All posts by Marilyn Green

St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of November 12-18

photo: MLB Team – Japan All-Star Series (St. Louis Cardinals)

St. Louis Cardinals Yadier Molina and John Brebbia finished their tour of Japan. In our weekly history feature, the 1981 Ozzie Smith trade with San Diego is remembered.


Jack Flaherty (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Cardinals receive votes in player awards

Results of three major player awards were announced this past week and four St. Louis Cardinals received votes.

The National League Rookie of the Year was announced on Monday, and two Cardinals, Jack Flaherty and Harrison Bader, received votes.  Flaherty finished in fifth place and Bader was sixth.  Flaherty received two third-place votes and Bader received one third-place vote.  Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Braves was the recipient of the award

On Wednesday, the CY Young Award winners were announced.  Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas finished sixth, earning one third-place vote.  Jacob deGrom of the Mets was the winner.

On Thursday, the Most Valuable Players were announced.  Christian Yelich of the Brewers was the winner, with Javier Baez of the Cubs finishing second and Nolan Arenado of the Rockies third.  Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter finished ninth.


Yadier Molina (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Japan All Star Series concludes

The six-game Japan All-Star Series concluded this past week with the US team dropping five games.  Two Cardinals, Yadier Molina and John Brebbia, participated.

Molina started four of the six games, three as the starting catcher and one as the DH.  Molina went 8-for-16 (.500) in the series, with one home run and five RBI.

Brebbia appeared out of the bullpen in two of the six games.  The right-hander pitched 1 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on three hits.  Brebbia struck out two and walked none.


Winter Warm-Up plans announced

The dates for the Cardinals annual Winter Warm-Up fan festival have been announced.  The three-day event will take place on January 19, 20, and 21 at the Hyatt Regency at the Arch in St. Louis.

Admission tickets will go on sale November 23 at 10 a.m. CT.  The tickets are $40 for adults and $10 for children and can be purchased online or at the Busch Stadium Box Office.

Paid autograph tickets go on sale December 10, online or at the Busch Stadium Box office.  Free autographs tickets will also be available on December 10. Prices will be announced later.

Details here.


Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no new trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions

There are no new transactions to report.


Injury Report

There is no new injury news to report.


Looking Ahead

The deadline for finalization of 40-man rosters in preparation for the Rule 5 draft is Tuesday, November 20 at 7 p.m. CT.   The Cardinals’ roster currently stands at 38, leaving room for as many as two minor league prospects to be protected by addition to the roster.  Further subtractions could occur prior to the deadline to open up roster spots for more players.

Earlier, Brian Walton shared with TCN members his view of which players may be added to the roster.

The Cardinal Nation’s 2018 Rule 5 Protection Picks

Another deadline approaching is the November 30 non-tender deadline.  This is when teams must tender contracts to all of their pre-arbitration and arbitration eligible players.  Any player not tendered a contract becomes a free agent.

There are three awards left to be given on the slate of November awards.

Nov. 19 – Comeback Players of the Year

Nov. 20 – Designated Hitter of the Year (American League only)

The Winter Meetings are scheduled for December 9-13 in Las Vegas.  The Rule 5 draft is scheduled for the morning of December 13.


Blast from the Past

Sixto Lezcano (Getty Images)

Last week’s history segment covered the 1980 trade of Ted Simmons to the Milwaukee Brewers.  One of the players received by the Cardinals in that trade was a part of a major trade a year later.  That subsequent trade is the subject of this week’s Blast from the Past.

One of the four players received in the Simmons deal was outfielder Sixto Lezcano.  A year later, Lezcano was dealt to the San Diego Padres along with two other players for shortstop Ozzie Smith.  This trade is unquestionably one of the best trades in franchise history.

Smith was the fourth-round draft pick by the Padres in 1977, and made his major league debut in 1978.  In 1981, Smith and his agent got into a contract dispute with the ownership of the Padres.  Meanwhile, the Cardinals, specifically manager and GM Whitey Herzog, were unhappy with their current shortstop Garry Templeton.  Templeton had a contentious relationship with Cardinals fans, culminating in Templeton twice making an obscene gesture to fans during a game and being physically removed from the field by Herzog.

Garry Templeton and Ozzie Smith (Getty Images)

During the 1981 Winter Meetings, Padres GM Jack McKeon agreed to a six-player deal with the headliners being Smith to the Cardinals and Templeton to the Padres.  Along with both shortstops, Lezcano and a player to be named later were sent to San Diego, while Smith, Steve Mura, and a player to be named later went to St. Louis.  The trade was delayed because Smith had no-trade protection in his contract and he initially was inclined to refuse the trade – but agreed to listen to Herzog’s attempts to persuade him.   Smith later said Herzog made him feel wanted in St. Louis, so he agreed to the trade.

The deal went through on December 10, 1981 and Smith became a St. Louis Cardinal.  Smith remained with the Cardinals until his retirement in 1996.  Smith became a fan favorite and appeared in the All-Star Game in 14 of his 15 seasons in St. Louis.  Smith also won 11 of his 13 Gold Gloves as a Cardinal.

Smith was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.  He was also part of the 2014 inaugural class in the Cardinals Hall of Fame.  Ozzie continues to live in St. Louis post playing career and is a fixture in many local charity and other events.  Smith is a St. Louis icon thanks to the persuasion efforts of another future team Hall of Famer, Whitey Herzog.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Cardinals Arizona Fall League Prospect Interview – Will Latcham


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

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© 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 November 5-11

photo: Yadier Molina and John Brebbia (St. Louis Cardinals)

St. Louis Cardinals Yadier Molina and John Brebbia are part of an MLB barnstorming team playing in Japan. In our weekly history feature, the 1980 Ted Simmons trade with Milwaukee is remembered.


Molina and Brebbia in Japan

An MLB All-Star team is playing a six-game series against the Japanese national team, the Samurai Japan. The series began on Thursday and is set to conclude on November 15.

John Brebbia (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

Two Cardinals are on the 29-player All-Star roster – catcher Yadier Molina and relief pitcher John Brebbia.

Molina, 36, is the oldest player on the squad. The veteran catcher distinguished himself on Sunday by hitting a three-run home run in the fifth inning of the 7-3 US victory. Molina also picked off a Japan outfielder at first base.

Molina is 7-for-11 in the series for a .636 batting average. Brebbia pitched the ninth inning in Sunday’s game and gave up two runs on three hits.

The tour began with an exhibition game on Thursday against the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese Nippon Professional Baseball League. The MLB All-Stars won the game 9-6 with Molina going 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs scored. Brebbia pitched the eighth inning and allowed one unearned run on two hits.


