All posts by Marilyn Green

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

photo: Tyler O’Neill (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)

In this week’s St. Louis Cardinals action, the club had another 3-3 week, following a home series loss to the Royals with a winning set in Pittsburgh. Rookie Tyler O’Neill has aided the inconsistent offense. In our history feature, the 1985 World Series is remembered.


Game Recaps

Monday, May 21 – Cardinals 6, Royals 0

Miles Mikolas (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals shut down the visiting Royals in the first of a three-game series at Busch Stadium.  Starter Miles Mikolas pitched the complete game, allowing only four hits, while fanning nine and walking one.    It was the right hander’s first career shutout.

St. Louis’ offense put up four runs in the third inning, with three via a massive home run off the bat of Tyler O’Neill.  It was O’Neill’s third home run in three games.  Also, in the third inning, Marcell Ozuna singled home a run on a ground ball to right field.  Tyler O’Neill continued to drive in runs with an RBI double in the fifth.  In the seventh, a solo home run by Matt Carpenter plated the final run.  Carpenter went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.   Ozuna was 2-for-3, O’Neill was 2-for-4.


Tuesday, May 22 – Cardinals 1, Royals 5

It didn’t go well for the Redbirds in the second game of the series.  The offense just couldn’t get the timely hit, racking up 11 hits but only scoring one run.  That came in the first inning, when Jose Martinez came home on a double steal.  Marcell Ozuna went 3-for-4 and Yairo Munoz was 4-for-4.

Stater Luke Weaver pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits.  The right hander struck out eight and walked one.  Brett Cecil and Mike Mayers combined for a scoreless eighth.  Greg Holland started the ninth, but continued to struggle, surrendering two runs without recording an out.  John Brebbia finished the ninth.  Weaver took the loss, his fourth.

On the base paths, Martinez stole his first base of the season.  Ozuna stole his third bag.  Munoz was caught stealing twice.


Wednesday, May 23 – Cardinals 2, Royals 5 (10 innings)

Michael Wacha (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals fell to the Royals for the second night in a disappointing series loss to their cross-state rivals.   Michael Wacha’s pitching wasn’t the problem.  The right hander went 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits while fanning six and walking none.  Sam Tuivailala secured the last out of the seventh.  Jordan Hicks pitched a scoreless eighth.  Bud Norris had a difficult ninth, surrendering three runs, two earned, and was tagged with the loss.  Brett Cecil and Mike Mayers combined for a scoreless 10th.

Once again, St. Louis’ offense was lackluster.  Both runs scored in the second inning on Harrison Bader’s ground out and Francisco Pena’s double.  Pena went 2-for-4.

Tyler ONeill made a fielding error but also had an outfield assist, throwing a runner out at home.  Norris also committed a fielding error.


Thursday, May 24 – Off day


Friday, May 25 – Cardinals 1 at Pirates 8

The Cardinals arrived in Pittsburgh for a weekend series with the Pirates, and the first game was not a good one for them.  St. Louis’ offense was kept off the board until the eighth inning, when Tommy Pham broke through with a solo home run.  That would be the only run in the game for the Cardinals.  Marcell Ozuna went 2-for-3 and Jedd Gyorko went 2-for-4.

John Gant made the start and pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on four hits.  The right hander struck out seven and walked none.  Brett Cecil surrendered an additional run in the sixth before John Brebbia allowed two more runs in the seventh, as did Greg Holland in the eighth.


Saturday, May 26 – Cardinals 4 at Pirates 1

Jack Flaherty (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

It went much better for the Cards in the second game on Saturday.  Jack Flaherty pitched well again, though he was not as dominant as he had been in his previous start.  Flaherty pitched six innings, giving up one run on four hits.  The right hander struck out four and walked two.   Tyler Lyons, Jordan Hicks, and Bud Norris combined for the final three scoreless innings.  Flaherty earned his second win of the season.

The game began with a Matt Carpenter leadoff solo home run in the first to give St. Louis the lead.  A second run was added in the third on a Jose Martinez RBI single.  In the fourth, Francisco Pena’s sac fly plated a run, and Yairo Munoz drove in a run on a single.

Harrison Bader stole his fifth base of the season.


Sunday, May 27 – Cardinals 6 at Pirates 4

Matt Carpenter (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals took the final game to win the series in Pittsburgh.  St. Louis again scored first when Matt Carpenter and Marcell Ozuna doubled.  The Cardinals then fell behind, but rallied with two runs in the seventh, followed by three runs in the eighth.  Jedd Gyorko drove in two on his seventh inning single, and in the eighth, Harrison Bader had an RBI single, Yairo Munoz drew a bases loaded walk, and Carson Kelly plated a run on a ground ball force out.  Carpenter went 2-for-4.

Miles Mikolas didn’t have his best stuff but kept the Redbirds in the game.  The right hander pitched six innings, giving up four runs on five hits while fanning five and walking one. The bullpen did its job as Sam Tuivailala tossed a scoreless seventh and earned the win.  Jordan Hicks added a scoreless eighth and Bud Norris a clean ninth.


Big Picture

The Cardinals ended their second consecutive week at 3-3, losing the series to the Royals, but winning the set in Pittsburgh.  The Royals matchup was both disappointing and ugly, marked more by lackluster offense, but also some bad defense and bad baserunning.  Pitching remains the strong suit for the most part.

The Pirates series brought more lackluster offense in Game 1, but there was improvement in the final two games.  Matt Carpenter has emerged from his long slump, but the usual stalwart Tommy Pham has descended into a slump, though a modest one so far.  Marcell Ozuna has improved his batting average, but the power that was expected is still nowhere to be found.  Ozuna is hitting singles, but not much more.  Dexter Fowler was injured in the Pirates series, but his offense remains a concern.  Kolten Wong is staying in the lineup for the most part due to his excellent defense, but how long remains to be seen.

Injuries have plagued the Cardinals, and this is no insignificant factor, but the players that are healthy need to pick it up.  The Cardinals cannot sustain their winning record for long with pitching and one or two offensive players carrying the load.

The Cardinals meet the first-place Brewers for a three game series beginning Monday.  It is crucial that St. Louis makes its mark here by winning at least two.  The Cardinals typically play well in Miller Park, but the offense has to be better.


NL Central Standings

W L % GB
Milwaukee 34 20 0.630
St. Louis 28 22 0.560 4
Chicago 27 22 0.551 4.5
Pittsburgh 28 24 0.538 5
Cincinnati 19 35 0.352 15

Who’s Hot

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

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

  • Tyler O’Neill has an OPS of 1.235.  He has two HRs, one double and five RBI.
  • Matt Carpenter has an OPS of 1.105. He has two HRs, three doubles and two RBI.
  • Marcell Ozuna has an OPS of 1.381. He has one double, eight singles, and one RBI.
  • Yairo Munoz has an OPS of 1.110. He has seven singles and one RBI.
  • Jack Flaherty has an ERA of 1.32 and a WHIP of 0.66.
  • Michael Wacha has an ERA of 1.35 and a WHIP of 0.60.
  • Miles Mikolas has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.56.
  • Sam Tuivailala 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.
  • Mike Mayers 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):

  • Kolten Wong has an OPS of .167.
  • Harrison Bader has an OPS of .250 in eight plate appearances.
  • Francisco Pena has an OPS of .312.
  • Tommy Pham has an OPS of .381.
  • Greg Holland has an ERA of 36.00 and a WHIP of 7.00.
  • Bud Norris has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 1.50.
  • John Brebbia has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 2.00.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

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

  • The leadoff hitter was Tommy Pham for four games, Dexter Fowler for one game, and Matt Carpenter for one game.
  • The number two hitter was Matt Carpenter for five games, Jose Martinez for one game.
  • The number three hitter was Jose Martinez for five games, and Pham for one game.
  • The cleanup hitter was Marcell Ozuna for four games, and Tyler O’Neill for two games.
  • The fifth hitter was Jedd Gyorko for three games, O’Neill for two games, and Fowler for one game.
  • The sixth hitter was Fowler for two games, Kolten Wong for two games, Gyorko for one game, and Harrison Bader for one game.
  • The seventh hitter was Greg Garcia for two games, Yairo Munoz for two games, and Francisco Pena for two games.
  • The eighth hitter was Francisco Pena for four games, Wong for one game, and Munoz for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions

  • 5/24 The Cardinals sent RHP Alex Reyes on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/24 The Cardinals sent C Carson Kelly on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/26 The Cardinals placed RHP Greg Holland on the 10 day disabled list. Right hip impingement.
  • 5/26 The Cardinals activated C Carson Kelly from the 10 day disabled list.
  • 5/26 The Cardinals activated LHP Tyler Lyons from the 10 day disabled list.
  • 5/26 The Cardinals optioned C Steven Baron to the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

  • RHP Dominic Leone (right upper arm nerve irritation) remains on the 10 day DL. Further tests revealed some nerve damage, but no surgery is required. Leone is expected to be out for an indefinite period.
  • C Yadier Molina (pelvic injury with traumatic hematoma) continues on the 10 day DL. Molina was injured by a foul ball during a game. The catcher had surgery and is expected to return sometime in June.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez (right lat strain) was placed on the 10 day DL retroactive to May 9. Martinez underwent an MRI on May 17 and began a throwing program on May 21.  No announcement has been made about a possible rehab assignment.
  • RHP Alex Reyes (Tommy John surgery) finished his last rehab assignment and is scheduled to make his first start for the Cardinals against the Brewers on Wednesday.
  • RHP Adam Wainwright (right elbow inflammation) was activated, made one start, and was placed back on the disabled list. Wainwright initially went on the 10 day DL but was transferred to the 60 day DL.  The right handed pitcher underwent a non-intrusive procedure on his elbow on May 21 to determine the source of his pain.  The expectation is that Wainwright will return to pitch some time this season.
  • RHP Luke Gregerson was placed on the 10 day DL with a right shoulder impingement. Gregerson underwent an MRI but the results were not disclosed.  No timetable for his return has been set.
  • SS Paul DeJong has a fractured left hand following a hit by pitch on May 17. DeJong underwent surgery on the hand on May 18 and has undertaken some minor hand rehab.  No timetable for his return has been announced.
  • RHP Matt Bowman was placed on the 10 day DL with blisters on two fingers of his pitching hand. The timetable for his return has not been determined.
  • RHP Greg Holland was placed on the 10 day DL on May 26. Diagnosis was right hip infringement.  No timetable for his return has been announced.
  • 2B Greg Garcia exited the May 21 game with lower back tightness. Garcia is considered day to day and made several pinch hit appearances during the week but has not been in the starting lineup.
  • RF Dexter Fowler was hit in the knee by a pitch in Saturday’s game against the Pirates. X-rays were negative.  Fowler did not play Sunday and is considered day to day.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals begin the week in Milwaukee for a three-game series against the Brewers.  Luke Weaver is scheduled to make the Monday start.  Michael Wacha will start on Tuesday, followed by Alex Reyes, making his first start since having Tommy John surgery, on Wednesday.

The club returns home from Milwaukee to begin a four-game series against the Pirates.  Scheduled starters for that series have not been announced.

The Cardinals will have an off day a week from Monday, then take on the Marlins at home in Busch Stadium for a three-game series.  The Redbirds then travel to Cincinnati for a weekend set against the Reds.

The Padres travel to St. Louis for a three game series beginning June 11.  After an off day that Thursday, the Cubs will come to St. Louis for a weekend matchup.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.


Blast from the Past

St. Louis lost two of three to the Royals this week at Busch Stadium, a disappointing series for Cardinals fans to say the least.  After the Cubs, the Royals are arguably the team’s second most intense rival.  Being the other major league team in the state of Missouri and being compared somewhat unfavorably over the years to the Cardinals, Kansas City and St. Louis coming together in competition is never boring.

The rivalry’s perhaps most divisive moments came in an unfortunate meeting for the Cardinals with the Royals in the 1985 World Series.  In what has often been referred to as the I-70 World Series, St. Louis came in as the favorite, having won 101 games in the regular season to the Royals’ 91.   The Cardinals franchise had already won nine World Series, while the Royals had never won.   The 1985 Series had the designations of being the first World Series that was all night games, and the last World Series in which the designated hitter was not used in the AL ballpark.

The first three games went well for the Cardinals, and they began Game 4 up 3-0 against the Royals.  It seemed as if the outcome was obvious.  However, the Cardinals dropped Game 4 and Game 5 at Busch Stadium.  Game 6 began as a pitcher’s duel between the Cardinals’ Danny Cox and Royals’ starter Charlie Leibrandt.  Both Cardinal fans and Royal fans most remember the controversial call at first base, but there had been an earlier controversial call at second base.  This call benefited the Cardinals.  The Royals’ Frank White appeared to have stolen second but was called out.  Later replays showed he was safe.

The game was scoreless until the eighth inning when the Cardinals scored on a single by Brian Harper to score Terry Pendleton.  Then came the ninth, and the call that would go down as one of the most controversial calls in World Series history.  The Royals’ Jorge Orta hit a ground ball to the right of first base which Jack Clark fielded and tossed the ball to pitcher Todd Worrell, covering first base. The toss was caught behind Worrell, and umpire Don Denkinger called Orta safe, though later replays clearly showed he was out.

Don Denkinger, Todd Worrell, Tommy Herr

The rest is, as they say, history, as the wheels came off the bus for the Cardinals.  The Royals won Game 6 and Game 7 to claim the World Series.  Denkinger later saw the replay and admitted he made the wrong call, but it was too late.  Denkinger said his view was blocked by Orta and he was waiting to hear the ball hit Worrell’s glove, but the crowd noise was too loud for him to hear it.

Needless to say, Game 6 became a bone of contention between Cardinals and Royals fans, and still is to some extent to this day. There is no way of knowing whether the Cardinals would have won had the correct call had been made, which adds to the drama.  This writer also lost a bet to a Royals’ fan colleague over that series.

Both the Royals and the Cardinals would go on to win other World Series, the Cardinals in 2006 and 2011, and the Royals in 2014.  Neither team has met the other in a World Series since 1985, but this writer believes a rematch is long overdue.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2018 Week 7

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. Annual members may purchase our new 193-page 2018 Prospect Guide for less than half price. Our limited edition printed version is sold out.

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 – May 27, 2018

photo: Dakota Hudson (Scott Rovak/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 3-1 on Saturday as Peoria split a doubleheader and Palm Beach was postponed. Our Player of the Day is Dakota Hudson, who pitched eight scoreless innings, allowing four hits, striking out nine and walking one in Memphis’ victory.

Results for games played Saturday, May 26.


Memphis 4, Colorado Springs 0

Dakota Hudson (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds shut out the Sky Sox at AutoZone Park on Saturday.  The game was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth, when Oscar Mercado singled and Rangel Ravelo followed with a two-run home run.  Patrick Wisdom drew a walk and stole second base, then scored on a throwing error.  In the seventh, Wisdom’s solo home run was the fourth and final Memphis tally.   Wisdom went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.  Leadoff man Mercado was 2-for-4, increasing his average to .339.

Starter Dakota Hudson won his sixth game of the season, pitching eight scoreless innings, allowing four hits, fanning nine and walking one.  Edward Mujica tossed a scoreless ninth.

Wisdom stole his fifth base in six attempts.  Mercado was picked off first.

The Redbirds are 30-20 on the season and are in first place in the PCL American Southern Division.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Colorado Springs, Austin Gomber (3-3, 4.04) 6:35 CT.


Springfield 7 at San Antonio 3

Chris Ellis (Springfield Cardinals)

The Cardinals blanked the Missions in San Antonio on Saturday.  Springfield starter Chris Ellis pitched six scoreless innings, allowing four hits, striking out eight and walking two to win his third game of the season.  Jacob Evans followed with 1 2/3 innings of relief, allowing three runs, two earned.  Colton Thomson handled the final 1 1/3 scoreless innings to earn his first Double-A save.

Springfield’s offense produced seven runs on 13 hits.  The scoring began in the third, when Thomas Spitz led off with a single and Tommy Edman doubled.  Edmundo Sosa singled to plate both.  Evan Mendoza singled in the final run of the inning.  In the fourth, three more runs came home, on RBI singles by Edman and Stefan Trosclair, and an RBI double by Sosa.  The final Cardinals run scored in the sixth on a ground ball force out by Granden Goetzman.  Edman went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.  Trosclair and Sosa were both 2-for-5.  Mendoza and Spitz were 2-for-4.

Goetzman stole his second base in two attempts.  Spitz was 1-for-2 in his first two tries stealing and added an outfield assist. Trosclair made a throwing error.

The Cardinals are 26-23 on the season and are in first place in the Texas League North.

Sunday’s game:  at San Antonio, Anthony Shew (0-1, 15.75) 5:05 CT.


Palm Beach vs. Clearwater (postponed)

This game was postponed due to rain.  Weather permitting, it will be played on Sunday as part of a doubleheader consisting of two seven-inning games beginning at 12 pm at Roger Dean Stadium.

Sunday’s games:  doubleheader vs. Clearwater, Austin Warner (3-1, 2.86)/TBA 12:00 pm


Peoria 0 at Quad Cities 12 (Game 1 doubleheader, seven innings)

The Chiefs were the victims of a shellacking at the hands of the River Bandits in the first game of a twin bill on Saturday.  Starter Paul Balestrieri did not make it out of the first inning, getting two outs but giving up six runs on six hits.  The right hander struck out one and walked one.  Reliever Levi MaVorhis surrendered five additional runs in 3 1/3 innings pitched.  C.J. Saylor pitched the final two innings and allowed one run.  Balestrieri took the loss.

Peoria’s offense was limited to two singles, from Scott Hurst and Julio Rodriguez.  Five runners were left on base.

Matt Fiedler contributed two outfield assists, throwing runners out at third base and second base.  Rodriguez picked a runner off first.


Peoria 5 at Quad Cities 1 (Game 2 doubleheader, eight innings)

Kodi Whitley (St. Louis Cardinals)

In the second game of the twin bill, the Chiefs defeated the River Bandits.  The game was scheduled for seven innings but was finished in eight due to a scoreless tie through regulation.  The Chiefs then put up five runs in the top of the eighth.

Extra innings in the minors start with a runner at second base, which in this game was Elehuris Montero.  Zach Kirtley walked, and Dennis Ortega singled to load the bases.   Nick Plummer was hit by a pitch and Montero scored.  Matt Fiedler singled to bring in Kirtley.  Ortega crossed the plate on Jose Martinez’ ground out.  Scott Hurst’s sac fly scored Plummer.  Irving Lopez singled Fiedler home.  Yariel Gonzalez doubled, but Lopez was thrown out at home to end the inning.  No Chiefs hitter had multiple hits.

Spot starter Kodi Whitley pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits, striking out three and walking two.  Thomas St. Clair followed with 3 1/3 scoreless innings.  Bryan Dobzanski pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, giving up one unearned run but earning the win.

Ortega was picked off first base.

The Chiefs are 25-22 on the season and are in fourth place in the Midwest League Western Division.

Sunday’s game:  at Quad Cities, Alvaro Seijas (1-2, 4.93) 5:15 CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2018 Week 7

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. Annual members may purchase our new 193-page 2018 Prospect Guide for less than half price. Our limited edition printed edition is sold out.

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 – May 26, 2018

photo: Tommy Edman (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 1-3 on Friday.  Our Player of the Day is Springfield second baseman Tommy Edman, who was 2-for-5 with a home run, three RBI, a stolen base and two runs scored in the Double-A Cards’ road win. Runs were scarce as Memphis and Peoria fell short despite good pitching but Palm Beach was blown out.

Results for games played Friday, May 25.


Memphis 1, Colorado Springs 3

Daniel Poncedeleon (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds fell to the Sky Sox at home on Friday night.  Memphis scored first in the second inning on Wilfredo Tovar’s RBI single.  It would be the only run for Memphis.  The Sky Sox tied it up two innings later and the score remained tied until the ninth, when the Sky Sox prevailed with two runs that the Redbirds offense couldn’t answer.  In his second and final rehab game, Carson Kelly went 3-for-3 with a double.

Starter Daniel Poncedeleon pitched six innings, giving up one run on three hits.  The right hander struck out six and walked four.  Hector Mendoza pitched a scoreless seventh.  Arturo Reyes and Sean Gilmartin combined for a scoreless eighth.  In the ninth, Andrew Morales gave up the two runs and was the losing pitcher.

Randy Arozarena stole his eighth base in 11 attempts for Memphis.  Max Schrock was caught stealing for the fourth time in nine attempts.  Patrick Wisdom made a throwing error.

The Redbirds are 29-20 on the season and are in first place in the PCL American Southern.

Saturday’s game:   vs.  Colorado Springs, Dakota Hudson (5-1, 2.70) 6:35 CT.


Springfield 7 at San Antonio 1

Tommy Edman (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals were victorious in San Antonio on Friday.  Connor Jones earned his third win of the season after pitching five innings, giving up one run on five hits while fanning five and walking one.  Ian McKinney and Yeison Medina each contributed two scoreless innings of relief.

Springfield scored first on Player of the Day Tommy Edman’s RBI double in the third inning.  The burst came in the sixth with the Cardinals putting five runs on the board.  Edman’s two-run home run began the scoring.  Victor Roache’s ground out drove in a run.  Another came home on a passed ball and the final run of the inning was plated on Granden Goetzman’s single.  In the seventh, Edmundo Sosa plated the seventh and last Springfield run on a single.  Edman was 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored.  Sosa was 3-for-5.

Edman, The Cardinal Nation’s no. 31 prospect, stole his fourth base of the season in six attempts.

The Cardinals are 25-23 on the season and are in first place in the Texas League North.

Saturday’s game:  at San Antonio, Chris Ellis (2-0, 4.79) 7:05 CT.


Palm Beach 1, Clearwater 8

The Cardinals were thrashed by the Threshers in Jupiter on Friday.  In his Palm Beach debut, starter Jake Walsh suffered the loss after pitching five innings and giving up three runs on seven hits.  The right hander struck out two and walked none.  Eric Carter followed with two innings of relief, surrendering one run on one hit.  John Kilichowski allowed four runs, three earned, in 1 1/3 innings.  Robbie Gordon finished the ninth without giving up further runs.

The Cards’ lone tally came via a fifth inning solo home run by Johan Mieses.   The offense had five total hits, with the only other extra base hit a double by Kramer Robertson.  The offense struck out 14 times and were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.

In the field, Brian O’Keefe had a passed ball.

The Cardinals are 26-19 on the season and are in second place in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:   vs. Clearwater, Austin Warner (3-1, 2.86) 4:30 CT.


Peoria 2 at Quad Cities 3

Andrew Summerville (State College Spikes)

The Chiefs were edged by the River Bandits on Friday.  Peoria fell behind 2-0 early but added a run in the fifth on an RBI single by Jose Martinez.  Another run crossed the plate in the seventh on a passed ball the scored Bryce Denton from third.  Denton went 2-for-4, as did Yariel Gonzalez.  Martinez was 2-for-3.

Evan Guillory took the loss after tossing 5 2/3 innings and giving up three runs on eight hits.  The right hander struck out four and walked two.  In his Peoria debut, Andrew Summerville pitched the final 2 1/3 scoreless frames to keep it close.

In the field, Dennis Ortega picked off a runner at second base.

The Chiefs are 24-21 on the season and are in second place in the Midwest League Western Division.

Saturday’s games:  doubleheader at Quad Cities, Paul Balestrieri (1-1, 2.35)/TBA 5:35 CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2018 Week 7

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. Annual members may purchase our new 193-page 2018 Prospect Guide for less than half price. Our limited edition printed edition is sold out.

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 May 14-20

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

In this week’s St. Louis Cardinals news, the club had another 3-3 week, including a home split against the Phillies. Rookie Jack Flaherty struck out 13 on Sunday. In our history feature, Flaherty’s feat brings back memories of another famous no. 32, Steve Carlton.


Game Recaps

Monday, May 14 – Off day


Tuesday, May 15 – Cardinals 1 at Twins 4

The St. Louis Cardinals were blanked by the Twins in a two-game series in Minnesota that completed a home and home series.  Starter Jack Flaherty pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up one run on five hits.  The young righty struck out three and walked one.  Brett Cecil came in with two outs in the sixth and gave up a run in 1/3 of an inning.   Luke Gregerson began the seventh, but struggled, surrendering two more runs. Sam Tuivailala got the final out of the seventh and pitched a scoreless eighth.  Cecil took the loss.

The offense only managed one run on two hits.  That lone run came home on a single by Carson Kelly.  The only other hit was a Harrison Bader single.

Gregerson made a throwing error.  Flaherty picked a runner off first base.


Wednesday, May 16 – Cardinals 7 at Twins 5

Bud Norris (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds turned it around in the second game, defeating the Twins by two runs.  Dexter Fowler got the scoring started by driving in two runs on a first inning single.  Jose Martinez plated a run on a single in the second.  In the fifth, Paul DeJong doubled to right for an RBI.  Two additional runs were added in the seventh on Jedd Gyorko’s single and Matt Carpenter’s double.  Finally, a solo home run by Tommy Pham put a cap on the Cardinals scoring.  Pham was 2-for-5, Jose Martinez was 2-for-4, Fowler was 2-for-3 and Carpenter was 3-for-5.

Miles Mikolas pitched a shortened game, as he did not have his best stuff.  Mikolas left after 4 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits while fanning two and walking two.  Brett Cecil got the final out of the fifth.  Matt Bowman pitched the sixth and allowed one run.  Jordan Hicks tossed a scoreless seventh and was the winning pitcher.  Greg Holland struggled in the eighth, surrendering two runs and only getting one out before Bud Norris came in to get the five out save, his ninth.

Dexter Fowler was caught stealing for the second time this season.  Fowler also made a fielding error.


Thursday, May 17 – Cardinals 2, Phillies 6

In the first of a four game series, the Cardinals were defeated by the Phillies in St. Louis.  Starter Luke Weaver pitched well, tossing seven innings and only giving up one run on four hits.  Weaver struck out six and walked one.  Jordan Hicks started the eighth, but was ineffective, surrendering three runs and not getting an out.  Sam Tuivailala stopped the bleeding, pitching a scoreless inning.  John Brebbia followed in the ninth but allowed two additional runs.  Weaver took the loss.

The Redbirds offense had 10 hits, but could only bring two runs across the plate, both late in the game.  In the eighth, Marcell Ozuna plated a run on a force out, and Jedd Gyorko added an RBI single.  Both Jose Martinez and Francisco Peña had good nights at the plate, going 3-for-4, though neither drove in a run.


Friday, May 18 – Cardinals 12, Phillies 4

Jose Martinez (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

What the offense lacked in the first game, came back with a fury in Game 2, as the Cardinals pummeled the Phillies on Friday.  The scoring began in the third inning, when Tommy Pham doubled in a run.  Jose Martinez singled in a run, and Jedd Gyorko also singled for two.   Another run scored in the fourth on a wild pitch.  In the fifth, Francisco Pena hit a solo home run.  Matt Carpenter singled in a run in the sixth and Jose Martinez added a two run home run.  Kolten Wong launched a solo home run in the seventh, and Martinez doubled in two more runs.  Pham was 3-for-3, Carpenter was 2-for-5, Martinez was 4-for-5, and Pena was 3-for-4.

Michael Wacha earned his fifth win of the season, pitching six innings and giving up two runs on five hits.  The right hander struck out eight and walked two.  John Brebbia surrendered one run in two innings pitched, before Mike Mayers allowed one run in the ninth.


