it was 4-3.  Harrison Bader was the second Cardinal hit by a pitch in the inning.

Kolten Wong, after several failed bunt attempts, singled to right and O’Neill scored to tie the game.  Tommy Edman singled on a ground ball to left as Harrison Bader scored what ultimately was the winning run from second base standing up.

The Redbirds scored their five runs from only three hits, with the only extra base hit O’Neill’s double.  Two walks and two hit-by-pitches were essentially the catalyst for the five-run inning.

St. Louis’ starter was Kwang-Hyun Kim.  Kim had recently been activated from the injured list, but unlike Keller, was not on a pitch count.  He came into this start with an ERA of 0.63 but yielded four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings pitched, as his ERA rose to 1.59.  The lefty tossed 103 pitches, 68 for strikes, fanned four and issued one walk.  His nemesis was two long balls, both solo shots.

Sunday, September 20, 2020 – Cardinals 2, Pirates 1

The Cardinals ended the week with a win over the Pirates 2-1, the fourth straight win in the five-game series.   Jack Flaherty made the start and redeemed himself from the poor start against the Brewers earlier in the week.  The right-hander hurled six strong innings with 11 strikeouts, two walks, and only one run allowed on two hits.  Flaherty threw 102 pitches, 61 for strikes.

Jack Flaherty via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Flaherty was followed by a scoreless, hitless inning each by Tyler Webb, John Gant, and Andrew Miller.  Flaherty earned the win, his fourth of the season.  Miller received his third save.

Once again, the Cardinals offense couldn’t get anything going against the Pirates starter, who this time was Joe Musgrove.  St. Louis was scoreless until the seventh inning, after Musgrove was relieved by Derek Holland.  The difference-maker was the two-run home run off the bat of Yadier Molina following Matt Carpenter’s single.

Paul Goldschmidt was 2-for-4, including a double.  Dylan Carlson also doubled.

Kolten Wong stole two bases, his fourth and fifth of the season.  Harrison Bader stole his third of 2020.

The Big Picture

The Cardinals played 10 road games during the week, which included three doubleheaders.  St. Louis won six times.  They took only 2 of 5 from the Brewers but won 4 of 5 with the Pirates.  The Cardinals stand in second place in the NL Central with a record of 26-24 and are 3.5 games back of the Cubs, who dropped their last two games against the Twins.

Lack of offense against the Brewers was the primary problem in that series.  The Cardinals scored only 11 runs across five games while allowing 30.  That series was mostly a failure of pitching.  The offense was a little better in the Pirates series, but not by a whole lot.

St. Louis hitters under the Mendoza Line this past week include Matt Carpenter (.045), Harrison Bader (.136), Brad Miller (.138) and Tyler O’Neill (.148). Right on the line were Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong and not much better was Paul DeJong (.212). Among regulars, only Tommy Edman (.286) and Paul Goldschmidt (.303) are consistently hitting.

Paul Goldschmidt via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

O’Neill, Bader and recently-recalled Dylan Carlson have become the semi-regular outfield, with Lane Thomas sent down. Dexter Fowler’s return is reportedly close.

The injury to Dakota Hudson leaves a hole in the starting rotation. It is not clear how will be filled, though most likely by several pitchers over this final week that may include Daniel Ponce de Leon, Johan Oviedo and Austin Gomber.  Adam Wainwright has been the stalwart of the rotation, given some shaky starts by Jack Flaherty, though the latter was much better on Sunday.  Kwang-Hyun Kim is back from the injured list and pitched two decent starts this past week.  Carlos Martinez, on the other hand, has been iffy at best.

Dakota Hudson via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The bullpen has missed Giovanny Gallegos and John Gant.  Gant returned to pitch an inning on Sunday.  Gallegos is expected to return for the final week of the regular season.  Alex Reyes, Tyler Webb, Genesis Cabrera, and Andrew Miller have been fine as well.  The rest of the bullpen has been hit and miss.

The defense has continued to have some uncharacteristic issues, specifically by the usually reliable Paul DeJong, who had three errors during the week.  Baserunning has been good.

If the Cardinals continue to have a dearth of offense, run prevention has to be the equalizer.  Pitching must be more consistent, and the defensive errors have to stop.

The Cardinals play a three game-series with the Royals in Kansas City and may or may not end the season with five game against the Brewers at Busch Stadium.  The Cardinals play the Royals well at Kaufmann Stadium and must continue to do so.  The Brewers are always tough, and the Cardinals must play better against them at Busch Stadium than they did earlier in the week at Miller Park.  If needed, the Cardinals may play a doubleheader against the Tigers on Monday, September 28 to reach 60 games played and to decide the final standings and post-season seeding.

The Cardinals are helped by an easier schedule than the Reds and Brewers, who play each other early in the week.  The Reds will face a tough Twins team to end the season while the Cardinals are head to head with the Brewers this coming weekend.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Chicago 31 22 0.585
St. Louis 26 24 0.520 3.5
Cincinnati 27 27 0.500 4.5
Milwaukee 26 26 0.500 4.5
Pittsburgh 15 38 0.283 16

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

  • 9/14 The Cardinals activated LHP Kwang-Hyun Kim from the 10-day injured list.
  • 9/14 The Cardinals placed OF Austin Dean on the 10-day injured list. Right elbow strain.
  • 9/14 The Cardinals recalled RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/15 The Cardinals optioned RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/16 The Cardinals activated RHP Johan Oviedo from the injured list.
  • 9/16 The Cardinals designated RHP Rob Kaminsky for assignment.
  • 9/16 The Cardinals optioned OF Lane Thomas to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/16 The Cardinals optioned RHP Nabil Crismatt to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/16 The Cardinals recalled RHP Junior Fernandez from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/16 The Cardinals recalled 2B Max Schrock from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/16 The Cardinals recalled OF Justin Williams from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/17 The Cardinals optioned RHP Johan Oviedo to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/18 The Cardinals placed RHP Dakota Hudson on the 10-day injured list. Right elbow strain.
  • 9/18 The Cardinals optioned 2B Max Schrock to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/18 The Cardinals sent RHP Rob Kaminsky outright to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/18 The Cardinals recalled OF Dylan Carlson from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/18 The Cardinals recalled RHP Nabil Crismatt from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/18 The Cardinals recalled RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/19 The Cardinals optioned RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/20 The Cardinals acquired LHP Domingo Robles from the Pittsburgh Pirates for international bonus pool space.

Injury Report

  • RHP John Brebbia underwent Tommy John surgery on June 1. He will miss the entire 2020 season.
  • RHP Jordan Hicks (Tommy John surgery) has opted out of the 2020 season.
  • RHP Miles Mikolas (right forearm strain) had arm surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
  • RHP Kodi Whitley (COVID-19 positive) had experienced discomfort in his pitching elbow during throwing sessions at the Alternate Training Site. He was sent to St. Louis for an MRI and no structural damage was found. No update on his possible return has been reported.
  • OF Austin Dean was placed on the 10-day injured list. Right elbow strain.
  • LHP Ricardo Sanchez was transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 45-day injured list. Left elbow pain.
  • LHP Kwang-Hyun Kim was activated from the 10-day injured list and started Monday’s game against the Brewers and Saturday’s game against the Pirates.
  • RF Dexter Fowler remains on the 10-day injured list. He is expected to return to the roster in the coming week, possibly for the Royals series.
  • RHP Johan Oviedo was activated from the COVID-19 injured list and started the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Brewers and was optioned to the alternate site aftereward.
  • RHP Giovanny Gallegos remains on the 10-day injured list but should be returning to the roster early in the coming week.
  • RHP Dakota Hudson was placed on the 10-day injured list. Right elbow strain.  Hudson is likely out for the remainder of the season.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals conclude the 13-game road trip with a three-game set with the Royals in Kansas City beginning on Monday.  Adam Wainwright is scheduled to make the Monday start, Austin Gomber on Tuesday and Carlos Martinez on Wednesday.

The Cardinals return to Busch Stadium on Thursday for a five-game series with the Brewers, which includes a doubleheader on Friday.

Should it be necessary for playoff purposes, the Cardinals will play a doubleheader against the Tigers on Monday, September 28.  The games will be a makeup of postponed games from August 3-4.

The NL playoffs begin with the Wild Card series of three games on Wednesday, September 30 in Texas.  The NLDS five-game series opens on Tuesday, October 6.

Whether the Cardinals appear in the postseason will be determined by the results in the final week of the regular season. If the season ended today, St. Louis would be the no. 6 seed of eight in the NL. However, four clubs are within a game just behind them – Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and San Francisco. Only three of this five will continue play in October.

Blast from the Past

Major League Baseball announced a format for the upcoming postseason that begins on Tuesday, September 29.  The entire postseason except for the Wild Card Series will be played in four neutral sites.  Globe Life Field in Arlington and Minute Maid Park in Houston will host the NLDS.  The NLCS will be played in Arlington.

For the AL, each Division Series will be played at Petco Park in San Diego and in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.  Petco Park in San Diego will host the ALCS.  The World Series will be played at Globe Life Stadium in Arlington.

This will be the first time the World Series will be played entirely at one site in the last 76 years.  This week’s Blast From the Past recalls 1944, when the World Series was played at one and only one ballpark.

The reason for playing the entire 1944 Series at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis was that it was the home park of both League Champions.  The facility was owned by the Browns, with the Cardinals as tenants.

In the 1944 Series, the Cardinals represented the National League against the American League Browns.  The former was managed by future Hall of Famer Billy Southworth, the latter by Luke Sewell.

Sportsman’s Park

The 1944 series was known by several names, “The Trolley Series”, “Streetcar Series”, and the “St. Louis Showdown”.  Ironically, the year 1944 was also the year the movie “Meet Me in St. Louis” was released.

On October 4, 1944, the Browns won Game 1, 2-1. The Browns offense consisted of a two-run home run by first baseman George McQuinn in the fourth inning off Cardinals starting pitcher Mort Cooper. The Cardinals scored their only run in the bottom of the ninth, on a sac fly by pinch hitter Ken O’Dea.

1944 World Series program

The Cardinals were the winners of Game 2 by the score of 3-2.  Left fielder Augie Bergamo drove in the first run on a ground out in the third inning.  In the fourth, Cardinals second baseman Emil Verban plated the second run on a sac fly.  The game went in to extra innings and was won by the Cardinals in the 11th inning on an RBI single by O’Dea, again as a pinch hitter.

The Browns won Game 3, 6-2.  Four of the Browns’ six runs scored in the third on three singles and a wild pitch.  The Cardinals plated both their runs on singles, by Walker Cooper in the first inning and by Marty Marion in the seventh.

The Cardinals won the final three games to take the Series.  The 5-1 win in Game 4 featured a two-run home run by Stan Musial in the first inning.  Solo home runs by first baseman Ray Sanders and left-fielder Danny Litwhiler led to a 2-0 win for St. Louis in Game 5.

The clincher, Game 6, was a 3-1 Cardinals victory.  All three runs came home in the fourth on a throwing error and singles by Emil Verban and Max Lanier.

1944 St. Louis Cardinals team photo

Another event of note in this World War II-era match-up is that it is the only World Series to feature no stolen bases by either team.

The only other World Series to feature two teams from the same city was the 1906 Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, and both the 1921 and 1922 World Series between the New York Giants and the New York Yankees.


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Cardinals Acquire Minor League Left-Hander from Bucs


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Game Recap – Saturday, September 19, 2020

photo: Tyler O’Neill via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Saturday, September 19, 2020 – Cardinals 5 at Pirates 4

In an unusual contest in Pittsburgh on Saturday night, the St. Louis Cardinals were the victors in a one-run game against the Pirates in the fourth of the five-game series.  It began with the Cardinals being no-hit by Pirates starter Mitch Keller through the first six innings.  Keller had recently returned from the injured list and was on a pitch count for the evening.  Following six no-hit innings, Keller was removed after 84 pitches with a 4-0 lead over St. Louis.

In the seventh, the tide turned dramatically in the Cardinals’ favor against the Pirates bullpen.  With Pittsburgh reliever Geoff Hartlieb on the mound, Brad Miller and Paul DeJong walked.  Yadier Molina was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Hartlieb was replaced by left hander Sam Howard.

Tyler O’Neill smacked a double to left field to break up the no-hitter and the shutout.  Miller and DeJong scored to make it 4-2.  Dylan Carlson’s sac fly to right plated Molina and it was 4-3.  Harrison Bader was the second Cardinal hit by a pitch in the inning.

Tommy Edman via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Kolten Wong, after several failed bunt attempts, singled to right and O’Neill scored to tie the game.  Tommy Edman singled on a ground ball to left as Harrison Bader scored what ultimately was the winning run from second base standing up.

The Redbirds scored their five runs from only three hits, with the only extra base hit O’Neill’s double.  Two walks and two hit-by-pitches were essentially the catalyst for the five-run inning.

Kwang-Hyun Kim via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

St. Louis’ starter was Kwang-Hyun Kim.  Kim had recently been activated from the injured list, but unlike Mitch Keller, was not on a pitch count.  He came into this start with an ERA of 0.63 but yielded four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings pitched, as his ERA rose to 1.59.  The lefty tossed 103 pitches, 68 for strikes, fanned four and issued one walk.  His nemesis was two long balls, both solo shots.

Jake Woodford relieved with one out in the sixth and pitched a scoreless 2/3 innings, retiring both batters he faced.  Ryan Helsley added 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and Genesis Cabrera closed it out with 1 2/3 scoreless frames.  Woodford earned the win, his first as a major leaguer, while Cabrera earned his first save.

DeJong committed a throwing error, his third error of the week and fourth of the season.

The win put the Cardinals back at second place in the NL Central.  The Cubs lost to the Twins 8-1 and the Reds lost to the White Sox 7-1.  The Cardinals are now 4.5 games back of the Cubs and one game up on the Reds and Brewers, who are tied for third place.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Pirates at 3:05 pm.  Jack Flaherty (3-2, 5.52) vs. Joe Musgrove (0-5, 5.74), FOX Sports Midwest/KMOX


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Games Recaps – Friday, September 18, 2020

photo: Daniel Ponce de Leon via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals continued with the five-game series at the Pittsburgh Pirates with a twin bill on Friday night. St. Louis needed wins after the tough loss to the last place Pirates on Thursday. The need was met with a sweep.



Friday, September 18, 2020 – Cardinals 6 at Pirates 5 (seven innings, Game 1)

Game 1 was Carlos Martinez’ start, his third since being activated from the injured list.  Martinez has struggled since his return, and today’s outing was no different, as the right hander lasted only 3 2/3 innings.  He was not helped at all by his defense, which committed four errors in the game.  Martinez yielded five runs, only one of which was earned, on three hits.  Four walks with only one strikeout contributed to his early exit.  He was relieved by Genesis Cabrera, who tossed a scoreless inning.

Alex Reyes

Alex Reyes followed, entering with two outs in the fifth and retiring the only batter he faced.  He returned to pitch a scoreless sixth and retired the first hitter in the seventh, Gregory Polanco.  Ryan Helsley finished the game, though it was no easy matter to do so.  Helsley got the second out of the inning but walked the next batter.  Again, the defense marred the outing with a throwing error by shortstop Paul DeJong, who had committed a fielding miscue earlier in the game.  Helsley then walked the hitter to load the bases.  The right hander induced a fly ball out to left field to save the win for the Cardinals and Reyes.

The offense had a better showing than the previous night, scoring six runs on eight hits. Kolten Wong led off the game with a solo home run to right field.  The lead quickly vanished, however, as the Pirates scored two in the bottom of the inning.

The Cardinals responded with two runs in the top of the second.  Yadier Molina singled, and Tyler O’Neill brought him in with blast to right center field.  St. Louis led 3-2. The offense added on in the third with two additional runs on a Paul Goldschmidt RBI double and a sac fly by DeJong.

Tyler O’Neill

Wong drove in his second run in the fourth inning on a groundout.  The Cardinals led 6-2.  However, the Pirates were not done as they put three more runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth to decrease St. Louis’ lead to 6-5.  The Cardinals bullpen kept the Pirates off the board for the remainder of the game.

Goldschmidt and Molina led the way with two hits each.  Wong and O’Neill contributed with the long ball.  Tommy Edman and Harrison Bader each singled.

The defense committed four errors, two from DeJong, a generally solid defensive shortstop.  Molina was called for another catcher interference, his second of the week, and Edman made a fielding error.


Friday, September 18, 2020 – Cardinals 7, Pirates 2 (seven innings, Game 2)

In the second game of the twin bill, the Cardinals earned the sweep with a decisive 7-2 win over the last place Pirates.  In this make-up game from August 12, St. Louis was designated as the home team despite the game being played on Pittsburgh soil.

29th man Daniel Ponce de Leon made the start on three days rest and kept the Pirates off the board until the fifth inning.  An unfortunate pitch led to a two-run blast that marred the nine strikeout outing for Ponce de Leon.  The right-hander walked two and allowed only three hits.  His day was finished after the fifth.

Daniel Ponce de Leon

Andrew Miller relieved in the sixth and threw a scoreless frame.  Seth Elledge finished with a scoreless seventh with one hit allowed.

Both teams were held scoreless until the fourth when the Cardinals took a 1-0 lead on Paul DeJong’s RBI single that was preceded by back to back singles from Paul Goldschmidt and Tommy Edman.  Goldschmidt scored on the sac fly.

The Pirates responded by taking the lead on the two-run home run in the top of the fifth.  In the bottom of the sixth, the Cardinals retook the lead with a six-run outburst.  Edman walked and Goldschmidt reached on catcher interference.  Brad Miller walked to load the bases before DeJong’s sac fly to right plated Edman.  Tyler O’Neil reached on a fielder’s choice and Goldschmidt scored on a throwing error by the Pirates third baseman.

Harrison Bader pinch ran for Miller and a ground ball by Matt Carpenter led to a throwing error by the Pirate first baseman that allowed Bader to score. With Carpenter and O’Neill on base, Dylan Carlson, newly recalled from Springfield, hit a high middle fastball out of the park for a three-run home run, his second long ball of the season.  The home run was Carlson’s second hit in the game.  The Cardinals led 7-2, a lead they would not relinquish.

Dylan Carlson

The sweep of the team’s 10th doubleheader of the season put the Cardinals back to the .500 mark with a record of 24-24, and in a tie for second place with the 26-26 Reds.  Both teams are 5.5 games back of the Cubs.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Pirates at 6:05 p.m.  Kwang-Hyun Kim (2-0, 0.63) vs. Mitch Keller (1-1, 5.06), FOX Sports Midwest/FOX Sports 1/KMOX


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Game Recap – Thursday, September 17, 2020

photo: Dakota Hudson via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Thursday, September 17, 2020 – Cardinals 1 at Pirates 5

The St. Louis Cardinals faced the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on Thursday night in the opener of a five-game series.  Cardinals starting pitcher Dakota only went two innings and the offense was stymied on just two hits on the way to a disappointing 5-1 loss.

The troubles began when Hudson left the game after the second inning due to injury.  It was originally called “right elbow tightness,” but after the game, manager Mike Shildt labeled it a “mild forearm strain”. X-rays showed nothing structural, but Hudson will have imaging on Friday and more will be known then.

Hudson’s early exit forced Friday’s tentative doubleheader Game 2 starter Austin Gomber into action starting in the third inning. The lefty pitched one scoreless frame, but in the fourth, he walked the first two batters. After two consecutive Pirates struck out, Gregory Polanco hit a three-run home run to right center field. Gomber yielded a fourth run on a single and a double before being pulled with two out, still in the fourth.

Tyler Webb retired the final hitter in the fourth, and took the fifth, but he was replaced by Seth Elledge with one out in the sixth. Elledge finished the frame. Andrew Miller and Junior Fernandez tossed the scoreless seventh and eighth, respectively.  Gomber was tagged with the loss.

The meager Cardinals offense scored one run on two hits, both singles, as they were stymied by Pirates pitcher Steven Brault.  The left-hander went all the way to pick up his first win in 14 starts since September 1, 2019. Tommy Edman’s single in the third inning drove in the only Cardinals run. Kolten Wong had the other hit. Yadier Molina and Rangel Ravelo each drew a free pass.

Kolten Wong via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Ravelo had an outfield assist at home plate.

The loss put the Cardinals at 22-24 and dropped them into third place in the NL Central, a half-game back of the second-place Reds, and six games back of the first-place Cubs. St. Louis now trails further in their season series against baseball’s worst team, with the Bucs having won four of six and with four more contests just ahead.

In transaction news prior to the game, starting pitcher Johan Oviedo was optioned out and Wednesday’s 29th man, outfielder Justin Williams, remains on the active 28-man roster. More changes are coming on Friday.

Friday’s games:  vs. Pirates at 3:05 p.m., Carlos Martinez (0-2, 10.32) vs. Trevor Williams (1-7, 6.35) (Game 1); vs. Pirates 45 minutes following Game 1, Daniel Ponce de Leon (0-3, 6.23) vs. Chad Kuhl (1-2, 5.50) (Game 2), FOX Sports Midwest/KMOX

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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of September 7-13

photo: Matt Carpenter via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals finished a disappointing homestand with a 3-5 week. While the offense is coming to life, led by Matt Carpenter, the bullpen is showing significant wear – just as the schedule becomes more challenging. Our history feature revisits the longest MLB game that reached its conclusion in contiguous play, a 1974 Cardinals win over the Mets that lasted over seven hours.

Game Recaps

Monday, September 7, 2020 – Cardinals 1 at Cubs 5

In the Labor Day finale of the five-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, the Cardinals fell to the Cubs 5-1. An inefficient outing from starter Johan Oviedo, plus defensive and baserunning miscues meant sloppy play by the Redbirds.

Oveido tossed 4 2/3 innings and gave up five runs, three earned, on eight hits.  The 22-year old right hander walked three and struck out one.  He threw 96 pitches, 63 for strikes.

Tyler Webb relieved with one out in the fifth and went on to hurl 1 1/3 scoreless innings.  He struck out two and walked one.  Seth Elledge and Rob Kaminsky pitched a scoreless inning each.

The Cardinals offense managed only seven hits and one run, which came home in the seventh inning. The frame began with a single by Paul Goldschmidt, who was then eliminated on a ground out force by Brad Miller.  With Miller on first, Paul DeJong singled to right to advance Miller.  Matt Wieters’ single to center plated Miller.

Goldschmidt and Kolten Wong each had two hits.  The only extra base hit was a double by Harrison Bader.

St. Louis’ defense committed two throwing errors, one each by Matt Carpenter and Wong.  Wong was caught stealing and picked off first base.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020 – Cardinals 3, Twins 7 (seven innings, Game 1)

The Cardinals played a twin bill at Busch Stadium against the Twins on Tuesday as a makeup of previously postponed games.  The Cardinals dropped Game 1 by the score of 7-3 behind a shaky first start off the injured list from Carlos Martinez.

Martinez hurled only 3 2/3 innings and took the loss.  The right hander yielded four runs on seven hits, fanned three and issued one free pass.

Jake Woodford relieved and surrendered one additional run on two hits in his 2 1/3-inning outing.  Ryan Helsley closed out the game in the seventh inning and allowed two runs on two hits.