Trade and Acquisition Rumors

Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports tweeted that the Cardinals are interested in reliever Andrew Miller and are active in the relief pitcher market. Morosi further wrote at MLB.com that the Cardinals are possible suitors for free agent reliever Craig Kimbrel.

Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch writes that the Cardinals are in the market for an impact bat but are thinking more infield than outfield. Such a hitter would likely play at either first base or third base. The possibility of signing free agent outfielder Bryce Harper could shift that thinking, however, according to Goold.


Transactions

There are no new player transactions to report. However, there was a coaching announcement – made by the Seattle Mariners this past Wednesday. Cardinals minor league pitching analyst Paul Davis has been named Seattle’s major league pitching coach.

Mariners Hire Cards’ Paul Davis as Pitching Coach


Rick Ankiel (Getty Images)

Injury Report

39-year old Rick Ankiel’s comeback attempt as a relief pitcher five years after retiring as an outfielder was interrupted due to elbow ligament repair surgery. The former left-handed pitching star quit the mound 14 years ago due to an inability to throw strikes, the story behind which later became the subject of his autobiography.

Ankiel, who had recently been an on-air talent for FOX Sports Midwest, had been training in Jupiter, Florida since his August comeback announcement. He is expected to sign a minor league contract with the Cardinals when ready, which now appears to be at least mid-season 2019.


Looking Ahead

The annual General Manager Meetings in Carlsbad, CA concluded last week. Next on the offseason calendar is the November 20 deadline for finalizing 40-man rosters ahead of the Rule 5 draft in December. The Cardinal 40-man roster currently stands at 38 players, but there is the possibility that further subtractions from the roster could take place before the deadline. Any players the Cardinals wish to protect from the Rule 5 draft will be added to the 40 man roster before the deadline.

(For TCN members, Brian Walton identified the top Rule 5 protection candidates here: https://thecardinalnation.com/the-cardinal-nations-2018-rule-5-protection-picks/)

Next will be the non-tender deadline on November 30. Several players have already moved on via waivers or free agency. Any further subtractions from the roster are likely to occur on or before the November 20 Rule 5 deadline.

November also brings awards. The following are the remaining awards to be given and the dates the winners will be announced.

Nov. 12 – Rookie of the Year
Nov. 13 – Manager of the Year
Nov. 14 – Cy Young
Nov. 15 – MVP
Nov. 19 – Comeback Player of the Year
Nov. 20 – Designated Hitter of the Year (AL only)

Harrison Bader (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The top three vote-getters for the November 12-15 awards have been disclosed and no Cardinals will be winners.

Of awards that were announced in the last week, the Wilson Defensive Players of the Year, the Rawlings Platinum Glove and the Silver Slugger Awards, the Cardinals were shut out. However, outfielder Harrison Bader was named to the Topps Rookie All-Star Team. (All of these awards are highlighted at The Cardinal Nation’s free forum.)

The Winter Meetings are scheduled for December 9-13 in Las Vegas. The Rule 5 draft is scheduled for the morning of December 13.


Blast from the Past

Last week’s Blast from the Past featured the trade that brought Willie McGee to the Cardinals – one of the good ones. This week’s segment will cover one of the not-so-good trades.

Ted Simmons, 1972 (Getty Images)

While current Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina distinguishes himself in the Japan All-Star Series, this trade and acquisitions entry looks into the deal that sent another talented Cardinals catcher out of St. Louis – Ted Simmons, also known as “Simba”.

Simmons was drafted by the Cardinals in the first round of the 1967 June draft, and made his major league debut on September 12, 1968 at the age of 19. Simmons played in only two games in 1968, and then reappeared in 1969 for a five-game stint. Simmons came back to the majors for good in 1970, playing in 82 games while platooning with starting catcher Joe Torre. After Torre moved to third base in 1971, Simmons became the starting catcher. Simmons remained the Cardinals’ full-time catcher until a feud with manager Whitey Herzog ended his time with the team.

During Simmons’ 13-year stint with St. Louis, the catcher slashed .298/.366/.459, hitting 172 home runs and driving in 929. Unlike Yadier Molina, Simmons was a better offensive catcher than a defensive one.

Whitey Herzog

The trade that sent Simmons out of St. Louis came as a result of conflict between Herzog and Simmons over Herzog’s desire to have Simmons play first base for most of the games, returning behind the plate only at the end of the game. Simmons refused to do this, and Herzog responded by trading Simmons to the Milwaukee Brewers in December of 1980. Herzog had assumed GM duties in August of 1980, turning over the managing to Red Schoendienst for the remainder of the season. (Herzog reclaimed the manager job in the offseason and did both jobs for two full seasons.)

Simmons was traded to Milwaukee along with Rollie Fingers and Pete Vuckovich. The Cardinals received Sixto Lezcano, Lary Sorensen, Dave LaPoint, and David Green from the Brewers. Fingers and Vuckovich each won a Cy Young Award with the Brewers. Simmons had two good seasons in 1982 and 1983 with the Brewers. Simmons was traded to Atlanta in 1986 and retired from baseball in 1988. While the players the Cardinals received did contribute to the Cardinals’ 1982 World Series Championship, all were gone by 1985 when the Cardinals returned to the World Series.

The trade was bad not only because the Cardinals gave up players in Fingers and Vuckovich who went on to have great careers with other teams, but also because Simmons had been a five-time All Star with the Cardinals and was summarily tossed away because of a disagreement with the manager. Herzog was a beloved Cardinal manager, but he had his warts, and the trade of Simmons was one that many of the team’s fans took serious issue with.

The replacement catcher, Darrell Porter, had played for Herzog with Kansas City. Porter distinguished himself in the 1982 postseason, winning both the NLCS and World Series MVP awards. However, he was released following the 1985 season and developed a serious substance abuse problem that ultimately led to his death from a drug overdose in 2002.

The trade was not one of Whitey’s finest moments in the minds and hearts of many Cardinals fans.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

St. Louis Cardinals Winter Pitchers Report: 2018-2019 Period 2


Not yet a member?

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

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

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

Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook– November 10, 2018

photo: Will Latcham, Connor Jones (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Three St. Louis Cardinals appeared in Surprise’s Saturday AFL loss to Peoria. Andy Young singled in four at-bats. Connor Jones pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief and Will Latcham added a scoreless ninth.

Results for the game played on Saturday, November 10.

Surprise Saguaros 4, Peoria Javelinas 7

Andy Young (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

One St. Louis Cardinals position player and two pitchers appeared in the Saguaros’ loss to Peoria on Saturday.