Saturday, May 19 – Cardinals 6, Phillies 7

The Redbirds suffered a heartbreaking loss on Saturday, in a game in which the lead see-sawed back and forth.  The Cardinals fell behind, then came back to tie it up twice before taking a one run lead into the eighth inning, when things fell apart.  Starter John Gant yielded three runs, five earned, in 4 1/3 innings pitched.  Gant fanned seven and walked two.   Brett Cecil, Sam Tuivailala, and Jordan Hicks effectively held serve through the seventh, giving up no additional runs.  In the eighth, with a one run lead, Greg Holland was brought in to continue what the previous three relievers had done.  He failed.  Holland got the first two batters out, then the wheels came off the bus.  Two more Phillies runs scored and the lead was lost.  Bud Norris came in to control the damage, and he pitched the final 1 1/3 innings in scoreless fashion.

St. Louis’ scoring began in the fourth, when the first run scored on a throwing error on a force attempt.  Jedd Gyorko singled to add two more runs to tie the game at 3-3.  A Jose Martinez sac fly in the fifth, and Tyler O’Neill’s solo home run in the sixth tied the score for a second time.  Matt Carpenter doubled in the seventh to plate a run that gave the Cardinals the lead, a lead that was lost an inning later.   Tommy Pham was the only Cardinal with multiple hits, as he was 2-for-5.

Pham stole his eighth base of the season.  Gyorko made two errors at shortstop, both throwing errors.  Steven Baron had a passed ball.


Sunday, May 20 – Cardinals 5, Phillies 1

Jack Flaherty (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds earned the series split by defeating the Phillies on Sunday.  Tyler O’Neill hit his second home run in two games, a solo shot in the sixth inning.  The Cardinals offense took the lead in the fourth.  Kolten Wong put the ball in play with a ground ball to second and a throwing error allowed Tyler O’Neill to score and Dexter Fowler to advance to third.  Greg Garcia singled, and Fowler scored.  In the sixth, the O’Neill home run was followed by Garcia’s sac fly.  In the seventh, Jose Martinez plated a run on a single.  O’Neill and Matt Carpenter were both 3-for-4.

Jack Flaherty pitched brilliantly, tossing 7 2/3 innings and giving up only one run on only two hits.  The right hander struck out a career high 13 hitters while issuing one free pass.  Jordan Hicks finished with 1 1/3 scoreless innings, wowing the home crowd with multiple pitches that reached 104 and 105 mph.

Fowler stole his third base of the season.


Big Picture

The Cardinals were hit and miss all week, splitting two series for a record of 3-3.  The Cardinals, Cubs and Pirates are all tied up at 1.5 games back of the Brewers in the NL Central.

Matt Carpenter (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The offense has been improving for some, especially Matt Carpenter, who had been abysmal at the plate for weeks, but has six doubles in the last five days.  Dexter Fowler is showing signs of life, but Marcell Ozuna continues to struggle.  Stalwarts Tommy Pham and Jose Martinez continue to keep the team afloat, joined by contributions from new faces, such as Tyler O’Neill.

The defense has taken a hit with the loss of Paul DeJong with a fractured hand.  Jedd Gyorko has been getting some starts at short, but hasn’t been strong there, making two errors in one game.  Greg Garcia can play shortstop, and Yairo Munoz has been brought up to fill in as well.  Jose Martinez continues to struggle defensively at first base.

Michael Wacha (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Starting pitching has been fine, although Miles Mikolas had an uncharacteristically poor start this week.  John Gant and Jack Flaherty have been filling in for the absent Carlos Martinez and Adam Wainwright.  Flaherty has been fantastic, Gant has been so-so.  Weaver has bounced back after a couple of poor starts.  Michael Wacha has quietly logged six solid starts in a row.

The bullpen has not been good, however.  Bud Norris and Sam Tuivailala have been very effective.   Brett Cecil has been adequate.  Despite the velocity, Jordan Hicks has been hit and miss as has John Brebbia.  Mike Mayers has seen very little action.  Matt Bowman and Luke Gregerson are injured.  Greg Holland has been bad – there is no other word for it.

The Cardinals have more interleague play this week against the Royals.  Kansas City is dead last in the AL Central, but always seems to give St. Louis trouble.  The Cardinals travel to Pittsburgh over the weekend, and the last time they were there they were swept in three games.  The team must play better in PNC Park this time or fall farther behind in the standings.


NL Central Standings W L % GB
Milwaukee 28 19 0.596
Chicago 25 19 0.568 1.5
St. Louis 25 19 0.568 1.5
Pittsburgh 26 20 0.565 1.5
Cincinnati 16 32 0.333 12.5

Who’s Hot

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

  • Tyler O’Neill has an OPS of 1.850 in five plate appearances. He has one HR and one RBI.
  • Francisco Pena has an OPS of 1.532. He has one HR, one double, and one RBI.
  • Harrison Bader has an OPS of 1.222 in nine plate appearances. He has one HR, one triple, and two RBI.
  • Jose Martinez has an OPS of 1.134. He had one HR, two doubles, and eight RBI.
  • Matt Carpenter has an OPS of .959. He has four doubles and three RBI.
  • Luke Weaver has an ERA of 1.29 and a WHIP of 0.71.
  • Jack Flaherty has an ERA of 1.59 and a WHIP of 1.06.
  • Bud Norris has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.33.
  • Sam Tuivailala has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.82.

Who’s Not

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

  • Marcell Ozuna has an OPS of .237.
  • Greg Garcia has an OPS of .286 in seven plate appearances.
  • Jedd Gyorko has an OPS of .382.
  • Kolten Wong has an OPS of .489.
  • Luke Gregerson has an ERA of 54.00 and a WHIP of 6.00
  • Greg Holland has an ERA of 36.00 and a WHIP of 7.00.
  • Jordan Hicks 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 Tommy Pham.
  • The number two hitter has been Matt Carpenter for three games, Jose Martinez for two games, and Harrison Bader for one game.
  • The number three hitter has been Jose Martinez for four games, and Paul DeJong for two games.
  • The cleanup hitter has been Marcell Ozuna.
  • The fifth hitter has been Jedd Gyorko for four games, and Fowler for two games.
  • The sixth hitter has been DeJong for two games, Jedd Gyorko for two games, Kolten Wong for one game, and Fowler for one game.
  • The seventh hitter has been Carpenter for two games, and Carson Kelly, Tyler O’Neill, Bader and Wong for one game each.
  • The eighth hitter has been Francisco Pena for three games, Wong for two games, and Steve Baron for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions

  • 5/14 The Cardinals sent RHP Alex Reyes on a rehab assignment to the Peoria Chiefs.
  • 5/15 The Cardinals placed RHP Adam Wainwright on the 10 day disabled list. Right elbow inflammation.
  • 5/15 The Cardinals recalled RHP Jack Flaherty from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/16 The Cardinals placed RHP Luke Gregerson on the 10 day disabled list. Right shoulder impingement.
  • 5/16 The Cardinals recalled RHP John Brebbia from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/17 The Cardinals transferred RHP Adam Wainwright from the 10 day disabled list to the 60 day disabled list. Right elbow inflammation.
  • 5/17 The Cardinals placed C Carson Kelly on the 10 day disabled list retroactive to May 16, 2018. Right hamstring strain.
  • 5/17 The Cardinals selected the contract of C Steven Baron from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/18 The Cardinals placed RHP Matt Bowman on the 10 day disabled list retroactive to May 17, 2018. Blisters on right middle and index fingers.
  • 5/18 The Cardinals placed SS Paul DeJong on the 10 day disabled list. Fractured left hand.
  • 5/18 The Cardinals recalled SS Yairo Munoz from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/18 The Cardinals recalled OF Tyler O’Neill from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/19 The Cardinals sent RHP Alex Reyes on a rehab assignment to the Springfield Cardinals.
  • 5/19 The Cardinals sent LHP Tyler Lyons on a rehab assignment to the Springfield Cardinals.

Injury Report

  • RHP Dominic Leone (right upper arm nerve irritation) has been placed on the 10 day DL. Further tests revealed some nerve damage but no surgery is required.  No timetable for a return has been set.
  • C Yadier Molina (pelvic injury with traumatic hematoma) continues on the 10 day DL. Molina was injured by a foul ball during a game. The catcher had surgery and is expected to return sometime in June.
  • LHP Tyler Lyons (mid back strain) was placed on the 10 day DL retroactive to May 9. Lyons was began a rehab assignment with Springfield on May 19 so a return is expected soon.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez (right lat strain) was placed on the 10 day DL retroactive to May 9. Martinez underwent an MRI on May 17 and is expected to begin a throwing program on May 21.
  • RHP Alex Reyes (Tommy John surgery) has made three rehab assignment starts in Palm Beach, Peoria, and Springfield. Reyes is eligible to come off the 60 day DL at the end of May, and it is expected that will occur.
  • RHP Adam Wainwright (right elbow inflammation) was activated, made one start, and has been placed back on the disabled list. Wainwright initially went on the 10 day DL but has been transferred to the 60 day DL.  The expectation is that Wainwright will return to pitch some time later this season.
  • C Carson Kelly was placed on the 10 day DL retroactive to May 16 with a right hamstring strain. No timetable for his return has been set.
  • RHP Luke Gregerson was placed on the 10 day DL with a right shoulder impingement. Gregerson underwent an MRI but the results were unavailable as of this writing.  No timetable for his return has been set.
  • SS Paul DeJong has a fractured left hand following a hit by pitch on May 17. DeJong underwent surgery on the hand on May 18 and is expected to be out for a while.
  • RHP Matt Bowman was placed on the 10 day DL with blisters on two fingers of his pitching hand. The timetable for his return has not been determined.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals continue their homestand with three games against the Royals.  Pitching lineups for the series are Miles Mikolas on Monday, Luke Weaver on Tuesday, and Michael Wacha on Wednesday.

The Cardinals have a off day Thursday and will travel to Pittsburgh for a weekend series against the Pirates.  Pitching for those three games have not been announced given the uncertain status of Carlos Martinez.  At least one of those starts will likely be taken by either Jack Flaherty or John Gant.  The final start on Sunday should be Miles Mikolas if the current rotation remains the same.

After leaving Pittsburgh, the Redbirds travel to Milwaukee for a three game series.  The Cardinals return home after Milwaukee to play four games in Busch Stadium against the Pirates.

After an off day following the Pirates series, the homestand continues against the Marlins beginning Tuesday, June 5.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.


Blast from the Past

This weekend’s celebration remembered the 1968 St. Louis Cardinals team that won the NL Pennant but lost the World Series to the Detroit Tigers.  The celebration centered around the pitching of Bob Gibson, who set the Major League record for lowest ERA in a season at 1.12, a record will likely never by broken.  As a result of that ERA, major league baseball lowered the mound to its current height.

Steve Carlton

Gibson is general considered the best starting pitcher in franchise history.  The Cardinals had another pitcher on that team that sometimes get overlooked among the accolades given to Gibson.  Steve Carlton became a Hall of Fame pitcher in his own right.  Carlton pitched for the Cardinals from 1965-1971 before he was traded to the Phillies in a trade many fans consider the worst trade the franchise ever made.  How and why that trade happened is perhaps for another segment.

In a tie in to the Cardinals of the present day, Carlton holds the franchise record for the most strikeouts in a nine inning game.  Carlton fanned 19 New York Mets in a 4-3 loss on September 15, 1969.  Carlton wore uniform number 32, same as worn by current Cardinal pitcher Jack Flaherty.  In a start against the Phillies on Sunday, Flaherty struck out 13 Phillies, short of the 19 strikeout record, but a career high for him.

Carlton held the record for most career strikeouts by a left handed pitcher (4,136) until the record was broken by Randy Johnson in 2004.  He picked off 144 batters in his career, the most in baseball since that record began being kept in 1957.  Carlton was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1994 with 96% of the vote.

Jack Flaherty’s career is just beginning, and he may never be as great as the superstar with whom he shares a uniform number.  It is fun, however, to imagine the possibilities.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2018 Week 6

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: May 20, 2018

photo: Patrick Wisdom (Memphis Redbirds)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 3-1 on Saturday. TCN’s Player of the Day is Memphis third baseman Patrick Wisdom, who was 5-for-7 including a three-run home run, a triple, two doubles, and six RBI during a doubleheader sweep.

Results for games played on Saturday, May 19.


Memphis 11 at Colorado Springs 3 (Game 1 DH, seven innings)

Patrick Wisdom (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds rediscovered their offense, pummeling Sky Sox pitching for 22 runs in 14 innings to take both ends of the twin bill in Colorado Springs on Saturday.

In the opener, Memphis’ bats were hot from the beginning, with two runs put on the board in the first inning on Patrick Wisdom’s RBI double.  In the third, Memphis added four more.  Wisdom tripled to right and Adolis Garcia followed with an RBI double.  Andrew Knizner was hit by a pitch and Max Schrock followed with a three-run bomb to right center field.  In the fourth, Wisdom plated a run on a single.  Three more runs were added in the fifth on Oscar Mercado’s RBI single and a Rangel Ravelo single that drove in two.  A final run came home in the seventh on Wilfredo Tovar’s ground out.    Mercado went 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.  Wisdom was 3-for-4 with three RBI.

Daniel Poncedeleon earned his third win of the season, pitching five innings and giving up three runs on eight hits.  The right hander fanned 10 and walked one.  Mike O’Reilly tossed a scoreless sixth. In his Triple-A debut, Hector Mendoza allowed two baserunners in the seventh, but escaped with no runs scored.


Memphis 11 at Colorado Springs 4 (Game 2 DH, seven innings)

Oscar Mercado (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds repeated the outcome of the first game almost exactly in Game 2 of the doubleheader.  The only difference was they scored all but one of their runs in the first inning.

It began with an Oscar Mercado leadoff double.  He advanced on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch.  Alex Mejia walked; Ramon Urias hit a two run home run one batter later.  Randy Arozarena doubled, and Jeremy Martinez plated him on a single.  Sean Gilmartin and Mercado singled, Rangel Ravelo doubled to score Gilmartin and Mercado. Patrick Wisdom then blasted a three run home run.  The 11th and last Memphis run scored in the second inning on Mercado’s RBI single.  Mercado went 3-for-4 with and RBI and two runs scored. Wisdom was 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored.  Urias was 2-for-4.

Starter Sean Gilmartin pitched five innings, giving up four runs on 11 hits while striking out five and walking none.  Gilmartin earned his third win of the season.  Arturo Reyes added the last two scoreless innings of relief.

The Redbirds are 25-18 on the season and are in first place in the PCL American Southern Division.

Sunday’s game:  at Colorado Springs, Dakota Hudson (4-1, 2.88) 2:00 CT


Springfield 1, NW Arkansas 0

Alex Reyes (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals squeaked by the Naturals with a one-run victory on Saturday, powered by two visiting Major League pitchers.  Alex Reyes made a rehab start and spun 7 2/3 scoreless innings.  The impressive right hander allowed only one hit, struck out 13 and walked three.  Colton Thomson secured the final out of the eighth.  Tyler Lyons, in his first rehab game in Springfield, pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the save.  Reyes earned the win.

The only scoring came on a solo home run by Victor Roache in the second inning.  The outfielder was 2-for-4 in the game.

On the base paths, Edmundo Sosa stole his first base in two attempts.  Tommy Edman swiped his third bag in five attempts.  In the field, Lane Thomas had an outfield assist, throwing a runner out at home.

The Cardinals are 22-19 on the season and are tied for first place in the Texas League North.

For more: Additional details on Reyes’ start, including commentary from Reyes and manager Johnny Rodriguez, can be found in Derek Shore’s article.

Sunday’s games:  vs. NW Arkansas, Connor Jones (2-0, 4.08) 4:10 CT (Game 1 of a doubleheader), Jacob Evans (0-2, 5.30) Game 2


Palm Beach vs. Bradenton (postponed)

Saturday’s Florida State League game at Roger Dean Stadium was postponed due to rain. Weather permitting, it will be played on Sunday as part of a doubleheader.

Sunday’s games:  vs. Bradenton, Casey Meisner (2-1, 2.25) 10:30 am CT (Game 1 of a doubleheader), TBA (Game 2)


Peoria 4, Kane County 8

Nick Plummer (Paul Ivice/The Cardinal Nation)

The Chiefs were handled by the Cougars at Dozer Park on Saturday.  Starter Johan Oviedo didn’t finish the first, as he gave up four runs on two hits in 2/3 of an inning.  Oveido struck out two and walked two.  C.J. Saylor followed with 2 1/3 innings, surrendering one run on three hits. In his Peoria debut, Alex Fagalde took the next five innings, allowing three more scores on seven hits.  Fabian Blanco pitched a scoreless ninth.  Oviedo took the loss.

The Chiefs were held scoreless until the sixth, when Zach Kirtley led off with a single and Dennis Ortega doubled.  Bryce Denton singled to plate Kirtley.  Nick Plummer grounded into a force out as Ortega scored.  In the eighth, Plummer drove in two more on a double, in the center fielder’s 10th straight game with exactly one hit.  Denton was 2-for-3 with a walk and Irving Lopez was 2-for-5.

The Chiefs are 21-18 on the season, tied for second place in the Midwest League Western Division.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Kane County, Evan Guillory (4-2, 3.24) 2:00 CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: 18 Player Moves Across St. Louis Cardinals System on Friday

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. Annual members may purchase our new 193-page 2018 Prospect Guide for less than half price. Our limited edition printed edition is sold out.

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: May 19, 2018

photo: Jake Walsh (Allison Rhoades/Peoria Chiefs)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 1-2 on Friday with Memphis’ game postponed. Our Player of the Day is Peoria starting pitcher Jake Walsh, who pitched six scoreless innings, striking out 10 batters and walking one in the Chiefs’ victory.

Results for games played Friday, May 18.


Memphis at Colorado Springs (postponed)

This game was postponed due to rain and will be played Saturday as part of a doubleheader beginning at 5:00 CT.

Saturday’s games:  at Colorado Springs, Daniel Poncedeleon (2-2, 2.41) and Dakota Hudson (4-1, 2.88) 5.00 CT.


Springfield 2, NW Arkansas 4

Jake Woodford (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals fell to the Naturals, despite a ninth inning rally that fell short.  The game was scoreless until the sixth, when the Naturals took a 1-0 lead.  NW Arkansas added three more in the seventh and eighth.

With Springfield down 4-0 in the ninth, Victor Roache led off with a solo home run to left center field.  Evan Mendoza and Jose Godoy followed with singles.  After Chris Chinea and Granden Goetzman struck out, Stefan Trosclair singled to right to plate Mendoza.  Tommy Edman fanned to end the rally and the game.  Mendoza went 3-for-4 in the game.  Roache, Goetzman and Trosclair were each 2-for-4.

Starter Jake Woodford pitched seven innings and gave up three runs on four hits.  The right hander struck out seven and walked three.  Despite the quality start, Woodford took the loss, his fifth of the season.  Ramon Santos pitched the final two innings and surrendered an additional run.

Godoy was picked off second base.

The Cardinals are 21-19 on the season and are in first place in the Texas League North.

Saturday’s game:  vs. NW Arkansas, Alex Reyes (MLB rehab) 6:10 CT.


Palm Beach 1, Bradenton 5 (11 innings)

Evan Kruczynski (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Cardinals lost a heartbreaker in 11 innings at home on Friday.  Palm Beach got on the board first in the third inning on solo home run by Danny Hudzina.  The club’s only other extra base hit of their seven in total was a double by Brian O’Keefe.  Andy Young was 2-for-5.

Starter Evan Kruczynski tossed 5 2/3 innings, giving up one run on four hits.  The left hander fanned five and walked three.  Eric Carter followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Jason Zgardowski pitched two scoreless innings.  Austin Sexton handled the 10th, but gave up four runs in the 11th to break the tie and give the win to Bradenton.  Robbie Gordon got the final two outs of the inning.  Sexton took the loss.

Dylan Carlson stole his first base for Palm Beach in two attempts.  Juan Yepez stole his first base for Palm Beach in his initial attempt, and Shane Billings swiped his fourth base in seven tries.  Chase Pinder was picked off and caught stealing for the second time in two attempts.

The Cardinals are 24-16 on the season and are in second place in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:   vs. Bradenton, Casey Meisner (2-1, 2.25) 4:30 CT.


Peoria 4, Kane County 2

Jake Walsh (Peoria Chiefs)

The Chiefs edged the Cougars at Dozer Park on Friday night.  Starter Jake Walsh tallied his second win of the season, pitching six scoreless innings and allowing four hits while striking out 10 and walking one.   Reliever Kodi Whitley gave up the two Cougars runs in the seventh.  Thomas St. Clair pitched the final two scoreless innings to earn his third save.

A three-run second gave Peoria the lead that they would never relinquish.  Julio Rodriguez led off with a single and Matt Fiedler followed with a double.  With runners on second and third, Nick Plummer doubled to right to plate both.  After Jose Martinez grounded out, Scott Hurst singled to drive in Plummer.  The Chiefs added a run in the fifth on Elehuris Montero’s RBI single.  Montero and Hurst both went 2-for-4.

Hurst was caught stealing for the second time in five attempts.

The Chiefs are 21-17 on the season and are in third place in the Midwest League Western.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Kane County, Johan Oviedo (1-3, 6.30) 6:30 CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: 18 Player Moves Across St. Louis Cardinals System on Friday

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. Annual members may purchase our new 193-page 2018 Prospect Guide for less than half price. Our limited edition printed edition is sold out.

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 May 7-13

photo: Michael Wacha (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images)

In this week’s St. Louis Cardinals news, the club posted a 2-4 record against lesser competition, and dropped out of first place. Key members of the offense continue to struggle as Miles Mikolas and Michael Wacha deliver consistent starts. In our history feature, two record seven-home run games are remembered.


Game Recaps

Monday, May 7 – Cardinals 0, Twins 6

Paul DeJong (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals took on the Twins in the opener of the Busch half of the two games home and home series.  The Redbirds were shut out on Monday, as the offense unable to get any traction against a Twins rookie pitcher.  Paul DeJong had a productive outing, going 3-for-4, with a double and two singles.  Harrison Bader was the only other Cardinal with a hit.

Starter John Gant lost his first decision of the season, pitching 5 1/3 innings and giving up four runs on six hits.  The right hander struck out five and walked two.  Matt Bowman tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Ryan Sherriff took the eighth and surrendered two runs on four hits.  Luke Gregerson finished with a scoreless ninth.

Bader had an outfield assist, throwing a runner out at home.


Tuesday, May 8 – Cardinals 1, Twins 7

Jose Martinez (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds didn’t fare well in Game 2, though they did manage to score.  The run came in the first inning on Jose Martinez’ solo home run.  Though the offense scored one more run than in Game 1, it was on two less hits.  Francisco Pena singled in addition to the Martinez long ball.

Carlos Martinez had an indifferent start, pitching five innings and giving up four runs, two earned, on four hits.  The righty fanned only two and walked one.  It was announced later in the week that Martinez was injured, suffering a right lat strain, and he was put on the 10 day DL retroactive to May 9.   Sam Tuivailala followed with one inning of relief in which he surrendered one run on two hits.  Tyler Lyons tossed an inning and allowed two more runs.  Lyons, like Martinez, went on the disabled list with a back strain.  John Brebbia finished with two scoreless frames.

Greg Garcia was caught stealing for the first time.  Marcell Ozuna, Garcia, and Martinez each committed a fielding error.


Wednesday, May 9 – Off day


Thursday, May 10 – Cardinals 2 at Padres 1

Miles Mikolas (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals traveled to San Diego to begin a four game series against the NL West cellar dwelling Padres.  The first game was a victory, but not an easy one. The Redbirds scored first in the first inning, on a sac fly by Jose Martinez.  The offense didn’t score again until the fifth, when Tommy Pham hit a solo home run to left field.  Pham went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.  Marcell Ozuna and Paul DeJong were also 2-for-4.

Miles Mikolas got the start, and continued his winning ways, earning his fifth win of the season.  Mikolas pitched 6 1/3 innings while allowing only one run on five hits.  The right hander fanned four and walked one.  Jordan Hicks pitched to one batter for the final out of the seventh inning.  Greg Holland and Bud Norris each contributed a scoreless inning with Norris collecting his eighth save.

Ozuna stole his second base of the season while Martinez was caught stealing for the second time.  Ozuna also had an outfield assist.


Friday, May 11 – Cardinals 9 at Padres 5

Tommy Pham (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals offense finally got going in the second game of the series, as they put nine runs on the board and defeated the Friars for the second straight game.  It was the night of the long ball – five of them to be precise.  Paul DeJong launched the first one in the second inning, a three run blast to give the Cardinals the lead. In the third, Harrison Bader, Marcell Ozuna, and Jedd Gyorko each hit solo shots.   DeJong drove in a run on a single in the fifth.  In the sixth, Tommy Pham hit the final home run, good for two runs.  Pham went 3-for-5, Ozuna was 2-for-4 with three runs scored, Gyorko was 3-for-4 with two runs scored, DeJong was 2-for-5, and Greg Garcia was 2-for-2.

Luke Weaver had a much better showing than in recent starts, pitching five scoreless innings, allowing four hits, fanning four and walking one and earning his third win of the season.  Matt Bowman surrendered one run in the sixth, and John Brebbia yielded two runs in the seventh. John Gant added a scoreless eighth.  Luke Gregerson pitched the ninth and gave up two runs.

On the base paths, Pham was picked off, and caught stealing for the fifth time in the season.


Saturday, May 12 – Cardinals 1 at Padres 2 (13 innings)

Michael Wacha (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The third game of the series was another close, but long one, with the Redbirds on the losing end.  The game went four extra innings and the Friars finally prevailed.  Starter Michael Wacha had a strong outing, tossing six innings and giving up one run on three hits.  The right hander struck out five and walked one.  Jordan Hicks, Greg Holland, and Bud Norris each contributed a scoreless inning.  Sam Tuivailala started the 10th and pitched to three batters, allowing two hits, before Brett Cecil finished the inning without runs scoring.  John Brebbia allowed one run in two innings pitched.  Mike Mayers started the 13th, and gave up the winning hit, a double by Eric Hosmer, on the first pitch.

The offense scored their only run in the sixth inning, on a double by Jose Martinez to plate Paul DeJong.  Martinez went 3-or-5 while DeJong was 2-for-5.

Martinez made a throwing error.  Marcell Ozuna committed a fielding miscue.  Francisco Pena had a passed ball.


Sunday, May 13 – Cardinals 3 at Padres 5

Harrison Bader (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

It was another disappointing outing for the Cardinals in Sunday’s game, as they lost the second consecutive contest against the cellar dwelling Friars. It was Adam Wainwright’s first start back off the DL, and it was a poor one.  The right hander essentially had nothing, and fought through 2 1/3 innings, walking six hitters and giving up two runs on three hits.  Wainwright did manage to fan three.  John Gant came on in relief, and tossed 3 2/3 innings, surrendering two more runs on four hits.  Brett Cecil pitched a scoreless seventh.  Matt Bowman took the eighth and allowed one run.  Wainwright absorbed the loss, his third.

The offense struggled against Padres starter Clayton Richard, who entered the day with a 1-5 record and a 5.72 ERA.  Finally, they broke through in the sixth inning when Harrison Bader smacked a triple into center field to plate Tommy Pham.  Bader then scored on a Jose Martinez single to center.  Bader added a solo home run to right field in the ninth and finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored.  Marcell Ozuna was also 2-for-4.

Kolten Wong stole his first base of the season after he outran a pickoff attempt and the second baseman also made a fielding error.


Big Picture

The Cardinals went 2-4 for the week, losing a two game series with the Twins at home, and splitting the four game series with the Padres in San Diego.  The Redbirds fell to second place behind the Brewers with a record of 22-16.

