All posts by Marilyn Green

St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of October 8-14

photo: Adam Wainwright (USA TODAY Sports Images)

As the 2018 MLB Championship Series continue, the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to bring back Adam Wainwright for 2019. In our weekly history feature, the trade that brought the right-hander from Atlanta in 2003 is remembered.


Wainwright to return for 2019

Adam Wainwright (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The speculation over whether Adam Wainwright would return to the St. Louis Cardinals or find a new home as a free agent came to an end this past week with the announcement that Wainwright and the Cardinals had agreed to a one-year contract for 2019.

The 37-year old veteran right handed pitcher’s deal reportedly has a low base salary and is loaded with incentives to potentially increase its value.  Those incentives cover both starting and relieving roles.  The financial terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed and will not until after the World Series, when the contract is made official.

Wainwright missed most of the 2018 season via three disabled list stints due to elbow ailments, but returned to the roster in September and made four starts.  In those four starts, Wainwright allowed 12 earned runs over 22 1/3 innings for an ERA of 4.84.  The right hander struck out 25 and walked four.  The Cardinals won three of Wainwright’s four starts.

St. Louis general manager Michael Girsch has disclosed that Wainwright will come to Spring Training as a starter, and the team will evaluate his role from there.  2019 will be the right hander’s 15th season with the Cardinals, matching Bob Forsch for third most by a Cardinals pitcher.

TCN’s Brian Walton outlined his concerns about the downstream ramifications of this move.

Wainwright’s Return Puts the Pressure on Shildt


Carlos Martinez (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Martinez back into the rotation

Carlos Martinez, who spent the latter weeks of the 2018 in the bullpen, including a final stretch as closer, will return to his regular role as a starter for 2019.  This came from comments by manager Mike Shildt to Rick Hummel of the Post-Dispatch.

However, the manager stopped short of anointing 2018 rookie Jordan Hicks as the club’s new closer for 2019.


Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

A number of Cardinals fans on social media became excited this past week over an unearthed five-year old tweet from free agent-to-be Bryce Harper in which the outfielder stated how much he enjoyed playing in St. Louis.


Transactions  

  • 10/1 The Cardinals recalled RHP Conner Greene from the Memphis Redbirds
  • 10/1 The Cardinals recalled RHP Derian Gonzalez from the Memphis Redbirds
  • 10/1 The Cardinals recalled RHP Matt Bowman from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 10/1 The Cardinals recalled LF Justin Williams from the Memphis Redbirds.

These are nothing more than annual paperwork moves for all 40-man roster players not already with St. Louis when the regular season ended.

In the next 30 days, the Cardinals are expected to prune several players from the 40-man roster in preparation for Rule 5 draft protection decisions due next month.


Marcell Ozuna (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Injury Report

Marcell Ozuna – There is no update to an earlier report by agent Scott Boras that his client would have his sore right shoulder evaluated by his doctor in Los Angeles with an off-season plan for the outfielder, whether surgery or rehab, to follow.

Ozuna has one more season, 2019, under team control before becoming free agent eligible.


Looking Ahead

Bud Norris (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The postseason continues with the Championship Series in both leagues underway.  The postseason will conclude no later than October 31.

All offseason activities will begin after the World Series ends.  Pending free agents will become official free agents the day after the Word Series.  Free agents can sign with any club beginning five days after the World Series.  Adam Wainwright has agreed to a one-year deal to return in 2019.  The terms of the new deal will not be announced until after the end of the World Series.

With the Wainwright agreement, the Cardinals pending free agents are now Bud Norris, Tyson Ross, and Matt Adams.  There have been no indications as of this writing of intentions to re-sign any of them.

The 40-man roster must be finalized prior to the upcoming Rule 5 draft in December.  The deadline for doing so is on or about November 20.  Paper transactions to recall the final four optioned 40-man roster players have already occurred (see above).

The non-tender deadline is November 30.  The Cardinals have five arbitration eligible players.  They are Marcell Ozuna, Michael Wacha, Dominic Leone, Chasen Shreve, and Greg Garcia.  Of them, Garcia is the most likely non-tender candidate.


Blast from the Past

It was announced this past week that the Cardinals and Adam Wainwright have agreed to a one-year deal for the veteran right handed pitchers’ return to the Cardinals for 2019.   The trade that brought Wainwright to the Cardinals will be the subject of this week’s trade or acquisition series for Blast from the Past.

Adam Wainwright (Atlanta Braves)

Wainwright was originally selected by the Atlanta Braves in the first round of the 2000 draft, 29th overall.   He spent four seasons in the Braves system with his final year being 2003 with the Double-A Greenville Braves.  Wainwright was the Braves No. 1 prospect in 2003.

That December, the Braves traded Wainwright to the Cardinals along with Jason Marquis and Ray King, with the Braves receiving J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero in return.  Wainwright was assigned to the Cardinals Triple-A affiliate, the Memphis Redbirds, in 2004.  The right-hander pitched in just 12 games before being shut down the remainder of the season with an elbow strain.  Wainwright started 29 games with Memphis in 2005 and made his major league debut with St. Louis on September 11, 2005.

J.D Drew (Getty Images)

Wainwright made the Opening Day roster in 2006 as a reliever, and pitched in the bullpen for the entire season, ending 2006 as the Cardinals’ closer following the injury to Jason Isringhausen in September.  In that role, Wainwright made a name for himself, getting the final out of the 2006 NLCS with a perfect curve ball to future teammate Carlos Beltran to advance the Cardinals to the World Series.  In that series, Wainwright struck out Detroit’s Brandon Inge for the final out to give St. Louis the 2006 World Series Championship.

Wainwright returned in 2007 as a starter, a role which he has retained throughout his Cardinals’ career.  That career has included three all-star appearances, two Gold Glove awards, one Silver Slugger award and two Cy Young Award runners up.  It is a career that most surely will put Wainwright in the Cardinals Hall of Fame.

On the Braves end of the trade, they received career years from both Drew and Marrero in 2004.  That was about all they got, however, while the Cardinals received much, much more. This is certainly one of the better trades in Cardinals history.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

TCN 2018 Cardinals Minor League Reliever of the Year


Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

© 2018 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – October 13, 2018

photo: Andy Young (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Two Cardinals contributed to the Surprise Saguaros’ Friday afternoon win. Lane Thomas and Andy Young scored two of the Saguaros’ four runs, and Young drove in his Memphis teammate.

Results for the game played on Friday, October 12.

Lane Thomas (Springfield Cardinals)

Surprise Saguaros 4, Glendale Desert Dogs 1

Two Cardinals minor leaguers were in the starting lineup for the Saguaros on Friday, and they contributed to the defeat of the Desert Dogs of Glendale, 4-1.

Outfielder Lane Thomas started in right field and batted fifth for Surprise, and in his first at bat of the game drew a walk and later scored on a single by Memphis teammate Andy Young.  Thomas grounded out and struck out in his next two at bats but drew a second walk in his final at bat, going 1-for-2 with one run scored.  Thomas also stole his second base of the Fall League in his first at bat, which put him in a position to score on Young’s single.

Andy Young (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

Young was the starting second baseman for Surprise and the number eight hitter went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.  Young drove in Thomas in his first at bat, a single in the second inning. The second sacker followed that with a pop out and a strikeout.  In his last at bat in the eighth inning, Young doubled to center field then later scored on a single by Surprise teammate Nick Heath, a Kansas City Royals minor leaguer and the Saguaros’ left fielder.

No other Cardinals saw action.

Saturday’s game:  No AFL games scheduled.  The Bowman Hitting Challenge will take place in Sloan Park at 8:35 p.m. CT. Each of the 30 MLB teams will have one player participating in the modified home run derby, with Andy Young representing St. Louis.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Projected 2018 Cardinals Minor League Free Agents


Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

© 2018 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of October 1-7

photo: Matt Carpenter (Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports)

Matt Carpenter (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Carpenter finalist for Hank Aaron Award

Matt Carpenter has been named the St. Louis Cardinals’ nominee for the Hank Aaron Award, given annually to the best overall hitter in each league.  Voting for the award is currently underway and runs through the end of the day on Monday, October 8.

The annual event began in 1999 to honor the 25th anniversary of Aaron’s breaking of Babe Ruth’s home run record.  In addition to fan voting, a panel of Hall of Fame players and Aaron himself also vote.

Only one Cardinal has won the award in the National League – Albert Pujols in both 2003 and 2009.

Final Regular Season and Wild Card Standings

NL Central W L PCT GB E#
Milwaukee 96 67 0.589   —-
Chicago 95 68 0.583 1       E
St. Louis 88 74 0.543 7       E
Pittsburgh 82 79 0.509 12.5       E
Cincinnati 67 95 0.414 28       E
WC Standings W L GB E#
Chicago 95 68 Plus 4       —-
Colorado 91 72    —-       —-
St. Louis 88 74 3         E
Pittsburgh 82 79 8.5         E
Arizona 82 80 9         E

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

The Cardinals and pending free agent Adam Wainwright have had “general discussions” about his possible return for 2019, reports Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch

Transactions 

There are no transactions to report.

Paul DeJong (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Injury Report

SS Paul DeJong underwent surgery last week to remove a plate that had been inserted to promote healing of his fractured left hand earlier in the season.  DeJong is expected to have a normal offseason.

2B Kolten Wong has been prescribed rest rather than surgery to remove loose cartilage in his left knee. Favoring that knee is believed to be the cause of his subsequent hamstring problems that limited him in September.

Looking Ahead

While the 2018 postseason play continues without the Cardinals participating for the third consecutive season, the organization has yet to have its end of season press conference that had been an annual event.  No date has been set for the press conference, but one is expected to occur in the near future.

All off-season activities will begin after the World Series ends.  Pending free agents will become official free agents the day after the World Series.  Free agents can sign with any club beginning five days after the World Series.

The Cardinals’ pending free agents are Adam Wainwright, Bud Norris, Tyson Ross and Matt Adams.  Wainwright and the Cardinals are having conversations about a possible return for the right handed pitcher.  There have been no indications that the Cardinals are interested in re-signing the remaining three.

The non-tender deadline is November 30.  The Cardinals have five arbitration eligible players.  They are Marcell Ozuna, Michael Wacha, Dominic Leone, Chasen Shreve and Greg Garcia.  Garcia is a possible non-tender candidate.

Rosters must be finalized on or about November 20 to prepare for the Rule 5 draft in December.  This of course means there will be subtractions from the 40-man to make room for players the Cardinals wish to protect.  The four pending free agents will come off the roster, absent one or more of them being re-signed for 2019.  Any non-tender candidates are also potential subtractions.

Blast from the Past

Now that the regular season is over, and the Cardinals are not in the postseason, the history segments will move to a series of articles about famous and infamous trades or signings by the Cardinals.  The first in this series is about a Cardinal whose trade is probably the most impactful trade in the history of major league baseball – not because of the trade itself, but because of its impact on the game.

Curt Flood (Associated Press photo)

I am of course talking about the trade of Curt Flood to the Philadelphia Phillies on October 7, 1969.  The historical significance is not who the Cardinals received in the trade or whether the trade was good or bad for either team.  The aftermath of the trade changed the game of baseball forever.

The Cardinals traded Flood to the Phillies along with Tim McCarver, Byron Browne, and Joe Hoerner, for Dick Allen, Cookie Rojas, and Jerry Johnson.  Flood refused to report to the Phillies, citing various reasons, including the belief of Flood, who was African American, that Phillies fans were racist.  Flood also cited his desire not to move to Philadelphia after 12 years in St. Louis.

Whatever the reasons for Flood’s refusal to report, Flood met with the head of the Players’ Union, Marvin Miller, and decided to pursue legal options to stop the trade.

What followed was the landmark case Flood v. Kuhn (407 U.S. 258) which was argued before the Supreme Court on March 20, 1972.  The case was an effort by Flood to attack Major League Baseball’s Reserve Clause, asserting that the provision violated anti-trust and labor laws.  Major League Baseball had operated under an exemption to the Antitrust Laws since 1922, when the Supreme Court decided Federal Baseball v. National League (259 U.S 200).  The Court in 1972 ruled against Flood and for Major League Baseball, citing the Federal Baseball case as precedent.  However, the court conceded that the antitrust exemption was based on tenuous grounds, and that baseball was indeed a part of interstate commerce.

The decision didn’t help Flood, but it propelled other players to challenge the Reserve Clause.  Three years later, the National Labor Relations Board, who claimed jurisdiction over baseball because of the ruling in the Flood case that baseball operated in interstate commerce, ruled in favor of free agency for two players.  Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally were granted free agency after they played out a year without signing new contracts.  This arbitrator’s decision is considered the beginning of baseball free agency.

Flood’s legacy continued with the Curt Flood Act of 1998, which declared that baseball was subject to the federal antitrust laws, and Major League Baseball’s 10/5 rule, called The Curt Flood Rule, which requires a player’s consent to a trade when the player has played for 10 years total and five years with his current club.

Flood never played a day for the Phillies.  After sitting out the 1970 season, Flood was traded to the Washington Senators in November 1970, but played in only 13 games before retiring from baseball.  He died of throat cancer on January 20, 1997.

Despite the huge impact Flood had on baseball and his legacy of putting the end of the Reserve Clause in motion, Flood has never been officially recognized for his contributions by an induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  There are many who strongly believe both Flood and Marvin Miller deserve such recognition. (Flood was named to the Cardinals team Hall of Fame in its second class, in 2015.)

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

TCN 2018 Peoria Chiefs Player of the Year

Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

© 2018 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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

photo: Miles Mikolas (Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals crumbled in the final week, going just 1-5, to miss the playoffs for the third consecutive season. Miles Mikolas earned the only win. In our weekly history feature, the 2011 NLCS against the Brewers is remembered.


Game Recaps

Monday, September 24 – Cardinals 4, Brewers 6

In the final week of the regular season, the St. Louis Cardinals had a two-game lead for the second wild card with two crucial series against the Brewers and the Cubs just ahead.

The first game of the Brewers series, which Milwaukee made a bullpen game, ended in defeat for the Redbirds.  Jack Flaherty got the start and pitched 5 1/3 innings, during which he gave up three runs on four hits.  Dakota Hudson secured the final two outs of the sixth.  Jordan Hicks surrendered one run in the seventh and Bud Norris allowed a run in the eighth. Mike Mayers, Tyler Webb, and Dominic Leone combined for the ninth, with Mayers giving up the sixth Brewers run. Norris was tagged with the loss.

The Cardinals got on the board in the third on Matt Carpenter’s RBI double.  In the sixth, Jose Martinez hit a solo home run and Marcell Ozuna followed with a two-run shot.    Martinez went 2-for-5.

Norris made an error on a pickoff and Ozuna had an outfield assist.


Tuesday, September 25 – Cardinals 4, Brewers 12

If the first game of the series was bad, the second game was worse.  Cardinals pitching could not contain the Brewers bats.  Austin Gomber gave up five runs in 3 2/3 innings pitched.  In the fourth, the left hander gave up three consecutive singles and was replaced by Tyson Ross with two outs and two runners on.  Ross walked his first batter, then gave up a bases clearing triple before getting the final out of the inning.  Ross returned to pitch to one out in the fifth, Dominic Leone got the final two outs of the fifth.  Chasen Shreve and John Brebbia combined to pitch two scoreless innings.  Mike Mayers started the eighth and yielded two runs.  Brett Cecil got the final out of the eighth, then returned for the ninth and surrendered three more runs.  Giovanny Gallegos collected the final out of the game.

Yadier Molina’s three-run home run in the fourth inning put the Cardinals on the board.  Paul DeJong’s sac fly in the fifth represented the fourth and final Redbird run.

Defense was an issue in this game, with three errors, fielding miscues by Kolten Wong and Matt Adams, and a bad throw by Paul DeJong.


Wednesday, September 26 – Cardinals 1, Brewers 2

The Brewers swept the Cardinals in the final game of the series and more or less dashed the hopes for Cardinals fans looking for a postseason appearance.  The Redbirds offense was practically nonexistent, with only two hits and one run, via Jedd Gyorko’s sac fly in the fourth inning.  The two hits were a double by Paul DeJong and a single by Jose Martinez.

John Gant started for the Cardinals, and pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up one run on four hits. Chasen Shreve replaced Gant and walked his only hitter.  Dakota Hudson allowed the inherited runner to score but got the final two outs of the inning.  Jordan Hicks and Carlos Martinez combined to pitch the final three scoreless innings.  Shreve was tagged with the loss.

Yairo Munoz made a fielding error.  Jose Martinez had an outfield assist.


Thursday, September 27- Off day


Friday, September 28 – Cardinals 4 at Cubs 8

The Cardinals traveled to Chicago for the final series of the regular season against the Cubs.  Adam Wainwright made what could be his final pitching performance with St. Louis.  Wainwright pitched five innings and gave up four runs on five hits while fanning seven and walking one.  Tyler Webb and John Brebbia combined for a scoreless sixth.  Bud Norris started the seventh, walked the first batter and gave up a single to the second.  A throwing error put runners on second and third with no outs.  Chasen Shreve gave up a sac fly that scored a run charged to Norris but got all three outs of the inning.

Jordan Hicks began the eighth and struck out the first batter, but then the wheels came off the bus.  Hicks gave up a single to Jason Heyward and hit Kris Bryant with a pitch.  Wilson Contreras grounded into a force out and Heyward was out at third, but a throwing error by Jedd Gyorko put Bryant on third and Contreras on second.  Hicks then walked Tommy LaStella to load the bases and then followed that with a walk to David Bote to score Bryant.  Hicks was replaced by Dominic Leone, who gave up a single to Albert Almora that scored Contreras and Bote, with both runs charged to Hicks.

The offense didn’t put runs on the board until the sixth, when Matt Carpenter scored on Paul DeJong’s ground out and Marcell Ozuna plated Jose Martinez via a single.  Tyler O’Neill drove in a run in the ninth on a single, then scored on a fielding error.

More baserunning and defensive woes occurred, with Harrison Bader picked off first base, Jedd Gyorko making two throwing errors and Kolten Wong with a fielding miscue.


Saturday, September 29 – Cardinals 2 at Cubs 1

Miles Mikolas (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals finally won a game during the last week, defeating the Cubs to temporarily stave off postseason elimination.  It didn’t last long, as the later win by the Dodgers ended their October hopes for the third consecutive year.

Miles Mikolas made the start and pitched well.  The right-hander went eight innings, giving up only on unearned run while striking out six.  Mikolas earned his 18th win.  Carlos Martinez tossed a scoreless ninth.

For the scoring, Paul DeJong singled in a run in the fourth and Matt Carpenter plated a run on a single in the fifth.

Yairo Munoz committed a fielding error that led to the unearned run.


Sunday, September 30 – Cardinals 5 at Cubs 10

In the final regular season game, an effort to send the Cubs to the Wild Card game instead of a Division championship fell short.  The Cardinals began well, scoring two runs in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead.  The lead only lasted until the third inning.

Jack Flaherty gave up four runs in the third inning and was removed with two outs.  Three runs scored before Flaherty was replaced by Chasen Shreve, who gave up an RBI single by Jason Heyward.  Austin Gomber pitched a scoreless fourth, but then got into trouble in the fifth.  The inning began with a single by Javier Baez, followed by an Anthony Rizzo double.  Kris Bryant then doubled to score both.  Gomber got Jason Heyward and Albert Almora out, but then gave up a two run home run to Willson Contreras.  Gomber finally got out of the inning by striking out Alec Mills.  Tyler Webb started the sixth, got the first two outs, then gave up a double to Baez and walked Rizzo.  In came Dakota Hudson.  Kris Bryant hit a ground ball that was fielded by Matt Carpenter, but Hudson couldn’t catch the throw at first base and Baez scored.  Hudson walked Heyward, gave up a single to Almora that scored Rizzo, then struck out Contreras to end the inning.  The two unearned runs were charged to Webb.  Daniel Poncedeleon and Mike Mayers pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth.

The two first-inning runs scored on singles by Paul DeJong and Patrick Wisdom.  Yairo Munoz drove in two runs on a single in the sixth and was hit by a pitch in the seventh with the bases loaded for the Cardinals’ final run of the game and season.

Jose Martinez threw out Baez at home plate for an outfield assist.


Big Picture

The Cardinals ended the final week of the season going 1-5 in two must-win series against the Brewers and Cubs.  The only win was on Saturday at Chicago.  The 88-74 final record for the Cardinals put them in third place in the NL Central for the second consecutive season. They finished seven games back in the division and three games out of a share of a wild card.

The issues with the Cardinals during the week were inconsistent offense, a bullpen that couldn’t keep runners off the bases, and the resurgence of some very poor defense.  Starting pitching was also inconsistent.  Miles Mikolas pitched a very good game, and John Gant was decent.  Flaherty made two starts this week, both of which were not up to his usual standards.  Adam Wainwright faltered somewhat in his final start, and Austin Gomber was not good in his one start.

Defensive issues have plagued the Cardinals all season, in fact for the second straight year.  It would get better for a while, then resurface.  There were numerous errors this week especially.

At a time when wins were crucial for that final postseason push, the Cardinals basically fell apart.  Though the team was not officially eliminated until after the second game of the Cubs series, the sweep at the hands of the Brewers was really the death knell to the season and the Tuesday loss in what appeared to be a very winnable game set the stage.


Author’s opinion on the season and the upcoming offseason

2018 began much like the previous two seasons under Mike Matheny.  It appeared to be just another repeat year, with listless offense, serious bullpen issues, poor defense and baserunning.

Mike Shildt (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Things changed when Mike Matheny was dismissed and Mike Shildt replaced him.  The team appeared to be energized and the offense picked up.  Changes were made to the bullpen that were an improvement.  The defense seemed to be better.

The month of August was a lot of fun.  The team made a serious run for the postseason.  The midseason trade of Tommy Pham led to a starting center field position for Harrison Bader.  Bader took advantage of his opportunity and shined throughout the month of August, giving the team the burst they needed.  He was a lot of fun to watch.  Cardinal Nation’s hopes were high.

Much of the energy began to fizzle in September.  Matt Carpenter’s offense cooled off considerably.  The strikeouts increased.  Usual offensive standouts like Jose Martinez and Jedd Gyorko began to take poor at bats.  Gyorko especially slumped during the last two weeks.  The much improved bullpen took a nose dive.  Way too many walks and runners put on bases.  By the final week, the team appeared to be completely out of gas.  The last week was a huge disappointment.

This author places blame on no particular person or persons.  Perhaps the run in August wore everyone out.  Whatever the cause, the team-wide slump was a disaster for October hopes.

This author hopes the organization makes some significant changes in the offseason.  A middle of the order bat is a necessity.  The team needs a star.  The starting rotation has this author concerned as well.  There are question marks of health and effectiveness for all starters except Jack Flaherty and Miles Mikolas.  The health of Alex Reyes and Michael Wacha is a concern.  Luke Weaver had a very poor season and his effectiveness as a starter is in doubt.  Carlos Martinez spent the final month in the bullpen but also had health issues all season.  The possibility of adding a starter should be considered in this author’s opinion.

Spring Training next season should focus on the defense issues that plagued the team all season.  The defense must improve.


Standings pending Monday tiebreaker games

NL Central W L PCT GB E#
Chicago 95 67 0.586    –
Milwaukee 95 67 0.586    –
St. Louis 88 74 0.543 7 E
Pittsburgh 82 79 0.509 12.5 E
Cincinnati 67 95 0.414 28 E
Wild Card standings W L GB E#
Colorado 91 71     –        –
Los Angeles 91 71     –        –
St Louis 88 74 3 E
Pittsburgh 82 79 8.5 E
Arizona 82 80 9 E

Who’s Hot

Over the past six games (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

  • Miles Mikolas had an ERA of 0.60 and a WHIP of 0.47.
  • John Brebbia had an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.90.
  • Dominic Leone had an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.75.
  • Dakota Hudson had an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.29.
  • Giovanny Gallegos had an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.75.
  • Carlos Martinez had an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.67.
  • Tyler Webb had an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00.
  • Jose Martinez had an OPS of .970. He had one HR, four doubles and three RBI.

Who’s Not

Over the past six games (does not contain recent Sunday game results)

  • Jedd Gyorko had an OPS of .249.
  • Yadier Molina had an OPS of .447.
  • Austin Gomber had an ERA of 12.27 and a WHIP of 1.91.
  • Adam Wainwright had an ERA of 7.20 and a WHIP of 1.20.
  • Jordan Hicks had an ERA of 13.50 and a WHIP of 2.63.
  • Tyson Ross had an ERA of 27.00 and a WHIP of 9.00.
  • Mike Mayers had an ERA of 27.00 and a WHIP of 4.00.
  • Brett Cecil has an ERA of 27.00 and a WHIP of 3.00.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last seven games.

  • The leadoff hitter was Matt Carpenter.
  • The number two hitter was Jose Martinez.
  • The number three hitter was Paul DeJong.
  • The cleanup hitter was Marcell Ozuna for six games and Tyler O’Neill for one game.
  • The fifth hitter was Jedd Gyorko for five games, and Yadier Molina and Patrick Wisdom for one game each.
  • The sixth hitter was Yadier Molina for five games, and Gyorko and Harrison Bader for one game each.
  • The seventh hitter was Bader for four games, Kolten Wong for two games and Yairo Munoz for one game.
  • The eighth hitter was Munoz for three games, Bader for two games, and Wong and Francisco Pena for one game each.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions  

There are no transactions to report.


Injury Report

There are no new injuries to report.


Looking Ahead

With St. Louis’ final game of the regular season played, and with the club eliminated from postseason contention, Cardinals fans can only watch other teams play in October.

Because of ties for the division championships in both the NL Central and NL West, there will be two tiebreaker games played on Monday, October 1 to decide the Division winners and the two Wild Card teams in the NL.  The Brewers will play the Cubs at 12:05 and the Dodgers will play the Rockies at 3:09.  On Tuesday, the two NL Wild Card teams will play.  The AL Wild Card game between the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees will follow on October 3.  The NLDS begins on October 4 and the ALDS begins on October 5.

The NLCS is set to begin on October 12 followed by the start of the ALCS on October 13.  The first game of the World Series is scheduled for Oct 24.

After the World Series is over, the Hot Stove season begins.


Blast from the Past

This week’s postseason history segment reminisces about the 2011 National League Championship Series between the Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers.  The Brewers were the NL Central Division Champions while the Cardinals entered the postseason as the NL Wild Card.  The Brewers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in their Division Series, and the Cardinals edged the Philadelphia Phillies in the other.

The first two games of the NLDS were played at Miller Park in Milwaukee.  On October 9, the Brewers beat the Cardinals 9-6.  The Cardinals took the initial 1-0 lead, but the Brewers came back to score two.  St. Louis took the lead back with three runs in the fourth and one run in the fifth to make it 5-2.  A big 6 run sixth inning for the Brewers put the game out of reach, though the Cardinals were able to add one more run in the seventh.  Jaime Garcia was the losing pitcher.  David Freese hit a three-run home in the fourth.

The Cardinals came roaring back to take Game 2 by the score of 12-3.  The Cardinals had 17 hits with home runs by Albert Pujols and David Freese.  Pujols also had three doubles and five RBI.  The winning pitcher was Lance Lynn.  The loser was Shaun Marcum.

Game 3 moved to St. Louis.  The Cardinals won 4-3.  All four Cards runs were scored in the first inning.  Rafael Furcal singled, and Jon Jay and Albert Pujols hit back to back doubles.  The last two runs scored on a double play with the bases loaded and no outs, and on a David Freese double.  St. Louis winning pitcher Chris Carpenter gave up two runs in the second inning and one in the third.

The Brewers came back to win Game 4 to tie the series 2-2.  The score was 4-2.  The Cardinals runs came on solo home runs by Matt Holliday and Allen Craig.  Kyle Lohse took the loss.  This author was present at that game, sitting in the third deck, first row, directly behind home plate.

Game 5 was the final game in St. Louis, which the Cardinals won, 7-1. All seven Cardinals runs came via small ball or Brewers errors, of which there were four.  The winning pitcher was reliever Octavio Dotel.  Zack Greinke was the loser.

Game 6 moved back to Milwaukee.  It ended in a 12-6 blowout by the Cardinals and an advancement to the World Series.  David Freese hit a three-run home run, Rafael Furcal added a solo home run, and Albert Pujols launched a two-run shot.  The win again came off Brewers starter Shaun Marcum, the Game 2 loser. St. Louis’ winner was reliever Marc (“Scrabble”) Rzepczynski.  The Cardinals had 14 hits.  The Brewers again were killed by errors, as they committed three.

2011 NLCS win (Jeff Cutty/USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Cardinals went on to win the World Series in seven games over the Texas Rangers.  The memorable Game 6 made David Freese a St. Louis hero forever.


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of September 17-23

photo: Paul DeJong (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals went 5-1 last week, strengthening their lead for the second NL wild card. Paul DeJong plated six runs. In our weekly history feature, the 2012 Kozma infield fly Wild Card game in Atlanta is remembered.


Game Recaps

Monday, September 17 – Cardinals 11 at Braves 6

Kolten Wong (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals pummeled the Braves in the first of a three-game series in Atlanta.  The Redbirds took the 3-0 lead in the top of the first when Yadier Molina was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Matt Carpenter scored.  Kolten Wong doubled to plate Marcell Ozuna and Jedd Gyorko.  The Braves made it 3-2 before Wong hit a solo home run in the fourth and Paul DeJong added a two-run home run in the fifth.  Two runs by the Braves by the Braves in the sixth and another in the seventh cut St. Louis’ lead to 6-5.   Harrison Bader blasted a three-run home run in the eighth to give the Cardinals more breathing room, and Molina added two more in the ninth on a two-run long ball.

Starter Miles Mikolas went five innings, giving up two runs on four hits while fanning six and walking just one.  Tyler Webb surrendered two unearned runs to begin the sixth.  Dakota Hudson got the last out of the sixth then returned for the seventh and allowed one run.  Carlos Martinez gave up a run in the eighth and John Brebbia pitched a scoreless ninth.  Mikolas won his 16th game of the season.


Tuesday, September 18 – Cardinals 8 at Braves 1

Paul DeJong (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds continued their winning ways with an 8-1 victory over the Braves in the second game of the series.  Austin Gomber got the start pitched five one-run innings in which he allowed six hits, struck out five and walked three.  John Brebbia, Jordan Hicks, Dominic Leone, and Mike Mayers each tossed a scoreless inning of relief.  Gomber earned his sixth win.

The Braves took the initial 1-0 lead, but the Cardinals responded with two in the fourth on a home run by Paul DeJong.  DeJong drove in a run in the eighth, and Yadier Molina followed with a bases-clearing single for three more runs. In the ninth, Tyler O’Neill plated a run on a double and Marcell Ozuna singled for the eighth and final run.


Wednesday, September 19 – Cardinals 3 at Braves 7

The Cardinals were unable to complete the sweep, losing to the Braves, 7-3.  The offense was kept off the board until the fifth inning, when Harrison Bader’s solo home run became the first of three St. Louis runs in the game.  Yadier Molina singled in one in the sixth, and Jedd Gyorko added a sac fly in the eighth.

Jack Flaherty was unable to finish five innings, going 4 2/3 and giving up five runs on five hits.  Chasen Shreve and Mike Mayers combined to get four scoreless outs.  Tyler Webb and Brett Cecil each surrendered a run in the seventh and the eighth.  Flaherty was tagged with his eighth loss of the season.


Thursday, September 20 – Off day


Friday, September 21 – Cardinals 5, Giants 3

Matt Adams (USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals began the home weekend series with the Giants on Friday and pulled out the victory despite a very short outing by the starter John Gant.  The right hander lasted only 2 2/3 innings, during which he gave up one run on four hits while fanning three and walking three.  Tyson Ross followed with 2 1/3 scoreless frames.  Dakota Hudson pitched a scoreless sixth.   Jordan Hicks struggled in the seventh, surrendering two runs on two hits.  John Brebbia spun a scoreless eighth to earn the win, and Carlos Martinez earned the save with a run-free ninth.

Marcell Ozuna singled in the first to plate the first St. Louis run. Kolten Wong singled in the fifth and the sixth to drive in two more.  In the eighth, Matt Adams’ double plated the winning two runs.


Saturday, September 22 – Cardinals 5, Giants 4 (10 innings)

Tyler O’Neill (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis won the second game of the series in extras on Tyler O’Neill’s walk off home run.  The Cardinals scored first on single by Adam Wainwright in the second inning.  The Braves tied it up in the third, but the Redbirds responded immediately with an RBI single by Paul DeJong.  The Giants battled back with three runs in the seventh, but again the Cardinals responded in the bottom frame with two runs to tie it on a home run by Yadier Molina.  The game went into the 10th, when O’Neill hit the walk-off blast.

Wainwright made his third post DL start, going 6 1/3 innings and giving up four runs on eight hits and taking a no decision.  Dakota Hudson followed with 1 2/3 scoreless innings.  Carlos Martinez tossed the final two scoreless frames to earn the win.