Andy Young hit ninth for Surprise. In his first at bat in the second inning, Young struck out swinging. The second baseman grounded out to third in the fourth inning, struck out swinging in the sixth, and singled to left in the eighth.

Connor Jones pitched 1 1/3 innings out of the bullpen, allowing one hit and fanning two. 13 of his 22 offerings were called strikes. Will Latcham closed out the game by pitching a scoreless ninth, with one hit allowed and one strikeout. 12 of his 17 pitches went for strikes.

No other Cardinals saw action.

The Saguaros are 10-16 in the AFL West and have been eliminated from Championship contention.

Sunday’s game: No game scheduled.


Related article for members of The Cardinal Nation

St. Louis Cardinals Winter Hitters Report: 2018-2019 Period 2


Not yet a member?

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

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

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

Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – November 9, 2018

photo: Evan Kruczynski (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Five St. Louis Cardinals prospects played in Surprise’s Friday night loss to Peoria. Starter Evan Kruczynski tossed four scoreless innings, but Conner Greene yielded three runs in relief. Jeremy Martinez singled and doubled.

Results for the game played on Friday, November 9.

Surprise Saguaros 2 at Peoria Javelinas 4

Evan Kruczynski (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Three St. Louis Cardinals position players and two pitchers saw action in Surprise’s Friday night contest at Peoria. Peoria was the victor by the score of 4-2.

In his first action since the Fall Stars Game on Saturday, left hander Evan Kruczynski started for Surprise. Kruczynski tossed four scoreless innings, allowing one hit, striking out three and walking two.

Conner Greene pitched in relief in the eighth, and he allowed three Peoria runs on two singles, two walks, and a double. After throwing 30 pitches and securing just two outs, Greene was removed.

Tommy Edman hit leadoff and played shortstop for the Saguaros. Edman began the game by lining out to center field. The infielder singled to center in the third inning, grounded into a force out in the sixth, and walked in his final at bat in the eighth.

Lane Thomas played center field and hit second. In the first inning, Thomas popped out to the shortstop. In the fourth, the outfielder grounded out to third. Thomas walked in the sixth, and grounded out to second in the eighth. He added an outfield assist.

Jeremy Martinez (Palm Beach Cardinals)

Jeremy Martinez caught and hit eighth. Martinez took his first at bat in the third inning, grounding out to short. The backstop led off the sixth with a single but was out at second in when Edman grounded into a force out. Martinez doubled to right field in the eighth was but was left stranded at third, then struck out looking for the last out of the game in the ninth.

The catcher was the only Saguaro with multiple hits as the rest of the team managed just six more. Surprise was shut out until a ninth-inning rally that fell two runs short.

Manager Stubby Clapp’s Saguaros are 10-15 in the AFL West and have been eliminated from Championship contention with one week to go.

Saturday’s game: vs. Peoria, Shawn Morimondo (0-1, 6.75) 2:35 CT.


Related article for members of The Cardinal Nation

Cardinals Arizona Fall League Prospect Interview – Lane Thomas


Not yet a member?

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

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

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

St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of October 29-November 4

photo: Yadier Molina (Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports)

The 2018 St. Louis Cardinals have one winner of the Gold Glove and Fielding Bible Awards, Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong, respectively. In our weekly history feature, the trade that brought outfielder Willie McGee to St. Louis is remembered.


Molina wins ninth Gold Glove; Wong takes Fielding Bible

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners were announced on ESPN on Sunday night. One St. Louis Cardinals “finalist” came out a winner but the other did not.

Yadier Molina (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Yadier Molina took home his ninth Gold Glove, but first since 2015, winning at catcher over fellow top three scorers Buster Posey and Manny Pina.  The other Cardinal among the top three at his position was second baseman Kolten Wong, who had his best defensive year in 2018.  Wong had never won or even been a “finalist” for a Gold Glove until this year.  The top finisher at second base in the NL was D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies, a repeat winner from 2017.

Kolten Wong (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Wong led all second basemen in baseball with 19 Defensive Runs Saved in 2018, yet lost to LeMahieu, who had 18.  The Gold Gloves are chosen primarily by a vote of managers and coaches, which accounts for 75% percent of the final score, and by a SABR defensive component which accounts for 25% of the final score.  The SABR component is an objective score based on five statistics, and in that measure, LeMahieu finished ahead of Wong by a considerable amount.  Still, in this SABR Defensive Index, the two second basemen were number one and two among all NL players at all positions.

There is some thought that reputation carries weight in the manager/coach voting, which may account for repeat winners in many of the categories.

The Cardinals second baseman, however, was the 2018 recipient of the Fielding Bible Award for second base.  The Fielding Bible is also an annual award for defensive excellence, chosen by a panel of sabermetrically-inclined baseball analysts and journalists, and it is considered by some to be a more accurate measure of defensive excellence.  The Gold Glove Awards are chosen by managers and coaches who may or may not have seen the nominees play regularly and thus may vote based on reputation rather than actual performance.  On the other hand, reputation is not a factor in choosing the Fielding Bible recipients.

This year’s Fielding Bible award for Wong was his first.  Molina has won the Fielding Bible award at catcher six times, but not in recent years. In 2018, Molina did not place in the top 10.

Coming full circle, the same coaches’ vote that may have hurt Wong powered Molina to his Gold Glove win.


Trade and Acquisition Rumors

Derrick Goold of the Post Dispatch reports the Cardinals will check in on Bryce Harper as part of what is anticipated to be a busy off-season.  The Cardinals are looking to add an impact bat, preferably left-handed, for the 2019 season.  Harper fits this bill.  Whether the Cardinals have the financial will to pay the likely hefty price tag for the free agent and possibly get into a bidding war for the outfielder, is unclear.


Transactions

  • 10/29 RHP Tyson Ross elected free agency.
  • 10/29 RHP Bud Norris elected free agency.
  • 10/29 1B Matt Adams elected free agency.
  • 10/29 P Adam Wainwright elected free agency.
  • 10/29 P Adam Wainwright signed a one-year contract with St. Louis.
  • 11/1 The Cardinals activated RHP Alex Reyes from the 60-day disabled list.
  • 11/1 The Cardinals activated RF Dexter Fowler from the 60-day disabled list.
  • 11/1 The Cardinals activated RHP Michael Wacha from the 60-day disabled list.
  • 11/1 The Cardinals activated RHP Luke Gregerson from the 60-day disabled list.
  • 11/1 The Cardinals sent C Francisco Pena outright to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 11/1 SS Greg Garcia was claimed off waivers by the San Diego Padres.
  • 11/1 RHP Matt Bowman was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds.
  • 11/2 C Francisco Pena elected free agency.