Offense was an issue for the week.  The Cardinals scored nine runs in Friday’s game, but the rest of the week the offense was sparse.  Dexter Fowler and Matt Carpenter continue to struggle.  Matt Carpenter was out of the starting lineup for the last three games of the Padres series.  Marcell Ozuna has picked it up of late.  Kolten Wong got hot for a short time but has cooled off again.  Tommy Pham, Harrison Bader, Jose Martinez, and Paul DeJong have been carrying the offense.

There have been some defensive issues as well, with five errors in six games.  Jose Martinez in particular has been struggling defensively at first base.  Base running has been inconsistent.

The starting pitching, other than Adam Wainwright, has been good.  Wainwright made the start in Sunday’s game and did not pitch well.  He is likely to return to the disabled list with a setback in his recovery from elbow soreness.  Carlos Martinez went on the DL with a lat strain this week, and Tyler Lyons also was put on the DL with a back issue.

The Memphis shuttle has been busy, with John Brebbia, Mike Mayers, and John Gant making frequent back and forth trips.  Jack Flaherty will be called up to make Martinez’ next start on Tuesday, and there will likely be a replacement pitcher for Wainwright’s next turn in the rotation, perhaps John Gant.  Both the rotation and the bullpen remain in flux for the time being.

The Cardinals play the Twins again in Minneapolis this week, and they need to do a better job against the Twins than they did at home.  The Redbirds meet the Phillies at home later in the week.  Philadelphia has been playing surprisingly well, with a 23-16 record in the NL East, so that series will not be a cakewalk.


NL Central Standings W L % GB
Milwaukee 24 17 0.585
St. Louis 22 16 0.579 0.5
Pittsburgh 23 17 0.575 0.5
Chicago 21 16 0.568 1
Cincinnati 14 27 0.341 10

Four teams remain clumped at the top of the standings and even Cincinnati is 11-12 since its managerial change.


Who’s Hot

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

  • Tommy Pham has an OPS of 1.108. He has two HRs and three RBI.
  • Jedd Gyorko has an OPS of 1.093. He has two HRs, one double, and two RBI.
  • Paul DeJong has an OPS of .968. He has one HR, one double, and four RBI.
  • Miles Mikolas has an ERA of 1.35 and a WHIP of 0.90.
  • Luke Weaver has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.
  • Michael Wacha has an ERA of 1.59 and a WHIP of 1.15.
  • Bud Norris has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.
  • Jordan Hicks has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00.
  • Greg Holland has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.67.
  • Brett Cecil has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00.

Who’s Not

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

  • Matt Carpenter has an OPS of .071.
  • Carson Kelly has an OPS of .077.
  • Dexter Fowler has an OPS of .377.
  • Francisco Pena has an OPS of .421.
  • Ryan Sherriff has an ERA of 18.00 and a WHIP of 4.00.
  • Tyler Lyons has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 1.50.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

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

  • The leadoff hitter has been Tommy Pham for three games, Matt Carpenter for two games, and Harrison Bader for one game.
  • The number two hitter has been Bader for two games, Paul DeJong for two games, Carpenter for one game, and Dexter Fowler for one game.
  • The number three hitter has been Jose Martinez for five games and Fowler for one game.
  • The cleanup hitter has been Marcell Ozuna.
  • The fifth hitter has been Jedd Gyorko for four games, and Fowler for two games.
  • The sixth hitter has been DeJong for four games, Bader for one game, and Fowler for one game.
  • The seventh hitter has been Kolten Wong for three games, Greg Garcia for one game, Carson Kelly for one game, and Francisco Pena for one game.
  • The eighth hitter has been Kelly for two games, Pena for two games, Wong for one game, and Garcia for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions

  • 5/7 The Cardinals sent RHP Adam Wainwright on a rehab assignment to the Springfield Cardinals.
  • 5/7 The Cardinals optioned RHP Mike Mayers to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/7 The Cardinals recalled RHP John Gant from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/8 The Cardinals sent LHP Brett Cecil on a rehab assignment to the Springfield Cardinals.
  • 5/8 The Cardinals optioned LHP Ryan Sherriff to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/8 The Cardinals recalled RHP John Brebbia from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/9 The Cardinals sent RHP Alex Reyes on a rehab assignment to the Palm Beach Cardinals.
  • 5/10 The Cardinals placed RHP Carlos Martinez on the 10 day disabled list retroactive to May 9, 2018. Right latissimus strain.
  • 5/10 The Cardinals sent LHP Brett Cecil on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/10 The Cardials recalled RHP Mike Mayers from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/11 The Cardinals activated LHP Brett Cecil from the 10 day disabled list.
  • 5/11 The Cardinals placed LHP Tyler Lyons on the 10 day disabled list retroactive to May 9, 2018. Mid back strain.
  • 5/13 The Cardinals activated RHP Adam Wainwright from the 10 day disabled list.
  • 5/13 The Cardinals optioned RHP John Brebbia to the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

  • RHP Dominic Leone (right upper arm nerve irritation) has been placed on the 10 day DL. No timetable for a return has been set.
  • C Yadier Molina (pelvic injury with traumatic hematoma) continues on the 10 day DL. Molina was injured by a foul ball, had surgery and is expected to be out for 30 days.
  • LHP Tyler Lyons (mid back strain) was placed on the 10 day DL retroactive to May 9. No timetable for his return has been set.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez (right lat strain) was placed on the 10 day DL retroactive to May 9. It is possible Martinez will only miss one start.
  • RHP Alex Reyes (Tommy John surgery) began a rehab assignment with the Palm Beach Cardinals last Wednesday and moves to Peoria on Monday. Reyes will be eligible to come off the 60 day DL at the end of May, and it is expected that will occur.  His role upon his return has not been specified.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals leave San Diego to travel to Minnesota to finish the home and home series with the Twins.  Monday is an off day, then the Cardinals play the Twins on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Jack Flaherty is expected to be called up from Memphis to make the Tuesday start.  Miles Mikolas will make the Wednesday start.

The Cardinals return to St. Louis to begin a four game series at home against the Phillies on Thursday.  Wacha and Weaver are up next in the rotation for the Thursday and Friday starts, but the last two game starters have not been announced.

The homestand continues the following Monday with a three game series against the Royals.  After a Thursday off day, the Cardinals travel to Pittsburgh for a weekend series against the Pirates.  Following that, the Cardinals will play a three game series at Milwaukee, with a weekend series at home against the Pirates next.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.


Blast from the Past

Though the Redbirds offense was sparse during this past week, Friday’s game against the Padres included five long balls by Cardinals hitters, as they went on to score nine runs and defeat the Friars by a score of 9-5.  Tommy Pham, Harrison Bader, Jedd Gyorko, Marcell Ozuna, and Paul DeJong each hit a ball over the fences in Petco Park.

While five home runs in a game seems like a lot, it is not the most in a game in franchise history. The Cardinals have hit seven home runs in a game twice, most recently by the 1996 Cardinals, with seven home runs in the July 12 game against the Cubs, defeating them by a score of 13-3.

John Mabry (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The first home run in that the game came off the bat of John Mabry, now the hitting coach of the Cardinals.  It was his eighth of the season, a two run shot in the third inning.  Gary Gaetti hit two home runs, a solo shot in the third, and a two run shot in the fifth. Those long balls were Gaetti’s ninth and 10th of the season.  Ray Lankford added his 15th home run of the year, a solo shot in the fifth. Ron Gant mirrored Gaetti with a pair of long balls, a solo shot in the fifth and the eighth for his 13th and 14th home runs of 1996.  Finally, Brian Jordan blasted a three run home in the sixth inning for his 10th of the year.

Four of the seven were hit off Cubs starter Steve Trachsel. One each came against relievers Rodney Meyers, Tanyon Sturtze, and Terry Adams.  Cardinals starter Andy Benes gave up one home run to Cubs pinch hitter Dave Magadan in the eighth inning.

The Cardinals also hit seven home runs on May 7, 1940 against the Brooklyn Dodgers.  They were launched by catcher Don Padgett, two by second baseman Eddie Lake, two by first baseman Johnny Mize, with the others by third baseman Stu Martin and left fielder Joe “Ducky” Medwick.  The Cardinals beat the Dodgers by the score of 18-2.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2018 Week 5

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: May 13, 2018

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

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 3-1 on Saturday. TCN’s Player of the Day is Palm Beach outfielder Johan Mieses, who went 3-for-4 with a three run home run and four RBI. Springfield’s Conner Greene and Peoria’s Jake Walsh pitched their clubs to wins. Memphis opened its homestand with its seventh loss in the last 10 games.

Results for games played Saturday, May 12.


Memphis 4, Nashville 8

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

The Redbirds opened their homestand on Saturday with a loss to the Nashville Sounds, their seventh defeat in the last 10 games.  Tyler O’Neill hit his 10th home run of the season, a two run shot in the first inning to put the Redbirds on the board.  Memphis lost the lead in the sixth and tried to catch up with one run in the seventh and another in ninth but fell short.  The seventh inning run came home on a Max Schrock RBI single.  In the ninth, Oscar Mercado’s sac fly plated the final run.  Schrock went 2-for-5.

Starter Daniel Poncedeleon tossed five innings and gave up two runs on just one hit.  The right-hander fanned six and walked two.   Andrew Morales followed and surrendered four runs in 2 2/3 innings, tagged with a blown save and with the loss.  Edward Mujica relinquished two more runs in is 1 1/3 innings.

Adolis Garcia stole his fifth base of the season in five attempts.  Garcia also had an outfield assist.

The Redbirds are 22-15 on the season and are in first place in the PCL American Southern Division.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Nashville, Sean Gilmartin (2-1, 4.82) 2:05 CT.


Springfield 6 at Arkansas 2

Conner Greene (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals shut down the Travelers in Little Rock on Saturday as starter Conner Greene pitched six strong innings to earn his third win.  Greene gave up one run two hits, striking out five and walking three.  Yeison Medina tossed the final three innings, surrendering an additional Arkansas run.  Medina earned his first save since joining Springfield and second of the season.

Andrew Knizner singled Tommy Edman home in the first inning for the first Cardinals score.  Victor Roache led off the second inning with a solo home run.  A three run fourth extended the lead.  Chris Chinea hit a sac fly, then Tommy Edman then doubled home Roache and Edmundo Sosa.  The Cardinals put the final nail in the coffin in the seventh on Sosa’s RBI single.  Knizner and Roache were 2-for-5, Sosa was 2-for-3 with a walk.

Lane Thomas stole his sixth base of the season in six attempts.

The Cardinals are 19-15 on the season and are in first place in the Texas League North.

Sunday’s game:  at Arkansas, Jake Woodford (2-3, 5.67), 2:10 CT.


Palm Beach 5 at Bradenton 3

Johan Mieses (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Cardinals edged the Marauders in Bradenton on Saturday.  The Cardinals got on the board in the first inning on an RBI single by Johan Mieses.  A four run fifth inning sealed the deal for Palm Beach, with all four runs coming via the long ball.  Mieses blasted a three run homer, and one batter later, Brian O’Keefe added a solo shot.  Player of the Day Mieses went 3-for-4 with four RBI.

Starter Casey Meisner won his second game of the season, tossing five innings and giving up one run on three hits.  The right hander fanned five and walked three.  Jesus Cruz followed with two scoreless innings.  Jacob Patterson tossed a scoreless eighth, and Will Latcham pitched the ninth, surrendering two Marauders runs.

Shane Billings was caught stealing for the third time in five attempts.

The Cardinals are 21- 14 on the season and are in second place in the FSL South.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled as the Cards move to Clearwater for four against the Threshers (Phi) starting Monday night.


Peoria 4 at Dayton 3

Jake Walsh (Peoria Chiefs)

The Chiefs edged the Dragons at Dayton on Saturday night.  Chiefs starter Jake Walsh went 7 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on four hits while fanning five and walking three.  Noel Gonzalez secured the final two outs of the eighth inning and picked up the win, his first.  Bryan Dobzanski pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his second save.

The Chiefs didn’t get on the board until the sixth.  Taylor Bryant led off with a double and advanced to third on a ground out.   Scott Hurst’s sac fly scored Bryant.  In the seventh, Bryant drew a bases loaded walk for another run.  Edwin Figuera’s single drove in the second run of the inning.  The fourth and winning run for Peoria came home on a wild pitch.  Bryce Denton went 2-for-4.  Figuera was 2-for-3.

Nick Plummer stole his fourth base of the season in six attempts.  Figuera was picked off first base.  In the field, Dennis Ortega made a throwing error.

The Chiefs are 17-16 on the season and are in third place in the Midwest League Western Division.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled. The Chiefs head home for a seven-game homestand that begins with Alex Reyes facing Clinton (Sea) Monday night.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2018 Week 5

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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. Annual members may purchase our new 193-page 2018 Prospect Guide for less than half price. Our limited edition printed edition is sold out.

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: May 12, 2018

photo: Dylan Carlson (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 2-3 on Friday. Our Player of the Day is Palm Beach outfielder Dylan Carlson, who went 2-for-4, including a three-run home run, a double, and four RBI in the high-A Cardinals victory. Peoria’s Taylor Bryant launched a three-run shot of his own in the other win.

Results for games played Friday, May 11.


Memphis 0 at Oklahoma City 2

Kevin Herget (Memphis Redbirds)

The Redbirds were held scoreless as they fell to the Dodgers in Oklahoma City on Friday.   The Memphis offense managed only four hits, including a double by the starting pitcher.  Max Schrock also doubled and Oscar Mercado and Patrick Wisdom singled.

Starter Kevin Herget pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up one run on seven hits.  The right hander fanned seven and walked none, and took the loss, let down by his offense.  Preston Guilmet pitched the final 1 1/3 innings and surrendered one run.

The Redbirds are 22-14 on the season and in first place in the PCL American Southern Division.

Saturday’s game:   vs. Nashville, Daniel Poncedeleon (2-2, 2.23) 6:35 CT.


Springfield 1 at Arkansas 2 (Game 1 DH, seven innings)

Ryan Helsley (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

In the first game of a twin bill against the Travelers in Little Rock, Springfield suffered a one run loss in seven innings. The lone Cardinals run scored in the second inning on a sac fly by Edmundo Sosa. Andrew Knizner went 3-for-3 with a double, the only extra base hit by Springfield.

Starter Ryan Helsley suffered his second loss of the season. Helsley pitched all six innings for the Cardinals, giving up two runs on five hits while striking out four and walking three.

Lane Thomas stole his fifth base in five tries. Randy Arozarena was caught stealing for the first time in three attempts for Springfield.


Springfield 3 at Arkansas 4 (Game 2 DH, seven innings)

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Cardinals again fell short by one run to the Travelers.  This game was a makeup of the April 21 rainout. Springfield got on the board first in the first inning on Victor Roache’s RBI single. The Cardinals didn’t score again until the sixth, when Jeremy Martinez’ sac fly and Chris Chinea’s double plated two runs. Blake Drake was the only Cardinal with multiple hits as the outfielder went 2-for-3.

Starter Connor Jones went only one inning, but It was scoreless. The right-hander struck out one and walked one  Ian McKinney gave up one run in 1 2/3 innings. Estarlin Arias added 2 1/3 scoreless. Jacob Evans surrendered one run in 1 1/3 innings. Landon Beck and Hector Mendoza followed. Beck gave up a run on three consecutive walks, to reduce Springfield’s lead to 3-2 and then was ejected without recording an out. The run was charged to Evans. Mendoza walked in one of Beck’s inherited runners to tie the game, then gave up a single to score a second inherited runner for the walk off Traveler’s win.  Beck took the loss; Mendoza was charged with a blown save.

Randy Arozarena stole his third and fourth bases for Springfield in five attempts.  Ramon Urias swiped his first bag in his initial attempt.

The 18-15 Cardinals are tied for first place in the Texas League North.

Saturday’s game:  at Arkansas, Conner Greene (2-2, 4.08), 6:10 CT.


Palm Beach 6 at Bradenton 4

Dylan Carlson (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Cardinals edged the Marauders in Bradenton on Friday.  Starter Evan Kruczynski won his fourth game of the season, pitching 7 2/3 innings and giving up four runs on six hits.  The left hander fanned 10 and walked none.   The six hits allowed included two solo home runs.  Paul Balestrieri faced two batters in the eighth and got the final out of the inning.  Will Latcham tossed a scoreless ninth to earn his third save.

Player of the Day Dylan Carlson launched a fifth inning three run home run and was 2-for-4 on the night with four RBI.   The Cardinals got on the board in the second inning to tie the game.  Back to back singles by Jose Godoy and Shane Billings and put a man on first and third.  A wild pitch sent Billings to second.  A ground out by Carlson plated Godoy from third.  Juan Yepez singled to score Billings.   In the fifth, an RBI single by Billings plated one before Carlson’s home run.    Billings was 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

Kramer Robertson committed a throwing error.  Johan Mieses had an outfield assist, and Kruczynski picked a runner off first base.

The Cardinals are 20-14 on the season and are in second place in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:  at Bradenton, TBA, 5:30 CT.


Peoria 7 at Dayton 4

Taylor Bryant (Peoria Chiefs)

The Chiefs edged the Dragons in Dayton on Friday.  In his return to the rotation, Winston Nicacio won his first game of the season, pitching six innings and giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits.  The right hander stuck out four and walked three.  C.J. Saylor followed with one inning of relief, surrendering one run on two hits.  Levi MaVorhis finished with two scoreless innings to earn his first save.

The Chiefs didn’t get on the board until the fourth inning, when they took a 4-3 lead.   Three of the four runs came on a three run blast by Taylor Bryant.  Bryce Denton’s double plated the additional run.  One run each came in in each of the last three innings.  In the seventh, it was on a wild pitch.  In the eighth, Dennis Ortega doubled in a run.  The seventh and final run again scored on a wild pitch.  Scott Hurst went 2-for-5.  Ortega was 2-for-4.

Hurst stole his third base in four attempts.  Catcher Ortega swiped his fifth bag in five attempts, and Edwin Figuera stole his fourth base in six attempts.  Jonatan Machado made a fielding error.

The Chiefs are 16-16 on the season and are in fourth place in the Midwest League Western Division.

Saturday’s game:  at Dayton, Jake Walsh (1-1, 3.60) 6:00 CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2018 Week 5

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. Annual members may purchase our new 193-page 2018 Prospect Guide for less than half price. Our limited edition printed edition is sold out.

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 April 30-May 6

photo: Kolten Wong (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

In this week’s St. Louis Cardinals news, the club logged a 5-0 week, sweeping both Chicago clubs at home in some very competitive games. Kolten Wong’s bat is heating up. In our history feature, 3,000-hit club member Albert Pujols is remembered.


Game Recaps

 

Monday, April 30 – Off day

Tuesday, May 1 – Cardinals 3, White Sox 2

The St. Louis Cardinals edged the White Sox in interleague play at Busch on Tuesday. Starter Michael Wacha went five innings, giving up two runs on five hits. The right hander struck out three and walked three. Luke Gregerson, Jordan Hicks, Dominic Leone, and Bud Norris each pitched a scoreless inning. Norris earned the win, his first of the season.

The Cardinals got on the board in the first inning on a solo home run by Tommy Pham, but did not score again until the ninth, down 2-1. Matt Carpenter’s solo home run tied the game, and Yadier Molina singled to drive in the winning run. Carpenter and Molina were both 2-for-4.

Marcell Ozuna stole his first base of the season. Kolten Wong was caught stealing for the second time.


Wednesday, May 2 – Cardinals 3, White Sox 2

The Cardinals defeated the White Sox in Game 2 of the home and home series by the same score as the previous game. It was scoreless until the sixth when Jose Martinez hit a solo home run. Dexter Fowler added a two run shot in the seventh. Yadier Molina went 2-for-3.

Carlos Martinez won his third game of the season, pitching 7 1/3 innings and giving up one run on five hits. The right hander fanned five and walked two. Reliever Dominic Leone allowed one run. Bud Norris got the final out of the eighth and returned for a scoreless ninth to earn the four out save, his sixth.

Tommy Pham stole his sixth base of the season. Molina was caught stealing for the first time. In the field, Molina had a passed ball.


Thursday, May 3 – Off day


Friday, May 4 – Cardinals 3, Cubs 2

The Cardinals won their third consecutive 3-2 game, this time over the Cubs. Starter Miles Mikolas pitched brilliantly, tossing seven scoreless innings, allowing seven hits, striking out four and issuing no free passes. Tyler Lyons faced one batter and got the out. Dominic Leone suffered an injury while warming up and never faced a batter. Luke Gregerson secured the final two outs of the eighth. Bud Norris pitched the ninth and gave up two runs on three hits but earned his seventh save.

The Redbirds scored all three runs and took the 3-0 lead in the second inning via a three run home run by Tommy Pham. It was his only hit. Jose Martinez was 2-for-4. Marcell Ozuna went 3-for-3 and Jedd Gyorko was 2-for-4.

Paul DeJong made a throwing error and Martinez a fielding error.


Saturday, May 5 – Cardinals 8, Cubs 6 (10 innings)

The Cardinals blanked the Cubs in extra innings on Saturday to win the three-game series. The Cubs initially took a four run lead, but the Redbirds tied it up with four in the fourth. Greg Garcia drove in the first run on a sac fly. The second run scored on a force attempt and missed catch error by Addison Russell. Matt Carpenter then hit a double to left to score two. The Cubs retook the lead but Marcell Ozuna’s double in the ninth tied sent it into extra innings. In the bottom of the 10th Kolten Wong hit a two run home run for the walk off victory. Jose Martinez was the only Cardinal with multiple hits, as he was 2-for-5.

Starter Luke Weaver went only four innings, giving up four runs on six hits while fanning two and walking one. Ryan Sherriff followed with two innings of relief, surrendering one run on two hits. Matt Bowman allowed a run in his one inning pitched, while Greg Holland and Jordan Hicks each added a scoreless inning. Bud Norris tossed 2/3 scoreless but was taken out with an arm injury and replaced by Tyler Lyons, who finished the 10th to earn his first win.

Tommy Pham stole his seventh base of the season, and Harrison Bader stole his fourth base of the season.

Yadier Molina was hit by a foul ball in the ninth inning and had to come out of the game. The injury was in the groin area and he was taken to a hospital and underwent surgery to relieve pressure. Molina was placed on the DL on Sunday and is expected to be out for a month.


Sunday, May 6 – Cardinals 4, Cubs 3 (14 innings)

It was a long, tough slog and all seemed lost when the Cubs finally broke through to take the lead in the top half of the 14th inning. The Cardinals and the Cubs fought the good fight, the Redbirds to achieve the sweep, the Cubs to avoid it. 2-2 tie taken in to extras, both teams trying to gain the upper hand. It seemed like the Cubs were there, but Dexter Fowler, former Cub, shot down their dreams.

After a rain delay, the Cubs struck first. In the bottom of the second inning, Jedd Gyorko did what he does best and sent a Jon Lester pitch barely over the wall, but it was good enough to tie the score at 1-1. The Cubbies came back in the fourth and took the 2-1 lead. Two innings later, Kolten Wong sent a line drive to Jason Heyward in right field, the Jason Heyward who is a right field savant. Inexplicably, be it lights or something else, Heyward misplayed it, and the ball, just grazing the top of Heyward’s glove as he slid to the ground, went into the right field corner. Wong was awarded a triple and the RBI to tie the game. No more scoring occurred for the final three innings and the game went into extras.

Back and forth the teams grinded, until Javier Baez sent a ball over the right field wall in the top half of the 14th. Cardinals fans groaned, but the Redbirds had one more shot at the sweep. In home 14th, Francisco Pena struck out. Out of position players, Matheny sent pitcher Miles Mikolas to the plate. Mikolas also fanned. With two outs and the sweep seeming impossible, Harrison Bader hit a ground ball to the Cubs shortstop, and reached first base with an infield single. Former Cub Dexter Fowler came to the plate. Down to his last strike, Fowler hit the sweet, sweet home run beyond the reach of Heyward for the walk-off two-run home run. Cheering and mayhem ensued.

Michael Wacha had a decent start, pitching 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on six hits. The righty fanned five and walked three. The parade of pitchers after Wacha were Luke Gregerson, Tyler Lyons, Jordan Hicks, Greg Holland, Sam Tuivailala, and Mike Mayers. All but Mayers combined for 5 2/3 scoreless innings. Mayers was the final one, pitching three innings. The newly recalled right hander gave up the Baez home run, but it didn’t matter, and Mayers collected the win, his first of the season.


Big Picture

It was a good week for the Redbirds, as they went 5-0, sweeping both Chicago teams. The Cardinals are in first place in the NL Central, ahead of the Brewers by 1.5 games. St. Louis takes on the Twins at Busch for two games, and then travels to San Diego for a four game series.

The 5-0 week wasn’t easy, as all were close games, and the last two went into extra innings. The Cardinals were short key people with injuries, losing Pham early in Saturday’s game, and Molina late in Saturday’s game. Molina will be gone for a significant period; Pham’s status is less certain. Matt Carpenter continues to struggle and didn’t start Sunday’s game. Players such as Gyorko, Wong, and Bader have taken up the slack for struggling players. All but Saturday’s game was low scoring, so the offense still has some issues, particularly with key players like Carpenter, Fowler, and Ozuna, who have been underachieving.

Pitching appears to have stabilized for now. The bullpen has been a merry go round with constant moves up and down to and from Memphis. Tuivailala and Sherriff have returned from injury, while Leone and Norris have suffered injury; Leone has gone on the DL and Norris is day to day. Starting pitching has been excellent to adequate. Weaver has been struggling a bit.

Defense has been fine, as has base running for the most part. The Cardinals take on an under .500 Twins team and a cellar dwelling Padres team this week. There is potential for increasing the lead in the Division if the Cardinals perform to expectations.


Cincinnati8260.23513

NL Central Standings W L % GB
St. Louis 20 12 0.625
Milwaukee 20 15 0.571 1.5
Pittsburgh 19 16 0.543 2.5
Chicago 16 15 0.516 3.5
Cincinnati 8 26 0.235 13

Who’s Hot

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

    • Kolten Wong has an OPS of 1.232. He has one HR, one double, and two RBI.
    • Tommy Pham has an OPS of .968. He has two HRs and four RBI.
    • Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 1.23 and a WHIP of 0.95.
    • Miles Mikolas has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.
    • Tyler Lyons has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00.
    • Luke Gregerson has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00
    • Jordan Hicks has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.50.

Who’s Not

Over the past four games (does not contain recent Sunday games):

      • Paul DeJong has an OPS of .330.
      • Harrison Bader has an OPS of .393.
      • Luke Weaver has an ERA of 7.71 and a WHIP of 1.61.
      • Dominic Leone has an ERA of 6.75 and a WHIP of 2.25.
      • Matt Bowman has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

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

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

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions

      • 5/1 The Cardinals optioned RHP Mike Mayers to the Memphis Redbirds.
      • 5/1 The Cardinals recalled 1B Luke Voit from the Memphis Redbirds.
      • 5/4 The Cardinals activated LHP Ryan Sherriff from the 10 day disabled list.
      • 5/4 The Cardinals activated RHP Sam Tuivailala from the 10 day disabled list.
      • 5/4 The Cardinals optioned 1B Luke Voit to the Memphis Redbirds.
      • 5/4 The Cardinals optioned LHP Austin Gomber to the Memphis Redbirds.
      • 5/6 The Cardinals placed C Yadier Molina on the 10 day disabled list. Pelvic injury with traumatic hematoma.
      • 5/6 The Cardinals placed RHP Dominic Leone on the 10 day disabled list. Right upper arm nerve irritation.
      • 5/6 The Cardinals recalled C Carson Kelly from the Memphis Redbirds.
      • 5/6 The Cardinals recalled RHP Mike Mayers from the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

LHP Brett Cecil (left shoulder strain, right foot tendinitis) remains on the DL. Cecil is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment in Jupiter, Florida the week of May 7.