St. Louis’ offense was held scoreless until the sixth inning. Kolten Wong led off with a walk and came in when Tommy Edman blasted a home run to right field.  Paul Goldschmidt singled to center and later scored from third on a wild pitch for St. Louis’ final run.  Goldschmidt was 2-for-3 as the only Cardinal with multiple hits.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020 – Cardinals 6, Twins 4 (seven innings, Game 2)

The Cardinals split Tuesday’s twin bill with the Twins with a 6-4 win behind a five-run inning that was all small ball.  Five Cardinals pitchers took the mound to secure the victory.

St. Louis’ offense fell behind 2-0 in the second inning.  In the third, some small ball and hitters getting on base in multiple ways led to a 5-2 lead for St. Louis.

Matt Carpenter

The inning began with a line drive single to center off the bat of Matt Carpenter.  Matt Wieters was hit by a pitch and Harrison Bader drew a walk to load the bases.  When Tommy Edman was hit by a pitch, Carpenter scored.

With the bases still juiced, Paul DeJong walked to plate Wieters.  Following a Paul Goldschmidt strike out, Brad Miller reached on a fielder’s choice and Bader scored.  Rangel Ravelo then singled to left and Edman came home.  In the next play, Paul DeJong was thrown out on a Tyler O’Neill ground out force out. The bases remained loaded and the lineup turned over to Carpenter, who drew a walk to plate Miller.

St. Louis added an insurance run on an RBI single by Kolten Wong to score Edman, who reached base via a walk.  The offense scored six total runs on only five hits, with no Cardinal having more than one hit.

Up from the alternate camp, Daniel Ponce de Leon got the start and tossed three innings, giving up two runs on five hits.  He struck out four and walked one, throwing 63 pitches, 43 for strikes.

Genesis Cabrera followed with a scoreless fourth inning appearance. John Gant allowed one run in the fifth.  Andrew Miller started the sixth and recorded the first two outs.  Giovanny Gallegos finished the sixth and tossed the seventh and final inning, yielding a solo home run.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 – Off day

Thursday, September 10, 2020 – Cardinals 12, Tigers 2 (seven innings, Game 1)

The Cardinals bats came alive in the first game of a twin bill against the Detroit Tigers at Busch Stadium on Thursday afternoon.  The contests made up the postponed contests originally scheduled for August 5 and 6.

The day’s scoring began with a two-run home run off the bat of Yadier Molina in the second inning following a walk by Rangel Ravelo.   Molina, wearing the number 21 to celebrate his late countryman Roberto Clemente, took the fifth pitch he saw from Detroit starter Tarik Skubal and sent it over the left field wall.

Yadier Molina

The Cardinals’ big inning was the third.  Kolten Wong led off with a walk.  Tommy Edman doubled to left to bring in Wong.  Paul Goldschmidt drew a walk and Paul DeJong singled and scored Ravelo’s sac fly.  Tyler O’Neill blasted a two-run home run to left center field to bring the score to 7-0. Harrison Bader slapped a line drive single to left and Lane Thomas followed with a two-run long ball to left center to increase the lead to 9-0.

The Tigers got on the board with two runs in the top of the fourth inning.  The Cardinals responded by adding a 10th run in the bottom half of the inning on a solo home run by Goldschmidt.  The final two scores were added in the sixth on a two-run blast by Ravelo.

Starter Jack Flaherty pitched five innings and yielded two runs on four hits to earn his third win.  The right hander fanned six and walked two.  Flaherty was not efficient with his pitches, however, as he threw 95 pitches, 63 for strikes.

Seth Elledge and Nabil Crismatt each tossed one inning of scoreless relief.

O’Neill stole his first base of the season.

Thursday, September 10, 2020 – Cardinals 3, Tigers 6 (seven innings, Game 2)

The Cardinals led for much of the second game of the doubleheader, but things went south in the final inning.  Austin Gomber was the Game 2 starter and he tossed three scoreless innings.  The left hander allowed five hits, struck out six and walked one.

Alex Reyes relieved in the fourth, escaping a bases-loaded with no out jam.  The right-hander pitched two scoreless innings with one hit allowed and two strikeouts.  Genesis Cabrera yielded a solo home run in the sixth and with one out, Gant finished the frame with no further damage.

Giovanny Gallegos started the seventh.  The closer walked his first batter and gave up single to the second.  The third Tiger hitter, Jonathan Schoop, singled on a ground ball to center. Harrison Bader threw home and the throw was offline, allowing the runners to advance to second and third.  The game was then delayed as Gallegos was taken out due to a groin injury.

Ryan Helsley took over on the mound as Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases.  The next batter singled and two runs scored to give Detroit the 4-3 lead. After a double play off the bat of the next hitter, Helsley gave up a back-breaking two-run home run to Jeimer Candelario and the Tigers led 6-3.  The injured Gallegos took the loss.

The Cardinals scored their first run in the second inning.  Paul DeJong led off with a single and later scored on Matt Carpenter’s single.  DeJong crossed the plate again in the fourth when he drew a walk and was again plated by Carpenter, this time on a double to center field.

The third run was added in the fifth inning on a solo home run by Tommy Edman.  The Cardinals carried their 3-1 lead into the seventh inning when the wheels came off the bus.  Edman and Carpenter had two hits each.

Edman was caught stealing for the third time this season.  The aforementioned throwing error by Bader was his second of the season.

Friday, September 11, 2020 – Cardinals 1, Reds 3

The Cardinals fell to the Cincinnati Reds 3-1 in the first of a three-game weekend series at Busch Stadium Friday evening.  St. Louis’ offense was stymied by the pitching of Reds starter Luis Castillo, managing only one run on two hits.

The lone Redbirds run scored in the second inning.  Brad Miller drew a leadoff walk and Paul DeJong followed with a double to left.  Matt Carpenter drove in Miller from third on a ground out to first base.  The only other hit by a Cardinal batter was a single by Kolten Wong.  Cardinals hitters struck out six times and drew three walks.

Pitching with an extra day of rest, Adam Wainwright made the start for the Cardinals.  On a night the right-hander lacked his best stuff, the 39-year old tossed six innings and gave up three runs on eight hits.  He struck out four and walked two on the 15th anniversary of his MLB debut.  Wainwright threw 99 pitches, 63 for strikes.

Seth Elledge pitched a scoreless seventh. Tyler Webb and Nabil Crismatt followed with a clean inning each.  Wainwright took the loss, his first of the season after four wins.

The game lasted 2 hours and 24 minutes.

Saturday, September 12, 2020 – Cardinals 7, Reds 1

The Cardinals blew past the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night in the second contest of the three-game weekend set at Busch Stadium.  The offense took off on the strength of long balls by four different St. Louis hitters, backed by a strong outing from starter Dakota Hudson.

Hudson earned the win, his third of the season, while lowering his 2020 ERA to 2.92.  The right-hander hurled six innings and yielded one run on just one hit.  Hudson fanned four and walked four, including three in the third inning, a jam he evaded with just one run with the help of an inning-ending double play.

Dakota Hudson

Genesis Cabrera went out to relieve Hudson in the seventh, but a fingernail came off before he threw a pitch, which sent him back to the clubhouse.  Tyler Webb followed and tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings, with one hit allowed and two Reds strikeouts.  Andrew Miller got the final two outs of the eighth before Rob Kaminsky pitched a scoreless ninth.

The Reds took an initial 1-0 lead in the third inning.  Brad Miller led off the Cardinals fourth with a solo shot to deep center field to knot the score.  Paul DeJong drew a walk and Matt Carpenter singled to left center.  Austin Dean followed with a walk to load the bases.  Matt Wieters’ ground out brought DeJong home and the Cardinals led 2-1.

In the bottom of the sixth, the floodgates opened for St. Louis.  Carpenter thumped his team’s second long ball, this one to right center, to increase the lead to 3-1.  Dean walked and Wieters was hit by a pitch.  With two on, Harrison Bader blasted an on the black outside fastball over the right center field wall for the back-breaking three-run home run.  Two batters and an unassisted double play later, Paul Goldschmidt sent the fourth St. Louis long ball into their bullpen in right field.  The Cardinals led 7-1 and kept that lead until the end.

In his first start, left fielder Dean reached four times on a double and a trio of free passes. Tommy Edman and Carpenter had two hits apiece. Bader plated three. Edman and Kolten Wong each stole a base. It was Edman’s second of the season and Wong’s third.

Sunday, September 13, 2020 – Cardinals 5, Reds 10

An injury plagued and shaky Cardinals bullpen could not hold the lead in the rubber game of the three game set against the Reds at Busch Stadium on Sunday.  The Cardinals had a 5-3 lead heading into the sixth inning, but the Reds put seven runs on the board in the final four innings.

Carlos Martinez made his second start since returning from the COVID injured list, and it was an improvement on the first.  The right hander went four innings, and yielded three runs on six hits, but his stuff was good enough to fan eight Reds hitters.  He threw 90 pitches, 55 for strikes.

The bullpen took over in the fifth and six pitchers combined to allow seven runs over the next five innings.  First it was Genesis Cabrera, who gave up on run in 1 1/3 innings pitched.  Alex Reyes followed with an inning in which he relinquished one run.

John Gant relieved with one out in the seventh and faced one batter, who singled, and came out of the game due to an injured groin.  Andrew Miller secured the final two outs, but not before three runs scored, two inherited, that were charged to Reyes and Gant, and one additional run charged to Miller.

Jake Woodford tossed the eighth and yielded a run.  Nabil Crismatt gave up two more runs in the ninth.  All seven Cardinals pitchers allowed at least one run.

St. Louis’ offense took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a sac fly by Rangel Ravelo.  The Reds tied it in the top of the second.

Still in the second inning, Matt Carpenter led off with a ground rule double and Harrison Bader drew a walk. Kolten Wong’s single plated Carpenter before Bader scored on a sac fly by Paul DeJong.  St. Louis led 3-1.

The Reds knotted the game again with two runs in the third.  In the fifth, the Redbirds regained the lead.  Brad Miller walked, Yadier Molina singled and Miller scored on a single by Carpenter.  A baserunning blunder by Molina on a Tyler O’Neill single led to Molina being thrown out at home.  Harrison Bader singled and plated Carpenter for the 5-3 lead.

The Cardinals did not score again. Five runs came home on eight hits, two off the bat of Carpenter.

The Big Picture

The Cardinals ended a disappointing week at home with a record of 3-5.  The team ended a five-game series against the Cubs on Monday with a loss, thus taking two of the five games.  The Cardinals split doubleheaders with the Twins and Tigers and won only one of three from the Reds over the weekend.

St. Louis fell back to .500 with a record of 20-20 and are four games back of the Cubs with 18 left to play.  There are no remaining games on the regular season schedule with the Cubs or the Reds.

A mixture of factors led to the disappointing showing.  Injuries have plagued the pitching staff, and the bullpen in particular is showing signs of wear.  Four pitchers are out for the season, and four more are currently on the injured list, with another, John Gant, potentially going on the list, though initial reports have indicated his groin injury may not be serious.  Starter Kwang-Hyun Kim is scheduled to be activated on Monday in Milwaukee.

John Gant

Manager Mike Shildt cited lack of production from the outfield as a stumbling block.  Dexter Fowler remains on the injured list, and though Austin Dean was recently activated, he suffered an injury in Sunday’s game and his current status is unknown.  Of the remaining outfielders on the roster, not counting Tommy Edman or Rangel Ravelo, primarily infielders who have made starts in the outfield, only Harrison Bader has an OPS above .800.  There is a report that outfielder Justin Williams, who is currently at the Alternate Training Site, may be added to the taxi squad on the upcoming road trip.

Top offensive producers in the last seven days with at least 15 plate appearances are Matt Carpenter (1.222 OPS), Harrison Bader (.946), Paul Goldschmidt (.930), Kolten Wong (.818), and Tommy Edman (.870).

Harrison Bader

Several defense and baserunning issues surfaced this past week.  Carpenter, Wong, and Bader each made throwing errors.  Two runners, Paul DeJong and Yadier Molina, were thrown out at home trying to score in separate games, and Wong was picked off first base in Monday’s game against the Cubs.  Austin Dean misplayed a fly ball in the outfield in Sunday’s game.

The Cardinals travel to Milwaukee on Monday for a crucial five-game series.  The Brewers are only two games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central.  The Cards then face the last-place Pirates for a five-game set.  Both series feature doubleheaders.  Winning the majority of these 10 games is important for maintaining a playoff spot.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Chicago 28 20 0.583
St. Louis 20 20 0.500 4
Milwaukee 20 24 0.455 6
Cincinnati 21 26 0.447 6.5
Pittsburgh 14 30 0.318 12

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

  • 9/8 The Cardinals activated RHP Carlos Martinez from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/8 The Cardinals designated RHP Ryan Meisinger for assignment.
  • 9/8 The Cardinals optioned OF Dylan Carlson to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/8 The Cardinals recalled RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/9 The Cardinals optioned RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/10 The Cardinals placed RHP Johan Oviedo on the 10-day injured list.
  • 9/10 The Cardinals activated OF Austin Dean from the 10-day injured list.
  • 9/10 The Cardinals sent RHP Ryan Meisinger outright to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/10 The Cardinals recalled RHP Nabil Crismatt from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/11 The Cardinals placed RHP Giovanny Gallegos on the 10- day injured list. Right groin strain.
  • 9/11 The Cardinals optioned RHP Nabil Crismatt to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/11 The Cardinals recalled RHP Nabil Crismatt from the Alternate Training Site.

Injury Report

  • RHP John Brebbia underwent Tommy John surgery on June 1. He will miss the entire 2020 season.
  • RHP Jordan Hicks (Tommy John surgery) has opted out of the 2020 season.
  • RHP Miles Mikolas (right forearm strain) had arm surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez was activated from the injured list and started game one of Tuesday’s doubleheader.
  • RHP Kodi Whitley (COVID-19 positive) had experienced discomfort in his pitching elbow during throwing sessions at the Alternate Training Site. He was sent to St. Louis for an MRI and no structural damage was found. Whitley returned to the Alternate Training Site and continues to work out there.  No update on his possible return has been reported.
  • OF Austin Dean was activated from the injured list and started in Saturday’s game, but departed on Sunday with a sore elbow.
  • LHP Ricardo Sanchez was transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 45-day injured list. Left elbow pain.
  • LHP Kwang-Hyun Kim is on the 10-day injured list. Kidney ailment. Kim had returned to St. Louis but is making good progress in his recovery.  The left hander could return as early as Monday for one of the doubleheader games.
  • RF Dexter Fowler was placed on the 10-day injured list. Stomach ailment.  Fowler returned to St. Louis and is expected to be out indefinitely, but with a chance to return late in the season.
  • RHP Johan Oviedo was placed on the COVID-IL and is in quarantine due to an exposure to and individual who tested positive. Oveido continues to test negative and is asymptomatic.  The right hander could return to the roster some time during the week.
  • RHP Giovanny Gallegos was removed from Friday’s game and was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right groin strain. He will likely remain on the injured list for the full 10 days and perhaps beyond.

Looking Ahead

Following the weekend series against the Reds at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals travel to Milwaukee and play a doubleheader at Miller Park on Monday. Kwang-Hyun Kim is expected to be activated from the injured list to make the start in the first game of Monday’s doubleheader.  Daniel Ponce de Leon is scheduled to start the second game.

The series continues on Tuesday with a regulation game and ends on Wednesday with a second doubleheader.  Jack Flaherty will make the start on Tuesday, and Adam Wainwright will start the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.  No pitcher has been announced for the second game.

The team leaves Milwaukee and travels to Pittsburgh for a five-game series that begins on Thursday.  A doubleheader will be played on Friday and the series concludes on Sunday.

The road trip continues with three games in Kansas City against the Royals starting on Monday, September 21.  The regular season ends at home in St. Louis with a four-game set against the Brewers, unless a makeup doubleheader vs. Detroit is needed to be played in Monday the 28th to settle playoff seedings.

Blast from the Past

The week which just ended is most well known for one great momentous event in US history, when on September 11, 2001, terrorists flew planes into the Twin Towers of Manhattan, New York, killing more than 2,000 people.  In a much lesser sense, in a baseball context, September 11 also marks a day when in 1974, the Cardinals played a game that put the organization in the baseball history books.

On September 11, 1974, the Cardinals met the New York Mets at Shea Stadium for a regulation game that was anything but.  In a night contest that began at 8:08 p.m. ET, the Cardinals defeated the Mets 4-3 when the game came to an end at 3:12 a.m.  The 25-inning, 7 hour and 4 minute game became the second longest game by innings in major league history, and the longest continuous game by innings in wihch a winner was decided.

The longest game by innings (26) was a game between the Brooklyn Robins and the Boston Braves on May 1, 1920.  The game ended in a 1-1 tie when the game was called due to darkness.

The longest game by time (8 hours and six minutes) was played on May 8, 1984 between the Chicago White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers that went 25 innings.  It was not continuous as it was stopped and restarted over two days.

Only the Cardinals and Mets game was a continuous game that finally decided a winner.

The Cardinals sent 26 different hitters to the plate, including seven pitchers, who took a total of 86 at bats.  The Mets sent 24 different hitters to the plate, including six pitchers, who took a total of 89 at bats.

Starting pitchers were Bob Forsch for the Cardinals and Jerry Koosman for the Mets.  The Cardinals used six more pitchers following Forsch:  Mike Garman, Al Hrabosky, Rich Folkers, Ray Bare, Claude Osteen, and Sonny Siebert.  Siebert was the winner.  Osteen pitched the longest, 9 1/3 innings.

The Cardinals scored first on an RBI single by Joe Torre.  The Mets tied it up in the bottom of the first, then took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth.  The game remained 3-1 in favor of the Mets until the top of the ninth inning.  A two-run home run by Ken Reitz off Koosman tied the game at 3-3.

From the end of the ninth inning until the top of the 25th inning, the closest either team came to scoring was in the 23rd and 24th.  The Mets loaded the bases in both innings, and the Cardinals filled the bags in the top of the 24th.

The game finally came to an end in the 25th when the Cardinals scored.. Bake McBride led off the inning with a single, but was picked off first base, or so it looked, until the throw by Mets pitcher Hank Webb went sailing past first baseman John Milner.  Milner retrieved the ball as McBride ignored the third base coach’s stop sign and headed home.  Mets catcher Ron Hodges dropped Milner’s throw as McBride scored the winning run with no outs in the top of the 25th.  The Mets were unable to answer in the bottom of the frame.

And so at 3:12 a.m. ET, 7 hours and 4 minutes after it started, the longest continuous major league game with a decided winner came to a close.


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Game Recap – Saturday, September 12, 2020

photo: Dakota Hudson via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Saturday, September 12, 2020 – Cardinals 7, Reds 1

The St. Louis Cardinals blew past the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night in the second contest of the three-game weekend set at Busch Stadium.  The offense took off on the strength of long balls by four different St. Louis hitters, backed by a strong outing from starter Dakota Hudson.

Hudson earned the win, his third of the season, while lowering his 2020 ERA to 2.92.  The right-hander hurled six innings and yielded one run on just one hit.  Hudson fanned four and walked four, including three in the third inning, a jam he evaded with just one run with the help of an inning-ending double play.

Genesis Cabrera went out to relieve Hudson in the seventh, but a fingernail came off before he threw a pitch, which sent him back to the clubhouse.  Tyler Webb followed and tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings, with one hit allowed and two Reds strikeouts.  Andrew Miller got the final two outs of the eighth before Rob Kaminsky pitched a scoreless ninth.

Brad Miller via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Reds took an initial 1-0 lead in the third inning.  Brad Miller led off the Cardinals fourth with a solo shot to deep center field to knot the score.  Paul DeJong drew a walk and Matt Carpenter singled to left center.  Austin Dean followed with a walk to load the bases.  Matt Wieters’ ground out brought DeJong home and the Cardinals led 2-1.

In the bottom of the sixth, the floodgates opened for St. Louis.  Carpenter thumped his team’s second long ball, this one to right center, to increase the lead to 3-1.  Dean walked and Wieters was hit by a pitch.  With two on, Harrison Bader blasted an on the black outside fastball over the right center field wall for the back-breaking three-run home run.  Two batters and an unassisted double play later, Paul Goldschmidt sent the fourth St. Louis long ball into their bullpen in right field.  The Cardinals led 7-1 and kept that lead until the end.

Austin Dean via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

In his first start, left fielder Dean reached four times on a double and a trio of free passes. Tommy Edman and Carpenter had two hits apiece. Bader plated three. Edman and Kolten Wong each stole a base. It was Edman’s second of the season and Wong’s third.

The Cardinals remain three games back of the Cubs after Chicago came back to defeat the Brewers, 4-2.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Reds at 1:15 p.m., Carlos Martinez (0-2, 12.27) vs. Tyler Mahle (1-2, 3.89), FOX Sports Midwest/KMOX/WIJR


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Game Recap – Friday, September 11, 2020

photo: Adam Wainwright via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Friday, September 11, 2020 – Cardinals 1, Reds 3

The St. Louis Cardinals fell to the Cincinnati Reds 3-1 in the first of a three-game weekend series at Busch Stadium Friday evening.  St. Louis’ offense was stymied by the pitching of Reds starter Luis Castillo, managing only one run on two hits.

The lone Redbirds run scored in the second inning.  Brad Miller drew a leadoff walk and Paul DeJong followed with a double to left.  Matt Carpenter drove in Miller from third on a ground out to first base.  The only other hit by a Cardinal batter was a single by Kolten Wong.  Cardinal hitters struck out six times and drew three walks.

Pitching with an extra day of rest, Adam Wainwright made the start for the Cardinals.  On a night the right-hander lacked his best stuff, the 39-year old tossed six innings and gave up three runs on eight hits.  He struck out four and walked two. On the 15th anniversary of his MLB debut, Wainwright threw 99 pitches, 63 for strikes.

Seth Elledge contributed a scoreless seventh. Tyler Webb and Nabil Crismatt followed with a clean inning each.  Wainwright took the loss, his first of the season after four wins.

The game was played in a crisp 2 hours and 24 minutes.

The Cardinals remain three games back of the Cubs with the Chicago’s 1-0 walk-off loss to the Brewers.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Reds at 7:15 p.m.  RHP Dakota Hudson (2-2, 3.19) vs. RHP Tejay Antoine (0-1, 2.49), FOX Sports Midwest/KMOX/WIJR


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Games Recaps – Thursday, September 10, 2020

photo: Yadier Molina via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

On Thursday, the St. Louis Cardinals fell one inning short of a doubleheader sweep, settling for a split with the visiting Detroit Tigers. Yadier Molina hit an emotional two-run home run on Roberto Clemente Day.

Thursday, September 10, 2020 – Cardinals 12, Tigers 2 (seven innings, Game 1)

The St. Louis Cardinals bats came alive with five home runs in the first game of a twin bill against the Detroit Tigers at Busch Stadium on Thursday afternoon.  The contests made up the postponed contests originally scheduled for August 5 and 6.

The day’s scoring began with a two-run home run off the bat of Yadier Molina in the second inning following a walk by Rangel Ravelo.   Molina, wearing the number 21 to celebrate his late countryman Roberto Clemente, took the fifth pitch he saw from Detroit starter Tarik Skubal and sent it over the left field wall.