Injury Report

LF Marcell Ozuna (right shoulder inflammation) underwent a cleanup procedure on his right shoulder on Tuesday, October 30.  Ozuna is expected to begin Spring Training in February at 100 percent.


Looking Ahead

The Hot Stove season has begun.  Free agency officially began at 4 pm CT on Friday.  Any team may now sign free agents.  The deadline for making qualifying offers has also passed and the Cardinals did not make qualifying offers to any of their three free agents.

The General Manager Meetings are scheduled to begin on Monday, November 5 in Carlsbad, CA.  These meetings are a jumping off point for the offseason.

The non-tender deadline is November 30.  The Cardinals have already made subtractions from the 40-man roster in Greg Garcia and Matt Bowman, who were both been claimed off waivers, and Francisco Pena, who was outrighted off the roster and elected free agency.  Free agents Tyson Ross, Bud Norris, and Matt Adams are also now off the roster.  Required additions were made by activating Alex Reyes, Michael Wacha, Luke Gregerson, and Dexter Fowler from the 60-day disabled list.  The 40-man roster now stands at 38.

The Cardinals must add any minor league players not on the 40-man roster whom they wish to protect from the Rule 5 draft by November 20.  Additional subtractions from the 40-man roster are possible.

November brings awards.  The following are the awards to be given and the dates the winners will be announced.

Nov 5 – Executive of the Year
Nov 7 – Defensive Player of the Year
Nov 8 – Silver Sluggers
Nov 12 – Rookie of the Year
Nov 13 – Manager of the Year
Nov 14 – Cy Young
Nov 15 – Most Valuable Player
Nov 19 – Comeback Player of the Year
Nov 20 – Designated Hitter of the Year (AL only)

The Winter Meetings are scheduled for December 9-13 in Las Vegas.  The Rule 5 draft is scheduled for the morning of December 13.


Blast from the Past

In the continuing series of trades and acquisitions, this week’s segment looks at a trade which brought one of the most popular Cardinals ever to St Louis.

Willie McGee, 1983

On October 21, 1981, the Cardinals acquired outfielder Willie McGee from the Yankees for pitcher Bob Sykes.  McGee was in the Yankees farm system at the time of the trade and was initially placed with the Cardinals Triple-A affiliate in Louisville.  McGee made his major league debut with the Cardinals on May 10, 1982 at the age of 23. He slashed .296/.318/.391 in his rookie season in 1982, with four home runs and 56 RBI, and finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.

McGee played 13 total seasons as a Cardinal, broken up by six seasons with San Francisco, Oakland, and Boston.  In his first stint with the Cardinals, from 1982 until August 1990, McGee was voted the NL MVP and won the Silver Slugger in 1985. He received three Gold Gloves and made four All Star Game appearances as a Cardinal.

McGee made a name for himself in the 1982 World Series win over the Milwaukee Brewers.  The center fielder hit two home runs in Game 3 and made a home run-robbing leap in center field.  McGee also contributed to the Cardinals’ postseason successes in 1985 and 1987.

Willie McGee (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

After manager Whitey Herzog resigned in mid-season 1990, McGee was traded to the Oakland Athletics on August 29, 1990 for Daryl Green, Felix Jose, and Stan Royer.  In December 1990, McGee signed with the San Francisco Giants as a free agent.  McGee became a free agent again in 1994 and signed with the Boston Red Sox in June of 1995.  He became a free agent again at the end of 1995 and in December returned to the Cardinals for his second tour in St. Louis.  McGee signed a succession of one year contracts with the Cardinals in 1996, 1997, and 1998, then retired at the end of 1999 at the age of 40.

McGee was named to the Cardinals Hall of Fame in its inaugural class of 2014, a winner in the fan vote for Modern era players.  At the time, McGee was already an employee of the organization, having been hired as a Special Assistant in 2013.  He continued to work with minor leaguers until 2017, when he was hired as a member of the Cardinals major league coaching staff, a position he currently holds.

A fan-driven campaign to retire McGee’s uniform number 51 has been ongoing for years, but has yet to be successful.  McGee remains one of the most popular players among Cardinals fans to ever wear the Birds on the Bat.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Manager Stubby Clapp Reflects on Memphis’ 2018 Season


Not yet a member?

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

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

Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – November 2, 2018

photo: Connor Jones (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

St. Louis Cardinals Lane Thomas and Tommy Edman drew four walks between them and scored once in Surprise’s Friday loss.  Connor Jones started and threw two scoreless innings and Will Latcham added a clean inning in relief.

Results for the game played on Friday, November 2.

Surprise Saguaros 3, Salt River Rafters 8 (seven innings)

Lane Thomas (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Two Cardinals position players and two pitchers saw action in Friday’s game against Salt River.

Lane Thomas played center field and hit sixth in Surprise’s lineup.  In his first at bat in the second inning Thomas drew a walk but was left stranded. In the fourth, the outfielder struck out looking.  Thomas led off the seventh with his second walk, and later scored on a single by Nick Heath.

Tommy Edman (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Tommy Edman played second base and hit ninth.  Edman led off the third with a walk but did not score.  The second baseman walked again in the fifth but was doubled off on a line drive double play.  In the seventh, Edman popped out to the Salt River second baseman.

In what appeared to be a bullpen game, Connor Jones started for Surprise and pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit, fanning three and walking two.

Will Latcham pitched the fourth inning out of the bullpen, allowing one hit and one walk, but neither scored.

No other Cardinals saw action.

Saturday’s game:   No regular AFL game is scheduled.  The Annual Fall Stars game will take place at Surprise, with first pitch at 7:08 CT.  Pitcher Evan Kruczynski is the sole Cardinal on the West roster. The game will be televised on MLB Network and online.


Related article for members of The Cardinal Nation

Surprise Manager Stubby Clapp Highlights his Cardinals AFL Charges


Not yet a member?

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

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

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

Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – November 1, 2018

photo: Lane Thomas (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Three Cardinals position players contributed to the Surprise Saguaros’ win at Mesa on Thursday, including Lane Thomas’ three hits and a run scored.  Conner Greene earned his first AFL save.

Results for the game played on Thursday, November 1.

Andy Young (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

Surprise Saguaros 5 at Mesa Solar Sox 4

Three St. Louis Cardinals prospects appeared in the starting lineup for Surprise on Thursday and one closed the game on the mound, as Surprise defeated Mesa in a one run contest, 5-4.