RHP Adam Wainwright was placed on the 10 day DL retroactive to April 20. Right elbow inflammation. Wainwright has been been sent on a rehab assignment with the Springfield Cardinals to begin May 7.

RHP Dominic Leone (right upper arm nerve irritation) has been placed on the 10 day DL. No timetable for a return to the roster has been set.

C Yadier Molina (pelvic injury with traumatic hematoma) has been placed on the 10 day DL. Molina was injured by a foul ball in Saturday’s game. The catcher had surgery and is expected to be out for 30 days.

RHP Bud Norris (right shoulder soreness) left the May 5 game. Norris has not been placed on the DL and is considered day to day.

OF Tommy Pham (right groin tightness) exited the May 5 game early with a recurrence of groin discomfort. Pham has not been placed on the DL and is considered day to day.


Looking Ahead

Beginning Monday, May 7, the Minnesota Twins come to St. Louis for a two game interleague home and home series at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals have a travel day on Thursday and go to San Diego for a weekend series with the Padres. After an off day on Monday, the Cardinals travel to Minnesota to finish the home and home series with the Twins. The series is two days – next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Following the road trip, the Cardinals return to St. Louis to begin a four game series starting Thursday with the Phillies. The homestand continues when the Royals travel to St. Louis for a three game series beginning Monday May 21.

After an off day on Thursday, May 24, the Cardinals travel to Pittsburgh for a weekend series with the Pirates.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.


Blast from the Past

This past week a former but beloved Cardinal hit a milestone only accomplished by 32 players in the history of major league baseball. Former Cardinals star Albert Pujols became a member of the 3,000 hit club on Friday. Pujols’ 3000th hit came as a member of the Anaheim Angels and was a bloop single to right field.

Albert Pujols (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Though Pujols is no longer a Cardinal, he spent the best seasons of his career in St. Louis. Drafted by the Cardinals in the 13th round of the 1999 MLB Draft, Pujols moved through the minor league system quickly, making his major league debut with the Cardinals on April 2, 2001. Building a sure Hall of Fame career in his first 10 seasons, Pujols hit 2,073 of those 3,000 hits wearing the Birds on the Bat.

The right handed slugger won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2001, and went on to win three MVP awards, six Silver Sluggers, two Gold Gloves and appeared in nine All Star Games as a member of the Cardinals. He also played on both the 2006 and 2011 World Champion teams.

In addition to the awards, Pujols led the league in runs in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2010. He led the league in Batting Average, Hits, and Doubles in 2003, SLG and OPS in 2006, 2008 and 2009, home runs in 2009 and 2010, and RBI in 2010.

Pujols joins Cardinals Stan Musial and Lou Brock as members of the 3,000 hit club. Congratulations to Albert Pujols, a former but certainly not forgotten St. Louis Cardinal.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: 2018 Cardinals Prospects: What the Others Say

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. Annual members may purchase our new 193-page 2018 Prospect Guide for less than half price. Our limited edition printed edition is sold out.

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: May 6, 2018

photo: Randy Arozarena (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 1-3 on Saturday.  Our Player of the Day is Springfield outfielder Randy Arozarena, who blasted a grand slam and was 2-for-4 with five RBI in Springfield’s defeat of Tulsa. Memphis’ slump continues and a Tony La Russa appearance did not translate into a Peoria win.

Results for games played Saturday, May 5.


Memphis 2 at Nashville 4

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

The Redbirds were downed again in Nashville on Saturday night.  In his first outing since his return from St. Louis, starter Austin Gomber was tagged with his first loss of the season.  The organization’s April Pitcher of the Month went 5 1/3 innings, giving up all four runs on six hits while fanning nine and walking two.  Sean Gilmartin added a run-free inning of relief before Arturo Reyes tossed the final 1 2/3 scoreless.

Memphis got on the board first on an RBI double by Yairo Munoz.  The Redbirds didn’t score again until the sixth, on a leadoff solo home run by Tyler O’Neill.  O’Neill went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Max Schrock was 2-for-4.  Catcher Steven Baron, a late add to the lineup replacing St. Louis-bound Carson Kelly, singled in four at-bats, improving his season average to .194. The backstop had two of Memphis’ 10 strikeouts against zero walks.

The Redbirds are in a two-week slump, with seven losses in their last 11 games back to April 23. They are still 19-11 overall with their hold on first place in the PCL American Southern Division down to four games over Nashville.

Sunday’s game:  at Nashville, Kevin Herget (1-2, 3.38) 2:05 CT.


Springfield 15, Tulsa 5

Randy Arozarena (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals pummeled the Drillers at Hammons Field on Saturday night.  The long ball was the highlight, as Randy Arozarena hit a grand slam, Victor Roache had a three run shot, and Edmundo Sosa drilled a solo home run for eight of the Cardinals’ 15 runs.

All of the Springfield scoring came in innings three through five.  In the third, the Cardinals put up four runs, on an Andrew Knizner two run double, a ground ball force out by Victor Roache, and an Arozarena RBI single.  In the fourth, Roache drew a bases loaded walk, followed by the same from Sosa.  Arozarena then blasted the grand slam to complete the six-run outburst.   Knizner singled in a run in the fifth, then Roache and Sosa hit their long balls.  Arozarena went 2-for-4 with five RBI.  Knizner was 2-for-3 with three RBI and three runs scored.  Tommy Edman was 2-for-6, and Ramon Urias was 2-for-5 with three runs scored.

With the extra breathing room, starter Ryan Helsley won his second game with Springfield, pitching 5 2/3 innings and giving up four runs on four hits.  The right hander struck out 10 and walked two.   Landon Beck surrendered one run in 2 1/3 innings of relief.  Jacob Evans pitched a scoreless ninth.

Lane Thomas stole his third base of the season on three attempts.

The Cardinals are 16-11 on the season and are in second place in the Texas League North.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Tulsa, Conner Greene (2-2, 3.96) 2:10 CT.


Palm Beach 4, St. Lucie 7

Johan Mieses (Rick Scutieri/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals fell to the Mets in Jupiter on Saturday night.  Evan Kruczynski suffered his first loss of the season, giving up four runs, three earned, on six hits in six innings.  The left hander struck out five and walked one.  Robert Calvano pitched a scoreless seventh.  Paul Balestrieri began the eighth, and surrendered two runs while recording only one out.  Jacob Patterson and allowed both inherited runners to score, gave up one run of his own, but finished the inning.  Patterson returned to pitch a scoreless ninth.

The Palm Beach offense put its first run on the board in the fourth on Johan Mieses’ solo home run, his fourth long ball of the year.  In the fifth, Stefan Trosclair plated a run on single to left.  Evan Mendoza drew a bases loaded walk for the second run of the inning.  Palm Beach scored its final run in the ninth on Brian O’Keefe’s double.

In the field, Kramer Robertson made a throwing error.

The Cardinals are 16-13 on the season and in third place in the FSL South.

Sunday’s game:  vs.  St. Lucie, Austin Warner (1-1, 4.23) 12:00 CT.


Peoria 7, South Bend 9

Scott Hurst (State College Spikes)

Despite Hall of Famer Tony La Russa being in the house in a promotional appearance, the Chiefs were edged by the Cubs at Dozer Park on Saturday.  The Peoria offense scored seven runs on 10 hits, but that wasn’t enough. In the first, a Yariel Gonzalez single plated the first Chiefs’ run.  Irving Lopez tripled in the third and a run scored, and Gonzalez’ sac fly plated another.  Scott Hurst’s line drive single in the fourth drove in a run.  Another came home in the sixth on a Taylor Bryant ground out.  In the seventh, Juan Yepez added a sac fly.  Finally, in the eighth, the seventh and last run scored on a wild pitch.  On the night, Hurst was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, Gonzalez was 2-for-4 with two RBI, and Nick Plummer was 2-for-3 with three runs scored.

Starter Zach Prendergast was tagged with his first loss of the season.  The right hander pitched five innings, giving up five runs, four earned, on seven hits while fanning six and issuing no free passes.  Winston Nicacio surrendered four additional runs in his four innings pitched.

On the base paths, Plummer stole his second base in four attempts.  In the field, Yepez made a missed catch error.  Hurst had an outfield assist.

The Chiefs are 13-13 on the season and are in fourth place in the Midwest League Western Division.

Sunday’s game:  vs. South Bend, Jake Walsh (1-0, 2.74) 2:00 CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2018 Week 4

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. Annual members may purchase our new 193-page 2018 Prospect Guide for less than half price. Our limited edition printed edition is sold out.

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: May 5, 2018

photo: Anthony Shew (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 3-1 on Friday.  Our Players of the Day are Palm Beach starter Anthony Shew, who spun seven scoreless innings, and Peoria second baseman Irving Lopez, who went 3-for-3 including a home run, two doubles, and four RBI. Springfield logged a road win, but Memphis had an offensive shortfall.

Results for games played Friday, May 4.


Memphis 1 at Nashville 3

Jack Flaherty (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds fell to the Sounds in Nashville in the series opener on Friday.  Starter Jack Flaherty suffered his first loss of the season, despite pitching five innings and giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits.  The right hander struck out six and walked four.  Edward Mujica followed with 1 1/3 innings of relief, and allowed one run on two hits.  Mike Mayers pitched the final 1 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two baserunners and striking out three.

The offense got on the board in the second inning on a solo home run by Adolis Garcia.  That was Memphis’ only score.  No Redbirds hitter had multiple hits of the team’s total of six.

Carson Kelly committed a throwing error, leading to Flaherty’s unearned run.

The Redbirds are 19-10 on the season and in first place in the PCL American Southern Division.

Saturday’s game:   at Nashville, Austin Gomber (2-0, 2.45) 6:35 CT.


Springfield 9 at NW Arkansas 1

Victor Roache (Biloxi Shuckers)

The Cardinals walloped the Naturals on their turf on Friday.  The offense put up nine runs, starting with two in the third, via a bases loaded walk by Blake Drake, and on a double play by Ramon Urias.  Springfield had the big inning in the fifth, putting five runs on the board.  Jeremy Martinez hit a lead off double, then scored on a double by Drake.  Urias plated Drake on a single.  Victor Roache blasted a three-run home run to right center field.  In the sixth, Drake plated a run on a force out, and Urias drove in a run on single to left field.  Drake was 2-for-4.  Urias was 2-for-5, as was Edmundo Sosa.  Martinez was 2-for-3 with three runs scored.

Starter Chris Ellis won his second game of the season.  The right-hander pitched five innings and gave up one run on five hits while fanning five and walking one.  Ramon Santos and Ian McKinney each tossed two scoreless innings of relief.

Urias committed a fielding error.

The Cardinals are 15-11 on the season and in second place in the Texas League North.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Tulsa, Ryan Helsley (1-1, 5.82) 6:10 CT.


Palm Beach 4, St. Lucie 1

Anthony Shew (State College Spikes)

The Cardinals blanked the Mets at home on Friday night.  Starter Anthony Shew was brilliant, pitching seven scoreless innings, allowing six hits and striking out three to earn his second win of the season.  Robert Calvano gave up a run in the eighth and was replaced having recorded no outs. Jason Zgardowski followed with a scoreless inning of relief.  Will Latcham handled the ninth to earn his second save.

The Cardinals got on the board early with two runs in the first inning as Andy Young and Dylan Carlson each singled in a run.  In the third, Johan Mieses’ triple to right plated a run and Young followed with an RBI single for the fourth and final Cardinal run.  Young and Carlson were each 2-for-4.  Evan Mendoza was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

On the base paths, Young stole his first base of the season in his initial attempt.  Shane Billings stole his second bag of the year in four tries.  In the field, Mieses had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals are 16-12 on the season and are in third place in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:   vs. St. Lucie, Evan Kruczynski (3-0, 2.73) 4:30 CT.


Peoria 12, South Bend 3

Irving Lopez (Peoria Chiefs)

The Chiefs offense pummeled Cubs pitching at home on Friday night.  Peoria put four runs on the board in the second inning beginning with a Dennis Ortega RBI single.  Irving Lopez later cleared the bases with a three run double to center field.  In the third, Nick Plummer blasted a two run home run to right center field.   The Chiefs put up another four run inning in the sixth, with the first coming home on a wild pitch.  Elehuris Montero followed with a double that plated two.  Bryce Denton’s RBI single accounted for the fourth run of the inning.  Lopez homered in the seventh, a solo shot.  In the eighth, Ortega added another RBI single for the 12th Peoria run.   Lopez was 3-for-3 with four RBI and two runs scored. Denton was 2-for-5, Ortega was 3-for-5 and Jonatan Machado was 2-for-5.

Starter Alvaro Seijas pitched six innings, giving up two runs on three hits while fanning three and walking one to earn his first win of the season.  Noel Gonzalez surrendered one run in 2/3 inning of relief.  Thomas St. Clair and Bryan Dobzanski teamed up for a perfect final 2 1/3 frames.

Machado stole his third base of the season in five attempts.

The Chiefs are 13-12 on the season and in fourth place in the Midwest League Western.

Saturday’s game:  vs. South Bend, Zach Prendergast (3-0, 0.75) 6:30 CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2018 Week 4

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. Annual members may purchase our new 193-page 2018 Prospect Guide for less than half price. Our limited edition printed edition is sold out.

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 April 23-29

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

In this week’s St. Louis Cardinals news, the club lost its momentum in winning the Mets series by being swept in Pittsburgh over the weekend. Jedd Gyroko has hit well since coming off the disabled list. In our history feature, top home run hitting Aprils are remembered.


Game Recaps

Monday, April 23 – Off day


Tuesday, April 24 – Cardinals 5, Mets 6 (10 innings)

Kolten Wong (USA TODAY Sports Images)

In the first of a three game series at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals were defeated in extra innings.  Luke Weaver made the start, and it wasn’t a good one.  The righty pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up four runs on two hits.  Six walks were Weaver’s undoing.  Weaver struck out four and gave up a three run home run to Yoenis Cespedes just prior to being removed in the fifth inning.  Dominic Leone finished the fifth inning and returned to pitch a scoreless sixth.  Jordan Hicks pitched the seventh, and began the eighth, but gave up the tying run and was charged with a blown save.  Luke Gregerson got the final two outs of the eighth without further damage.  Greg Holland added a scoreless ninth.  Matt Bowman pitched the 10th and gave up the winning run to take the loss.

The Cardinals took the lead in the first on a two-run home run by Tommy Pham, who went 3-for-3.  In the fourth, Kolten Wong hit an RBI double, and Weaver plated a second run on a single.  The fifth and final Redbirds run came home on a double by Paul DeJong in the fifth.  Wong went 2-for-4, both doubles.


Wednesday, April 25 – Cardinals 9, Mets 1

The Redbirds fared better in the second game of the home series against the Mets.  All St. Louis’ runs were bunched up in the third, fourth, and fifth innings.  The first run scored on a Dexter Fowler sac fly.  Marcell Ozuna plated two on a single to left.  In the fourth, Paul DeJong scored on a sac bunt by Michael Wacha.  Dexter Fowler drew a bases loaded walk for one more.  Jose Martinez grounded into a force out to score Wacha and Harrison Bader came home on a fielding error.  In the fifth, Jedd Gyorko blasted a two run home run to left center field.  DeJong and Kolten Wong were both 2-for-4.

Michael Wacha pitched a strong game, tossing six innings of one run baseball.  The right hander allowed five hits, fanned eight, and walked one.  John Brebbia added three innings of scoreless relief to earn his first major league save.  Wacha picked up his fourth win of the season.

In the field, Yadier Molina made a throwing error.


Thursday, April 25 – -Cardinals 4, Mets 3 (13 innings)

John Gant (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals edged the Mets in the rubber game in extra innings to take the series.  Carlos Martinez, like teammate Wacha the day previous, pitched six innings of one run baseball.  He did not, however, get the win.  Martinez allowed three hits, struck out three and issued no walks.  Dominic Leone surrendered one run in the seventh.  Bud Norris and Greg Holland pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively.  Luke Gregerson started the 10th, gave up one run and was removed with two outs.  Matt Bowman got the final out of the 10th.  Newly recalled John Gant then pitched three flawless innings to earn the win.

The offense didn’t score until the seventh inning as the Mets had a two run lead.  Marcell Ozuna’s RBI fly ball single to right field put the Redbirds on the board.  In the eighth, Tommy Pham singled to left to plate the tying run.  After the Mets regained the lead, Jose Martinez tied it up again in the 10th on an RBI double.  Finally, in the 13th, Dexter Fowler walked it off for the Cardinals with an RBI single to right field.

On the base paths, Pham was caught stealing for the fourth time in the season.


Friday, April 27 – Cardinals 5 at Pirates 6 (11 innings)

Miles Mikolas (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals opened a three game series in Pittsburgh on Friday. Though it began well for the Redbirds, their third extra innings game in the week ended badly.  The offense put up five runs by the fifth inning and took a 5-0 lead.   It started with a third inning solo home run by Jedd Gyorko.  Tommy Pham doubled in a run, and Marcell Ozuna plated a run on single.  In the fourth Kolten Wong’s sac fly put a fourth run on the board.  Ozuna singled again in the fifth for his second RBI and finished 3-for-5.

Starter Miles Mikolas pitched seven innings.  The right hander gave up two runs on six hits, while fanning seven and walking none.  Bud Norris tossed a scoreless eighth.  The wheels came off the bus in the ninth, when Greg Holland couldn’t record an out, and surrendered three runs, two earned, to send it to extra innings.  Holland was charged with the blown save.  Dominic Leone, Tyler Lyons, and Matt Bowman combined to get the Redbirds through the ninth without further damage.  Bowman returned to toss a scoreless 10th.  Jordan Hicks pitched the 11th and gave up the walk off single.

Kolten Wong was caught stealing for the first time in the season.  Jose Martinez and Tommy Pham each made fielding errors.


Saturday, April 28 – Cardinals 2 at Pirates 6

Things did not get better for the Cardinals in Game 2 of the series.   Starter Jack Flaherty pitched five innings and gave up three runs on four hits.  The young right hander struck out two and walked four.  It was not Flaherty’s best outing.  Dominic Leone pitched a scoreless sixth.  Luke Gregerson started the seventh and it did not go well.  Gregerson surrendered two runs without recording an out.  Tyler Lyons allowed the two inherited runners to score and did get an out. Mike Mayers gave up two singles but recorded the final two outs.  Mayers returned for the eighth and allowed an unearned run due to a fielding error by Jose Martinez.    Flaherty took the loss.

St. Louis’ offense scored one run in the third inning, and one run in the sixth.  The third inning run came home on a double by Tommy Pham.  In the sixth, Marcell Ozuna had an RBI single.  Paul DeJong was 2-for-4.

Pham and Martinez committed fielding errors for the second consecutive game.  Yadier Molina had a passed ball.


Sunday, April 29 – Cardinals 0 at Pirates 5

Luke Weaver (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

In the rubber game of the road series, St. Louis endeavored to avoid the sweep, but that failed miserably.  The Cardinals were kept off the bases entirely until the seventh inning by a Pirates pitcher making his major league debut, 26-year old Nick Kingham.  Paul DeJong ended the perfect game in the seventh with a single to left field.  Yadier Molina singled in the eighth and Kolten Wong’s pinch double in the ninth was the only extra base hit.

Luke Weaver pitched well and didn’t deserve his fate, the loss.  Weaver finally succumbed in the sixth, giving up three singles and a walk for two runs.  Jordan Hicks came in with two men on and one out and allowed both runners to score before getting the final two outs.  All four runs were charged to Weaver.  Luke Gregerson pitched a scoreless seventh.  Greg Holland surrendered another run in the eighth.


Big Picture

The week started out well, with the Cardinals taking two out of three in a close series with a strong Mets team.  The week ended badly, however, as the Redbirds traveled to Pittsburgh and were swept in three games.  The first was a bullpen fail, specifically by Greg Holland in the ninth inning.  The remaining two were a mixture of lackluster offense, poor defense, and pitching not quite up to par.  Both Tommy Pham and Jose Martinez had defensive issues.  Martinez is learning a new position and is struggling with it, but Pham is usually a top notch defender but had a bad weekend for some reason in the field.  The cold weather in Pittsburgh was no help for anyone.

Bud Norris (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Starting pitching has been good for the most part, but the bullpen continues to have issues in the late innings.  Bud Norris has been a standout, but Greg Holland still has not pitched consistently.  The defense took a turn for the worse in the Pirates series.  Offense, especially in the last two games, was practically non-existent.   Matt Carpenter and Dexter Fowler continue to struggle, and Yadier Molina had a poor week offensively.  Pham and DeJong have been good, and Jose Martinez had some short struggles at the plate but is holding his own.  Marcell Ozuna is showing signs of snapping out of his funk.

The Cardinals ended the week 2-4 and have a record of 15-12 on the season.  The Pirates sweep dropped the team from first place to third place behind the Pirates and the Cubs (who swept the Brewers over the weekend).


NL Central Standings
W L % GB
Pittsburgh 17 11 0.607
Chicago 15 10 0.600 0.5
St. Louis 15 12 0.556 1.5
Milwaukee 16 13 0.552 1.5
Cincinnati 7 21 0.250 10

Who’s Hot

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

  • Jedd Gyorko has an OPS of 1.455 in 11 plate appearances. He has two HRs and three RBI.
  • Tommy Pham has an OPS of 1.313. He has one HR, three doubles, and five RBI.
  • Paul DeJong has an OPS of .970. He has one HR, three doubles, and four RBI.
  • Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 0.67.
  • Michael Wacha has an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 1.00.
  • Miles Mikolas has an ERA of 1.93 and a WHIP of 0.79.
  • Bud Norris has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.33.
  • Tyler Lyons has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00.

Who’s Not

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

  • Yadier Molina has an OPS of .354.
  • Matt Carpenter has an OPS of .349.
  • Dexter Fowler has an OPS of .492.
  • Luke Weaver has an ERA of 7.71 and a WHIP of 1.71.
  • Jordan Hicks has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 2.50.
  • Luke Gregerson has an ERA of 20.25 and WHIP of 4.50.

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 three games and Tommy Pham for three games.
  • The number two hitter has been Pham for two games, Dexter Fowler for two games, Carpenter for one game, and Yadier Molina for one game.
  • The number three hitter has been Jose Martinez.
  • The cleanup hitter has been Marcell Ozuna for five games, and Fowler for one game.
  • The fifth hitter has been Molina for four games, Fowler for one game, and Paul DeJong for one game.
  • The sixth hitter has been DeJong for three games, Fowler for two games, and Tyler O’Neill for one game.
  • The seventh hitter has been DeJong for two games, Kolten Wong for two games, and Jedd Gyorko for two games.
  • The eighth hitter has been Wong for four games, Harrison Bader for one game, and Francisco Pena for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions

  • 4/25 The Cardinals sent RHP Sam Tuivailala on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 4/26 The Cardinals optioned RHP John Brebbia to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 4/26 The Cardinals recalled RHP John Gant from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 4/27 The Cardinals sent LHP Ryan Sherriff on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 4/27 The Cardinals optioned RHP John Gant to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 4/27 The Cardinals recalled RHP Mike Mayers from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 4/28 The Cardinals optioned OF Tyler O’Neill to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 4/28 The Cardinals recalled RHP Jack Flaherty from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 4/29 The Cardinals optioned RHP Jack Flaherty to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 4/29 The Cardinals recalled LHP Austin Gomber from the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

Sam Tuivailala (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

RHP Sam Tuivailala (left knee strain) continues on the 10 day DL.  The right hander was sent to the Memphis Redbirds on a rehab assignment early in the week.  Tuivailala is being stretched out in Memphis in order to be available if called upon to pitch multiple innings and has already made two appearances.

LHP Ryan Sherriff (fractured right toe) continues on the 10 day DL.  Sherriff was sent to Memphis on a rehab assignment and will likely remain in Memphis for the time being. He has pitched twice for the Redbirds

LHP Brett Cecil (left shoulder strain, right foot tendinitis) remains on the DL.  Cecil has sent to the Jupiter spring training facility to begin rehab.  No timetable for his return has been set.

Adam Wainwright (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

RHP Adam Wainwright was placed on the 10 day DL retroactive to April 20.  Right elbow inflammation.   Wainwright could return to the rotation next week.  His spot in the rotation will come up during the Cubs series over the weekend.

RF Dexter Fowler took a tumble into the stands in Saturday’s game.  The outfielder was attempting to catch a foul ball and tumbled over the railing.  Fowler is nursing a sore wrist and was out of the lineup for Sunday’s game.  The injury is not expected to be serious and Fowler is listed as day to day.

CF Tommy Pham suffered a contusion when he struck his head with his bat, missing one game and part of another.


Looking Ahead

The Cardinals have an off day Monday, and then begin a two game interleague series with the White Sox at Busch Stadium on Tuesday.  Michael Wacha is scheduled to make the Monday start, followed by Carlos Martinez on Wednesday.

After a second off day on Thursday, the Cubs come to St. Louis for a weekend series.  No pitchers have been announced, but Miles Mikolas should make the Friday start.   Either Adam Wainwright or a replacement starter will likely make the Saturday start followed by Luke Weaver on Sunday. On the following Monday, the Twins come to town.

Next Wednesday is a travel day for the Redbirds, as they fly to the West Coast for a four game series in San Diego.  After another off day on Monday, May 17, the Cardinals head to Minnesota for the second half of the home and home series against the Twins

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.


Blast from the Past

With the off day Monday, April 30, the Cardinals have now completed the month of April.  For the month, the Cardinals as a team hit 33 home runs, which put them second in the NL behind the Colorado Rockies, who have hit 34.  At the same time last season, the Cardinals had hit 24 home runs.

One Cardinals team set the major league record for most home runs hit in April.  The 2000 St. Louis Cardinals set the record at 50 home runs on April 26, 2000.  They finished the month of April with 55 home runs, which remains the major league record.  The record will not likely be broken in 2018, as the current major league leader, the Yankees, have 41, with one game left to play in April.

That 2000 team had an offense that included sluggers Mark McGwire and Jim Edmonds.  On April 26, 2000, three Cardinals hit home runs in the 7-0 defeat of the Milwaukee Brewers.  Pitcher Rick Ankiel hit his second home run of the season, a three run blast in the fourth inning.  Jim Edmonds added his seventh of the season, a solo shot in the fifth. Finally, Fernando Tatis launched his sixth of the season, also in the fifth inning, a two run shot.  The team hit a total of 235 home runs that season, which put them fifth in the major leagues behind the home run leading Astros, who hit a team total of 249.  Those 235 home runs in 2000 is the current Cardinals team record for most in a single season.

That 2000 team ended the season in first place in the NL Central, won the NLDS 3-0 over the Braves, but lost the NLCS in four games to the Mets.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: April 29, 2018

photo: Irving Lopez (Allison Rhoades/Peoria Chiefs)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 3-1 on Saturday.  Our Player of the Day is Peoria second baseman Irving Lopez, who went 4-for-4 including a home run, two doubles, and two RBI in the Chiefs’ victory.

Results for games played Saturday, April 28.