Yadier Molina

The Cardinals’ big inning was the third.  Kolten Wong led off with a walk.  Tommy Edman doubled to left to bring in Wong.  Paul Goldschmidt drew a walk and Paul DeJong singled and scored Ravelo’s sac fly.  Tyler O’Neill blasted a two-run home run to left center field to bring the score to 7-0. Harrison Bader slapped a line drive single to left and Lane Thomas followed with a two-run long ball to left center to increase the lead to 9-0.

The Tigers got on the board with two runs in the top of the fourth inning.  The Cardinals responded by adding a 10th run in the bottom half of the inning on a solo home run by Goldschmidt.  The final two scores were added in the sixth on a two-run blast by Ravelo.

Rangel Ravelo

Starter Jack Flaherty pitched five innings and yielded two runs on four hits to earn his third win.  The right hander fanned six and walked two.  Flaherty was not efficient with his pitches, however, as he threw 95 pitches, 63 for strikes.

Seth Elledge and the day’s 29th man, Nabil Crismatt, each tossed one inning of scoreless relief.

O’Neill stole his first base of the season.

Thursday, September 10, 2020 – Cardinals 3, Tigers 6 (seven innings, Game 2)

The Cardinals led for much of the second game of the doubleheader, but things went south in the final inning.  Austin Gomber was the Game 2 starter and he tossed three scoreless innings.  The left hander allowed five hits, struck out six and walked one.

Alex Reyes

Alex Reyes relieved in the fourth, escaping a bases-loaded with no out jam.  The right-hander pitched two scoreless innings with one hit allowed and two strikeouts.  Genesis Cabrera yielded a solo home run in the sixth and with one out, Gant finished the frame with no further damage.

Giovanny Gallegos started the seventh.  The closer walked his first batter and gave up single to the second.  The third Tiger hitter, Jonathan Schoop, singled on a ground ball to center. Harrison Bader threw home and the throw was offline, allowing the runners to advance to second and third.  The game was then delayed as Gallegos was taken out due to a groin injury.

Ryan Helsley took over on the mound as Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases.  The next batter singled and two runs scored to give Detroit the 4-3 lead. After a double play off the bat of the next hitter, Helsley gave up a back-breaking two-run home run to Jeimer Candelario and the Tigers led 6-3.  The injured Gallegos took the loss.

The Cardinals scored their first run in the second inning.  Paul DeJong led off with a single and later scored on Matt Carpenter’s single.  DeJong crossed the plate again in the fourth when he drew a walk and was again plated by Carpenter, this time on a double to center field.

Matt Carpenter

The third run was added in the fifth inning on a solo home run by Tommy Edman.  The Cardinals carried their 3-1 lead into the seventh inning when the wheels came off the bus.  Edman and Carpenter had two hits each.

Edman was caught stealing for the third time this season.  The aforementioned throwing error by Bader was his second of the season.

The Chicago Cubs won Thursday evening and their National League Central Division lead over St. Louis is three games.

Friday’s game:  vs. Reds at 7:15 pm.  Adam Wainwright (4-0, 2.68) vs. Luis Castillo (1-5, 3.95), FOX Sports Midwest/KMOX/WIJR


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of August 31-September 6

The St. Louis Cardinals won both road series this week to pull within a game and a half of the division lead. On Sunday, one of the greatest Cardinals ever, Lou Brock, passed away. Our history feature covers the story of the first woman to bat in a Major League game.



Cardinals legend and Hall of Famer Lou Brock passes away at age 81

Early Sunday evening, word came that an icon of St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and a beloved Baseball and team Hall of Famer, Louis Clark Brock, “Sweet Lou,” had passed away at the age of 81.

Brock has meant so much to the Cardinal family that it is difficult to summarize.  This author grew up in the 1960s when Brock, Bob Gibson, Curt Flood, Tim McCarver, and the World Series Champions of 1964 and 1967 were in their zenith.  Brock was the stolen base king to this child of the decade, best known for breaking the all-time stolen base record in 1977, a record held by the legendary Ty Cobb.

Brock came to the Cardinals in a trade many consider to be one of the worst in baseball history.  Worst for the Cubs, at least, as they dealt Brock to St. Louis in June 1964 for pitcher Ernie Broglio.  The Cubs had given up on Brock, thinking he would never hit, and off he went to St. Louis.  Broglio had won 18 games for the Cardinals the year before and the trade was initially seen as a heist for the Cubs.  Broglio did not produce for the Cubs, however, and was out of baseball two years later, the victim of a broken down pitching arm.  Brock would go on not only to break the stolen base record but would help lead the Cardinals to two World Championships and be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 1985, his first year of eligibility.

Brock retired from baseball at the end of the 1979 season having reached the 3,000 hit plateau that August 13, ironically against the Cubs.  In his 19 years in the major leagues, the outfielder led the National League in stolen bases eight times.  His career batting line was .293/.343/.410 with 149 home runs and 900 RBI.  Not bad for a guy the Cubs thought couldn’t hit.

Inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame in its inaugural year in 2014, Brock was a fixture at Opening Day ceremonies in his red jacket.  Lou suffered from diabetes, and as a result his left leg was amputated below the knee in 2015.  That didn’t stop Brock from attending Opening Day thereafter, he showed up and proudly walked with his prosthetic leg and his cane.

Brock was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, in April 2017, but was reported to be cancer free by July of that year. This summer, when Brock turned 81, friends showed up at his home to sing him “Happy Birthday” as he stood on his porch to observe during this year of COVID-19.

As of this writing, cause of death has not been disclosed, but Cardinals fans who have loved and known Lou will never forget him.  He will be sorely missed wearing his red jacket, smiling and waving to fans during Opening Day ceremonies.  Those who knew him or met him talk about his kindness and generosity.  He was a great one indeed.

Rest in peace, Sweet Lou.

Cardinals and Baseball Mourn Passing of Hall of Famer Lou Brock

Game Recaps

Monday, August 31, 2020 – Cardinals 7 at Reds 5

The Cardinals defeated the Cincinnati Reds in the first of the three-game road set on Monday.  Dakota Hudson earned his first win of the season in a seven-inning outing. The right-hander gave up two runs, one earned on four hits.  He fanned seven and walked no one, tossing 95 pitches, 63 for strikes.

Dakota Hudson via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Austin Gomber relieved in the eighth and yielded one run.  Jake Woodford began the ninth but allowed two runs while recording only one out.  Giovanny Gallegos retired the next two hitters to end the game and was rewarded with his second save of the season.

The Redbirds offense scored seven runs on 10 hits.  Paul Goldschmidt’s RBI double in the first inning put his team on the board. The Reds quickly tied it in the bottom of the frame.

In the second, following a Matt Carpenter walk and a Dexter Fowler single, Kolten Wong broke the tie with a ground ball single to plate Carpenter. Yadier Molina increased the lead to 3-1 with a sac fly in the third.

The Cardinals added on in a big way in the fourth inning.  Wong singled, and Goldschmidt and Brad Miller drew walks.  Paul DeJong followed with his first career grand slam to give the Cardinals a 7-1 lead.  The Reds would make it closer in the later innings, but the visitors held on to claim victory in the end.

Both Goldschmidt and DeJong claimed their first stolen base of the season.  The only blemish in the field was a passed ball by Molina.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020 – Cardinals 16 at Reds 2

Following a close win the previous night, the Cardinals offense took the ball and more than ran with it, pummeling the Reds for a 16-2 drubbing in Game 2 of the series.

It began immediately, with a six-run first inning by St. Louis’ offense. Opening singles by Kolten Wong and Tommy Edman and a walk by Paul Goldschmidt loaded the bases for Brad Miller.  Miller doubled to right field to score Wong and Edman.

Kolten Wong via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

With two outs in the inning, Matt Carpenter drew a walk. Dexter Fowler singled to plate Goldschmidt and Miller. Lane Thomas walked, Wong then singled, and Carpenter and Fowler came home.  The Cardinals led 6-0.

In the second, Goldschmidt doubled, and Miller blasted a two-run long ball to make it 8-0.  Wong singled, and Edman doubled him home in the third inning for a 9-0 lead.

The Cardinals did not score in the fourth, but in the fifth, Wong doubled, Goldschmidt walked, and Miller drove Wong home on a single.  Yadier Molina singled to plate Goldschmidt. The lead increased to 11-0.

Lane Thomas doubled to right in the sixth inning and Wong was hit by a pitch.  A single by Andrew Knizner plated Thomas and Wong for a 13-0 lead.

The Reds finally got on the board with a run in the bottom of the sixth.  The Cardinals responded with an additional run in the seventh when Carpenter scored from third base on a passed ball.

The Cardinals took a 14-1 lead into the eighth and added on.  Knizner singled and Miller hit a two run bomb  to right to make the lead 16-1.  The Reds scored their second run in the bottom of the ninth for the final score of 16-2.

Wong went 4-for-4, Edman was 3-for-7, Miller was 4-for-6 and Molina was 3-for-6.  Knizner and Paul DeJong each had two hits.

Amid all the scoring there was Cardinals pitching.  Kwang-Hyun Kim tossed five scoreless innings to start.  The lefty allowed three hits, struck out four and walked two.  Ryan Helsley yielded one run in the sixth before Tyler Webb and Ryan Meisinger each pitched a scoreless inning. Seth Elledge allowed the second Reds run in the ninth.  Kim earned his second win.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020 – Cardinals 3 at Reds 4

The Cardinals failed to sweep the Reds, falling in the final inning of the final game of the series, edged 4-3.

Starter Johan Oviedo pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits.  The right-hander struck out five and walked one.

Genesis Cabrera tossed two scoreless innings of relief.  John Gant and Austin Gomber combined for 1 1/3 scoreless frames.  Giovanny Gallegos took the ninth but absorbed the loss, as he yielded the walk off RBI single by Joey Votto.

St. Louis’ offense got on the board in the second inning on a solo home run by Brad Miller.  The Reds tied it up in the bottom half.

In the fifth, Yadier Molina hit a bases-empty home run to regain the lead and Kolten Wong added an RBI double to make it 3-1.  The Red knotted it up again with two in the bottom of the fifth and the score remained knotted until Votto’s walk off in the ninth.

Miller went 2-for-3 as the only Cardinal with multiple hits.

Thursday, September 3, 2020 – Off day

Friday, September 4, 2020 – Cardinals 1 at Cubs 4

The Cardinals met the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Friday night for the opener of a five-game series.  The Redbirds offense could not figure out Cubs starter Yu Darvish, who tossed seven shutout innings, and were defeated 4-1 on just two hits.

The only scoring for the Cardinals came on a solo home run by Matt Carpenter in the sixth inning.  A single by Yadier Molina was the only other hit for St. Louis.  The offense struck out 14 times, including three times by LF Tyler O’Neill, and two times each by Carpenter, Tommy Edman, and Brad Miller.  Kolten Wong was the only Cardinal who drew a walk.

Jack Flaherty started and struggled with his command, but despite throwing over 40 pitches in the first inning, escaped with just two runs scored. Trouble returned in the third, however, and he was pulled with two outs in the frame. Flaherty allowed three runs on four hits, struck out four and walked two.   He threw 69 pitches, 42 for strikes.

Jake Woodford relieved Flaherty. He pitched a total of three innings and gave up one run on three hits.  Tyler Webb tossed a scoreless inning, and Alex Reyes finished the game with 1 1/3 scoreless frames.

Webb made a fielding error in the seventh inning on a dropped popup.  Dylan Carlson threw out Cameron Maybin at second base in the fourth inning for an outfield assist.

Saturday, September 5, 2020 – Cardinals 4 at Cubs 2 (Game 1, seven innings)

In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Wrigley Field, the Cardinals defeated the Cubs 4-2, behind solid pitching from veteran right hander Adam Wainwright. Wainwright tossed 6 1/3 innings and yielded two runs on six hits for a quality start.  His only blemish was two long balls off the bat of Ian Happ, who has hit Wainwright well in the past.  The 39-year old fanned six Cubs and walked only one

Adam Wainwright via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Giovanny Gallegos relieved with one out and one on in the seventh inning, beginning with Happ at the plate.  Gallegos retired Happ, and after a Tommy Edman fielding error put the next hitter on base, Gallegos fanned Anthony Rizzo to end the game.  Wainwright earned his fourth win of the season and Gallegos his third save.

Though the Redbirds initially fell behind 1-0, the offense surged in the third and fourth innings to take a 4-1 lead.  In the third, Kolten Wong and Edman led off the inning with singles.  Brad Miller walked to load the bases and Paul DeJong drove in Wong on a force out.  Yadier Molina drew a walk to reload the bases and Matt Carpenter walked to plate Edman for the second run of the inning.

In the fourth, Lane Thomas led off with a double and Wong followed with a single.  Edman plated Thomas on a sac fly. Wong later scored the second run on a single by DeJong.  Wong went 2-for-4 as the only Cardinal with multiple hits.

Saturday, September 5, 2020 – Cardinals 5, Cubs 1 (Game 2, seven innings)

In the second game of the twin bill, a makeup contest in which St. Louis was the home team, the Cardinals blew past the Cubs 5-1 on the strength of long balls by Paul DeJong and Tyler O’Neill.  Both home runs came in the second inning, as DeJong first blasted a solo shot to left field on the first pitch he saw.  After Lane Thomas drew a walk, O’Neill thumped a two-run home run to right center to give the Redbirds the 3-0 lead.

Tyler O’Neill via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Cardinals added to their lead in the third inning on consecutive singles by Tommy Edman, Paul Goldschmidt, and Brad Miller.  In the fourth, O’Neill led off with a double to center, and advanced to third on a ground ball force out by Matt Wieters.  Harrison Bader’s sac fly to right plated O’Neill to increase the Redbirds lead to 5-0.  O’Neill was 2-for-3 as the only Cardinal with multiple hits.

The pitching in this second game was a bullpen effort.  Austin Gomber started and pitched 2 2/3 solid innings.  The left hander allowed only one hit, struck out five and walked three.  Ryan Helsley relieved with two outs in the third and tossed 1 1/3 relief innings.  Helsley gave up a leadoff single to Nico Hoerner in the fifth.  Genesis Cabrera relieved and sent Hoerner to third base on two wild pitches.  Hoerner later scored on a ground out with the run charged to Helsley.

Cabrera got two outs in the fifth before being pulled for John Gant, who fanned Javy Baez to end the inning.  Gant returned to toss a scoreless sixth.  Andrew Miller, fresh off the injured list, retired all three batters in the seventh to close out the day

Sunday, September 6, 2020 – Cardinals 7 at Cubs 3

Following a sweep of the Cubs in a doubleheader on Saturday, the Cardinals tasted victory again by a 7-3 score on Sunday night at Wrigley Field.

With an extra day of rest due to him taking Kwang Hyun Kim’s turn, Dakota Hudson made the start against Jon Lester for the Cubs.  Hudson tossed five innings and yielded three runs on five hits.  The right-hander fanned four and walked two to earn his second win of the season.

Alex Reyes took over mound duties in the sixth inning and hurled 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.  He allowed no hits and struck out three. Genesis Cabrera relieved Reyes with two outs in the seventh, pitching to Cubs switch hitter Ian Happ and retiring him on three strikes.  Cabrera returned to pitch the eighth and gave up a double to Kris Bryant then fanned the next three batters.

Giovanny Gallegos closed out the game.  The right-hander faced three hitters in the ninth and retired all three.

The Cardinals offense struck first via a solo home run by Tommy Edman in the first inning.  The Cubs responded to tie it in the bottom of the inning on a bases-empty shot by Anthony Rizzo.

Paul Goldschmidt via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Cubs took a 3-1 lead in the second on a two-run home run by Jason Kipnis.  St. Louis pitching would shut the Cubs down from there, not allowing a runner past second base the rest of the evening.  In the top of the third, Harrison Bader led off with a hit by pitch.  Kolten Wong doubled and with a man on second and third, Tommy Edman hit a ground ball to short and Bader was thrown out at home.  Paul Goldschmidt blasted a three-run home run out of Wrigley Field and on to Waveland Ave.  The Cardinals led 4-3 but were not done. Tyler O’Neill singled, and Rangel Ravelo doubled to plate O’Neill for a 5-3 lead.

The Redbirds added on to their lead in the sixth inning. Lane Thomas singled and Bader doubled on a ground ball past the shortstop.  Wong followed with a single to short to score Thomas.  Paul DeJong singled to plate Bader and the Cardinals were ahead 7-3.

Every hitter in the Cardinal lineup had a hit except Yadier Molina, who drew a walk.  Bader was 3-for-3 including two doubles.  Wong was 2-for-5 including a double and DeJong was 2-for-4 with a walk.

The Big Picture

The Cardinals took 2 of 3 from the Reds to begin the week and have won 3 of 4 from the Cubs with one more game in the series on Monday.  The 5-2 record for the week puts the Cardinals in a good position against the Cubs with one more game to play in the series.  They are now only 1.5 games behind Chicago with a record of 17-15.

The offense has been good for the week with the exception of the Friday game against the Cubs that ended with 14 strikeouts and only one run scored, with Yu Darvish on top of his game.  Top hitters for the week were Paul DeJong, Paul Goldschmidt, Kolten Wong and Brad Miller.  Tyler O’Neill, who had been sidelined due to his struggles at the plate, re-emerged and has shown some improvement in a small sample size.  Dylan Carlson continues to struggle and has seen less playing time during the week.   Matt Carpenter also is in a rough period at the plate and has been for several weeks, though he continues to play most every day.

Pitching remained strong during the week.  Dakota Hudson earned his first two wins. Adam Wainwright has been very good, as was Kwang-Hyun Kim in his one start.  Kim is now on the IL and his spot in the rotation is unfilled at this time, though Carlos Martinez is expected to be activated from the IL on Tuesday.  The bullpen has been solid as well, though Ryan Helsley and Jake Woodford have had some struggles.

Kwang-Hyun Kim via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Defense improved over the eight errors from the week before.  The outfield has been a revolving door of sorts, with Tommy Edman as a replacement for the ailing Dexter Fowler and the other two spots being occupied by O’Neill, Lane Thomas and Dylan Carlson.  Harrison Bader has mostly been a defensive replacement with the exception of the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader and Sunday’s game.  The infield has seen the struggling Carpenter at third, sending Edman to the outfield to keep his bat in the lineup.  Edman is primarily an infielder, so his occupation of an outfield spot is not ideal but has not been a serious problem so far.

The Cardinals play one more game against the Cubs on Monday, then return home for a doubleheader with the Twins on Tuesday.  A second doubleheader against the Tigers will be played on Thursday and then the Reds come to St. Louis for a three-game weekend series.  The schedule for the week is not easy, and wins against a tough Twins team would he helpful.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Chicago 23 18 0.561
St. Louis 17 15 0.531 1.5
Milwaukee 18 21 0.462 4
Cincinnati 18 23 0.439 5
Pittsburgh 13 26 0.333 9

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

The trade deadline came and went on August 31 with the Cardinals making no moves.

Transactions

  • 8/31 The Cardinals activated OF Lane Thomas from the injured list.
  • 8/31 The Cardinals transferred LHP Ricardo Sanchez from the 10-day injured list to the 45-day injured list.
  • 8/31 The Cardinals optioned 1B John Nogowski to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/1 The Cardinals activated RHP Ryan Helsley from the injured list.
  • 9/1 The Cardinals optioned LHP Rob Kaminsky to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/1 The Cardinals designated RHP Jesus Cruz for assignment.
  • 9/2 The Cardinals activated 1B Rangel Ravelo from the injured list.
  • 9/2 The Cardinals placed RF Dexter Fowler on the injured list.
  • 9/2 The Cardinals optioned RHP Ryan Meisinger to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/2 The Cardinals recalled LHP Rob Kaminsky from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/3 The Cardinals sent RHP Jesus Cruz outright to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/4 The Cardinals activated C Matt Wieters from the 10-day injured list.
  • 9/4 The Cardinals optioned C Andrew Knizner to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 9/5 The Cardinals placed LHP Kwang-Hyun Kim on the 10-day injured list retroactive to September 2, 2020.
  • 9/5 The Cardinals activated LHP Andrew Miller from the 10-day injured list.
  • 9/5 The Cardinals recalled RHP Nabil Crismatt from the Alternate Training Site (29th man).
  • 9/6 The Cardinals optioned RHP Nabil Crismatt to the Alternate Training Site.

Injury Report

  • RHP John Brebbia underwent Tommy John surgery on June 1. He will miss the entire 2020 season.
  • RHP Jordan Hicks (Tommy John surgery) has opted out of the 2020 season.
  • RHP Miles Mikolas (right forearm strain) had arm surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez has been throwing to live hitters at the Alternate Training Site. The right hander is expected to be activated and make a start in Tuesday’s doubleheader.
  • RHP Ryan Helsley was activated from the injured list and appeared in Saturday’s doubleheader.
  • RHP Kodi Whitley (COVID-19 positive) had experienced discomfort in his pitching elbow during throwing sessions at the Alternate Training Site. He was sent to St. Louis for an MRI and no structural damage was found.  Whitley has returned to Springfield and has begun playing catch.
  • OF Austin Dean (COVID-19 positive) continues to work out at the Alternate Training Site. No timetable for a return to the roster has been announced.
  • OF Lane Thomas was activated from the injured list and has appeared in multiple games.
  • 1B Rangel Ravelo (COVID-19 positive) has been activated from the injured list and started on Sunday.
  • C Matt Wieters was activated from the 10-day injured list and started in Saturday’s doubleheader.
  • LHP Ricardo Sanchez was transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 45-day injured list. Left elbow pain.
  • LHP Andrew Miller has been activated from the injured list and appeared in Saturday’s doubleheader.
  • LHP Kwang-Hyun Kim was placed on the 10-day injured list. Kidney ailment. Kim has returned to St. Louis and his timing is unknown, but there is optimism he can be back in 2020.
  • RF Dexter Fowler was placed on the injured list. Stomach ailment.  Fowler has returned to St. Louis and will remain out for at least two weeks.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals will finish the five-game series with the Cubs on Monday.  Johan Oviedo will make the start.

The team returns to St. Louis to play a doubleheader with the Twins on Tuesday at Busch Stadium.  No pitchers have been announced for the twin bill, but it is likely Carlos Martinez will be activated from the injured list to make one of the starts.

Following a Wednesday off day, the Tigers will come to Busch Stadium for a doubleheader on Thursday.

The Cardinals continue the homestand on Friday with a weekend series against the Reds.

Blast from the Past

The Cardinals and the Reds completed a three-game series in Cincinnati earlier in the week.  The two teams are set to play another series at Busch Stadium next weekend.  This week’s Blast From the Past tells the tale of an unusual event in a game between the two teams 85 years ago at Crosley Field in Cincinnati.

The date was July 31, 1935.  The Cardinals were facing the Reds in a night game at Crosley Field.  The first game in MLB history under the lights had taken place just two months earlier at Crosley.  The game was oversold that night, with 36,000 fans crammed into a ballpark with a capacity of 26,000.  The extra 10,000 fans were in a roped off area in foul territory between home plate and the outfield fences on both sides of the field.