Cleanup hitter Andy Young played second base for the Saguaros. Young struck out looking to end the inning and singled to left in the third, but was stranded.  In the fifth, the second baseman drew a walk and later scored on a three-run home run from Surprise teammate Will Craig.  Young hit an infield single to the pitcher in the seventh and then stole second base.  In his final at bat in the ninth, Young struck out looking.

Jeremy Martinez (Palm Beach Cardinals)

Lane Thomas played right field and hit fifth in the lineup.  Thomas led off the second inning with a line drive single to left field. Thomas scored two batters later when Cavan Biggio thumped a two-run home run to right field.  The Cardinal outfielder singled on a line drive to right in the third, flied out to left in the fifth, and grounded out to third in the seventh.  Thomas hit his third single of the game in the ninth, a line drive to left field.

Conner Greene (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The third Cardinal in the starting lineup, Jeremy Martinez, was the catcher and batted eighth.  Martinez hit an infield single to the Mesa third baseman in his first at bat in the second inning.  The catcher led off the fourth with a ground out to the shortstop, then drew a walk in the fifth.  Martinez drew his second walk of the game to lead off the eighth.

All three starting Cardinals contributed hits with Thomas having three and Young two.

Conner Greene closed out the game and got the save, his first in the AFL.  The right-hander’s ninth was scoreless with one hit allowed.

Friday’s game:   vs. Salt River, TBA 2:35 CT.


Related article for members of The Cardinal Nation

Walton’s Cardinals Arizona Fall League Report – November 1, 2018


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

Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – October 31, 2018

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

Cardinals Tommy Edman and Andy Young started for Surprise vs. Mesa on Wednesday. They reached base five times between them, including Edman’s double, but did not score. Reliever Will Latcham closed out the game and took the loss.

Results for the game played on Wednesday, October 31.

Surprise Saguaros 2, Mesa Solar Sox 4

Tommy Edman (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Two St. Louis Cardinals position players and one pitcher saw action in the Saguaros’ Wednesday home loss to the Mesa Solar Sox.

Tommy Edman hit leadoff and played shortstop and struck out swinging in his first at bat.  Edman grounded out in the third inning, drew a walk in the fourth, then singled to left in the sixth.  In the eighth Edman grounded out for the second time, and in the ninth, he struck out swinging.

Andy Young played second base and hit third in the lineup.  Young walked in his first at bat.  The second sacker popped out to the catcher in the third inning and flied out to center in the fourth.  Young walked in the sixth and reached on a fielding error in the eighth.

Right handed reliever Will Latcham pitched in the ninth and gave up the winning two runs to take the loss for Surprise.  The difference-maker was a two-run home run by Mesa’s first baseman Bobby Dalbec.  The loss was Latcham’s first in the AFL.

The Saguaros are 8-12 and sit in third/last place in the AFL West.

Thursday’s game:   at Mesa, RHP Scott Blewitt (KC) 2:35 CT.


Related article for members of The Cardinal Nation

Walton’s Cardinals Arizona Fall League Report – October 31, 2018


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Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – October 30, 2018

photo: Lane Thomas (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Two St. Louis Cardinals saw action in the Surprise Saguaros’ Tuesday loss to Peoria.  Lane Thomas hit a long ball and drove in four runs, while Connor Greene allowed two runs in a relief appearance.

Results for the game played on Tuesday, October 30.

Surprise Saguaros 7, Peoria Javelinas 12

Lane Thomas (Springfield Cardinals)

Two St. Louis Cardinals prospects saw action in Tuesday’s 12-7 rout of the Saguaros by the Peoria Javelinas.

Lane Thomas batted sixth and played CF for Surprise.  Thomas made his first at bat in the contest count, with a three run home run to left center field.  This long ball plus a later RBI double by Saguaro teammate Santiago Espinal put them up 4-0.  Thomas struck out on a foul tip in his second at bat in the third inning.  In the fifth, the Cardinals outfielder hit a sacrifice fly and two runs scored on a Peoria fielding error, but only one counted as an RBI for Thomas, giving him four RBI in the game.  Thomas finished his night at the plate by reaching on a catcher interference in the seventh and striking out swinging in the ninth.

Connor Jones (St. Louis Cardinals)

Cardinals right hander Connor Jones relieved Saguaros starter Tai Tiedemann with two outs in the fourth inning.  Jones walked his first batter then got the final out of the inning on a ground out.

Jones returned to pitch the fifth and again walked the first man up.  The next batter doubled to score a run.  A ground out advanced the runner to third with one out.  A second ground out scored that runner, and two runs were charged to Jones.  The last batter also grounded out to end the inning.  Jones pitched 1 1/3 innings with one hit allowed and two runs scored.

No other Cardinals saw action.  The Saguaros are 7-11 and are now tied with the Glendale Desert Dogs, five games behind first place Peoria in the AFL West.

Wednesday’s game:  vs. Mesa, LHP Shawn Morimando (TOR), 2:35 CT.


Related article for members of The Cardinal Nation

Walton’s Cardinals Arizona Fall League Report – October 30


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of October 22-28

photo: Roberto Clemente Award ceremony (St. Louis Cardinals)

Yadier Molina is front and center in St. Louis Cardinals news from the prior week. In our weekly history feature, the trade that sent pitcher Rick Wise to Boston for outfielder Reggie Smith is remembered.


Molina receives Roberto Clemente Award

Major League Baseball announced prior to the start of Game 2 of the World Series that St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is the recipient of the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award. The Clemente Award recognizes a player who exemplifies extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions.  It is given annually and is considered the most prominent individual off-field player award in Major League Baseball.

Molina was honored for his personal and financial efforts to help rebuild Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.  He joins Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado as the only native Puerto Ricans to win the award.

The catcher not only provided money, food and supplies to aid his native land, but walked the streets of Puerto Rico for two weeks hand delivering supplies and helping to repair homes and rebuild infrastructure.

Molina is the fifth Cardinals player to win the prestigious award, along with Beltran, Albert Pujols, Ozzie Smith, and Lou Brock.

He was unable to attend the ceremony in Boston as he was managing Puerto Rico’s U-23 national team in World Cup action in Colombia, but was represented by his wife, Wanda, and their two children in the ceremony at Fenway Park. They received the award from Clemente’s widow, Vera.

You can watch the full ceremony here: https://atmlb.com/2PTVVfB 


Two Cardinals are Gold Glove Award top finishers

The top three vote-getters at each position in each league for the 2018 Gold Glove Awards were announced this past Thursday, and two Cardinals made the cut.  Yadier Molina was named a “finalist,” along with fellow catchers Manny Piña of the Brewers, and Buster Posey of the Giants.  Molina has won eight Gold Gloves in his career, most recently in 2015.