Memphis 5, Round Rock 7

Wilfredo Tovar (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds lost to the Express for the second consecutive night, this time after yielding a four-run lead. In a bullpen game, spot starter Sean Gilmartin pitched 3 2/3 innings, giving up one run on three hits, including a solo home run in the fourth inning.   Derian Gonzalez allowed two runs in 1 1/3 innings pitched.  Arturo Reyes surrendered three unearned runs in the sixth inning and was charged with a blown save and the loss.  In the seventh, rehabber Sam Tuivailala relinquished an unearned run.  John Brebbia pitched the final two scoreless innings, but the offense could not come back.

Shortstop and number nine hitter Wilfredo Tovar doubled in the first Redbirds run in the second inning.  Memphis put up four runs in the fourth, beginning with a leadoff solo home run from Patrick Wisdom.  Tovar added a two-run blast to left center field.  The Redbirds’ final run of the inning and the game scored on a bases loaded walk by Rangel Ravelo.  At 3-for-4, Tovar was the only Redbird with multiple hits.

Tovar and Max Schrock committed fielding errors.

The Redbirds are 16-7 on the season and are in first place in the PCL American Southern Division.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Round Rock, TBA, 2:05 CT. (Scheduled starter Austin Gomber (2-0, 2.45) has been promoted to St. Louis.)


Springfield 6, Arkansas 1

Lane Thomas (Springfield Cardinals)

The Cardinals topped the Travelers at Hammons Field on Saturday night.  Springfield got on the board in the first inning on a solo home run by Edmundo Sosa.  A fourth-inning score gave the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.  Back to back singles by Andrew Knizner and John Nogowski put runners on first and third.  Darren Seferina’s sac fly plated Knizner.   The offense scored four more in the seventh to pull away, with the big blow a three-run blast by Lane Thomas, following a run-scoring wild pitch.   Thomas went 2-for-4 and Knizner was 2-for-3.

Starter Jake Woodford earned his second win of the season.  The right-hander pitched five innings, giving up one run on four hits while fanning four and walking two. Estarlin Arias tossed 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.  Andrew Morales and Hector Mendoza combined for the final 2 2/3 run-free frames.

Tommy Edman made a fielding miscue, his fifth error of the season.

The Cardinals are 12-8 on the season and are in first place in the Texas League North.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Arkansas, Chris Ellis (1-0, 1.15) 2:10 CT.


Palm Beach 2 at St. Lucie 0

Colton Thomson (The Cardinal Nation)

The Cardinals edged the Mets in a Saturday shutout shared by four pitchers.  Starter Anthony Shew pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit while fanning three and walking one.  After the game was delayed for an hour due to a power outage, Colton Thomson followed with 2 1/3 scoreless frames with six strikeouts and earned the win.  Yeison Medina pitched 2 1/3 more run-free innings and Will Latcham ended with a clean ninth and his first save of the season.

The offense scored first in the second inning.  A double by Chase Pinder, a single from Jose Godoy and a walk by Ryan McCarvel loaded the bases.  Jose Martinez flied into a sacrifice double play as Pinder came home.  In the eighth, Kramer Robertson reached on an error.  Later, the shortstop scored on a wild pitch.   No Cardinal had multiple hits.

The Cardinals are 12-11 on the season and in third place in the FSL South.

Sunday’s game:  at St. Lucie, Evan Kruczynski (2-0, 3.00) 11:00 a.m CT.


Peoria 6 at Wisconsin 2

Irving Lopez (Peoria Chiefs)

The Chiefs defeated the Timber Rattlers at Fox Cities Stadium on Saturday afternoon.  Irving Lopez provided the day’s offensive highlight reel, as the second baseman went 4-for-4 including a home run, two doubles, and two RBI.

The Chiefs put up a four-run second inning to take a commanding lead early.  Dennis Ortega doubled to right to plate Juan Yepez, who had drawn a leadoff walk.  Nick Plummer tripled to score Ortega and came home on a fielding error.  Lopez doubled to right to drive in the fourth run of the inning.    Jonatan Machado’s sac fly in the fourth scored a run, then a solo shot by Lopez in the fifth put the final score on the board.  Plummer went 2-for-4 and Ortega was 2-for-2 plus two walks.

Zach Prendergast tossed five innings, giving up one run on five hits.  In his first start, Prendergast earned his third win of the season.  Levi MaVorhis followed with 1 1/3 innings, surrendering one run.  Thomas St. Clair pitched the final 2 2/3 scoreless frames.

Edwin Figuera stole a base and was also caught stealing for the second time in four attempts.  Bryce Denton made a fielding error.

The Chiefs are 10-10 on the season and in fourth place in the Midwest League Western Division.

Sunday’s game:  at Wisconsin, Winston Nicacio (0-0, 4.91) 1:05 CT.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: April 28, 2018

photo: Mike O’Reilly (Allison Rhoades/Peoria Chiefs)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 1-3 on Friday. Our Player of the Day, Springfield pitcher Mike O’Reilly, pitched 6 1/3 innings in his Double-A debut and gave up only one unearned run to lead the Cardinals to victory over the Arkansas Travelers.

Results for games played Friday, April 27.


Memphis 4, Round Rock 5

Oscar Mercado (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

A four-run fifth inning by the Redbirds was enough to tie the score, but not enough to hold off Round Rock on Friday night in Memphis.  That burst was highlighted by a three-run home run to left center field by Oscar Mercado.    Carson Kelly added a solo home run in that inning to cap the Redbirds scoring.  Max Schrock went 2-for-4, as did Wilfredo Tovar.

Starter Dakota Hudson pitched six innings, giving up four runs, two earned, on eight hits while fanning five and walking two.  Ryan Sherriff gave up the winning score on a solo home run in the seventh.  Edward Mujica followed with two innings of scoreless relief.

On the base paths, Schrock was picked off and caught stealing second base.  The caught stealing was Schrock’s first in five attempts.  In the field, Yairo Munoz made a fielding error and Luke Voit made a throwing error, leading to Hudson’s two unearned runs and the potential difference in the loss.

The Redbirds are 16-6 on the season and in first place in the PCL American Southern Division.

Saturday’s game:   vs. Round Rock, Sean Gilmartin (0-1, 10.80) 6:35 CT.


Springfield 6, Arkansas 2

Mike O’Reilly (The Cardinal Nation)

The Cardinals topped the Travelers at Hammons Field on Friday night.  Starter Mike O’Reilly tossed 6 1/3 innings, giving up one unearned run on four hits.  The right-hander fanned two and walked two to earn the win in his Springfield debut.  Jacob Evans added 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.  Landon Beck pitched the ninth and surrendered one run.

The Cardinals got on the board in the first inning on an RBI ground out by Lane Thomas.  In the third, Thomas Spitz launched a solo home run to left center field, and one batter later, Darren Seferina did the same to right center field.    Three more runs were added in the sixth. Andrew Knizner led off with a solo shot to left, John Nogowski singled, Victor Roache doubled, and Edmundo Sosa drove in Nogowski on a single.  Roache scored on a fielder’s choice RBI by Blake Drake.  Nogowski went 3-for-4.  Knizner, Sosa, and Spitz were each 2-for-4. Tommy Edman was 2-for-5.

On the base paths, Roache was caught stealing for the first time in one attempt.  In the field, Knizner made a throwing error.

The Cardinals are 11-8 on the season and tied for second place in the Texas League North.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Arkansas, Jake Woodford (1-2, 7.36) 4:10 CT.


Palm Beach 2 at St. Lucie 3

Ian Oxnevad (Paul Ivice/The Cardinal Nation)

The Cardinals were edged by the Mets in Port St. Lucie on Friday night.  Starter Ian Oxnevad pitched well, tossing five innings and giving up one run on five hits.  The left hander struck out two and walked one.  Reliever Paul Balestrieri was charged with a blown save and the loss as he gave up the winning run in the sixth inning.  Jesus Cruz finished the game with 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.

Palm Beach scored both of its runs in the fourth on a two-run home run by Ryan McCarvel.  McCarvel went 2-for-4, as did Dylan Carlson.

On the base paths, Carlson was caught stealing for the first time in three attempts.  In the field, Oxnevad picked two runners off first base.

The Cardinals are 11-11 on the season and tied for third place in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:  at St. Lucie, Anthony Shew (1-1, 2.95) 5:30 CT.


Peoria 5 at Wisconsin 15

Julio Rodriguez (Johnson City Cardinals)

Peoria took a walloping from the Timber Rattlers on Friday night.  The Chiefs were never really in the game, though they put five runs on the board.  The Chiefs scored two in the fourth inning on Julio Rodriguez’ single and a ground out by Jonatan Machado.  In the sixth, Rodriguez blasted a two run home run to left center field.  A triple by Yariel Gonzalez and an RBI single by Juan Yepez in the eighth brought the fifth and final Peoria run home.   Yepez was 3-for-4 with two runs scored; Rodriguez and Edwin Figuera were each 2-for-4.

No Chiefs pitcher went unscathed. Starter Alvaro Seijas lasted only 1 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on five hits while striking out one and walking four.   Kodi Whitley followed with 3 1/3 innings of relief, during which he was charged with two runs on five hits.  Fabian Blanco surrendered five runs in one inning, and Kevin Hamman tossed the final two innings, allowing two runs on three hits.  Seijas was tagged with the loss.

In the field, Scott Hurst had an outfield assist.

The Chiefs are 9-10 on the season and in fifth place in the Midwest League Western.

Saturday’s game:  at Wisconsin, Zach Prendergast (2-0, 0.00) 1:05 CT.


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of April 16- 22

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

In this week’s St. Louis Cardinals news, the club pulled into first place after another sweep over Cincinnati. Yadier Molina is leading the offense. In our history feature, a seven-game season sweep from 2015 is remembered.


Game Recaps

Monday, April 16 – Cardinals at Cubs (postponed)

The Cardinals/Cubs game for Monday was postponed due to inclement weather (cold and snow).  It was re-scheduled as part of a doubleheader in Chicago on July 21.


Tuesday, April 17 – Cardinals 5 at Cubs 3

Matt Carpenter (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals met the Cubs for the first time in 2018 and were victorious over their NL Central rivals.  Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright earned his first win of the season.  The right-hander went five innings, giving up one unearned run on four hits while fanning five and walking four.    Dominic Leone and Jordan Hicks followed with a scoreless inning of relief each.  Greg Holland was unable to record an out while surrendering two Cubs runs in the eighth. Tyler Lyons pitched to one batter and retired him.  Bud Norris pitched the final 1 2/3 innings for his fourth save of the season.

The Redbirds got on the board in the third inning with a Matt Carpenter RBI double before Marcell Ozuna drove in a run on a ground out.  In the eighth, Paul DeJong’s solo home run increased the lead to 3-1, and Carpenter plated two more on a single.  Carpenter was 2-for-4 with three RBI.

Wainwright made a throwing error.


Wednesday, April 18 – Cardinals at Cubs (postponed)

The final game of the series was postponed due to continued inclement weather.  The game was played the next day, Thursday, which was scheduled to be an off day for both teams.


Thursday, April 19 – Cardinals 5 at Cubs 8

Jedd Gyorko (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals were unable to prevail in the makeup of the postponed Wednesday game.  The offense put up five runs, but fell short.  The team was playing catch up after falling behind in the early innings, and a four-run seventh inning just wasn’t sufficient for the victory.  The Cardinals scored in the first inning on wild pitch but remained scoreless until the seventh when Paul DeJong drew a bases loaded walk.  Kolten Wong was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to plate a second run.  Two more runs came home when Cubs second baseman Javier Baez made a throwing error on a double play attempt on a ground ball hit by Dexter Fowler.  It was an inning of unconventional run scoring.  The only Cardinal with multiple hits in the game was Jedd Gyorko, who was 2-for-2 with two walks.

Luke Weaver had a tough outing on the mound.  The young righty pitched four innings, giving up six runs on nine hits while striking out three and walking one.  Weaver suffered his first loss of the season.   Matt Bowman gave up two runs in 1 1/3 innings pitched.  Luke Gregerson added 2/3 of a scoreless inning, followed by a run-free inning each from Greg Holland and Dominic Leone.

Harrison Bader stole his second base of the season.


Friday, April 20 – Cardinals 4, Reds 2

Michael Wacha (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

On Friday, the Cardinals began a three-game home series against the Reds, one week after sweeping those same Reds in a four-game set in Cincinnati.

The Cardinals edged the Reds on Friday with Michael Wacha on the mound.  Wacha took his third win of the season, pitching 6 2/3 innings and giving up one run on six hits.  The right hander fanned three and walked one.   Tyler Lyons added 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.  Bud Norris pitched the ninth and surrendered one run on two hits but earned his fifth save.

St. Louis’ offense was led by Jose Martinez, who went 3-for-5 including a double, a run scored and an RBI, and Yadier Molina, who doubled and plated two. Leadoff man Tommy Pham reached base three times and scored twice.


Saturday, April 21 – Cardinals 4, Reds 3

Yadier Molina (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds won a squeaker in the second game of the series on Saturday.   Paul DeJong hit a two run home run in the second inning to get the Cardinals on the board.  In the sixth, Dexter Fowler, on his bobblehead day, hit a solo shot to add to the lead.  However, the Reds came back in the seventh to tie the score.  In the same inning, Yadier Molina’s solo home run gave the Cardinals the lead back, and they hung on to win.  It was Molina’s team-leading sixth long ball of the season. The catcher went 2-for-3 and DeJong was 2-for-4.

Carlos Martinez pitched very well, tossing six scoreless innings, allowing only three hits, fanning seven and walking three.  But with the bullpen taking over in the seventh, the wheels came off the bus.  Luke Gregerson had secured two outs before giving up a single.  The manager immediately pulled Gregerson for Tyler Lyons, who had a very poor outing.  Lyons allowed an inherited runner to score, then gave up two more runs to tie the game.  Jordan Hicks was brought in to get the final out, which he accomplished on one pitch.  Hicks returned for two more scoreless innings to earn the win that should have gone to Martinez.  Lyons was charged with the blown save.

Molina stole his second base of 2018.


Sunday, April 22 – Cardinals 9, Reds 2

Paul DeJong (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals completed the second sweep of the Reds in a week, with a win on Sunday.  Starter Miles Mikolas had a nice outing, pitching seven innings and giving up two runs, one earned, on five hits.  The right hander struck out six and walked none to earn his third win of the season.  Bud Norris and Greg Holland each contributed a scoreless inning of relief.

The game was closer than the final score indicates.  The Cardinals went ahead 3-0 with runs in the second and third innings.  Kolten Wong hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot in the second.  In inning three, Dexter Fowler had RBI single, and Tyler O’Neill plated a run on a sac fly.  The Reds came back in the sixth inning with two runs to drop the lead to 3-2.  However, a three run seventh followed by a three run eighth put the game out of reach for the last place Reds.  Paul DeJong blasted a three-run home run in the seventh, and in the eighth, pinch hitter Greg Garcia doubled two runs home.  Yadier Molina’s sac fly plated the third run of the inning.  Molina went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.  DeJong was 2-for-5 and Harrison Bader was 2-for-4.

Along with his RBI single, Fowler walked four times and stole his second base of the season.  Matt Carpenter committed a throwing error at third.


Big Picture

The Cardinals against the Cubs was a split of two games, with one game yet to play later in the season.  A weekend sweep of the Reds for a second time in a week ended the week strongly for the Redbirds and left them in first place in the Division with a record of 13-8.  The week ended for the Cardinals at 4-1.

Starting pitching has been mostly good, with one poor outing by Luke Weaver against the Cubs.  The bullpen continues to be hit and miss, with stumbles by Matt Bowman and Tyler Lyons predominantly.  Perhaps Greg Holland is starting to regain his footing after having essentially no Spring Training.

The offense has picked up, with strong weeks by Molina, DeJong and Bader.  Marcell Ozuna is struggling, and Kolten Wong’s struggles at the plate continue, though he hit his first home run in Sunday’s game. Matt Carpenter and Dexter Fowler have been so-so at the plate at best.

Though Wong is having issues at the plate, his defense remains among the best on the team.  Harrison Bader has also shown strong defense, especially in center field with Pham absent due to a groin injury.  The remainder of the defense has been adequate, though with a few miscues here and there, including Carpenter at third.  Base running remains the same.

The Cardinals will entertain a strong Mets team this week, then play a Pirates club that has been on a downward trend after a red-hot start.

NL Central Standings W L % GB
St. Louis 13 8 0.619
Milwaukee 14 9 0.609
Pittsburgh 12 10 0.545 1.5
Chicago 10 9 0.526 2
Cincinnati 3 18 0.143 10

Who’s Hot

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

  • Harrison Bader has an OPS of 1.229. He has one HR and two RBI.
  • Jedd Gyorko has an OPS of 1.125 in eight plate appearances. He has one RBI.
  • Paul DeJong has an OPS of 1.153. He has two HRs, two doubles, and four RBI.
  • Yadier Molina has an OPS of 1.069. He has one HR, one double, and four RBI.
  • Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.92.
  • Michael Wacha has an ERA of 1.35 and a WHIP of 1.05.
  • Dominic Leone has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.50.

Who’s Not

Over the past five games (does not contain recent Sunday games):

  • Marcell Ozuna has an OPS of .243.
  • Kolten Wong has an OPS of .200.
  • Dexter Fowler has an OPS of .417.
  • Luke Weaver has an ERA of 13.50 and a WHIP of 2.50.
  • Tyler Lyons has an ERA of 10.13 and a WHIP of 2.25.
  • Matt Bowman has an ERA of 13.50 and a WHIP of 3.75.
  • Greg Holland has an ERA of 18.00 and a WHIP of 4.00.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

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

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

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions

  • 4/16 The Cardinals activated RHP Luke Gregerson from the 10 day disabled list.
  • 4/16 The Cardinals activated 3B Jedd Gyorko from the 10 day disabled list.
  • 4/16 The Cardinals optioned 3B Yairo Munoz to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 4/16 The Cardinals optioned RHP Mike Mayers to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 4/19 The Cardinals optioned RHP John Brebbia to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 4/19 The Cardinals recalled RF Tyler O’Neill from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 4/22 The Cardinals placed RHP Adam Wainwright on the 10 day disabled list retroactive to April 20. Right elbow inflammation.
  • 4/22 The Cardinals recalled RHP John Brebbia from the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

Sam Tuivailala (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

RHP Sam Tuivailala (left knee strain) continues on the 10 day DL.  A rehab assignment in Memphis is scheduled for this week.  There has been no announcement as to how long the rehab assignment is expected to take or when the right hander will return to the roster.

LHP Ryan Sherriff (fractured right toe) continue on the 10 day DL. A rehab assignment in Memphis is scheduled for this week.  The right hander has options remaining and will likely remain in Memphis after the rehab assignment is completed and he is activated from the DL.

LHP Brett Cecil (left shoulder strain, right foot tendinitis) remains on the DL.  Cecil is expected to begin a rehab assignment in Jupiter soon.

Adam Wainwright (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

RHP Adam Wainwright was placed on the 10 day DL retroactive to April 20 due to right elbow inflammation.  No timetable for his return to the roster has been announced, though Wainwright himself expects his DL stay to be short.

OF Tommy Pham (right groin tightness) is considered day to day.  Pham was injured in Tuesday’s game and returned to the lineup Friday, but was out of the lineup for the final two games of the weekend series.  OF Tyler O’Neill was called up to provide additional outfield depth.  The injury to Pham at this time is not considered serious enough to warrant a stint on the DL.


Looking Ahead

The Cardinals have an off day Monday, April 23, and begin a series with the Mets in St. Louis on Tuesday.  Adam Wainwright was originally scheduled to make the Tuesday start, but the right hander was placed on the 10 day DL on Sunday.  Luke Weaver is now scheduled for the start, with the rest of the rotation continuing in order, with Michael Wacha on Wednesday and Carlos to close the Mets series on Thursday.

On Friday, the Cardinals travel to Pittsburgh for a weekend series against the Pirates.  The Cardinals have another off day the following Monday and return home to St. Louis to play a two-game interleague set against the White Sox.  After another Thursday off day, the Cubs arrive in St. Louis for a weekend series.

The homestand continues on May 7 with a two-game interleague series with the Twins.  The Cardinals again have no game scheduled on Wednesday, May 9, as they travel to the West Coast for a four-game series beginning Thursday with the San Diego Padres.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.


Blast from the Past

The Cardinals did something this week that has only been accomplished once before in the franchise’s recorded history.  They swept the Reds in four games, and then in a three-game series.  What’s more, that feat was accomplished all in one week.

According to the Cardinals Media Guide, the only other time the Cardinals swept a team in two comparable series in one season was in 2015, when the Cardinals swept the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three game set in St. Louis, and later in a four-game series in Phoenix.

On May 20-22, 2015, the Cardinals defeated the D-backs 3-2, 6-4, and 4-3.  The 3-2 and 4-3 wins were both walk off wins, with the 3-2 win in 10 innings.  Carlos Martinez started the first game but got a no decision, as the winner was Trevor Rosenthal.  Jhonny Peralta hit a solo home run.  In the second game, Jaime Garcia was the winning pitcher, and Randal Grichuk hit a solo home run.  The Game 3 starter was Lance Lynn, and Seth Maness was the winning pitcher.  Solo home runs were provided by Kolten Wong and Jason Heyward.

The Cardinals met the D-backs in Arizona on August 24-27, 2015.  The Cardinals won all four games, 5-3, 9-1, 3-1, and 5-3.  Lance Lynn was the Game 1 starter and winner.  Matt Carpenter hit a solo home run.  In Game 2, Jaime Garcia was the winning pitcher and Peter Bourjos hit a solo home run.  The third game was a John Lackey win with a solo shot by Mark Reynolds.   The final game was the 13th win for Carlos Martinez.  Tony Cruz launched a solo home run, and Brandon Moss added a two-run blast.

The D-backs of 2015 were not cellar dwellers like the current Reds team.  Arizona finished the season in third place in the NL West.  The Cardinals only played two series with Arizona, as they do with all NL teams not in the Central Division.  The Cardinals have four more series remaining with the Reds this season, so the possibility exists that the Cardinals could sweep them several more times, to make history for the franchise.  Such a feat would not be easy, or it would have been done more times than it has.

Stay tuned.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: April 22, 2018

photo: Evan Guillory (Johnson City Cardinals)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 2-1 on Saturday, as Springfield’s game was postponed. Our Player of the Day is Peoria starter Evan Guillory, who pitched six innings, giving up one unearned run while striking out seven and walking none. Bryce Denton added a grand slam for the Chiefs.

Results for games played Saturday, April 21.


Memphis 8 at Iowa 4

Mike Mayers (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds defeated the Cubs in Des Moines on Saturday night.   Starter John Gant earned his third win of the season, tossing five innings and giving up three runs on eight hits.  The right hander fanned five and walked three.  Kevin Herget followed with one inning of relief, surrendering one run on four hits.  Edward Mujica pitched a scoreless seventh, while Mike Mayers tossed the final two scoreless innings.  Mayers earned his first save of the season.

The Memphis offense began strong, putting up four runs in the first inning.  Randy Arozarena was hit by a pitch, then Max Schrock smacked an RBI double to left field.  After Luke Voit drew a walk, Schrock scored the second run on Adolis Garcia’s double.  Carson Kelly drove in both Voit and Garcia on a single to right.  In the second inning, Voit’s RBI single scored the fifth Redbirds run. There was no scoring again until the eighth, when Patrick Wisdom drove in a run on a single, then later scored on a fielding error.  Voit plated the final run in the ninth on a single to center field.  Schrock, Garcia, and Wisdom were each 2-for-5.  Voit was 2-for-4. In the balanced attack lacking the home run, all eight Memphis position players had at least one hit and six of them scored.

The Redbirds were also busy on the base paths, with four steals. Yairo Munoz stole his first base of the season in his first attempt, Wisdom took his second in two tries, Oscar Mercado swiped his seventh bag in 11 attempts, and Wilfredo Tovar stole his first in two tries.

The Redbirds are 13-4 on the season and are in first place in the PCL American Southern Division.

Saturday’s game:  at Iowa, Dakota Hudson (3-0, 3.86) 1:08 CT.


Springfield at Arkansas – postponed

Saturday’s game was postponed due to rain in Little Rock.  The game is scheduled to be made up on Friday, May 11 during the Double-A Cards’ next visit.

Sunday’s game:  at Arkansas, Jake Woodford (1-1, 5.79) 2:10 CT.


Palm Beach 2 at Charlotte 5

Andy Young (State College Spikes)

The Cardinals were defeated by the Stone Crabs in Charlotte on Saturday.  Palm Beach got on the board first with a run in the first inning that came home on a throwing error.  There was no further scoring until the eighth, when J. B Woodman drew a bases loaded walk following singles by Johan Mieses, Andy Young, and Shane Billings.  Young went 3-for-4, while Billings was 2-for-4.

Starter Ian Oxnevad was tagged with his second loss of the season.  The left hander pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits while striking out two and walking two.  Ian McKinney relieved and got the final two outs in the sixth.  Will Latcham and Yeison Medina each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

On the base paths, Chase Pinder was caught stealing for the first time in one attempt.  In the field, Oxnevad picked a runner off first base.

The Cardinals are 9-7 on the season and in third place in the FSL South.

Sunday’s game:  at Charlotte, Anthony Shew (1-0, 0.51) 11;35 am CT.


Evan Guillory (Peoria Chiefs)

Peoria 7, Wisconsin 1

Peoria solidly defeated the Timber Rattlers at home on Saturday.  Starter Evan Guillory pitched six innings, giving up one unearned run on five hits.  The righty fanned seven and issued no free passes.  Zach Prendergast followed with three scoreless innings of relief.

The Chiefs got on the board in the third on back to back RBI singles by Yariel Gonzalez and Elehuris Montero. In the sixth, Montero led off with a solo home run.  Peoria added four more runs in the eighth on a grand slam by Bryce Denton.  Montero went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.  Edwin Figuera was 2-for-4.

Figuera stole his first base in two attempts.  Dylan Carlson stole his second base in two attempts.  Jonatan Machado was caught stealing for the second time in three attempts.  Montero and Figuera each committed a throwing error.

The Chiefs are 7-6 on the season and are in fourth place in the Midwest League Western Division.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Wisconsin, Alvaro Seijas (0-1, 3.60) 5:00 CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Updated: Memphis Welcomes Back Another Big Bat

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: April 21, 2018

photo: Yariel Gonzalez (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 1-3 on Friday. Our Player of the Day, Peoria second baseman Yariel Gonzalez, was 3-for-4 including a two-run home run and three RBI, and teamed up with starting pitcher Johan Oviedo to lead the Chiefs to a home win.

Results for games played Friday, April 14.


Memphis 0 at Omaha 5

Daniel Poncedeleon (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Triple-A Redbirds were shut out in Omaha on Friday.  The Memphis offense managed only three hits, all singles, from Carson Kelly, Patrick Wisdom, and Wilfredo Tovar.

Starter Daniel Poncedeleon pitched well, but was left unsupported by his offense.  The right hander pitched six innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on seven hits while fanning four and walking one.  Poncedeleon suffered his first loss of the season.  Arturo Reyes followed and surrendered three runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings pitched. Preston Guilmet got the last out of the eighth inning.

In the field, Yairo Munoz committed a throwing error.  Adolis Garcia had an outfield assist.

The Redbirds are 12-4 on the season and in first place in the PCL American Southern Division.

Saturday’s game:   at Iowa, John Gant (2-0, 1.42) 7:08 CT.


Springfield 7 at Arkansas 10

Andrew Knizner (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Double-A Cardinals were edged by the Travelers in Little Rock on Friday.  Starting pitcher Sam Tewes lasted only 1 2/3 innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits.  The right hander struck out two and walked two.  Estarlin Arias followed with 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Ramon Santos allowed four runs, three earned, in his 1 2/3 innings of work, and was tagged with the loss.  Andrew Morales pitched 1 1/3 innings and relinquished three additional runs.  Tyler Bray added a scoreless eighth.