Ducky Medwick

The Cardinals were leading the Reds 2-1 in the eighth inning.  Ducky Medwick stepped to the plate to bat, and a female fan named Kitty Burke, standing in the roped off area near home plate, yelled at Medwick.  Burke, a blues singer and rabid Reds fan, intensely disliked Medwick.  Burke yelled that Medwick “couldn’t hit the ball with an ironing board”.  Medwick replied to Burke that she couldn’t hit even if she was swinging an elephant.

Medwick took his at bat and grounded out to the pitcher for the final out of the inning. In the bottom of the eighth, as Reds LF Babe Herman came to the plate to take his at bat, Burke yelled to Herman to lend her his bat.  Herman decided to comply and called time to give his bat to Burke.

Burke, wearing a dress and high heels, took Herman’s bat and marched to the batter’s box.  Baseball commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis was in the stands that night and took no action to stop Burke.  The umpire also did nothing.  Burke shouted at Cardinals pitcher Paul “Daffy” Dean to throw her a pitch.  Dean stood there while the crowd roared with laughter.  Umpire Bill Stewart yelled, “Play ball!”

Dean threw an underhanded pitch to Burke.  Burke swung and hit a dribbler back to Dean.  Dean picked up the ball and threw Burke out at first base. Burke went back into the crowd and out of the annals of baseball history, though her at bat was never recorded in the box score.  Cardinals manager Frankie Frisch argued unsuccessfully that the Reds should be charged with an out.

The Cardinals went on to lose the game, 4-3.

Though Burke’s at-bat was never officially recognized, she went on the Burlesque circuit afterward and billed herself as the first woman to bat in a major league game.


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St. Louis Cardinals Game Recap – Saturday, September 5, 2020

photo: Adam Wainwright via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

On Saturday, the St. Louis Cardinals claimed their first doubleheader sweep at Wrigley Field since August 2002 as the pitching, led by Adam Wainwright, held the Cubs to three runs over 14 innings.



Saturday, September 5, 2020 – Cardinals 4 at Cubs 2 (Game 1, seven innings)

In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Wrigley Field, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Chicago Cubs 4-2, behind solid pitching from veteran right hander Adam Wainwright. Wainwright tossed 6 1/3 innings and yielded two runs on six hits for a quality start.  His only blemish was two long balls off the bat of Ian Happ, who has hit Wainwright well in the past.  The 39-year old fanned six Cubs and walked only one.

Giovanny Gallegos relieved with one out and one on in the seventh inning, beginning with Happ at the plate.  Gallegos retired Happ, and after a Tommy Edman fielding error put the next hitter on base, Gallegos fanned Anthony Rizzo to end the game.  Wainwright earned his fourth win of the season and Gallegos his third save.

Though the Redbirds initially fell behind 1-0, the offense surged in the third and fourth innings to take a 4-1 lead.  In the third, Kolten Wong and Edman led off the inning with singles.  Brad Miller walked to load the bases and Paul DeJong drove in Wong on a force out.  Yadier Molina drew a walk to reload the bases and Matt Carpenter walked to plate Edman for the second run of the inning.

In the fourth, Lane Thomas led off with a double and Wong followed with a single.  Edman plated Thomas on a sac fly. Wong later scored the second run on a single by DeJong.  Wong went 2-for-4 as the only Cardinal with multiple hits.


Cardinals 5, Cubs 1 (Game 2, seven innings)

In the second game of the twin bill, a makeup contest in which St. Louis was the home team, the Cardinals blew past the Cubs 5-1 on the strength of long balls by Paul DeJong and Tyler O’Neill.  Both home runs came in the second inning, as DeJong first blasted a solo shot to left field on the first pitch he saw.  After Lane Thomas drew a walk, O’Neill thumped a two-run home run to right center to give the Redbirds the 3-0 lead.

The Cardinals added to their lead in the third inning on consecutive singles by Tommy Edman, Paul Goldschmidt, and Brad Miller.  In the fourth, O’Neill led off with a double to center, and advanced to third on a ground ball force out by Matt Wieters.  Harrison Bader’s sac fly to right plated O’Neill to increase the Redbirds lead to 5-0.  O’Neill was 2-for-3 as the only Cardinal with multiple hits.

The pitching in this second game was a bullpen effort.  Austin Gomber started and pitched 2 2/3 solid innings.  The left hander allowed only one hit, struck out five and walked three.  Ryan Helsley relieved with two outs in the third and tossed 1 1/3 relief innings.  Helsley gave up a leadoff single to Nico Hoerner in the fifth.  Genesis Cabrera relieved and sent Hoerner to third base on two wild pitches.  Hoerner later scored on a ground out with the run charged to Helsley.

Cabrera got two outs in the fifth before being pulled for John Gant, who fanned Javy Baez to end the inning.  Gant returned to toss a scoreless sixth.  Andrew Miller, fresh off the injured list, retired all three batters in the seventh to close out the day.

The sweep of the doubleheader by the Cardinals puts them one game over .500 with a record of 16-15.  St. Louis is now 2.5 games back of the Cubs in second place in the NL Central, with two more games to go in the five-game series that ends on Monday.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Cubs at 6:08 p.m. CT.  Dakota Hudson (1-2, 2.77) vs. Jon Lester (2-1, 5.11), ESPN/KMOX


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Cardinals Place Kwang-Hyun Kim on IL, Activate Andrew Miller


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St. Louis Cardinals Game Recap – Friday, September 4, 2020

photo: Jack Flaherty via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Friday, September 4, 2020 – Cardinals 1 at Cubs 4

The St. Louis Cardinals met the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Friday night for the opener of a five-game series.  The Redbirds offense could not figure out Cubs starter Yu Darvish, who tossed seven shutout innings, and were defeated 4-1 on just two hits.

The only scoring for the Cardinals came on a solo home run by Matt Carpenter in the sixth inning.  A single by Yadier Molina was the only other hit for St. Louis.  The offense struck out 14 times, including three times by LF Tyler O’Neill, and two times each by Carpenter, Tommy Edman, and Brad Miller.  Kolten Wong was the only Cardinal who drew a walk.

Jack Flaherty started and struggled with his command, but despite throwing over 40 pitches in the first inning, escaped with just two runs scored. Trouble returned in the third, however, and he was pulled with two outs in the frame. Flaherty allowed three runs on four hits, struck out four and walked two.   He threw 69 pitches, 42 for strikes.

Once again, the bullpen performed well. Jake Woodford relieved Flaherty. He pitched a total of three innings and gave up one run on three hits.  Tyler Webb tossed a scoreless inning, and Alex Reyes finished the game with 1 1/3 scoreless frames.

Webb made a fielding error in the seventh inning on a dropped popup.  Dylan Carlson threw out Cameron Maybin at second base in the fourth inning for an outfield assist.

The loss puts the Cardinals at 14-15 on the season and tied them with the Milwaukee Brewers for second place in the division, 4.5 games back of the Cubs.

Saturday’s games: doubleheader vs. Cubs at 4:15 p.m. CT, Game 1, Adam Wainwright (3-0, 2.65) vs. Adbert Alzolay (0-0. 0.00); and vs. Cubs Game 2, 45 minutes after Game 1, Dakota Hudson (1-2, 2.77) vs. bullpen start, FOX Sports Midwest / KMOX

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Cardinals Activate Catcher Matt Wieters


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of August 24-30

photo: Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

A gutsy Sunday complete game by Adam Wainwright enabled the St. Louis Cardinals to break a four-game losing skid and salvage a 6-6 homestand. Our history feature outlines prior complete-game gems in Wainwright’s illustrious 15-year career.

Game Recaps

Monday, August 24, 2020 – Cardinals 9, Royals 3

In the first game of a three-game set against the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium, the St. Louis Cardinals bats were active as they defeated their cross-state visitors, 9-3.

The Redbirds got on the board in the first inning on a sac fly by Paul DeJong.  Tommy Edman and Paul Goldschmidt drew walks and Matt Carpenter was hit by a pitch to load the bases. DeJong drove in Edman on a fly ball to right field.

The score remained 1-0 until the fifth inning.  Edman and Brad Miller singled, and Goldschmidt drove in Edman on an infield single.  Carpenter walked and DeJong doubled to score Miller and Goldschmidt.  Yadier Molina was hit by a pitch, then Dexter Fowler plated Carpenter and DeJong on a double to right field.  The Cardinals led 6-0.

Paul Goldschmidt via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Royals scored three in the top of the sixth to cut the Cardinals lead in half.  In the bottom half of the inning, Miller singled, and Goldschmidt hit a two-run home run to left center field to make it 8-3. The Cardinals added on a run in the seventh on an Edman RBI single.

Starter Jack Flaherty tossed five scoreless innings with one hit allowed and three strikeouts.  He threw 64 pitches, 41 for strikes.

Alex Reyes started the sixth but struggled.  The right hander yielded three runs, two earned, and was replaced with one out in the inning by Austin Gomber.  Gomber pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Jake Woodford hurled the final two scoreless innings.  Flaherty earned the win.

St. Louis’ defense committed three errors, on throws by Brad Miller and Paul DeJong, and a fielding miscue by Tommy Edman.  Harrison Bader stole his second base of the season.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 – Cardinals 4, Royals 5

The Cardinals were edged by the Royals in the second game of the series.  A four-run burst was not enough to hold off the Royals offense.

Adam Wainwright took the mound to start.  It was a struggle for the veteran right hander, but he kept his team in the game for seven innings.  Wainwright allowed four runs on seven hits, struck out four and walked two.  He threw 98 pitches, 62 for strikes.

John Gant relieved in the eighth and yielded the winning run.  Tyler Webb tossed a scoreless ninth.

The offense put all four runs on the board in the third inning, but did not score again.  Dylan Carlson singled and Harrison Bader drew a walk.  Tommy Edman’s ground rule double plated both runners. The inning continued as Paul Goldschmidt drew a walk and Brad Miller singled to right to score Edman.  Goldschmidt came in via an infield single by Paul DeJong.

DeJong went 3-for-4, all singles.  The Redbirds had three extra base hits, a triple by Bader, and doubles by Edman and Molina.

Edman made a throwing error, his fourth miscue of the season.  Carlson had an outfield assist at third base.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 – Cardinals 6, Royals 5

It was the Cardinals turn to win by a thin margin as they defeated the Royals in the rubber game of the series 6-5.  This time the four-run surge came in the ninth, enabling St. Louis to overcome a 5-2 deficit.

The Royals took a 2-0 lead in the third, but the Redbirds cut the lead by one run in the bottom half of the inning.  Kolten Wong drew a walk to lead off and Tommy Edman’s single advanced Wong to third base.  Paul Goldschmidt followed with a sac fly.  The Cardinals tied the game up at 2-2 in the fourth innings on an RBI double by Dylan Carlson.

The game remained tied until the top of the eighth when the Royals pulled ahead, 3-2.  The Royals added two more runs for 5-2 lead in the top of the ninth.

In the bottom of the ninth, Goldschmidt walked and Brad Miller hit a ground rule double.  Paul DeJong walked to load the bases.  Yadier Molina was hit by a pitch and Goldschmidt scored.  Tyler O’Neill singled to plate Miller and DeJong.  Molina advanced from second to third on a wild pitch and Carlson drew a walk to load the bases.  Wong followed with a walk that pushed Molina in with the winning run.

Dakota Hudson via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Starter Dakota Hudson pitched six innings and gave up two runs on three hits.  The right hander struck out three and walked three.  He threw 83 pitches, 49 for strikes.

Genesis Cabrera relieved in the seventh and yielded one run on two hits.  Alex Reyes tossed the final two innings and earned the win. Reyes yielded two runs on two  hits, struck out two and walked two.

Molina had a passed ball and a throwing error in the field. Edman stole his first base of the season.

Thursday, August 27, 2020 – Pirates 4 at Cardinals 3 (eight innings, Game 1)

In the first game of a twin bill, the St. Louis Cardinals were edged by the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 in extra innings on Thursday afternoon at Busch Stadium.  An eighth inning rally fell short for the Redbirds.

Left hander Kwang-Hyun Kim made the start and pitched six innings, yielding one unearned run on three hits.  Kim fanned three, walked one, and threw 80 pitches, 52 for strikes.

Kwang-Hyun via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Giovanny Gallegos took the seventh and tossed a scoreless frame with only one hit allowed.  John Gant and Tyler Webb combined for the extra, eighth inning, as a shaky Gant gave up three runs, one earned, on two hits.  After a runner started the inning on second base, a costly fielding error by third sacker Brad Miller led to the winning run.  Webb recorded the final out. Gant was tagged with the loss.

St. Louis’ offense was kept off the board until the bottom of the fifth inning.  Yadier Molina hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot to left center field to tie the game at 1-1.

After Pittsburgh took a 4-1 lead in the top of the eighth, the Cardinals rallied.  The inning began with Dexter Fowler on second base, and Dylan Carlson led off with a single to left that moved Fowler to third.  Kolten Wong added a sac fly to plate Fowler and it was 4-2.

Tommy Edman was next with a single to center field. With Carlson on second, Paul Goldschmidt singled to right and Carlson came home to make it 4-3.  However, the rally ended there, as the next two Cardinals hitters, Brad Miller and pinch hitter Max Schrock, struck out to end the game.

In addition to the Miller fielding error, Wong also made a fielding miscue.  Fowler was caught stealing for the first time this season.

Thursday, August 27, 2020 – Pirates 2 at Cardinals 0 (seven innings, Game 2) 

Game 2 of the doubleheader began with rookie right hander Johan Oviedo on the mound for the Redbirds. Oviedo tossed two scoreless innings but ran into some trouble in the third.  With one out, Oviedo issued a walk and gave up back to back singles that led to a 1-0 Pittsburgh lead.  A third single plated a second run, and the Pirates were up 2-0, a lead they would not relinquish.

Oviedo tossed two more scoreless innings and was relieved by Austin Gomber.  The left hander hurled the final two scoreless frames, yielded two hits, and struck out two. Gomber threw 20 pitches, 18 for strikes. Oviedo took the loss.

Austin Gomber via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis offense scattered just five hits over the seven innings. Paul Goldschmidt and Dylan Carlson each doubled, and Brad Miller tripled in the sixth but was stranded.  Singles by Paul DeJong and Yadier Molina rounded out the meager five-hit effort. The offense was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base.

The two losses to the last-place Pirates dropped the Cardinals to 11-11, three games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central Division.

Friday, August 28, 2020 – Indians 14 at Cardinals 2

The St. Louis Cardinals met the Cleveland Indians in the first game of a three-game set on Friday night at Busch Stadium.  The Indians pounded Redbirds pitching to the tune of a 14-2 drubbing.

Daniel Ponce de Leon made the start and didn’t make it out of the first inning.  In 2/3 innings, the right-hander yielded four runs on two hits and walked four.  Jake Woodford tossed 3 1/3 innings of relief, yielding two runs on five hits.  The 23-year old righty fanned three and issued no free passes.

Junior Fernandez began the fifth and took a mound beating.  In his first action off the COVID IL, the right-hander allowed six runs on six hits, walked two and struck out one.  Cleveland tacked two more runs onto its tally off left hander Ricardo Sanchez, who hurled the sixth and seventh.

Tyler Webb pitched a scoreless eighth inning and infielder Max Schrock got the ball to pitch the ninth.  Schrock retired all three batters he faced for a scoreless inning to close the game.

Dexter Fowler via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Scoring for the Cardinals was limited to a two-run home run in the second inning off the bat of Dexter Fowler.  Paul DeJong went 3-for-4 and Brad Miller had the only other extra base hit, a double in the eighth inning and he was 2-for-3. With his two-base hit, Miller became the only Cardinals runner in scoring position all evening, but neither Matt Carpenter nor Schrock could bring him home.

On defense, Yadier Molina made a costly throwing error in the first inning on a stolen base attempt that led to a Cleveland run.  The game also featured a 3-2-8 double play.  Dylan Carlson made an outfield assist at second base but as a batter, he had three of the team’s five strikeouts.

Their third consecutive loss dropped the Cardinals to a record of 11-12. They remain three games back of the Chicago Cubs, who suffered a 6-5 loss to the Reds.

Saturday, August 29 – Cardinals 1, Indians 2 (12 innings)

In Saturday’s second of the three-game weekend set against Cleveland, the St. Louis Cardinals battled into extra innings but were finally edged by the visiting Indians due to a run in the top half of the 12th inning.

Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty tossed five innings, yielding one run on three hits.  The right-hander fanned five and walked two.  Flaherty threw 83 pitches, 53 for strikes and faced 20 batters in his five innings pitched.

Jack Flaherty via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Genesis Cabrera relieved for the sixth inning and gave up no runs and no hits. The 23-year old lefty struck out three and walked one.  Another left hander, Austin Gomber, followed with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.  Gomber allowed one hit and walked two.

Next up in relief was Giovanny Gallegos who hurled 1 2/3 scoreless innings, with no hits, no walks, and one strikeout.  John Gant started the first extra inning, and had a scoreless, no hit, one walk outing.

Alex Reyes closed out the final two innings, striking out three but relinquishing the winning run, unearned due to the runner starting on second base. He took the loss.

As in the first game of the series, there was a dearth of offense. Paul Goldschmidt went 2-for-5 with a double and was the only Redbird with multiple hits.  Matt Carpenter’s single in the seventh plated the only Cardinals run.  Yadier Molina had the only other hit, a single. Batting ahead of Molina, Brad Miller was walked three times, two intentionally. Collectively, the Cardinals were a dismal 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

Baserunning was another nemesis for St. Louis.  In the 10th inning, the runner on second to start the inning, Paul DeJong, failed to tag up on a fly ball by Paul Goldschmidt.  Brad Miller was intentionally walked, and the next batter, Yadier Molina, grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Another important baserunning mistake occurred in the 12th inning.  Molina, the potential tying run, was on third and only one out as Matt Carpenter grounded toward first. Molina, apparently thinking the ball was foul when it was not, had taken off from third base and did not return there as Carpenter was retired.  A quick throw over and Molina was caught in a rundown for the game-ending double play.

In the field, Molina had a passed ball and made a throwing error.  Harrison Bader had an important outfield assist at home plate in the second inning.

St. Louis’ record now stands at 11-13 with this fourth consecutive loss and fifth in the last six games.

Sunday, August 30, 2020 – Cardinals 7,    Indians 2

The Cardinals avoided being swept with a win over the Indians on Sunday at Busch Stadium in the third and final game of the series.  Adam Wainwright, on his 39th birthday, pitched a complete game, his first since July 16, 2016.

Wainwright allowed two runs on four hits in his nine innings pitched.  He fanned nine and walked two.  It was a brilliant, memorable performance for the veteran.  The right hander threw 122 pitches, 82 for strikes.

Adam Wainwright via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Indians took an early 2-0 lead on a home run in the second inning, but it was lights for Wainwright going forward.  In the bottom of the second, Paul DeJong singled, Yadier Molina singled, and Matt Carpenter walked to load the bases.  Dexter Fowler to right to plate DeJong and Molina.  Dylan Carlson followed with a single that scored Carpenter and Fowler to make it 4-2.

The Cardinals added on with one run in the third.  Paul Goldschmidt doubled and advanced to third on a groundout by Brad Miller.  Goldschmidt scored on a balk.

The score remained 5-2 until the seventh, when Fowler hit a solo home run to lead off the inning.  In the eighth, DeJong hit a ground rule double and Molina singled to drive him home for the 7-2 final score. It was Molina’s 2000th game as a Cardinal, third all-time.

The Cardinals’ bats generated 11 hits on Sunday.  DeJong led the way, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.  Fowler added a double to his long ball in three at bats, touching home twice and driving in three. Left fielder Tommy Edman joined Molina and Fowler with two hits.

Edman and Dylan Carlson were each caught stealing.

The Big Picture

The Cardinals ended a four-game losing streak with the Sunday win over Cleveland.  The team took 2 of 3 from the Royals, lost both games of a doubleheader to Pittsburgh, and won 1 of 3 against Cleveland for a 3-5 week.  The homestand ended at 6-6. The Cardinals remain in second place in the division, 3.5 games behind the Cubs.

Lack of offense and some uncharacteristic defensive issues were the main factors in the losses.  Some baserunning blunders were also in the mix.  The top OPS’s in the last seven days (not including Sunday’s game) were Harrison Bader with an OPS of 1.088, Brad Miller and Paul Goldschmidt at .947, Yadier Molina at .889, and Dylan Carlson at .806. While Miller, Goldschmidt, Molina, and Carlson have been full time starters in the last week, Bader has not. Tyler O’Neill and Kolten Wong struggled at the plate during the week.

Starting pitching has been mostly fine, with Jack Flaherty and Kwang-Hyun Kim the top starters for the week. Daniel Ponce de Leon struggled in his start and was optioned to the Alternate Training Site in Springfield, to be replaced in the rotation by rookie Johan Oviedo.  In relief, Giovanny Gallegos and Austin Gomber have stood out, Alex Reyes has been up and down.

Defense has been shaky, with eight errors over the past week.  Baserunning miscues by Paul DeJong and Yadier Molina in Saturday’s game were especially costly.

The Cardinals play in Cincinnati for three games to start the next week and then move to Chicago for a four game series.  These will be a challenge for the Cardinals, but they need to make up some ground, especially against the Cubs.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Chicago 20 14 0.588
St. Louis 12 13 0.480 3.5
Milwaukee 15 18 0.455 4.5
Cincinnati 15 19 0.441 5
Pittsburgh 10 21 0.323 8.5

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

As Monday’s 4 p.m. ET trade deadline nears, there are no trade or acquisition rumors involving the Cardinals to report.

Transactions

  • 8/27 The Cardinals activated RHP Junior Fernandez from the injured list.
  • 8/27 The Cardinals placed LHP Andrew Miller on the 10-day injured list retroactive to August 24, 2020. Left shoulder fatigue.
  • 8/27 The Cardinals optioned SS Edmundo Sosa to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/27 The Cardinals recalled RHP Seth Elledge from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/28 The Cardinals optioned RHP Seth Elledge to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/29 The Cardinals recalled RHP Ryan Meisinger from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/29 The Cardinals recalled 1B John Nogowski from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/29 The Cardinals optioned 2B Max Schrock to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/29 The Cardinals optioned RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/29 The Cardinals optioned RHP Junior Fernandez to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/29 The Cardinals recalled RHP Rob Kaminsky from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/29 The Cardinals recalled RHP Seth Elledge from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/29 The Cardinals placed LHP Ricardo Sanchez on the 10-day injured list. Left elbow pain.