Sunday, September 23 – Cardinals 9, Giants 2

Miles Mikolas (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals completed the sweep on Sunday with a 9-2 victory behind excellent pitching by Miles Mikolas.  The right hander went seven innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on only two hits.  Mikolas fanned eight and walked none.  John Brebbia and Giovanny Gallegos each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

In the second inning, Yairo Munoz singled to score Jedd Gyorko for the 1-0 lead.  Mikolas helped himself with an RBI single in the fourth.  The offense really poured it on in the sixth, with five runs that began with a squeeze play by Harrison Bader that brought Patrick Wisdom home.  Yadier Molina scored on Munoz’ single, Bader and Munoz came home on a double by Jose Martinez, and pinch runner Tyler O’Neill scored on Paul DeJong’s single.  Matt Carpenter hit his 36th home run in the eighth, a solo shot.


Big Picture

Matt Carpenter (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals had a good week, going 5-1.  The team took 2 of 3 from the Braves and swept the Giants.  St. Louis is in third place in the NL Central with six games remaining, 4.5 back of the Cubs, and two back of the Brewers.  St. Louis holds the second wild card spot, 1.5 games ahead of the Rockies, who have seven games remaining.

The final week of the regular season begins on Monday with the first of three games against the Brewers in Busch Stadium.  The Cardinals end the week with three games against the Cubs in Chicago.   While the Cardinals have not been eliminated from the Division race, it remains unlikely that they can overtake the Cubs.  A wild card spot is the most likely scenario.

St. Louis’ offense this week improved over the previous week, as did the pitching.  There was some poor defense in the Giants series, however.    Matt Carpenter hit his 36th home run of the season on Sunday, which is a hopeful sign that he may be coming out of his September slump.   The Cardinals really need Carpenter to return to form for this last push toward the postseason.


NL Central W L Pct GB Elim #
Chicago 91 64 0.587   – –
Milwaukee 89 67 0.571 2.5 5
St. Louis 87 69 0.558 4.5 3
Pittsburgh 78 76 0.506 12.5 E
Cincinnati 66 91 0.42 21.5 E
WC Standings W L GB Elim #
Milwaukee 89 67 plus 2
St. Louis 87 69 0
Colorado 85 70 1.5 6
Pittsburgh 78 76 8 E
Arizona 79 77 8 E

 


Who’s Hot

Over the past six games (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

  • Paul DeJong has an OPS of 1.063. He has two HR, three doubles, and six RBI.
  • Tyler O’Neill has an OPS of 1.429 in seven plate appearances. He has one HR, one double and two RBI.
  • Kolten Wong has an OPS of 1.147. He has one HR, one double, and five RBI.
  • Harrison Bader has an OPS of 1.106. He has two HR, one double, and four RBI.
  • Jedd Gyorko has an OPS of .908. He has two doubles, and two RBI.
  • Adam Wainwright has an ERA of 2.92 and a WHIP of 1.05.
  • Austin Gomber has an ERA of 1.80 and a WHIP of 1.80.
  • John Brebbia has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.33.
  • Mike Mayers has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.80.
  • Tyson Ross has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.43.
  • Chasen Shreve has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.50.
  • Dominic Leone has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.
  • Dakota Hudson has an ERA of 2.08 and a WHIP of 1.15.

Who’s Not

Over the past six games (does not contain recent Sunday game results)

  • Yairo Munoz has an OPS of .321.
  • Matt Carpenter has an OPS of .350.
  • Jack Flaherty has an ERA of 9.64 and a WHIP of 1.50.
  • Brett Cecil has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last six games (does not contain recent Sunday game):

  • The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter for five games and Kolten Wong for one game.
  • The number two hitter has been Jose Martinez for five games, and Yairo Munoz for one game.
  • The number three hitter has been Paul DeJong.
  • The cleanup hitter has been Marcell Ozuna.
  • The fifth hitter has been Jedd Gyorko.
  • The sixth hitter has been Yadier Molina.
  • The seventh hitter has been Wong for three games, Harrison Bader for two games, and Matt Adams for one game.
  • The eighth hitter has been Bader for three games, Munoz for two games, and Wong for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions  

  • 9/21 The Cardinals recalled RHP Giovanny Gallegos from the Memphis Redbirds
  • 9/23 The Cardinals recalled SS Edmundo Sosa from the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

  • RHP Alex Reyes (right lat strain) had surgery on June 6 to reattach a tendon in his right lat. The right hander was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL.  Reyes is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.
  • RHP Michael Wacha (left oblique strain) was transferred from the 10 day disabled list to the 60 day disabled list on September 10. Out for the rest of the season.
  • RHP Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement) was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL on August 11. Out for the rest of the season.
  • OF Dexter Fowler (fractured left foot) was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL on August 21. Out for the rest of the season.
  • Kolten Wong left Friday’s game with a hamstring cramp. His availability is day to day.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals wind up the final week of the regular season with a three-game series against the Brewers in Busch Stadium.  Jack Flaherty will make the Monday start, followed by Austin Gomber on Tuesday and John Gant on Wednesday.

A travel day on Thursday takes the Cardinals to Chicago to play the Cubs in the final series of the regular season.  With the possibility of the Wild Card game on the following Tuesday, rotation for the Cubs series is still undecided. Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas and Jack Flaherty are possibles, but it will likely depend on what pitcher the Cardinals are considering to pitch the Wild Card game.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.

Should the Cardinals make the postseason, the NL Wild Card game is scheduled for October 2, and the NLDS begins on Oct 4.  The postseason schedule can be found here.


Blast from the Past

This week’s postseason history segment covers the infamous 2012 Wild Card game between the Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves.  It was the first-ever MLB Wild Card game, added in 2012 when the postseason structure was increased to two wild card teams per league from one.

The game was played on October 5, 2012 at Turner Field in Atlanta.  It also was the first postseason for St. Louis manager Mike Matheny.

The Cardinals prevailed by the score of 6-3 after a controversial call involving the infield fly rule that many thought (and some still think) was erroneous.  The play came in the eighth inning, with the Cardinals ahead 6-3.  Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons hit a pop up fly ball to shallow left field with two runners on, which Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday and shortstop Pete Kozma both made moves to field. It appeared that Kozma was the closest to it, and may have called for it, but at the last minute, he pulled off, perhaps hearing Holliday calling it behind him.  In any event, the ball dropped, but umpire Sam Holbrook had already signaled the infield fly rule prior to the ball dropping and Simmons was called out.  Had the infield fly not been called, the Braves would have had the bases loaded with only one out.

Matt Holliday/Pete Kozma (Getty Images)

The call was disputed by the Braves, but the signaling of the infield fly rule was by the book a judgment call by the umpire.  The call stood, but the Braves fans did not agree, and the game had to be delayed for 19 minutes because fans littered the field with trash, including beer bottles that could have caused injury to players on the field.  The players had to come off the field until the pandemonium could be halted and the field cleared of debris.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez lodged a protest and the game resumed.  The Cardinals won the game and the protest was denied by Joe Torre, Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Commissioner’s Office, shortly after the game was over.

St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse was the winning pitcher, and Braves starter Kris Medlen took the loss.  Holliday hit a solo home run in the sixth inning.  Braves fans resumed throwing debris as the game concluded, causing the players to rush off the field to avoid injury.

The Cardinals went on to defeat the Washington Nationals in the NLDS but lost the NLCS to the San Francisco Giants.


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Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of September 10-16

photo: Jack Flaherty (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images)

In a week of seven home games, the St. Louis Cardinals won just three, barely holding onto a share of the second wild card. Miles Mikolas won his 15th game, Adam Wainwright turned back the clock, but Jack Flaherty took a loss despite his continuing strong pitching. In our weekly history feature, St. Louis’ win over the Dodgers in the 2014 NLDS is remembered.


Game Recaps

Monday, September 10 – Cardinals 8, Pirates 7

Matt Adams (USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals edged the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first of a three-game home series on Monday. Adam Wainwright took the mound for his first start since coming off the 60-day disabled list, with his last prior start on May 13.  The veteran right hander pitched five innings and gave up four runs on seven hits, two of which were home runs.   Chasen Shreve started the sixth and gave up one run on a solo home run.  Shreve was replaced with two outs by Dominic Leone, who gave up a run on two singles and walk but finished the inning.  Tyler Webb tossed a scoreless seventh and John Brebbia added a scoreless eighth to earn the win.  Carlos Martinez surrendered one run in the ninth.

The Redbirds fell behind 4-0, but tied it up in the fourth inning.  Marcell Ozuna singled to score Matt Carpenter, Paul DeJong doubled to plate Jose Martinez and Ozuna, and Harrison Bader drove in DeJong on a sac fly.

After the Pirates took the lead again in the sixth, the Cardinals battled back with four runs in the eighth.  Matt Adams’ three-run home run was the big blow and Bader contributed his second sac fly.


Tuesday, September 11 – Cardinals 11, Pirates 5

Miles Mikolas (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals took the second game of the series from the Pirates by a more substantial score.  The offense began in the first inning with a double by Marcell Ozuna that plated two.  Two more runs were added in the sixth on a wild pitch and a sac fly by Paul DeJong.  A second wild pitch in the seventh inning increased St. Louis’ lead to 5-1.  The offense broke the game open in the eighth with a six-run burst.  Kolten Wong scored on a fielding error.  Tyler O’Neill had a three-run blast to left center field.  Adolis Garcia’s ground rule double drove in a run, and finally, a sac fly by Ozuna plated Garcia.

Starter Miles Mikolas pitched seven innings and gave up one run on five hits.  The right hander fanned seven and walked one.  Bud Norris worked a scoreless eighth.  Luke Weaver started the ninth, but had a tough time, as he gave up four runs and was replaced with two outs by John Brebbia.  Brebbia induced a ground out to end the game. Mikolas earned his 15th win.


Wednesday, September 12 – Cardinals 3, Pirates 4

The Cardinals failed to complete the sweep, falling to the Pirates in a one-run defeat.  Daniel Poncedeleon got the start, and the right hander pitched five innings and gave up two runs on five hits while striking out seven and walking one. Mike Mayers surrendered two runs in the sixth and was replaced with two outs by Tyler Webb, who induced a pop out.  Dominic Leone, Brett Cecil, and Chasen Shreve each added a scoreless inning of relief.  Poncedeleon took the loss.

The Cardinals put the first run on the board in the first inning on an RBI single by Marcell Ozuna.  After falling behind 4-1, the Cardinals attempted to rally.  A force out by Jose Martinez plated a run in the eighth.  In the ninth, Patrick Wisdom singled to score Yairo Munoz.  The rally fell short, however.

The game featured three stolen bases, one each by Matt Carpenter, Harrison Bader and Wisdom.


Thursday, September 13 – Cardinals 7, Dodgers 9

The Cardinals began an important four-game series with the Dodgers on Thursday in Busch Stadium, with both vying for the postseason.  The first game did not go well for St. Louis.  Starter Austin Gomber was ineffective and lasted only three innings, during which he gave up seven runs on nine hits.  Tyson Ross went three innings, surrendering one run on two hits.  John Brebbia allowed one run in the seventh.  Mike Mayers and Brett Cecil followed with one scoreless inning each.  Gomber took the loss.

After Dodgers took a 3-0 lead out of the gate, the Cardinals responded with one run in the home half of the first, driven in by Marcell Ozuna on a ground out.  The Dodgers followed with five more runs, to which the Redbirds answered with three runs in the fifth.  Ross began the inning with a solo home run.  Ozuna drove in his second run of the game, and Paul DeJong plated another on a sac fly.  DeJong singled to score a run in the seventh.  In the ninth, a ground out force out off the bat of Jedd Gyorko resulted in a throwing error and two runs.

The Cardinals fought back but fell short.


Friday, September 14 – Cardinals 0, Dodgers 3

In the second game of the series, the Cardinals fared no better.  This time they were shut out by sterling pitching by young Dodger starter Walker Buehler.  The Cardinals had problems with Buehler in Los Angeles, though they did end up winning the earlier game in the late innings.  There was no such luck in this meeting.

St. Louis’ offense managed only two hits against Buehler and closer Kenley Jansen, singles from Harrison Bader and Paul DeJong.

Starter Jack Flaherty allowed just one run on four hits in six innings pitched. The right hander struck out eight and walked two.  Dakota Hudson gave up an unearned run in the seventh. Dominic Leone and Bud Norris combined to pitch a scoreless eighth. Tyler Webb had the ninth and surrendered a run.  Flaherty suffered his seventh loss of the season.


Saturday, September 15 – Cardinals 4, Dodgers 17

If things weren’t bad enough for the Cardinals by losing the first two to the Dodgers, it got worse in Game 3.  A contest that began normally enough – with the Cardinals taking the 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fourth – turned quickly into disaster.  The wheels came off the bus for starter John Gant in the fifth inning.  After giving up the leadoff single, Gant secured a fly ball out.  He walked the next two batters to load the bases.  With one out in the inning, Tyler Webb took over.  Webb gave up a two run single to Cody Bellinger and was replaced by Mike Mayers, who served up a three-run home run to Yasiel Puig, .  Puig’s second long ball of the game.  Dominic Leone started the sixth, yielded three singles to score a run, and with two outs and a man on, was replaced by Chasen Shreve.  Shreve surrendered a single to score Leone’s runner, but then struck out Puig to end the inning.  Shreve and Luke Weaver got through the seventh. Weaver returned for the eighth, but it all went south in the final two innings. He surrendered seven Dodgers runs, four unearned.

All four Cardinals runs came in the fourth inning on a grand slam by Patrick Wisdom.

Sunday, September 16 – Cardinals 5, Dodgers 0

Adam Wainwright (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

On Sunday night, the Cardinals avoided being swept at home, by shutting out the Dodgers 5-0 behind brilliant pitching by Adam Wainwright.  In only his second start following a four month stint on the DL, Wainwright pitched six scoreless innings against one of the best lineups in baseball. The veteran righty allowed only two hits and struck out nine Dodgers.  Bud Norris came in to start the seventh, but after walking the first batter, and throwing one pitch to the second, Norris came out of the game due to a blister on his pitching hand.  Jordan Hicks finished the inning without damage, then returned to pitch a scoreless eighth.  Carlos Martinez closed it out in the ninth.

The Cardinals got on the board in the second inning on a solo home run by Marcell Ozuna. RBI singles by Jedd Gyorko and Yadier Molina brought two runs home in the fourth.  Another run was added in the fifth on a fielding error.  Molina drove in an insurance run in the eighth.


Big Picture

The Cardinals finished the week of home games at 3-4, taking 2 of 3 from the Pirates but losing 3 of 4 to the Dodgers.  St. Louis is now tied with Los Angeles for the second wild card spot.  There are 12 games (four series) remaining in the regular season.

The offense is struggling.  Matt Carpenter has an OPS of .535 over the last seven games.  Molina, Bader, Wong, DeJong, Jose Martinez, and Yairo Munoz all have an OPS under .700 over the last seven games.  The offense needs to pick it up over the last 12 games for the team to have a decent chance for a postseason berth.

Pitching has done well enough to keep the Cardinals in games, with the exception of Austin Gomber in Saturday’s game against the Dodgers.  Well enough may not be good enough with the offense not doing its share.  The remaining schedule is brutal – series with the Braves, Brewers and Cubs, all postseason contenders.  Even the remaining series, with the Giants, will not be a cakewalk. The Cardinals have always had problems with San Francisco.

The Cardinals play three games with the Braves and three games with the Giants this week.  The goal must be to win both series and hope for help from other teams.


NL Central standings W L PCT GB
Chicago 87 62 0.584   – –
Milwaukee 85 65 0.569 2.5
St. Louis 82 68 0.547 5.5
Pittsburgh 74 74 0.500 12.5
Cincinnati 64 86 0.427 23.5
Wild Card  standings W L GB
Milwaukee 85 65 plus 3
Los Angeles 82 68     – –
St Louis 82 68     – –
Arizona 78 72 4
Philadelphia 76 72 5

 


Who’s Hot

Over the past seven games (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

  • Tyler O’Neill has an OPS of 1.159 in nine plate appearances. He has one HR and three RBI.
  • Patrick Wisdom has an OPS of 1.125 in eight plate appearances. He has one HR and five RBI.
  • Jack Flaherty has an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 1.00.
  • Miles Mikolas has an ERA of 1.29 and a WHIP of 0.86.
  • Bud Norris has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00.
  • Jordan Hicks has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.
  • Brett Cecil has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

Who’s Not

Over the past seven games (does not contain recent Sunday game results)

  • Yadier Molina has an OPS of .125.
  • Matt Adams has an OPS of .490.
  • Harrison Bader has an OPS of .428.
  • Kolten Wong has an OPS of .451.
  • Austin Gomber has an ERA of 21.00 and a WHIP of 3.33.
  • Dominic Leone has an ERA of 10.13 and a WHIP of 3.38.
  • Mike Mayers has an ERA of 11.57 and a WHIP of 3.00.
  • Luke Weaver has an ERA of 21.00 and a WHIP of 4.33.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last seven games (does not contain recent Sunday game):

  • The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter for six games and Harrison Bader for one game.
  • The number two hitter has been Jose Martinez for four games, Yairo Munoz for two games, and Tyler O’Neill for one game.
  • The number three hitter has been Matt Adams for five games, and Martinez and Paul DeJong for one game each.
  • The cleanup hitter has been Marcell Ozuna.
  • The fifth hitter has been Paul DeJong for five games, and Munoz and Jedd Gyorko for one game each.
  • The sixth hitter has been Kolten Wong for five games, and Gyorko and Patrick Wisdom for one game each.
  • The seventh hitter has been Harrison Bader for four games, and Molina, Munoz and Wong for one game each.
  • The eighth hitter has been Molina for two games, Carson Kelly for two games, and Bader, Greg Garcia and Francisco Pena for one game each.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions  

  • 9/10 The Cardinals transferred RHP Michael Wacha from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list. Left oblique strain.
  • 9/10 The Cardinals activated RHP Adam Wainwright from the 60-day disabled list.
  • 9/11 The Cardinals activated RHP Mike Mayers from the 10-day disabled list.
  • 9/12 The Cardinals activated 3B Jedd Gyorko from the 10-day disabled list.

Injury Report

  • RHP Alex Reyes (right lat strain) had surgery on June 6 to reattach a tendon in his right lat. The right hander was transferred from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL.  Reyes is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.
  • RHP Michael Wacha (left oblique strain) was transferred from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list on September 10. Out for the rest of the season.
  • RHP Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement) was transferred from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL on August 11. Out for the rest of the season.
  • OF Dexter Fowler (fractured left foot) was transferred from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL on August 21. Out for the rest of the season.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals go on the road for a three-game series in Atlanta.  Miles Mikolas is set to make the Monday start, followed by Austin Gomber on Tuesday, and Jack Flaherty on Wednesday.

After a Thursday travel day, the Redbirds return home for a weekend series with the Giants. No pitching probables have been announced for that series.

The homestand continues with a three-game series against the Brewers.  Another travel day on Thursday takes the Cardinals to Chicago to play the Cubs in the final series of the regular season.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.

Should the Cardinals make the postseason, the NL Wild Card game is scheduled for October 2, and the NLDS begins on October 4.  The postseason schedule can be found here.


Blast from the Past

Last week’s history segment returned to the 2013 NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  This week will focus on a similar series a year later, when the Cardinals took on the Dodgers once more, this time in the NLDS.

The 2014 NLDS between the Cardinals and the Dodgers went four games from October 3-7.  The Cardinals won the series 3-1.

Game 1 was played in LA and was a squeaker.  St. Louis prevailed in the end, 10-9.  Adam Wainwright faced Clayton Kershaw.  This postseason matchup was the first of two 20-game winners since Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series.  The Cardinals scored first, but the Dodgers got to Wainwright with two runs each in the third, fourth, and fifth innings to take a 6-1 lead.  The Cardinals added a run in the sixth to make it 6-2.

As in 2013, the Cardinals got to Kershaw in a big way in the seventh inning.  The Redbirds sent five runs home against Kershaw, knocking him out of the game. Matt Holliday added three more to the tally with a three-run home run against reliever Pedro Baez.  The Dodgers added two in the eighth and one in the bottom of the ninth, but it was one short of a tie.   Kershaw was tagged with the unlikely distinction of being the first pitcher in history to allow at least seven runs in consecutive postseason starts.

The Dodgers bounced back with a 3-2 win in Game 2.  The Cardinals runs came on a two-run home run from Matt Carpenter.  Zack Greinke was the winning pitcher.  Lance Lynn got a no decision with Pat Neshek taking the loss.

Game 3 moved to St. Louis.  The Cardinals prevailed, 3-1.  John Lackey limited the Dodgers to one run.  Matt Carpenter again homered and Kolten Wong hit the winning two-run home run.

The Dodgers sent Kershaw to the mound in Game 4 on three days of rest.  It worked for the first six innings, with the Dodgers leading 2-0.  However, Kershaw’s nemesis in the postseason, the seventh inning, happened again.  Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peralta singled, before Matt Adams hit a beautiful three-run home run which sent him hopping and skipping around the bases.  That was the end for the Dodgers, as the Cardinals won the NLDS with a 3-2 win in Game 4.

Kershaw, one of the best pitchers of the last decade, with 3 Cy Young Awards to his credit, met his Waterloo in the postseason St. Louis Cardinals.  Tagged with the moniker of a postseason choker, Kershaw redeemed himself somewhat with good performances in the 2017 postseason against the Diamondbacks, Cubs, and Astros, though he did have one hiccup against the Astros in Game 5 of the World Series, which the Astros won.

The Cardinals returned to the postseason in 2015 but lost to the Cubs in the NLDS. The team hasn’t been back since.  Perhaps 2018 will bring a change in the tide.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation:

Memphis Redbirds Notebook – 2018 Week 23 – Playoffs


Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

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© 2018 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Minor League Notebook Postseason Edition – September 16, 2018

photo: Memphis Redbirds PCL title celebration (Memphis Redbirds)

On Saturday, Memphis defeated Fresno to win the Pacific Coast League Championship. Peoria lost to Bowling Green in Game 3 of the Midwest League Championship Series and is down 2-1. Our Players of the Day are Memphis left fielder Randy Arozarena, who went 2-for-4, with two home runs and five RBI, and Redbirds starter Jake Woodford, who pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings with only three hits allowed.

Results for games played Saturday, September 15.


Jake Woodford (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Memphis 5, Fresno 0

At AutoZone Park, the Redbirds blanked the Fresno Grizzlies in Game 4 of the PCL Championship Series, to win the Championship for the second consecutive year.  Brilliant pitching by starter Jake Woodford, and two home runs off the bat of Randy Arozarena were the keys to the victory.

Woodford pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings, during which he struck out six, walked one, and allowed only three hits.  Giovanny Gallegos finished the game by pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.

Randy Arozarena (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Arozarena followed back to back singles by Rangel Ravelo and Alex Mejia with a three-run blast to left field to give the Redbirds a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Fresno pitching kept the Redbirds off the board for the next six frames, but in the eighth, Alex Mejia reached on a throwing error, and Arozarena followed with a two-run home run to left center field to make the score 5-0, Memphis.  The score held despite of a mini rally in the ninth that put a runner on third with one out.  Gallegos induced two pop outs to end the inning and give Memphis the victory.

Arozarena went 2-for-4 with five RBI and two runs scored.  Alex Mejia was 2-for-4 and Edmundo Sosa was 2-for-3. Arozarena and Tommy Edman were named finals co-MVPs.

Next game: In a 2017 rematch, the Redbirds will face the Durham Bulls in the Triple-A Championship Game on Tuesday, September 18 in Columbus, Ohio. It will be televised nationally on NBCSN starting at 6 pm CT.


Peoria 1 at Bowling Green 6

Nick Dunn (State College Spikes)

The Chiefs were defeated by the Bowling Green Hot Rods in Game 3 of the Midwest League Championship Series on Saturday.  The Chief are now behind 2-1 in the series.

Chiefs starter Jake Dahlberg had a rough second inning, as Bowling Green put up four runs to take the 4-0 lead.  Dahlberg pitched a total of four innings, giving up the four runs, three earned, on six hits.  C.J. Saylor pitched a scoreless, 1-2-3 fifth inning.  Fabian Blanco started the sixth but was unable to record an out.  Blanco walked the first batter he faced, then gave up a single to center and a bunt single to load the bases.  Robbie Gordon threw a wild pitch to score the runner from third, then walked the next two hitters to score a second run belonging to Blanco.  Gordon induced a groundball force out at home then struck out the final two batters to end the inning.  Both runs were charged to Blanco.  Alvaro Seijas pitched the final two scoreless innings.

The Chiefs scored their only run in the seventh, when Dennis Ortega walked and scored on a double by Nick Dunn.

Game 4 of the series will be played on Sunday.

Sunday’s game:  at Bowling Green, Angel Rondon 6:35 CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Memphis Redbirds Notebook – 2018 Week 23 – Playoffs

Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

© 2018 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Minor League Notebook Postseason Edition – September 15, 2018

photo: Alex Mejia (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Game 3 of the PCL Championship Series won by the Memphis Redbirds over the Fresno Grizzlies was the System’s only game on Friday.  The Redbirds are up 2-1. Our Player of the Day is Memphis DH Alex Mejia, who went 3-for-5 with a double and drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 11th on a walk-off bunt single.

Results for games played Friday, September 14.


Memphis 2, Fresno 1 (11 innings)

Alex Mejia (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

The Redbirds took the 2-1 series lead in the PCL Championship Series over the Grizzlies on Friday night in Memphis.  Chris Ellis got the start and went 5 1/3 innings, giving up one run on three hits while fanning five and walking three.  The bullpen was fantastic, keeping Fresno scoreless for the remainder of the game, with Genesis Cabrera, Giovanny Gallegos and Conner Greene tossing a total of 5 2/3 scoreless innings.  Greene earned the win.

The Redbirds offense got on the board first in the third inning on back to back doubles by Edmundo Sosa and Tommy Edman.  After Fresno tied it up in the sixth, the game remained tied and went into extra innings.  In the bottom of the 11th, Edman singled to center, then advanced to third on a pickoff attempt throwing error.  Rangel Ravelo was intentionally walked.  Alex Mejia’s bunt single on a squeeze play scored Edman and won the game in a walk off.  Mejia went 3-for-5 with a double and the winning RBI bunt single.

The Redbirds take the 2-1 series lead into Game 4 in Memphis on Saturday.

Saturday’s game:   vs. Fresno, Jake Woodford 6:35 CT.


Peoria – off day

The Peoria Chiefs had an off day Friday as they prepare to play Game 3 of the Midwest League Championship Series in Bowling Green on Saturday.  The series is tied 1-1.

Saturday’s game:  at Bowling Green, Jake Dahlberg 6:35 CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Memphis Redbirds Notebook – 2018 Week 23 – Playoffs

Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

© 2018 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of September 3-9

photo: Marcell Ozuna (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

In a disappointing week in Washington and Detroit, the St. Louis Cardinals went 3-3. Marcell Ozuna has rediscovered his home run swing. In our weekly history feature, St. Louis’ win over Detroit in the 2006 World Series is remembered.


Game Recaps

Monday, Sept 3 – Cardinals 3 at Nationals 4 (10 innings)

The Cardinals suffered the one run loss in extra innings against the Nationals on Monday.  The Redbirds took the early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Paul DeJong drove in Matt Carpenter and Yairo Munoz on a line drive single to left field. The Nats responded with one run in the bottom of the first against Jack Flaherty.  The Cardinals added to their lead with one run in the sixth on a Munoz solo home run.  Those would be the only runs scored by the Cardinals, and the Nats came back to tie the game 3-3 in the ninth and won in a walk off in the 10th.  Munoz had a good day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Flaherty pitched a good, but inefficient game, going five innings and giving up one run three hits.  The right hander’s inefficiency was due to five walks in the game.  John Brebbia, Carlos Martinez and Jordan Hicks tossed one scoreless inning each.  Bud Norris started the ninth but surrendered the tying runs and was charged with the blown save.  Chasen Shreve got the final out of the ninth, then returned for the 10th.  Shreve gave up the winning run in the 10th and took the loss.


Tuesday, Sept 4 – Cardinals 11 at Nationals 8

Marcell Ozuna (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals bounced back on Tuesday to take the win, but it was not easy.  John Gant held the Nats scoreless for the first four innings.  The fifth began with a fielding error by second baseman Yairo Munoz that eventually led to three unearned runs.  Gant came out of the game with one out and the bases loaded.  Tyler Webb struck out the first batter he faced.  The left hander walked Trea Turner to score one run and gave up a ground rule double to Bryce Harper for two more.  Webb intentionally walked Anthony Rendon to again load the bases, then walked Juan Soto for the fourth Nats run of the inning and the game was tied.  The last run was charged to Webb.  Tyson Ross tossed the next 1 1/3 innings and surrendered one run.  Dakota Hudson pitched a scoreless seventh.  Dominic Leone pitched a scoreless eighth and returned for the ninth.  Leone gave up a run and was removed with one out and two runners on.  John Brebbia struck out the next batter but then gave up a two-run double, with both runs charged to Leone.  Jordan Hicks got the final out of the game.

The Cardinals offense scored 11 runs, but the outcome was never assured until the last out of the ninth.  The Redbirds took a 4-0 lead in the second inning that was the result of a Marcell Ozuna solo home run and a three run single by Matt Carpenter. The Nats tied it up in the fifth, but consecutive solo home runs in the sixth inning by Ozuna, Paul DeJong and Patrick Wisdom gave the Redbirds the 7-4 lead.

The Nats made it 7-5 in the sixth.  A grand slam by Yadier Molina in the ninth increased the lead to 11-5, but the Nats fought back with three runs in the home half of the ninth.  Fortunately, the Nats’ comeback came up short.


Wednesday, Sept 5 – Cardinals 7 at Nationals 6

Matt Adams (USA TODAY Sports)

In the rubber game of the series, the Cardinals prevailed with a one run win on Wednesday. It was a nail biter up to the end.  The first inning began with a three run home run by Matt Adams.  The offense increased the lead to 5-0 in the second on a Matt Carpenter double and a Jose Martinez single.  Adams homered again in the sixth, a solo shot.  After that it became up to the Cardinals pitching to maintain the lead, and it was a tough row to hoe.  The Nats scored in the fifth and sixth.  The lead decreased to 7-6 when the Nats plated four more in the seventh.

Miles Mikolas held Washington scoreless through four, but he surrendered a run in the fifth.  After a second run in the sixth, the wheels came off the bus for the right hander in the seventh.  Mikolas got the first two outs quickly but couldn’t put the next two hitters away.  Dakota Hudson took over with two runners on. A double, a single, and a wild pitch scored both of Mikolas’ runners. Hudson was able to end the inning by inducing a line out to get the third out.  Carlos Martinez tossed the final two scoreless innings to earn his first save.  Mikolas earned his 14th win.


Thursday, Sept 6 – Off day


Friday, Sept 7 – Cardinals 3 at Tigers 5

The Cardinals left Washington following two hard fought wins and traveled to Detroit to take on the Tigers in their final interleague series.  Things did not begin well for St. Louis.

The Cardinals took the 1-0 lead in the second on a solo home run by Marcell Ozuna.  The Tigers tied it up in the home half of the inning, but the Redbirds responded with one run each in the fourth and the fifth.  Ozuna hit a second solo home run and Francisco Pena’s sac fly gave the Cardinals the 3-1 lead.  Detroit tied it up with two runs in the bottom of the fifth.  The Cardinals failed to score after the fifth, and the Tigers walked it off with two runs in the ninth.

Austin Gomber was on the bump for the Cardinals and he pitched six innings, giving up three runs on six hits.  Dominic Leone pitched a scoreless seventh.  Jordan Hicks took the final innings and served up the walk off two-run home run.


Saturday, Sept 8 – Cardinals 3 at Tigers 4

St. Louis suffered the second tough luck walk off loss in the series on Saturday.  The Cardinals offense was stymied by Tigers starter Matt Boyd for seven innings.  The Redbirds finally broke through in the eighth when Paul DeJong launched a solo home run off Boyd, just the second hit he had allowed.  The Cardinals tied the score vs. Shane Greene in the ninth on a two run home run by Marcell Ozuna.  The joy of the comeback didn’t last, as the Tigers walked it off in the home half of the ninth.

Starter Jack Flaherty pitched five innings and gave up three runs on four hits.  Daniel Poncedeleon, Brett Cecil, and John Brebbia combined for three scoreless innings of relief.  Bud Norris started the ninth, but an error and two walks, one intentional, loaded the bases with only one out in the inning.  Norris threw a wild pitch to the next batter and the winning run scored.


Sunday, Sept 9 – Cardinals 5 at Tigers 2

John Gant (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals avoided the sweep with a victory in the final game of the series in Detroit.  It was a pitcher’s duel until the seventh inning.  The Cardinals were unable to score against Tiger starter Michael Fulmer, until, in a moment of déjà vu, a squirrel appeared on the field.  After the squirrel left the field for other pastures, the Cardinals quickly put up five runs.  Kolten Wong singled to score Marcell Ozuna.  Yairo Munoz hit a sac fly and Paul DeJong scored.  Carson Kelly plated Wong on a single.  Munoz came home on a Matt Carpenter sac fly.  Greg Garcia scored on single by Jose Martinez.

John Gant pitched six scoreless innings before giving up two runs in the seventh.  Dakota Hudson secured the final out of the seventh.  Jordan Hicks and Carlos Martinez each pitched a scoreless inning.


Big Picture

The Cardinals played a .500 week, going 3-3 on the road. The Redbirds took 2 of 3 from the Nationals but lost 2 of 3 to Detroit.