The offense plated seven runs, but it was not enough.  Andrew Knizner was 3-for-5 with three RBI.  Tommy Edman was 3 for-4 with an RBI single, a triple and two runs scored.  John Nogowski was 2-for-4 and plated a run on a first inning double. Luke Dykstra hit a second inning sac fly for an RBI, and Lane Thomas drew a bases loaded walk in the eighth.

The Cardinals are 7-7 on the season and tied for second place in the Texas League North.

Saturday’s game:  at Arkansas, Jake Woodford (1-1, 5.79), 6:10 CT


Palm Beach 3 at Charlotte 4

Stefan Trosclair (The Cardinal Nation)

The Beach Birds lost a narrow one in Charlotte on Friday.  Palm Beach fell behind early by four runs and had to play catch up, falling short with two runs in the third and one in the seventh.  Stefan Trosclair’s two-run home run in the third inning put Palm Beach on the board.  Trosclair was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.  An RBI single by Johan Mieses in the seventh plated the final Cardinal run.    Evan Mendoza was 2-for-5.  Shane Billings and J.B. Woodman were both 2-for-4.

Starter Austin Warner lost his first game of the season.  Warner pitched five innings, giving up four runs on eight hits while fanning three and walking none.  Jesus Cruz and Colton Thomson combined for the final three scoreless innings of relief.

On the base paths, Jose Godoy stole his first base of the season in one attempt.  In the field, Woodman made a fielding error and Thomson picked a runner off first base.

The Cardinals are 9–6 on the season and are tied for third place in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:  at Charlotte, Ian Oxnevad (1-1, 2.53) 5:05 CT.


Peoria 6, Wisconsin 2

Yariel Gonzalez (State College Spikes)

The Class-A Chiefs topped the Timber Rattlers at home on Friday.  Starter Johan Oveido won his first game of the season, pitching six scoreless innings and allowing only three hits.  The righty fanned eight and walked five.  Kodi Whitley followed with 1 1/3 innings of relief, surrendering two runs on four hits.  Cory Malcom and Bryan Dobzanski combined for the final 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

The long ball featured prominently in the win.  Yariel Gonzalez had a first inning two-run blast.  In the second, Dylan Carlson (solo) and Edwin Figuera (two-run) also went deep. Gonzalez contributed an RBI single in the second to round out the four-run inning.  Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with three RBI.

Nick Plummer stole his first base of the season in three attempts, while Jonatan Machado stole his first base in two attempts.  Third baseman Elehuris Montero was charged with a throwing error.

The Chiefs are 6-6 on the season and in fifth place in the Midwest League Western Division.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Wisconsin, Evan Guillory (0-1, 3.18) 6:30 CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Memphis Welcomes Back Another Big Bat

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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. Annual members may purchase our new 193-page 2018 Prospect Guide for less than half price. Our limited edition printed edition is sold out.

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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of April 9 – 15

photo: Jose Martinez (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

In this week’s St. Louis Cardinals news, the club pulled to two games over .500 by sweeping a four-game set in Cincinnati. Jose Martinez led the offense. In our history feature, a trail-blazing Cardinals pitcher, William Greason, is remembered.

Game Recaps

Monday, April 9 – Cardinals 4, Brewers 5 (10 innings)

Greg Holland (St. Louis Cardinals)

The St. Louis Cardinals took on the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium, and in the first of a three game series, the visitors took the victory in extra innings.  Starter Miles Mikolas pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on eight hits.  The right hander struck out five and walked none.  Tyler Lyons finished the seventh without damage.  Sam Tuivailala pitched two scoreless innings.  Greg Holland, in his first appearance in the same day he joined the roster, had a tough outing.  Holland walked four straight batters in the 10th to force in the winning run for the Brewers.  With one out in the 10th, Bud Norris relieved Holland and completed the inning.  Holland took the loss.

The Cardinals got on the board in the third inning, scoring three runs to take a one-run lead.  Dexter Fowler’s single plated one, and a single by Marcell Ozuna brought two more runs home.  Though the Brewers retook the lead, the Cardinals tied it up in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings.  Fowler’s sac fly drove in the tying run.   Fowler went 2-for-4 overall, as did Paul DeJong.  Ozuna was 2-for-5.

Fowler made a fielding error.

Tuesday April 10 – Cardinals 5, Brewers 3 (11 innings)

Matt Carpenter (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

In the second game of the series, the contest went to extra innings again, but this time the Cardinals prevailed.  A two-run home run off the bat of Matt Carpenter in the bottom of the 11th brought the victory to the Redbirds.   Carpenter went 2-for-4 with the two RBI and two runs scored.

The Cardinals’ first run came on a bases loaded walk to Yairo Munoz in the sixth.  The run that sent the game into extra innings scored on a wild pitch in the ninth.  In the top of the 10th, the Brewers retook the one-run lead, but the Cardinals came back in the bottom frame and tied it again on Greg Garcia’s RBI single.  Garcia had entered the game late to replace the pitcher and went 2-for-2.

Starter Carlos Martinez pitched six innings, giving up one run on six hits while fanning four and walking two.   Jordan Hicks followed with two scoreless innings of relief.  Bud Norris pitched the ninth and surrendered one run.  Matt Bowman also surrendered a run in the 10th.  Dominic Leone came in for the 11th and shut it down with a scoreless outing to earn the win.

Dexter Fowler stole his first base of the season.

Wednesday, April 11 – Cardinals 2, Brewers 3

Adam Wainwright (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Cardinals were edged by the Brewers in the rubber game of the series at Busch Stadium.  Adam Wainwright suffered his second loss of the short season, though he did not pitch badly.  The veteran righty went seven innings and gave up three runs on eight hits.  Wainwright struck out four and issued no free passes.  The long ball did him in, as he gave up two solo shots.  Tyler Lyons pitched a scoreless eighth, and Greg Holland redeemed himself with a run-free ninth.

The Cardinals offense was meager.  The first run didn’t score until the sixth inning via a ground out by Matt Carpenter.  The other run came in the ninth via a solo home run by Tommy Pham, a shot which was not initially called a home run but was overturned on umpire review.

Pham went 2-for-4 and was caught stealing for the second time this season.

Thursday, April 12 – Cardinals 13 at Reds 4

Jose Martinez (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals made their first trip to Cincinnati for the season and took out their Brewers frustration on the Reds.  In the first of the four game series, the Redbirds pounded Reds pitching with 13 runs.

In the first inning, Jose Martinez singled on a ground ball to right field to plate Dexter Fowler.  Yadier Molina followed with his own RBI single.  Marcell Ozuna hit a solo shot to center field in the third inning.  In the fifth, Martinez drew a bases loaded walk, and Paul DeJong homered in the sixth.  Martinez continued his dominance with the bat in the seventh with a solo home run, and Molina hit a solo shot immediately following for back to back long balls.  Fowler then drew a bases loaded walk, Tommy Pham did the same, and Matt Carpenter plated a run on a sac fly.  Martinez came around to bat for the second time in the seventh inning and doubled to score two to complete the seven-run inning.  Martinez wasn’t done, however. In the ninth, he hit a second double to drive in his sixth run of the game.  It was the Jose Martinez show from start to finish.  Martinez went 4-for-5 with six RBI.  Fowler was 2-for-5 with three runs scored, Pham was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and Molina was 2-for-5.

Michael Wacha received the benefit of all the offense.  The right hander pitched five innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on five hits.  Wacha struck out five and walked three to earn the win.  John Brebbia tossed a scoreless sixth, and Mike Mayers finished with three scoreless innings.

Ozuna made a fielding error.

Friday, April 13 – Cardinals 5 at Reds 3

Luke Weaver (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals took their winning ways into Game 2, though it was not a blowout.  Luke Weaver earned his second win of the season, pitching six innings and giving up two runs on four hits.  The righty fanned seven and walked one.   Matt Bowman tossed a scoreless seventh.  Tyler Lyons and Dominic Leone combined in the eighth, with Lyons surrendering one run.  Bud Norris pitched a run-free ninth to earn his second save.

Yadier Molina hit his second home run of the series, and his fifth on the short season in the second inning.  It was a solo shot, as was Dexter Fowler’s home run in the sixth.  Also in the sixth, Marcell Ozuna plated Tommy Pham on a single, then Molina drove in two on a single.  Fowler and Ozuna were both 2-for-5.  Pham, Molina, and Jose Martinez were each 2-for-4.

On the base paths, Pham stole his third base of the season.  Martinez was caught stealing for the first time in the season.  In the field, Leone picked Joey Votto off first base.

Saturday, April 14 – Cardinals 6 at Reds 1

Greg Garcia (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals guaranteed the series win with a victory in Game 3.  Greg Garcia stole the show with two home runs, a solo shot in the second, and a two-run shot in the fourth.  Garcia ended with a 3-for-4 outing, with three RBI and three runs scored.  Marcell Ozuna plated a run on a sac fly in the first, Jose Martinez doubled in a run in the fifth, and Tommy Pham doubled in the final run in the sixth. Pham went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Starter Miles Mikolas pitched seven innings, giving up one run on four hits.  The right hander struck out four and walked two to earn his second win of the season.  Greg Holland and Jordan Hicks each contributed a scoreless inning of relief.

Pham stole fourth and fifth bases of the season, both second and third bases.  Harrison Bader stole his first base of the season.

Sunday, April 15 – Cardinals 3 at Reds 2

Carlos Martinez (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals completed the sweep of the Reds, winning a one-run nail biter on Sunday after a long rain delay.  Carlos Martinez made the start and struck out 11 Reds to earn his second win of the season.  The right hander pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing only two hits. Martinez did walk four for his only blemish in the outing.  Tyler Lyons and Bud Norris each gave up a solo home run in one inning of relief each.   Norris earned his third save.

St. Louis’ offense consisted of a two run home run in the second inning off the bat of Harrison Bader.  It was Bader’s first home run of the season.  Yadier Molina’s single in the seventh brought home the final run, though Molina was thrown out trying to stretch the hit to a double.  Molina went 2-for-3 in the game.

On the base paths, Bader and Tommy Pham were both caught stealing, Bader for the first time and Pham for the third time.  In the field, Carlos Martinez made an error on a pickoff attempt and Kolten Wong and Greg Garcia committed throwing errors.

Big Picture

Bud Norris (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals began the week with a couple of poor home games against the Brewers.  Two of the three went into extra innings, and all three were a battle for both the offense and the pitching.  Starters had so-so outings, and the bullpen was hit and miss.  Defense and base running were adequate, with one error and one caught stealing among the three games against the Brewers.

Paul DeJong continues with high strikeout totals but did hit some in both series.  Kolten Wong still isn’t hitting, but has been getting on base with walks.  The offense broke out in the Reds series and the pitching also improved.  The closer situation is murky at best; Bud Norris has been getting most of the closing situations, as Greg Holland’s initial appearance in the ninth resulted in four walks, and the manager has been hesitant to use him again in that role for the present.  There were more defensive errors and base running stumbles in the Reds series.

Whether the offense has truly made a breakthrough will be tested in the next series in Chicago.  The bats beat up on the weak Reds team, but the Cubs will not be so easy.  The same goes for the pitching.

The Cardinals will get to meet the Reds again in St. Louis at the end of the week.

The past week ended with a record of 5-2, bolstered by sweeping the Reds.  The Cardinals finish the week in second place in the division with a record of 9-7, 2.5 games behind the surprising Pirates.

NL Central Standings
                                     W             L               %                 GB
Pittsburgh                11             4            .733                –
St. Louis                       9               7            .563               2.5
Milwaukee                 8               8            .500               3.5
Chicago                        7              7            .500                3.5
Cincinnati                   2              13          .133                  9

Who’s Hot

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

  • Greg Garcia has an OPS of 1.577.  He has two HRs, two doubles, and four RBI.
  • Jose Martinez has an OPS of 1.152.  He has one HR, three doubles, and seven RBI.
  • Tommy Pham has an OPS of 1.099. He has one HR, one double, and three RBI.
  • Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 1.33.
  • Luke Weaver has an ERA of 2.19 and a WHIP of 0.73.
  • John Brebbia has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00.
  • Mike Mayers has an ERA of 2.25 and a WHIP of 1.00

Who’s Not

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

  • Yairo Munoz has an OPS of .495.
  • Harrison Bader has an OPS of .452
  • Michael Wacha has an ERA of 5.40 and a WHIP of 1.60
  • Dominic Leone has an ERA of 13.50 and a WHIP of 1.50.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

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

  • The leadoff hitter has been Dexter Fowler for five games, Greg Garcia for one game, and Tommy Pham for one game.
  • The number two hitter has been Pham for five games and Paul DeJong for two games.
  • The number three hitter has been Matt Carpenter for six games, and Jose Martinez for one game.
  • The cleanup hitter has been Marcell Ozuna.
  • The fifth hitter has been Martinez for five games, and Yadier Molina for two games.
  • The sixth hitter has been Molina for four games, Harrison Bader for two games, and Kolten Wong for one game.
  • The seventh hitter has been Paul DeJong for four games, Yairo Munoz for two games, and Bader for one game.
  • The eighth hitter has been Kolten Wong for five games, Francisco Pena for one game, and Garcia for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

  • 4/9 The Cardinals optioned RHP Mike Mayers to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 4/9 The Cardinals recalled RHP Greg Holland from the Palm Beach Cardinals.
  • 4/11 The Cardinals made a roster status change for C Yadier Molina (one game suspension).
  • 4/12 The Cardinals placed RHP Sam Tuivailala on the 10 day disabled list retroactive to April 10, 2018.  Left knee strain.
  • 4/12 The Cardinals activated C Yadier Molina from suspension.
  • 4/12 The Cardinals recalled RHP Mike Mayers from the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

Sam Tuivailala (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

RHP Sam Tuivailala was placed on the 10 day DL with a left knee strain.  The placement was retroactive to April 10.  An MRI was scheduled on Thursday.   No timetable for his return has been announced.

LHP Ryan Sherriff remains on the 10 day DL with a fractured right toe.   The pitcher is not expected to miss a lot of time and may return to Memphis rather than to the big league roster.

3B Jedd Gyorko (right hamstring strain) is nearing a return.  A short rehab assignment is possible, but Gyorko could be activated sooner.

RHP Luke Gregerson is also nearing a return.  Gregerson has been rehabbing in Palm Beach and his activation could occur during the series in Chicago.

LHP Brett Cecil (left shoulder strain, right foot tendinitis) remains on the DL.  No timetable for his return has been announced, and it is expected he will remain on the DL for a couple of weeks.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals meet the Cubs for the first head-to-head series of 2018 beginning Monday in Chicago.  Adam Wainwright is scheduled to make the start in the first game of the three game series.  Michael Wacha will start on Tuesday, and Luke Weaver on Wednesday.

St. Louis will have an off day Thursday.  The Cardinals return home to play the Reds again in a weekend series.  No pitchers have been announced for that series, but they will likely be Miles Mikolas, Carlos Martinez, and Wainwright.

After another off day the following Monday, the Mets will come to St. Louis for three.  Following that series the Cardinals travel to Pittsburgh to meet the Pirates for their first series of the season beginning on Friday.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

Last season I wrote about Jackie Robinson and the annual celebration on April 15 of his debut as a major leaguer, and first African American in the major leagues on that day in 1947.  I also discussed the Cardinals’ first African American player, Tom Alston.

This season, I am commemorating that historic day by sharing a little history about another African American player who played for the Cardinals.  When fans think of African American pitchers for the Cardinals, most fans thoughts turn to Bob Gibson, who perhaps was the Cardinals’ best pitcher ever, as well as being African American.  But Gibson was not the first African American to pitch for the Cardinals.

The first was a man named William Greason, born September 3, 1924 in Atlanta, GA.  In World War II, the Marine served in an all-African American unit in the Pacific Theater.

The right handed pitcher made his major league debut on May 31, 1954 for St. Louis.  Greason’s major league baseball career was short lived, as he only appeared in three games for the Cardinals, starting in two and relieving in the other.  Greason did not fare well in his two starts but pitched a scoreless inning in his final appearance.  He spent the remainder of his baseball career in the upper levels of the minors, finally retiring from baseball after the 1959 season.

Prior to joining the Cardinals, Greason pitched in the Negro Leagues, beginning in 1947.  He began with the Nashville Black Vols, and then played with the Asheville Blues, and the Birmingham Black Barons.

After retiring from baseball, Greason became a Baptist minister in the Bethel Baptist Church of Birmingham, Alabama, where he has served as a minister for 30 years.  In 2011, he was presented with a lifetime achievement award at the Alabama Black Achievement Awards Gala.  Greason is 93 years old as of this writing.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Cardinals Middle Infielders Mashing Early

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: April 15, 2018

photo: Conner Greene (Scott Rovak/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 3-1 on Saturday and Peoria’s game was postponed due to rain. Our Player of the Day is Springfield right-hander Conner Greene, who pitched eight scoreless, one hit innings, striking out eight and walking one in Springfield’s Game 1 win over Midland.

Results for games played Saturday, April 14.


Memphis 3, Iowa 1

The Memphis Redbirds won their ninth game of the season, defeating the Iowa Cubs at AutoZone Park on Saturday night.  Starter Daniel Poncedeleon pitched five innings, giving up one run on five hits.  The right hander fanned a career-high 12 and walked two to earn his first win of the season.  Kevin Herget pitched two scoreless innings before Derian Gonzalez and Preston Guilmet each added a scoreless frame. Guilmet earned his third save.

In the low scoring contest, Memphis didn’t bring home a run until the fifth inning, when they scored twice.  Patrick Wisdom singled to lead off, and Oscar Mercado also singled.  A throwing error moved them up 90 feet.   Alex Mejia pinch hit for Poncedeleon and reached on a throwing error by the Cubs second baseman as Wisdom and Mercado both scored.  Randy Arozarena’s single plated a run in the seventh.   Mercado was 3-for-4 with two runs scored.  Rangel Ravelo was 2-for-4.

The Redbirds were busy on the basepaths.  Mercado stole two bases on three attempts for the season.  Arozarena also swiped two bags, second and third, on four tries this season.  Max Schrock stole his fourth base in four attempts.

The Redbirds are 9-1 on the season and are in first place in the PCL American Southern Division.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Iowa, John Gant (2-0, 0.69) 2:05 CT.


Springfield 5, Midland 0 (seven innings, Game 1 DH)

The Double-A Cardinals won the first game of a twin bill against Midland at Hammons Field on Saturday.  All of the runs came in the second inning. It began with a Darren Seferina single, then a steal of second base, which resulted in a throwing error that advanced him to third.  Victor Roache singled to score Seferina with the first run.  Granden Goetzman plated Roache on a single, then Thomas Spitz doubled to score Roache.  Tommy Edman hit a solo home run to right center field for the fifth and final run.  Roache and Goetzman were both 2-for-3. Seferina’s stolen base was his first of the season in his first attempt.

Player of the Day Conner Greene pitched eight scoreless innings, allowing only one hit.  The right hander retired his final 16 batters and in total, fanned eight and walked one to earn his first win in the Cardinals organization.  Landon Beck tossed a scoreless ninth.


Springfield 3, Midland 4 (seven innings, Game 2 DH)

Lane Thomas (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Springfield dropped the second game of the doubleheader to the visiting RockHounds.  Starter Sam Tewes pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits while striking out two and walking two.  The right-hander was tagged with the loss, his second.  Reliever Brady Bowen surrendered one run in his two innings of work.  Chris Ellis got the last out of the seventh.

Springfield scored all three of its runs in sixth inning.  Tommy Edman drew a walk before Lane Thomas hit a two run blast to left center field.  John Nogowski and Chris Chinea each walked and Victor Roache singled to plate Nogowski.  No Cardinals batter had multiple hits.

The Cardinals are 3-6 on the season and are in third place, 2.5 game back of first in the Texas League North.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Frisco, Connor Jones (1-0, 5.40), 4:10 CT


Palm Beach 6, Florida 5 (10 innings)

Will Latcham (State College Spikes)

The high-A Cardinals edged the Fire Frogs in another extra inning game on Saturday behind solid bullpen work.  Starter Austin Warner only went three innings, giving up five runs on eight hits.  The left hander struck out one and walked none.  Colton Thomson followed with three scoreless innings of relief.  Yeison Medina and Will Latcham combined for the final three run-free innings, with Latcham earning the win.

The Cardinals didn’t put any runs on the board until the sixth inning.  Stefan Trosclair’s double plated two, and Andy Young followed with a two run home run to left.  Palm Beach tied the score in the bottom of the ninth on Jose Godoy’s RBI single.  In the bottom of the 10th, the winning run came home on a wild pitch.   Only Godoy had multiple hits, as he went 2-for-4.

On the basepaths, Shane Billings was picked off and caught stealing for the second time in two attempts.

The Cardinals are 7-3 on the season and in second place in the FSL South.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Florida, Evan Kruczynski (0-0, 4.50) 12:00 pm CT.


Peoria vs. Wisconsin – Postponed

Saturday’s contest was postponed due to rain in Peoria.  The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Sunday.

Sunday’s games:  vs. Burlington (DH), Evan Guillory (0-0, 0.00) and Alvaro Seijas (0-1, 5.40), noon CT.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: April 14, 2018

photo: Mike O’Reilly (Allison Rhoades/Peoria Chiefs)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 3-0 on Friday as Springfield’s home game was postponed. Our Player of the Day is Palm Beach starting pitcher Mike O’Reilly, who pitched seven scoreless innings of three hit ball, striking out nine and walking none.

Results for games played Friday, April 13.


Memphis 9, Iowa 3

Randy Arozarena (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds defeated the Cubs in Memphis on Friday night. Starter Jack Flaherty pitched six innings, giving up three runs on five hits while fanning five and walking two.  Sean Gilmartin pitched a scoreless inning of relief, and Andrew Morales followed with two more. Flaherty earned his second win of the season.

The prolific Redbirds offense scored nine runs on 13 hits.  After immediately falling behind 2-0, Memphis put one run on the board in the home first on Tyler O’Neill’s sac fly.  The Redbirds tied the score with a two run third inning on back to back doubles by Rangel Ravelo and Adolis Garcia.  Memphis added a run in the fourth on Randy Arozarena’s sac fly, then added three in the fifth on a Ravelo ground out and a two run home run off the bat of Patrick Wisdom.  In the sixth, Max Schrock’s single and an O’Neill sac fly plated two.  Arozarena was 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored. Schrock was 2-for-5 with an RBI, O’Neill was 2-for-2 with a triple, walk, two driven in and two runs scored, and Garcia was 2-for-4 with an RBI.

On the basepaths, Garcia stole his fourth base of the season. In the field, Wisdom made a throwing error and Carson Kelly had a passed ball.

The Redbirds are 8-1 on the season and in first place in the PCL American Southern Division.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Iowa, Daniel Poncedeleon (0-0, 0.00) 6:35 CT.


Springfield vs. Midland – Postponed

Friday’s game against Midland was postponed due to rain in Springfield.  It will be made up on Saturday as part of a doubleheader.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Midland, Conner Greene (0-1, 16.20) 11:10 am CT. (Game 1), Sam Tewes (0-1, 9.82) (Game 2)


Palm Beach 1, Florida 0 (10 innings)

Mike O’Reilly (The Cardinal Nation)

The Cardinals edged the visiting Fire Frogs in extra innings on Friday night, on the strength of excellent pitching.  Starter Mike O’Reilly tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing only three hits while fanning nine and walking none.  Pitching in consecutive games, a condition to return to St. Louis, was reliever Luke Gregerson. Rehabbing a hamstring injury, the right-hander added a scoreless eighth inning on two hits and two strikeouts.  Jason Zgardowski and Ian McKinney each contributed a scoreless frame, with McKinney earning the win, his first.

Per minor league rules, extra innings begin with a runner on second base, and the Cardinals runner on second for the home 10th was Andy Young.  J.B. Woodman bunted Young to second base and Woodman was safe at first.  Jose Godoy was intentionally walked to load the bases.   Kramer Robertson grounded into a force out and Young was thrown out at home, but a subsequent throwing error by the Florida catcher while attempting a double play at first allowed Woodman to score the walk off run.  The Cardinals offense had just five hits, all singles.  Evan Mendoza was 2-for-4.

On the basepaths, Shane Billings was caught stealing for the first time in his first attempt.  Ryan McCarvel was picked off first base.  Johan Mieses had two outfield assists, one at third base, and one at home.

The Cardinals are 6-3 on the season and sit in third place in the FSL South, one game back of first place.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Florida, Ian Oxnevad (1-0, 1.80) 4:30 CT.


Peoria 6, Wisconsin 5

Juan Yepez (Peoria Chiefs)

The Chiefs broke their five-game losing skid by topping the Timber Rattlers with a one run win on Friday night.  Six runs in three innings by Peoria’s offense helped the team secure the edge.  In the second inning, consecutive singles from Juan Yepez, Dylan Carlson, and Bryce Denton got the Chiefs on the board, with Denton getting the RBI.  In the third, Yepez’ grand slam gave Peoria the one run lead.  An insurance run came in the fourth on a bases loaded hit by pitch of Elehuris Montero.  The run was very much needed, as Wisconsin brought the lead back down to one run with a score in the top of the ninth.  Montero went 2-for-3.  Yepez, Carlson, Denton, and Edwin Figuera were each 2-for-4.

Starter Johan Oveido pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on six hits.  The right hander struck out four and walked two. Zach Prendergast added two scoreless innings of relief.  Cory Malcom tossed the final 2 1/3 innings, surrendering one run, but earning the save, his first.  Prendergast was the winning pitcher.

Carlson stole his first base of the season in his first attempt.  Figuera was caught stealing for the first time.  Montero made a throwing error, and catcher Dennis Ortega picked a runner off second base.

The Chiefs are 2-5 on the season and in last place in the Midwest League Western Division.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Wisconsin, Evan Guillory (0-1, 3.18) 6:30 CT.


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of April 2-8

photo: Carlos Martinez (Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports Images)

In this week’s St. Louis Cardinals news, the team finished its first road series at .500, but lost its home opener as well as the initial series of 2018 at Busch Stadium. Carlos Martinez bounced back with an excellent start. In our history feature, the 1933 Cardinals team, led by Hall of Famers Dizzy Dean and Ducky Medwick, is remembered.

Game Recaps

Monday, April 2 – Cardinals 8 at Brewers 4

Paul DeJong (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

In the first of a three game series in Milwaukee, the Cardinals topped the Brewers.  Starter Miles Mikolas went 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits.  The right hander fanned five and walked none, but the start was marred by three home runs allowed.  Bud Norris, Tyler Lyons and Jordan Hicks each pitched a scoreless inning.  Mikolas was the winning pitcher.

Mikolas also contributed at the plate, as his two run home run in the fifth inning broke a 2-2 tie.   Paul DeJong blasted a three run shot in the sixth.  DeJong went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.  Jedd Gyorko doubled in a run and was 2-for-2 with two runs scored.  Other runs scored on Dexter Fowler’s single and a sac fly by Jose Martinez.  Matt Carpenter went 2-for-4.

On the basepaths, Dexter Fowler and Tommy Pham were both caught stealing for the first time.   Mikolas committed a missed catch error.

Tuesday, April 3 – Cardinals 4 at Brewers 5

Jack Flaherty (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The second game of the series didn’t go as well for the Redbirds.   St. Louis went ahead early and received a strong start, but a faltering bullpen at the end spelled doom.  Dexter Fowler and Tommy Pham, batting leadoff and second, respectively, hit back to back solo home runs to begin game.  In the third inning, Marcell Ozuna added a two run blast.  The offense failed to add on, however.  Fowler was 2-for-5. Pham was 3-for-5 with two runs scored.  Jose Martinez went 3-for-4.