Also named was second baseman Kolten Wong.  This top-three finish is Wong’s first.  Wong’s competition for the award is Javy Baez of the Cubs and D. J. LeMahieu of the Rockies.  Wong amassed 19 Defensive Runs Saved in 2018, one more than LeMahieu.  Baez has five Defensive Runs saved at second base in 2018.

It would also be a first Gold Glove Award for Baez.  LeMahieu is a two-time prior winner.

The winners will be announced on November 4.


Two Cardinals heading to Japan

John Brebbia (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

John Brebbia will join Molina as Cardinals representatives in MLB’s Japan Series. A team of MLB players will face standouts from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) in six games to be held across Japan from November 8-15. Miami’s Don Mattingly will be the squad’s manager.

The All-Star Tour games in November will mark the 37th time overall that Major Leaguers have toured Japan for exhibition games, dating back to 1908. The All-Star Tour will be hosted in Tokyo (Tokyo Dome), Hiroshima (Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium) and Nagoya (Nagoya Dome). The events will begin with an exhibition game against the Yomiuri Giants in Tokyo on November 8th, followed by three games in Tokyo from November 9th-11th, one game in Hiroshima on November 13th and two games in Nagoya on November 14th-15th. – per MLB.com

The full roster can be seen here: https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-announces-roster-all-star-tour-in-japan/c-299919036


Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions  

  • 10/20 The Cardinals signed free agent RHP Engels Martinez to a minor league contract.
  • 10/20 The Cardinals signed free agent LHP Michael Ozoria to a minor league contract.

TCN members can read more about the signings here.

Cardinals Trickle of International Signings Continue


Injury Report

There are no new injury updates to report.


Looking Ahead

The World Series concluded in five games on Sunday night, October 28, with the Boston Red Sox and Joe Kelly defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers of David Freese.

All off-season activities will now begin.  Pending free agents will officially become free agents today, the day after the World Series. Free agents can sign with their prior club during the next five days, after which they can negotiate with any team.  Adam Wainwright has agreed to a one-year deal to return to St. Louis in 2019, which will now be finalized, and the terms of the new deal should be disclosed soon after.

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

Status of players with contract options or opt-outs will be resolved by this Wednesday, October 31. The deadline to extend qualifying offers is 5 pm ET this Friday, November 2. Players have until November 12 to accept or reject the qualifying offer. No Cardinals are expected to be among this group, though it is relevant for potential free agent signings, as a 2019 draft pick would be forfeited if a player who rejected a QO is signed (such as with Greg Holland in 2018).

The 40-man roster must be finalized prior to the upcoming Rule 5 draft in December.  The deadline for doing so is on or about November 20.

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

November brings awards.  The following are the major awards to be given and the dates the winners will be announced.

Nov 4 – Gold Gloves
Nov 5 – Executive of the Year
Nov 7 – Defensive Player of the Year
Nov 8 – Silver Sluggers
Nov 12 – Rookie of the Year
Nov 13 – Manager of the Year
Nov 14 – Cy Young
Nov 15 – Most Valuable Player
Nov 19 – Comeback Player of the Year
Nov 20 – Designated Hitter of the Year (AL only)


Blast from the Past

The trade and acquisition series continues with a trade that was not particularly memorable in and of itself, but was the end result of what many consider to be the worst trade the Cardinals ever made.  That trade was the infamous Steve Carlton for Rick Wise deal.

Rick Wise

On February 25, 1972, the Cardinals dealt left handed pitcher Steve Carlton to the Philadelphia Phillies for right-hander Rick Wise in what is considered one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history.  This trade has been covered in past history articles, so that trade is not the subject of this week’s Blast from the Past, but the subsequent trade of Wise by the Cardinals to the Boston Red Sox.

Wise pitched for two seasons with the Cardinals, amassing a record of 32-28 with an ERA of 3.24.  The trade looks to be fine at first blush, as Wise pitched fairly well in his two seasons in St. Louis.  When compared to Carlton’s career after the Cardinals traded him though, the trade was a bust for the Cardinals.  Carlton had the best seasons of his career with the Phillies, winning four Cy Young Awards and cementing his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Reggie Smith

After his two seasons in St. Louis, the Cardinals traded Wise to the Boston Red Sox on October 26, 1973 along with Bernie Carbo, for outfielder Reggie Smith and right-handed reliever Ken Tatum.  Tatum’s Cardinals career was short lived, as he was flipped after Spring Training 1974 to the Chicago White Sox.  Smith played for three seasons with St. Louis, slashing .293/.371/.495 with 50 home runs and 199 RBI.  Smith was traded in mid-season of 1976 to the Dodgers.

In the end, the Cardinals received two average seasons of Rick Wise and subsequently three average seasons of Reggie Smith while losing one of the greatest left handed pitchers in baseball history.  It all happened because of a contract dispute that could have been resolved.  Not the finest moment in the history of the Cardinals franchise.


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Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – October 27, 2018

photo: Evan Kruczynski (Palm Beach Cardinals)

Surprise’s Saturday 4-0 shutout over Scottsdale featured five scoreless innings from Evan Kruczynski and three more combiined from Conner Greene and Will Latcham. Lane Thomas singled, but Tommy Edman went 0-for-4.

Results for the game played on Saturday, October 27.

Surprise Saguaros 4, Scottsdale Scorpions 0

Evan Kruczynski (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Saguaros blanked the Scorpions on Saturday with five St. Louis Cardinals seeing action.  In the starting batting order were Lane Thomas, playing left field and batting sixth, and Tommy Edman, playing second base and batting eighth.

Thomas led off the second inning for his first at bat and struck out swinging.  The left fielder grounded out in the fourth, flied out in the sixth, and singled to right in the eighth.

Will Latcham (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

Edman came to the plate for the first time in the second and struck out looking.  He led off the fifth and struck out swinging, grounded out in the sixth, and flied out in the eighth.

Surprise’s starting pitcher was Cardinals lefty Evan Kruczynski.  Kruczynski hurled five scoreless innings, allowing three hits, striking out five and walking two.  The left hander is 2-1 in the AFL with an ERA of 1.72.

Two Cardinals relievers followed Kruczynski. Conner Greene gave up one hit in his scoreless inning of relief, fanned one, walked one and threw a wild pitch.  Will Latcham tossed two scoreless innings, with one hit allowed, one strikeout and one free pass.

Houston’s top prospect, Forrest Whitley, took the loss for Scottsdale.

The Saguaros stand at 7-9, three games behind first-place Peoria in the AFL West.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled.