Offense, pitching and defense all became issues during the week.  Cardinals hitters struck out 30 times over the three game series in Washington, and 33 times in the series in Detroit.  That is a massive amount of strikeouts and is very concerning.

St. Louis’ pitchers issued 22 walks in Washington and 15 in Detroit.  There doesn’t appear to be an obvious cause for all the free passes.  John Gant had the best performances of the week in the rotation.  Flaherty continues to be inefficient, while Mikolas gave up a lot of hits in his start.  The bullpen has regressed so far in September, and Bud Norris has been so ineffective that he lost his closer job to Carlos Martinez.

The defense made six errors across both series.  A Matt Carpenter error at 1B late in the game on Saturday set up the walk off loss.

The Cardinals have regressed in all factors of the game in September.  With only three weeks left in the regular season and the team having a precarious hold on the second wild card spot, the Cardinals must improve in the final weeks if they hope to play in October.

The Cardinals have a seven-game homestand this week, playing the Pirates for three and the Dodgers for four.  All games are crucial at this time of the season, but the Dodgers series is especially important because the Cardinals have only a one game lead over them for the second wild card.


NL Central W L PCT GB
Chicago 83 59 0.585   – –
Milwaukee 82 62 0.569 2
St. Louis 79 64 0.552 4.5
Pittsburgh 71 71 0.5 12
Cincinnati 61 83 0.424 23
Wild Card  Standings W L GB
Milwaukee 82 62 2.5
St. Louis 79 64     – –
Los Angeles 78 65 1
Arizona 76 67 3
Philadelphia 74 68 4.5

Who’s Hot

Over the past six games (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

  • Marcell Ozuna has an OPS of 1.293. He has five HR and six RBI.
  • Matt Adams has an OPS of 1.333. He has two HR and four RBI.
  • Yairo Munoz has an OPS of 1.218. He has two HR, two doubles, and two RBI.
  • Yadier Molina has an OPS of 1.098. He has one HR and four RBI.
  • John Gant has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.62.
  • Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 2.25 and a WHIP of 1.25.
  • John Brebbia has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.
  • Daniel Poncedeleon has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

Who’s Not

Over the past six games (does not contain recent Sunday game results)

  • Tyler O’Neill has an OPS of 0.00.
  • Jose Martinez has an OPS of .333.
  • Francisco Pena has an OPS of .450.
  • Miles Mikolas has an ERA of 5.40 and a WHIP of 1.80.
  • Dominic Leone has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 1.67.
  • Chasen Shreve has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 3.00.
  • Bud Norris has an ERA of 27.00 and a WHIP of 6.00.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last six games (does not contain recent Sunday game):

  • The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter.
  • The number two hitter has been Yairo Munoz for three games, Jose Martinez for two games, and Yadier Molina for one game.
  • The number three hitter has been Jose Martinez for three games, Matt Adams for two games, and Tyler O’Neill for one game.
  • The cleanup hitter has been Marcell Ozuna.
  • The fifth hitter has been Paul DeJong.
  • The sixth hitter has been Molina for two games, Patrick Wisdom for two games, and Munoz and Greg Garcia for one game each.
  • The seventh hitter has been Harrison Bader for six games, and Wisdom for one game.
  • The eighth hitter has been Garcia, Francisco Pena, Bader, Munoz, Wong, and Wisdom for one game each.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions  

  • 9/3 The Cardinals recalled RHP John Brebbia from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/5 The Cardinals activated 2B Kolten Wong from the 10 day disabled list.
  • 9/7 The Cardinals sent RHP Mike Mayers on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/7 The Cardinals sent RHP Michael Wacha on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

  • RHP Alex Reyes (right lat strain) had surgery on June 6 to reattach a tendon in his right lat. The right hander was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL.  Reyes is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.
  • RHP Adam Wainwright (right elbow inflammation) continues on the 60 day DL. Wainwright is set to be activated from the DL on Monday and is scheduled to make the start for the Cardinals against the Pirates at Busch Stadium.
  • RHP Michael Wacha (left oblique strain) continues on the 10 day DL. Wacha was scratched from a Sept 7 rehab start in Memphis due to continued oblique discomfort. His status is uncertain.
  • RHP Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement) was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL on August 11.
  • OF Dexter Fowler (fractured left foot) was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL on August 21.
  • RHP Mike Mayers was placed on the 10 day DL on August 26 with right shoulder inflammation. Mayers was sent on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds on Sept 7.
  • 3B Jedd Gyorko (left groin strain) was placed on the 10 day DL on August 29. Gyorko is receiving treatment in St. Louis and is scheduled to be reevaluated on Sept 10.
  • C Yadier Molina exited the Sept 5 game early due to left hamstring tightness that occurred stealing second base. Molina did not appear during the Detroit series over the weekend.  Molina is considered day to day.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals begin the week with a three game series in Busch Stadium against the Pirates. Adam Wainwright is set to make the Monday start, followed by Miles Mikolas on Tuesday and Austin Gomber on Wednesday.

The homestand continues on Thursday with a four game set with the Dodgers.  No pitching probables have been announced but will likely be Jack Flaherty against Clayton Kershaw on Thursday, John Gant on Friday, Wainwright on Saturday and Mikolas on Sunday.

The Cardinals go on the road for a three game series in Atlanta following the Dodgers series.  After a Thursday travel day, the Redbirds return home for a weekend series with the Giants.

The homestand continues with a three game series against the Brewers.  Another travel day on Thursday takes the Cardinals to Chicago to play the Cubs in the final series of the regular season.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.


Blast from the Past

This week’s look at postseasons of the past focuses on the 2006 World Series win over the Detroit Tigers.  The Cardinals stumbled into the postseason in 2006, having taken the NL Central Division with only 83 wins.  The Cardinals defeated the San Diego Padres in the Division Series, and the New York Mets in the League Series.  The League Series win over the Mets included a home run by Yadier Molina in Game 7 and the famous curve ball by Adam Wainwright that froze Carlos Beltran for the last out of Game 7.

The 2006 Cardinals became the fourth team to win the Series in their home stadium’s debut season.  The Cardinals’ 83-78 record was the second worst record for a League champion and the worst record for a World Series champion.

The Cardinals met the Tigers in the World Series for the third time.  The first meeting was in 1934 and the Cardinals won that series.  St. Louis and Detroit opposed each other again in the 1968 World Series, a series which the Tigers won.

The 2006 World Series began in Detroit, with a 7-2 win for the Cardinals in Game 1.  Rookie St. Louis pitcher Anthony Reyes faced rookie pitcher Justin Verlander for Detroit.  The Tigers scored first with one run in the first inning, but the Cardinals responded with one run in the second, three runs in the third, and three runs in the sixth.  The Tigers added a run in the ninth. Reyes was the game winner.  Cardinals home runs were hit by Scott Rolen and Albert Pujols.

The Cardinals lost Game 2, 3-1.  On a cold night, a controversy erupted when it was noticed that Tiger starter Kenny Rogers had a foreign substance on his pitching hand that was obvious even on television.  St. Louis manager Tony La Russa did not ask for an inspection of his hand, but the umpire ordered Rogers to wash his hand between innings.  Rogers pitched eight scoreless innings.

The series moved to St. Louis for Games 3-5.  The Cardinals won Game 3 by the score of 5-0.  Chris Carpenter was the game winner with his own eight inning shutout.

After a one-day rain delay, the Cardinals took Game 4, 5-4.  Adam Wainwright was the winning pitcher.

The Redbirds took a 3-1 series lead into Game 5.  The Cardinals prevailed 4-2 in a game and series marked by sloppy defense from Tigers pitchers. Starter Justin Verlander made a costly throwing error that allowed the Cardinals to tie the game.  Verlander’s error was the fifth by a Detroit pitcher in the series.  St. Louis’ winning pitcher was Jeff Weaver.  Rookie pitcher Adam Wainwright pitched the ninth inning, replacing closer Jason Isringhausen who had season-ending surgery.  Wainwright struck out Brandon Inge for the final out.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Teen Herrera Learns from Taste of Double-A


Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook Postseason Edition – September 9, 2018

photo: Nick Dunn (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Saturday’s Game 4 between Memphis and Oklahoma City was postponed due to rain and will be played on Sunday as part of a doubleheader. Peoria won the opener of their semifinal series against Cedar Rapids. Our Player of the Day is Peoria second baseman Nick Dunn, who went 3-for-5 and drove in the winning runs in the ninth.

Results for game played Saturday, September 8.


Memphis vs. Oklahoma City (postponed)

Game 4 of the Pacific Coast League playoff series was postponed due to rain.  The Redbirds are up 2-1 in the series.  Saturday’s game will be played on Sunday as part of a doubleheader.

Sunday’s games:  doubleheader vs. Oklahoma City, Mike Mayers/Austin Warner, 2:05 CT


Peoria 5 at Cedar Rapids 3

Nick Dunn (State College Spikes)

The Chiefs fought hard and pulled out the road victory against Cedar Rapids in Game 1 of the Midwest League semifinal.  Peoria fell behind 2-0 and the scored remained there until the eighth inning.  Zach Kirtley led off with a single. Nick Dunn singled, moving Kirtley to third.  Andres Luna singled to score Kirtley.  Justin Toerner singled.  Dunn was thrown out at home on a ground out.  Luken Baker singled to plate Luna and Toerner.

Cedar Rapids added a run in the bottom of the eighth to tie the score.  In the ninth, Julio Rodriguez and Kirtley hit back to back singles.  Nick Plummer pinch ran for Rodriguez.  Nolan Gorman grounded out and both runners advanced to second and third.  Dunn singled, scoring Plummer and Kirtley.

Chiefs starter Angel Rondon gave up two runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings pitched.  Robbie Gordon followed with two scoreless innings.  Ben Yokley threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Fabian Blanco started the eighth, walked the first batter and gave up a double to the second.  The first runner was thrown out at home on the play.  With one out and a runner on third, Blanco was replaced by Kodi Whitley.  Whitley gave up a single to score the run, which was charged to Blanco. Whitley yielded a double, then intentionally walked the next batter.  The right hander induced a double play to end the inning and the game.  Whitley was charged with a blown save, but also got the win.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Cedar Rapids, Jake Dahlberg (4-3, 2.87) 4:00 CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

State College Spikes Notebook 2018 – Week 12

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Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook Postseason Edition – September 8, 2018

photo: Max Schrock (Memphis Redbirds)

Game 3 of the PCL American Conference Championship series between the Memphis Redbirds and the Oklahoma City Dodgers was the only game on the system schedule on Friday.  Our Player of the Day is Memphis infielder Max Schrock, who went 3-for-5 and drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning for the Redbirds.

Results for games played Friday, September 7.


Memphis 5, Oklahoma City 4

Max Schrock (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds pulled off the walk off win against the Dodgers in Game 3 of the PCL American Conference Championship series on Friday night.  Memphis took the 1-0 lead in the third inning when Tommy Edman led off with a walk and scored on an Alex Mejia single.  The Dodgers came back in the fifth to take a 3-1 lead.

The Redbirds added a run in the home half of the sixth. Randy Arozarena doubled and scored on a single by Edman.  The score remained 3-2 in favor of the Dodgers until the top of the eighth, when Oklahoma City scored a run to take a 4-2 lead.

A ninth inning rally brought the win to Memphis.  Edman singled to lead off the inning.  Wilfredo Tovar grounded out to move Edman to second.  Rangel Ravelo then singled to bring Edman home.  Edmundo Sosa pinch ran for Ravelo and Mejia singled to advance Sosa to second.  Lane Thomas singled to plate Sosa and Mejia moved to second.  Max Schrock singled and Mejia scored for the 5-4 walk off victory.

Chris Ellis started on the bump for Memphis.   Ellis gave up three runs on four hits in five innings pitched.  The right hander fanned seven and walked three.  Genesis Cabrera followed with a scoreless sixth.   Landon Beck surrendered one run in 1 1/3 innings pitched, and Tommy Layne got the final two outs of the eighth. Andrew Morales pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the win.

Memphis now leads the Conference Series 2-1.  Game 4 will be played in Memphis on Saturday.

Saturday’s game:   vs. Oklahoma City, Jake Woodford 6:35 CT.


Peoria – off day

The Chiefs had an off day Friday as they prepare to begin the first game of the Western Division Semifinal series against Cedar Rapids on Saturday.  The Chiefs swept Quad Cities to advance to Round two.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Cedar Rapids, Angel Rondon 6:35 CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Memphis Redbirds Notebook – 2018 Week 22

Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

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Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of August 27 – September 2

photo: John Gant (Scott Kane/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals ran their consecutive series win streak to 10 before dropping two of three to Cincinnati at home over the weekend. That dropped them into a precarious lead for the second wild card. John Gant and Jack Flaherty continue to pitch well from the rotation as the offense sputters. In our weekly history feature, the 2013 NLDS win over Pittsburgh is remembered.


Game Recaps

Monday, August 27 – Off day


Tuesday, August 28 – Cardinals 5, Pirates 2

Jack Flaherty (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals began a three-game series with the NL Central rival Pirates at Busch Stadium.  The Cardinals took the opener behind excellent pitching by Jack Flaherty.  The right hander pitched seven one-run innings, allowing four hits and striking out five.  Jordan Hicks surrendered a run in the eighth and was removed with two outs and replaced by Dakota Hudson, who got the final out of the inning.  Bud Norris pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 28th save.

The game began for the Cardinals with a two-run home run by Jose Martinez in the first inning.  Tyler O’Neill blasted his own two-run shot in the fourth.  The Cardinals didn’t score again until the eighth when Greg Garcia plated Paul DeJong on a single.

Martinez went 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.  Harrison Bader distinguished himself with an outfield assist at home plate.


Wednesday, August 29 – Cardinals 0, Pirates 2

The Redbirds were blanked by the Pirates in the second game of the series.  As the final score indicates, the Cardinals offense was limited.  The Cardinals scattered five hits, including doubles by Yairo Munoz, Yadier Molina, and Paul DeJong.

Miles Mikolas pitched five innings, giving up two runs on eight hits.  Chasen Shreve, Dominic Leone, Brett Cecil, and Carlos Martinez each added a scoreless inning of relief.

The defense made two errors, both throwing miscues by Munoz and DeJong.


Thursday, August 30 – Cardinals 5, Pirates 0

John Gant (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals rebounded from the previous night’s loss by blanking the Pirates 5-0.  Starter John Gant tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing only three hits while fanning six and walking three.  Dakota Hudson got the next three outs before  Carlos Martinez closed out out of the seventh.  Chasen Shreve and Jordan Hicks combined for a scoreless eighth.  Luke Weaver pitched a scoreless ninth.

Five St. Louis runs scored across the third, fourth, and fifth innings.  Harrison Bader and John Gant hit back to back solo home runs in the third.  Paul DeJong drove in Jose Martinez on a force out in the fourth.  Martinez singled in the fifth to plate both Matt Carpenter and Yadier Molina.


Friday, August 31 – Cardinals 12, Reds 5

Paul DeJong (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals began the weekend with a three-game set against the cellar-dwelling Reds.  The Reds took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but the Cardinals responded with four runs in the second and three runs in the third.  Starting pitcher Austin Gomber hit a two-run double in the second and Matt Carpenter drove him in with a home run. Paul DeJong added a three-run home run in the third.

The Cardinals led 7-2 going into the eighth, but the Reds came back with three to make it 7-5.  The Redbirds responded with five more runs in the home half of the frame.  Patrick Wisdom hit a solo home run.  DeJong drove in two more on a single to right, and Yairo Munoz plated two more on a single to center.

Gomber pitched seven innings in his start, surrendering two runs on 10 hits.  Brett Cecil gave up three runs to begin the eighth and was replaced by Jordan Hicks with one out.  Hicks got out of the inning without further damage.   Dominic Leone threw a scoreless ninth.


Saturday, Sept 1 – Cardinals 0, Reds 4

The Cardinals were blanked by the Reds in Game 2.  St. Louis’ offense took an untimely vacation, as the bats managed only two hits, singles by Matt Carpenter, and relief pitcher Tyson Ross.

Daniel Poncedeleon took the mound to start, but he was not effective.  The right hander lasted until one out in the fourth, when he was replaced by Ross.  Poncedeleon gave up three runs on five hits.  Ross went 4 2/3 innings and surrendered one run.  Tyler Webb pitched a scoreless ninth.


Sunday, Sept 2 – Cardinals 4, Reds 6 (10 innings)

St. Louis’ series win streak of 10 came to an end against the last-place team in the Division in extra innings.  Luke Weaver struggled badly through his first two innings, giving up two runs and issuing way too many walks.  Weaver was able to limit the damage in the third and fourth, but his 40 pitches in the first inning led to the inevitable short outing.

Tyler Webb tossed a scoreless fifth and got the first out in the sixth before giving way to Dominic Leone to finish the inning.  Carlos Martinez surrendered one run in the seventh.  Dakota Hudson tossed two scoreless innings.  With the game tied in the 10th, Bud Norris gave up back to back to home runs, a two-run shot by Eugenio Suarez, and a solo shot by Brandon Dixon to give the Reds a 6-3 lead. Brett Cecil got the final out.

It was a struggle for St. Louis’ offense to score.  After the Reds took the 2-0 lead, the Redbirds tied it up when Harrison Bader drove in a run on a double, and Greg Garcia plated him on a single.  After the Reds took a 3-2 lead in the seventh, Bader’s infield single in the eighth tied the game at 3-3.

A ninth inning rally ended badly.  Yairo Munoz doubled, and Matt Carpenter was intentionally walked.  Francisco Pena made a perfect bunt that rolled inside the foul line and Pena was safe at first to load the bases with no outs.  The Reds manager then moved an outfielder in to create a five-man infield. With no outs and the bases loaded, Jose Martinez flailed wildly at a pitch off the plate to strike out.  Marcel Ozuna hit a low ball for a week grounder to second and Munoz was thrown out at the plate.  Paul DeJong ended the rally with a pop out.

The disastrous top of the 10th happened with Norris pitching, and the Cardinals attempted to rally in the bottom of the 10th. Patrick Wisdom walked, but Bader flied out to left.  Wisdom advanced to second on the fly out, then went to third on a passed ball.  Greg Garcia then grounded out, and Wisdom scored.  With two outs, Carson Kelly walked, Carpenter was intentionally walked again but Pena flied out to right to end the rally, game and series on a down note.


Big Picture

St. Louis concluded the week 3-3, taking 2 of 3 from the Pirates and losing 2 of 3 against the Reds.  The Cardinals have fallen a half game behind the Brewers to third place in the NL Central and into the second wild card spot.

The offense slumped this past week, having been shut out once each by the Pirates and the Reds.  The Cardinals bats struggled against two of the three Reds starters over the weekend.  The strikeouts have increased.  Many Cardinals appear to be struggling to lay off breaking pitches out of the zone.  This flaw was never clearer than in the Reds series, as usually consistent hitter Jose Martinez struck out four times on Sunday, mostly on breaking pitches out of the zone or in the dirt.  Tyler O’Neill has been another who continues to be unable to lay off those pitches, as well as Harrison Bader on occasion.  The Cardinals hitters have been less patient at the plate as well.

Other than Jack Flaherty and John Gant, the rest of the rotation struggled over the week.  Austin Gomber went seven innings on Friday, but he gave up 10 hits.  Both Daniel Poncedeleon and Luke Weaver had short outings, taxing the bullpen.  Even the usually stalwart Miles Mikolas didn’t look like himself in his start on Wednesday.

The bullpen had some hiccups as well. Dakota Hudson has had some struggles recently.  Brett Cecil gave up three runs in less than an inning on Friday.  Jordan Hicks continues to allow too many baserunners.  Bud Norris gave up back to back home runs on Sunday.

The defense has taken a hit with Kolten Wong and Jedd Gyorko on the DL. Base running has been fine.

The Cardinals head to Washington, D.C. for a three-game series to begin the week and then play a weekend series with the Tigers in Detroit.  The Nats have been struggling, but the Cardinals face Max Scherzer on Monday.  The Cardinals have an opportunity to gain ground if they can win against the Nats because the Cubs and Brewers play each other Monday through Wednesday.


NL Central W  L PCT GB
Chicago 81 55 0.596   – –
Milwaukee 77 61 0.558 5
St. Louis 76 61 0.555 5.5
Pittsburgh 66 71 0.482 15.5
Cincinnati 59 78 0.431 22.5
Wild Card Standings W L GB
Milwaukee 77 61 0.5
St. Louis 76 61     – –
Colorado 74 62 1.5
Arizona 74 63 2
Philadelphia 72 64 3.5

Who’s Hot

Over the past six games (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

  • Matt Carpenter has an OPS of 1.342.  He has one HR, four doubles, and four RBI.
  • Jose Martinez has an OPS of 1.091.  He has one HR, one double, and five RBI.
  • Jack Flaherty has an ERA of 1.29 and a WHIP of 0.57.
  • John Gant has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.06.
  • Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00.
  • Bud Norris has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00
  • Tyson Ross has an ERA of 2.70 and a WHIP of 1.05
  • Dominic Leone has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.33.
  • Tyler Webb has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.
  • Luke Weaver has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

Who’s Not

Over the past six games (does not contain recent Sunday game results)

  • Matt Adams has an OPS of .375.
  • Greg Garcia has an OPS of .154.
  • Daniel Poncedeleon has an ERA of 8.10 and a WHIP of 1.80.
  • Brett Cecil has an ERA of 20.25 and a WHIP of 3.00.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last six games (does not contain recent Sunday game):

  • The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter.
  • The number two hitter has been Yadier Molina.
  • The number three hitter has been Jose Martinez.
  • The cleanup hitter has been Tyler O’Neill for three games, and Matt Adams for three games.
  • The fifth hitter has been Paul DeJong for three games, and O’Neill for three games.
  • The sixth hitter has been DeJong for three games, Jedd Gyorko for two games, and Greg Garcia for one game.
  • The seventh hitter has been Harrison Bader for five games, and Garcia for one game.
  • The eighth hitter has been Yairo Munoz for four games, and Bader and Garcia for one game each.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions  

  • 8/27 The Cardinals sent RHP Adam Wainwright on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/28 The Cardinals placed 2B Kolten Wong on the 10 day disabled list retroactive to August 26. Left hamstring strain.
  • 8/28 The Cardinals sent RHP Michael Wacha on a rehab assignment to the Springfield Cardinals.
  • 8/28 The Cardinals recalled 3B Patrick Wisdom from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/29 The Cardinals placed 3B Jedd Gyorko on the 10 day disabled list. Left groin strain.
  • 8/29 The Cardinals recalled OF Adolis Garcia from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/1 The Cardinals activated LF Marcell Ozuna from the 10 day disabled list.
  • 9/1 The Cardinals recalled LHP Tyler Webb from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/1 The Cardinals recalled RHP Daniel Poncedeleon from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/1 The Cardinals recalled C Carson Kelly from the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

  • RHP Alex Reyes (right lat strain) had surgery on June 6 to reattach a tendon in his right lat. The right hander was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60-day DL.  Reyes is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.
  • RHP Adam Wainwright (right elbow inflammation) continues on the 60-day DL. Wainwright made what may be his final rehab start on Saturday, his sixth.  A decision on where Wainwright goes from this point on is expected in the coming week.
  • RHP Michael Wacha (left oblique strain) continues on the 10-day DL. Wacha was sent on a rehab assignment to the Springfield Cardinals on August 21, where a setback occurred. Wacha played catch on August 31 and was scheduled for a bullpen session on Sunday.  The timing and role when he returns to the roster remains uncertain.
  • RHP Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement) was transferred from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL on August 11.
  • OF Dexter Fowler (fractured left foot) was transferred from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL on August 21.
  • 2B Kolten Wong (left hamstring strain) was placed on the 10-day DL, retroactive to August 26. Wong began baseball activities over the weekend.  The second baseman is eligible to come off the DL on Sept 5.
  • RHP Mike Mayers was placed on the 10-day DL on August 26 with right shoulder inflammation. Mayers is expected to begin throwing in the coming week.
  • 3B Jedd Gyorko (left groin strain) was placed on the 10-day DL on August 29. A return to the roster is not definite, but the third baseman is eligible to come off the DL on Sept 8.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals travel to Washington after the Reds series to play three games with the Nationals beginning Monday.  Jack Flaherty is scheduled to start on Monday, followed by Miles Mikolas on Tuesday, and John Gant on Wednesday.

With an off day Thursday, the Cardinals travel to Detroit for a weekend interleague series with the Tigers.  No pitching probables have been announced.

Following the Tigers series, the Cardinals return home to play the Pirates for three.  The homestand continues with a four-game series against the Dodgers.  The Cardinals will then travel to Atlanta for three with the Braves.

The Cardinals will have another off day Thursday, Sept 20.  The team returns home for a weekend series with the Giants.

St. Louis’ regular season schedule can be found here.


Blast from the Past

Last week, the history segment covered the 2013 NLCS series against the Dodgers.  This week I will talk about the NLDS that year, which led to the Cardinals’ appearance in the NLCS.

The Cardinals played the 2013 NLDS against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  St. Louis was the NL Central Division winner while the Pirates took the wild card.  The restriction against teams from the same division playing in the Division Series was removed in 2012.  The Pirates had never played in a Division Series up to that point.

Game 1 was played in St. Louis as the Cardinals beat the Pirates, 9-1.  The Redbirds took the lead early by scoring seven runs in the third inning. That inning set a new NLDS record.  A three-run home run by Carlos Beltran off A.J. Burnett was the highlight.  Burnett came out of the game after that inning.  Adam Wainwright was the winning pitcher.

Game 2 was also played in St. Louis, and the Pirates got their revenge, beating the Cardinals 7-1.  Gerrit Cole got the better of Cardinals starter Lance Lynn. The Cardinals only managed four hits, including a solo home run by Yadier Molina that was the only run of the game for St. Louis.

The series moved to Pittsburgh for Games 3 and 4. The Pirates took a 2-1 series lead by defeating the Cardinals 5-3.  Joe Kelly started for the Cardinals.  St. Louis tied the game twice, in the fifth and the eighth, but the Pirates took the lead back with two runs in the bottom frame of the eighth. Reliever Carlos Martinez was tagged with the loss.

The Cardinals won Game 4 by the score of 2-1.  Michael Wacha no-hit the Pirates for seven innings.  Pedro Alvarez’ home run in the eighth broke up the no-hitter.  Matt Holliday’s two-run home run in the sixth gave the Cardinals the lead they would carry to a win.

It came down to Game 5 back in St. Louis.  Adam Wainwright held the Pirates scoreless until the seventh inning, when three consecutive singles plated Pittsburgh’s only run.  The Cardinals put up six runs, starting in the second inning on David Freese’s two-run home run.  A run was added in the sixth, then Matt Adams launched a two-run home run in the eighth, and Pete Kozma singled to plate the third and final run of the inning.  Wainwright pitched a complete game to become the fifth Cardinal in franchise history to pitch a complete game with one earned run in a winner-take-all postseason game.

The Cardinals moved on to defeat the Dodgers in the NLCS by beating up on Clayton Kershaw.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 2, 2018

photo: Alex Fagalde (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system went 2-3 on Saturday. Our Player of the Day is Palm Beach starter Alex Fagalde, who pitched seven one-run innings. For Memphis, Adam Wainwright had another successful rehab outing.

Results for games played Saturday, September 1.


Memphis 8 at Nashville 1

Adam Wainwright (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds vanquished the Sounds in Nashville in the first game of the final series of the regular season.  In what is likely the final rehab start for Adam Wainwright, the right-hander pitched five scoreless innings, allowing five hits, striking out seven and walking two.  Wainwright needed 90 pitches, 63 of which went for strikes, and earned the win.  Tyler Lyons picked up his third save with four innings of relief during which he surrendered one run on three hits, fanned five and issued no free passes.

Memphis scored three runs in the third to take the lead and never looked back.  Alex Mejia and Tommy Edman singled, and Wilfredo Tovar singled to plate Mejia and Edman. A wild pitch and a single by Rangel Ravelo put Tovar on third.  Lane Thomas grounded into a force out and Tovar scored.

In the fifth, Edman singled and scored on another Ravelo single.  Max Schrock drew a walk in the sixth and later scored on a wild pitch.  In the seventh, Ravelo walked and later scored when Ramon Urias grounded into a double play.  Edmundo Sosa singled and later scored on balk.  Edman singled and scored on yet another Ravelo single. Nos. 1, 2, and 3 hitters Edman, Tovar and Ravelo each had three singles and totaled five runs scored and four RBI.

The Redbirds are 82-56 and are in first place in the PCL American Southern.  Memphis has clinched the Division and will begin play in the Division Series on September 5 against the winner of the PCL American Northern Division.

Sunday’s game:  at Nashville, Jake Woodford (4-5, 4.81) 6:15 CT.


Springfield 3, Tulsa 5

Jose Alexander Martinez (Peoria Chiefs)

The Cardinals were defeated by Tulsa in the first game of the final regular season series.  Springfield righty starter Matt Pearce dug a 4-0 hole for his offense in the second and third innings.  Pearce pitched into the seventh, but gave up a fifth run and came out of the game with two outs.  Connor Jones induced a ground out for the final out and remained to pitch two more scoreless innings.

The Cardinals bats were no-hit into the fifth, when Jeremy Martinez singled, but Springfield did not score.  The runs came in the seventh.  John Nogowski walked and Victor Roache singled.  Both scored on Jose Martinez’ single.  A third run came home in the eighth when Evan Mendoza hit a leadoff double and scored on a force out.

The Cardinals are 60-77 overall, 27-40 in the second half, and are in last place in the Texas League North.  Springfield has been eliminated from playoff contention.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Tulsa, Casey Meisner (2-1, 3.44) 6:10 CT.


Palm Beach 7 at Lakeland 2

Alex Fagalde (State College Spikes)

The Cardinals were 7-2 victors at Lakeland in Game 2 of the final series of the regular season. Lakeland scored one run in the first inning, but the Cardinals took the 3-1 lead in the fourth. Dylan Carlson was hit by a pitch and Scott Hurst singled.  Both came in on Ryan McCarvel’s double.  McCarvel scored on Juan Yepez’ single.

In the fifth, Kramer Robertson led off with a single.  Carlson doubled, and with Elehuris Montero at the plate, Robertson scored on a wild pitch.  Montero walked.  With Conner Capel at the plate, a passed ball scored Carlson.  Montero came home on a fielding error. A run was added in the sixth when Jose Godoy singled and scored on a wild pitch.

Cardinals starter Alex Fagalde won his fourth game with Palm Beach.  Fagalde pitched seven one-run innings, allowing five hits, fanning eight and walking one.  Griffin Roberts tossed a scoreless eighth.  Bryan Dobzanski surrendered one run in the ninth.

Palm Beach is 75-57 overall and 36-32 in the second half to put them in third place in the FSL South.  The Cardinals were the first half division winners and will play in the Division Championship series beginning Sept. 5.

Sunday’s game:   at Lakeland, TBA 10am CT.


Peoria 4 at Quad Cities 8

Zach Kirtley (State College Spiles

The Chiefs were defeated by Quad Cities in the first game of the final series of the regular season.  Peoria fell behind 3-0 in the third, but responded with two runs in the fifth to decrease the lead to one run.  Brandon Benson and Andres Luna both walked and advanced on a ground out by Justin Toerner.  Benson scored on force attempt throwing error.  Luna came home on a force out.

Quad Cities scored four more runs to increase their lead to 7-2.  In the top of the seventh, Toerner walked and Nolan Gorman singled.  Luken Baker singled and plated Toerner.  Gorman scored on a ground out.  The Chiefs were unable to add on after the seventh. Zach Kirtley went 0-for-5, but had both of Peoria’s RBI.

Zach Prendergast was on the bump to start for the Chiefs.  The right hander gave up three runs on three hits in 2 2/3 innings. Patrick Dayton struck out his only batter in the third, pitched a scoreless fourth but gave up two runs in the fifth. C.J. Saylor got the final out of the fifth.  Saylor returned for the sixth and surrendered two runs.  Saylor was replaced with two outs by Ben Yokley, who struck out his only batter to escape the jam.  Yokley allowed one run in the seventh but pitched a scoreless eighth.  Prendergast took the loss. Overall, Chiefs pitching gave up nine hits and walked eight more.

The Chiefs are 76-61 overall, 37-30 in the second half, and are in third place in the Midwest League Western Division.  Peoria has clinched a playoff spot as the first half wild card and will begin a best of three series against Quad Cities on Sept. 5.

Sunday’s game:  at Quad Cities, TBA 1:15 CT.


State College 3 at Williamsport 7

Cory Malcom (St. Louis Cardinals)

The Spikes began the last series of their season, and the first game in Williamsport ended in a loss.  Franyel Casadilla gave up seven runs on seven hits in his 5 1/3 inning start. Cory Malcom tossed the final 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Casadilla took his third defeat against four wins with State College.

The offense scored in the fifth when Wadye Ynfante doubled to lead off and came home on a throwing error.  The Spikes put up two runs in the ninth.  Alexis Wilson doubled and scored on Delvin Perez’ triple.  Perez crossed the plate on Edwin Figuera’s single. With a single and a double, Stanley Espinal had two of State College’s six hits.

The Spikes are 34-40 on the season and are in third place in the New York Penn League Pinckney Division.   State College has already been eliminated from the playoffs.