Jack Flaherty started on the mound for the Redbirds, pitching five innings and giving up one run on six hits.  The young righty fanned nine Brewers and walked one.  Ryan Sherriff and Matt Bowman combined for two scoreless innings of relief.

Tyler Lyons in the eighth and Dominic Leone in the ninth surrendered the runs to give Milwaukee the victory.  Both relievers allowed two runs on three hits.  Leone gave up back to back home runs to Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun to end the game in a walkoff.  It was the first time in MLB history that a game began with back to back home runs and ended with back to back home runs.  Leone was charged with the blown save and the loss.

Tommy Pham stole his second base of the season, while Yadier Molina stole his first.  Pham also had an outfield assist, throwing a runner out at home.

Wednesday, April 4 – Cardinals 6 at Brewers 0

Carlos Martinez (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals redeemed themselves by shutting out the Brewers in the rubber game to take the road series.  Carlos Martinez pitched brilliantly, falling two outs short of a complete game shutout.  The right hander pitched 8 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing only four hits while striking out 10 and walking two. Sam Tuivailala was unable to get the final two outs, but Bud Norris finished the inning without incident.  Martinez earned his first win of the season.

The Redbirds got on the board in the first inning on an RBI ground out by Tommy Pham.  In the third, Carpenter followed suit with an RBI ground out, and Marcell plated a run on a single.  Yadier Molina’s solo home run in the fourth put run number four on the board.  Molina then plated a run on a sac fly in the sixth and Kolten Wong added an RBI single.  Ozuna and Paul DeJong each went 2-for-4.

Yairo Munoz made a fielding error, a ninth-inning miscue that likely cost Martinez his complete game.

Thursday, April 5 – Cardinals 1, Diamondbacks 3

The Cardinals absorbed a loss to the Diamondbacks in the home opener at Busch Stadium on Thursday.  St. Louis’ offense was meager at best, with only one run on two hits.   The sole run scored on a double by Yadier Molina.  The only other hit was a single by Marcell Ozuna.

Adam Wainwright was activated off the disabled list to make the start, and it wasn’t a good outing for the veteran right hander.  Wainwright pitched only 3 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on four hits, while fanning three and walking four.  Wainwright’s early exit brought in Matt Bowman, who tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Ryan Sherriff followed with 2/3 clean innings.  Dominic Leone, Tyler Lyons, and Jordan Hicks combined for the final 3 1/3 scoreless.  Wainwright took the loss, his first of the season.

Paul DeJong committed a throwing error and struck out in all four at-bats.

Friday, April 6 – Off day

Saturday, April 7 – Cardinals 5, Diamondbacks 3

Jose Martinez (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Following the Friday off day, St. Louis entertained Arizona for the second game of the series and came out victorious.  Michael Wacha made the start, and the right hander pitched five innings, giving up two runs on four hits.  Wacha struck out five and walked five.  Dominic Leone and Matt Bowman each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.  Jordan Hicks followed in the eighth and allowed one unearned run.  Bud Norris tossed a scoreless ninth, striking out the side.  Wacha earned his first win and Norris his first save.

Jose Martinez got the scoring started early with an RBI single in the first inning.  Martinez contributed a three run home run in the third inning, before Matt Carpenter plated a run on a sac fly.  Martinez was 2-for-4 with four RBI.  Marcell Ozuna went 3-for-4.

Carpenter made a throwing error.

Sunday, April 8 – Cardinals 1, Diamondbacks 4

Luke Weaver (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals dropped the rubber game of the home opening series on Sunday.  St. Louis’ offense was scarce, with the lone score via an RBI single by Kolten Wong.  The Redbirds had only five hits, all singles.  Wong went 2-for-3 as the only Cardinal with multiple hits.

Luke Weaver had a strong start but was not rewarded.  The second-year righty pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up only one run on three hits while fanning seven and walking one.  Tyler Lyons pitched to one hitter in the seventh and struck him out.  Bowman relieved, walked his first hitter and yielded the single that scored the run charged to Weaver.  Bowman induced a ground out on his third batter to end the inning.

Dominic Leone started the eighth and surrendered a two run home run to break the tie and put the visitors in the lead.  With no outs, Leone was replaced by Mike Mayers, who hadn’t pitched in over a week.  Mayers got the first two hitters out, but the third hitter launched a solo home run to cement the lead for Arizona.  In his first game back, John Brebbia tossed a scoreless ninth.

Tommy Pham was picked off first base, and Dexter Fowler had an outfield assist.

An unfortunate incident occurred in the second inning.  A.J. Pollock was called out on strikes, and was unhappy with the strike call.  Arizona manager Torey Lovullo came out and argued with the home plate umpire. Arguing balls and strikes requires an ejection, which occurred, but not before he was captured on the field microphone directing profanity at Yadier Molina.  Molina took offense and made a move toward Lovullo.  The umpire got between them and a benches-clearing scuffle ensued.  Molina remained in the game, as did Pollock.  Things calmed down and the game resumed without further incident.

Big Picture

The Cardinals began the week by taking two out of three games from the Brewers to finish the season-opening road trip at 3-3. However, to close the period, the Cardinals lost two of three at home to the Diamondbacks.  The 3-3 week for the Redbirds has them in fourth place in the NL Central.

Starting pitching was hit and miss, as was the bullpen and the offense.  Good outings on the mound were provided Carlos Martinez and Luke Weaver, yet only one win followed.  Miles Mikolas and Michael Wacha had so-so starts while Adam Wainwright’s first start was poor.  The bullpen was both good and bad at times.  The introduction of newly signed Greg Holland and the return of Luke Gregerson this week will hopefully strengthen the relief corps.

On offense, it was the same, both good and bad.  Paul DeJong started strongly, but ended weak, going 0-for-11 with eight strikeouts and an error in the Arizona series.  While Dexter Fowler went hitless in his first 13 at-bats, he has picked it up lately.  Jose Martinez cooled a bit, while the sluggish Kolten Wong showed signs of life in Sunday’s game. Marcell Ozuna is working on a seven-game hitting streak.

The Cardinals will see the Brewers again at home in the beginning of the week, and travel to the last place Reds over the weekend. Finishing strongly against the cellar-dweller would go a long way toward picking the Cardinals up.

NL Central Standings

W L % GB
Pittsburgh 7 2 0.778
Chicago Cubs 5 4 0.556 2
Milwaukee 5 5 0.500 2.5
St. Louis 4 5 0.444 3
Cincinnati 2 6 0.250 4.5

Who’s Hot

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

Jedd Gyorko has an OPS of 1.514 in seven plate appearances.  He has one double and one RBI.
Paul DeJong has an OPS of 1.189.  He has three HRs and five RBI.
Marcell Ozuna has an OPS of 1.000.  He has one HR, one double, and five RBI.
Tommy Pham has an OPS of .913.  He has one HR, two doubles, and two RBI.
Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.72.
Bud Norris has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.38.
Matt Bowman has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.64.
Jordan Hicks has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.92.
Ryan Sherriff has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.86.
Sam Tuivailala 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 games):
Kolten Wong has an OPS of .167.
Yairo Munoz has an OPS of .286.
Matt Carpenter has an OPS of .576.
Adam Wainwright has an ERA of 7.36 and a WHIP of 2.18.
Miles Mikolas has an ERA of 6.35 and a WHIP of 1.24.
Tyler Lyons has an ERA of 7.71 and a WHIP of 1.71.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last six games (does not contain recent Sunday game):
The leadoff hitter has been Dexter Fowler.
The number two hitter has been Tommy Pham.
The number three hitter has been Matt Carpenter.
The cleanup hitter has been Marcell Ozuna.
The fifth hitter has been Jose Martinez.
The sixth hitter has been Yadier Molina.
The seventh hitter has been Paul DeJong.
The eighth hitter has been Kolten Wong for three games, Jedd Gyorko for two games, and Yairo Munoz for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

4/3 The Cardinals placed 3B Jedd Gyorko on the 10 day disabled list.  Right hamstring strain.
4/3 The Cardinals recalled OF Harrison Bader from the Memphis Redbirds.
4/4 The Cardinals optioned RHP Jack Flaherty to the Memphis Redbirds.
4/5 The Cardinals activated RHP Adam Wainwright from the 10 day disabled list.
4/7 The Cardinals sent RHP Luke Gregerson on rehab assignment to the Palm Beach Cardinals.
4/8 The Cardinals placed LHP Ryan Sherriff on the 10 day disabled list retroactive to April 6. Right great toe fracture.
4/8 The Cardinals recalled RHP John Brebbia from the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

LHP Brett Cecil (left shoulder strain, foot tendinitis) continues on the 10 day DL. No timetable for a return has been set, but it looks to be several weeks away.
RHP Luke Gregerson (left hamstring strain) was sent on a rehab assignment to the Palm Beach Cardinals.  Gregerson is expected to be activated to the roster sometime in the coming week.
3B Jedd Gyorko (right hamstring strain) continues on the 10 day DL.   No firm timetable for a return has been set, though he has begun to take batting practice. A rehab assignment could be a week away still.
LHP Ryan Sherriff (fractured toe) was placed on the 10 day DL retroactive to April 6 and is wearing a walking boot.  No timetable for a return has been set.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals continue the homestand with a three game set against the Brewers opening Monday.  Miles Mikolas is set to the make the Monday start, followed by Carlos Martinez on Tuesday and Adam Wainwright on Wednesday.

The Redbirds will head to Cincinnati on Thursday for a four game series with the Reds.  Starting pitchers will likely be Michael Wacha, Luke Weaver, Mikolas, and Martinez.  The Cardinals will then travel to Chicago to take on the Cubs.

St. Louis has a travel day on Thursday to return to St. Louis for a weekend series against the Reds.  After an off day the following Monday, the homestand will continue with a three game series versus the Mets at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

This week’s history segment features the 1933 St. Louis Cardinals.  The 1933 season was the 52nd season of the franchise, and the 42nd in the National League.

The Cardinals went 82-71 and finished fifth in the NL, 9.5 games back of the New York Giants.  The managers were Gabby Street for the first half of the season, and Frankie Frisch for the second half.  The GM was Branch Rickey and the owner was Sam Breadon.

The Opening Day lineup was Sparky Adams (3B), George Watkins (RF), Frankie Frisch (2B), Ripper Collins (1B), Joe Medwick (LF), Ernie Orsatti (CF), Jimmie Wilson (C), Gordon Slade (SS), and Dizzy Dean (SP).

Ducky Medwick and Dizzy Dean

The longest losing streak was four games, three times, from May 14-18, July 12-15, and August 6-9.  The longest winning streak was seven games, from May 26-June 1.  The highest winning margin was a 17-2 victory over the Reds on June 17.  The worst loss was an 11-1 defeat by the New York Giants on July 1.  Splits were 47-30 at home and 35-41 on the road.

The top starting pitcher was Dean, with a record of 20-18 and an ERA of 3.04.  The best offensive performer was Medwick, who hit .306/.337/.497, with 18 home runs and 98 RBI.

Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby was signed for his second stint with the Cardinals for the 1933 season.  He played for the Cardinals through July 22, mostly as a pinch hitter, but was placed on waivers on July 23.  He was claimed by the St. Louis Browns three days later.  The Cardinals retired his number in 1937.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Scenery Change to Benefit New Cardinal Greene

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: April 8, 2018

photo: Adolis Garcia (Scott Rovak/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 2-3 on Saturday, with Memphis and Palm Beach claiming victories. Our Player of the Day is Redbirds outfielder Adolis Garcia, who was 3-for-4, including two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored in the Pacific Coast League victory over Round Rock.

Results for games played Saturday, April 7.


Memphis 11 at Round Rock 6

With their third-straight high-scoring outburst, the Redbirds again defeated the Express on Saturday, this time, 11-6. In taking their initial series, the offense has plated 36 runs in their three games to date.

Adolis Garcia (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

For the second consecutive night, outfielder Tyler O’Neill provided the long ball.  O’Neill hit a two run shot in the fourth for his third home run of the season.  Carson Kelly’s single plated the first Memphis run in the third inning before the second came home on Alex Mejia’s ground out. Mejia later scored the final run of the inning on a balk.  In the sixth, two runs came home on a double by Adolis Garcia.  The final two innings featured an RBI single by Patrick Wisdom that plated two in the eighth, and in the ninth, Mejia scored on a wild pitch and Wilfredo Tovar drove in a run on a single.  Garcia was 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.  O’Neill was 2-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored, and Wisdom was 2-for-5 with two RBI.  Mejia and Tovar were each 2-for-4 with an RBI. Oscar Mercado was 2-for-5.

Max Schrock stole his first base of the season in his first attempt.  Garcia and Tovar both made fielding errors.

Starter Austin Gomber pitched four innings, giving up two runs on four hits.  The left hander fanned two and walked two.   Arturo Reyes followed with two innings of relief, surrendering two runs on three hits and picking up the win. Edward Mujica allowed two unearned runs in his 1 2/3 innings.  Preston Guilmet tossed the final 1 2/3 scoreless frames to earn the save.

The Redbirds are 3-0 on the season.

Sunday’s game:  at Round Rock, Jack Flaherty (0-0, 0.00) 1:05 CT.


Springfield 1 at Midland 10

The Cardinals were soundly defeated in Midland on Saturday night for their third loss in three outings.   Springfield managed only one run, a second inning solo home run by Chris Chinea.  There were only four Cardinals hits, with the only other extra base hit a double by Lane Thomas.  Luke Dykstra and Jeremy Martinez singled.

Chris Chinea (Peoria Chiefs)

Starter Conner Greene lasted only 1 2/3 innings in his Cardinals debut, giving up three runs on three hits. Greene struck out two and walked two.  Tyler Bray followed with 1 2/3 innings, surrendering four runs, two earned, on three hits.  Jacob Evans allowed three unearned runs in his 1 2/3 innings pitched.  Estarlin Arias added two scoreless innings, and Brady Bowen pitched a scoreless eighth.  Greene took the loss.

Dykstra made a throwing error. Darren Seferina committed two fielding miscues at third base and is still looking for his first hit of the season after 13 at-bats.

The Cardinals are 0-3 to start their 2018 Texas League campaign.

Sunday’s game:  at Frisco, Sam Tewes (0-0, 0.00) 4:05 CT


Palm Beach 7 at Jupiter 3

Mike O’Reilly (The Cardinal Nation)

In this Roger Dean matchup, the Cardinals defeated the Hammerheads by the same score as the night before.  Recently signed St. Louis relief pitcher Greg Holland took the mound in the first.  Holland is preparing to make his debut on the St. Louis roster on Monday.  The right hander pitched an inning, giving up one run on two hits, while striking out one and walking none.  Luke Gregerson, rehabbing a hamstring injury, pitched the second inning in scoreless fashion.  Following was regular starter Mike O’Reilly, who tossed 4 2/3 innings, surrendering one run on three hits.  O’Reilly was the winning pitcher.  Yeison Medina tossed 1 1/3 innings and allowed the third and final Jupiter score.  Jesus Cruz and Jason Zgardowski combined for a scoreless ninth, with Zgardowski earning the save.

Offense was provided in part by home runs from Chase Pinder and Stefan Trosclair.  Pinder blasted a two run shot in the sixth inning, while Trosclair added a solo blast in the ninth.  Shane Billings’ single brought the first run home in the second inning.  In the eighth, Evan Mendoza plated a run on a double.  In the ninth, following the solo home run, Jose Godoy’s single brought in the final Cardinals score.  Kramer Robertson was 3-for-5 and Billings was 3-for-4.

The Cardinals are 2-1 on the early season.

Sunday’s game:  at Jupiter, Austin Warner (0-0, 0.00) 12:00 CT.


Peoria 3, Burlington 9

In Peoria’s Saturday home opener, the Burlington Bees played spoiler, defeating the Chiefs 9-3.  The game got out of hand before all the fans were even in their seats.

Nick Plummer (Paul Ivice/The Cardinal Nation)

Johan Oveido made an early exit, replaced by Kevin Hamann with only one out and having given up five runs.  Oveido walked the first five hitters for two runs, then Hamann walked in the third run, which was charged to the starter.  A single plated the final two of Oveido’s five runs.  Hamann allowed two more scores of his own before getting the final two outs of the inning.  Hamann returned to pitch a scoreless second inning, but surrendered two additional runs in the third before being replaced with two outs in the inning by Bryan Dobzanski, who got the final out of the inning.  Dobzanski tossed two additional scoreless innings. John Kilichowski followed with three scoreless frames, and Cory Malcolm tossed a scoreless ninth.  Oveido took the loss.

The home team got on the board in the second inning on leadoff man Nick Plummer’s RBI double.  The Chiefs didn’t score again until the eighth, when a run came home on a passed ball with Plummer at the plate.  In the ninth, the third and final run scored on a wild pitch.  The Chiefs had eight hits, two of the extra base variety, doubles by Plummer and Juan Yepez.  Yepez went 2-for-3 and stole his first base of the season.  Taylor Bryant was 2-for-5.

Shortstop Rayder Ascanio committed a throwing error.

The Chiefs are 1-1 on the season.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Burlington, Evan Guillory (0-0, 0.00) 5:00 CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Scenery Change to Benefit New Cardinal Greene

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. Annual members may purchase our new 193-page 2018 Prospect Guide for less than half price. Our limited edition printed edition is sold out.

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: April 7, 2018

photo: Tyler O’Neill (Memphis Redbirds)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 2-1 on Friday.  Peoria’s game was cancelled due to cold weather. Our Player of the Day is Memphis outfielder Tyler O’Neill, who was 3-for-6 with two home runs, five RBI, and three runs scored in the Redbirds win at Round Rock.

Results for games played Friday, April 6.


Memphis 17 at Round Rock 4

Tyler O’Neill (Memphis Redbirds)

The Redbirds gave Round Rock a drubbing on Friday night with a 12-run seventh inning that put the game out of reach.  Dakota Hudson was the winning pitcher after throwing 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits while striking out one and walking two.  Kevin Herget and Sean Gilmartin followed with 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Andrew Morales pitched the ninth, surrendering an additional run on two hits.

Memphis got on the board with two runs in the third inning on Tyler O’Neill’s two run shot over the left center field fence.  An RBI single by Randy Arozarena added a third run in the fourth.  O’Neill then blasted his second two run home run in the fifth inning.  In the huge seventh, Wilfredo Tovar began the scoring for Memphis with an RBI single.  Two scored on two consecutive wild pitches.  An Arozarena ground out and a Max Schrock single plated two more scores.  O’Neill then doubled home a run, and Patrick Wisdom doubled home two more. Adolis Garcia added an RBI single, and Wisdom scored on a throwing error.  The final run of the inning came home on Arozarena’s single.

Arozarena went 2-for-6 with three RBI.  Schrock was 4-for-6 with one driven in and three runs scored.  O’Neill was 3-for-6 with two home runs, five RBI and three runs scored.  Wisdom was 2-for-5 with two driven in and two runs scored, while Adolis Garcia was 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Garcia had an outfield assist.

The Redbirds are 2-0 on the season.

Saturday’s game:  at Round Rock, Austin Gomber (0-0,0.00) 6:05 CT.


Springfield 3 at Midland 6

Lane Thomas (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Cardinals fell to the RockHounds in Midland on Friday night.  Springfield put two on the board in the third inning and one more in the fourth, but that was all the scoring by the Cardinals.  The fourth inning run came on a solo home run by Lane Thomas, his first at Double-A.  Tommy Edman’s ground out and John Nogowski’s single plated the first two runs in the third.  Edman went 2-for-4, as did Thomas Spitz.

Starter Ryan Helsley pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up six runs, five earned, on six hits. TCN’s #9 prospect fanned five and walked two.  Hector Mendoza and Ramon Santos pitched the final 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Helsley took the loss, his first of the season.

Shortstop Edmundo Sosa committed a fielding error.

The Cardinals are 0-2 on the young season.

Saturday’s game:  at Midland, Conner Greene (0-0, 0.00) 7:00 CT.


Palm Beach 7, Jupiter 3

Johan Mieses (Rick Scutieri/USA TODAY Sports)

In the second game of the young season, the Cardinals defeated the Hammerheads at Roger Dean.  In his Palm Beach debut, starter Evan Kruczynski pitched four innings, giving up three runs, one earned, on four hits.  The left hander struck out two and walked two.  Ronnie Williams followed with two scoreless innings of relief and Jason Zgardowski added 1 1/3 scoreless innings.  Jacob Patterson was the winning pitcher, with 2/3 inning of scoreless relief.  Will Latcham allowed two baserunners, but escaped the ninth without any runs scored.

At the plate, new acquisition Johan Mieses blasted a first inning two run home run.  Mieses was 2-for-4 overall.  In the third, Evan Mendoza’s RBI single plated the third Palm Beach run.  The Cardinals didn’t score again until the eighth inning.  After Mendoza led off with a double, a ground rule double by Brian O’Keefe brought Mendoza home.  J.B. Woodman plated three with a triple to right field.  Woodman went 2-for-4, as did Chase Pinder, Mendoza, and Stefan Trosclair.

Woodman had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals are 1-1 on the early season.

Saturday’s game:  at Jupiter, Mike O’Reilly (0-0, 0.00) 4:30 CT.


Peoria at Burlington

This game was postponed due to cold weather.  It has been rescheduled as part of a doubleheader at Dozer Park on Wednesday, May 30.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Burlington, Johan Oveido (0-0, 0.00) 6:30 CT.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Last-Minute Cardinals Minor League Roster Changes

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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of March 26 – April 1

photo: Greg Holland (Russell Lansford/USA TODAY Sports Images)

Cardinals ink their closer

In something of a surprise move to St. Louis Cardinals fans, an announcement came just prior to the first pitch in the opening game of the season that the Redbirds had signed free agent relief pitcher Greg Holland.  The one year deal is worth $14 million plus incentives.  It became official on Saturday and the right hander was optioned to the Palm Beach Cardinals to prepare to join the team, no sooner than 10 days.

Greg Holland (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images)

The 32-year old comes to the Cardinals on the heels of the hamstring injury to Luke Gregerson, who was placed on the 10 day disabled list and whose return to the team is roughly mid-to-late April.  Holland played for the Colorado Rockies in 2017, after missing all of 2016 with Tommy John surgery.  The right-hander was named NL Comeback Player of the Year last season and recorded an NL best (tied) 41 saves with an ERA of 3.31 in 57 1/3 innings pitched.  Holland had a better first half of the season, where he saved 28 games, while only recording 13 saves in the second half.

Prior to joining Colorado, Holland pitched six seasons with the Kansas City Royals.  His career ERA is 2.60 and his K/9 rate is 11.9.

The Cardinals gave up their second-round pick, #59 overall, in the 2018 draft to sign Holland, who earlier turned down the $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rockies.  Under the new CBA, the Cardinals will not be able to make a second qualifying offer to Holland, who will become a free agent at the end of the season.

Spring Training game recaps

Monday, March 26 – Cardinals 5 at Blue Jays 3

In the first of two final spring games, the Cardinals defeated the Blue Jays in Olympic Stadium in Montreal.  Michael Wacha got a final tune-up by pitching four scoreless innings, allowing three hits, fanning six and walking one.  Matt Bowman and Brett Cecil followed with a scoreless inning each.  Mike Mayers allowed two runs in his inning pitched.  Mayers was charged with a blown save, but also received the win.  Tyler Lyons gave up the third and final Jays run in his one inning following Mayers.  Dominic Leone pitched a scoreless ninth and earned his fourth spring save.

The Redbirds offense began via a fifth inning solo home run off the bat of Marcell Ozuna.  Jedd Gyorko added an RBI single.  In the eighth, Patrick Wisdom plated a run on a double, Francisco Pena hit an RBI single, and Max Schrock drove in a run on a triple.  Wisdom went 2-for-3; prospect Schrock was 2-for-2.

Randy Arozarena stole second and third base, and Gyorko stole second.

Tuesday, March 27 – Cardinals 0 at Blue Jays 1

In the second of the two-game spring series, the Cardinals lost in a walkoff to the Jays.  It was scoreless until two outs in the bottom of the ninth, when Vladimir Guerrero Jr’s home run ended the contest.  The long ball was hit off Jack Flaherty.  Flaherty entered the game in the seventh inning, following three scoreless innings of pitching from starter Luke Weaver, and three scoreless innings from Miles Mikolas.

The Cardinals offense managed five hits total.  Tommy Pham and Yadier Molina each went 2-for-2, with the catcher collecting the only extra base hit, a double. Ozuna contributed a single.

Patrick Wisdom stole his second base of the spring.

Wednesday, March 28 – No game

Regular Season Game Recaps

Thursday, March 29 – Cardinals 4 at Mets 9

Jose Martinez (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

In the first game of the 2018 regular season, the Cardinals lost to the Mets at Citi Field in New York.    Carlos Martinez had a poor start, pitching 4 1/3 innings and giving up five runs, four earned, on four hits.  The right hander struck out five and walked six.  Reliever Matt Bowman entered in the fifth, but was only able to record one out, as he surrendered three additional runs before being replaced by Brett Cecil, who got the final out of the inning.  Mike Mayers and Jordan Hicks added a scoreless inning each. Sam Tuivailala pitched the eighth inning and relinquished an additional Mets run.   Martinez got the loss.

Jose Martinez went 3-for-4, including a solo home run in the sixth inning.  Also hitting the long ball was Yadier Molina, who hit a two run shot in the second.  All four Cardinals runs were driven in by the pair.

Martinez committed a throwing error, his first of the season.

Friday, March 30 – Off day

Saturday, March 31 – Cardinals 2 at Mets 6

The second game of the series followed an off day Friday.  The Cardinals were defeated by the Mets by a score of 6-2.  Jose Martinez again contributed to the offense in a big way, going 2-for-3 and driving in the first of two Redbirds runs on a single in the fourth inning.  The second and final run came on a solo home run by Matt Carpenter in the eighth.  Molina was 2-for-4.

Starter Michael Wacha, like Martinez in the opener, did not finish the fifth inning.  Wacha pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits while fanning two and walking two.  Wacha took the loss, his first of the season.   Bud Norris followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Ryan Sherriff began the seventh, gave up one run, and was replaced with one out by Sam Tuivailala.  Tuivailala got the final two outs of the seventh, and began the eighth, giving up two singles and recording one out.  Tyler Lyons gave up a double to score a run charged to Tuivailala, then finished the eighth inning.

Tommy Pham had an outfield assist.

Sunday, April 1 – Cardinals 5 at Mets 1

Paul DeJong (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals prevented a Mets sweep with a victory on Sunday.  Starter Luke Weaver pitched five tough innings, giving up one run on five hits.  The young right hander struck out three and walked three.    Matt Bowman sailed through two scoreless innings of relief.  Jordan Hicks pitched a scoreless eighth, while Dominic Leone followed with a scoreless ninth.  In his 2018 debut, Weaver was the winning pitcher.

Marcell Ozuna and Paul DeJong were the offensive stars.  Ozuna went 3-for-5 with two RBI.  DeJong hit the long ball, twice, in his first career multi-home run game.  Both were with the bases empty – in the second and eighth innings. Molina also contributed a solo shot in the fourth, his second home run of the series.  Tommy Pham was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

Pham stole his first base of the season, as did Jedd Gyorko.  Weaver picked a runner off first base.