Injury Report

  • RHP John Brebbia underwent Tommy John surgery on June 1. He will miss the entire 2020 season.
  • RHP Jordan Hicks (Tommy John surgery) has opted out of the 2020 season.
  • RHP Miles Mikolas (right forearm strain) had surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
  • RHP Junior Fernandez and SS Edmundo Sosa were activated from the injured list and optioned to the Alternate Training Site.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez has been throwing to live hitters at the Alternate Training Site. The right hander is expected to be activated and make a start for one of the upcoming doubleheaders.
  • RHP Ryan Helsley (COVID-19 positive) is throwing live batting practice. He is expected to be activated early in the week.
  • Ryan Helsley via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
  • RHP Kodi Whitley (COVID-19 positive) experienced discomfort in his right elbow during throwing sessions at the Alternate Training Site. He returned to St. Louis to receive a scan on his elbow.
  • OFs Lane Thomas and Austin Dean (COVID-19 positive) continue to work out at the Alternate Training Site. No timetable for a return to the roster has been announced.
  • 1B Rangel Ravelo (COVID-19 positive) has been sent to the Alternate Training Site and is getting live at bats as he works to return to the roster.
  • C Matt Wieters remains on the 10-day injured list. Right great toe contusion.  Wieters was running the bases and working out before Saturday’s game.  He will make the road trip with the Cardinals and will be activated some time during it.
  • Matt Wieters via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
  • LHP Ricardo Sanchez has been placed on the 10-day injured list. Left elbow pain.
  • LHP Andrew Miller has been placed on the 10-day injured list. Left shoulder fatigue.
  • LHP Genesis Cabrera left Saturday’s game with a cracked fingernail on his left middle finger. He hopes to return Tuesday or Wednesday.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals head out on the road for a three-game series in Cincinnati beginning on Monday.  Dakota Hudson is scheduled to make the Monday start, with Kim starting on Tuesday, and Oviedo on Wednesday.

The team has a travel day on Thursday before playing the Chicago Cubs in a four-game weekend set at Wrigley Field.

The Cardinals return home on Tuesday, September 8 for a doubleheader against the Twins at Busch Stadium.

After an off day a week from Wednesday, the Cardinals will face the Tigers in a doubleheader on Thursday.

Blast from the Past

On Sunday, veteran starting pitcher Adam Wainwright pitched a complete game against the Cleveland Indians on his 39th birthday.  Wainwright’s 15-year career with the Cardinals features 23 complete games, including Sunday.  This week’s Blast from the Past takes a look at some of the memorable complete games in Wainwright’s career.

Adam Wainwright (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Wainwright pitched his first complete game on August 10, 2007 in a 2-1 loss to the Dodgers at Busch Stadium.  In that outing, Wainwright gave up two runs on six hits, struck out five and walked one.  The Dodgers scored on a two-run home run by 1B James Loney in the ninth inning.

Wainwright tossed one complete game in 2008 and 2009.  He finished third in the Cy Young Award voting in 2009 with a record of 19-8 and an ERA of 2.63.

In 2010, Wainwright authored five complete games.  He came in second in the Cy Young voting that year, with a record of 20-11 and an ERA of 2.42.  On June 4, he pitched a complete game shutout against the Brewers in an 8-0 win. Wainwright allowed only two hits, struck out eight, and walked one.

On August 6, Wainwright spun another complete game shutout against the Marlins in a 7-0 victory.  He again allowed only two hits, struck out seven, and walked three.

In 2013, Wainwright again twirled five complete games, and that year led the NL in complete games.  He finished second again in the Cy Young voting, with a record of 19-9 and an ERA of 2.94.  The right hander pitched another 8-0 complete game against the Brewers on April 13, and a 3-0 complete game against the Rockies on May 11.

Wainwright tossed five complete games and had a record of 20-9 and an ERA of 2.38 in 2014, finishing third in the Cy Young voting.  That year, he pitched an 8-0 complete game against the Nationals on April 17, a 5-0 complete game against the Diamondbacks on May 20 and a 2-0 complete game over the Brewers on September 17.

Wainwright had no complete games in 2015, as he sat out most of that season with an Achilles tendon injury.   His last complete game prior to Sunday’s win over Cleveland was on July 16, 2016, a 5-0 win over the Marlins.  He gave up three hits, struck out five and walked two.

Wainwright has had a stellar career with the Cardinals and will no doubt be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame someday.  He may not be finished, as he has said he would like to return for 2021.  But whether or not 2020 is his final season, he is certainly one of the team’s top pitchers of all time.


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St. Louis Cardinals Game Recap – Saturday, August 29, 2020

photo: Jack Flaherty via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals again struggled to get baserunners home Saturday while dropping their fourth straight. A strong start by Jack Flaherty and six scoreless innings of relief were wasted when the Indians scored the winning run in the 12th inning.



Saturday, August 29, 2020 – Indians 2 at Cardinals 1 (12 innings)

In Saturday’s second of the three-game weekend set against Cleveland, the St. Louis Cardinals battled into extra innings but were finally edged by the visiting Indians due to a run in the top half of the 12th inning.

Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty tossed five innings, yielding one run on three hits.  The right-hander fanned five and walked two.  Flaherty threw 83 pitches, 53 for strikes and faced 20 batters in his five innings pitched.

Genesis Cabrera relieved for the sixth inning and gave up no runs and no hits. The 23-year old lefty struck out three and walked one.  Another left hander, Austin Gomber, followed with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.  Gomber allowed one hit and walked two.

Next up in relief was Giovanny Gallegos who hurled 1 2/3 scoreless innings, with no hits, no walks, and one strikeout.  John Gant started the first extra inning, and had a scoreless, no hit, one walk outing.

Alex Reyes closed out the final two innings, striking out three but relinquishing the winning run, unearned due to the runner starting on second base. He took the loss.

As in the first game of the series, there was a dearth of offense. Paul Goldschmidt went 2-for-5 with a double and was the only Redbird with multiple hits.  Matt Carpenter’s single in the seventh plated the only Cardinals run.  Yadier Molina had the only other hit, a single. Batting ahead of Molina, Brad Miller was walked three times, two intentionally. Collectively, the Cardinals were a dismal 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

Baserunning was another nemesis for St. Louis.  In the 10th inning, the runner on second to start the inning, Paul DeJong, failed to tag up on a fly ball by Paul Goldschmidt.  Brad Miller was intentionally walked, and the next batter, Yadier Molina, grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Another important baserunning mistake occurred in the 12th inning.  Molina, the potential tying run, was on third and only one out as Matt Carpenter grounded toward first. Molina, apparently thinking the ball was foul when it was not, had taken off from third base and did not return there as Carpenter was retired.  A quick throw over and Molina was caught in a rundown for the game-ending double play.

In the field, Molina had a passed ball and made a throwing error.  Harrison Bader had an important outfield assist at home plate in the second inning.

St. Louis’ record now stands at 11-13 with this fourth consecutive loss and fifth in the last six games.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Indians, 1:15 p.m., Adam Wainwright, RHP (2-0, 2.88) vs. Aaron Civale, RHP (3-3, 3.15), FOX Sports Midwest/KMOX/WIJR


Related article

https://thecardinalnation.com/cardinals-option-out-ponce-de-leon-add-oviedo-to-rotation/


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St. Louis Cardinals Game Recap – Friday, August 28, 2020

photo: Mike Shildt via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

For the first time in 23 games in 2020, the St. Louis Cardinals were blown out, losing at home to the Cleveland Indians by a 14-2 score Friday evening. It was St. Louis’ third consecutive defeat, all at Busch Stadium.



Friday, August 28, 2020 – Indians 14 at Cardinals 2

The St. Louis Cardinals met the Cleveland Indians in the first game of a three-game set on Friday night at Busch Stadium.  The Indians pounded Redbirds pitching to the tune of a 14-2 drubbing on Jackie Robinson Day across Major League Baseball.

Daniel Ponce de Leon made the start but did not make it out of the first inning.  In 2/3 innings, the right-hander yielded four runs on two hits and walked four.  Jake Woodford tossed 3 1/3 innings of relief, yielding two runs on five hits.  The 23-year old righty fanned three and issued no free passes.

Junior Fernandez began the fifth and took a mound beating.  In his first action off the COVID IL, the right-hander allowed six runs on six hits, walked two and struck out one.  Cleveland tacked two more runs onto its tally off left hander Ricardo Sanchez, who hurled the sixth and seventh.

Tyler Webb pitched a scoreless eighth inning and infielder Max Schrock got the nod to pitch the ninth.  Schrock also retired all three batters he faced for a scoreless inning to close the game.

Scoring for the Cardinals was limited to a two-run home run in the second inning off the bat of Dexter Fowler.  Paul DeJong went 3-for-4 and Brad Miller had the only other extra base hit, a double in the eighth inning and he was 2-for-3. Miller became the only Cardinals runner in scoring position all evening, but neither Matt Carpenter nor Schrock could bring him home.

On defense, Yadier Molina made a costly throwing error in the first inning on a stolen base attempt that led to a Cleveland run.  The game also featured a 3-2-8 double play.  Dylan Carlson made an outfield assist at second base but as a batter, he had three of the team’s five strikeouts.

Their third consecutive loss dropped the Cardinals to a record of 11-12. They remain three games back of the Chicago Cubs, who suffered a 6-5 loss to the Reds.

Saturday’s game: vs. Indians at 12:15 p.m.  Jack Flaherty, RHP (2-0, 1.98) vs Carlos Carrasco, RHP (2-3, 4.50). FOX Network/KMOX/WIJR


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St. Louis Cardinals Games Recap – Thursday, August 27, 2020

photo: Kwang-Hyun via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Good pitching was not enough as the St. Louis Cardinals dropped both ends of their Thursday home doubleheader to the MLB team with the fewest wins, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kwang-Hyun Kim dominated in Game 1 but took the loss due to continued defensive lapses and a lack of timely hitting.



Thursday, August 27, 2020 – Pirates 4 at Cardinals 3 (eight innings, Game 1)

In the first game of a twin bill, the St. Louis Cardinals were edged by the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 in extra innings on Thursday afternoon at Busch Stadium.  An eighth inning rally fell short for the Redbirds.

Left hander Kwang-Hyun Kim made the start and pitched six innings, yielding one unearned run on three hits.  Kim fanned three, walked one, and threw 80 pitches, 52 for strikes.

Kwang-Hyun Kim

Giovanny Gallegos took the seventh and tossed a scoreless frame with only one hit allowed.  John Gant and Tyler Webb combined for the extra, eighth inning, as a shaky Gant gave up three runs, one earned, on two hits.  After a runner started the inning on second base, a costly fielding error by third sacker Brad Miller led to the winning run.  Webb recorded the final out. Gant was tagged with the loss.

St. Louis’ offense was kept off the board until the bottom of the fifth inning.  Yadier Molina hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot to left center field to tie the game at 1-1.

Yadier Molina

After Pittsburgh took a 4-1 lead in the top of the eighth, the Cardinals rallied.  The inning began with Dexter Fowler on second base, and Dylan Carlson led off with a single to left that moved Fowler to third.  Kolten Wong added a sac fly to plate Fowler and it was 4-2.

Tommy Edman was next with a single to center field. With Carlson on second, Paul Goldschmidt singled to right and Carlson came home to score to make it 4-3.  However, the rally ended there, as the next two Cardinals hitters, Brad Miller and pinch hitter Max Schrock, each struck out to end the game.

In addition to the Miller fielding error, Wong made a fielding miscue.  Fowler was caught stealing for the first time this season.


Thursday, August 27, 2020 – Pirates 2 at Cardinals 0 (seven innings, Game 2) 

Game 2 of the doubleheader began with rookie right hander Johan Oviedo on the mound for the Redbirds. Oviedo tossed two scoreless innings but ran into some trouble in the third.  With one out, Oviedo issued a walk and gave up back to back singles that led to a 1-0 Pittsburgh lead.  A third single plated a second run, and the Pirates were up 2-0, a lead they would not relinquish.

Johan Oviedo

Oviedo tossed two more scoreless innings and was relieved by Austin Gomber.  The left hander hurled the final two scoreless innings, yielded two hits, and struck out two. Gomber threw 20 pitches, 18 for strikes. Oviedo took the loss.

Austin Gomber

The St. Louis offense scattered just five hits over the seven innings. Paul Goldschmidt and Dylan Carlson each doubled, and Brad Miller tripled in the sixth but was stranded.  Singles by Paul DeJong and Yadier Molina rounded out the meager five-hit effort. The offense was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base.

The two losses to the last-place Pirates dropped the Cardinals to 11-11, three games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central Division.

Notes

Friday’s game:  vs. Indians, 7:15 p.m. CT.  RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon (0-2, 5.25) vs. RHP Triston McKenzie RHP (1-0, 1.50). FOX Sports Midwest // FOX Sports 1 // KMOX // WIJR.


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of August 17-23

photo: Yadier Molina (Frank Ramirez/The Cardinal Nation)

This past week, the St. Louis Cardinals completed their compressed .500 road trip to Chicago and returned home to defeat Cincinnati in three of four games over the weekend. Regulars Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong were activated off the injured list and the catcher contributed immediately. Our Blast from the Past outlines memorable moments during this past week in team history.

Game Recaps

Monday, August 17, 2020 – Cardinals 3 at Cubs 1 (seven innings)

The St. Louis Cardinals began a five game series with the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Monday.  The series featured two sets of doubleheaders.  This is the Game 1 of the first twin bill.  The Cardinals were the winners over their rival, 3-1.

Starter Kwang-Hyun Kim tossed 3 2/3 innings.  The lefty gave up one run on three hits, struck out one and walked three. John Gant took over with two outs in the fourth and pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, including three punch outs for the righty reliever.

Giovanny Gallegos

Giovanny Gallegos took over in the sixth inning and hurled a scoreless frame, striking out two Cubs.  He picked up the win. Andrew Miller threw a scoreless seventh for his first save of the season.

The offense was light but sufficient for the win.  The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on a solo home run by Dexter Fowler.  The Cubs tied it up in the fourth and the score remained 1-1 until the seventh inning when Brad Miller thumped a two run double to left field.

Paul Goldschmidt contributed a double and Matt Carpenter hit a single to top out the meager four-hit output by the Redbirds. Tyler O’Neill drew the only free pass.

Monday, August 17, 2020 – Cardinals 4 at Cubs 5 (seven innings)

Game 2 of the twin bill was a loss for the Cardinals, who were the home team at Wrigley in a make-up contest for one in St. Louis that had been postponed.  A big sixth inning comeback by the Cubs gave them the winning edge.

Though the Cubs took the early 1-0, lead the Redbirds came back with two runs in the bottom half of the second inning.  Brad Miller was again the standout offensively, with a two-run home run in the second inning and a solo home run in the fourth. Max Schrock joined Miller in the long ball race with his bases-empty shot in the fourth.  The Cardinals had a 4-1 lead.  Tommy Edman and Harrison Bader each contributed a single to the effort.

Brad Miller

Game 2 pitching was a combined bullpen effort.  Starter Alex Reyes tossed the first inning and yielded a run on a solo home run by Ian Happ.  Reyes fanned two and walked three.

Following Reyes, four left handers took the next five innings, beginning with a two-inning scoreless outing by lefty Ricardo Sanchez.  Sanchez struck out three Cubs and walked two.   The second lefty, Rob Kaminsky, hurled another scoreless inning with one strikeout.  Genesis Cabrera gave up one run in 1 1/3 innings.  Left hander Tyler Webb finished the sixth inning by yielding three runs on two hits.  The Cubs took the lead in the sixth with four runs off Cabrera and Webb.

Right-hander Nabil Crismatt closed out the game with a scoreless seventh.  He allowed one hit, fanned two and walked one.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 – Cardinals 3 at Cubs 6

The Cardinals were defeated again by the Cubs in the only nine inning contest in the five-game series.  Daniel Ponce de Leon started and lasted 3 1/3 innings. The right-hander gave up two runs on three hits, walked three, but also fanned seven Cubs.

The bullpen took over with one out in the fourth inning, beginning right hander Seth Elledge.  Elledge got the last two outs of the inning and yielded two additional runs on two hits, with two strikeouts and two walks.

Ryan Meisinger began the fifth and continued through the second out of the sixth.  The righty allowed no runs and only one hit.  He struck out two Cubs and walked two.  The seventh was handled by Jesus Cruz, who relinquished two runs on three hits.  Nabil Crismatt closed out the game with 1 1/3 scoreless innings.  Ponce de Leon took the loss.

The offense scored three runs on nine hits.  Paul Goldschmidt went 3-for-4, including an RBI single in the fifth inning for the first Cardinals run. The first baseman contributed two additional singles.

Paul Goldschmidt

The Redbirds added two runs in the eighth on a single by Matt Carpenter and as a result of a double play off the bat of Dylan Carlson.  Carpenter and Kolten Wong were each 2-for-4.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 – Cardinals 9 at Cubs 3 (seven innings)

The Cardinals handily defeated the Cubs in the first game of the second doubleheader in three days.  This was the first start for right hander Jack Flaherty since the return of the Cardinals from their 17-day break.

The nine-run effort began with a grand slam by Matt Carpenter in the first inning.  It was set when Kolten Wong led off by being hit by a pitch from Cubs starter Alec Mills.  Tommy Edman followed with a single and Paul Goldschmidt drew a walk to load the bases.

Matt Carpenter

The Redbirds added a fifth run in the second on an Edman RBI single.  In the fourth, Goldschmidt singled to plate Wong, who reached via a single to left field.

Edman again contributed an RBI single and Brad Miller doubled to score two more runs in the sixth inning to bring the score to 9-1.  The Cubs added two in the bottom of the seventh for the 9-3 final score.

For the game, Edman was 3-for-4, with two runs scored and two RBI.

Flaherty was understandably a little rusty in his start.  He was on a pitch count and therefore was pulled after 1 2/3 innings.  The right-hander yielded a first inning solo home run to Ian Happ, struck out three and walked two.

Four relievers combined to pitch the remaining 5 1/3 innings.  Austin Gomber, Tyler Webb (win), and John Gant each contributed 1 1/3 scoreless frames.  Ricardo Sanchez yielded two Cubs runs in the final 1 1/3 innings.

Kolten Wong and Dylan Carlson each stole their first base of the season.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 – -Cardinals 2 at Cubs 4 (seven innings)

The second game of the twin bill and the final game of the series ended with a St. Louis loss.  The game was a combined pitching effort from a rookie and three relievers.

Johan Oveido was added to the roster and called up from the Alternate Training Site in Springfield to make the start.  In his MLB debut, Oviedo pitched five innings and allowed two runs on two hits.  The right hander fanned four and issued two free passes.

Johan Oviedo

Genesis Cabrera tossed a scoreless sixth in relief.  Andrew Miller began the seventh but yielded two runs on three hits while recording only one out.  Giovanny Gallegos secured the final two outs without relinquishing additional runs.  Gallegos gave up one hit and struck out one.

The offense scored one run each in the fifth and sixth innings on only three hits.  Andrew Knizner drove in the first run on a sac fly in the fifth.  Brad Miller’s single in the sixth plated the second and final Redbird run. Kolten Wong and Matt Carpenter contributed the other hits, both singles.

An outfield assist by Harrison Bader at third base was the notable defensive play of the game.

Thursday, August 20, 2020 – -Cardinals 5, Reds 4

Opening the first series at Busch Stadium since the initial series of the season, the Cardinals defeated the Reds in a walk off win on Thursday.

Adam Wainwright made the start and tossed seven innings, yielding four runs on six hits.  The right hander struck out four and issued no free passes. Wainwright took a no decision as the Reds had the lead until the ninth inning. A messy first inning on the field, with errors by third baseman Brad Miller and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, did Wainwright no favors.

Adam Wainwright

Following Wainwright in relief was Alex Reyes, who pitched a scoreless eighth, allowed one hit, fanned one and walked one.  Seth Elledge pitched the ninth, and though it was a lengthy inning with three walks and a bases loaded jam, he emerged unscathed to get the win as the offense mounted its comeback.

The Reds took an early 3-0 lead, but the Redbirds made a dent in the bottom of the second inning.  In his first game back from a positive test and a COVID-19 quarantine, Yadier Molina never missed a beat.  The veteran catcher singled with the bases loaded in his first at bat and brought two runs home to decrease the lead to 3-2.

The Reds added another run in the top of the third to make it 4-2.  The Cardinals were unable to penetrate that lead until the ninth inning.  Brad Miller led off the inning and was hit by a pitch.  Tyler O’Neill drew a walk.  Dexter Fowler singled on a ground ball to right field and the bases were loaded.

Once again it was Molina at the plate with the bases loaded.  He singled and plated Miller to make it 4-3.  Reds closer Raisel Iglesias balked and O’Neill scored to tie the game at 4-4.  Dylan Carlson struck out for the first out.  After a pitching change, and on a 2-1 count, Kolten Wong tattooed the pitch into the right center field gap to score Fowler for the walk off win.

Kolten Wong

There was a socially distanced celebration after.

Friday, August 21, 2020 – Cardinals 2, Reds 4

In the second game of the four game series, the Cardinals fell to the Reds 4-2.  St. Louis led 2-0 much of the way, but a key defensive error snowballed into a four-run sixth inning for the Reds that the Cardinals didn’t overcome.

St. Louis’ offense got on the board in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead.  Harrison Bader drew a walk and Kolten Wong followed with an infield single.  Tommy Edman was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Matt Carpenter drew a walk and Bader scored.

In the fifth, Wong, Paul Goldschmidt, and Carpenter walked.  With the bases loaded, Brad Miller grounded into a force out and Wong scored to increase the lead to 2-0.

In the top of the sixth, with two outs on the board, Harrison Bader failed to catch a fly ball in center off the bat of Eugenio Suarez.  Suarez advanced to third on a missed catch error by Tommy Edman on a throw by Bader.  Reliever Genesis Cabrera walked the next batter and hit the subsequent batter with a pitch to load the bases.  Tyler Webb relieved Cabrera and gave up a grand slam to pinch hitter Matt Davidson to give the Reds a 4-2 lead.

The offense managed only three hits, singles by Wong, Goldschmidt and Dexter Fowler.

Dakota Hudson

Dakota Hudson made the start.  The right hander pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed one hit, struck out six and walked two.  Genesis Cabrera relieved with one out in the fifth, and returned to start the sixth.  Three of the four unearned runs scored in the sixth inning were Cabrera’s and he was tagged with the loss.  Tyler Webb relieved with two outs in the sixth and was charged with the last of the four runs scoring on his grand slam allowed. Webb pitched 1 1/3 innings.  Jake Woodford tossed the final two scoreless innings.

Saturday, August 22, 2020 – Cardinals 3, Reds 0

In the third game of the weekend series, the Cardinals bounced back from the heartbreaking loss in Game 2 to blank the Reds 3-0.

Kwang-Hyun Kim

Starter Kwang-Hyun Kim earned his first major league win. The left-hander hurled six scoreless innings, allowed only three hits, and struck out three.   Only one Reds batter reached second base against him.  Kim threw 83 pitches, 55 for strikes.

John Gant tossed a scoreless seventh, allowing no hits and walking one.  Andrew Miller started the eighth and faced three batters.  The left-hander yielded one hit and walked one.  Giovanny Gallegos got the final out of the eighth and returned to pitch the ninth.  The right hander allowed no runs, no hits, and struck out one to earn his first save of the season.

The Redbirds offense got on the board in the second with two runs scored.  It began with a bloop hustle double to shallow right by Harrison Bader.  Kolten Wong followed with a bloop single to left, with Bader advancing to third and Wong taking second on the throw home.  Tommy Edman singled on a line drive to left field to plate both Bader and Wong.

In the fifth, Harrison Bader’s solo home run to right field increased the lead to 3-0.  Bader went 2-for-3 as the only Cardinal with multiple hits. Tommy Edman drove in two.  All total, the offense had seven hits.

This game went at a quick pace, ending 2 hours and 15 minutes after the first pitch.