Sunday’s game:  at Williamsport, Eli Kraus (2-2, 3.71) 4:05 CT.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 1, 2018

photo: Elehuris Montero (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 1-4 on Friday. Our Players of the Day are outfielder Conner Capel and third baseman Elehuris Montero, who went a combined 4-for 9 with two RBI in Palm Beach’s road win.

Results for games played Friday, August 31.


Memphis 1 at Nashville 5

Lane Thomas (Springfield Cardinals)

The Redbirds offense was stymied by Nashville pitching for six innings before breaking through with their lone run in the seventh on a solo home run by Alex Mejia.  Memphis had seven hits total, including three from Lane Thomas.

Memphis starter Austin Warner gave up four runs on six hits in his start which lasted four innings.  Giovanny Gallegos pitched the next two scoreless frames.  Andrew Morales surrendered a run in the seventh and John Brebbia tossed a scoreless eighth.  Warner took the loss.

The Redbirds are 81-56 on the season and have clinched first place in the PCL American Southern.

Saturday’s game:   at Nashville, Adam Wainwright (0-0, 0.00) 7:05 CT.


Springfield 3, Arkansas 5

Jeremy Martinez (State College Spikes)

The Cardinals suffered a home defeat at the hands of the Arkansas Travelers.  Anthony Shew took the mound for Springfield and pitched five innings.  The right-hander gave up three runs on six hits while fanning six and walking three.  Hector Mendoza tossed two scoreless innings of relief.  Landon Beck took the loss as he surrendered the winning runs to the Travelers in the eighth.  Roel Ramirez pitched a scoreless ninth.

The Cardinals got on the board in the fifth, scoring two of their three runs.  John Nogowski singled and scored on Evan Mendoza’s double.   Mendoza later scored on a ground out by Jeremy Martinez.    Martinez’ solo home run in the seventh put the third and final Cardinals run on the board.

The Cardinals are 60-76 overall, 27-39 in the second half, and are in last place in the Texas League North.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Tulsa, Matt Pearce (0-6, 5.21) 6:10 CT.


Palm Beach 3 at Lakeland 1

Conner Capel (Lynchburg Hillcats)

After Lakeland took the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, the Cardinals battled back with single runs in the fourth, fifth, and seventh innings. The fourth began with a single by Elehuris Montero and Scott Hurst followed with a double.  Ryan McCarvel’s infield single loaded the bases.  Irving Lopez grounded into a force out and Montero scored.  Juan Yepez hit a leadoff single in the fifth and scored on Montero’s double.   In the seventh, Jose Godoy singled and scored on Conner Capel’s single.

Sam Tewes was on the bump for the Cardinals five innings, during which he gave up one run on six hits.  Tewes earned his second win for Palm Beach.  Evan Guillory added three scoreless innings and Yeison Medina finished with a scoreless ninth for his third save.

The Cardinals are 74-57 overall and 35-32 in the second half and are in third place in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:   at Lakeland, TBA 5:00 CT.


Peoria 3, Kane County 10

Robbie Gordon (The Cardinal Nation)

The Chiefs had a tough time against Kane County, as the visitors capped off a series sweep with a decisive Friday win. Peoria fell behind 10-0 until a three-run rally in the ninth.  The inning started with walks by Dennis Ortega, Luken Baker and Nick Plummer. Wood Myers singled to plate Ortega.  Justin Toerner walked, and Baker scored.  Plummer scored on a wild pitch.

Alvaro Seijas lost his eighth game of the season with a short outing of 1 1/3 innings in which he gave up six runs on six hits.  Robbie Gordon temporarily stopped the bleeding with 3 1/3 scoreless frames. The bleeding returned when Thomas St. Clair surrendered four more runs in 1 2/3 innings pitched.  Fabian Blanco and Kodi Whitley combined for the final 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

The Chiefs are 76-60 overall, 37-29 in the second half and are in third place in the Midwest League Western.

Saturday’s game:  at Quad Cities, Zach Prendergast (7-3, 2.83) 6:35 CT.


State College 3, West Virginia 7

Imeldo Diaz (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

State College fell to the West Virginia Black Bears in the home finale, as starter Jacob Schlesener had a very tough outing on the mound.  The left-hander went only 2 2/3 innings and gave up seven runs on seven hits.  Will Changarotty and Troy Montemayor combined to pitch 6 1/3 scoreless innings, but the damage was done as the Spikes dropped their seventh straight.

The Spikes scored their first run in the third inning as they attempted to come back from a 7-0 deficit.  Matt Duce walked, Imeldo Diaz singled and Edwin Figuera reached on a fielding error.  A sac fly by Jonatan Machado scored Duce.  A second run came home in the fifth when Delvin Perez hit a leadoff single and later scored a sac fly by Figuera. Diaz had four hits in four at-bats in the losing cause.

The Spikes are 34-39 on the season and are in fourth place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.

Saturday’s game:  at Williamsport, Franyel Casadilla (4-2, 3.07) 6:05 CT.


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of August 20-26

photo: Jedd Gyorko (Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports)

The surging St. Louis Cardinals have won nine consecutive series and claimed the wild card lead thanks in part to a 5-1 road trip west. Jedd Gyorko is swinging a hot bat. In our weekly history feature, the 2013 NLCS win over the Dodgers is remembered.


Game Recaps

Monday, August 20 – Cardinals 5 at Dodgers 3

Bud Norris (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals played a crucial series in Los Angeles this past week – crucial for playoff purposes – as the Dodgers are one of the teams competing with the Cardinals for a playoff spot.  The opener was a home run for the Redbirds, both literally and figuratively.  The Cardinals hit three of them, home runs that is.  Jose Martinez’ solo shot off Alex Wood in the first inning put the Cardinals on the board.  Two runs of the non-home run variety were scored in the fifth, one on a Martinez single, and the second on a walk by Patrick Wisdom.

The final two runs, the winning runs, came in the ninth, via solo home runs by Jedd Gyorko and Matt Carpenter off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.  Carpenter went 3-for-5 with two runs scored.

Starter Austin Gomber pitched five innings, giving up two runs on five hits.  Dakota Hudson allowed a run in his 1 2/3 innings.  The remainder of the relief squad, consisting of Jordan Hicks, Brett Cecil, and Bud Norris, handled the final 2 1/3 scoreless innings.  Cecil got the win, and Norris the save, his 25th.


Tuesday, August 21 – Cardinals 5 at Dodgers 2

Marcell Ozuna (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The rolling Redbirds continued their march toward the playoffs by defeating the Dodgers in the second game of the series.  The Dodgers got on the board first with a run in the second inning, but the Cardinals responded with three in the third.  Jose Martinez singled to score Kolten Wong, before Yadier Molina hit a two-run home run.

The Cardinals added two more in the seventh on another two-run home run, by Marcell Ozuna.  Ozuna was 2-for-4.

Daniel Poncedeleon went four innings in his start and gave up one run on five hits while fanning eighth and walking one.  Luke Weaver tossed 2 1/3 innings in relief of Poncedeleon and surrendered the second Dodgers tally.  Chasen Shreve, Carlos Martinez, and Bud Norris combined for 2 2/3 scoreless innings.


Wednesday, August 22 – Cardinals 3 at Dodgers 1

Jack Flaherty (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals completed the road sweep against the Dodgers.  The score was lower than the previous two games, due to a pitching duel between Jack Flaherty and Walker Buehler for the first 5 ½ innings.  In the bottom of the sixth, Flaherty blinked and gave up a solo home run to Joc Pederson.

But the Cardinals could not be defeated. In the eighth, Tyler O’Neill knocked a ball out of Dodger Stadium off reliever Scott Alexander to tie the game.  In the ninth, closer Kenley Jansen made his second appearance in the series, and for the second time the Cardinals got to him.  Paul DeJong hit a two run home run to give the Cardinals the 3-1 lead, a lead which they held thanks to Jordan Hicks, who struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth on successive 102 and 103 mph pitches.

Between Flaherty and Hicks, Brett Cecil and Dakota Hudson each pitched a scoreless inning.  Flaherty struck out 10 Dodgers in his six-inning start.


Thursday, August 23 – Off day


Friday, August 24 – Cardinals 7 at Rockies 5

Tyler O’Neill (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals came off their sweep of the contending Dodgers to travel to Denver to meet the Rockies, another team with playoff aspirations.  The opener went well for the Redbirds.  St. Louis’ offense put four runs on the board in the second inning and three runs in the fifth to take a 7-0 lead.  But, Coors Field in Denver can be a dangerous place for leads.  In the bottom of the fifth, the Rockies put up five runs against Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas, who up to that point had been cruising.  Chasen Shreve got the final out of the inning and the first out of the sixth. Carlos Martinez tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings.  Jordan Hicks and Bud Norris pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively.

The Cardinals’ seven runs began with a solo home run by Tyler O’Neil in the third inning.  Jedd Gyorko scored on a passed ball. Mikolas clubbed his second home run as a Cardinal, a two-run shot.   In the fifth, O’Neill doubled to plate Yadier Molina.  Gyorko doubled to drive in Jose Martinez, and Kolten Wong’s sac fly scored O’Neill.

Four scoreless innings from the bullpen saved the win for the Cardinals.


Saturday, August 25 – Cardinals 1 at Rockies 9

The second game of the series was a tough loss for the Redbirds.  John Gant was cruising for six innings, but in the bottom of the seventh, the Rockies took a 1-0 lead.  The Cardinals battled to tie it up in the top of the eighth.  Harrison Bader led off with a double, and Greg Garcia bunted for a hit that sent Bader to third.  With Matt Carpenter at the plate, a wild pitch sent Bader racing home to tie the game.

Unfortunately, the wheels came off the bus for the Cardinals in the bottom of the eighth.  The Rockies teed off, scoring eight runs to take a 9-1 lead.  Dakota Hudson and Brett Cecil gave up three runs each, and Matt Mayers yielded two more. Only Luke Weaver got out of the eighth unscathed.


Sunday, August 26 – Cardinals 12 at Rockies 3

Matt Carpenter (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals didn’t let the bullpen fiasco in the previous game get them down.  Instead they came out swinging, and swinging, and swinging.  Before the smoke cleared and it was all over, the Redbirds had put up 12 runs against the Rockies’ three.

It went like this in the first inning.  Matt Carpenter led off with a double. With two outs, Tyler O’Neill hit a two-run home run.  Paul DeJong and Jedd Gyorko singled.  Harrison Bader doubled and DeJong scored.  Yairo Munoz was intentionally walked.  Starting pitcher Austin Gomber hit a high chopper to second to score Gyorko, and Bader also raced home all the way from second base on the infield single.  The lineup turned over and Carpenter doubled again to score Munoz.  All six runs were scored with two outs.

The Cardinals added four more in the third.  Munoz plated Gyorko on a force out. Carpenter doubled for the third time and scored Munoz.  Molina singled and Carpenter scored.  Jose Martinez doubled to plate Molina.  The Redbirds added two in the sixth on a Gyorko single and a Bader sac fly.

All of the runs were backed up by good pitching.  Austin Gomber pitched six and gave up two runs, one unearned.  Tyson Ross gave up the third Rockies run in his two innings pitched. Dominic Leone, newly activated from a long DL stint, pitched a scoreless ninth.


Big Picture

Jedd Gyorko (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals ended the week with a 5-1 record, having swept the Dodgers in L.A. and winning 2 of 3 from the Rockies in Denver.  The Cardinals have moved to second place in the NL Central and now hold the first wild card spot, up a half game over the Brewers.

The offense has been rolling along.  Matt Carpenter has been slumping, but picked things up in Sunday’s game, tying the Cardinals team record of four doubles.  Jedd Gyorko has also been hot.  Despite the five wins, most of the offense has either remained more or less average or has slumped.  The team has put together timely hits when needed without one player carrying the team.

Harrison Bader continues to dazzle all of baseball with his defense, his speed and aggressiveness.  Bader made two successful mad dashes to home plate to score runs, one on a wild pitch and the other on an infield single.

Pitching continues to do well, though Mikolas had a tough start against the Rockies, and three members of the bullpen had a meltdown in the eighth inning of Saturday’s game.  Other than those anomalies, the pitching has been fine.

The Cardinals return home to play two series with the bottom two teams in the Division, the Pirates and the Reds. Cincinnati was the last team to win a series against St. Louis, in late July.

NL Central W L PCT GB
Chicago 76 53 0.589   – –
St. Louis 73 58 0.557 4
Milwaukee 73 59 0.553 4.5
Pittsburgh 64 67 0.489 13
Cincinnati 56 75 0.427 21
WC Standings W L GB
St. Louis 73 58 0.5
Milwaukee 73 59     – –
Colorado 71 59 1
Philadelphia 70 60 2
Los Angeles 70 61 2.5

 


Who’s Hot

Over the past six games (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

  • Jedd Gyorko has an OPS of 1.209. He has one HR, three doubles, and two RBI.
  • Marcell Ozuna has an OPS of 1.128. He has one HR and two RBI.
  • Jack Flaherty has an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 0.50.
  • John Gant has an ERA of 2.38 and a WHIP of 1.41.
  • Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.
  • Bud Norris has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.
  • Tyson Ross has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.67.

Who’s Not

Over the past six games (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

  • Yairo Munoz has an OPS of .286.
  • Matt Adams has an OPS of .200 in five plate appearances.
  • Paul DeJong has an OPS of .393.
  • Miles Mikolas has an ERA of 7.71 and a WHIP of 2.57.
  • Mike Mayers has an ERA of 18.00 and a WHIP of 4.00.
  • Dakota Hudson has an ERA of 12.00 and a WHIP of 2.67.
  • Brett Cecil has an ERA of 13.50 and a WHIP of 2.50.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last six games (does not contain recent Sunday game):

  • The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter for five games and Jose Martinez for one game.
  • The number two hitter has been Yadier Molina for five games and Martinez for one game.
  • The number three hitter has been Jose Martinez for three games, Tyler O’Neill for two games and Paul DeJong for one game.
  • The cleanup hitter has been Marcell Ozuna for three games, O’Neill, Jedd Gyorko, and Matt Adams for one game each.
  • The fifth hitter has been Paul DeJong for four games, O’Neill and Patrick Wisdom for one game each.
  • The sixth hitter has been Gyorko for three games, Kolten Wong for two games, and Harrison Bader for one game.
  • The seventh hitter has been Harrison Bader for four games, and Wong for two games.
  • The eighth hitter has been Greg Garcia for two games, and Wong, Bader, Yairo Munoz, and Francisco Pena for one game each.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions  

  • 8/20 The Cardinals activated RHP John Brebbia from the 10 day disabled list and optioned him to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/21 The Cardinals activated RHP Carlos Martinez from the 10 day disabled list.
  • 8/21 The Cardinals transferred RF Dexter Fowler from the 10 day disabled list to the 60 day disabled list. Left foot fracture.
  • 8/21 The Cardinals optioned 3B Patrick Wisdom to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/21 The Cardinals claimed 1B Matt Adams off waivers from the Washington Nationals.
  • 8/22 The Cardinals activated Matt Adams.
  • 8/22 The Cardinals activated SS Yairo Munoz from the 10 day disabled list.
  • 8/22 The Cardinals placed LF Marcell Ozuna on the 10 day disabled list. Right shoulder inflammation.
  • 8/22 The Cardinals optioned RHP Daniel Poncedeleon to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/26 The Cardinals activated RHP Dominic Leone from the 60 day disabled list.
  • 8/26 The Cardinals placed RHP Mike Mayers on the 10 day disabled list. Right shoulder inflammation.
  • 8/26 The Cardinals released LHP Ryan Sherriff, who had been on Memphis’ disabled list.

Injury Report

  • RHP Alex Reyes (right lat strain) had surgery on June 6 to reattach a tendon in his right lat. The right hander was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL.  Reyes is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.
  • RHP Adam Wainwright (right elbow inflammation) continues on the 60 day DL. Wainwright was sent on a rehab assignment to the minor leagues and is expected to return to the roster in early September.
  • RHP Michael Wacha (left oblique strain) continues on the 10 day DL. Wacha was sent on a minor league rehab assignment on August 21. He should also return in early September.
  • RHP Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement) was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL on August 11.
  • OF Dexter Fowler (fractured left foot) was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL on August 21.
  • LF Marcell Ozuna was placed on the 10 day DL on August 22 with right shoulder inflammation. No return date has been set but he will likely return in September.
  • 2B Kolten Wong suffered a mild left hamstring strain running to first base on August 25. Wong is considered day to day.
  • RHP Mike Mayers was placed on the 10 day DL on August 26 with right shoulder inflammation.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals have an off day at home on Monday.  Beginning Tuesday, the Cardinals will play a three game series against the Pirates.  Jack Flaherty will get the Tuesday start, followed by Miles Mikolas on Wednesday, and John Gant on Thursday.

The Redbirds will take on the Reds in a weekend series in Busch Stadium.  No pitching probables have been announced, but will likely be Austin Gomber on Friday, TBA on Saturday, and Flaherty on Sunday.

The Cardinals travel to Washington next week to play a three game series with the Nationals beginning Monday.  With an off day Thursday, the Cardinals travel to Detroit for a weekend interleague set with the Tigers.

Following the Tigers series, the Cardinals return home to play the Pirates for three.  The homestand continues with a four game series against the Dodgers.

The Cardinals will then travel to Atlanta for a three game set with the Braves.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.


Blast from the Past

The Cardinals swept the Dodgers in a three game series in Los Angeles this past week. Continuing with the theme of past postseason series from the last several history segments, this week’s Blast from the Past reminisces about the 2013 National League Championship Series between the two teams.

The Cardinals won the NL Central in 2013 with a record of 97-65.  They met the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Division Series and won the series 3-2.  The team then moved on to the Championship Series to face the Dodgers.

The 2013 NLCS was the fourth postseason meeting between the two franchises.  The first was in the 1985 NLCS which the Cardinals won 4-2.  They met again in the 2014 NLDS and the Cardinals won that series also, 3-1.  Then there was the infamous 2009 NLDS, which most Cardinals fans would like to forget.  The Cardinals lost that series 3-0.  We won’t discuss the missed catch by Matt Holliday in mixed company.

The first game of the 2013 NLCS was played in Busch Stadium, which the Cardinals won, 3-2. It lasted 13 innings – the longest NLCS Game 1 ever.  Lance Lynn was the winning pitcher, and the game was highlighted by a superb outfield assist by Carlos Beltran, who threw out future Cardinal Mark Ellis at home plate.

The Cardinals won Game 2, also at home, 1-0.  It was played the day after Joe Kelly hit Hanley Ramirez with a pitch and injured his ribs, a fact Dodgers fans seethed about for a very long time.  It was Michael Wacha against Clayton Kershaw, with Wacha the ultimate victor. The only run scored on a sac fly by Jon Jay to score David Freese.

The series then moved to Los Angeles, where the Dodgers won Game 3, 3-0.  Hanley Ramirez played with a fractured rib.  Adam Wainwright was the losing pitcher.

The Cardinals were the winners in Game 4, 4-2.  The first home run of the series was hit by Matt Holliday.  Shane Robinson also hit a home run later in the game.  Lance Lynn was once again the winning pitcher.

With the Cardinals up 3-1, Game 5 was a win or go home for the Dodgers.  They won 6-4.  Dodgers hit four home runs.  Zach Greinke was the winning pitcher, and Dodger villain Joe Kelly was the loser.

In Game 6, Michael Wacha opposed Clayton Kershaw.  The Cardinals absolutely embarrassed the Dodgers, 9-0.  It was a game that causes Kershaw’s nightmares.  He will likely never look at Matt Carpenter again without flashbacks.  An 11-pitch battle in the third inning ended in a Carpenter double.  The Redbirds put up four runs in that inning.  The Cardinals added five more runs in the fifth, two of which were charged to Kershaw, who left the game with two runners on.  One of the runners, David Freese was out in a rundown, but the other, Matt Adams, eventually scored.  Wacha was the winning pitcher and was named the MVP of the NLCS.

The Cardinals went to the World Series to play the Red Sox, but that series will not be talked about.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Johnson City Cardinals Notebook – 2018 Week 10

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – August 26, 2018

photo: Memphis Redbirds

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 4-5 on Saturday, led by the division-clinching Memphis Redbirds. Our Player of the Day is Palm Beach catcher Brian O’Keefe, who was 2-for-5, including a grand slam.

Results for games played Saturday, August 25.


Memphis 4, Nashville 3

Wilfredo Tovar (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds clinched their division for the second time in two years in front of the home crowd at AutoZone Park. Memphis fell behind 3-0 early but pulled a walkoff victory out of their hat.

In the sixth, Lane Thomas, Wilfredo Tovar, and Max Schrock singled. Rangel Ravelo grounded into a double play and Thomas scored.  Adolis Garcia tripled and scored on Justin Williams’ groundout in the seventh.  The Redbirds came back for the walkoff win with two runs in the ninth. Carson Kelly and Lane Thomas walked.  Tovar singled and scored pinch runner Edmundo Sosa and Thomas. Tovar was 2-for-4.

Austin Warner began on the bump for Memphis. The lefty pitched 4 1/3 innings and gave three runs on eight hits.  The bullpen finished with 4 2/3 scoreless. Giovanny Gallegos added 1 2/3 scoreless innings, followed by 1 1/3 frames from Tyler Webb, and 1 2/3 from John Brebbia, who earned the win.

The Redbirds are 79-52 and are in first place in the PCL Southern.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Nashville, Adam Wainwright/Daniel Poncedeleon (9-3, 2.15) 2:05 CT.


Springfield 0 at Tulsa 5

The Cardinals were shut out by Tulsa on the road on Saturday.  Springfield’s offense managed only four hits, singles by Andy Young, Andrew Knizner, Blake Drake, and Victor Roache.

Anthony Shew allowed five runs on seven hits in five innings pitched.  The relief squad of Elniery Garcia, Landon Beck, and Connor Jones each pitched a scoreless inning.

The Cardinals are 57-73 overall, 24-36 in the second half, and are in last place in the Texas League North.

Sunday’s game:  at Tulsa, Matt Pearce (0-6, 5.18) 7:05 CT.


Palm Beach 7, Jupiter 3

Brian O’Keefe (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

A six-run third inning was the key to the Cardinals victory over Jupiter.  The inning began with leadoff single by Jose Godoy. Juan Yepez followed with a single.  Kramer Robertson was hit by a pitch. Justin Toerner walked, and Godoy scored.  Yepez scored on Dylan Carlson’s single.  Brian O’Keefe then hit a grand slam to give the Cardinals a 6-0 lead.  The Cardinals added an insurance run in the seventh when O’Keefe singled and scored on Shane Billings’ single.

Starter Jake Walsh spun five one-run innings on two hits with five strikeouts.  John Kilichowski gave up a two-run home run in the sixth before Mike O’Reilly got the final out of the inning. Jacob Patterson and Will Latcham combined to toss the final three scoreless innings.

The Cardinals are 71-54 overall and 32-29 in the second half to put them in third place in the FSL South.

Sunday’s game:   vs. Jupiter, TBA 12:00 CT.


Peoria 3, Beloit 5

Wood Myers (Johnson City Cardinals)

An early lead turned to dust in the later innings as the Chiefs lost a tough one to Beloit. The Chiefs scored immediately on a leadoff solo home run by Rayder Ascanio.    The lead increased to 3-0 in the fourth when Zach Kirtley walked, Wood Myers doubled and Kirtley scored.  Myers then came home on Brandon Benson’s single.

Paul Balestrieri pitched well for four innings but was touched for a two-run home run in the fifth.  The starter exited in the fifth with one out and the bases loaded.  Thomas St. Clair got out of the inning without further damage.  St. Clair returned for the sixth, but a hit by pitch, two walks, a single and a run scored spoiled his outing.  Patrick Dayton allowed one inherited runner to score on a walk.  Dayton returned to pitch a scoreless seventh and eighth, then began the ninth.  After allowing a run in the ninth, Dayton was replaced by Fabian Blanco, who struck out his only batter.

The Chiefs are 74-57 overall, 35-26 in the second half, and are in first place in the Midwest League Western Division.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Beloit, Zach Prendergast (6-3, 2.82) 2:00 CT.


State College 0, Auburn 4

Cameron Knight (Johnson City Cardinals)

The Spikes were blanked by the Auburn Doubledays 4-0 on Saturday in front of a season-best 5.412 fans at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.  State College bats were held at bay, with only four hits, all singles.  Cameron Knight was 2-for-4.

Diego Cordero suffered his fourth loss as he gave up four runs on nine hits in seven innings.  Jim Voyles pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

The Spikes are 34-33 on the season and are in fourth place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division, but third in the wild card, 2 ½ games back.

Sunday’s game:  at Batavia, Jacob Schlesener (2-4) 3:05 CT.


Johnson City 2, Greeneville 4

Tommy Parsons (Bret Jacomet photo)

The Cardinals were on the losing side at home against the Greeneville Reds.  Starter Tommy Parsons pitched well but the run support fell short.  The Appy League All-Star tossed seven innings and gave up only one run on seven hits.  Evan Sisk pitched a scoreless eighth, but Parker Kelly had a tough time on the mound.  Parker allowed three runs on four hits and was charged with the blown save and the loss.

The Cardinals offense was stymied until the seventh inning.  Liam Sabino led off with a triple and Benito Santiago was hit by a pitch.  A wild pitch scored Sabino.  Moises Castillo walked and Michael Perri singled.  Santiago scored on a wild pitch.  So, the only runs for the Cardinals were as a result of wild pitches.

The Cardinals are 28-36 on the season and are in last place in the Appalachian League West.

Sunday’s game:   at Greeneville, Cole Aker (5-2, 4.56) 4:00 CT.


GCL Cardinals 7, GCL Nationals 5

Diomedes Del Rio

The Cardinals took on the Nationals and were the victors by a 7-5 score.  Diomedes Del Rio scored in the first by leading off with a ground rule double and eventually stealing home.  The Cardinals didn’t score again until the fifth when Raffy Ozuna tripled, and came home on a throwing error on the same play. Del Rio doubled and scored on William Jimenez’ triple. Carlos Soler singled to plate Jimenez.

Joe Freiday led off the sixth with a single.  Ozuna singled.  Freiday scored on a fielding error and Ozuna came home when Soler walked with the bases loaded.  In the seventh, Terry Fuller singled and scored on Cole Kreuter’s ground out.

Starter Wilfredo Pereira went four innings and allowed an unearned run.  Jose Geronimo earned the win with three scoreless innings.  Rodard Avelio gave up two unearned runs in the eighth, and Alex Gallegos tossed the ninth, surrendering two runs, one earned.

The Cardinals are 40-16 on the season and clinched first place in the GCL East.

Sunday’s game:  vs. GCL Phillies East, TBA 11:00 am CT (one game playoff semifinal)


DSL Cardinals Blue 3 at DSL Twins 8

Julio Puello

The Cardinals Blue met the Twins on Saturday in what started as a pitcher’s duel.  On the Cardinals side of the duel was Julio Puello, who pitched six scoreless innings, allowing four hits, fanning seven and walking one.  Miguel Yedis replaced Puello in the seventh and issued a walk and gave up a single before getting the first out on a ground out.  Larimel Soriano took over with one out and two runners on.  Soriano immediately gave up a triple that scored both runners charged to Yedis.  Soriano then issued a walk and gave up a single that scored two more.

Saniel Santana replaced Soriano in the eighth and gave up two runs. Ramon Fernandez pitched the ninth and also gave up two runs.  Medis was charged with the loss.

The Cardinals put up three runs in the seventh and eighth in a comeback attempt that fell short.  Jose Zapata walked and scored on Elvin De Jesus’ double in the seventh.  De Jesus scored on a fielding error.  In the eighth, Jean Selmo tripled and came home on a ground out by Sander Mora.  De Jesus went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

The Cardinals Blue are 51-21 on the season and finished in first place in the DSL South.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled. Playoffs begin Monday.


DSL Cardinals Red 4 at DSL Cubs2 3

The Cardinals Red defeated the Cubs2 Saturday morning.  The Cardinals fell behind 2-0 before putting their first run on the board in the fifth inning.  Erik Pena committed base burglary after getting on base with a single.  Pena stole second, third and finally home while two teammates took their turns at the plate.

The score was 3-1 going into the eighth, when the Cardinals scored three to take the lead that they would not relinquish.  Joerlin De Los Santos walked to lead off, stole second, and advanced to third on Franklin Soto’s single. De Los Santos scored on a Cristhian Longa single.  Francisco Hernandez then drew a walk, and Claudio Ramirez was hit by a pitch.  Both Hernandez and Ramirez scored on Luis Andujar’s double.

Starter Gustavo J. Rodriguez threw four innings in which he allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits. Wilman Madera surrendered one run on three hits.  Dionys Rodriguez earned the win with one scoreless frame before Sebastian Tabata hurled the final two scoreless innings to earn the save.

The Cardinals Red are 40-31 on the season and are in second place in the DSL San Pedro Division.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled, end of season.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – August 25, 2018

photo: Lars Nootbaar (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 9-1 on Friday. Our Player of the Day is outfielder Lars Nootbaar, who drove in seven runs, four in a grand slam, in State College’s win. Nootbaar had a two run single and a sac fly in addition to the grand slam. Kevin Herget, Jesus Cruz and Dionis Zamora were among strong pitching performers and the DSL Cardinals Blue clinched their division.

Results for games played Friday, August 25.


Memphis 9, Nashville 3

Kevin Herget (Memphis Redbirds)

The Redbirds earned their 78th victory with a win over the Nashville Sounds, reducing their magic number to one.  The offense was rolling in the first three innings.  Adolis Garcia led with a double in the first and scored on Patrick Wisdom’s single.  A big second began with Wilfredo Tovar’s single.  Walks by Lane Thomas and Randy Arozarena loaded the bases.  Edmundo Sosa was hit by a pitch and Tovar scored.  Thomas came home on Garcia’s single.  Ramon Urias’ double cleared the bases.

Lane Thomas singled in the third to set up Arozarena’s two-run home run to make it an 8-0 Memphis lead. The Sounds would score two in the fourth and seventh, but Memphis increased the lead in the eighth when Tovar singled and scored on Sosa’s single.

Kevin Herget earned his ninth win by pitching six one-run innings, allowing four hits, fanning seven and walking one.  Conner Greene surrendered a run in 2/3 of an inning of relief. Tommy Layne pitched one scoreless inning, and Dominic Leone continued his rehab by pitching the ninth and allowing one run.

The Redbirds are 78-52 on the season and are in first place in the PCL American Southern.

Saturday’s game:   vs.  Nashville, Austin Warner (1-1, 3.33) 6:35 CT.


Springfield 3 at NW Arkansas 9

Junior Fernandez (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Cardinals lost the series finale to the Naturals 9-3 at Arvest Park on Friday night.  The Cardinals scored first with back to back singles by Johan Mieses and John Nogowski followed by a walk from Blake Drake to load the bases.  Jeremy Martinez grounded into a double play and Mieses scored.

Down 3-1 in the third, Tommy Edman, Evan Mendoza and Andy Young hit consecutive singles with Edman coming home on Young’s hit.  In the sixth, Drake doubled and was plated by Victor Roache’s double.  Those were the only Springfield scores, as the Naturals put the final nail in the coffin with five additional runs to take the 9-3 victory.

Genesis Cabrera took his third loss after 4 2/3 innings in which he gave up four runs on nine hits.  Roel Ramirez and Hector Mendoza surrendered the final five in a combined two innings of relief.  Only Junior Fernandez stemmed the tide with 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

The Cardinals are 57-72 overall, 24-35 in the second half, and are in last place in the Texas League North.

Saturday’s game:  at Tulsa, Anthony Shew (6-7, 4.24) 7:05 CT.


Palm Beach 2, Jupiter 0

Jesus Cruz (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Cardinals blanked the Hammerheads 2-0 at home with an excellent pitching performance by Jesus Cruz, who pitched six scoreless innings to earn his second win.  Cruz allowed two hits, fanned two and walked two.  The relief squad of Austin Sexton, Will Latcham, and Bryan Dobzanski combined for the final three scoreless innings.

Two Palm Beach runs in the third were the difference. The inning began with consecutive singles by Ryan McCarvel, Kramer Robertson, and Connor Capel. McCarvel scored on Capel’s hit. Elehuris Montero then grounded out to plate Robertson.

The Cardinals are 70-54 overall and 31-29 in the second half and are in third place in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:   vs. Jupiter, TBA 4:30 CT.


Peoria 10 at Beloit 0 (Game 1 DH)

Elehuris Montero (Peoria Chiefs)

The first game of a twin bill was a return the July 1 suspended game that was resumed in Peoria’s Dozer Park with the Snappers as the home team.  It was a rout for the Chiefs, as they blanked the Snappers 10-0.

The game began on July 1 in Wisconsin with a solo home run to center off the bat of Nick Plummer.  Irving Lopez doubled and scored on a fielding error that put Elehuris Montero (now with Lopez on the Palm Beach roster) on second base.  Yariel Gonzalez then punched a two-run home to right center field.  The Chiefs added one in the second when Lopez walked, advanced to second on Montero’s single, and scored on Lopez’ double.

When the game resumed in Peoria on Friday, four more runs came home in the fourth inning.  First rounder Nolan Gorman hit a three-run shot over the wall in right.  Zach Kirtley singled and scored on Rayder Ascanio’s line drive single to left.  Gorman led off the sixth with a solo home run, his second of the game, to add the final Peoria score.

