All posts by Marilyn Green

Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – October 23, 2021

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

The Glendale Desert Dogs defeated the Surprise Saguaros by a 9-2 score at Camelback Ranch on Friday. Three Cardinals saw action, two in the starting lineup and one pitcher out of the bullpen.  Lars Nootbaar and Juan Yepez drove in seven runs between them.

Desert Dogs 9, Saguaros 2

The Glendale Desert Dogs blew past the Surprise Saguaros by the score of 9-2 on Friday at Camelback Ranch.  Lars Nootbaar and Juan Yepez were in the starting lineup and Zack Thompson finished the game out of the bullpen.

Right fielder Nootbaar hit leadoff for Glendale and first baseman Yepez batted second in the lineup.

The Desert Dogs scored first with one run in the first inning.  Nootbaar led off the game with a double, and later scored on a single by the Angels’ Orlando Martinez.

Glendale added to its lead with four runs in the fourth inning.  Dodgers’ prospect James Outman hit a solo home run.  The Angels’ Jeremiah Jackson and the Dodgers’ Jacob Amaya singled.  Nootbaar drew a walk to load the bases.  Yepez followed with a bases clearing double to center field. The first sacker leads the AFL with 11 RBI.

Juan Yepez

The Desert Dogs went up 6-0 in the seventh on a solo home run by Yepez.  The Saguaros finally got on the board with two runs in the eighth.  Glendale answered in the home half of the frame with three more runs.  Outman doubled, and Amaya singled.  Nootbaar followed with a three-run home run to right field, his league-leading fourth.

Lars Nootbaar

Nootbaar went 2-for-4 with a walk, three RBI and three runs scored.  Yepez was 2-for-5 with a run scored and four RBI.

Zack Thompson took the mound in the ninth inning.  The left hander logged a scoreless frame, but it took 23 pitches and it was busy on the bases with one hit and two walks allowed along with one strikeout. With the bases loaded and one out, Thompson induced two infield pop outs to escape unscathed.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Solar Sox, Chad Donato RHP (1-0, 9.00) vs. Jeff Criswell RHP (1-0, 4.91) 8:35 CT.


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2021 Cardinals Minors Leaders – Pitching Counting Stats


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Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – October 21, 2021

photo: Brendan Donovan and Juan Yepez (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Glendale Desert Dogs lost to the Peoria Javelinas by a one run margin at Camelback Ranch on Wednesday night. Four Cardinals played, three in the starting lineup plus the starting pitcher. Brendan Donovan walked, doubled and scored. Juan Yepez plated one of the Glendale’s four runs.

Results of the game played Wednesday, October 20.

Desert Dogs 4, Javelinas 5 (seven innings)

Glendale was edged by Peoria by a 5-4 score on Wednesday night.

Jordan Hicks started for the Desert Dogs and pitched 2 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits. The St. Louis right hander struck out two and walked three. Peoria runs came across in the first on a wild pitch and a double. The third inning run was the result of a free pass. With two out, Hicks was pulled at 52 pitches with the inherited runner coming across when the Desert Dogs’ first reliever couldn’t secure an out while yielding a stolen base, two singles and a hit by pitch.

Three Cardinals were in the starting lineup. Lars Nootbaar started in center and led off.  He went 0-for-2, grounding out and popping out, but reached base twice with free passes. First baseman Juan Yepez hit third. Brendan Donovan was the right fielder, hitting seventh.

Glendale scored three runs in the second inning to take a 3-2 lead. Astros’ prospect Grae Kessinger led off with a single, and Donovan followed with a double that moved Kessinger to third. Kessinger scored on a sac fly by the Angels’ Jeremiah Jackson. Dodger Jacob Amaya and Nootbaar followed with walks. When White Sox prospect Jose Rodriguez also walked, Donovan scored. Yepez walked to plate Amaya.

Brendan Donovan

After the Javelinas regained the lead in the third, scoring two to make it 4-3, they added a fifth run in the fourth.

The Desert Dogs brought it to within one run in the sixth. Donovan walked. Jackson grounded into a force out and Donovan was out at second. Amaya singled, advancing Jackson to third. A wild pitch sent Jackson home.

Donovan and Yepez were 1-for-3. Donovan’s double was the only extra base hit for Glendale.