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Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – October 26, 2018

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

Only one St. Louis Cardinals prospect made an appearance in Surprise’s Friday win at Scottsdale. Second baseman Andy Young hit cleanup and singled in four at-bats for the Saguaros.

Results for the game played Friday, October 26.

Surprise Saguaros 3 at Scottsdale Scorpions 1

Andy Young (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Surprise Saguaros finally got in the win column again on Friday as they defeated the Scottsdale Scorpions, 3-1, to break their five-game losing skid.

Andy Young played second base and hit cleanup for Surprise.  Young went 1-for-4 with a single and a strikeout.  The Cardinals second sacker singled to left field in the first inning.  Young popped out to lead off the fourth, then struck out swinging in the sixth. In his final at bat in the seventh, a wild pitch while he was at the plate brought a run home, but Young flied out to right field for the final out of the inning.

Four Surprise pitchers combined on a two-hitter, with starter Scott Blewett picking up the win after allowing just one hit with no walks and six strikeouts over five innings. The Royals prospect is already the reigning AFL Pitcher of the Week. The Saguaros’ stars led the offense, as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had two hits, a stolen base and an RBI, Cavan Biggio homered and Julio Pablo Martinez doubled and scored.

No Cardinals other than Young saw action Friday.  The Saguaros are 6-9 in the AFL West, three games back of first place Peoria.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Scottsdale, Evan Kruczynski (1-1, 2.53) 2:35 CT.


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Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – October 20, 2018

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

Three St. Louis Cardinals were in the starting lineup in the Surprise Saguaros’ extra-innings loss on Saturday. Andy Young hit his first AFL home run and walked twice, Tommy Edman doubled, walked, stole a base and plated one and Lane Thomas stole a base, drove in one and scored another.

Results for the game played on Saturday, October 20.

Surprise Saguaros 7, Scottsdale Scorpions 9 (11 innings)

Tommy Edman (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Saguaros fell in extra innings to the Scottsdale Scorpions on Saturday.  Three Cardinals were in the starting lineup for Surprise.

Tommy Edman was the leadoff hitter for the Saguaros and played third base.  Edman doubled to right in the first inning and later scored on a double by Surprise teammate Cole Tucker, from the Pirates organization.  Edman grounded out in the third and the fifth. He drew a walk and stole second base in the seventh.  The third sacker grounded out a third time in the eighth, then hit a sac fly to plate Memphis teammate Lane Thomas in the 10th.

Andy Young started at second base and hit sixth.  He grounded out in his first at bat in the first inning and drew a walk in the fourth.  Then in the sixth, Young blasted a solo home run to left field, for his first home run of the AFL.  Young popped out in the in the eighth and was intentionally walked in the ninth.

Lane Thomas (Springfield Cardinals)

Thomas was the eighth hitter in the lineup and played right field.  Thomas flied out in the second inning and struck out looking in the fourth.  In the sixth, Thomas grounded into a force out, but stole a base.  The right fielder drove in a run on a sac fly in the eighth but struck out swinging in the ninth.  Thomas began the 10th on second base and scored on Edman’s sac fly.

No other Cardinals saw action in the game, in which four of six Saguaros pitchers were scored upon. Surprise has a record of 5-5 and is in second place in the AFL West.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled.


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Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – October 19, 2018

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

Three Cardinals contributed to the Surprise Saguaros’ 3-1 victory over the Mesa Solar Sox on Friday night.  Left fielder Lane Thomas scored a run and plated another, catcher Jeremy Martinez singled and walked, and Conner Greene threw 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Results for the game played on Friday, October 19.

Surprise Saguaros 3 at Mesa Solar Sox 1

Lane Thomas (Springfield Cardinals)

The Saguaros defeated the Mesa Solar Sox on Friday night, with three St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers seeing action.

Lane Thomas hit second and played left field.  In the initial inning, Thomas popped out to second base, then drew a walk in the fourth and later scored on a sac fly by Saguaro teammate Cavan Biggio, son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio and a Toronto Blue Jays prospect.   In his final two plate appearances, Thomas struck out swinging in the sixth, and hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth to drive in Surprise’s third and final run.

Jeremy Martinez (Palm Beach Cardinals)

The starting catcher for the Saguaros was Jeremy Martinez, who hit sixth.  The catcher singled in the second but was called out on a catcher interference with Saguaro teammate Julio Martinez at the plate.  The Cardinals’ Martinez lined out in the fourth and grounded into a double play in the seventh.  Martinez drew a walk in his final plate appearance in the ninth.

The final Cardinals minor leaguer to make an appearance was pitcher Conner Greene. Greene relieved Surprise starter Shawn Morimando of Toronto, and pitched 2 1/3 scoreless relief innings, striking out three and walking two, while allowing one hit.

The Saguaros’ AFL record stands at 5-4, and they are in second place in the AFL West behind the Peoria Javelinas.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Scottsdale, TBA 2:35 CT.


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11 Cardinals Among BA’s Top Prospects by League


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

photo: Adam Wainwright (USA TODAY Sports Images)

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


Wainwright to return for 2019

Adam Wainwright (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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

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

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

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

Wainwright’s Return Puts the Pressure on Shildt


Carlos Martinez (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Martinez back into the rotation

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

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


Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

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


Transactions  

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

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

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


Marcell Ozuna (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Injury Report

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

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


Looking Ahead

Bud Norris (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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

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

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

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


Blast from the Past

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

Adam Wainwright (Atlanta Braves)

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

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

J.D Drew (Getty Images)

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

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

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


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Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – October 13, 2018

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

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

Results for the game played on Friday, October 12.

Lane Thomas (Springfield Cardinals)

Surprise Saguaros 4, Glendale Desert Dogs 1

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

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

Andy Young (Andrew Miller/Palm Beach Cardinals)

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

No other Cardinals saw action.

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


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Projected 2018 Cardinals Minor League Free Agents


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

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

Matt Carpenter (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Carpenter finalist for Hank Aaron Award

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

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

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

Final Regular Season and Wild Card Standings

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

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

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

Transactions 

There are no transactions to report.

Paul DeJong (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Injury Report

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

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

Looking Ahead

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

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

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

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

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

Blast from the Past

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

Curt Flood (Associated Press photo)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

TCN 2018 Peoria Chiefs Player of the Year

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

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

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

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

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


Game Recaps

Monday, September 24 – Cardinals 4, Brewers 6

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, September 25 – Cardinals 4, Brewers 12

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

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

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


Wednesday, September 26 – Cardinals 1, Brewers 2

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

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

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


Thursday, September 27- Off day


Friday, September 28 – Cardinals 4 at Cubs 8

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

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

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

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


Saturday, September 29 – Cardinals 2 at Cubs 1

Miles Mikolas (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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

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

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


Sunday, September 30 – Cardinals 5 at Cubs 10

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

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

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

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


Big Picture

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

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

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

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


Author’s opinion on the season and the upcoming offseason

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

Mike Shildt (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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

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

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

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

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


Standings pending Monday tiebreaker games

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

Who’s Hot

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

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

Who’s Not

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

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

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last seven games.