Johan Oveido earned the win with 7 1/3 shutout innings and Fabian Blanco tossed 2/3 of a shutout inning to preserve the win.


Peoria 3, Beloit 1 (seven innings, Game 2 DH)

Robbie Gordon (The Cardinal Nation)

In the regular game of the twin bill, the Chiefs won the seven-inning game 3-1.  A solo home run by Dennis Ortega in the second inning tied up the game after Beloit scored in the first inning.  The Chiefs took the lead in the sixth with a leadoff single by Wood Myers followed by a bunt single from Nolan Gorman. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Luken Baker.

Alvaro Seijas started on the mound and took a no decision with four innings in which one unearned run scored.  Robbie Gordon tossed the final three scoreless to earn the win.

The Chiefs are 74-56 overall, 35-25 in the second half and are in second place in the Midwest League Western.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Beloit, Paul Balestrieri (7-5, 5.04) 6:30 CT.


State College 11, Auburn 10

Lars Nootbaar (State College Spikes)

The Spikes mounted a record comeback in a slugfest against the Auburn Doubledays.   Spikes starter Chris Holba was shellacked for six runs in the first inning and came out having recorded only one out.  Winston Nicacio replaced Holba, and during his outing two of Holba’s runs scored, on a fielding error and a wild pitch.  Nicacio was responsible for a run of his own when he issued a bases loaded walk, but he did manage to finish the inning.  Nicacio continued pitching for three more scoreless innings.  Hector Villalobos gave up two runs in three innings of relief, both scoring in the eighth, as Nicacio was unable to retire the two batters he faced in that inning.  Both of those batters scored after Nicacio was replaced by Troy Montemayor.  Thought he allowed two inherited runners to score, resulting in a blown save, Montemayor finished the inning and ultimately was given the win.  Edgar Gonzalez surrendered a run in the ninth but earned his second save.

Down 7-0, the Spikes got on the board in the fourth inning, when Wadye Ynfante led off with a triple and scored on Alexis Wilson’s double.  The scoring picked up in the fifth and sixth, with four runs in each.   Lars Nootbaar was the offensive highlight reel with a grand slam in the fifth.  Walks by Wilson and Jonatan Machado began the sixth.  Edwin Figuera was hit by a pitch.  Stanley Espinal singled to plate Wilson.  Brady Whalen hit a sac fly to score Machado.  Nootbaar stepped up again with a two-run single.

Two more Spikes runs came home in the eighth on a sac fly by Nootbar and a single by Delvin Perez.  Player of the Day Nootbaar was 2-for-3 with seven RBI.

The Spikes are 34-32 on the season and are in third place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division, but just 1.5 games back of the wild card.

Saturday’s game:  vs.  Auburn, Diego Cordero (2-3) 6:05 CT.


Johnson City 7 at Greeneville 2

Dionis Zamora

Early scoring, featuring a four-run third inning, helped Johnson City to a win over the Greeneville Reds.

The offense began with one run in the second inning, when Dariel Gomez walked, Liam Sabino doubled, and Zach Jackson’s sac fly plated Gomez.  In the big third inning, Luis Flores led off with a double and scored on Michael Perri’s single.  Leandro Cedeno followed with a two-run home run to right field.  Andrew Warner and Gomez walked, Jackson singled to load the bases and Sanel Rosendo walked to bring Warner home.

The Cardinals added two more runs in the ninth.  Perri was hit by a pitch and Warned walked.  Both runners advanced on a wild pitch.  Gomez then singled to plate Perri and Warner.

Dionis Zamora was on the bump for the Cardinals and pitched very well.  Zamora went eight innings, giving up only one run four hits.  He fanned seven and walked one to earn his second win.  Michael Bretell gave up one run in the ninth.

The Cardinals are 28-35 on the season and are in fourth place in the Appalachian League West.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Greeneville, Tommy Parsons (5-1, 3.24) 6:00 CT.


GCL Cardinals 6 at GCL Marlins 5

Ty Cohen (Florida Tech)

The Cardinals claimed victory in a one-run game against the Marlins in Jupiter.  A crooked number in the third inning was the key to the win.  William Jimenez led off by doubling and Raffy Ozuna walked, to set up Carlos Soler’s triple that scored both.  Soler came home on Josh Shaw’s single.  A two-run home run off the bat of Jhon Torres sealed the deal.  The game winning run came home in the eighth due to sloppy Marlins defense and a wild pitch that sent Terry Fuller across the plate.

Francisco Justo started for the Cardinals and had a rough outing.  In 4 1/3 innings, Justo gave up five runs, four earned, on six hits, including a two-run home run.  Replacing Justo in the fifth was Ty Cohen, who struck out his only hitter.  Catcher Ivan Herrera picked a runner off third to end the inning.  Cohen returned to pitch a scoreless sixth and seventh.  Edgar Escobar added a run-free eighth and Chris Rivera tossed a scoreless ninth.  Cohen was the winner with Rivera getting the save.

The Cardinals are 39-16 on the season and are in first place in the GCL East.

Saturday’s game:  vs. GCL Nationals, TBA 9:00 am CT.


DSL Cardinals Blue 2 at DSL Twins 1

The Cardinals Blue were able to pull off the close one against the Twins1 and clinched the division in the process.  Slugger Malcom Nunez blasted his 13th home run, a solo shot, in the third inning for Cardinals initial score.   It wasn’t until the top of the ninth that the Cardinals put their second and winning run on the board.  It came when Pablo Gomez doubled to right, and Darlin Moquete followed with a double to left that brought Gomez home.

Hector Soto took the mound to start for the Cardinals.  Soto gave up the lone run of the game for the Twins on a single and a triple.  He pitched 3 1/3 innings, leaving in the fourth with one out and two runners on.  Angel Ortega induced a pop out, then hit his next batter with a pitch.  A line out produced the third out of the inning.  Ortega pitched 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, leaving in the eighth with two outs and a runner on.  Anthony Trompiz entered and gave up a single, but his second batter flied out to end the inning.  Trompiz returned to start the ninth, struck out his first batter and induced a fly out from his second.  A walk to the next hitter ended Trompiz’ outing, after he pitched a full inning.  Leonardo Taveras induced the ground out to end the inning and the game.  Trompiz got the win and Taveras the save.

The Cardinals Blue are 51-20 on the season and are in first place in the DSL South.

Saturday’s game:  vs. DSL Twins, TBA 9:30 am CT.


DSL Cardinals Red 5, DSL Cubs2 4 (11 innings)

The Cardinals Red edged the Cubs2 in an extra innings contest.  Starter Luis Ortiz gave up two runs on three hits in five innings.  Roy Garcia took over on the bump in the sixth and took it into the ninth.  Garcia gave up the leadoff single, then fanned the next batter.  A double to right scored a run, his second given up in his 3 1/3 innings of work.  Nelson Prada coerced two lineouts to end the inning.  Prada pitched a scoreless 10th and a scoreless 11th to earn his fourth win of the season.

The Cardinals offense was held scoreless until the sixth inning.  Franklin Soto led off with a single to right.  Soto stole second and Cristhian Longa singled to right to plate Soto.  Longa was caught stealing with Francsico Hernandez at the plate. Hernandez struck out, but a wild pitch allowed him to go to first base.  Claudio Ramirez came to the plate Hernandez stole second base.  Ramirez then singled on a line drive to right field and Hernandez scored.  Hernandez tripled in the eighth and scored on a Yowelfy Rosario single.  Rosario scored on an Erik Pena sac fly.

The game went into extra innings, and in the bottom of the 11th, with Ramirez starting at second base, Rosario bunted him to third, and he scored on a fielder’s choice ground ball to second base off the bat of Jesus Orrechia.

Soto had a good night, going 3-for-4.

The Cardinals Red are 39-31 on the season and are in third place in the DSL San Pedro Division.

Saturday’s game:  at DSL Cubs2, TBA 9:30 am CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: State College Spikes Notebook – 2018 Week 10

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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of August 13-19

photo: Kolten Wong and Harrison Bader (Peter Aiken/USA TODAY Sports Images)

The surging St. Louis Cardinals have won seven consecutive series for the first time in three years. A 5-2 week briefly put them back in second place as Kolten Wong and Harrison Bader are leading the offense. In our weekly history feature, the reason why Nationals fans hate Pete Kozma is remembered.


Game Recaps

Monday, August 13 – Cardinals 7, Nationals 6

Paul DeJong (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals started the busy week with a seven-game homestand, beginning with four games against the Washington Nationals.  The Cardinals were meeting a strong offensive team, despite the Nats’ struggles all season.

The opener was an example of the Redbirds’ fighting spirit, as they pulled off the one run win in the last inning.  The Cardinals got on the board first with one run driven in by Marcell Ozuna on a line drive single to left field.  The Nats tied it up in the second and took the lead in the fourth, but the Cardinals answered in the bottom of the fourth with one run to tie it up again.  That run came on a sac fly by pitcher Miles Mikolas.  The Nats took the lead again with two runs in the seventh, but the bottom of the eighth saw the Cardinals respond with four runs to take the lead back.    It began with a Jedd Gyorko solo home run.  The inning ended with a three run shot by Matt Carpenter.  The Nats tied it up once more with two runs in the top of the ninth.  The Cardinals were not done though, as Paul DeJong brought it all home for the Redbirds with a walk off solo home run in the bottom of the ninth.  Jose Martinez went 4-for-5.  Carpenter was 2-for-4. Ozuna was 2-for-5, and Gyorko and Kolten Wong were both 2-for-3.

Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas pitched seven innings and gave up four runs on four hits.  Tyler Webb tossed a scoreless eighth.   Bud Norris started the ninth, but blew the save by surrendering two runs on three hits.  Dakota Hudson got the final two outs to end the inning and was rewarded with the win.

Adolis Garcia made a throwing error.


Tuesday, August 14 – Cardinals 6, Nationals 4

Kolten Wong (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Cardinals were the victors in the second game of the series against the Nats.  Starter John Gant pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up one run on four hits.  The right hander fanned five and walked none.  Chasen Shreve followed with 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.    Mike Mayers began the eighth but had a tough time, surrendering three runs.  Dakota Hudson finished the eighth, getting the final out.  Jordan Hicks pitched a scoreless ninth.  Gant earned his fifth win.

St. Louis’ offense put three runs on the board in the second inning.  Harrison Bader opened with a sac fly.  Gant launched his first major league home run, a two-run shot.  In the fourth, Kolten Wong doubled to right to drive in two runs and added a solo home run in the sixth.  Wong was 3-for-3 with two runs scored.


Wednesday, August 15 – Cardinals 4, Nationals 2

Austin Gomber (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Redbirds marched on with a third win in the four game series against the Nats.  Marcell Ozuna’s solo home run in the second inning got the Cardinals on the board.  In the fifth, Harrison Bader led off with a double, and Austin Gomber bunted him over to third.  After Matt Carpenter was intentionally walked, Yadier Molina came to the plate.  A wild pitch to Molina sent Bader racing home for the second Cardinal run.  Molina then singled to right to score Carpenter.  Bader singled Kolten Wong home in the sixth.  Bader went 3-for-4.

Starter Gomber pitched six scoreless innings, allowing three hits while striking out six and walking four.  Daniel Poncedeleon surrendered two runs in his two innings.  Bud Norris tossed a scoreless ninth to earn his 23rd save.

Wong stole his fourth base of the season.


Thursday, August 16 – Cardinals 4, Nationals 5

Harrison Bader (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals were unable to complete the sweep, falling to the Nats in a one-run loss.  Luke Weaver only lasted 3 2/3 innings, giving up four runs, two earned, on seven hits.  Sloppy defense added to Weaver’s woes.  Tyson Ross pitched 3 1/3 innings, surrendering one unearned run on two hits.  Brett Cecil and Mike Mayers followed with a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively.

The Cardinals’ scoring began in the third inning on a solo home run from Harrison Bader.  Paul DeJong singled in a run in the sixth, followed by an RBI double from Kolten Wong and a single by Bader to plate Wong.    Bader was 2-for-3.

Matt Carpenter made a missed catch error, Wong committed a throwing error, and Ross made a fielding miscue.


Friday, August 17 – Cardinals 5, Brewers 2

Jack Flaherty (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals started the weekend with a series against their NL Central rival Brewers.  This was a crucial series, as the Brewers are one of the teams St. Louis is chasing for a playoff spot.  The Cardinals defeated the Brewers in the first game behind excellent pitching from Jack Flaherty.  Flaherty went six scoreless innings, allowing three hits, fanning seven and walking three.  Dakota Hudson added a scoreless seventh.   Jordan Hicks surrendered two runs in the eighth, the only Milwaukee runs.  Bud Norris pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 24th save and protect Flaherty’s seventh win.

Marcell Ozuna drove in two runs on a single in the first inning.  Jedd Gyorko hit a solo home run in the fourth.  In the eighth, Kolten Wong doubled to score two.  Jose Martinez went 2-for-4.

Tyler O’Neill stole his second base of the season.


Saturday, August 18 – Cardinals 7, Brewers 2

Miles Mikolas (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals rolled over the Brewers to take the series in Game 2.  Marcell Ozuna continued to drive in runs, hitting a solo home run in the second inning.  In the third, Tyler O’Neill singled in a run, and Paul DeJong plated two more on a single.  Harrison Bader’s triple in the sixth brought home two.  DeJong drove in his third run on a single in the eighth.  DeJong was 2-for-4.

Starter Miles Mikolas pitched six innings and gave up one run on five hits.  The right hander struck out seven and walked none.  Mike Mayers tossed a scoreless seventh.  Chasen Shreve surrendered one run in the eighth.  Daniel Poncedeleon finished with a scoreless ninth.

DeJong stole his first base of the season.  O’Neill made a throwing error.


Sunday, August 19 – Cardinals 1, Brewers 2

Once again, St. Louis was unable to complete the sweep, as their hitters were unable to figure out Brewers starter Jhoulys Chacin.  The Cardinals were kept off the board until the eighth inning, when pinch hitter Patrick Wisdom hit a solo home run against reliever Jeremy Jeffress for the only Cardinal run.

Starter John Gant pitched 4 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on six hits.  Brett Cecil got the final two outs of the fifth.  Tyson Ross followed with three scoreless innings.  Mike Mayers tossed a scoreless ninth.


Big Picture

St. Louis ended the week 5-2, winning 3 of 4 from the Nationals, and 2 of 3 from the Brewers.  The Cardinals briefly held the second wild card spot after defeating the Brewers on Saturday, but the loss to the Brewers on Sunday put them a half game behind the Brewers.

Mike Shildt (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The team continues to play well under interim manager Mike Shildt.  There was one defensive relapse in Thursday’s loss to the Nats, when the Cardinals made three errors.  The rest of the games for the week were clean.  The offense continues to roll, other than Sunday’s game against the Brewers when the Cardinals couldn’t figure out Jhoulys Chacin, who up until that game was 0-7 against the Cardinals.  Matt Carpenter has unfortunately cooled off some, and Yadier Molina has been ineffective at the plate as well.  Not getting a day off in 25 games most likely has contributed to his slide at the plate.  Marcell Ozuna has heated up and Paul DeJong has improved at the plate.  Harrison Bader continues to dazzle with his glove and his legs and has also contributed with the bat.  Kolten Wong also is having a renaissance at the plate since coming off the DL.

The Cardinals have a tough road trip coming up, with three games against the Dodgers in Los Angeles and three games against hot Rockies in Denver.  The team must play well in both series to maintain their march to a playoff spot.


NL Central Standings W L Pct GB
Chicago 71 52 0.577
Milwaukee 69 57 0.548 3.5
St. Louis 68 57 0.544 4
Pittsburgh 63 62 0.504 9
Cincinnati 55 69 0.444 16.5

Who’s Hot

Over the past seven games (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

  • Kolten Wong has an OPS of 1.405. He has one HR, three doubles, and six RBI.
  • Harrison Bader has an OPS of 1.192. He has one HR, one triple, three doubles, and five RBI.
  • Jose Martinez has an OPS of .913. He has one double and one RBI.
  • Jedd Gyorko has an OPS of .950. He has two HRs and two RBI.
  • Jack Flaherty has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.
  • John Gant has an ERA of 1.69 and a WHIP of 0.75.
  • Austin Gomber has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.17.
  • Brett Cecil has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00
  • Dakota Hudson has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.50.

Who’s Not

Over the past seven games (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

  • Yadier Molina has an OPS of .369.
  • Greg Garcia has an OPS of .445.
  • Matt Carpenter has an OPS of .594.
  • Mike Mayers has an ERA of 7.36 and a WHIP of 1.36.
  • Bud Norris has an ERA of 6.75 and a WHIP of 1.88.
  • Jordan Hicks has an ERA of 6.00 and a WHIP of 1.67.
  • Daniel Poncedeleon has an ERA of 6.00 and a WHIP of 1.33.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last seven games (does not contain recent Sunday game):

  • The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter.
  • The number two hitter has been Yadier Molina.
  • The number three hitter has been Jose Martinez for five games and Tyler O’Neill for two games.
  • The cleanup hitter has been Marcell Ozuna.
  • The fifth hitter has been Paul DeJong.
  • The sixth hitter has been Gyorko for six games, and Kolten Wong for one game.
  • The seventh hitter has been Harrison Bader for four games, Wong for two games, and Greg Garcia for one game.
  • The eighth hitter has been Wong for three games, Bader for three games, and Garcia for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions  

  • 8/13 The Cardinals sent RHP Adam Wainwright on a rehab assignment to the Palm Beach Cardinals
  • 8/14 The Cardinals activated OF Tyler O’Neill from the 10 day disabled list.
  • 8/14 The Cardinals optioned OF Adolis Garcia to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/15 The Cardinals activated LHP Brett Cecil from the 10 day disabled list.
  • 8/15 The Cardinals optioned LHP Tyler Webb to the Memphis Redbirds
  • 8/17 The Cardinals sent RHP Carlos Martinez on a rehab assignment to the Springfield Cardinals.
  • 8/18 The Cardinals sent RHP John Brebbia on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds
  • 8/18 The Cardinals sent RHP Michael Wacha on a rehab assignment to the Palm Beach Cardinals.
  • 8/18 The Cardinals sent IF/OF Yairo Munoz on a rehab assignment to the Springfield Cardinals.
  • 8/19 The Cardinals sent RHP Adam Wainwright on a rehab assignment to the Springfield Cardinals.

Injury Report

  • RHP Dominic Leone (right upper arm nerve irritation) was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL. Leone was sent on a rehab assignment to Memphis on August 1.
  • RHP Alex Reyes (right lat strain) had surgery on June 6 to reattach a tendon in his right lat. The right hander was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL.  Reyes is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.
  • RHP Adam Wainwright (right elbow inflammation) continues on the 60 day DL. Wainwright was sent on a rehab assignment to the Palm Beach Cardinals and then to the Springfield Cardinals.
  • RHP Michael Wacha (left oblique strain) continues on the 10 day DL. Wacha was sent on a rehab assignment to the Palm Beach Cardinals on August 18.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez (right shoulder strain) continues on the 10 day DL. Martinez was sent on a rehab assignment to the Springfield Cardinals last week.  He is set to go to the bullpen for the remainder of the season when he returns to the roster.
  • RHP Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement) was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL on August 11.
  • OF Dexter Fowler (fractured left foot) continues on the 10 day DL. The outfielder is expected to be in a walking boot for at least a month.  Fowler may return to the roster late in September.
  • RHP John Brebbia was placed on the 10 day DL on August 9 retroactive to August 6 with right forearm tightness. Brebbia had originally been optioned to Memphis, but the optional assignment was voided and the pitcher was placed on the DL.  Brebbia was sent on a rehab assignment to the Redbirds on August 18.
  • IF/OF Yairo Munoz was placed on the 10 day DL on August 11 with a right wrist strain. Munoz was sent on a rehab assignment to the Springfield Cardinals on August 18.
  • OF/1B Jose Martinez has been out of the lineup for the last two games due to right hip tightness. He is considered day to day.
  • 2B Kolten Wong was hit in the elbow by a pickoff throw in Saturday’s game. Wong was out of the lineup on August 19.  X-rays of the elbow were negative.  Wong is considered day to day.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals began a road trip to the West following Sunday’s game.  A three game series with Dodgers opens on Monday night.  Austin Gomber is set to make the Monday start, followed by Daniel Poncedeleon on Tuesday, and Jack Flaherty on Wednesday.

After a travel day on Thursday, the Cardinals take on the Rockies in Colorado for a weekend series.  Miles Mikolas is scheduled to make the start on Friday.  No pitchers have been announced for the remainder of the series.  Those pitchers may be contingent on the possible return of Michael Wacha from his rehab assignment.

Following the Rockies series, the Cardinals will have an off day next Monday, and return home to play the Pirates in a three-game series.  The homestand will continue with a weekend series against the Reds.

The next road trip takes the Redbirds to Washington, D.C. for a three-game set with the Nationals.  Following a Thursday travel day, the Cardinals meet the Tigers in Detroit for a weekend interleague series.

The Cardinals then return home to take on the Pirates again in a three-game series.  A four-game series at home against the Dodgers follows.

St. Louis’ regular season schedule can be found here.


Blast from the Past

The Cardinals took three of four from the Nationals at Busch Stadium last week.  Playing the Nationals always makes this author reminisce about the 2012 National League Division Series, in which the Cardinals stole Game 5 from the Nats to move on to the NLCS.

The 2012 Cardinals finished with an 88-74 record and earned a wild card spot.  St. Louis played the Braves in the wild card game, a wild and crazy game that is likely the subject of a future Blast from the Past.  The Cardinals won to advance to the NLDS against the Nationals.

The first two games were played in Busch Stadium.  The Nationals took the first game 3-2.  The Cardinals roared back in Game 2, pummeling the Nats 12-4 behind Carlos Beltran’s two home runs.

Pete Kozma (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The series then moved to Washington, where the Cardinals blanked the Nats 8-0 in Game 3.  Chris Carpenter was the winning pitcher in only his fourth start since coming back from Thoracic Outlet surgery.   Perennial whipping boy Pete Kozma hit a three-run home run.  The Nationals just edged out the Redbirds in Game 4 by the score of 2-1.

The series went to Game 5, also at Nationals Park.  That was a year in which the NLDS went 2-3 instead of 2-2-1 due to the addition of a second wild card that year.  Adam Wainwright had a terrible start, giving up six Nationals runs in three innings.  Things were looking bleak for the Cardinals, but those Redbirds refused to give in to what everyone thought was a sure win for the Nats.  Down 6-0 going into the fourth inning, the Cardinals began chipping away.  Matt Holliday doubled to bring in a run in the fourth.  A wild pitch and a walk to Allen Craig added two more runs in the fifth.  Matt Holliday grounded out to bring in a run in the seventh.  The score now stood at 6-4.

The Cardinals made it 6-5 in the top of the eighth when Daniel Descalso hit a solo home run off Tyler Clippard.  The Nats added a run in the bottom of the eighth to make it 7-5.

The Nats sent out closer Drew Storen in the top of the ninth.  Storen gave up a leadoff double to Carlos Beltran.  Matt Holliday grounded out and Allen Craig struck out.  The Nationals were one out away from their first NLCS.  Storen then walked Yadier Molina, then walked David Freese.  With the bases juiced, Daniel Descalso hit a single that scored Beltran and pinch runner Adron Chambers to tie the game at 7-7.  Descalso stole second base, and up came Pete Kozma, who had the three-run home run in Game 3. Kozma singled to score Freese and Descalso to make it 9-7.  Jason Motte pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, and the Cardinals celebrated while Nats fans looked on in horror and disbelief.

Kozma was booed by Nationals fans for the remainder of his Cardinals’ career and beyond.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Gulf Coast League Cardinals Notebook – 2018 Week 9

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – August 19, 2018

photo: Johan Mieses (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 5-4 on Saturday. Our Player of the Day is outfielder Johan Mieses, who went 2-for-3 including a two-run home run to give Springfield its walk off win. Other standouts include Anthony Shew, Brady Whalen, Eli Kraus, Brian Pirela and Hector Soto.

Results for games played Saturday, August 18.


Memphis 2, Round Rock 4

Tommy Edman (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds suffered a home loss at the hands of Round Rock on Saturday.  The Redbirds got on the board with one run in the third inning.  Tommy Edman singled and later came home on Adolis Garcia’s single.  Memphis didn’t score again until the ninth, with Edman again touching the plate after a single by Max Schrock. Edman was 2-for-5.  Garcia was 2-for-4.

Starter Kevin Herget pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up three runs on six hits.  Herget took the loss, his 10th of the season.  Tommy Layne pitched to one batter in the seventh and gave up a hit.  Edward Mujica finished the inning without damage.  John Brebbia surrendered an insurance run in the eighth.  Dominic Leone pitched a scoreless ninth.

Edman stole his second base in two attempts for Memphis.  Schrock swiped his eighth bag in 13 tries.  Randy Arozarena stole his 14th base in 18 attempts.  Justin Williams was caught stealing for the first time in one attempt.  Schrock was picked off third base.

The Redbirds are 76-49 and are in first place in the PCL Southern.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Round Rock, Austin Warner (1-0, 2.78) 2:05 CT.


Springfield 4, Corpus Christi 3

Anthony Shew (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Cardinals edged Corpus Christi in a one run victory at Hammons Field on Saturday.  Starter Anthony Shew pitched seven innings and gave up one run on seven hits.  Shew struck out six and walked none.   Eric Carter pitched a scoreless eighth.  Roel Ramirez started the ninth, and after a walk, a wild pitch and two singles, Ramirez was replaced with no outs and two men on, having given up one run.  Derian Gonzalez allowed one inherited runner to score but got through the inning otherwise unscathed.  Gonzalez received the win and Ramirez was charged with a blown save.

Back to back home runs by Andy Young and Evan Mendoza in the third put the Cardinals on the board.  Johan Mieses’ two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to gave the Cardinals the walk off win. Mieses was 2-for-3.

Young was caught stealing for the second time in two attempts for Springfield.  Shew made a fielding error.  Shane Billings had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals are 55-69 overall, 22-32 in the second half, and are in last place in the Texas League North.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Corpus Christi, Adam Wainwright (rehab) followed by Matt Pearce (0-5, 5.15) 12:15 CT.


Palm Beach 7 at Charlotte 8 (10 innings)

Kramer Robertson (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Cardinals were edged by the Charlotte Stone Crabs in extra innings on Saturday.  After falling behind 4-0 in the first inning, the Cardinals responded with three runs in the second.  Stefan Trosclair and Jose Godoy singled, and Kramer Robertson doubled to score both.  Justin Toerner singled, and Elehuris Montero singled to plate Robertson.  Montero drove in Robertson again in the fourth on a single.  In the sixth, Godoy singled, then scored on Robertson’s double.  Dylan Carlson doubled in the seventh and then came home on Trosclair’s sac fly.  Carlson singled again in the ninth and scored on Irving Lopez’ single.  Montero went 4-for-5.  Carlson was 2-for-6 with two runs scored.  Robertson was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI.  Trosclair and Godoy were both 2-for-3.

Michael Wacha, in Palm Beach to open his rehab assignment, pitched 2/3 of an inning and gave up three runs on one hit and two walks.  Ian Oxnevad followed with 5 1/3 innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on six hits.  Mike O’Reilly pitched a scoreless seventh.  Jason Zgardowski tossed two scoreless innings.  Bryan Dobzanksi started the 10th and gave up the walk off run to take the loss.

Robertson stole his 14th base in 23 attempts, and also made a throwing error.

The Cardinals are 66-53 overall and 27-28 in the second half to put them in third place in the FSL South.

Sunday’s game:   at Charlotte, TBA 8:05 am CT.


Peoria 6 at Quad Cities 2

Nolan Gorman (Bret Jacomet photo)

The Chiefs vanquished the Quad Cities River Bandits in Davenport on Saturday.  Chiefs’ starter Jake Dahlberg pitched five innings and gave up two runs on six hits to win his third game since joining Peoria.  Robbie Gordon tossed a scoreless sixth before Patrick Dayton and Kodi Whitley combined for the final three scoreless innings of relief.

Peoria fell behind 2-0, but put up six runs in the fourth inning to take the lead.  Dennis Ortega drew a leadoff walk.  Zach Kirtley reached on an error on a force attempt and advanced to second on a subsequent throwing error. Nick Plummer doubled to score both Ortega and Kirtley.  Brandon Riley singled and advanced to second on the throw.  Rayder Ascanio’s sac fly plated Plummer.  Riley scored on a fielder’s choice ground ball by Wood Myers.  Nolan Gorman’s two-run home run scored the final runs of the inning.  Luken Baker was 2-for-3.

Gorman was caught stealing for the second time in two attempts for Peoria.

The Chiefs are 71-52 overall, 32-21 in the second half, and are in first place in the Midwest League Western Division.

Sunday’s game:  at Quad Cities, Johan Oviedo (9-8, 4.66), 5:15 CT.


State College 4 at Mahoning Valley 1

Brady Whalen (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Spikes were victorious in Mahoning Valley on Saturday.  A two-run home run in the third inning off the bat of Brady Whalen got the Spikes on the board.  In the fifth, Whalen added a two-run double.  Whalen was a one man show, batting 2-for-4 and driving in all four State College runs.   Imeldo Diaz was also 2-for-4.

Starter Eli Kraus pitched six innings and gave up one run on four hits.  Will Changarotty tossed two clean innings of relief.  Kevin Hamann added a scoreless ninth to earn his eighth save.

Edwin Figuera made a throwing error.

The Spikes are 28-31 on the season and are in third place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.

Sunday’s game:  at Mahoning Valley, Chris Holba (2-2, 2.61) 3:05 CT.


Johnson City 5 at Princeton 13

Michael Perri (Bret Jacomet photo)

Johnson City was pummeled by Princeton on Saturday, dropping three of five in the series.

Starter Colin Schmid pitched 4 1/3 innings and gave up six runs, five earned, on six hits.  Enrique Perez surrendered two runs in 2 1/3 innings of relief. Jacob Sylvester allowed five runs, four earned, in 1 1/3 innings pitched.  Schmid took the loss.

The Cardinal offense got on the board in the fourth on a two-run home run by Michael Perri.  Leandro Cedeno added a solo home run in the fifth.  Liam Sabino launched a solo home run in the seventh, and in the eighth, Moises Castillo singled and scored on Luis Flores’ single.  Castillo was 2-for-4, as was Jonatan Machado.  Cedeno was 2-for-5 and Sabino was 2-for-3.

Dariel Gomez made an error on a pickoff.  Machado made a throwing error, and Castillo made a fielding error.

The Cardinals are 25-29 on the season and are in fourth place in the Appalachian League West.

Sunday’s games:   at Elizabethton, TBA/TBA 5:00 CT (Game 1 previously suspended game/Game 2).


GCL Cardinals 4 at GCL Astros 1

Brian Pirela (Dominican Summer League)

The division-winning Cardinals conquered the Astros with a three-run win on Saturday.   Starter Brian Pirela won his team-record ninth game of the season, after pitching six innings and giving up one run on five hits.  Griffin Roberts, and Ty Cohen added a run free seventh and eighth.  Edgar Escobar tossed a scoreless ninth to earn his ninth save.

The Cardinals offense put up its first run in the fourth.  Carlos Soler led off with a single and later scored on Kevin Vargas’ single.  The Cardinals added two in the seventh on successive wild pitches.  In the eighth, Mateo Gil led off with a walk and later scored on a fielding error.  Jhon Torres went 2-for-4 and Vargas was 2-for-3.

Josh Shaw stole his fifth base in seven attempts.  Soler was caught stealing in his initial try for the GCL Cardinals.  Vargas was caught stealing for the second time in three attempts.  Diomedes Del Rio had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals are 34-16 on the season and are in first place in the GCL East.

Sunday’s game:  vs. GCL Marlins, TBA 9:00 am CT.


DSL Cardinals Blue 5, DSL Mets1 2

The Cardinals Blue defeated the Mets1 on Saturday.  The offense scored in the first inning on Malcom Nunez’ solo home run.  In the second, Jean Selmo drew a leadoff walk and Pablo Gomez reached on a throwing error.  Selmo scored on Sander Mora’s ground out and Gomez came home on a balk.  Selmo scored again in the fourth on Elvin De Jesus’ single.  In the fifth, Freddy De Jesus doubled to plate Adanson Cruz.

Starter Hector Soto pitched seven innings and gave up two runs on four hits to win his sixth game of the season.  Leonardo Taveras pitched the final two scoreless innings to earn his seventh save.

Gomez was caught stealing for the fourth time in nine attempts.  Mora was caught stealing for the seventh time in 18 tries.

The Cardinals Blue are 46-20 on the season and are tied for first place in the DSL South.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled


DSL Cardinals Red 5 at DSL Tigers1 6

The Cardinals Red fell to the Tigers1 in a one run loss on Saturday.  Starter Wilman Madera pitched five innings and gave up one run on seven hits.  Madera fanned six and walked none.  Roy Garcia started the sixth and gave up two runs before leaving with two outs and the bases loaded.  Nelson Prada gave up a double that scored two Garcia runners.  Prada got the last out of the inning.  Prada returned to pitch a scoreless seventh.  Gustavo Rodriguez surrendered one run in the eighth and took the loss.  Prada was charged with a blown save.