Big Picture

Starting pitching was the issue in the Mets series, with neither Martinez nor Wacha making it through the fifth inning.  Weaver finished the fifth, but the outing was a grind for the young right hander, who wasn’t as sharp as he had been throughout the spring.  Though there were a few tough outings for some relievers, the bullpen was not an issue.  The offense picked up in the last game of the series, but mostly came from the same hitters throughout after strikeouts were a big problem in Games 1 and 2.  Leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler has yet to record a hit in 13 at-bats.

The Cardinals finished the week 1-2 and are ahead of only the winless Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central standings.  With only three games into the season, the standings are of course, meaningless at this time. Next, the Cardinals meet the Brewers for a three-game series.  The Brewers swept the Padres in a three-game set to start their season on the right foot.

NL Central Standings

W L % GB
Milwaukee 3 0 1.000
Pittsburgh 3 0 1.000
Chicago Cubs 2 2 0.500 1.5
St. Louis 1 2 0.333 2
Cincinnati 0 3 0.000 3

Who’s Hot

Yadier Molina (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Over the first two games (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

Jose Martinez has an OPS of 1.893.  He has one HR and three RBI.

Yadier Molina has an OPS of 1.357.  He has one HR and two RBI.

Matt Carpenter has an OPS of 1.000.  He has one HR, one double, and one RBI.

Bud Norris has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.50.

Jordan Hicks has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

Who’s Not

Over the first two games (does not contain recent Sunday games):

Dexter Fowler has an OPS of 0.00.  He is hitless in 13 ABs.

Kolten Wong has an OPS of .143.

Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 8.31 and a WHIP of 2.31.

Matt Bowman has an ERA of 81.00 and a WHIP of 12.00

Ryan Sherriff has an ERA of 27.00 and a WHIP of 6.00.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the first two games (does not contain recent Sunday game):

The leadoff hitter has been Dexter Fowler.
The number two hitter has been Tommy Pham.
The number three hitter has been Matt Carpenter.
The cleanup hitter has been Marcell Ozuna.
The fifth hitter has been Jose Martinez.
The sixth hitter has been Yadier Molina.
The seventh hitter has been Paul DeJong.
The eighth hitter has been Kolten Wong.

On Sunday, Jedd Gyorko batted eighth and played third base, with Carpenter moving to second.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

3/28 The Cardinals placed RHP Adam Wainwright on the 10 day disabled list retroactive to March 26, 2018.  Left hamstring strain.

3/28 The Cardinals placed RHP Alex Reyes on the 10 day disabled list retroactive to March 26, 2018. Right elbow.

3/28 The Cardinals placed RHP Luke Gregerson on the 10 day disabled list retroactive to March 26, 2018.  Left hamstring strain.

3/28 The Cardinals designated RHP Josh Lucas and 2B Breyvic Valera for assignment.

3/28 The Cardinals optioned RHP John Brebbia to the Memphis Redbirds.

3/28 The Cardinals selected the contract of C Francisco Pena from the Memphis Redbirds.

3/28 The Cardinals selected the contract of RHP Jordan Hicks from the Springfield Cardinals.

3/28 The Cardinals recalled RHP Jack Flaherty from the Memphis Redbirds.

3/31 The Cardinals placed LHP Brett Cecil on the 10 day disabled list.  Left shoulder strain.

3/31 The Cardinals transferred RHP Alex Reyes from the 10 day disabled list to the 60 day disabled list.  Right elbow.

3/31 The Cardinals signed free agent RHP Greg Holland.

3/31 The Cardinals optioned RHP Greg Holland to the Palm Beach Cardinals.

3/31 The Cardinals traded RHP Josh Lucas to the Oakland Athletics for RHP Casey Meisner.

3/31 The Cardinals recalled LHP Ryan Sherriff from the Memphis Redbirds.

4/1 The Cardinals traded 2B Breyvic Valera to the Los Angeles Dodgers for CF Johan Mieses.

Injury Report

Adam Wainwright (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

RHP Adam Wainwright (left hamstring strain) was placed on the 10 day DL retroactive to 3/26.  Wainwright is expected to miss two starts and then rejoin the rotation.

LHP Luke Gregerson (left hamstring strain) was placed on the 10 day DL retroactive to 3/26.  Gregerson is expected to return to the roster sometime in late April, but will likely require a minor league rehab stint first.

RHP Alex Reyes (right elbow) was placed on the 10 day DL retroactive to 3/26.  On 3/31, Reyes was transferred to the 60 day DL to open a roster spot for newly signed RHP Greg Holland.  Reyes cannot return to the active roster before late May.

LHP Brett Cecil (left shoulder strain) was placed on the 10 day DL.  No timetable has been set for Cecil’s return to the roster, though the injury is said to not be serious.

Looking Ahead

Following the series against the Mets in New York, the Cardinals travel to Milwaukee for three games against the Brewers.  Miles Mikolas is scheduled for the Monday start.  Jack Flaherty will make the start on Tuesday and Carlos Martinez on Wednesday.

The Redbirds return home to St. Louis on Thursday for Opening Day at Busch Stadium against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  This will be a three game series, with no game scheduled for Friday.  Starting pitchers will likely be Michael Wacha, Luke Weaver and Miles Mikolas.

The Brewers come to St. Louis on Monday, April 9 for a three game series.  Following, the Cardinals go the Cincinnati for a weekend series against the Reds.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

This week’s history segment features the 1988 St. Louis Cardinals.  The 1988 season was the franchise’s 107th season and the 97th in the National League.

The 1988 Cardinals went 76-86 and finished the season fifth in the National League East, 25 games back of the New York Mets.  The manager was Whitey Herzog and the GM was Dal Maxvill.  The owner was Gussie Busch.

The Opening Day lineup against the Cincinnati Reds was Vince Coleman (LF), Ozzie Smith (SS), Tom Herr (2B), Bob Horner (1B), Willie McGee (CF), Terry Pendleton (3B), Tony Pena (C), Jim Lindeman (RF), and Joe Magrane (SP).

The longest losing streak was eight games, from July 4-15.  The longest winning streak was seven games, from September 5-11.  The highest winning margin was a 10-4 victory over the Reds on August 19.  The worst loss was a 21-2 drubbing by the Giants on July 9.  Splits were 41-40 at home and 35-46 on the road.

The top starting pitcher was Magrane, with a record of 5-9 and an ERA of 2.18, best in the NL.  The top offensive performer was Tom Brunansky, who hit .245/.345/.428, with 22 home runs and 79 RBI after being acquired in trade with the Minnesota Twins for Herr.

Ozzie Smith won a Gold Glove.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Cards Drop Four as Minors Camp Ends

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© 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 March 19-25

photo: Marcell Ozuna (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

Spring Training game recaps

Monday, March 19 – off day

Tuesday, March 20 – Cardinals 7, Mets 8

Mike Mayers (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The final full week of St. Louis Cardinals Grapefruit League games began with a loss to the Mets in Jupiter.  Mike Mayers made the start in place of regular Adam Wainwright, as the Cardinals made the decision to make the last few games in Florida bullpen starts to rest the starters and keep the Mets from getting too many looks at the starters before they play in the first series of the regular season.

Mayers continued his standout spring, pitching two scoreless innings, allowing no hits and striking out two.  A string of pitchers then threw one inning each.  Estarlin Arias, Josh Lucas, John Brebbia, Jason Motte, Preston Guilmet, Bud Norris, Ian McKinney, and Luke Gregerson.  Norris was the losing pitcher.

Paul DeJong’s solo home run in the fifth inning finally put the Cardinals on the board.  In the sixth, the Redbirds plated three more on Luke Voit’s triple that scored two, and a DeJong sac fly.  Harrison Bader added a sac fly in the eighth, and two more runs came home on a throwing error.  Dexter Fowler went 2-for-5, while Marcell Ozuna and Francisco Pena each went 2-for-3.

Jose Martinez stole his second base, and Kolten Wong was picked off first base.  Norris and Brebbia each committed an error on pickoff attempts.

Wednesday, March 21 – Cardinals 13 at Marlins 6

Marcell Ozuna (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

In a high scoring contest as the visiting team in Jupiter, the Cardinals defeated the Marlins.  The long ball was front and center, as Paul DeJong hit his fourth spring home run, a two-run shot in the second inning. Matt Carpenter and Marcell Ozuna hit back to back solo shots in the sixth.  Also driving in runs were Tommy Pham, on a double in the first inning, and on a first inning double play off the bat of Ozuna.  Ozuna also had a sac fly in the second, Pham plated a run on a fielder’s choice, and the final second inning run scored on Yadier Molina’s single. In the fourth, Harrison Bader drove in a run on a double, and in the ninth, a Steve Baron single and a Greg Garcia force out brought the final two Redbird runs home.  Bader was 3-for-3, Carpenter was 2-for-3, and Ozuna was 2-for-4.

Filling in for Michael Wacha, who like Wainwright the day before threw on the back fields instead, Matt Bowman pitched the first two innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on two hits.  The right hander struck out four and walked none.  Following Bowman were Jordan Hicks, Tyler Lyons, Brett Cecil, Sean Gilmartin, and Sam Tuivailala.  Bowman was the winning pitcher.

Paul DeJong made a throwing error, his third miscue of the spring.

Thursday, March 22 – Cardinals 8 at Braves 2

Miles Mikolas (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals defeated the Braves in Kissimmee on Thursday, behind the first member of the rotation to start a game in the final week.  Miles Mikolas pitched six innings, giving up two runs on four hits while fanning five and walking one.  Preston Guilmet followed with a scoreless inning of relief.  Josh Lucas and Dominic Leone each also pitched a scoreless frame to close out the road win.

Streaking Marcell Ozuna hit a long ball for the second consecutive day, blasting a three-run blast in the first inning.  Yairo Munoz contributed a solo shot in the third.  Four runs crossed the plate in the second on a force out by Dexter Fowler, a two run single by Matt Carpenter, and an Ozuna sac fly.

Mikolas committed a throwing error.

Friday, March 23 – Cardinals 5 at Mets 1

Dakota Hudson (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals blanked the Mets to begin the last weekend of Grapefruit League play.  The Redbirds got on the board in the first inning on Matt Carpenter’s RBI single.   In the third, Francisco Pena plated the second run on a single to center.  A Jose Martinez double to right, and a Yairo Munoz single to center brought two runs home in the sixth. A throwing error on Kolten Wong’s stolen base in the sixth plated the final run.  Wong went 2-for-3; Carpenter was 2-for-4.

Back from minor league camp, Dakota Hudson started and pitched five innings, surrendering one run one four hits.  Hudson struck out four and walked one.  Sean Gilmartin followed with two scoreless innings.  Brett Cecil and Tyler Lyons each pitched a scoreless frame.

Saturday, March 24 – Cardinals 8 at Mets 7

Lane Thomas (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Saturday’s game against the Mets ended in a walkoff win for the Redbirds.  Eight pitchers took the mound, beginning with one scoreless inning from Mike Mayers.  Edward Mujica tossed a scoreless inning.  Austin Warner followed with one inning in which he relinquished the first Mets run.  Jacob Evans added a scoreless inning.

The bulk of the Mets scoring came in the fifth inning with Ian McKinney on the mound.  The young lefty gave up five runs on four hits in 2/3 of an inning.  Matt Bowman did his thing, getting the final out of the inning, then returning to pitch a scoreless sixth. Brett Cecil handled the seventh, Bud Norris allowed a run in the eighth, and Dominic Leone pitched a scoreless ninth to get the win.

Cardinals scoring didn’t begin until the fifth inning.  The Redbirds put up seven runs in that frame, beginning with a two run RBI single by Francisco Pena.  Jedd Gyorko hit a sac fly, Patrick Wisdom singled in a run, Marcell Ozuna plated two on a double, and Andrew Knizner added an RBI single.  The winning run came in the ninth on a single by Lane Thomas.  Ozuna was 2-for-3 and Adolis Garcia was 2-for-4.

Patrick Wisdom stole his first base of the spring.

Sunday, March 25 – Cardinals 2 at Nationals 4

Jordan Hicks (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The final spring game in Florida ended in defeat for the Cardinals at the Nationals. The only Redbirds runs came on a first inning Marcell Ozuna double and in the sixth on a double play by Jose Martinez.  The lone Cardinal with multiple hits was Tommy Pham, who was 2-for-2.

Taking the place of injured Adam Wainwright, Jordan Hicks started and impressed in this final Florida game, pitching four scoreless, one-hit innings.  Hicks fanned two and walked none.  John Brebbia gave up two Nationals solo home runs in his two innings pitched.  Ryan Helsley surrendered a run in one inning, as did final pitcher Sam Tuivailala.  Helsley took the loss.

Pham stole his second base of the spring.

The big picture

The six Spring Training games for the fifth week are complete, with a four-game winning streak bookended by two losses for a 4-2 record. With the team holding an overall 16-12-2 record and just two games remaining, a winning spring is assured.

St. Louis’ offense remains in the bottom third, with the unit’s .253 batting average and .749 OPS ranking 23rd and 22nd, respectively, of 30 MLB teams this spring. The pitching has been far better, with the team ERA of 4.06 ranking fifth overall.

Red-hot Marcell Ozuna streaked to the top of the team batting average ranks at .345. (Matt Carpenter is hitting .474, but in just 19 at-bats.) The youthful duo of Yairo Munoz (.333) and Adolis Garcia (.320) continue to impress. RBI leaders are Jose Martinez at 13, Ozuna at 12 and Yadier Molina with 11. Paul DeJong took over the team lead in long balls with four while Ozuna’s eight doubles lead the way.

Mike Mayers has allowed just five baserunners in 12 scoreless innings while striking out 12. Josh Lucas fanned 12 in 11 1/3 scoreless before being optioned out. Luke Weaver has been changed with just one earned run in 13 1/3 spring innings, on five hits and four walks. He also has 15 K’s.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

Jason Motte (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Jim Bowden of The Athletic tweeted that the Cardinals are one of three teams who have checked in on reliever Greg Holland.  Bowden reports that none of the teams feel they can be competitive financially at this time due to the salary range being asked for. On Sunday’s broadcast, President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak reiterated the club’s intent to go with its promising young pitchers instead of bringing in a free agent.

Although the Cardinals have given RHP Jason Motte his unconditional release, the team remains open to bringing him back should he be unable to ink a deal with another team, reports Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch. Later reports pegged the reunion as unlikely.

Transactions

3/22 The Cardinals gave RHP Jason Motte his unconditional release.

3/23 The Cardinals optioned 1B Luke Voit, CF Harrison Bader, and RHP Josh Lucas to the Memphis Redbirds. Details here.

Injury Report

Luke Gregerson (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

RHP Luke Gregerson (left hamstring strain) will begin the season the disabled list.  Gregerson is expected to miss 2-4 weeks. This opened the door for Mike Mayers to make the opening roster with Dominic Leone and Tyler Lyons slated to share the closing duties.

RHP Adam Wainwright also suffered a left hamstring strain and was scratched from Sunday’s Grapefruit League start.  Wainwright will begin the season on the disabled list and miss 1-2 starts. In his likely final season with St. Louis, the veteran will be unable to make his scheduled start in the home opener on April 5. Jack Flaherty has been recalled from Memphis and will become the temporary #5 starter.

OF Tyler O’Neill (right hamstring strain) is recovering in minor league camp and it is hoped he will be ready to play by Opening Day for the Memphis Redbirds.

RHP Alex Reyes continues to pitch in minor league simulated games. The plan remains for the top prospect to open the season on the disabled list. A likely path is to build up his workload on a minor league rehab stint in preparation for a May 1 return to St. Louis’ active roster.

The full details of the Cardinals expected Opening Day roster can be seen here.

Looking Ahead

The final full week of Grapefruit League play ended on Sunday.  The Cardinals have two games remaining against the Toronto Blue Jays, to be played in Montreal on Monday and Tuesday.  Michael Wacha and Miles Mikolas are scheduled to make the starts.

The regular season begins on Thursday, March 29 as the Cardinals play the Mets in New York in a three game set. Friday is an off day, and then the final two games of the series will be played on Saturday and Sunday.  Carlos Martinez will make the Opening Day start, followed by Wacha on Saturday, and Luke Weaver on Sunday.

A three-game series against the Brewers in Milwaukee follows, with Mikolas, Flaherty and Martinez the scheduled starters.  St. Louis’ home opener is on Thursday, April 5, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, with Wacha on the mound.

Blast from the Past

This week’s Blast from the Past features the 1957 St. Louis Cardinals.  That year was the franchise’s 76th season and its 66th in the National League.

St. Louis’ record in 1957 was 87-67 as they finished second in the National League, eight games behind the Milwaukee Braves.  The manager was Fred Hutchinson; the general manager was Frank Lane.  The owner was Gussie Busch.

The Opening Day lineup was Don Blasingame (2B), Al Dark (SS), Stan Musial (1B), Del Ennis (RF), Ken Boyer (3B), Wally Moon (LF), Hal Smith (C), Bobby Smith (CF), and Herm Wehmeier (SP). (Note the unpopular one-year-only non-Birds on the Bat uniforms worn in 1957.)

1957 St. Louis Cardinals

The longest losing streak was nine games, from August 6-15.  The longest winning streak was eight games, twice, from June 5-12 and July 28-August 3.  The highest winning margin was two 10-run wins, a 13-3 defeat of the Reds on July 6, and a 14-4 victory over the Reds again on Sept 3.  The worst loss was a 13-2 defeat at the hands of the Milwaukee Braves on Aug 9.  Splits were 42-35 at home and 45-32 on the road.

The top starting pitchers were Larry Jackson and Lindy McDaniel, both with a record of 15-9 and ERAs of 3.47 and 3.49 respectively.  The best offensive performance unsurprisingly came from Stan Musial, who hit .351/.422/.612, with 28 home runs, and 102 RBI.

Musial’s .351 batting average led the National League in 1957.  Musial also led the league in OBP (.422), OPS (1.034), and HBP (19).

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: 2018 Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Schedules

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. Annual members may purchase our new 193-page 2018 Prospect Guide for less than half price. Our limited edition printed edition is sold out.

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 March 12-18

photo: Luke Weaver (Scott Rovak/USA TODAY Sports)

Spring Training game recaps

Monday, March 12 – Off Day

Tuesday, March 13 – Cardinals 11 at Marlins 4

Dexter Fowler (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals pounded the Miami Marlins, the latter playing as the visiting team in Jupiter.  Leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler batted 2-for-3 with three RBI.  Jose Martinez was also 2-for-3 with three RBI.  Marcell Ozuna was 2-for-4 with a run driven in and two runs scored.  Yadier Molina was 2-for-3 with two RBI, as was Yairo Munoz.

Catcher Steven Baron was picked off first base.  Martinez made a throwing error.

On the mound for the Cardinals was starter Carlos Martinez, who earned his first Grapefruit League win.  Martinez gave up four runs, three earned, on four hits while fanning five and walking two.  The righty was followed by Matt Bowman, Brett Cecil, Preston Guilmet, John Brebbia, and Bud Norris; each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

Wednesday, March 14 – Cardinals 3 at Astros 1

Adam Wainwright (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals topped the Astros on Wednesday at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.  Starter Adam Wainwright earned his the first spring win.  The veteran right hander pitched five innings, surrendering one run on four hits.  Wainwright struck out three and walked one.  Relieving Wainwright were Dominic Leone, Tyler Lyons, Ryan Sherriff, and Sam Tuivailala, the latter earning his first spring save.

All three St. Louis runs came via the long ball.  Matt Carpenter blasted a two run home run in the third inning off Astros starter Justin Verlander.  Luke Voit hit a solo shot, also against Verlander, in the fifth.  Carpenter was 2-for-2.  Marcel Ozuna was 3-for-3.

Tommy Pham was caught stealing for the second time this spring.  Patrick Wisdom made a throwing error, and catcher Carson Kelly had a passed ball.  Randy Arozarena had an outfield assist.

Thursday, March 15 – Cardinals 0, Orioles 1

Jack Flaherty (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds were edged by the Orioles on Thursday in Jupiter.  Singles by Dexter Fowler, Jedd Gyorko, and Luke Voit were the only St. Louis hits.

Greg Garcia made a throwing error.

Starter Jack Flaherty pitched well but took the loss.  The right hander tossed five innings, giving up one run on three hits.  Flaherty fanned eight Orioles and walked two.  Brett Cecil and John Gant relieved with four scoreless innings.

Friday, March 16 – Cardinals 4, Marlins 2

In a split squad game at home against the Marlins, the Redbirds came out the victor.  Starter Michael Wacha won his first Grapefruit League game, pitching six innings and surrendering one run on five hits.  The right hander struck out three and walked none.  Tyler Lyons gave up one run in relief.  Dominic Leone and Bud Norris each pitched scoreless innings.

Yadier Molina had a big day.  The catcher hit two home runs, both solo, in the first and seventh innings.  Molina also doubled and singled, ending the day 4-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored.  In the field, Molina also distinguished himself by picking off a runner at first base.  Luke Voit drove in the other St. Louis run on a single.  Marcell Ozuna doubled, and Tommy Pham tripled.

Adolis Garcia was caught stealing for the first time.  Kolten Wong made a throwing error.  Pham and Garcia had outfield assists.

Friday, March 16 – Cardinals 2 at Nationals 4

Miles Mikolas (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

In the second split squad game on Friday, the Cardinals fell to the Nationals at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.  Jedd Gyorko hit his first spring home run, a solo shot in the fourth inning.  Dexter Fowler’s RBI single plated the other Redbirds run.  Yairo Munoz went 2-for-3.

Francisco Pena stole his first Grapefruit League base.

Starter Miles Mikolas pitched five scoreless innings, giving up three hits, fanning two and walking one.  Ryan Sherriff followed and gave up all four Nationals runs without recording an out.  Josh Lucas relieved for a scoreless inning.  Mike Mayers pitched the final two scoreless innings, but the offense could not come back.

Saturday, March 17 – Cardinals 3 at Braves 0

Luke Weaver (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals blanked the Braves at their home park at Disney World on Saturday.  Starter Luke Weaver earned his second Grapefruit League win, tossing 4 1/3 scoreless innings and surrendering only one hit.  The right hander struck out six and walked three.  Matt Bowman, John Brebbia, Preston Guilmet, Jason Motte, and Edward Mujica all pitched scoreless innings of relief.

The Redbirds didn’t score until the fifth inning, when Patrick Wisdom drew a bases loaded walk.  In the seventh, Paul DeJong doubled in a run, and Randy Arrozarena added an RBI single.  DeJong was 2-for-3.

Arozarena stole both second and third base.  Kolten Wong was caught stealing for the second time.

Sunday, March 8 – Cardinals 10, Nationals 0

Jose Martinez (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals pummeled the Nationals in a laugher on Sunday in Jupiter.  St. Louis’ offense scored ten runs on 13 hits against Nats pitching.   Jose Martinez hit the only long ball, a solo shot in the fourth inning.  He then drove in two in the sixth on a double.  Martinez had the only multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with three RBI.

Also in the sixth, a run scored on a fielding error, Jedd Gyorko drove in one on a single and a double play off the bat of Luke Voit plated another run.  In the seventh, a Tommy Pham single and a Wilfredo Tovar double brought two additional runs home.  In the eighth, Voit doubled home a run, and Yairo Munoz added an RBI single.  Randy Arozarena tripled, Dexter Fowler, Steven Baron, and Harrison Bader doubled.

Starter John Gant tossed two scoreless innings, surrendering only one hit and fanning two.  Sean Gilmartin followed with two scoreless frames.  Josh Lucas, Brett Cecil, Sam Tuivailala, Bud Norris, and Luke Gregerson each pitched a scoreless inning.  Gilmartin was the winning pitcher.

Regular starter Carlos Martinez was diverted to the minor league fields, where he yielded a three-run home run and five runs overall in six innings against Miami Marlins farmhands.

The big picture

Yairo Munoz (Scott Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The seven Spring Training games for the fourth week are complete, with a 5-2 record and the team holding an overall 12-10-2 record for the spring.

St. Louis’ offense has improved slightly, with the unit’s .258 batting average and .725 OPS ranking 25th and 26th, respectively, of 30 MLB teams this spring. The pitching has been far better, with the team ERA of 3.92 ranking fifth overall, and representing an improvement of a full run for the second consecutive week.

Three .300 hitters remain in camp – the youthful trio of Yairo Munoz (.366) and Randy Arozarena (.314) and Adolis Garcia (.310). Jose Martinez’ 12 RBI are tops on the club and his three long balls tie Yadier Molina for the team lead and five doubles are also most (tied with Harrison Bader).

Mike Mayers has allowed just five baserunners in nine scoreless innings while striking out 10. Josh Lucas has fanned 12 in 9 1/3 scoreless. Luke Weaver has been changed with just one earned run in 13 1/3 spring innings, on five hits and four walks. He also has 15 K’s.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

3/18 The Cardinals optioned RHPs Jack Flaherty and John Gant, LHP Ryan Sheriff, C Carson Kelly, INF Breyvic Valera, and OF Oscar Mercado to the Memphis Redbirds. Details here.

Luke Gregerson (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Injury Report

OF Tyler O’Neill (right hamstring strain) will miss the remainder of Spring Training but may possibly be ready to play by Opening Day. He was optioned out in the previous round of cuts.

RP Luke Gregerson (oblique) pitched the ninth inning on Sunday for his first action since March 3.

Looking Ahead

The last full week of Grapefruit League play before Opening Day begins in the upcoming week.  Monday, March 19 is an off day for the Cardinals, with play restarting on Tuesday against the Mets in Jupiter.  No starter has been announced for Tuesday’s contest. It would be Adam Wainwright’s turn, but he may work in a minor league game instead, as with Carlos Martinez on Sunday.

On Wednesday, the Cardinals take on the Marlins as the visiting team in Jupiter.  The Redbirds remain in Jupiter on Thursday to play the Braves.  On Friday the Cardinals travel to Port St. Lucie to face the Mets and host the Mets again on Saturday in Jupiter.  In the final Florida game, on Sunday the Cardinals visit the Nationals at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Two exhibitions against the Blue Jays in Montreal follow next Monday and Tuesday nights.

Spring Training information, including the schedule, can be found here.

The regular season begins on Thursday, March 29 as the Cardinals play the Mets in New York in the first of a four game series.  A three game set against the Brewers in Milwaukee follows the Mets series.  The Cardinals home opener is on Thursday, April 6, against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Blast from the Past

This week’s history segment features the 2003 Cardinals.  The 2003 season was the team’s 122nd season, and the 112th in the National League.

The Cardinals were 85-77 on the season and finished third in the National League Central, three games back of the first place Chicago Cubs.  The manager was Tony La Russa, the general manager was Walt Jocketty, and the principal owner was Bill DeWitt, Jr.

The Opening Day lineup was Fernando Vina (2B), Edgar Renteria (SS), Jim Edmonds (CF), Albert Pujols (LF), Scott Rolen (3B), Tino Martinez (1B), Eli Marrero (RF), Mike Matheny (C), and Matt Morris (SP).

2003 St. Louis Cardinals

The longest losing streak was five games, from April 19-24.  The longest winning streak was seven games, from April 27-May 4.  The largest winning margin was two 13 run games, a 15-2 defeat of the Brewers on April 16, and a 13-0 drubbing of the same Brewers on Sept 18.  The worst loss was a 13-1 defeat by the Red Sox on June 11.  Splits were 48-33 at home, and 37-44 on the road.

The top starting pitcher was Morris, with a record of 11-8 and an ERA of 3.76. The best offensive performer was Pujols, who hit .359/.439/.667 with 43 HRs and 124 RBI.

Catcher Matheny, SS Renteria, 3B Rolen, and CF Edmonds each won National Leaue Gold Glove Awards.

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