Thursday’s game:  at Salt River, Landon Knack RHP (0-0, 0.00) vs. Wilmer Flores RHP (0-0, 4.50) 8:35 CT.


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2021 Dominican Summer League Cardinals Blue Starting Pitcher of the Year


Now 20% Off – 2021 Cardinals Prospect Guide

Now available, The Cardinal Nation 2021 Prospect Guide is back for a fourth year. It includes over 250 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos.

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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of October 11-17

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

The St. Louis Cardinals made a surprise managerial change, with a number of rumored replacement candidates for Mike Shildt having internal connections. Our history feature covers the NLCS and St. Louis’ prior success in it.

Shildt fired in surprise announcement

Mike Shildt (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis baseball world was abruptly greeted on Thursday afternoon with news that Cardinals manager Mike Shildt had been terminated from his position, effective immediately. After the news broke on social media, a press conference via Zoom was announced to begin right away.

President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak, and Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. greeted the assembled press online with the announcement that the organization had made the decision to cut ties with Shildt due to “philosophical differences.”  Though exact details were not forthcoming, Mozeliak told the media that during a series of end of season meetings that had taken place over the last 5 or 6 days, it became clear that Shildt and the front office could not “get on the same page” concerning the direction of the team for 2022.

Shildt, 53, had one year remaining on his current contract, and there had been talk that the two sides would come together to work out an extension. Instead, the differences that developed between the skipper and the front office were such that the organization felt it was best to cut the cord immediately.

Mozeliak stated in the Zoom that the firing was not a reaction to the season that had just ended but was more forward looking as to the where the team was headed in the near future. Mozeliak declined to specify the exact nature of the philosophical differences but did outline to the media that the organization’s philosophy is and has always been under his tenure to have a pipeline of talent flowing from the farm system to the major leagues to fill out the roster, and that philosophy was not open for debate. One could infer that perhaps Shildt had attempted to debate it.

Mozeliak informed the media that Shildt was “very shocked” when he was notified of his dismissal. The Cardinals must now seek a replacement. Mozeliak said that there were internal candidates that would be considered but did not rule out a replacement from outside the organization. He stated that they should have a new manager chosen by mid-November. Bench coach Ollie Marmol and first base coach Stubby Clapp are likely on the short list of internal candidates.

Mozeliak went on to state that no further changes to the 2022 coaching staff were anticipated.

At the time of the announcement, Shildt was not available for comment, but he issued a statement via Zoom on Monday in which he thanked by name those in the organization from top to bottom as well as those who have moved on.

The former manager chose not to get into details behind the differences that led to his firing, asking to move on rather than speculating.

“Clearly there were differences in philosophies,” Shildt said. “What differences there were will remain unsaid publicly.”

Skip Schumaker

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

Following the surprise dismissal of Shildt, rumors of who will replace him have emerged. Jon Morosi of MLB Network tweeted that current coaches Oliver Marmol and Stubby Clapp are expected to be considered for the managerial vacancy.

Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune tweeted that some players in San Diego are hearing that former Cardinal Skip Schumaker could be a candidate for the manager job as well.

Transactions

There are no transactions to report.

Injury Report

There are no new injuries to report.

Looking Ahead

When the postseason ends, the offseason begins with the election of free agency for eligible players. This is official at 9 am on the morning after the end of the World Series. Following a five-day exclusive window to negotiate with their former team, all free agents can then sign with other teams.

The Cardinals have nine players set to become free agents absent being re-signed by the team. This list does not include Nolan Arenado, who has an opt-out clause in his contract but has notified the team he does not intend to exercise it.

Nolan Arenado

The nine impending free agents are Matt Carpenter, Andrew Miller, Carlos Martinez, Kwang-Hyun Kim, J.A. Happ, Jon Lester, T.J. McFarland, Luis Garcia, and Wade Le Blanc. Carpenter and Martinez have 2022 team options that the Cardinals are not expected to pick up. Garcia and McFarland may be re-signed for 2022 if deals can be reached. Miller is not likely to be made an offer. The remaining players may or may not be returning to the Cardinals, either on a major league deal or a minor league deal.