Sunday, August 23, 2020 – Cardinals 6, Reds 2

In the fourth and final game of the Reds series, the Cardinals blasted their way to 6-2 win.  Offense came from three players and pitching, both starting and relieving, held the visitors to two runs.

Daniel Ponce de Leon made the start, and though he was shaky at times, he kept the Cardinals in the game for 4 2/3 innings. The right hander allowed two runs on three hits, walked four and struck out two.  Because he didn’t go a full five innings, he didn’t get the win.

Genesis Cabrera relieved with two outs in the fifth.  The 23-year old lefty tossed two innings with one walk and not hits allowed.  John Gant retired the only batter he faced in the seventh.  Cabrera earned the win.

Andrew Miller pitched a scoreless eighth, striking out one and yielding no runs or hits.  Alex Reyes closed the game in the ninth with one walk and no hits allowed.

Harrison Bader, Yadier Molina, and Dylan Carlson were the RBI guys.  Bader hit a two-run home run in the second inning to tie the game at 2-2.  In the third, Molina plated a run on a single to center field to make it 3-2.

Yadier Molina

Molina singled again to score Matt Carpenter in the seventh for a 4-2 lead.  In that same inning Dylan Carlson hit his first major league home run, a two run shot, to bring the score to the final 6-2.

Molina went 4-for-5 on the afternoon.  Carlson was 2-for-4 and Bader was 2-for 3.  Bader hit a ground rule double in the seventh following Carlson’s long ball, but was left stranded.  Carlson singled in the fourth.

Kolten Wong stole his second base of the season.

Big Picture

The Cardinals went 5-4 for the week, taking 2 of 5 from the Cubs and 3 of 4 from the Reds.  They stand in second place in the NL Central with a record of 9-8, and are three games behind the Cubs.

Offense has picked up over the last week, with standouts being Brad Miller, Paul Goldschmidt, Kolten Wong, and most recently Harrison Bader and Yadier Molina.  Bader’s offense picked up significantly over the weekend and Molina, who was activated from the injured list on Thursday, has been gangbusters with the bat, including going 4-for-5 on Sunday, the same day Paul DeJong returned to the lineup.

In a special note, on Saturday, Molina passed Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (1982-96) for third all-time in franchise history in games played with 1,991.

Most the of hitters have improved or remained steady, with the exception of Tyler O’Neill, who has hit a slump, and Dylan Carlson, who performed well in Sunday’s game but had been slow to adjust up to that point.

On the pitching side, Adam Wainwright, Dakota Hudson, and Kwang-Hyun Kim had very good starts this past week.  Jack Flaherty’s first start since the 17-day hiatus was a struggle and was shortened due to a pitch count.  He is scheduled to pitch again on Monday. Daniel Ponce de Leon started on Sunday and has yet to go five innings.

The bullpen has received a workout due to multiple doubleheaders during the week, necessitating two bullpen games.  Standouts have been Giovanny Gallegos and John Gant.  The bullpen has been a revolving door of callups from and returns to the Alternate Training Site in Springfield.  Johan Oviedo was added to the 40-man and active rosters this week and performed well in his one start.

John Gant

Along with Oviedo, Ryan Meisinger, Nabil Crismatt and Jesus Cruz increased the Cardinals total of big-league debuts this season to 13, most in MLB this season.

Defense and baserunning remain steady for the most part with a few hiccups along the way.  The defense made Adam Wainwright’s first inning on Thursday difficult, with errors by Paul Goldschmidt and Brad Miller that led to unearned runs.  An uncharacteristic misplay of a fly ball by Harrison Bader on Friday led to a grand slam and the one loss to the Reds.  The error was blunted somewhat by Bader’s uptick in offense on Saturday and Sunday.

The Cardinals open a three-game series with the Royals on Monday.  The Royals are in last place in their division and the Cardinals generally play them well.  A doubleheader with the Pirates is coming on Thursday, and a series with the Indians over the weekend. On paper, the Indians should be the Cardinals’ toughest foe in the upcoming week.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Chicago 17 10 0.630
St. Louis 9 8 0.529 3
Cincinnati 11 15 0.423 5.5
Milwaukee 11 15 0.423 5.5
Pittsburgh 7 17 0.292 8.5

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

  • 8/17 The Cardinals optioned RHP Roel Ramirez and 1B John Nogowski to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/17 The Cardinals selected the contracts of RHP Ryan Meisinger and RHP Nabil Crismatt from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/17 The Cardinals recalled RHP Jake Woodford from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/18 The Cardinals optioned RHP Jake Woodford and LHP Rob Kaminsky to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/18 The Cardinals selected the contract of RHP Jesus Cruz from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/19 The Cardinals activated LHP Austin Gomber from the injured list.
  • 8/19 The Cardinals optioned RHP Ryan Meisinger and RHP Jesus Cruz to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/19 The Cardinals selected the contract of RHP Johan Oveido from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/19 The Cardinals recalled RHP Jake Woodford from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/20 The Cardinals activated C Yadier Molina from the injured list.
  • 8/20 The Cardinals placed C Matt Wieters on the injured list.
  • 8/20 The Cardinals optioned RHP Jake Woodford and RHP Nabil Crismatt to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/21 The Cardinals sent RHP Alvaro Seijas outright to the Springfield Cardinals.
  • 8/23 The Cardinals activated SS Paul DeJong from the injured list.
  • 8/23 The Cardinals optioned RHP Seth Elledge to the Alternate Training Site.

Injury Report

  • RHP John Brebbia underwent Tommy John surgery on June 1. He will miss the entire 2020 season.
  • RHP Jordan Hicks (Tommy John surgery) has opted out of the 2020 season. Hicks, a Type 1 diabetic, made the decision to opt out and was placed on the restricted list.
  • RHP Miles Mikolas (right forearm strain) had surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
  • RHP Junior Fernandez, and Kodi Whitley, SS Edmundo Sosa, and 1B Rangel Ravelo, are on the injured list due to positive COVID-19 tests. Fernandez, Ravelo, and Sosa have been sent to the Alternate Site with no return date yet announced.  Whitley was said to be “on his way” to the Alternate Training Site as of Friday and was playing catch at Busch Stadium.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez was initially placed on the injured list with no reason given. It was revealed this past week that he was one of the COVID-19 positives.  Martinez has been cleared for baseball activities and has been throwing bullpen sessions, but no return date has been reported.  He is scheduled to throw to live hitters on Monday.
  • OF Lane Thomas, OF Austin Dean, and RHP Ryan Helsley have been on the injured list due to positive COVID-19 tests. Helsley has been cleared for baseball activities and has done some “aggressive long toss”.  He will throw his first bullpen on Monday.  Dean and Thomas had not yet been cleared to return to baseball activity as of Sunday.
  • C Yadier Molina has been activated from the injured list and has been in the starting lineup since Thursday.
  • LHP Austin Gomber has been activated from the injured list and made a relief appearance in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.
  • C Matt Wieters was placed on the 10-day injured list. Right great toe contusion.
  • SS Paul DeJong was activated from the injured list a day ahead of schedule. DeJong was in Sunday’s starting lineup.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals continue their 12-game homestand against four opponents with a three-game series against the Royals beginning Monday.  Jack Flaherty is scheduled to make the Monday start, followed by Adam Wainwright and Dakota Hudson.

The Pirates will come to Busch Stadium for a doubleheader on Thursday for makeups of previously postponed games.

Following the Thursday twin bill, the Cleveland Indians visit Busch Stadium for a weekend set.

The Cardinals return to the road starting on Monday, August 31 for a three-game series in Cincinnati.

Blast from the Past

This week’s Blast from the Past takes a look at notable Cardinals happenings that took place from August 17-23 at various years in the history of the franchise.

  • August 17, 1937 – The Cardinals defeated the Reds 8-6 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati in a game that began at 9:36 p.m. ET. The game ended at 12:02 a.m. and was the first major league game to end after midnight.
  • August 17, 2005 – The Cardinals broke their single season attendance record of 3.43 million fans set in 1989.
  • August 18, 1965 – The Milwaukee Braves defeated the Cardinals in a 5-3 game at Sportsman’s Park. In the eighth inning, Braves RF Hank Aaron hit a home run onto the top of the pavilion.  Cardinals catcher Tim McCarver insisted to home plate umpire Chris Pelekoudas that Aaron stepped out of the batter’s box.  Pelekoudas called Aaron out, citing batter interference and Aaron was denied the home run.
  • Eddie Gaedel’s uniform from the St. Louis Cardinals Museum (Brian Walton photo)
  • August 19, 1951 – In an incident not related to the Cardinals at the time, Little Person Eddie Gaedel pinch hit for RF Ralph Saucier of the St. Louis Browns in a game against the Detroit Tigers in Sportsman’s Park. Current Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr. was the Browns’ batboy, and lent Gaedel his uniform as it was the only one that would fit the 3-foot-7 Gaedel. DeWitt still owns the famous uniform today, having loaned it to Cooperstown and also exhibited it at the Cardinals Museum.
  • August 20, 1998 – In the first game of a doubleheader against the Mets in Shea Stadium, Mark McGwire hit his 50th home run of the season, making him the first major leaguer to do so in three consecutive seasons.
  • August 21, 1935 – In a 13-3 win over the Boston Braves at Braves Field, Cardinals first baseman Ripper Collins failed to make a single putout. Collins repeated this against the Dodgers in 1937 while playing first base for the Cubs, making him the only player to accomplish this rare feat twice in the major leagues.
  • August 22, 1982 – Against the Giants, catcher Glenn Brummer stole home in the 12th inning to give the Cardinals the 5-4 walk off win. Brummer recorded only four stolen bases in his entire major league career.
  • August 22, 1999 – Mark McGwire hit home runs 49 and 50 in a game against the Mets in Shea Stadium (see August 20, 1998 above) making this the fourth consecutive season in which McGwire hit 50 long balls.
  • August 22, 2011 – Left fielder Matt Holliday is forced to leave the game when a moth becomes embedded in his right ear. The moth is later extracted and pulled out still alive.
  • August 23, 1952 – The Cardinals defeated the New York Giants 3-1 in a day game at Sportsman’s Park. The day’s notable involved two Giants.  In the seventh inning, third baseman Bob Elliott was ejected by home plate umpire Augie Donatelli for arguing a strike two call.  Teammate Bobby Hofman replaced Elliott in the at bat and was also ejected for arguing the strike three call.
  • August 23, 2009—Long time Braves pitcher and Hall of Famer John Smoltz picked up his only win as a Cardinal. Louis beat the Padres 5-2 with Smoltz pitching five scoreless innings, allowing three hits, and striking out nine.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Where are they now? St. Louis Cardinals Catcher Bryan Anderson


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Game Recap – Saturday, August 22, 2020

photo: Kwang-Hyun Kim via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Behind the pitching of Kwang-Hyun Kim and hitting of Harrison Bader and Tommy Edman, the St. Louis Cardinals blanked the Cincinnati Reds 3-0 at Busch Stadium on Saturday evening.

Saturday, August 22, 2020 – Cardinals 3, Reds 0

In the third of the four-game weekend series, the St. Louis Cardinals bounced back from a heartbreaking loss in Game 2 to blank the Cincinnati Reds 3-0 at Busch Stadium Saturday evening.

Starter Kwang-Hyun Kim earned his first major league win, saying it was something he dreamed of from when he was a child, and the “dream came true.” The left-hander hurled six scoreless innings, allowed only three hits, and struck out three.   Only one Reds batter reached second base in Kim’s six strong innings.  The left hander threw 83 pitches, 55 for strikes.

John Gant tossed a scoreless seventh.  He allowed no hits and walked one.  Andrew Miller started the eighth and faced three batters.  The left hander generated a double play, yielded a hit and walked a batter.  Giovanny Gallegos secured the final out of the eighth and also covered the ninth.  The right-hander allowed no runs, no hits, and struck out one to earn his first save of the season.

Harrison Bader via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Redbirds offense got on the board in the second with two runs scored.  It began with a bloop double to shallow right by Harrison Bader, who hustled to second.  Kolten Wong followed with a bloop single to left, with Bader advancing to third and Wong ending up on second on an ill-advised throw home.  Tommy Edman singled on a line drive to left field to plate both runners.

Tommy Edman via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

In the fifth, Bader hit a solo hone run to right field to increase the lead to 3-0.  Bader went 2-for-3 on the night and was the only Cardinal with multiple hits. Edman drove in two.  The offense had seven hits in total.

This game went at a quick pace, ending 2 hours and 15 minutes after the first pitch.

The Cardinals improved to 8-8 on the season, three games behind the Cubs. St. Louis is 2-1 on the current homestand and series and 6-5 since their return.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Reds at 1:15 p.m.  RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon (0-2, 6.15) vs. RHP Tyler Mahle (0-0, 3.38).  FOX Sports Midwest/KMOX/WIJR/Cardinals Radio Network.


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Who May the Cardinals Soon Remove from the 40-Man Roster?


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Game Recap – Friday, August 21, 2020

photo: Dakota Hudson via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Friday, August 21, 2020 – Cardinals 2, Reds 4

In the second installment of the four-game home series, the St. Louis Cardinals fell to the Cincinnati Reds 4-2 on Friday evening.  The Cardinals led 2-0 through five innings, but defensive errors snowballed into a four-run sixth for the Reds that the Cardinals didn’t overcome.

St. Louis’ offense got on the board in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead.  Harrison Bader took a free pass and Kolten Wong followed with an infield single.  Tommy Edman was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Matt Carpenter drew one of his two walks on the evening and Bader scored.

In the fifth, Wong, Paul Goldschmidt, and Carpenter walked.  With the bases loaded, Brad Miller grounded into a force out and Wong scored to increase the lead to 2-0. So in the two bases-loaded situations, the Cardinals were able to bring in just one run each time.

In the top of the sixth, with two outs, Harrison Bader failed to catch a fly ball in center off the bat of Eugenio Suarez.  Suarez advanced to third on a missed catch error by Tommy Edman on the throw in by Bader.  Reliever Genesis Cabrera walked the next batter and hit the subsequent batter with a pitch to load the bases.  Tyler Webb relieved and gave up a grand slam to pinch hitter Matt Davidson to give the Reds a 4-2 lead, despite having just two hits in the game.

The Cardinals offense was also sparse, managing only three hits, singles by Wong, Goldschmidt and Dexter Fowler.

Dakota Hudson

Dakota Hudson made the start for St. Louis.  The right hander pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed one hit, struck out six and walked two before reaching his pitch count.  After the game, Hudson said he had a good curveball and moved it around well.

Cabrera finished the fifth and returned to start the next frame.  Three of the Reds runs in the sixth were charged to Cabrera, all unearned, and he was tagged with the loss.  Webb, who went 1 1/3 innings, was charged with the other run, which was earned.  Jake Woodford tossed the final two scoreless frames.

The Cardinals fell to 7-8 on the season, four games behind the Cubs. St. Louis is 1-1 on the current homestand and 5-5 since their return.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Reds at 7:15 pm.  Kwang-Hyun Kim (0-0, 3.86) vs. Wade Miley (0-2, 16.20). FOX Sports Midwest /KMOX/WIJR/Cardinals Radio Network


Related news

During Friday’s game, the Cardinals announced a player transaction affecting both the 40-man roster and the 60-man player pool.

Cardinals Drop Alvaro Seijas from the 40-Man Roster


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Who May the Cardinals Soon Remove from the 40-Man Roster?


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Game Recap – Thursday, August 20, 2020

photo: Kolten Wong via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Thursday, August 20, 2020 – Cardinals 5, Reds 4

In the first game of the first series played at Busch Stadium since the opening set of the season, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Cincinnati Reds in a walk off win on Thursday.

Adam Wainwright made the start and went seven innings, yielding four runs on six hits.  The right hander struck out four and issued no free passes. Wainwright took a no decision as the Reds held the lead until the ninth inning. A messy first inning on the field, with errors by third baseman Brad Miller and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, did Wainwright no favors.

Adam Wainwright

Following Wainwright on the mound in relief was Alex Reyes, who pitched a scoreless eighth, allowing one hit, fanning one and walking one.  Seth Elledge pitched the ninth, and though it was a lengthy stint with three walks and a bases loaded jam, Elledge emerged unscathed to receive his first major league win.

The Reds took an early 3-0 lead, but the Redbirds made a dent in the bottom of the second inning.  In his first game back from a positive COVID-19 quarantine, Yadier Molina never missed a beat.  The veteran catcher singled with the bases loaded in his first at-bat and brought two runs home to decrease the lead to 3-2.

Yadier Molina

The Reds added another run in the top of the third to make it 4-2.  The Cardinals were unable to respond until the ninth inning.  Brad Miller led off and was hit by a pitch.  Tyler O’Neill drew a walk.  Dexter Fowler singled on a ground ball to right field.

Once again it was Molina at the plate with the bases loaded.  He singled to plate Miller and make it 4-3.  With O’ Neill on third, Fowler on second, and Molina on first, Reds closer Raisel Iglesias balked and O’Neill came home to tie the score.  With two in scoring position, Dylan Carlson fanned for out no. 1.  With Kolten Wong coming to the plate, the Reds pulled Iglesias.  On a 2-1 count, Wong tattooed the ball into the right center field gap to score Fowler for the walk off win.

Kolten Wong

There was a socially distanced celebration after.

The Cardinals are now 7-7 on the season and in second place, 4.0 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central Division.

Friday’s game: vs. Reds at 7:15 pm.  Dakota Hudson (0-2, 5.40) vs. Anthony Desclafani (1-1, 6.23). FS Midwest/KMOX/WIJR/Cardinals Radio Network


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Who May the Cardinals Soon Remove from the 40-Man Roster?


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of August 10-16

photo: Adam Wainwright via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

After 17 days out, the St. Louis Cardinals returned to play, winning two of three at the White Sox over the weekend. Adam Wainwright’s Game 1 performance set the tone. Our history feature highlights Curt Flood’s eight consecutive hits in a twin-bill held 56 years ago this week.



Game Recaps

Saturday, August 15, 2020 – Cardinals 5 at White Sox 1 (Game 1, seven innings)

After 17 days without playing a game, the St. Louis Cardinals returned to play with a doubleheader against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.

The first game began with Adam Wainwright on the bump to start.  The right hander’s last appearance was on July 25 and any long layoff from pitching makes returning to the mound difficult.  Wainwright handled his return like the professional he is.  Wainwright tossed five of the game’s seven innings, allowing one run on two hits. The veteran starter struck out three and walked three.

Adam Wainwright

The final two innings were handled by Giovanny Gallegos, in the sixth inning, and John Gant to close out the seventh.  Gallegos was masterful, striking out all three batters he faced for a perfect inning.  Gant pitched a scoreless seventh, yielding one hit and fanning two.

The game began with leadoff hitter Kolten Wong drawing an eight-pitch walk.  Tommy Edman followed with a single to left field.  Tyler O’Neill and Matt Carpenter were each hit by a pitch, bringing Wong home to score the first run.  Dexter Fowler drove in Edman and O’Neill on a bloop fly ball to center. Andrew Knizner singled to plate Carpenter.  Harrison Bader singled on a grounder to short, but Fowler was thrown out at home attempting to score from second base.  The Cardinals led 4-0.

Dexter Fowler

In the fourth inning, Fowler singled and Bader walked.  Edman reached on a fielding error and Fowler scored to add the Cardinals fifth and final run.

O’Neill was caught stealing in the fifth inning.  Carpenter made a throwing error in the second inning.

Saturday, August 15, 2020 – Cardinals 6 at White Sox 3 (Game 2, seven innings)

In the second game of the twin bill, the Cardinals came back from a two-run deficit in the fourth inning with four big runs to take the lead and keep it.  A sweep of the doubleheader puts the Cardinals back in the thick of the race in the NL Central.

The Cardinals fell behind 1-0 in the third inning but came back in the top of the fourth to tie on a solo home run by Paul Goldschmidt.  The White Sox took the lead back in the bottom frame of the inning via a two-run home run against reliever Genesis Cabrera.

Undeterred, the offense came back in the fifth.  Max Schrock singled on a shallow fly ball to right field for his first major league hit. Harrison Bader followed with a ground ball to third that was initially ruled a double play.  However, on replay the call was overturned as Bader’s speed led him to beat the throw by a hair.  Tommy Edman was hit by a pitch.  A wild pitch advanced Bader and Edman a base, then Carpenter grounded out and Bader scored.  Paul Goldschmidt was next with a single to short and Edman scored to tie the game at 3-3.  Tyler O’Neill blasted a two-run home run to left field and the Cardinals led 5-3.

Tyler O’Neill

St. Louis added an insurance run in the seventh.  Carpenter singled to center and O’Neill doubled to center.  Carpenter scored on a sac fly off the bat of Brad Miller.

Notably both Schrock and top prospect Dylan Carlson each collected their first major league hit, both in the fifth inning.  Schrock singled and Carlson doubled.

A third Cardinal made his major league debut.  Jake Woodford was the starter and he tossed three innings.  The right-hander gave up one run on one hit, a solo home run, struck out three and did not walk a batter.

Jake Woodford

Genesis Cabrera relieved Woodford in the fourth and yielded two runs on one hit, also a home run.  The left hander struck out two and walked one.  Alex Reyes pitched the fifth, and like his teammate Gallegos in Game 1, struck out all three batters he faced.  Tyler Webb tossed the sixth, and Andrew Miller finished with a scoreless seventh.

Sunday, August 16, 2020 – Cardinals 2 at White Sox 7

The Cardinals met the White Sox in the final game of the three-game series on Sunday.  Dakota Hudson got the start against Dallas Keuchel for the White Sox.

Hudson pitched four innings and gave up one run on two hits, struck out three and walked one.  The right hander took the loss, his second.   Roel Ramirez made his major league debut in relief and it did not go well.  In 2/3 of an inning, Ramirez yielded six runs on six hits, including four consecutive home runs.  The right hander fanned one and walked one.

Dakota Hudson

Seth Elledge, also making his major league debut, relieved Ramirez with two outs in the fifth inning.  He tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, struck out five and issued no walks.  Rob Kaminsky followed with a scoreless inning in his initial major league appearance.  The left hander struck out one.

Seth Elledge

The offense was kept off the board until the sixth inning.  After the White Sox took a 7-0 lead with six runs in the fifth, the Cardinals put up two runs.  Another player in his first MLB game, John Nogowski, led off with a single to center and Kolten Wong followed with a single to right.  Tommy Edman grounded into a force out, erasing Wong on the basepaths.  Paul Goldschmidt grounded to first and Nogowski was thrown out attempting to score.  With Goldschmidt and Edman on first and second, Tyler O’Neill drew a walk.  Matt Carpenter then singled to right field, plating Edman and Goldschmidt to decrease the lead to 7-2.  The Cardinals did not score again.

The offense had six hits, including singles by Dylan Carlson and Dexter Fowler.  No Cardinal had multiple hits and none of the six hits went for extra bases.

Andrew Knizner was tagged with an error on a catcher interference and erased two of three runners trying to steal.

The Big Picture

In their first series back after returning to play, the Cardinals won two of three at the home of the White Sox.  This leaves the Cardinals with a 4-4 record in the NL Central, tying them with the Brewers for second place, 3.5 games back of the Cubs.