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

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions  

There are no transactions to report.


Injury Report

There are no new injuries to report.


Looking Ahead

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

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

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

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


Blast from the Past

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

2018 TCN Palm Beach Cardinals Starting Pitcher of the Year


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

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

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

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

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


Game Recaps

Monday, September 17 – Cardinals 11 at Braves 6

Kolten Wong (USA TODAY Sports Images)

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

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


Tuesday, September 18 – Cardinals 8 at Braves 1

Paul DeJong (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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


Wednesday, September 19 – Cardinals 3 at Braves 7

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

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


Thursday, September 20 – Off day


Friday, September 21 – Cardinals 5, Giants 3

Matt Adams (USA TODAY Sports)

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

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


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

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

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

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


Sunday, September 23 – Cardinals 9, Giants 2

Miles Mikolas (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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


Big Picture

Matt Carpenter (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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

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


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

 


Who’s Hot

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

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

Who’s Not

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

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

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

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

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

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions  

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

Injury Report

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

Looking Ahead

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

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

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.

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


Blast from the Past

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

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

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

Matt Holliday/Pete Kozma (Getty Images)

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

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

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

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


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

TCN 2018 Palm Beach Cardinals Relief Pitcher of the Year


Not yet a member?

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

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Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of September 10-16

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

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


Game Recaps

Monday, September 10 – Cardinals 8, Pirates 7

Matt Adams (USA TODAY Sports)

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

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

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


Tuesday, September 11 – Cardinals 11, Pirates 5

Miles Mikolas (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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


Wednesday, September 12 – Cardinals 3, Pirates 4

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

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

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


Thursday, September 13 – Cardinals 7, Dodgers 9

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

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

The Cardinals fought back but fell short.


Friday, September 14 – Cardinals 0, Dodgers 3

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

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

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


Saturday, September 15 – Cardinals 4, Dodgers 17

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

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

Sunday, September 16 – Cardinals 5, Dodgers 0

Adam Wainwright (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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


Big Picture

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

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

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

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


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

 


Who’s Hot

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

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

Who’s Not

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

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

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

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

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

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions  

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

Injury Report

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

Looking Ahead

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

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

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

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.

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


Blast from the Past

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation:

Memphis Redbirds Notebook – 2018 Week 23 – Playoffs


Not yet a member?

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

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

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

Cardinals Minor League Notebook Postseason Edition – September 16, 2018

photo: Memphis Redbirds PCL title celebration (Memphis Redbirds)

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

Results for games played Saturday, September 15.


Jake Woodford (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Memphis 5, Fresno 0

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

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

Randy Arozarena (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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

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


Peoria 1 at Bowling Green 6

Nick Dunn (State College Spikes)

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

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

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

Game 4 of the series will be played on Sunday.

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


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Memphis Redbirds Notebook – 2018 Week 23 – Playoffs

Not yet a member?

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

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

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

Cardinals Minor League Notebook Postseason Edition – September 15, 2018

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

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

Results for games played Friday, September 14.


Memphis 2, Fresno 1 (11 innings)

Alex Mejia (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

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

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

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

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


Peoria – off day

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

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


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Memphis Redbirds Notebook – 2018 Week 23 – Playoffs

Not yet a member?

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

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

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

Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of September 3-9

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

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


Game Recaps

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

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

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


Tuesday, Sept 4 – Cardinals 11 at Nationals 8

Marcell Ozuna (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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

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


Wednesday, Sept 5 – Cardinals 7 at Nationals 6

Matt Adams (USA TODAY Sports)

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

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


Thursday, Sept 6 – Off day


Friday, Sept 7 – Cardinals 3 at Tigers 5

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

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

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


Saturday, Sept 8 – Cardinals 3 at Tigers 4

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

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


Sunday, Sept 9 – Cardinals 5 at Tigers 2

John Gant (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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


Big Picture

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Who’s Hot

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

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

Who’s Not

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

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

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

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

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

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions  

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

Injury Report

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

Looking Ahead

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

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

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

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

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.


Blast from the Past

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Teen Herrera Learns from Taste of Double-A


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook Postseason Edition – September 9, 2018

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

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

Results for game played Saturday, September 8.


Memphis vs. Oklahoma City (postponed)

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

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


Peoria 5 at Cedar Rapids 3

Nick Dunn (State College Spikes)

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

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

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

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


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

State College Spikes Notebook 2018 – Week 12

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook Postseason Edition – September 8, 2018

photo: Max Schrock (Memphis Redbirds)

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

Results for games played Friday, September 7.


Memphis 5, Oklahoma City 4

Max Schrock (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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

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

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

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

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


Peoria – off day

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

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


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Memphis Redbirds Notebook – 2018 Week 22

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Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of August 27 – September 2

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

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


Game Recaps

Monday, August 27 – Off day


Tuesday, August 28 – Cardinals 5, Pirates 2

Jack Flaherty (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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

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


Wednesday, August 29 – Cardinals 0, Pirates 2

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

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

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


Thursday, August 30 – Cardinals 5, Pirates 0

John Gant (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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


Friday, August 31 – Cardinals 12, Reds 5

Paul DeJong (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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

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


Saturday, Sept 1 – Cardinals 0, Reds 4

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Big Picture

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Who’s Hot

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

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

Who’s Not

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

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

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

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

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

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions  

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

Injury Report

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

Looking Ahead

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

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

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

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

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


Blast from the Past

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Gulf Coast League Cardinals Notebook – 2018 Week 11

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 2, 2018

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

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

Results for games played Saturday, September 1.


Memphis 8 at Nashville 1

Adam Wainwright (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

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

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

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

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

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


Springfield 3, Tulsa 5

Jose Alexander Martinez (Peoria Chiefs)

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

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

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

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


Palm Beach 7 at Lakeland 2

Alex Fagalde (State College Spikes)

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

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

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

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

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


Peoria 4 at Quad Cities 8

Zach Kirtley (State College Spiles

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

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

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

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

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


State College 3 at Williamsport 7

Cory Malcom (St. Louis Cardinals)

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

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

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

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


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Cardinals Weekend Minors Transactions – September 1-2, 2018

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