Teams can also make Qualifying Offers to eligible free agents. The deadline for teams to tender the Qualifying Offer is 4 pm CT on the fifth day following the World Series. The Cardinals are not expected to make a qualifying offer to any of their pending free agents.

In other free agency news, former Cardinals’ reliever Tyler Webb has elected minor league free agency following his 2021 season with the Memphis Redbirds. Webb was designated for assignment in midseason after a poor showing in the St. Louis bullpen and pitched out of the Memphis bullpen for the remainder of the season.

Tyler Webb

Blast from the Past

This week’s Blast continues the series on Cardinals postseason history with a look at the NLCS and the history of the Cardinals teams that have participated. We start with a brief history of the genesis of this level of the postseason.

The National League Championship Series (NLCS) began in the 1969 season due to a restructuring of the two leagues. Prior to 1969, there were no divisions in either league; instead, the World Series was played by the “pennant winner” in each league, which was the team with the best win-loss record at the end of the season. In 1969, MLB reorganized both leagues into two divisions in each, an East and a West division. At the end of the regular season, the two Division winners played each other in a best of five series to determine who would be the pennant winner and thus move on to the World Series. This Championship Series changed to a best of seven format in 1985.

In 1994, the Division Series came to be, and another reorganization added a third division to each league, plus a Wild Card team to play one of the three Division winners. The winner of each of the Division Series advanced to the Championship Series.

The NLCS was in existence for 13 seasons before the Cardinals made their first appearance in it. The Cardinals teams of the 1970s failed to win their division in any year of that decade. The first season in which the Cardinals advanced to the NLCS was 1982. They won the NL East Division that season with a record of 92-70. They played the NL West winning Atlanta Braves in the NLCS. The Cardinals under Whitey Herzog swept Joe Torre’s Braves in three games, 7-0, 4-3, and 6-2. They went on to the defeat the AL’s representative, the Milwaukee Brewers, in the World Series.

Following are the seasons in which the Cardinals played in the NLCS after 1982, who they played, and the winner and scores of each game won.

1985 season – The Cardinals played the Los Angeles Dodgers and won 4 games to 2. This was the first season the series was a best of seven format. The Cardinals lost the first two games in Los Angeles, but defeated the Dodgers in the final four games, 4-2, 12-2, 3-2, and 7-5. The Cardinals went to play the Kansas City Royals in the World Series but were defeated in seven games.

1987 season – St. Louis met the San Francisco Giants in the 1987 NLCS and were the winners of that series 4 games to 3. The Cardinals won Games 1, 3, 6, and 7.  The scores of those games were 5-3, 6-5, 1-0, and 6-0. St. Louis went to the World Series and lost to the Minnesota Twins in seven games.

1996 season – After eight seasons with no NLCS appearance, the Cardinals returned to play the Braves in the 1996 NLCS. Tony La Russa’s first season as the manager of the Cardinals ended with a 4-3 series loss to Bobby Cox’s Braves. The Cardinals three wins in the series were games 2, 3, and 4, and the scores of those games were 8-3, 3-2, and 4-3.

2000 season – The Cardinals met the New York Mets in the 2000 NLCS. St. Louis won only one game of this best of seven series, Game 3 by the score of 8-3 in Shea Stadium.

2002 season – The 2002 season saw the Cardinals once again in the NLCS, and once again they lost. This series, like the 2000 series, was lost 4 games to 1. The single game the Cardinals won was Game 3 again, and in the road park as well, just like in 2000. The score of Game 3 was 5-4.

2004 season – The Cardinals beat the Houston Astros 4 games to 3 in the 2004 NLCS. St. Louis prevailed in Games 1, 2, 6, and 7, all at Busch Stadium. The scores were 10-7, 6-4, 6-4, and 5-2. The Cardinals advanced to the World Series against the Boston Red Sox and were swept in four games.

2006 season – Perhaps the most iconic of all the Cardinals NCLS wins was the 2006 series win over the Mets, 4 games to 3. The most memorable moment of this series was arguably the final out of Game 7 when rookie pitcher Adam Wainwright struck out Carlos Beltran with a curveball in the ninth inning. St. Louis won games 2, 3, 5, and 7 of the series by the scores of 9-6, 5-0, 4-2, and 3-1. The Cardinals defeated the Detroit Tigers in the World Series 4-1.