For the first two games, the doubleheader on Saturday, the offense scored 11 runs.  The offense performed less well on Sunday, with only two runs on six hits.  The hitters couldn’t figure out lefty Dallas Keuchel until the sixth inning. The top performers with the bat so far are Paul Goldschmidt, Dexter Fowler, and Andrew Knizer.  Tyler O’Neill is also hitting well, though he was hitless in the final game of the series.  Top prospect Dylan Carlson has two hits, a double and a single, and drew a walk.

Dylan Carlson

Pitching has been good, with the bullpen seeing the bulk of the work in the White Sox series.  Only Genesis Cabrera and Roel Ramirez allowed runs.  Ramirez struggled with the long ball in the third game of the series.  Giovanny Gallegos and Alex Reyes were standouts in the doubleheaders on Saturday.

Defense has been good, with only two errors over the weekend.  Baserunning has been fine as well, though there were two issues with attempting to score by Fowler in the first game and John Nogowski in the final game.

The Cardinals will remain in Chicago to play five games with the Cubs, including doubleheaders on Monday and Wednesday.  The Cubs have a strong lead in the division, but were swept by Milwaukee over the weekend, so winning this series would put the Cardinals back on solid footing.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Chicago 13 6 0.684
Milwaukee 10 10 0.500 3.5
St. Louis 4 4 0.500 3.5
Cincinnati 9 11 0.450 4.5
Pittsburgh 4 14 0.222 8.5

Cardinals finally return to the field

After a 17-day break from game play due to a COVID-19 outbreak, the Cardinals received clearance to return to the field.  The team had been isolated for a week due to additional positive tests after returning to St. Louis from the quarantine in Milwaukee.  10 players and seven staff members had tested positive as of Thursday, and one additional positive, a staff member, was added as the team was preparing to travel to Chicago for their first series in over two weeks.  The staff member had been in isolation for a week and had had no contact with others.

With clearance to play, and in an abundance of caution, the Cardinals decided to forgo a plane trip to Chicago.  Instead the team rented 41 cars and each member of the traveling party drove separately.

Mike Shildt via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Prior to the Chicago trip, the Cardinals placed three players, OF Austin Dean, OF Lane Thomas, and RHP Ryan Helsley on the injured list.  All three had tested positive for the virus. LHP Austin Gomber, who had not tested positive, but was identified as having been exposed from contact tracing, was placed on the COVID injured list as a precaution.

The team added five players to the roster on Friday – top prospect Dylan Carlson, 1B John Nogowski, and pitchers Seth Elledge, Roel Ramirez, and Rob Kaminsky.  The Cardinals also recalled pitcher Ricardo Sanchez, who was designated as the 29th man for the Saturday doubleheader.

The moves required other players on the 40-man roster to be moved off to make room.  Placing players on the COVID injured list enables said players to be taken off the roster for the period of time they are on the list.  The players who were moved off the roster have not been identified.  Subsequent moves will have to be made at a later time to open a spot for those players to return.

The players arriving from the Alternate Training site in Springfield traveled to Chicago on a bus.  The team also added three RHP to the taxi squad for the trip, Ryan Meisinger, Nabil Crismatt, and Jesus Cruz, joining catcher Jose Godoy.

The Cardinals added three players, C Pedro Pages, SS Kramer Robertson, and RHP Bryan Dobzanski to their Alternate Training Site.

Willie McGee opts out

On Friday, outfield coach Willie McGee announced that he was opting out from coaching for the remainder of the 2020 season.

Willie McGee (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

The 61-year old Cardinals Hall of Famer became concerned after the recent outbreak among players and staff that sent everyone into quarantine in St. Louis for a week.  While McGee had not tested positive, he was concerned for his own health as well as the health of the large family that resides with him.  He asked the team if he could return to his home in Martinez, California and the Cardinals agreed.

President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak told the media that the team understood McGee’s decision and will welcome him back to coaching next spring.  McGee may continue to offer some coaching to players virtually from his home.

The Cardinals added long time coach Jose Oquendo, who had been running the Alternate Training Site, to the major league staff as third base coach.  Also added was Johnson City manager Roberto Espinoza.  Oquendo will also coach the outfield, and Espinoza will help with the bullpen and prepping hitters.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

  • 8/14 The Cardinals placed LHP Austin Gomber on the COVID-19 injured list retroactive to August 13.
  • 8/15 The Cardinals placed OF Lane Thomas and OF Austin Dean on the injured list.
  • 8/15 The Cardinals placed RHP Ryan Helsley on the injured list.
  • 8/15 The Cardinals selected the contracts of LHP Rob Kaminsky, RHP Seth Elledge, 1B John Nogowski, and OF Dylan Carlson from the Cardinals Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/15 The Cardinals recalled RHP Ricardo Sanchez from the Cardinals Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/16 The Cardinals optioned RHP Jake Woodford to the Alternate Training Site.

Injury Report

  • RHP John Brebbia underwent Tommy John surgery on June 1. He will miss the entire 2020 season.
  • RHP Jordan Hicks (Tommy John surgery) has opted out of the 2020 season. Hicks, a Type 1 diabetic, made the decision to opt out and was placed on the restricted list.
  • RHP Miles Mikolas (right forearm strain) had surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
  • Six players, RHP Junior Fernandez, and Kodi Whitley, SS Paul DeJong and SS Edmundo Sosa, 1B Rangel Ravelo, and C Yadier Molina were the first group placed on the injured list due to positive COVID-19 tests. The players have isolated for at least eight days and will be eligible to return after two negative tests 24 hours apart.  Some of the players have begun the process to return to play.  After the two positive tests, a physical, a cardiac evaluation, and blood work each player may be cleared for light workouts at Busch Stadium.  The next step will be to send them to the Alternate Training Site for live at bats and bullpen sessions. None are expected to return on the current road trip.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez was placed on the injured list. No reason given.  No timetable for his return has been reported.
  • OF Lane Thomas, OF Austin Dean, and RHP Helsley were placed on the COVID-19 IL. They must follow the same steps outlined above before they can return to baseball activities.
  • LHP Austin Gomber was placed on the COVID-19 injured list as a precaution. He was identified as having been exposed to COVID-19 through contact tracing, though he has not tested positive.  Gomber remains in St. Louis to work out and is expected to rejoin the team in Chicago as soon as Monday.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals returned to play on August 15 after a 17-day hiatus due to a COVID-19 outbreak.  The first game of the series against the White Sox was scheduled to be played on Friday but was postponed a day.  A doubleheader was played on Saturday, followed by the final game of the series on Sunday.

The Cardinals remain in Chicago to play the Cubs beginning on Monday, August 17.  The teams will play doubleheaders on Monday and Wednesday and a single contest on Tuesday.  The doubleheaders will make up previously postponed games.

The pitching lineup is scheduled as follows:  Kwang-Hyun Kim will start the first game on Monday and the second game is to be a bullpen game.  Tuesday’s starter will be Daniel Ponce de Leon.  Jack Flaherty will pitch in one game of the doubleheader on Wednesday and the other game will be a bullpen game.

The Cardinals are then scheduled to return to Busch Stadium on Thursday to begin a four-game series against the Reds.  Cincinnati’s weekend series against Pittsburgh was postponed after a Reds player tested positive.

Blast from the Past

The Cardinals returned on Saturday after 17 days without playing a game due to a COVID-19 outbreak that affected 18 players and staff. Their return began with a doubleheader against the White Sox.  St. Louis took both games, 5-1 and 6-3.

There have been innumerable doubleheaders played by the Cardinals in franchise history.   Twin bills were a staple in the early and mid 20th Century but have become less common in the last few decades.  Among the notable doubleheaders played by the Cardinals, this week’s Blast from the Past remembers one in particular.

Curt Flood (Associated Press photo)

On August 16, 1964 the Cardinals played Los Angeles in a doubleheader at Dodger Stadium.  The starting lineup for the game included CF Curt Flood, who hit leadoff in both games of the doubleheader.  On the day, the future Cardinals Hall of Famer collected eight consecutive hits.

In the opener, Flood led off the first inning with a line drive double to left field off Dodgers starter Sandy Koufax.  Flood was left stranded on the bases after Lou Brock struck out, Dick Groat flied out, and Ken Boyer popped out.

Flood came up to bat again in the third inning, when he hit a ground ball double to left field off Koufax.  He was again left stranded.  In the fifth inning he hit a fly ball single to right field off Koufax for hit number three.  Again, he did not score.

In his final at bat in the seventh inning, he hit a line drive single to center field.  Julian Javier had led off the inning with a single to right field and Flood’s single moved Javier to third base.  Brock struck out to end the inning and left Javier and Flood stranded.

Flood went 4-for-4 but the Cardinals lost 3-0 to the Dodgers.  The only other hits were the single by Javier and singles by Groat and Bill White.

In the second game of the doubleheader, Flood again led off the first inning and tripled to right field off Dodger starter Larry Miller.  Flood scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Groat.

Flood took his second turn at the plate in the third inning.  He hit a line drive single to center field off Miller but was left stranded on the bases.  His turn came again in the fourth.  After singles by Ken Boyer, Carl Warwick, and Javier, Boyer scored on a sac fly by Tim McCarver. Curt Simmons drew a walk in front of Flood, and Flood singled to right field to score Warwick and Javier. Flood and Simmons were left stranded after Charlie James lined out.

In the sixth inning, with two outs, Flood singled to left field but was left stranded when James struck out.  This single was the eighth consecutive hit by Flood in the two games.  Flood finally made an out in the ninth inning when he struck out swinging.  He was probably exhausted from all the hitting and running.

Flood went 4-for-5 in the second game with two RBI.  The Cardinals defeated the Dodgers 4-0 to split the twin bill exactly 56 years ago on Sunday.


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of August 3-8

photo: John Mozeliak via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Though the St. Louis Cardinals did not play baseball this past week, there is plenty of news to report. An attempt to restart the season ended in more players and staff infected. The postponed games count is up to 13. Our history feature highlights some of the many one-game-and-done performers in team history.



Day-by-day recap of the past week

Monday, August 3, 2020

The St. Louis Cardinals announced that six of the seven players tested positive for COVID-19 gave permission for their names to be released to the public.  They are RHPs Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley, SS Paul DeJong, SS Edmundo Sosa, 1B Rangel Ravelo and C Yadier Molina.  Everyday starters Molina and DeJong issued short statements regarding their positive tests.  The team remained quarantined in their Milwaukee hotel until cleared to return to St. Louis.

The four-game series between the Cardinals and the Tigers that was scheduled to be played on Tuesday through Thursday was postponed.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Cardinals announced staff changes at the major league level and at the Cardinals Alternate Training site. These changes were due to positive COVID-19 tests of six major league staff members (though not all are coaches).

Minor League hitting coordinator Russ Steinhorn was transferred from the Alternate Training Site to the major league staff.

Assistant Minor League hitting coordinator Joey Hawkins was added to the coaching staff of the Alternate Training Site.

Player Development and Performance Manager Emile Wiebe was added to the Alternate Training Site to assist in the interim.

The Cardinals further announced that the six positive players noted above plus RHP Carlos Martinez were placed on the injured list.

The Cardinals added four players to the major league roster from the Alternate Training Site.  RHPs Genesis Cabrera and Alex Reyes were recalled.  RHP Roel Ramirez and 2B Max Schrock were added to the 40-man roster.

The Cardinals activated IF Brad Miller off the 10-day injured list.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

After two days of all negative tests, the Cardinals were cleared by MLB to leave Milwaukee and return to St. Louis.  The team left Milwaukee by plane shortly before noon.

A workout at Busch Stadium was held from 2:00 to 4:00 on Wednesday.

The Cardinals announced that Kwan-Hyun Kim will replace Carlos Martinez in the rotation.

MLB announced that the “Field of Dreams” game between the Cardinals and the White Sox scheduled for Thursday, August 13 will be postponed until 2021.  It was later announced that the Thursday, August 13 game in Iowa was moved to Friday night in Chicago. Also, the Cardinals will not participate in the game in 2021, but will be replaced by the Yankees, who were originally scheduled to participate before the schedule changes for 2020 dictated in-division play only.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Cardinals held a second workout including a simulated game at Busch Stadium in preparation for the weekend series against the Cubs.

MLB announced the rescheduling of the Brewers series and the Tigers series which had been postponed.   The Brewers series will be scheduled to be played as doubleheaders on previously scheduled dates between the two teams.  Those dates are September 14 at Miller Park, September 16 at Miller Park, and September 25 at Busch Stadium.  The Brewers will be the home team for the first game of the doubleheader in St. Louis.

The series against the Tigers will be scheduled as two doubleheaders on August 13 in Detroit and September 10 in St. Louis.

Friday, August 7, 2020

The Cardinals announced three additional positive COVID-19 tests beyond the 13 previously announced.  Results from tests taken in St. Louis the previous two days revealed two more players tested positive and one staff member.  The players were identified as RHP Ryan Helsley and OF Austin Dean after permission was granted by the players.  The staff member was not named.

As a result of the additional positive tests, the three-game weekend series against the Cubs was postponed.  The Cardinals total of positive individuals increased to nine players and seven staff members.

Players are isolated at their homes until further notice.  Further testing will be done daily.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

No additional news was announced.  Testing of all players and staff continues on a daily basis.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

In an interview on KMOX Radio, manager Mike Shildt revealed that some of the players and staff who are positive for COVID-19 have dealt with various symptoms of the virus.  A few, he said, had to receive treatment at the emergency room, but none were hospitalized.  PBO John Mozeliak confirmed to the media on Sunday night that one player and one staff member sought treatment at the ER.

Mozeliak also commented about the frustration of seeing shaming of people who caught the virus by members of the public.

Mozeliak told members of the media on Sunday night that players have been told to stay at home and not go out except for traveling to the ballpark for daily drive-through testing.  Players will continue to test and results from Sunday and Monday will determine where they go from there.

An additional positive test, that of OF Lane Thomas, was confirmed on Sunday.  Thomas was identified through contact tracing as a potential positive. Prior tests were inconclusive and Thomas is the roommate of Ryan Helsley, who was confirmed positive on Friday.

Jose Molina shared on social media that his brother Yadier was to be tested to potentially clear him for returning to play.  Players who are positive must test negative twice, 24 hours apart, and also take an antibody test and pass a cardiac evaluation.

Cardinals brace for lengthy delay

The Cardinals breathed a sigh of relief after three days of negative tests in Milwaukee cleared the team to return home to St. Louis on Wednesday.  The jubilation was short-lived.

On Thursday night the Cardinals received word of positive results from tests taken after the team returned home.  Workouts had been conducted on Wednesday and Thursday to prepare for the upcoming series against the Cubs over the weekend.

On Friday, the team announced two additional players and one staff member had tested positive.  It is believed the individuals were already infected prior to flying home from Milwaukee on Wednesday but had not yet tested positive.  The team was together in travel and over two days for workouts, leaving open the possibility for additional exposures.

Players and staff are in quarantine and are being tested on a daily basis.  It is unclear how long the quarantine will last and when or if the additional postponed games will be made up.

The team identified the two players as RHP Ryan Helsley and OF Austin Dean.  The staff member has not been identified. An additional positive was reported on Sunday night, OF Lane Thomas.  That brings the total to 17.

The series against the Cubs was postponed as well as the Monday through Wednesday series against the Pirates.  On Sunday Night, PBO Mozeliak told the media that there is no timetable for the team to get back on the field.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Chicago 10 3 0.769
Milwaukee 6 7 0.462 4
Cincinnati 7 9 0.438 4.5
St. Louis 2 3 0.400 4
Pittsburgh 3 13 0.188 8.5

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions 

  • 8/4 The Cardinals placed RHPs Carlos Martinez, Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley, SSs Paul DeJong and Edmundo Sosa, and C Yadier Molina on the injured list.
  • 8/4 The Cardinals activated 2B Brad Miller from the injured list.
  • 8/5 The Cardinals placed 1B Rangel Ravelo on the injured list.
  • 8/5 The Cardinals selected the contracts of RHP Roel Ramirez and 2B Max Schrock from the Cardinals Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/5 The Cardinals recalled LHP Genesis Cabrera and RHP Alex Reyes from the Cardinals Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/6 The Cardinals invited non-roster RHPs Ryan Meisinger and Jesus Cruz to spring training.

Injury Report

  • RHP John Brebbia underwent Tommy John surgery on June 1. He will miss the entire 2020 season.
  • RHP Jordan Hicks (Tommy John surgery) has opted out of the 2020 season. Hicks, a Type 1 diabetic, was placed on the restricted list.
  • 3B Brad Miller has been activated from the 10-day injured list.
  • RHP Miles Mikolas (right forearm strain) will have surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
  • Six players, RHPs Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley, SSs Paul DeJong and Edmundo Sosa, 1B Rangel Ravelo, and C Yadier Molina have been placed on the injured list. Positive COVID-19 tests.  The players will isolate for at least eight days and will be eligible to return after two negative tests 24 hours apart.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez has been placed on the injured list. No reason given.
  • RHP Ryan Helsley and OFs Austin Dean and Lane Thomas tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. It is expected they will be placed on the injured list in the upcoming days.

Looking Ahead

Due to a continuing outbreak of COVID-19 among players and staff, the Cardinals have not played a game since the Twins series in Minnesota on July 28-29.  A total of 17 players and staff have tested positive for COVID-19.

No baseball activities have taken place since Thursday.  Players are isolated at home until further notice and are tested daily.

The series against the Pittsburgh Pirates scheduled to begin on Monday has been postponed.  The next scheduled game is a doubleheader on Thursday against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.  This is a rescheduling of two games of the previously postponed four-game series.

The other two Tigers games are scheduled to be made up in a doubleheader on September 10 at Busch Stadium. The postponed Brewers series will be made up in doubleheaders on September 14 and 16 at Miller Park and September 25 at Busch Stadium.

The future of play for the Cardinals in 2020 remains unclear at this time.  The Cardinals have missed 13 games thus far with more possibly being postponed. It has been acknowledged by Mozeliak as being mathematically difficult to get all remaining games played with the time remaining in the season.

Blast from the Past

The Cardinals were scheduled to play the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, August 13 in the “Field of Dreams’ game in Dyersville, Iowa.  The game was postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 outbreak among Cardinals players and staff.

The genesis of this game was the movie Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner, released in 1989. In that movie was a character named Moonlight Graham, played by the late Burt Lancaster.  Graham was an actual major league baseball player who appeared in one inning of one major league game as a right fielder for the New York Giants on June 29, 1905.  This was Graham’s only major league appearance.  He went on to become a medical doctor in Minnesota and passed away on August 25, 1965.

This week’s Blast from the Past looks at a handful of “one and done” players who made one appearance in one game for the Cardinals over the history of the franchise.

Farmer Burns was born on June 2, 1876 in Ashtabula, Ohio.  Burns’ major league baseball career consisted of one inning of pitching for the Cardinals on July 6, 1901 in a game against the Phillies. Burns walked one and gave up one run on two hits for a career ERA of 9.00.

Alfredo “Al” Cabrera was a shortstop who played in one game for the Cardinals on May 16, 1913 against the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Cabrera was notable as the first Spanish-born major leaguer and the first player from the continent of Africa.  Cabrera was born on May 11, 1881 in the Canary Islands off the Northwest coast of Africa.  Cabrera went 0-for-2 that day and never played another major league game.

Memo Luna

Coonie Blank (Frank Ignatz Blank) was a catcher who played in one game for the Cardinals on August 15, 1909.  Blank was born in St. Louis on October 18, 1892.  Blank had two at bats with no hits against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Guillermo “Memo” Luna was a left-handed pitcher who pitched in one game with the Cardinals on April 20, 1954.  Luna was born in Mexico City on June 25, 1930.  Against the Cincinnati Reds, Luna faced six batters in 2/3 of an inning.  He gave up two runs on two hits and walked two. The Cardinals lost that game and starter Luna was tagged with the loss in the only major league game in which he played.

Herb Gorman was born on December 19, 1924.  Gorman played 11 seasons in the minor leagues and one at bat in the majors. As a pinch hitter for pitcher Willard Schmidt, he grounded out to second base on April 19, 1952.  This was Gorman’s only major league appearance.  The next year, while playing in a minor league game, he experienced chest pains and died of a heart attack while leaving the field.

Chip Marshall was a catcher who appeared in one game for the Cardinals on June 14, 1941, against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Sportsman’s Park.  Marshall replaced catcher Gus Mancuso as a pinch runner on first base.  Marshall stayed in the game at catcher for the top of the ninth inning.  Marshall, like Moonlight Graham, never got a major league at bat.

These are just a sampling of over two dozen “one and done” players to don the Cardinal uniform.  Many of these players were pitchers.  Like Moonlight Graham, they were able to say they played major league baseball, if only for an instant of time.  We like to say of short termers that they got their “cup of coffee,” but these players unfortunately only tasted a sip.


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of July 27-August 2

To say it was a lost week for the St. Louis Cardinals is an understatement. The team dropped both games in Minneapolis and remained quarantined in their Milwaukee hotel all weekend. Future games have been juggled, but major questions remain after a series of positive COVID tests. Our history feature highlights some of the 44 triple plays turned by the Cardinals since 1882.


Game recaps

Tuesday, July 28 – Cardinals 3 at Twins 6

The St. Louis Cardinals began a two-game series with a tough Twins team on Tuesday in Minneapolis.  Carlos Martinez got his first start of the season and it was a rough one.

Tommy Edman (Jasen Vinlove/Imagn)

Martinez pitched only 3 2/3 innings and gave up all six runs on seven hits, including two home runs.  The right-hander struck out two and walked one.  All but one of the six Twins’ tallies came in the second inning.  After Martinez’ yielded his second long ball – to Josh Donaldson with two outs in the fourth inning – he left the game, replaced by Austin Gomber.

Gomber tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief, with no hits, no walks and one strikeout.  In his debut, Giovanny Gallegos secured the next two outs.  Tyler Webb and John Gant each pitched a scoreless inning.

St. Louis’ offense was held scoreless until the fifth inning against former Reds starter Homer Bailey.  After Dexter Fowler led off with a single, Tyler O’Neill thumped a two-run home run to center field.

Tommy Edman added a solo home run in the eighth inning for the final Redbird run.  Edman was 2-for-3, a double and a home run.   Matt Carpenter was 2-for-4.  Other hits were Fowler’s single and a double by Harrison Bader.

Martinez committed a throwing error in the first inning on a pickoff attempt.

Wednesday, July 29 – Cardinals 0 at Twins 3

In the second game of the series, the Cardinals were shut out by the Twins 3-0.  Minnesota pitching held St. Louis’ offense to only three hits.

Kodi Whitley (Jasen Vinlove/Imagn)

Paul Goldschmidt singled on a line drive to left field in the first inning but was left stranded.  Yadier Molina also singled to left in the second inning but was out at second on a force out by Rangel Ravelo.

The Cardinals offense remained hitless until Dexter Fowler singled to left in the eighth.  Fowler was erased in a pop out double play off the bat of pinch hitter Matt Wieters.

Daniel Ponce de Leon got the start and pitched 3 2/3 innings.  The right hander gave up three runs on two hits, one a home run.  Ponce de Leon struck out eight and walked three.  Tyler Webb got the last out of the fourth inning.

Kodi Whitley relieved in the fifth and pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings.  Andrew Miller followed with two clean outs to close out the loss.