The offense scored one run in the first inning.  Luis Andujar reached on a throwing error and later came home on a ground out.  Four additional runs were tallied in the fifth.  Alexander Samuel walked, Jesus Orrechia singled, and Andujar doubled to score both.  Franklin Soto tripled and Andujar scored.  Soto came home on a Christhian Longa sac fly.  Soto went 3-for-5.  Andujar, Luis Montano, and Francisco Hernandez were all 2-for-5.

Hernandez was caught stealing for the seventh time in 10 attempts.  Soto was picked off second base.

The Cardinals Red are 36-29 on the season and are in third place in the DSL San Pedro Division.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: State College Spikes Notebook – 2018 Week 9

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – August 18, 2018

photo: Stanley Espinal (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 4-5 on Friday. Our Player of the Day is State College first baseman Stanley Espinal, who went 3-for-5 with a two-run home run and two runs scored in a road win. On an off-day, the Gulf Coast League Cardinals clinched their division.

Results for games played Friday, August 17.


Memphis 7, Round Rock 4

Tommy Edman (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds were victorious against Round Rock at AutoZone Park on Friday.  The offense put up three runs in the first inning.  Tommy Edman led off with a single.  Carson Kelly walked.  Justin Williams singled to score Edman, Alex Mejia singled to plate Kelly, and Wilfredo Tovar singled to bring in Williams.  In the second, Ramon Urias led off with a single, Edman singled, and Lane Thomas reached on a fielder’s choice throwing error that plated Urias.  Adolis Garcia grounded into a force out and Edman scored.  Williams hit a sac fly that plated Thomas.  Garcia later scored on a Tovar double.  Tovar went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Williams also plated two.  Leadoff man Edman was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

Starter and winning pitcher Jake Woodford went seven innings and gave up four runs, three earned, on six hits. Giovanny Gallegos added the final two scoreless innings of relief.

Thomas stole his third base in four attempts. Randy Arozarena stole his 13th base in 17 attempts.  Tovar made a fielding error.  Kelly had a passed ball.

The Redbirds are 76-48 on the season and are in first place in the PCL American Southern.

Saturday’s game:   vs. Round Rock, Kevin Herget (8-9, 4.50) 6:35 CT.


Springfield 3, Corpus Christi 5

Andrew Knizner (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals fell to Corpus Christi at Hammons Field on Friday.  Starter Genesis Cabrera pitched six scoreless innings but ran into trouble in the seventh, when he gave up four runs, two earned.  Cabrera pitched to four batters in the seventh and gave up a double, a walk and a single.  The fourth batter reached on a throwing error by Andy Young.  With no outs and two runs having scored, Cabrera was replaced by Junior Fernandez.  Fernandez allowed two consecutive sac flies that scored two, then got the final out of the inning.  Carlos Martinez, on a rehab assignment, pitched the final two innings of the game and allowed one run on a solo home run.  Cabrera took the loss, Fernandez was charged with a blown save.

The Cardinals offense took a 3-0 lead into the seventh inning.  A leadoff solo home run by Andy Young, and an RBI double by Andrew Knizner put two runs on the board in the fourth inning.  John Nogowski hit a solo home run in the sixth.  Knizner and Nogowski were both 2-for-4.

The Cardinals are 54-69 overall, 21-32 in the second half, and are in last place in the Texas League North.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Corpus Christi, Anthony Shew (6-7, 4.45) 6:10 CT.


Palm Beach 4 at Charlotte 5

Kramer Robertson (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Cardinals suffered a one run defeat at the Charlotte Stone Crabs on Friday.  The Palm Beach offense put up all four runs in the first three innings.  Kramer Robertson led off the game with a solo home run.  Connor Capel added a two-run home run in the second.  Dylan Carlson launched a solo home run in the third.  Those were all the runs scored by Palm Beach and it wasn’t enough.  Robertson went 2-for-4.

Starter Alex Fagalde pitched four innings and gave up four runs on two hits.  Fagalde pitched to three batters in the fifth and hit the first batter with a pitch, then walked the next two hitters.  Fagalde was replaced with the bases loaded and no outs by Ramon Santos. Santos issued three walks that allowed all three Fagalde runners to score.  Austin Sexton allowed a sac fly to score a Santos runner then got the final out of the inning.  Sexton returned to pitch a scoreless sixth, then began the seventh and got two outs before being replaced by Bryan Dobzanski, who secured the final out of the inning.  Dobzanski returned to pitch a scoreless eighth.  Santos took the loss.

The Cardinals are 66-52 overall and 27-27 in the second half and are in third place in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:   at Charlotte, TBA 5:05 CT.


Peoria 1 at Cedar Rapids 7

Wood Myers (Johnson City Cardinals)

The Chiefs were conquered by the Kernels in Cedar Rapids on Friday.  Starter Angel Rondon pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up six runs, one earned, on five hits.  Zach Prendergast followed with 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Fabian Blanco surrendered one run in the eighth.  Rondon took the loss.

The only Peoria hits came from Wood Myers, who was 3-for-4 including a double and a stolen base.  The only Peoria run scored on a wild pitch in the third inning.

Rondon contributed to his problems with two errors, one on a pickoff attempt and a missed catch error.  Nolan Gorman also committed two errors, a fielding error and a missed catch error. They are his third and fourth miscues in nine games since joining the Chiefs.

The Chiefs are 70-52 overall, 31-21 in the second half and fell to second place in the Midwest League Western.

Saturday’s game:  at Quad Cities, Jake Dahlberg (2-1, 2.14) 6:35 CT.


State College 9 at Mahoning Valley 3

Stanley Espinal (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Spikes vanquished Mahoning Valley in a Friday road win.  The Spikes were behind 1-0 until the fifth inning, when the offense put up a crooked number.  Five runs came home in that inning. It began with a leadoff walk by Delvin Perez.  Cameron Knight was hit by a pitch.  Lars Nootbaar doubled to center and Perez scored.  Nick Dunn singled to plate Knight and Nootbaar.  Brady Whalen then launched a two-run home run to right field.  In the eighth, Stanley Espinal singled and scored on Kevin Woodall’s double.  Perez singled and plated Woodall.  Espinal added a two-run home run in the ninth.  Espinal went 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored.  Perez was 2-for-3.

Starter Franyel Casadilla won his third game with State College after pitching seven innings and giving up one run on three hits.  Hector Villalobos tossed the eighth and surrendered two runs.  Troy Montemayor pitched a scoreless ninth.

Casadilla made an error on a pickoff attempt, Perez committed a throwing error and Woodall had a fielding error.

The Spikes are 27-31 on the season and are in third place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.

Saturday’s game:  at Mahoning Valley, Eli Kraus (1-1, 2.66) 6:05 CT.


Johnson City 6 at Princeton 4 (seven innings, Game 1 DH)

Jonatan Machado (Peoria Chiefs)

The Cardinals defeated the Rays in the opener at Princeton on Friday.  Starter Kyle Leahy pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on 10 hits.  Evan Sisk handled the final 1 2/3 scoreless innings.  Leahy earned the win and Sisk earned the save, his fourth.

The Cardinals got on the board with one run in the first inning.  Jonatan Machado reached on a fielding error and later scored on a double by Dariel Gomez. In the second, Liam Sabino hit a two-run home run.  Moises Castillo doubled in the third and scored on a single by Sanel Rosendo.  In the sixth, Luis Flores and Machdo each singled, and Leandro Cedeno doubled to plate both Flores and Machado.  Machado went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.  Castillo was 2-for-4 and also came home twice.

Cedeno was caught stealing for the first time in two attempts.  Gomez made a fielding error and Flores made a throwing error.


Johnson City 1 at Princeton 12 (seven innings Game 2 DH)

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Cardinals were shellacked by the Rays.  The offense scored its only run in the sixth, when Jonatan Machado singled and came in on a throwing error.  No Cardinal had multiple hits.

In a bullpen game, starter Michael Brettell pitched only one inning in which he gave up five runs on four hits.  Juan Alvarez surrendered four additional runs in his 3 2/3 innings.  Oneiver Diaz tossed 1 1/3 innings and allowed three runs, two earned.  Brettell took the loss.

Machado was caught stealing for the fifth time in 13 attempts.  Dariel Gomez made a fielding error.

The Cardinals are 25-29 on the season and are in fourth place in the Appalachian League West.

Saturday’s game:  at Princeton, TBA 6:00 CT.


GCL Cardinals – off

Saturday’s game:  at GCL Astros, TBA 9:00 am CT.


DSL Cardinals Blue 4 at DSL Mets1 5

The Cardinals Blue were edged by the Mets1 on Friday.  The Blue bats were held scoreless until the seventh, when Adanson Cruz led off with a solo home run.  The offense took the lead in the top of the ninth, but the Mets came back in the bottom frame to walk off the win.  In the ninth, Cruz reached on a fielding error.  Ramon Mendoza singled, then Diowill Burgos singled to plate Cruz.  Burgos stole second base, then Pablo Gomez doubled to score two.  Cruz and Mendoza were both 2-for-4.  Darlin Moquete was 3-for-4.

Starter Enmanuel Solano pitched 3 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on four hits.  Miguel Yedis followed with three innings of relief, surrendering one run.  Luis Tena secured the final out of the seventh, tossed a scoreless eighth and returned to start the ninth.  Three singles led to a run and with the bases loaded, Saniel Santana hit the first batter he faced to score the winning walk off run.

Burgos stole his third base in seven attempts.  He was also caught stealing for the fourth time.  Moquete was caught stealing for the fourth time in 22 attempts.  Solano committed an error on a pickoff, and Tena made a throwing error.  Moquete had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals Blue are 45-20 on the season and are in first place in the DSL South.

Saturday’s game:  vs. DSL Mets 1, TBA 9:30 am CT.


DSL Cardinals Red 4, DSL Tigers1 3 (10 innings)

The Cardinals Red squeaked by the Tigers1 in 10 innings on Friday.  Starter Luis Ortiz pitched five innings, giving up one run on four hits.  Ortiz fanned five and walked none.  Jhon Victorino added a scoreless sixth.  Sebastian Tabata tossed two run-free frames.  Martin Cordova pitched the final two innings and surrendered two runs, one earned, but earned the win.

The offense didn’t get on the board until the seventh, when Yowelfy Rosario’s RBI triple tied the score.  In extra innings, the Tigers regained the lead, but the Cardinals took it back with three runs in the bottom of the 10th.   The inning started with Rosario on second, and after two strikeouts, Joerlin De Los Santos drew a walk.  Erik Pena singled, and Rosario scored.  Cristhian Longa doubled and drove in De Los Santos and Pena for the walk off victory.  Pena went 2-for-4.  Longa was 2-for-5.

Francisco Hernandez was picked off and caught stealing for the sixth time in nine attempts.  Rosario was picked off and caught stealing for the second time in three attempts.  Ortiz made an error on a pickoff and catcher Joyser Garcia had a passed ball.

The Cardinals Red are 36-28 on the season and are in third place in the DSL San Pedro Division.

Saturday’s game:  at DSL Tigers1, TBA 9:30 am CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Memphis Redbirds Notebook – 2018 Week 19

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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of August 6-12

photo: Paul DeJong and Jose Martinez (Peter Aiken/USA TODAY Sports)

The surging St. Louis Cardinals have won five consecutive series for the first time in three years. Paul DeJong and Jose Martinez join NL Player of the Week Matt Carpenter as hot hitters. In our weekly history feature, the “Show Me Series” is remembered.


Game Recaps

Luke Weaver (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Monday, August 6 – Cardinals 1 at Marlins 2

The Cardinals played a three-game series in Miami, with the opener a one run loss to the NL East last-place team.  Luke Weaver pitched well but received almost no run support from his offense.  Weaver pitched six innings and gave up two runs on seven hits.  The right hander fanned five and walked none.  Lefty Tyler Webb tossed the final two scoreless innings.

The offense was held scoreless until the ninth inning when Matt Carpenter walked with the bases loaded to plate Paul DeJong.  All seven St. Louis hits were singles.  Marcell Ozuna was 3-for-4.  Harrison Bader was 2-for-4.


Miles Mikolas (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Tuesday, August 7 – Cardinals 3 at Marlins 2

The second game of the series went better for the Cardinals, with a one run victory instead of a loss.    The offense was stymied again by Marlins’ pitching, kept off the board until the seventh inning, when Paul DeJong’s two run home run tied the score at 2-2.  In the eighth, Matt Carpenter hit a solo shot to give the Cardinals the lead and the win.  DeJong went 2-for-4, as did Marcell Ozuna.

Starter Miles Mikolas pitched seven innings and gave up two runs on five hits.  Mikolas struck out only one and walked no one.  The right hander earned his 12th win.  Dakota Hudson tossed a scoreless eighth and Bud Norris a run-free ninth to earn his 22nd save.


Wednesday, August 8 – Cardinals 7 at Marlins 1

Yadier Molina (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals bats finally got going in this six-run win in the final game in Miami.  The scoring began in the first on a solo home run by Yadier Molina.  The Marlins tied it up the next inning and the score remained tied until the sixth, when Matt Carpenter’s solo home run gave St. Louis a 2-1 lead.  An RBI double by Marcell Ozuna in that same inning put the Redbirds up 3-1.  In the eighth, Paul DeJong slammed a two run double.  The final two runs came home in the ninth on Molina’s double.  The catcher went 2-for-4.  Kolten Wong was 2-for-3.

Starter John Gant earned his fourth win of the season.  Gant pitched six innings and gave up one run on two hits while fanning four and walking one.  Chasen Shreve began the seventh and struck out the only batter he faced.  Dakota Hudson retired the next two batters on ground outs.  Hudson returned to register a run-free eighth.  Mike Mayers tossed a scoreless ninth.

Harrison Bader stole his 12th base of the season.  Yairo Munoz and Yadier Molina were both caught stealing, Munoz for the fifth time and Molina for the second time.


Thursday, August 9 – Off day


Friday, August 10 – Cardinals 7 at Royals 0

Austin Gomber (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals traveled to meet their cross-state rivals for a weekend series.  Austin Gomber started the opener and pitched five scoreless innings, allowing four hits, striking out three and walking one.  Chasen Shreve tossed a scoreless sixth and Daniel Poncedeleon handled the final three scoreless innings.

The offense got going in the second inning, putting five runs on the board.  Paul DeJong hit a solo home run.  Harrison Bader singled to score Jedd Gyorko.  Matt Carpenter slammed a two-run home run and Jose Martinez added an RBI single.  Bader hit a solo home run in the sixth and Martinez plated Yadier Molina on a double in the seventh.  Molina went 2-for-3.  Martinez was 3-for-4 and Bader was 2-for-4.

Kolten Wong made a throwing error, his fourth of the season.


Saturday, August 11 – Cardinals 8 at Royals 3

Jose Martinez (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals defeated the Royals in Game 2, after taking the lead with four runs in the third inning.  Jose Martinez singled to score Yadier Molina, and Marcell Ozuna followed with a triple to plate Martinez.  Paul DeJong drove in Ozuna on a double and Jedd Gyorko brought DeJong home on a single.  Harrison Bader added to the lead with a two-run home run in the sixth, and Martinez topped it off with a long ball with one aboard in the ninth.  Molina and Ozuna were both 2-for-5.  Martinez and Gyorko were 2-for-4.  Bader was 2-for-3.

Starter Jack Flaherty pitched seven innings and gave up two runs on three hits.  The right hander struck out nine and walked three. Dakota Hudson followed with 2/3 of an inning in which he surrendered one run.  Jordan Hicks spun the final 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Matt Carpenter was charged with an error on a pickoff throw from the pitcher.


Sunday, August 12 – Cardinals 8 at Royals 2

Tyson Ross (Rick Scuteri/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals got out the brooms and swept the Royals in the final game of the road series.  Luke Weaver was the scheduled starter for the game but was scratched due to a cut on his finger.  Tyson Ross made his St. Louis debut by taking the start.  Ross pitched six innings and gave up two runs on four hits to earn his seventh win.  Mike Mayers and Jordan Hicks added a scoreless seventh and eighth, respectively.

Tyler Webb started the ninth and got two outs when he was inexplicably ejected from the game by the home plate umpire for hitting Jorge Bonafacio with a pitch.  Prior to this, four Cardinals hitters, Paul DeJong, Yadier Molina, Harrison Bader, and Matt Carpenter, had been hit by Royals pitchers at various times throughout the game.  No argument ever arose from these hit by pitches and no warning had been issued by the umpire to either team.   Nevertheless, with two outs in the ninth and a six run lead, the assumption was made that Webb hit Bonafacio on purpose and he was tossed.  Arguments did ensue at this point, first from Molina, and then from Cardinal manager Mike Shildt.  Neither Molina nor Shildt was ejected.  After Webb was ejected, Bud Norris came in to get the last out of the inning and the game.

The Cardinals scored their eight runs thusly:  Jose Martinez began with a two-run single in the third inning; Patrick Wisdom plated his first run in the majors on a single in the seventh and Molina drove in two runs on a single; Greg Garcia doubled to score Marcell Ozuna in the eighth; Ozuna drove in a run on a double and Paul DeJong launched a home run with one on in the ninth.  Ozuna, Jedd Gyorko, and Garcia were each 2-for-5.  Wisdom was 2-for-4.

Wisdom made a fielding error.  Harrison Bader threw out Lucas Duda at home plate.


Big Picture

The Cardinals had a good 5-1 week, all on the road against lesser teams, with a series win over the Marlins and a sweep of the Royals. The Cardinals are now eight games over .500, tying their season best. Their record is 63-55, including a current five-game winning streak.

Mike Shildt (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The team continues to improve under Mike Shildt, with the 16-9 record since the managerial change the best in the National League.  All facets of the game have been good and the current five-game winning streak is the result.  The Cardinals haven’t had a winning streak of five games since early May.  Their five-series winning streak is the longest since the Cards took six consecutive series in August 2015.

The Cardinals now sit 2.5 games back of the second wild card, tied with Colorado, and behind Los Angeles. Philadelphia and Milwaukee currently sit in the first two wild card spots.

The Cardinals have a tough homestand coming up, with four games against Washington and three versus second-place Milwaukee.  Series wins over both would go a long way in the climb to make the postseason.


NL Central standings W L Pct GB
Chicago 68 49 0.581
Milwaukee 67 54 0.554 3
St. Louis 63 55 0.534 5.5
Pittsburgh 61 58 0.513 8
Cincinnati 52 66 0.441 16.5

Matt Carpenter (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Carpenter does it again

For the period of July 30 through August 5, Matt Carpenter slashed .423/.543/.962 with seven runs scored, 11 hits, two doubles, four home runs, seven RBI, eight walks and a stolen base across seven games played to claim his second NL Player of the Week Award in the last three weeks, and the fourth of his career.

Among his NL counterparts that week, Carpenter ranked 1st in total bases (25); T1st first in home runs and walks; 2nd in on-base and slugging; T2nd in hits and extra-base hits (6), T3rd in RBI; T4th in runs scored; and 7th in batting average.


Who’s Hot

Over the past six games (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

  • Jose Martinez has an OPS of 1.007. He has one HR, one double, and five RBI.
  • Paul DeJong has an OPS of 1.050. He has two HRs, three doubles, and six RBI.
  • Yadier Molina has an OPS of .993. He has one HR, four doubles, and three RBI.
  • Matt Carpenter has an OPS of .930. He has four HRs, and six RBI.
  • Harrison Bader has an OPS of .933. He has two HRs, and four RBI.
  • Jack Flaherty has an ERA of 1.38 and a WHIP of 0.77.
  • John Gant has an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 0.50
  • Miles Mikolas has an ERA of 2.57a WHIP of 0.71
  • Austin Gomber has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.
  • Tyler Webb has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.50.
  • Jordan Hicks has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.38.
  • Bud Norris has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.50.

Who’s Not

Over the past six games (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

  • Adolis Garcia has an OPS of .200.
  • Jedd Gyorko has an OPS of .473.
  • Chasen Shreve has an ERA of 5.40 and a WHIP of 1.20.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last six games (does not contain recent Sunday game):

  • The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter.
  • The number two hitter has been Yadier Molina.
  • The number three hitter has been Jose Martinez.
  • The cleanup hitter has been Marcell Ozuna.
  • The fifth hitter has been Jedd Gyorko for three games and Paul DeJong for three games.
  • The sixth hitter has been Gyorko for two games, DeJong for two games, Kolten Wong for one game and Yairo Munoz for one game.
  • The seventh hitter has been Wong for three games, Harrison Bader for two games, and Greg Garcia for one game.
  • The eighth hitter has been Harrison Bader for two games, Munoz for two games, Garcia for one game, and Wong for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions

  • 8/6 The Cardinals placed RHP John Brebbia on the 10 day disabled list.  Right forearm tightness.
  • 8/6 The Cardinals placed OF Tyler O’Neill on the 10 day disabled list retroactive to August 4, 2018.  Inflammation of the groin area.
  • 8/6 The Cardinals sent LHP Brett Cecil on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/6 The Cardinals selected the contract of OF Adolis Garcia from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/7 The Cardinals activated RHP Tyson Ross.
  • 8/10 The Cardinals sent OF Tyler O’Neill on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/11 The Cardinals transferred RHP Luke Gregerson from the 10 day disabled list to the 60 day disabled list.  Right shoulder impingement.
  • 8/11 The Cardinals placed IF/OF Yairo Munoz on the 10 day disabled list.  Right wrist strain.
  • 8/11 The Cardinals selected the contract of 3B Patrick Wisdom from the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

The Cardinals are up to 11 players on the disabled list.

  • RHP Dominic Leone (right upper arm nerve irritation) was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL. Leone was sent on a rehab assignment to Memphis on August 1.
  • RHP Alex Reyes (right lat strain) had surgery on June 6 to reattach a tendon in his right lat. The right hander was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL.  Reyes is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.
  • RHP Adam Wainwright (right elbow inflammation) continues on the 60 day DL. Wainwright threw a high intensity bullpen session on August 1.  Wainwright was sent on a rehab assignment to the Palm Beach Cardinals on August 13.
  • RHP Michael Wacha (left oblique strain) continues on the 10 day DL. Wacha has begun a throwing program in St. Louis.  It is possible Wacha will return to the roster in late August.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez (right shoulder strain) continues on the 10 day DL. Martinez played catch on August 10.  No timetable for return has been announced.
  • LHP Brett Cecil (right foot inflammation) continues on the 10 day DL. Cecil was sent on a rehab assignment in Memphis on August 6.
  • RHP Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement) was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL on August 11 with a return this season appearing unlikely.
  • OF Dexter Fowler (fractured left foot) continues on the 10 day DL. The outfielder is expected to be in a walking boot for a month.  A return sometime in September is expected.
  • OF Tyler O’Neill (groin inflammation) continues on the 10 day DL. O’Neill was sent on a rehab assignment with the Memphis Redbirds on August 10.
  • RHP John Brebbia was placed on the 10 day DL on August 9 retroactive to August 6 with right forearm tightness. Brebbia had originally been optioned to Memphis, but the optional assignment was voided and the pitcher was placed on St. Louis’ DL.  No timetable for a return has been set.
  • IF/OF Yairo Munoz was placed on the 10 day DL on August 11 with a right wrist strain. No timetable for a return has been set.
  • RHP Luke Weaver was scratched from his Sunday start against the Royals with a cut on a finger. No DL placement is expected, Weaver is considered day to day.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals return to St. Louis to begin a seven game homestand.  The team plays a four-game series against the Nationals beginning on Monday.   Miles Mikolas is scheduled to make the Monday start, followed by John Gant on Tuesday, Austin Gomber on Wednesday, and Jack Flaherty on Thursday.

Following the Nationals, the Brewers come to town for a weekend series.  No starting pitchers have been announced, but they will likely be Luke Weaver, Mikolas, and Gant.

The Cardinals will then travel to the west coast.  Beginning Monday, August 20 the Cardinals have a three game set in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.  After an off day Thursday, the Cardinals head to Colorado for a weekend series with the Rockies.

After an off day on Monday, August 27, the Cardinals are back home again in Busch Stadium to play the Pirates in a three game series.  The homestand continues with a weekend series with the Reds.

A three game series with the Nationals in Washington D.C. begins on Labor Day.  After a Thursday travel day, the Cardinals will be in Detroit for a weekend interleague series with the Tigers.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.


Blast from the Past

The Cardinals completed a three-game series sweep of Royals in Kansas City over the weekend. The Royals and the Cardinals have something of a rivalry, being teams from the two biggest cities in the state.  The rivalry is fairly strong considering one team is from the American League and the other from the National League.  The two teams play each other every year, as MLB has seen fit to have area rivalry AL/NL teams play every year rather than the typical every three years between other AL/NL teams from the three Divisions.

The Royals are a much younger franchise than the Cardinals.  The Royals were established in 1969 and this weekend celebrated their 50th season.  The Cardinals, on the other hand, are one of the oldest franchises in major league baseball, established in 1882 (or 1892 if you agree with the team).  So the rivalry is of much shorter duration than the rivalry that exists between the Cardinals and the Cubs, for example, another old franchise.

The Royals and the Cardinals met one time in a World Series, in 1985.  That World Series was the first official meeting between the two franchises.  The two teams did not face off again until 1997, when interleague play first began in MLB.  St. Louis leads the regular season interleague series 59-41.  The two teams meet every year for two games in each city, except for the season where the AL Central plays the NL Central, where the two teams meet for three games in each city.  Such is the current season.  The Cardinals lead this season series 4-2.

The last time the Cardinals swept the Royals in a three-game series in Kansas City was in 2012, but as noted, three-game series occur only once every three years.  The 2012 series was played June 22-24.  St. Louis won the first game 11-4, the second game 8-2, and the third game 11-8.  Joe Kelly was the winning pitcher in the opener.  That game was highlighted by seven doubles, including two from Carlos Beltran.  The winning pitcher in Game 2 was Adam Wainwright and was highlighted by a two-run home run from Allen Craig.  Lance Lynn started the third game but didn’t get the win, which was awarded to Victor Marte, who had blown the save.  Carlos Beltran launched a three-run home run, and Yadier Molina added a solo shot.

In 2015, the year the Royals won their second World Series, the Royals and the Cardinals ended the season with the best records in their respective leagues.  However, St. Louis lost the NLDS to the Chicago Cubs – and have not returned to the post-season since.

The season series between the two teams has been nicknamed “The Show-Me Series” by some, and “The I-70 Series” by others.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Gulf Coast League Cardinals Notebook – 2018 Week 8

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – August 12, 2018

photo: Ramon Urias (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 5-3 on Saturday. Player of the Day, Memphis third baseman Ramon Urias, went 4-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored. The Memphis, State College and DSL Blue staffs spun combined shutouts behind Chris Ellis, Franyel Casadilla and Enmanuel Solano.

Results for games played Saturday, August 11.


Memphis 14 at Oklahoma City 0

Ramon Urias (Springfield Cardinals)

The Redbirds shellacked the Dodgers in Oklahoma City on Saturday.  The Memphis offense put up the first four of 14 runs in the second inning on Tommy Edman’s sac fly, Edmundo Sosa’s single, and Lane Thomas’ triple that plated two. Memphis added one in the sixth on a single by Ramon Urias.  Memphis added four runs in the eighth, after Tyler O’Neill and Justin Williams singled.  O’Neill came home on a throwing error, and Williams scored on an Alex Mejia double.  Sosa doubled to plate Mejia.  Sosa crossed home on Victor Roache’s single.  In the ninth, O’Neill singled, Williams walked, Mejia walked.  Urias singled, O’Neill and Williams scored.  Edman singled, Mejia and Urias crossed home.  Kevin Herget singled and Edman scored the fifth run of the inning.

Player of the Day Urias went 4-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored.  O’Neill and Sosa were both 2-for-5.  Williams was 2-for-3 and Edman was 2-for-4 in his Memphis debut.

Starter Tyler Lyons pitched two scoreless innings.  Chris Ellis followed with four scoreless frames to earn the win.  Brett Cecil, Dominic Leone, and Conner Greene each tossed an inning to preserve the shutout.

O’Neill had an outfield assist, throwing a runner out at home.

The Redbirds are 70-42 and are in first place in the PCL Southern.

Sunday’s game:  at Oklahoma City, Jake Woodford (3-2, 3.65) 6:05 CT.


Springfield 2 at Corpus Christi 5

Andy Young (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Cardinals were overcome at Corpus Christi by the Hooks on Saturday.  Starter Genesis Cabrera suffered his first loss as a Cardinal, after giving up three runs on four hits in two innings.  Elniery Garcia surrendered one run in his two innings pitched.  Eric Carter followed with two run-free frames.  Roel Ramirez pitched a scoreless seventh.  Will Latcham allowed one run in the eighth.

The Cardinals scored in the third on an RBI double by Andy Young.  A second run came home in the sixth on a wild pitch.  Young went 2-for-3.  John Nogowski went 2-for-4.

Blake Drake had an outfield assist.  Carter picked a runner off first base.

The Cardinals are 54-65 overall, 21-28 in the second half, and are in last place in the Texas League North.

Sunday’s game:  at Corpus Christi, Anthony Shew (6-6, 4.09) 2:05 CT.


Palm Beach 3, Lakeland 7

Conner Capel (Lynchburg Hillcats)

On a Saturday night at Roger Dean that began with a three-hour rain delay, the Cardinals were defeated by Lakeland by four runs.  The Cardinals scored in the second inning on a two-run single by Conner Capel.  Another run was added in the fourth on an RBI single by Juan Yepez.   Raffy Ozuna went 2-for-3.

Starter Evan Guillory went only 1 2/3 innings and gave up four runs, three earned, on three hits.  John Kilichowski followed with 2 1/3 innings of relief, during which one run was allowed.  Jason Zgardowski tossed three scoreless innings.  Mike O’Reilly surrendered two runs, one earned, over the final two innings.

Elehuris Montero made two errors, one fielding and one throwing.

The Cardinals are 62-50 overall and 23-25 in the second half to put them in third place in the FSL South.

Sunday’s game:   vs. Lakeland, TBA 12:00 CT.


Peoria 2, Clinton 5

Brandon Benson (State College Spikes)

The Chiefs fell to the Clinton LumberKings at Dozer Park on Saturday.  Peoria starter Alvaro Seijas went five innings and gave up five runs, three earned, on six hits.  Thomas St. Clair and Patrick Dayton each pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

The Chiefs scoring consisted of a third-inning, two run home run by Brandon Benson.  J.R. Davis went 2-for-4.

Seijas made a throwing error.  Nolan Gorman committed a fielding error.

The Chiefs are 67-49 overall, 28-18 in the second half, and are in second place in the Midwest League Western Division.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Clinton, TBA 2:00 CT.


State College 2 at Auburn 0

Franyel Casadilla (The Cardinal Nation)

The Spikes shut out the Auburn Doubledays on Saturday.  Starter Franyel Casadilla pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits, striking out three and walking three to earn his second win.  Troy Montemayor added two scoreless frames for his first save.

State College scored the only two runs of the game in the third inning.  Brady Whalen walked and stole second base.  Wadye Ynfante walked, Delvin Perez walked.  Cameron Knight singled to right with Whalen and Ynfante coming home.  Justin Toerner went 2-for-5.  Nick Dunn was 2-for-4.

Whalen stole his first base in his initial attempt.  Edwin Figuera was caught stealing for the third time in 15 tries as he was picked off first base.  Dunn was caught stealing for the third time in six attempts.

The Spikes are 25-30 on the season and are in third place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.

Sunday’s game:  at Auburn, Michael Baird (1-2, 2.08) 1:00 CT.


Johnson City vs. Princeton (doubleheader postponed)

The doubleheader scheduled for Saturday was postponed due to wet grounds.  Makeup dates for the games are yet to be determined.

Sunday’s games:   vs. Bristol, TBA, Game 1 of a doubleheader at 3:00 CT, Game 2 following.


GCL Cardinals 6 at GCL Mets 1

Brian Pirela (Dominican Summer League)

The Cardinals vanquished the Mets on Saturday.  Starter Brian Pirela won his eighth game of the season, after pitching seven one-run innings.  Pirela allowed four hits and fanned six.  Rodard Avelino and Alex Gallegos each added a scoreless inning of relief.

The Cardinals offense scored all six runs in the third inning.  Josh Shaw walked, Angel Moreno singled, and Carlos Soto launched a three-run home run to right field.  Zach Gahagan walked, William Jimenez walked.  With Cole Kreuter at the plate, Gahagan and Jimenez advanced on a balk.  Kreuter walked. Diomedes Del Rio singled and Gahagan and Jimenez scored. Del Rio was caught stealing second base and Kreuter scored on the throw.  Gahagan went 3-for-3.

Gahagan stole his third base in four attempts.  Del Rio was caught stealing for the third time in six tries.  Shaw made a fielding error.

The Cardinals are 30-15 on the season and are in first place in the GCL East.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled.


DSL Cardinals Blue 4 at DSL Phillies Red 0

The Cardinals Blue blanked the Phillies Red on Saturday.  Starter Enmanuel Solano pitched six scoreless innings to earn his sixth win.  Solano allowed eight hits and struck out three.  Ramon Fernandez, Luis Tena, and Miguel Yedis each tossed an inning of relief to preserve the team shutout.