The Big Picture

The Cardinals played only two games, both losses, during the week due to the postponement of the Brewers series in Milwaukee.

St. Louis’ offense was significantly worse than what it had been in the opening Pirates series.  The team managed only 10 hits across the two games.  Kolten Wong and Paul DeJong were hitless in the Twin Cities.  Paul Goldschmidt, Yadier Molina, Tyler O’Neill, and Harrison Bader each had one hit in the series.  Bader’s and O’Neill’s went for extra bases.  Only Edman, Carpenter and Fowler had multiple hits, with two apiece.

Neither starting pitcher in the series finished four innings.  The bullpen was a lockdown in both games, with a combined 9 1/3 scoreless frames.

The defense was good and there was no running in either game.  The only error was made by a starting pitcher.

The Cardinals are scheduled to play four games in Detroit starting Tuesday, assuming the team is cleared to leave quarantine in Milwaukee.  A three-game series against the Cubs is scheduled for the weekend in St. Louis.

The Cardinals missed all three games against the Brewers and those games will likely be made up at some point.  The team will be playing catch up and will need to win both series this week – assuming they can be played.

At this point, the make-up of the active roster for next game is a major question. The number of players to be placed on the injured list due to positive tests as well as their replacements are yet to be announced.

In other words, this week’s Big Picture remains very cloudy.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Chicago 7 2 0.778
Milwaukee 3 3 0.500 2.5
Cincinnati 4 5 0.444 3
St. Louis 2 3 0.400 3
Pittsburgh 2 7 0.222 5

COVID-19 puts the Cardinals on hold

The Cardinals announced on Friday that two players had tested positive for COVID-19 in a test conducted prior to the Wednesday game in Minnesota.  Since then, additional tests have been conducted.

After the first two positive tests were received on Thursday night, the positive players were isolated in their hotel rooms in Milwaukee.  The entire 58-member traveling party was in quarantine as of 6 am Friday morning.  Additional testing was done and contact tracing began.  A third player was identified from contact tracing as a potential positive.  The original two positive players have since been sent home to St. Louis.

Rapid result testing was done at the hotel and the results uncovered four additional positives.  Saliva tests were conducted and sent to a lab.  On Saturday evening, the third player was confirmed positive and one additional positive, a staff member, was also confirmed.  Four more tests that were inconclusive were also identified.  These four include a fourth player and three staff members.

More tests were conducted, and at least one additional positive was reportedly communicated to the team, but there has been no announcement.  More results were expected on Sunday evening, but the team later issued a statement that there will be no further updates until Monday.

As a result, all three games of the series against the Brewers in Milwaukee were postponed.  The traveling party remains quarantined in their hotel rooms.

The Cardinals are scheduled to travel to Detroit on Monday to begin a series against the Tigers on Tuesday.  As of this writing on Sunday evening, no new results have been communicated and the team remains in Milwaukee.

Given the current situation, whether the Detroit series will be played on schedule remains a major question.

Mikolas out for the season

The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that RHP Miles Mikolas will have surgery on his right forearm and be out for the rest of the season.  He was placed on the 10 day injured list.

Mikolas had issues with his right forearm flexor tendon last fall and again in spring training and was shut down.  The length of time between the shutdown of spring camp in March, and the restart of Summer Camp in July gave Mikolas time to rehab.  He received a platelet rich plasma injection in February and was seemingly healthy when Summer Camp opened.

The discomfort returned when Mikolas pitched in the exhibition game against the Royals on July 23.  An MRI taken on the following Monday revealed significant damage to the tendon, though the ligament remained intact.  Mikolas will undergo surgery to repair the tendon, at a date yet to be determined.  Because this is a repair, not a ligament replacement (Tommy John), the right-hander is expected to be fully healthy for the start of spring training in 2021.

The Cardinals initially replaced Mikolas in the rotation with RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon.  It was thought that LHP Kwang-Hyun Kim might be the choice, but the team had just moved Kim to the back end of the bullpen.  The Cardinals also have LHP Austin Gomber as an experienced starting option if needed.

Mikolas’ Forearm Injury Returns with Gallegos and Woodford Added

MLB and MLBPA agree to seven inning doubleheaders

A joint announcement was made on Friday by MLB and the Players Association of an agreement that all doubleheaders during the 2020 season from August 1 forward will be reduced to seven innings each.

This agreement was made in the interest of player health and safety, to shorten games and reduce the strain on pitchers in particular.   There is a limited amount of time in the season to play 60 games, and more than the usual amount of doubleheaders are expected due to possible COVID related delays.

Seven inning doubleheaders are the norm in the minor leagues and are common in college baseball.  Rules regarding when a game becomes official will remain the same.  The rule that extra innings start with a man on second base, which applies to all MLB games in 2020, will be implemented in the eighth inning of doubleheaders.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions 

  • 7/28 The Cardinals placed RHP Miles Mikolas on the 10-day injured list retroactive to July 25, 2020. Right forearm strain.
  • 7/28 The Cardinals activated RHP Giovanny Gallegos from the 10-day injured list.
  • 7/28 The Cardinals recalled RHP Jake Woodford from Cardinals Alternate Training Site. This filled the active roster at 30 players.

Injury Report

  • RHP John Brebbia underwent Tommy John surgery on June 1. He will miss the entire 2020 season.
  • RHP Jordan Hicks (Tommy John surgery) has opted out of the 2020 season. Hicks, a Type 1 diabetic, made the decision to opt out prior to the season and was placed on the restricted list.
  • 3B Brad Miller (right ankle bursitis) was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to July 20. Miller traveled with the team to Minnesota instead of remaining at the Alternate Training Camp.  He was expected to be available for the postponed Brewers series, but was not activated.
  • RHP Giovanny Gallegos has been activated from the 10-day injured list.
  • RHPs Alex Reyes and Genesis Cabrera (previously quarantined for positive COVID-19 test) are said to be “progressing nicely” at the Alternate Camp Site in Springfield. Both pitchers threw to live batting practice on Wednesday, and both looked sharp according to reports. With potential COVID replacements expected, the duo could be called upon to return to the team.
  • RHP Miles Mikolas (right forearm strain) will have surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.

Looking Ahead

Due to at least four positive COVID-19 tests, the series between the Cardinals and Brewers over the weekend was postponed.

The Cardinals will remain in their Milwaukee hotel until Monday, when they hope to travel to Detroit for a four-game series against the Tigers.  The first game was scheduled for Monday but has been pushed back until Tuesday.  The two teams will play a doubleheader on Wednesday, with the final game on Thursday. The original schedule had two games in each city, but now, all four are scheduled in the Motor City.

The team will then return home for a three-game weekend series against the Cubs.  The homestand will continue the following Monday with a three-game set against the Pirates.

The three games of the Milwaukee series have not been rescheduled at this time.

The full 60-game schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

The Chicago Cubs turned a questionable triple play on Friday against the Cincinnati Reds.  The replay showed third baseman Kris Bryant did not make the catch on the line drive, as the ball hit the dirt first.  Because infield plays are not reviewable, the triple play remained.  As the “triple play” was the first of the 2020 season and triple plays aren’t that common, it is an interesting subject for this week’s Blast from the Past.

The SABR Triple Play Database indicates that 721 triple plays have been recorded in major league baseball since 1876.  The first occurred on May 13, 1876 in a game between the New York Mutuals and the Hartford Dark Blues.  The Mutuals’ defense turned a 5-3-5 triple play.

The database allows sorting by team. The Cardinals have secured the second highest number of triple plays all time, behind only the Orioles.  Of course, many franchises have moved locations and changed names over time and so the totals include every place where the franchise was located.  For example, the Orioles have 48 total triple plays, 25 as the Baltimore Orioles, and 23 as the St. Louis Browns.

38 of the Cardinals’ 44 triple plays were turned as the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League, five as the St. Louis Browns of the American Association, and one as the St. Louis Cardinals of the American Association. The early days are a bit of a murky area, as the team itself does not consider its official start until 1892. The stats-providers do not draw this distinction.

The very first triple play turned by the franchise was on July 26, 1882 against the Baltimore Orioles.  The bases were loaded, and the triple play went 2-5-4, Sleeper Sullivan to Jack Gleason to Bill Smiley.

The Cardinals turned another on June 29, 1894 against the Boston Beaneaters.  This one was 5-4-3-2, Doggie Miller to Joe Quinn to Roger Connor to Heinie Peitz.

Fast forward to July 1944, notable as the Cardinals turned two double plays that month.  The first came on July 1 against the Brooklyn Dodgers, a 6-4-3.  On July 15 against the Cincinnati Reds, a 4-6-3 triple play was turned.

The Cardinals recorded two triple plays in the 1956 season – a 3-3-6 on May 30 (Reds) and on September 25, a 3-6-4-1-5 (Cubs).

Since 1956, the Cardinals turned a 9-6-4-6 triple play against the Astros on May 8, 1977, a 6-2-3-4-5 play versus the Phillies on April 11, 1981, a 5-4-3 on September 5, 1991 against the Padres, a 4-6-3-6 vs. the Mets on May 11, 1993, a 5-5-3 on August 1, 2002 against the Marlins, and a 3-3-6 versus the Padres on May 5, 2005.

The most recent triple play turned by the Cardinals was recorded on June 6, 2014 against the Blue Jays in Toronto.  The play went 4-6-3, Daniel Descalso to Jhonny Peralta to Allen Craig.

The foregoing are just a handful of the 44 triple plays made by the Cardinals in the history of the franchise.


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of July 20-26

photo: Adam Wainwright and Jack Flaherty (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

Exhibition game recap

Wednesday, July 22 – Cardinals 6, Royals 3

The St. Louis Cardinals took on the Kansas City Royals in an exhibition game at Busch Stadium to end 2020 Summer Camp.  Former manager Mike Matheny returned to St. Louis to play a game for the first time since he was fired by the Cardinals in 2018.

Paul DeJong (Jasen Vinlove/Imagn)

Miles Mikolas got the start for the Cardinals.  The right hander pitched four innings and gave up two runs on five hits.  He walked one and struck out four.  Carlos Martinez pitched the next four innings and allowed one run on two hits while fanning three and walking one. In his first action as the team’s new closer, Kwang Hyun Kim pitched a scoreless ninth.

The Royals got on the board first with a run in the first inning.  The Cardinals answered with two runs in the second on a double by Tyler O’Neill.  The Royals tied it up in the third on Salvador Perez’ home run, but the Cardinals took the lead in the bottom frame of the third on a sac fly by Paul DeJong.

In the fifth, DeJong hit a two-run home run to center to increase the lead to 5-2.  Rangel Ravelo’s sac fly in the sixth made it 6-2.

The Royals added a run in the seventh on a home run by Bubba Starling.  Cardinals pitching shut it down in the next two innings to secure the home win.

Max Schrock and Yadier Molina each had two hits.

Regular Season game recaps

Friday, July 24 – Cardinals 5, Pirates 4

The Cardinals met the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium in a three-game series to open the 2020 season.  Jack Flaherty made the Opening Day start and the Cardinals narrowly defeated the visitors, 5-4.

Jack Flaherty (Jasen Vinlove/Imagn)

Flaherty took up where he left off last season with a masterful performance marred only by a seventh inning in which he gave up two runs after going scoreless for six innings.  The right hander pitched seven full innings and allowed six hits along with the two runs, and no walks while fanning six.  Flaherty earned the win.

Ryan Helsley followed with a scoreless eighth inning.  Kwang Hyun-Kim took the ninth, and though he faltered early, he recovered enough to close out the inning and give the Redbirds the win with two additional runs allowed to earn his first save as a Cardinal.

St. Louis’ offense got on the board in the second inning on a solo home run by Tyler O’Neill.  Dexter Fowler added his own bases-empty shot in the fifth.  An RBI single by Yadier Molina in the sixth and a two run home run by Paul DeJong in the eighth rounded out the Redbirds scoring.  Kolten Wong and Paul Goldschmidt contributed two hits each and Goldschmidt scored two of the five runs.

Tommy Edman committed a fielding error and was caught stealing in the third inning.

Saturday, July 25 – Cardinals 9, Pirates 1

In the second game of the weekend series with Pittsburgh, St. Louis’ offense hammered Pirates pitching in a 9-1 slaughter on Saturday.  Only one long ball contributed to the effort, a solo blast by Paul Goldschmidt in the first inning.

Adam Wainwright (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

RBI singles by Dexter Fowler and Yadier Molina in the fourth inning put two additional runs on the board for a 3-1 lead.  In the seventh, Paul DeJong’s single and Matt Carpenter’s double plated four runs to increase the lead to 7-1.

In the eighth, Tommy Edman tripled to the left center gap to bring the final two runs home.  In total the Cardinals offense had 10 hits, two each by Goldschmidt and DeJong. Kolten Wong, Goldschmidt, DeJong, and Harrison Bader each scored two runs.  Bader stole his first base of the season.

Adam Wainwright pitched a quality start, going six innings and giving up only one run.  The veteran right hander allowed three hits, one walk, and struck out five.

John Gant followed Wainwright with 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Tyler Webb got the last out of the eighth and the first two outs of the ninth before Daniel Ponce de Leon secured the final out.

Sunday, July 26 – Cardinals 1, Pirates 5

In the final game of the weekend opening series vs. Pittsburgh, the Cardinals offense and pitching faltered as the Pirates took a 5-1 victory over the Redbirds at Busch Stadium.

Dakota Hudson got the start for the Cardinals and it went fine for the first three innings. The right hander gave up a hit in each of the first three frames but kept the Pirates off the board.  In the fourth, however, the wheels came off the bus after Hudson struck out the first two batters.  With a 2-2 count against Colin Moran, Hudson hung a slider and Moran thumped it over the fence in right field.  He gave up a single to Phillip Evans and then Jose Osuna homered on the first pitch he saw from Hudson and the score was 3-1 Pirates.  In the fifth, Hudson yielded a double and a walk and was pulled.  Austin Gomber relieved and the fourth run scored on a sac fly to center.

Gomber continued to pitch for 1 2/3 innings before being Kodi Whitley took over.  Whitley, making his major league debut, pitched a scoreless seventh.  Andrew Miller relieved in the eighth and gave up the fifth and final Pirates run.  Junior Fernandez tossed a scoreless ninth.  Hudson took the loss.

The sole Cardinals run came in the third inning.  Lane Thomas drew a walk but was thrown out advancing on a wild pitch when he overslid second base.  Kolten Wong singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch and Tommy Edman drove him home on a single.

St. Louis’ offense managed just five hits, one each from Wong, Edman, Goldschmidt, DeJong and Molina.  Goldschmidt was thrown out attempting to extend his single to a double.

Molina was his stellar self behind the plate, catching a runner stealing and picking off another runner at first base.

The Big Picture

The Cardinals’ opening series was a success, as they took 2 of 3 from the Pirates.  Offense was plentiful in the first two games, but not on Sunday.  Most of the offense came from the top half of the lineup, though Dexter Fowler and Tyler O’Neill contributed as well, especially in the first game.  The 9th spot in the lineup was hitless, though Harrison Bader got on base and scored.

Pitching by Flaherty and Wainwright in the first two games was very good.  Hudson was shaky in his start.  The bullpen thus far has been good.  Starters Carlos Martinez and Miles Mikolas have yet to pitch.

Defense has been very good and so has baserunning for the most part, minus the miscues by Lane Thomas and Goldschmidt in Game 3.

The Cardinals play a two-game series against the Twins in Minnesota mid-week, and then take on the Brewers in Milwaukee over the weekend.  Both teams will be tough.  A split in Minnesota and a series win in Milwaukee would put the Redbirds in a good spot.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
St. Louis 2 1 0.667
Chicago 2 1 0.667
Cincinnati 1 2 0.333 1
Milwaukee 1 2 0.333 1
Pittsburgh 1 2 0.333 1

Cardinals set Opening Day roster

The Opening Day roster for the 2020 season was announced by the Cardinals on Thursday.  Each team can have up to 30 players for the first two weeks of the season.  After two weeks, the roster must be reduced to 28, and two weeks thereafter must be reduced to the final 26 for the remainder of the season.

Giovanny Gallegos (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

The initial 29 was announced via a tweet by the Cardinals account.  The final spot is expected to be given to Giovanny Gallegos.  The reliever has been throwing to live hitters and will likely be available by Tuesday’s game against Minnesota.

The remaining players in the 60-man pool who participated in Summer Camp in St. Louis have been sent to the Alternate Camp Site in Springfield.  This list includes top prospect Dylan Carlson, who is likely to make his major league debut sometime in the shortened 2020 season.  That camp is already under way under the direction of Jose Oquendo.

The Cardinals also announced that RHP Jake Woodford and 2B Max Schrock will be the taxi squad for upcoming road games.  Each team is allowed up to three non roster players in the taxi squad and if there is three one must be a catcher. Given that the Cardinals have three catchers on the active roster it was felt two players on the taxi squad would be sufficient.

MLB and MLBPA agree to expanded playoffs for 2020

Major League Baseball and the Players Association reached an agreement this past week on expanding playoffs in the 2020 season to a 16-team format.

The agreement sets out the parameters, which includes eight teams from each league taking part in playoffs that include the normal Wild Card round, followed by a Division Series, a League Championship Series, and a World Series.

The players, who would not have received any salaries in the current playoff model since there would be no gate revenue, are guaranteed at least $50 million under the new agreement if the post-season can be played.

There will be differences other than the expanded number of teams.  The Wild Card Series will be a best of three series rather than the normal one and done Wild Card Game.  Also, the series will feature all eight teams in each league instead of only Wild Card teams, seeded 1 through 8.  The Division winners will be seeded 1 through 3, the second place teams in each division will be seeded 4 through 6 and the two Wild Card teams in each league will be seeded 7 and 8.  Wild Card teams will be decided in the traditional way, by record.

The Series format will be #1 seed against #8 seed, #2 vs. #7, #3 vs. #6, and #4 vs. #5.  Ties will be resolved based on head to head record, then intradivision record if there is still a tie, and if a tie still exists, based on record in the final 20 Division games.  All Wild Card games will be played at the higher seed’s ballpark.  Having all games played in one location for the entire series cuts down on travel.

The winners will advance to the Division Series, a best of five series in the traditional 2-2-1 format.  The higher seed receives home field advantage.  Winner of 1 vs 8 will play winner of 4 vs 5. Winner of 2 vs 7 will play winner of 3 vs 6.

The Championship Series will be a best of seven in the traditional 2-3-2 format.  The winner of 1/8 and 4/5 will play the winner of 2/7 and 3/6.  Higher seed gets home field advantage.

The World Series will remain a best of seven in the traditional format, AL winner vs NL winner.  Highest regular season record of the two teams gets home field advantage.

The first round is scheduled to begin Tuesday, September 29 through Friday, October 2.  All but one series will be televised by ESPN. The other series will be televised by TBS.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions 

  • 7/22 The Cardinals placed 2B Brad Miller on the 10-day injured list retroactive to July 20, 2020. Right ankle bursitis.
  • 7/22 The Cardinals released LHP Brett Cecil.
  • 7/23 The Cardinals selected the contract of Kodi Whitley from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 7/23 The Cardinals recalled LF Austin Dean, RHP Junior Fernandez, C Andrew Knizner, and SS Edmundo Sosa from the Alternate Training Site.

Injury Report

  • RHP John Brebbia underwent Tommy John surgery on June 1. He will miss the entire 2020 season.
  • RHP Jordan Hicks (Tommy John surgery) has opted out of the 2020 season. Hicks, a Type 1 diabetic, made the decision to opt out and was placed on the restricted list.
  • 3B Brad Miller (right ankle bursitis) has been placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to July 20. Miller was sent to the Alternate Camp for rehab and the expectation is that he will be available for the Brewers series that begins on Friday.
  • RHP Giovanny Gallegos remains on the injured list but has begun throwing to live hitters. Gallegos is expected to be ready to play on Tuesday in Minnesota.
  • RHPs Alex Reyes and Genesis Cabrera (previously quarantined for positive COVID-19 test) are said to be “progressing nicely” at the Alternate Camp Site in Springfield. Both pitchers are throwing bullpen sessions and will throw again on Monday.  Should all be well they will progress to live batting practice.

Looking Ahead

After an off day on Monday, July 27, the Cardinals will play a two-game series against the Twins in Minnesota.  Carlos Martinez is scheduled to make the Tuesday start followed by Miles Mikolas on Wednesday.

The team will travel on Thursday to Milwaukee to begin a three-game series on Friday against the Brewers.  The Cardinals will then shift to Detroit for a two-game set.

The team will then return home for an eight-game homestand starting next Wednesday. It begins with two against those same Tigers and a three-game weekend series versus the Cubs.

The full 60-game schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

This week’s Blast From the Past takes a look at a snapshot in the career of Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial.  “The Man” hit 475 home runs over his 22-year career and this week we look at five particular home runs that he hit on the same day, July 22, in five consecutive seasons.

Stan Musial

On July 22, 1947, The Cardinals defeated the New York Giants 10-5 at Sportsman’s Park.  In the bottom of the third inning with Red Schoendienst on base with a leadoff walk, Musial hit home run #62 of his career off Giants starter Monty Kennedy.  This long ball was followed by a solo shot from teammate Whitey Kurowski to the give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead.  Musial went 3-for-4 with a double and a single in addition to the home run.

On July 22, 1948, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Giants, Musial hit home run #94 of his career.  The Cardinals were the victors 7-6 in 11 innings.  The home run, a two run shot, came in the seventh inning off Giants pitcher Clem Dreisewerd.  The long ball was preceded by an RBI triple from teammate Marty Marion.  Musial was 2-for-6 with a double he hit off the same pitcher in the ninth inning.

One year later, on July 22, 1949, the Cardinals played the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field.  In the first inning Musial hit a solo home run off Dodger starter Preacher Roe, the 127th of his career. In addition to the home run, Stan singled to center field in the 5th inning.  The Cardinals won, 3-1.

On July 22, 1950, Musial hit career home run #159 in the second game of a doubleheader with the Boston Braves.  The Cardinals prevailed by an 11-7 score.  The box score does not indicate in what inning the home run occurred, but it was hit off Warren Spahn, who pitched 4 2/3 innings.  Musial was a particular nemesis of Spahn in the home run department.  Musial went 3-for-5 that day.

Stan Musial

Musial launched career home run #193 on July 22, 1951.  This was the only one of the five games the Cardinals lost, as the Brooklyn Dodgers prevailed 9-2 at Ebbets Field.  The long ball, good for two runs, came in the ninth inning off Carl Erskine.  Musial went 2-for-4.

After a break of three years, Musial also hit a solo home run on July 22, 1955, #314, against Phillies pitcher Murry Dickson in the first game of a doubleheader in Connie Mack Stadium.  The Cardinals lost 6-3.

By way of reference, Musial’s first major league home run, good for two runs, was hit off Rip Sewell on September 23, 1941 in the second game of a doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The home run came hit one week after Musial’s major league debut.

Cardinals scorecard, September 23, 1941 (Mark Stang)

Musial’s last career home run, #475, occurred on September 16, 1963 against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Busch Stadium.  The bases-empty blast to right field in the seventh inning against Johnny Podres was Musial’s only hit, as the Cardinals lost 3-1.


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