The offense got on the board in the third inning when Pablo Gomez singled to left and Jose Zapata doubled him home.  Malcom Nunez added a solo home run in the sixth.  In the seventh, Gomez reached on a fielding error, Zapata doubled, and a second fielding error scored Gomez.  Adanson Cruz singled to plate Zapata.  Zapata was 2-for-2 and Sander Mora was 2-for-4.

Mora was picked off and caught stealing for the sixth time in 17 attempts.

The Cardinals Blue are 42-18 on the season and are in second place in the DSL South.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled


DSL Cardinals Red 7, DSL Phillies White 6

The Cardinals Red edged the Phillies White in a one-run win on Saturday.  Starting pitcher Luis Ortiz went five innings and gave up one run on four hits.  Ronald Suarez tossed a scoreless sixth, then returned to start the seventh.  Suarez walked the first batter and was replaced by Roy Garcia.  Garcia faced four batters, walked three and gave up a single to another. The Suarez inherited runner scored on the second walk.  Garcia walked in another run of his own and was replaced with no outs and the bases loaded by Jhon Victorino.  Victorino allowed a Garcia inherited runner to score on a sac fly but got all three outs to end the inning.  Victorino returned to pitch a scoreless eighth.  Nelson Prada took the ninth and surrendered two runs.  Prada was charged with a blown save but also got the win when the offense stormed back.

The Red got on the board in the second inning when Luis Montano hit a leadoff triple and scored on a sac fly by Francisco Hernandez.  In the third, Joerlin De Los Santon doubled and came in on a single by Cristhian Longa.  Franklin Soto walked and scored on a Montano ground out.  Longa crossed home after a wild pitch.  Yowelfy Rosario led off with the sixth with a single, and came in on Erik Pena’s sac fly.

Finally, in the ninth, the Cardinals came back to secure the win with two runs, the first on an RBI triple by Claudio Ramirez. The winning run came home on a throwing error on a fielder’s choice out.  De Los Santo went 3-for-3.  Hernandez was 2-for-3, Ramirez was 2-for-5, and both Garcia and Rosario were 2-for-4. The latter scored twice.

De Los Santos stole his 22nd base in 30 attempts but was also caught stealing for the eighth time.  Rosario made a fielding error. Pitcher Ortiz picked a runner off first base, and catcher Garcia picked a runner off second base.

The Cardinals Red are 33-27 on the season and are in fourth place in the DSL San Pedro Division.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – August 11, 2018

photo: Evan Kruczynski (Palm Beach Cardinals)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 3-5 on Friday.  Our Player of the Day is Springfield starting pitcher Evan Kruczynski, who pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out five. Other mound standouts include Jake Walsh, Jacob Schlesener, Inohan Paniagua and Allinson Benitez.

Results for games played Friday, August 10.


Memphis 8 at Oklahoma City 4

Rangel Ravelo (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds were victorious in Oklahoma City on Friday.  Memphis fell behind early, but a six run fifth inning gave them the lead.  Patrick Wisdom led off with a double.  Ramon Urias then singled to plate Wisdom.  Urias scored on Edmund Sosa’s single.   Randy Arozarena walked then advanced a base along with Sosa on a balk. Lane Thomas walked, and St. Louis rehabber Tyler O’Neill doubled to score Sosa and Arozarena.  Carson Kelly drove in Thomas on a single, and Wisdom singled to score O’Neill.  The Redbirds added two runs in the sixth on Rangel Ravelo’s single as the first baseman extended his hitting streak to 15 games.  Wisdom went 3-for-4.  Urias and Sosa were both 2-for-5.

Starter Connor Jones pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits.  Three relievers combined to hold the home club scoreless the rest of the way. Giovanny Gallegos threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings and Tommy Lane and Edward Mujica added an inning each.  Jones earned the win.

Arozarena had an outfield assist.

The Redbirds are 73-44 on the season and are in first place in the PCL American Southern.

Saturday’s game:   at Oklahoma City, Tyler Lyons (0-0, 0.00) 7:05 CT.


Springfield 7 at Corpus Christi 0

Evan Kruczynski (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Cardinals blanked the Hooks in Corpus Christi on Friday.  Starter Evan Kruczynski pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits while fanning five. Hector Mendoza and Ramon Santos added a scoreless frame each.  Kruczynski earned his second win.

The Cardinals got on the board in the fourth inning on a two-run home run by Jeremy Martinez.  Tommy Edman launched a three-run home run in the seventh.  In the eighth, Andy Young singled, and scored on a double by Johan Mieses.  Martinez followed with a double to plate Mieses.  Martinez went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored.  Edman was 3-for-5 with three RBI.  Evan Mendoza was 2-for-5.  Young and Mieses were both 2-for-4.

John Nogowski was caught stealing in his first attempt.  Kruczynski picked a runner off first base.  Catcher Martinez picked a runner off second base.

The Cardinals are 54-64 overall, 21-27 in the second half, and are in last place in the Texas League North.

Saturday’s game:  at Corpus Christi, Genesis Cabrera (7-6, 4.06) 7:05 CT.


Palm Beach 1, Lakeland 2

Jake Walsh (Peoria Chiefs)

The Cardinals took the loss in a low scoring contest with Lakeland on Friday.  The lone Cardinal run came in the fifth on an RBI double by Stefan Trosclair.  Trosclair was 2-for-3.  Kramer Robertson was 2-for-4.

Despite his quality start, Jake Walsh suffered his fourth loss of the season, after pitching six innings and giving up two runs, one earned, on five hits.  Walsh struck out six and walked none.  Colton Thomson and Bryan Dobzanski combined for the final three scoreless innings.

Elehuris Montero and Ryan McCarvel both committed fielding errors.  Raffy Ozuna made a throwing error.  Dylan Carlson and Bryce Denton both had outfield assists.

The Cardinals are 62-49 overall and 23-24 in the second half and are in third place in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:   vs. Lakeland, Alex Fagalde (2-0. 0.75) 4:30 CT.


Peoria 5 at Kane County 12

Nolan Gorman (Bret Jacomet photo)

The Chiefs were overcome by the Cougars at Kane County on Friday.  Despite the loss, the game was highlighted by the first Peoria home run from first round draft pick Nolan Gorman in his second game with the club.  It was a three-run shot in the ninth inning.  The Chiefs scored two runs in the fourth on three consecutive doubles by Dennis Ortega, Zach Kirtley, and Luken Baker.  Baker went 3-for-4.  Rayder Ascanio was 2-for-3.

Starter Paul Balestrieri pitched 2 2/3 innings and gave up 11 runs on 10 hits.  Zach Prendergast surrendered one unearned run in his 2 2/3 frames.  Ben Yokley and Robbie Gordon combined for 2 2/3 scoreless innings.

Ascanio and Wood Myers committed fielding errors.  Brandon Benson had an outfield assist.

The Chiefs are 67-48 overall, 28-147 in the second half and are in second place in the Midwest League Western.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Clinton, Alvaro Seijas (4-6, 4.49) 6:30 CT.


State College 2, West Virginia 3

Jacob Schlesener (St. Louis Cardinals)

The Spikes were defeated in a one-run contest at home against West Virginia on Friday, ending their five-game winning streak.

Starter Jacob Schlesener pitched six innings and gave up one run on four hits.  Hector Villalobos surrendered two runs in his two innings of relief. Villalobos was charged with the blown save and took the loss.  Edgar Gonzalez pitched a scoreless ninth.

The Spikes took the early lead with single runs in the first and second.  In the first, Nick Dunn doubled and scored on Stanley Espinal’s single.  Delvin Perez singled in the second and came in a ground out by Justin Toerner.  These would be the only runs scored by the Spikes.  No Spikes batter had multiple hits.

Perez stole his eighth base in 12 attempts.  Wadye Ynfante swiped his ninth bag in 12 tries.  Toerner stole his 10th base in 12 attempts.  Ynfante was also caught stealing for the third time.

The Spikes are 24-230 on the season and are tied for third place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.

Saturday’s game:  at Auburn, Franyel Casadilla (1-1, 2.40) 5:30 CT.


Johnson City vs. Princeton (postponed)

Friday’s game was postponed due to rain and will be played as part of a doubleheader on Saturday.

Saturday’s games:  vs. Princeton, Kyle Leahy (2-1, 4.26) and Colin Schmid (2-0, 4.96) 4:30 CT (Game 1 DH)


GCL Cardinals 9 at GCL Nationals 10

Carlos Soto (St. Louis Cardinals)

The Cardinals were walked off by the Nationals in a high scoring game on Friday.  The Cards plated three in the first inning to get on the board early.  Diomedes Del Rio led off with a single and scored on Angel Moreno’s triple.  Carlos Soto followed with a two-run home run.  In the second, Josh Shaw singled to plate Del Rio.  Moreno led off the third with a double and scored on Soto’s single.  Soto came in on a fielder’s choice out by Cole Kreuter.  The offense was kept off the board again until the ninth inning.  Shaw hit a leadoff single and Jhon Torres was hit by a pitch.  Shaw was out on a force out by Moreno.  Soto singled and Torres scored.  Mateo Gil singled.  William Jimenez singled to score Soto, then Kreuter singled to plate Gil.  Del Rio, Shaw, Moreno, and Gil were each 2-for-5.  Jimenez was 2-for-2. Soto and Kreuter were 2-for-4.  Soto plated three and scored three times.

Starter Wilfredo Pereira pitched only 1 1/3 innings and gave up seven runs, five earned, on seven hits.  Ty Cohen followed with 2 2/3 innings, surrendering one run.  Freddy Pacheco tossed four scoreless frames. Edgar Escobar gave up the two winning Nationals runs in the ninth.  Escobar was tagged with the blown save and the loss.

Del Rio stole his third base in five attempts for the GCL Cardinals.  Shaw stole his fourth base in five tries. Shaw was also picked off second base. Kreuter made a fielding error.

The Cardinals are 29-15 on the season and are in first place in the GCL East.

Saturday’s game:  vs. GCL Mets, TBA 9:00 am CT.


DSL Cardinals Blue 3, DSL Phillies Red 2

The Cardinals Blue edged the Phillies Red on Friday.  The offense was held scoreless until the sixth inning, when a run scored on a fielding error, and another on a passed ball.  The Blue walked it off in the ninth when Darlin Moquete hit a leadoff double and scored on a wild pitch.  Moquete and Adanson Cruz went 2-for-5.  Freddy De Jesus and Darlyn Del Villar were 2-for-4.

Starter Inohan Paniagua pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on eight hits.  Victor Villanueva and Anthony Trompiz combined for the final 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Trompiz earned his first win.

Moquete stole his 16th base in 19 attempts.  Luiz Rodriguez had a passed ball, but also picked a runner off second base.

The Cardinals Blue are 41-18 on the season and are in first place in the DSL South.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Phillies Red, TBA 9:30 am CT.


DSL Cardinals Red 3 at DSL Phillies White 4

The Cardinals Red lost a squeaker at the Phillies White on Friday.  Red starter Allinson Benitez pitched five innings and gave up one run on two hits.  Benitez fanned nine and walked two.  Hector De Los Santos surrendered two runs in the sixth and was tagged with a blown save.  Gustavo Rodriguez started the seventh but didn’t finish it.  He was replaced with two outs and the bases loaded with Miguel Maiz, who retired his only batter to get out of the inning scoreless.  Maiz returned to pitch a scoreless eighth, but yielded the walk off run for the Phillies White in the ninth and took the loss.

The Cardinals Red scored two in the second inning on a throwing error and a single by Alexander Samuel.  Luis Montano hit an RBI single in the third for the final Red score.  Montano went 2-for-4.

Cristhian Longa was picked off and caught stealing for the second time in three attempts.  Jesus Orrechia committed a throwing error.

The Cardinals Red are 32-27 on the season and are in fourth place in the DSL San Pedro Division.

Saturday’s game:  vs. DSL Phillies White, TBA 9:30 am CT.


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of July 30 – August 5

photo: Matt Carpenter (Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports)

The surging St. Louis Cardinals have won three consecutive series for the first time in 2018. Matt Carpenter was named the National League Player of the Month and more trades remade the roster further. In our weekly history feature, the Tony Pena-Andy Van Slyke trade is remembered.


Cardinals make deadline moves

After remaking the bullpen in a series of moves over the weekend before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, Cardinals fans awoke on deadline day to learn that the Cardinals had traded starting center fielder Tommy Pham to the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Cardinals sent Pham and $500,000 in international pool money to the Rays in exchange for three prospects: OF Justin Williams, and pitchers Genesis Cabrera and Roel Ramirez.  Williams was assigned to Triple-A Memphis and both Cabrera and Ramirez headed to Double-A Springfield.

Tommy Pham (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The trade was characterized by President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak as opening up opportunities for younger players, specifically outfielders Harrison Bader and Tyler O’Neill.  O’Neill was recalled from the Memphis Redbirds to take Pham’s roster spot.  Pham had spent 12 years in the Cardinals organization, missing time due to various injuries over that span.  Pham had a breakout year in 2017 and returned for 2018 to take over the center field position from Dexter Fowler, who moved to right field.  Pham began the year hot but cooled off considerably since.

The Cardinals made one other move at the deadline, sending Memphis center fielder Oscar Mercado to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for two lower level outfielders in Conner Capel and Jhon Torres, both left handed hitters which the team had been seeking.  Capel is assigned to High-A Palm Beach and Torres reported to the Rookie League GCL Cardinals.

In a post-deadline move, the Cardinals claimed pitcher Tyson Ross off waivers from the San Diego Padres.  Ross will join the Cardinals in Miami.  His role is unclear as of this writing, though his experience is as a starter.


Carpenter top NL player in July

Matt Carpenter (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Matt Carpenter was voted NL Player of the Month for July. The 32-year-old batted .333 (31-for-93) with 22 runs scored, 8 doubles, 11 home runs, 21 RBI and 19 walks across 26 games.

Among July qualified NL hitters, Carpenter finished 1st in runs, home runs, ex­tra-base hits (19) and slugging pct. (.774), 2nd in on-base pct. (.447), T2nd walks, T4th in doubles, T5th in RBI, and 6th in hits.

It was Carpenter’s first career NL Play­er of the Month Award and the St. Louis’ first since Albert Pujols in August 2010.

Carpenter now leads the NL in home runs with 29, including each of the last three games, and has an active 24-game on-base streak.


Game Recaps

Monday, July 30 – Cardinals 5, Rockies 4 (10 innings)

Marcell Ozuna (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

After taking two of three from the Cubs over the weekend, the Cardinals entertained the Rockies for a four-game series.  In Game 1, the Cardinals squeaked by with the win in extra innings.  Carlos Martinez, fresh off the DL, started the game for the Redbirds.  The right hander lasted 4 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on four hits but was removed due to injury.   After the game, it was announced that Martinez suffered a shoulder injury during the game and was placed right back on the DL.   Daniel Poncedeleon came in for the injured Martinez and his first MLB hit allowed was a grand slam, scoring two of Martinez’ runners and two of his own. Following Poncedeleon’s 2 1/3 frames was Jordan Hicks, Bud Norris, and Dakota Hudson, each with a scoreless inning.    Hudson was awarded the win.

The offense had to play catch up following the grand slam by Nolan Arenado that put the Redbirds in a 4-0 hole.  Jedd Gyorko hit a solo home run in the fifth inning. In the seventh, Harrison Bader drew a walk with the bases loaded to score Marcell Ozuna.  Matt Carpenter singled to center to plate Yairo Munoz and Bader.  In the 10th, Ozuna hit a solo home run for the walk off win.  Carpenter went 3-for-4.  Gyorko was 2-for-3.

Dexter Fowler stole his fifth base of the season.  Martinez and Poncedeleon both made errors on pickoff attempts.


Tuesday, July 31 – Cardinals 3, Rockies 6

The Cardinals dropped Game 2 of the series to the Rockies.  Matt Carpenter’s leadoff solo home run in the first inning put the Cardinals on the board, but it would be the only run until the eighth inning.  The Rockies carried a five run lead into the eighth, when Carpenter drove in the second run for the Redbirds on a sac fly, and Dexter Fowler scored the third run on a wild pitch with Yadier Molina at the plate.  Newly recalled Tyler O’Neill was the only Redbird with multiple hits, as he was 2-for-3.

Jack Flaherty had a so-so 5 1/3 inning start, giving up four runs on five hits.  The right hander did strike out seven and walked two.  Recently acquired lefty Chasen Shreve pitched a scoreless inning, getting the final two outs of the sixth and the first out of the seventh.  John Brebbia secured the final two outs of the seventh, but surrendered two additional runs to get there.  Tyler Webb and Mike Mayers pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively.


Wednesday, August 1 – Cardinals 6, Rockies 3

Daniel Poncedeleon (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals turned the tables on the Rockies, defeating them by the same score as their prior day loss.  A 36 pitch third inning knocked starter Luke Weaver out early. Weaver pitched 2 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on five hits.  For the second time in the series, Daniel Poncedeleon came in to replace the early-departing starter.  Poncedeleon pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings.  Austin Gomber took over in the sixth and tossed a scoreless inning and was ultimately the winner.  Dakota Hudson pitched a scoreless seventh and Jordan Hicks hurled a run-free eighth.  Mike Mayers surrendered a run in the ninth.

After getting behind 2-0 in the third inning, the offense responded with one run in the bottom frame when Matt Carpenter scored on a single by Paul DeJong.  Poncedeleon grounded out in the fourth to plate Yairo Munoz.  In the sixth, Tyler O’Neill drove in Harrison Bader on a single.  Yadier Molina doubled in the eighth to score Bader and Carpenter, and Marcell Ozuna drove in Molina on a single.  Molina went 3-for-5, as did Ozuna.  Bader was 3-for-4.

O’Neill stole his first base of the season, and Carpenter did the same.  Harrison Bader stole his 10th base.


Thursday, August 2 – Cardinals 3, Rockies 2

Miles Mikolas (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

In the final game of the set, the Cardinals took the one-run victory.  St. Louis’ offense took the 1-0 lead in the third on a sac fly by Tyler O’Neill that scored Miles Mikolas.  The Rockies came back to score two, but the Cardinals added two in the ninth to walk it off.  Greg Garcia and Harrison Bader singled, then stole second base.  With Garcia on third and Bader on second, Jose Martinez hit a single to right field to score both.

Mikolas pitched seven innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on seven hits.  John Brebbia and Chasen Shreve each added a scoreless inning of relief.  Shreve got the win.

Bader stole his 11th base of the season.  Paul DeJong was caught stealing for the first time.  Mikolas made a throwing error and Marcell Ozuna had an outfield assist.


Friday, August 3 – Cardinals 6 at Pirates 7

The Cardinals lost a heartbreaker in the first game of the weekend series in Pittsburgh.  John Gant had a rough outing on the mound, going four innings and giving up six runs on eight hits.  John Brebbia pitched two scoreless innings of relief.  Tyler Webb tossed a scoreless seventh.  Jordan Hicks gave up the winning run in the eighth and took the loss.

Matt Carpenter once again got the Cardinals on the board with a leadoff home run in the first inning.  Yairo Munoz doubled in the second to score Jedd Gyorko.  In the fifth, Gyorko singled to plate Paul DeJong, Dexter Fowler singled to score Tyler O’Neill, and Jose Martinez drove in Gyorko on a ground out.  Gyorko grounded out in the eighth to drive in Marcell Ozuna.  Carpenter, Gyorko, and Fowler were each 2-for-4.   O’Neill was 3-for-5 and Munoz was 3-for-4.

Fowler suffered a fractured left foot in the game and was put on the disabled list.


Saturday, August 4 – Cardinals 8 at Pirates 4

Dakota Hudson (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals took out their revenge on the Pirates in the second game of the series on Saturday.  Starter Austin Gomber went only four innings and gave up four runs on seven hits.  Dakota Hudson gave the Cardinals three scoreless relief innings.  Mike Mayers and Bud Norris each pitched a scoreless inning.

After falling behind 1-0, the offense responded with three runs in the third inning.  Jose Martinez doubled to score Matt Carpenter.  Jedd Gyorko doubled to plate Yadier Molina and Martinez.  Molina singled in Harrison Bader in the fourth.  After the Pirates came back to tie, the Cardinals put up two runs in the fifth on another Gyorko double and a ground out by Bader.  Another run was added in the sixth on a Kolten Wong single.  Carpenter put the finishing touches on the win with his solo home run in the ninth.

Molina stole his fourth base of the season.


Sunday, August 5 – Cardinals 2 at Pirates 1

Jack Flaherty (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals took three of four from the Pirates with a one-run victory on Sunday.  The game was scoreless until the fifth when the Cardinals took the lead 2-0 on a solo home run by Matt Carpenter and an RBI single by Jedd Gyorko.  Those were the only St. Louis runs in the game, but they were enough, barely.  Yadier Molina went 2-for-5 and Jose Martinez was 2-for-4.

Jack Flaherty had a much better start than his previous one.  Flaherty pitched six scoreless innings, allowing only three hits while fanning seven and walking one.  Chasen Shreve surrendered the only Pirates run on a home run in the seventh. Mike Mayers and Jordan Hicks secured one out each in the seventh.  Hicks returned to pitch a scoreless eighth.  Bud Norris twirled a scoreless ninth to earn his 21st save.  Flaherty was awarded his fifth win.

Greg Garcia stole his first base of the season.


Big Picture

The Cardinals had a good week, finishing 5-2, taking 3 of 4 from the Colorado Rockies, and 2 of 3 from the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The wins over the Pirates put the Cardinals back in the third place spot in the NL Central, 6.5 games back of the Cubs and 5.5 games back of the Brewers.

The team has shown improvement under the direction of new manager Mike Shildt, showing new energy.  The moves made by the front office to improve the bullpen have worked so far.  Starting pitching remains basically the same, but still in flux after Carlos Martinez went back on the DL after one start.  The two rotation spots held by Martinez and Michael Wacha have been taken over by John Gant, who has pitched inconsistently, and for the last week by Austin Gomber. The Cardinals’ recent acquisition of Tyson Ross from the Padres is yet to be clarified but adding him to the rotation is a possibility.

Jedd Gyorko (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

On offense, Matt Carpenter continues his amazing run.  Jedd Gyorko has been seeing more playing time and it has showed in his offense.  The addition of Tyler O’Neill holds promise, but the outfielder has missed the last two games with a groin issue and may go on the DL.  Harrison Bader is playing more, and though his offense has been inconsistent, his defense and his baserunning have been a plus.  Dexter Fowler went on the DL with a fractured foot, though his offense will unfortunately not be missed as he continued to struggle at the plate.  Marcell Ozuna had a couple of good games in the past week, but he has not put together a sustained run of offense.  Paul DeJong is struggling.  Kolten Wong returned from the DL and picked up where he left off.

Defense and base running have been hit and miss.  The good speed of Bader has been a plus; a stolen base in the ninth inning of Thursday’s game was the key to the victory.

The Cardinals have two series against last place teams in the Marlins and the Royals coming up.  Both series should be taken by the Cardinals. Sweeps are needed to really make up ground.


NL Central Standings W L Pct GB
Chicago 64 47 0.577
Milwaukee 65 50 0.565 1
St. Louis 58 54 0.518 6.5
Pittsburgh 57 55 0.509 7.5
Cincinnati 49 63 0.438 15.5

Who’s Hot

Over the past seven games (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

  • Matt Carpenter has an OPS of 1.439. He has three HR, two doubles, and six RBI.
  • Kolten Wong has an OPS of 1.400 in five plate appearances. He has one double and one RBI.
  • Tyler O’Neill has an OPS of 1.252. He has seven singles and two RBI.
  • Jedd Gyorko has an OPS of 1.010. He has one HR, two doubles and six RBI.
  • Miles Mikolas has an ERA of 1.29 and a WHIP of 1.29.
  • Chasen Shreve has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.
  • Tyler Webb has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.
  • Dakota Hudson has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.40.
  • Bud Norris has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.50.

Who’s Not

Over the past seven games (does not contain recent Sunday games).

  • Greg Garcia has an OPS of .282.
  • Paul DeJong has an OPS of .268.
  • Dexter Fowler has an OPS of .476.
  • John Gant has an ERA of 8.64 and a WHIP of 1.80.
  • Luke Weaver has an ERA of 6.75 and a WHIP of 2.63.
  • Austin Gomber has an ERA of 6.35 and a WHIP of 2.29.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last seven games (does not contain recent Sunday game):

  • The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter.
  • The number two hitter has been Yadier Molina.
  • The number three hitter has been Paul DeJong for six games and Tyler O’Neill for one game.
  • The cleanup hitter has been Marcell Ozuna.
  • The fifth hitter has been Jedd Gyorko for four games, Jose Martinez for two games, and O’Neill for one game.
  • The sixth hitter has been Yairo Munoz for three games, Gyorko for two games, O’Neill for one game, and Tommy Pham for one game.
  • The seventh hitter has been Dexter Fowler for five games, Kolten Wong for one game, and Greg Garcia for one game.
  • The eighth hitter has been Harrison Bader for four games, Munoz for two games, and Garcia for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions

  • 7/30 The Cardinals placed RHP Luke Gregerson on the 10 day disabled list retroactive to July 26, 2018. Right shoulder impingement.
  • 7/30 The Cardinals activated LHP Chasen Shreve.
  • 7/30 The Cardinals activated RHP Carlos Martinez from the 10 day disabled list.
  • 7/30 The Cardinals optioned LHP Tyler Webb to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/31 The Cardinals placed RHP Carlos Martinez on the 10 day disabled list. Right shoulder strain.
  • 7/31 The Cardinals traded OF Tommy Pham and international bonus pool money to the Tampa Bay Rays for OF Justin Williams, LHP Genesis Cabrera, and RHP Roel Ramirez.
  • 7/31 The Cardinals traded OF Oscar Mercado to the Cleveland Indians for OF Conner Capel and OF Jhon Torres.
  • 7/31 The Cardinals recalled OF Tyler O’Neill from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/31 The Cardinals recalled LHP Tyler Webb from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/1 The Cardinals sent RHP Dominic Leone on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/1 The Cardinals released RHP Greg Holland.
  • 8/2 The Cardinals sent 2B Kolten Wong on a rehab assignment to the Peoria Chiefs.
  • 8/3 The Cardinals sent LHP Tyler Lyons outright to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/4 The Cardinals activated 2B Kolten Wong from the 10 day disabled list.
  • 8/4 The Cardinal placed OF Dexter Fowler on the 10 day disabled list. Left foot fracture.
  • 8/5 The Cardinals claimed RHP Tyson Ross off waivers from the San Diego Padres.

Injury Report

  • RHP Dominic Leone (right upper arm nerve irritation) was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL. Leone was sent on a rehab assignment to Memphis on August 1.
  • RHP Alex Reyes (right lat strain) had surgery on June 6 to reattach a tendon in his right lat. The right hander was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL.  Reyes is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.
  • RHP Adam Wainwright (right elbow inflammation) continues on the 60 day DL. Wainwright threw a high intensity bullpen session on August 1.   No announcement about a rehab assignment has been made.
  • RHP Michael Wacha (left oblique strain) continues on the 10 day DL. Wacha has begun a throwing program in St. Louis.  It is possible Wacha will return to the roster in late August.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez was placed on the 10 day DL on July 31 after being activated from the DL the day before. Martinez had been on the DL with a lat strain.   Martinez started on Monday but left the game with a right shoulder strain.  Martinez is expected to miss 3-4 starts with the new injury.
  • LHP Brett Cecil was placed on the 10 day DL with right foot inflammation. Cecil is scheduled to being a rehab assignment in Memphis on August 6.
  • RHP Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement) was placed on the 10 day DL on July 29, retroactive to July 26. No timetable for a return to the roster has been set as a second opinion is being sought.
  • OF Dexter Fowler suffered a fractured left foot in Friday’s game in Pittsburgh. Fowler was placed on the 10 day DL on August 4.  The outfielder is expected to be in a walking boot for a month.
  • OF Tyler O’Neill missed the last two games due to groin discomfort. It is possible the outfielder will be placed on the DL in the upcoming days.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals begin the week in Miami for a three-game series with the Marlins.  The pitching probables are Luke Weaver on Monday, Miles Mikolas on Tuesday, and John Gant on Wednesday.

The Cardinals have a travel day on Thursday and fly to Kansas City for a weekend interleague series against the Royals.  No pitching probables have been set for the series.  The acquisition of Tyson Ross from the Padres over the weekend may affect the rotation following the Miami series.

The team returns home on Monday to begin a seven game homestand.  The Cardinals will take on the Nationals at Busch Stadium for a four game series, then a weekend set with the Brewers.

Following the homestand, the Cardinals travel to the West Coast to play the Dodgers in a three game set beginning Monday, August 20.  After an off day on Thursday, the Cardinals travel to Colorado for a weekend series with the Rockies.

After the Rockies series, the Cardinals return home and begin a three game series against the Pirates on Tuesday after a Monday off day.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.


Blast from the Past

The trade deadline brought significant changes to the Cardinals roster this past week.  Additions as well as subtractions give the Redbirds a whole new look and hopefully the impetus to make a run at the post season.  This week’s article takes a look at a memorable trade from the past that involved the Pittsburgh Pirates –  a deal that didn’t happen at the trade deadline but was a significant trade in Cardinal history.

Past articles have looked at Cardinal trades of note, both good and bad, including the Ernie Broglio/Lou Brock trade (good) and the Steve Carlton for Rick Wise trade (bad).  Another significant trade from the past left many Cardinals fans unhappy, including this author.  That trade happened in April of 1987, when the Cardinals traded outfielder Andy Van Slyke, catcher Mike LaValliere, and minor league pitcher Mike Dunne to the Pittsburgh Pirates for catcher Tony Pena.

Andy Van Slyke

Van Slyke’s initial reaction to the news of the trade was that he thought it was an April Fool’s joke.  This author had a similar reaction.  Pena was reported to be unhappy with the trade as well.  Pena was a good defensive catcher and is the father of current Cardinals backup catcher Francisco Pena.

Pena suffered a broken thumb after playing three games for the Cardinals in 1987.  After returning from the injury Pena was slow to recover offensively.  The Cardinals went to the post season in 1987 and Pena rebounded, hitting .381 in the NLCS.  Pena played for the Cardinals in 1988 and 1989 and was good but not great offensively with continued good defense for the most part.  Pena was granted free agency in 1989 and signed with the Boston Red Sox.

Van Slyke, on the other hand, played eight seasons with the Pirates, seasons which turned out to be the best of his career. He won five consecutive Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers, and was an All-Star three times as a Pirate.  He finished fourth in the MVP voting in both 1988 and 1992.  He led the NL in triples in 1988 and led the NL in hits and doubles in 1992.  Van Slyke played for the Pirates through the 1994 season before splitting his last season in 1995 between the Baltimore Orioles and the Philadelphia Phillies.

For a good write up on the trade in April 1987, see this article by the Ocala Star-Banner.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Gulf Coast League Cardinals Notebook – 2018 Week 7

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – August 5, 2018

photo: Michael Perri (Bret Jacomet photo)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 4-5 on Saturday. Our Player of the Day is Johnson City shortstop Michael Perri, who went 4-for-4 with a three-run home run, four RBI and four runs scored. Starters Evan Kruczynski, Angel Rondon and Wilfredo Pereira pitched well in losses.

Results for games played Saturday, August 4.


Memphis 3, Fresno 9

Justin Williams (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Memphis dropped Game 2 of the home series to the Fresno Grizzlies on Saturday.  Starter Kevin Herget lost his eighth game of the season after pitching five innings and giving up eight runs on eight hits.  Rehabber Dominic Leone added a scoreless sixth, but allowed a hit and a walk.  Conner Greene surrendered one run in two innings pitched.  Giovanny Gallegos tossed the ninth with a walk and strikeout.

The Redbirds offense scored in the fourth inning when Wilfredo Tovar hit a leadoff double and scored on a ground out by Adolis Garcia.  In the fifth, Max Schrock walked and Lane Thomas drove him in on a double. In his Cardinals system debut, Justin Williams hit a solo home run in the eighth.  Williams and Thomas were both 2-for-4.

Garcia stole his 10th base in 12 attempts.  Patrick Wisdom was caught stealing for just the second time in 13 attempts.  Williams had an outfield assist.

The Redbirds are 70-42 and are in first place in the PCL Southern.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Fresno, Connor Jones (0-0, 0.00) 2:05 CT.


Springfield 0 at NW Arkansas 1

Evan Kruczynski (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

Springfield was blanked in a 1-0 road loss to the Naturals on Saturday.  While the Cardinals collected seven hits, all were singles.  Johan Mieses went 3-for-4.

Starter and tough-luck loser Evan Kruczynski pitched seven innings and gave up one run on six hits.  Seth Elledge pitched a scoreless eighth. The lefty Kruczynski helped his cause by picking two runners off first base.

The Cardinals are 51-62 overall, 18-25 in the second half, and are in third place in the Texas League North.

Sunday’s game:  at NW Arkansas, Genesis Cabrera (7-6, 4.12) 2:05 CT.


Palm Beach 7 at Jupiter 6 (10 innings)

Jacob Patterson (Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Cardinals came back to win a squeaker in extra innings on Saturday.  Starting pitcher Jesus Cruz went just 2 2/3 innings and gave up six runs on three hits.  Jacob Patterson tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Yeison Medina added two run-free frames to pick up the win.  Colton Thomson pitched a scoreless 10th and earned his fourth save.

The Cardinals got on the board in the first inning when Chase Pinder led off with a single and later scored on a ground out by Dylan Carlson.  The Cardinals tied the game in the ninth with five runs.  Kramer Robertson singled and came in on Dylan Carlson’s double.  Scott Hurst walked and Irving Lopez singled to plate Carlson.  Hurst crossed home on a wild pitch.  Lopez came in when Pinder walked with the bases loaded.  The winning run scored in the 10th when Conner Capel scampered home on Hurst’s ground out.  Lopez went 3-for-5.  Carlson was 2-for-5.

The Cardinals are 58-47 overall and 19-22 in the second half to put them in third place in the FSL South.

Sunday’s game:   at Jupiter, TBA 12:00 pm CT.


Peoria 2, Quad Cities 3 (10 innings)

Angel Rondon (St. Louis Cardinals)

In a pitching duel, the Chiefs were edged by the River Bandits in extra innings at Dozer Park on Saturday.  Peoria scored the first run of the game in the sixth on Wood Myers’ single.  The Chiefs put up their final run in the 10th on a ground out by Rayder Ascanio.  Myers went 3-for-5.

Starter Angel Rondon pitched six scoreless innings and allowed three hits while fanning eight and walking two.  Patrick Dayton followed with two scoreless innings of relief.  Ben Yokley gave up the tying run in the ninth and was charged with a blown save.  Kodi Whitley relieved with no outs in the ninth and completed the inning in scoreless fashion.  Thomas St. Clair gave up the two winning runs in the 10th and took the loss.  Both runs were unearned.

Brandon Benson stole his first base in his initial attempt for Peoria.  Ascanio was caught stealing for the fourth time in seven tries.  Ascanio and Myers made fielding errors.  Catcher Julio Rodriguez picked a runner off first base.

The Chiefs are 64-46 overall, 25-15 in the second half, and are tied for second place in the Midwest League Western Division.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Quad Cities, Paul Balestrieri (7-4, 4.03) 2:00 CT.


State College 5, Auburn 12

Kevin Woodall (Bret Jacomet photo)

The Spikes were overwhelmed at home by Auburn on Saturday.  Spikes’ starter Chris Holba pitched 5 2/3 innings and gave up five runs, two earned, on nine hits.  Hector Villalobos surrendered two unearned runs in 1 1/3 innings.  Troy Montemayor allowed five additional runs in his 1 2/3 innings of relief.  It was bad enough that outfielder Walker Robbins took the mound for the final out of the ninth and yielded the visitors’ 21st hit of the night.

The Spikes actually took the lead in the bottom of the third with three runs, two on Kevin Woodall’s double and the third on a ground out by Stanley Espinal.  The Spikes added a fourth run in the sixth when Espinal tripled and scored on a ground out by Lars Nootbaar.  In the ninth, Nick Dunn doubled and scored on a fielding error, but it was far too little and too late.  Dunn went 2-for-5.  Nootbaar and Justin Toerner were 2-for-4. Toerner also stole his seventh base in nine attempts.

The Spikes infield played sloppily, committing four errors that led to five unearned runs. Brady Whalen erred on a pickoff, Delvin Perez made two errant throws, and Imeldo Diaz committed a throwing miscue. Catcher Cameron Knight added a passed ball for good measure.

The Spikes are 19-29 on the season and are in fourth place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.

Sunday’s game:  at Mahoning Valley, Jacob Schlesener (1-3, 3.91) 3:05 CT.


Johnson City 18 at Greeneville 10

Donivan Williams (St. Louis Cardinals)

In a slugfest going on in Kodak, Tennessee between Johnson City and Greeneville on Saturday, the Cardinals came out on the winning side.  The long ball was front and center with four Cardinals hitting balls out of the park.  Donivan Williams began the barrage with a three-run blast in the fourth inning and Nolan Gorman added a solo shot also in the fourth.  Michael Perri launched a three run shot in the fifth and Brandon Riley contributed a solo shot in the sixth.

The first two Cardinals runs came in the second on Zach Jackson’s double.  Following the home runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth, the Cardinal hitters put up three in the seventh on Williams’ single, Carlos Soto’s double and Dariel Gomez’ single.

In the ninth, the offense sent five more runs across the plate to seal the win.  Riley, Andrew Warner and Jackson walked. Riley scored when Perri was hit by a pitch.  Warner came home on a wild pitch.  Williams walked, and with Nolan Gorman at the plate, Jackson ran in on a wild pitch.  Gorman walked.  Leandro Cedeno singled and Perri scored. Williams came home on Soto’s sac fly.

In between all the scoring there was pitching.  Kyle Leahy started on the mound for the Cardinals and went six innings, yielding five runs on nine hits.  Leahy was the winning pitcher.  Evan Sisk surrendered two runs in the seventh.  Oneiver Diaz allowed three runs, two earned, in 1 1/3 innings pitched.  Junior Gonzalez tossed the final 2/3 scoreless innings.

Gorman made two errors, one fielding and one throwing.

The Cardinals are 20-21 on the season and are in third place in the Appalachian League West.

Sunday’s game:   at Greeneville, Colin Schmid (2-0, 5.26) 4:00 CT.


GCL Cardinals 3 at GCL Marlins 6

Wilfredo Pereira

The Cardinals were vanquished by the Marlins on Saturday.  Starting pitcher Wilfredo Pereira pitched well but took the loss. The right-hander went six innings and gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits.  Alex Gallegos surrendered another three runs in the seventh.  Chris Rivera pitched a scoreless eighth.

The Cardinal offense got on the scoreboard first with a run in the first.  Mateo Gil doubled and scored on Ivan Herrera’s ground out.  The Cardinals didn’t score again until the ninth when Herrera led off with a walk and later scored on Carlos Soler’s triple.  Soler came in on William Jimenez’ ground out.  Gil went 2-for-4.

Jhon Torres was caught stealing for the first time in one attempt.  Zach Gahagan made a throwing error.

The Cardinals are 26-12 on the season and are in first place in the GCL East.

Sunday’s game:  vs. GCL Nationals, TBA, 9:00 am CT.


DSL Cardinals Blue 5, DSL Yankees 3

The Cardinals Blue edged the Yankees on Saturday.  Malcom Nunez’ double in the first inning brought the first run home.  Three consecutive singles loaded the bases in the third before Diowill Burgos’ bases clearing single to right field made the score 4-3 Cardinals.  An insurance run was added in the fourth as Nunez plated Darlin Moquete on a single to left field.  Nunez went 3-for-4.  Adanson Cruz was 2-for-3 and Sander Mora was 2-for-4.

Blue starter Inohan Paniagua tossed four innings and gave up three runs on four hits.  Paniagua fanned five and walked one.  Saniel Santana pitched a scoreless fifth.  Victor Villanueva, Ramon Fernandez, Leonardo Taveras, Anthony Trompiz all contributed a scoreless inning of relief. Fernandez picked up his first professional win and Trompiz earned his third save.

Mora stole his 10th base and was caught stealing for the fifth time in 15 attempts.

The Cardinals Blue are 36-18 on the season and are in second place in the DSL South.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled


DSL Cardinals Red 6 at DSL Rangers2 1

The Cardinals Red defeated the Rangers2 on Saturday.  Starter Allinson Benitez won his first game of the season, pitching five innings and giving up one run on three hits.  The bullpen contributed four scoreless frames to seal the win. Roy Garcia collected two outs, followed by two innings from Wilman Madera.  Nelson Prada and Sebastian Tabata combined for the final 1 1/3.

The offense got on the board in the first when Joerlin De Los Santos hit a leadoff triple and scored on a ground out.  Four runs in the third gave the Cardinals a comfortable lead.  Three runs came home on a double by Luis Montano. Francisco Hernandez’ single plated the fourth run.  Hernandez added another RBI single in the seventh for the final tally.  De Los Santos and Hernandez were both 3-for-5. Montano and Franklin Soto were 2-for-5. Erik Pena was 2-for-4.

Yowelfy Rosario made a fielding error.  Claudio Ramirez had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals Red are 28-25 on the season and are in fourth place in the DSL San Pedro Division.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – August 4, 2018

photo: Zach Jackson (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 5-5 on Friday. Our Player of the Day is Johnson City catcher Zach Jackson, whose two-run home run in the ninth inning was the game-winning hit. Pitching standouts include Austin Warner, Ian Oxnevad, Johan Oviedo, Diego Cordero, Perry DellaValle and Francis Ventura.

Results for games played Friday, August 3.


Memphis 7, Sacramento 3

Austin Warner (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Redbirds conquered Sacramento at home in AutoZone Park on Friday.  Austin Warner picked up his first win for Memphis after tossed seven innings, giving up one run on eight hits.  Landon Beck pitched a scoreless eighth.  Andrew Morales surrendered two runs in the ninth.

The offense scored three runs in the first inning, the first on a ground out by Alex Mejia.  Max Schrock plated two more on a double to center.  Mejia drove a run on single in the third.  Carson Kelly blasted a three run home run in the seventh.  Kelly went 3-for-3.

Wilfredo Tovar was picked off second base.

The Redbirds are 70-41 on the season and are in first place in the PCL American Southern.

Saturday’s game:   vs. Fresno, Kevin Herget (8-7, 4.01) 6:35 CT.


Springfield 3 at NW Arkansas 6

Shane Billings (Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Cardinals were conquered by the Naturals on the road Friday.  Shane Billings hit a solo home run in the third inning to put the Cardinals on the board.  Springfield scored again in the sixth on RBI singles by Tommy Edman and Andrew Knizner.    Billings went 2-for-3.

In his second Springfield outing, starter Casey Meisner gave up four runs, three earned, on four hits in seven innings pitched.  He struck out four.  Junior Fernandez pitched the eighth and surrendered one run on two hits.

Evan Mendoza made a fielding error.  Victor Roache had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals are 51-61 overall, 18-24 in the second half, and are in third place in the Texas League North.

Saturday’s game:  at NW Arkansas, Evan Kruczynski (1-0, 0.00) 6:05 CT.


Palm Beach 0 at Jupiter 4

Ian Oxnevad (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Cardinals were blanked by the Hammerheads at Roger Dean on Friday.  Palm Beach starting pitcher Ian Oxnevad pitched seven innings and gave up one run on five hits while striking out six and walking none.  Oxnevad suffered the hard-luck loss, his sixth of the season.   Jason Zgardowski gave up three runs on four hits in the eighth.

The Beach Birds offense managed five hits, all singles.  Jose Godoy was 2-for-3.

Kramer Robertson stole his eighth base in 16 attempts.  Scott Hurst swiped his first bag in his initial try with Palm Beach.  Dylan Carlson was caught stealing for the third time in nine attempts.  Godoy was caught stealing for the first time in three tries.  Oxnevad committed a fielding error.  Hurst and Connor Capel each had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals are 57-47 overall and 18-22 in the second half and are in third place in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:   at Jupiter, TBA 4:30 CT.


Peoria 5, Cedar Rapids 1

Johan Oviedo (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Chiefs vanquished Cedar Rapids in a four run victory at Dozer Park on Friday.  The Chiefs got on the board first with one run in the fourth inning on a single by Dennis Ortega.  In the fifth, Luken Baker plated a run on a single.  Ortega doubled in a run in the sixth and Brandon Benson added a two-run home run in the same inning.  Ortega and Rayder Ascanio were both 2-for-4.  Yariel Gonzalez and Zach Kirtley were both 2-for-3.  Wood Myers was 2-for-5.

Starter Johan Oveido won his eighth game of the season.  Oveido pitched seven innings and gave up one run on five hits.  Robbie Gordon and C.J. Saylor tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively.

Ortega stole his seventh base in nine attempts.  Myers made a throwing error.

The Chiefs are 64-45 overall, 25-14 in the second half and are in second place in the Midwest League Western.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Quad Cities, Angel Rondon (3-0, 3.08) 6:30 CT.


State College 0, Auburn 1

Diego Cordero (St. Louis Cardinals)

The Spikes were blanked in a one-run contest with Auburn at home on Friday.  Starter Diego Cordero was the hard luck loser, after pitching 7 1/3 innings and giving up one run on eight hits.  Corey Malcom got the final two outs of the eighth.  Gabe Gentner added a scoreless ninth.

The Spikes offense managed seven hits.  Kevin Woodall went 2-for-4, both doubles, the only extra base hits in the game.  Brady Whalen was 3-for-4.

The Spikes are 19-28 on the season and are tied for fourth place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Auburn, Chris Holba (2-1, 2.63) 6:05 CT.


Johnson City 9 at Greeneville 7

Zach Jackson (St. Louis Cardinals)

The Cardinals defeated Greeneville with a ninth inning road rally on Friday.  Leads on both sides came and went, and after several ties, the Cardinals pulled it out in their final at-bats.

Carlos Soto doubled in a run in the first inning to get the Cardinals on the board.  A second run came in the third on a solo home run by Nolan Gorman.  A ground ball force out by Brandon Riley plated a run in the fifth.  Andrew Warner hit a leadoff solo home run in the sixth.  In the seventh, three runs came home, the first on a passed ball, then a Warner single drove in the second run and Zach Jackson’s double plated run number three.  The winning runs were scored in the ninth on Jackson’s two-run blast to right field.  Warner and Jackson were both 2-for-5.  Soto was 2-for-4.

Starter Cole Aker went five innings and gave up five runs, four earned, on seven hits.  Enrique Perez pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief and surrendered two unearned runs.  Jacob Sylvester tossed the final 2 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win.

Riley was caught stealing for the fourth time in five attempts.  Warner made a fielding error.  Jackson and Perez both committed throwing errors.  Warner had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals are 19-21 on the season and are in third place in the Appalachian League West.

Saturday’s game:  at Greeneville, Kyle Leahy (1-1, 3.66) 6:00 CT.


GCL Cardinals 2, GCL Astros 0 (previously suspended game resumed)

Perry DellaValle (Seton Hill University)

The Cardinals were the victors in this game that was suspended due to rain on July 24 and resumed on Friday.  It was scoreless until the eighth, when William Jimenez’ single drove in two runs.  Ivan Herrera went 3-for-3.

Starter Perry DellaValle pitched six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out seven.  Edgar Escobar pitched three scoreless innings of relief and earned the win.

Kevin Vargas stole his first base in two attempts.  Herrera was caught stealing for the first time in two tries.


GCL Cardinals 1, GCL Astros 10

The Cardinals were overwhelmed by the Astros in Friday’s regularly-scheduled contest.  Starter Griffin Roberts, in his first professional appearance, pitched 1 1/3 innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on two hits.  Game 1 starter (on July 24) Perry DellaValle tossed 3 2/3 innings of relief and surrendered two runs, one earned, on five hits. Francisco Justo allowed three more runs in the sixth.  Ty Cohen pitched the next two innings and relinquished one run.  Jose Geronimo gave up one run in the ninth.

The Cardinals lone run came in the eighth on an RBI triple by Carlos Soler.  Jhon Torres was 2-for-3.

Roberts made a missed catch error.  Soler and Cole Kreuter each committed fielding errors.   DellaValle picked a runner off first base.

The Cardinals are 26-11 on the season and are in first place in the GCL East.

Saturday’s game:  at GCL Marlins, TBA 9:00 am CT.


DSL Cardinals Blue 1 at DSL Yankees 0

The Cardinals Blue blanked the Yankees in a 1-0 game on Friday.  The game was scoreless until the top of the fifth, when the Cardinals scored on a wild pitch for what would be the only run in the game.   The Cardinals offense had five hits, including a double by Malcom Nunez.

Starter Francis Ventura won his third game of the season, pitching seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits while fanning five and walking three. Josue Ramirez and Angel Ortega tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth with the latter earning his second save.

Adanson Cruz stole his ninth base in 11 attempts.  Sander Mora was caught stealing for the fourth time in 13 tries.  Catcher Luis Rodriguez had a passed ball.

The Cardinals Blue are 35-18 on the season and are in second place in the DSL South.

Saturday’s game:  vs. DSL Yankees, TBA 9:30 am CT.


DSL Cardinals Red 8, DSL Rangers2 11

The Cardinals Red were defeated by the Rangers2 in a close game on Friday.  Starter Ludwin Jimenez pitched 4 1/3 innings and gave up seven runs, one earned, on four hits.  Gabriel Contreras entered and allowed all three inherited runners to score, then surrendered two additional runs on a hit by pitch and a wild pitch.  Still in the fifth, Dionys Rodriguez walked a hitter to score a Contreras runner, then got the final out of the inning. Rodriguez returned to pitch a scoreless sixth.  Augustus Calderon relinquished one run in two innings of relief.  Miguel Maiz pitched a scoreless ninth.  Jimenez took the loss.

The offense put a run on the board in both the second and third innings.  Claudio Ramirez’ single plated a run in the second and Franklin Soto’s double brought a run home in the third.  The Cardinals offense put up the crooked number in the seventh inning with five runs crossing the plate.  Alexander Samuel led off with a double.  Jesus Orrechia singled to score Samuel.  Joerlin De Los Santos singled, and Yowelfy Rosario doubled to plate Orrechia.  Cristhian Longa doubled De Los Santos and Rosario home.  Finally, Francisco Hernandez doubled to drive in Longa.  In the ninth, a final Cardinal run scored on a wild pitch, but the large lead was too much to overcome.

Four defensive misplays contributed to the six unearned runs yielded by the Cards.  Soto committed a fielding error and Hernandez made two.  Longa added a throwing error.  De Los Santos had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals Red are 27-25 on the season and are in fourth place in the DSL San Pedro Division.

Saturday’s game:  at DSL Rangers2 TBA 9:30 am CT.


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of July 23-29

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

The inconsistent St. Louis Cardinals lost a series at last-place Cincinnati before winning 2-of-3 at home over first-place Chicago. Second-place hitter Yadier Molina remains a consistent force. In our weekly history feature, Hall of Famer Chick Hafey is remembered.


Cardinals overhaul bullpen

Greg Holland (St. Louis Cardinals)

On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals made a number of deletions and additions to the team’s bullpen in an effort to boost what has been a major weakness most of the season.  In what was probably the least surprising move, the Cardinals designated right handed reliever Greg Holland for assignment.  Holland was an opening day signing by the Cardinals to bolster the back end of the bullpen.  The veteran closer had an NL co-leading 41 saves for the Rockies in 2017 but had turned down the Rockies offer to remain and went to test free agency.

Holland, along with several other notable veteran free agents, remained unsigned through the offseason and Spring Training.  The Cardinal signed him with the hope that his record as a closer would give him the late inning relief they needed.   Those hopes never materialized, as Holland struggled with his command, then went on the disabled list with a right hip impingement in May, sporting a 9.45 ERA in 18 appearances up to that point.  After returning from the injury, Holland appeared to improve for a short time, but the command issues returned.

Tyler Lyons (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals also designated lefty Tyler Lyons for assignment.  Lyons, a homegrown Cardinal product, had many of the same issues as Holland.  Lyons spent significant time this season on the disabled list, and when presumably healthy, struggled to get left handed batters out.  Lyons was out of minor league options, so sending him to the minors to work out his issues was not an option.

In addition to the removal of Holland and Lyons, the Cardinals traded right hander Sam Tuivailala to the Seattle Mariners for right-handed relief pitcher Seth Elledge, who has been assigned to the Cardinals’ Double-A affiliate in Springfield.  Left handed pitcher Brett Cecil was placed on the 10 day disabled list with right foot inflammation.

The Cardinals recalled right handed pitcher Daniel Poncedeleon, left handed pitcher Tyler Webb, and selected the contract of right handed pitcher Dakota Hudson from the Memphis Redbirds.  Left handed pitcher Austin Gomber, already on the roster, will slide into a bullpen role after making a start against the Reds in Cincinnati on Tuesday.


Game Recaps

Monday, July 23 – Cardinals 1 at Reds 2

Daniel Poncedeleon (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals left Chicago on Sunday having split a four-game series with the Cubs.  The hope was the team would fare better against the last place Reds.  Those hopes were dashed in the first game of the series.  The inconsistent offense showed up, though both teams were low on the output side.  St. Louis did get on the board first, with their one and only run coming off the bat of Yadier Molina, who singled to left to score Matt Carpenter in the sixth.  That RBI single was one of only five Cardinal hits.  Carpenter and Tommy Pham doubled, the only extra base hits.  Carpenter was 2-for-4.

Starting pitching on both sides was on point, especially on the St. Louis side.  Newly recalled Daniel Poncedeleon was the starter, and he wowed the faithful with a no -hitter through the seventh.  The high pitch count for the right hander prevented him returning for the eighth.  Jordan Hicks was brought in for the eighth to attempt to carry on the no hitter, but Hicks gave up a single to the second batter he faced, Phillip Ervin.  Hicks did finish the inning scoreless.  The 1-0 shutout was lost in the ninth when Bud Norris gave up two runs, which handed the win to the Reds.


Tuesday, July 24 – Cardinals 4 at Reds 2 (11 innings)

Austin Gomber (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Things started to look up for the Cardinals in Game 2.  It took extra innings, but St. Louis pulled off a win.  Lefty Austin Gomber copied his Memphis teammate Poncedeleon, taking a no hitter into the seventh before losing it by giving up a single to Joey Votto and a two-run home run to Eugenio Suarez.  Gomber pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up the two runs.  Mike Mayers got the final two outs of the seventh before   Jordan Hicks pitched a scoreless eighth.  Tyler Lyons faced one batter in the ninth, a fly out.  Sam Tuivailala finished the ninth and pitched a run-free 10th.  Bud Norris closed with a scoreless 11th.

The offense scored in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Jose Martinez.  Another run was added in the seventh on Yairo Munoz’ double.  The Reds tied it up in the bottom frame and the game remained tied until the top of the 11th, when Dexter Fowler hit a two-run home run to give the Cardinals the victory.

Fowler stole his fourth base of the season.  Paul DeJong made a throwing error.


Wednesday, July 25 – Cardinals 3 at Reds 7

The Cardinals couldn’t pull out the series win for the second time in a row on the road trip.  Solo home runs by Paul DeJong in the third inning and Yadier Molina in the seventh were not enough to overcome the busy bats of the Reds.   Yairo Munoz contributed an RBI double to round out the Redbirds scoring.  The hot-hitting Molina was 3-for-5.

It was not one of Jack Flaherty’s best starts on this Wednesday.  Flaherty pitched five innings and gave up three runs on four hits.  The right hander’s signature strikeout count was normal, as he struck out eight and walked two.  In the sixth, John Gant surrendered two additional runs.  John Brebbia pitched a scoreless seventh.  Luke Gregerson took the eighth and relinquished two more runs.  It was Flaherty’s fifth loss of the season.

Flaherty picked Billy Hamilton off first base.


Thursday, July 26 – Off day


Friday, July 27 – Cardinals 5, Cubs 2

Yadier Molina (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals returned to St. Louis after a tough series loss to the Reds to face the first-place Cubs.  After the significant changes to the bullpen (detailed above), the team took its new look to a Game 1 win over the Cubs.   Luke Weaver got the start and pitched six pretty good innings, giving up two runs on eight hits.  Mike Mayers followed with a scoreless seventh.  Jordan Hicks and Bud Norris tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively.  Weaver picked up his sixth win of the season.

An RBI triple by Paul DeJong brought home the first run for the Redbirds in the third inning.  Jose Martinez singled a run home in that same inning.  In the fourth, Yadier Molina plated a run on a double and DeJong added a two run single.  Molina went 3-for-4 and DeJong was 3-for-3.

Matt Carpenter was caught stealing for the first time in the season.  Dexter Fowler had an outfield assist.


Saturday, July 28 – Cardinals 6, Cubs 2

Marcell Ozuna (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals repeated their victory over their Division rivals on Saturday.  The highlight was the grand slam by Marcell Ozuna in the first inning, when St. Louis put up six runs against Cubs starter Jose Quintana, enough to sustain the win.  The other two runs in the first inning came on a bases loaded walk by Jose Martinez and Yairo Munoz’ double.  Ozuna went 3-for-4.

Starter Miles Mikolas won his 11th game of the season.  Mikolas pitched six innings and gave up two runs on six hits.  First time call-up Dakota Hudson, Jordan Hicks, and Bud Norris each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.


Sunday, July 29 – Cardinals 2, Cubs 5

The Cardinals were unable to complete their second sweep of the Cubs this season.  The game started with a rain delay of a little over an hour.  Starter John Gant went only 4 1/3 innings and gave up three runs, two earned, on four hits.  Austin Gomber relieved in the fifth and surrendered two unearned runs.  John Brebbia held the Cubs scoreless for 2 1/3 innings.  Newly recalled Tyler Webb pitched the final two scoreless innings.

St. Louis’ offense scored two in the first inning against Kyle Hendricks, and then were shut down the rest of the way.  Those two runs came on a home run by Marcell Ozuna.  The offense had a total of five hits and no Cardinal had multiple hits.

Shortly after making a standout play, Yairo Munoz committed a costly error at second base that broke the game open for the Cubs.


Big Picture

The Cardinals finished the week 3-3, with a series loss to the Reds and a series win against the Cubs.  The team remains in fourth place in the division, eight games back of the Cubs.

The issues with inconsistent offense remain.  After a brief spurt of activity, Tommy Pham has returned into his slump.  Dexter Fowler has shown signs of improvement at the plate since Mike Shildt has taken over as manager.  With home runs on Saturday and Sunday, Marcell Ozuna has shown a brief glimpse of what the Cardinals thought they were getting when they acquired him.  After a historical output at the plate a week ago, Carpenter has cooled off somewhat.  Yadier Molina has been a bright spot recently at the plate.  Jose Martinez has cooled, perhaps in part due to reduced playing time.  Harrison Bader and Jedd Gyorko are playing less.

The bullpen has continued to be a major weakness, but with the additions and subtractions made on Friday, the pen has stabilized for the moment.  The defense had been getting better, but costly errors continue to be made in the infield.  Getting Kolten Wong back from the disabled list should help some in this area.

The Cardinals play a series with a hot Rockies team this week at home and then travel to Pittsburgh to take on the surging Pirates.  As August is almost upon them, time is quickly running out to make headway for a playoff spot.


NL Central Standings W L Pct GB
Chicago 61 44 0.581
Milwaukee 61 47 0.565 1.5
Pittsburgh 55 52 0.514 7
St. Louis 53 52 0.505 8
Cincinnati 48 58 0.453 13.5

Who’s Hot

Over the past six games (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

  • Yadier Molina has an OPS of 1.037. He has one HR, three doubles, and three RBI.
  • Dexter Fowler has an OPS of .958. He has one HR, one double, and two RBI.
  • Daniel Poncedeleon has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.43.
  • Austin Gomber has an ERA of 2.84 and a WHIP of 0.63.
  • Dakota Hudson has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00.
  • Jordan Hicks has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.75.

Who’s Not

Over the past six games (does not contain recent Sunday games).

  • Tommy Pham has an OPS of .449.
  • Greg Garcia has an OPS of .476.
  • Jose Martinez has an OPS of .536.
  • John Gant has an ERA of 18.00 and a WHIP of 5.00.
  • Brett Cecil has an ERA of 81.00 and a WHIP of 15.00.
  • Luke Gregerson has an ERA of 18.00 and a WHIP of 3.00.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last six games (does not contain recent Sunday game):

  • The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter.
  • The number two hitter has been Yadier Molina.
  • The number three hitter has been Paul DeJong.
  • The cleanup hitter has been Marcell Ozuna for four games and Jose Martinez for two games.
  • The fifth hitter has been Martinez for four games and Ozuna for two games.
  • The sixth hitter has been Tommy Pham for five games and Dexter Fowler for one game.
  • The seventh hitter has been Dexter Fowler for five games and Yairo Munoz for one game.
  • The eighth hitter has been Munoz for four games, Harrison Bader for one game, and Greg Garcia for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

Post-Dispatch beat writer Derrick Goold tweeted that several teams have expressed interest in Memphis Redbirds third baseman Patrick Wisdom.  Goold also tweeted that the Cardinals remain interested in Tampa Bay Rays starter Chris Archer.


Transactions

  • 7/22 The Cardinals optioned Luke Weaver to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/23 The Cardinals placed 2B Kolten Wong on the 10 day disabled list retroactive to July 22, 2018. Left knee inflammation.
  • 7/23 The Cardinals recalled RHP Daniel Poncedeleon from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/24 The Cardinals optioned RHP Daniel Poncedeleon to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/24 The Cardinals recalled LHP Austin Gomber from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/27 The Cardinals placed LHP Brett Cecil on the 10 day disabled list retroactive to July 23, 2018. Right foot inflammation.
  • 7/27 The Cardinals designated LHP Tyler Lyons for assignment.
  • 7/27 The Cardinals designated RHP Greg Holland for assignement.
  • 7/27 The Cardinals traded RHP Sam Tuivailala to the Seattle Mariners for RHP Seth Elledge.
  • 7/27 The Cardinals selected the contract of RHP Dakota Hudson from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/27 The Cardinals recalled RHP Luke Weaver from the Peoria Chiefs.
  • 7/27 The Cardinals recalled RHP Daniel Poncedeleon from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/27 The Cardinals recalled LHP Tyler Webb from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/29 The Cardinals traded 1B Luke Voit and international pool money to the New York Yankees for LHP Chasen Shreve and RHP Giovanny Gallegos.

Injury Report

  • RHP Dominic Leone (right upper arm nerve irritation) was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL. Leone has begun a throwing program and threw on flat ground on July 19. Leone threw a side session over the weekend.  No announcement regarding a rehab assignment has been made.
  • RHP Alex Reyes (right lat strain) had surgery on June 6 to reattach a tendon in his right lat. The right hander was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL.  Reyes is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.
  • RHP Adam Wainwright (right elbow inflammation) continues on the 60 day DL. Wainwright has begun a throwing program and threw off a mound on July 27.   No announcement about a rehab assignment has been made.
  • RHP Michael Wacha (left oblique strain) continues on the 10 day DL. Wacha has begun a throwing program.  It is expected to take at least a month for Wacha to regain arm strength.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez was placed on the 10 day DL retroactive to July 20. Right oblique strain.  Martinez threw a side session on July 27.  It is expected that Martinez will be activated and make a start on Monday, July 30.
  • 2B Kolten Wong was placed on the 10 day DL with left knee inflammation. MRI revealed no structural damage.  Began baseball activities on July 28.  Wong is expected to return to the roster on or about August 1.
  • LHP Brett Cecil was placed on the 10 day DL with right foot inflammation. No timetable for a return has been set.
  • 1B Jose Martinez was scratched from Sunday’s lineup with ankle issues due to a slide into third base in Saturday’s game, but came into the game late.

Looking Ahead

The homestand continues on Monday with the opener of a four-game series with the Rockies. Carlos Martinez is scheduled to make the start on Monday.  Jack Flaherty will make the Tuesday start, followed by Luke Weaver on Wednesday and Miles Mikolas on Thursday.

Following the homestand the Cardinals travel to Pittsburgh for a weekend series with Pirates.  The team then heads to Miami for a three-game series against the Marlins.

After an off day that Thursday, the Cardinals travel to Kansas City for a weekend interleague series with the Royals.  The team then returns to St. Louis for a seven-game homestand.  The Cardinals play a four game series against the Nationals followed by a weekend series with the Brewers.

The Redbirds then travel west to play three games in Los Angeles with the Dodgers.  The team has a travel day on Thursday to fly to Colorado for a weekend series against the Rockies.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.


Blast from the Past

Sunday marked the annual induction ceremonies at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.  No Cardinals were inducted this year, but there are 46 players and managers in the Hall of Fame associated with the Cardinals.  Seventeen of those are in the Hall as Cardinals.  This article spotlights one of those 17, one who is not as well known to Cardinals fans as the more popular Cardinals such as Stan Musial, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith, and others.

Chick Hafey

Charles “Chick” Hafey was born on February 12, 1903 in Berkeley, California.  The Cardinals signed Hafey as a pitcher out of high school.  He was a good hitter, so the Cardinals decided to move him to the outfield.  Hafey played for the Cardinals from 1924-1931 and was a member of two World Championship teams in 1926 and 1931.  Hafey also holds the distinction of getting the first hit in an All-Star Game, though he did this as a Cincinnati Red after leaving St. Louis.

Hafey made his major league debut with the Cardinals in 1926 but played in only 78 games.  The outfielder played full time in 1927 and led the National League in slugging.  Hafey was known for having an excellent arm in the outfield.

During his peak years from 1928 to 1930, Hafey hit 82 home runs and drove in 343 runs.  Hafey won the NL batting title in 1931 with a batting average of .349. In July of 1929, he tied a NL record with ten hits in ten consecutive at bats.  He also hit for the cycle in August of 1930.  In his eight seasons with the Cardinals, Hafey had a slash line of .326/.379/.568.

Hafey was often at odds with management over his salary and was once fined by general manager Branch Rickey in 1931 for being late and out of shape.  Hafey demanded that Rickey add the fine to his 1932 salary, and when Rickey refused, Hafey left spring training camp.  As a result, Rickey traded Hafey to the Cincinnati Reds.

One notable factoid about Hafey is that he is one of only two Hall of Famers with eyeglasses.  The other is Reggie Jackson.

Hafey was inducted into Cooperstown in 1971 by the Veterans Committee. As such, Hafey was also part of the inaugural class of the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014.

Hafey passed away on July 2, 1973.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Gulf Coast League Cardinals Notebook – 2018 Week 6

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