2011 season – The Cardinals won the 2011 NLCS over their NL Central rivals the Milwaukee Brewers 4 games to 2. In the last NLCS played by Albert Pujols in a Cardinals uniform, the team won games 2, 3, 5, and 7.  The scores of the four games were 12-3, 4-3, 7-1, and 12-6.

2012 season – The Cardinals faced the Giants in the 2012 NLCS, the first postseason for new manager Mike Matheny. St. Louis lost the series 4-3. They won Game 1 (6-4), Game 3 (3-1) and Game 4 (8-3).

2013 season – The Cardinals prevailed over the Dodgers 4 games to 2. St. Louis won Game 1 by the score of 3-2 in 13 innings. They then won Game 2 (1-0), Game 4 (4-2), and Game 6 (9-0). The Cardinals lost to the Boston Red Sox in the World Series 4-2.

2014 season – St. Louis went down in defeat once again to the Giants, this time 4 games to 1. The Cardinals lone win was Game 2 by the score of 5-4.

2019 season – The Cardinals went to the NLCS after a four-season hiatus in 2019, under the management of Mike Shildt, in his first full season as the Redbird manager. St. Louis lost the series in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Washington Nationals. The Cardinals scored only six runs over the four games, getting shutout in Game 1, and scoring one run each in Game 2 and 3.

Next week we end the series with a look back at all 11 of the Cardinals World Series Championships.

Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

Cardinals Arizona Fall League Interview – Brendan Donovan

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Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – October 17, 2021

photo: Brendan Donovan (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Glendale Desert Dogs prevailed over the Surprise Saguaros in a Saturday night contest at Surprise Stadium. Three Cardinals were in the starting lineup for Glendale. Brendan Donovan had three hits and drove in a run.

Results of the game played Saturday, October 16.

Desert Dogs 6 at Saguaros 4

The Glendale Desert Dogs defeated the Surprise Saguaros on Saturday night at Surprise Stadium. The win was the third in four games in the AFL season to date for Glendale.

Three Cardinals were in the starting lineup for the Desert Dogs. Lars Nootbaar hit leadoff and played in right field. Nolan Gorman manned second base and hit in the cleanup spot. Third baseman Brendan Donavan hit seventh.

Surprise scored first with two runs in the third inning. Glendale tied it up 2-2 in the in the fifth. Astros prospect Grae Kessinger led off the inning with a walk. Donovan followed with a double to left that advanced Kessinger to third. Kessinger scored on a ground out by the Angels’ Jeremiah Jackson. Donovan came home for the tying run on a fielding error on a ball in play by the Angels’ Anthony Mulrine.

The Saguaros answered with a run in the home half of the fifth to retake the lead, 3-2. Glendale responded in the sixth with two runs to flip the edge. Gorman drew a walk. Yoelqui Cespedes of the White Sox singled, then Gorman scored on a single by Kessinger. Donovan drove in Cespedes on a single.

The Desert Dogs increased their lead to 6-3 in the seventh. Astros prospect Pedro Leon walked and later scored on a fielding error by the second baseman on a ground ball by Gorman. Gorman scored one batter later on a balk.

Surprise added a final run in the eighth to make it 6-4, but Glendale held on to win.

Brendan Donovan

Donovan was 3-for-4 with an RBI. He struck out in his first at bat but followed that with a double and two singles. Nootbaar was 0-for-5 with a pop out, two fly outs and two ground outs. Gorman was 0-for-3 but was on base twice and scored twice. He grounded out, popped out, walked, and reached on an error.

Nootbaar made a fielding error.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled.


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2020 St. Louis Cardinals Draft Prospects Review


Now 20% Off – 2021 Cardinals Prospect Guide

Now available, The Cardinal Nation 2021 Prospect Guide is back for a fourth year. It includes over 250 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos.

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Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – October 16, 2021

photo: Juan Yepez (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

On Friday, St. Louis Cardinals’ slugger Juan Yepez played right field and from the cleanup spot, drove in one of Glendale’s three runs in the Desert Dogs’ first loss of the young AFL season.

Results from the game played Friday, October 15.

 

Desert Dogs 3, Scorpions 4

The Desert Dogs were edged by the Scorpions in a one run contest on Friday afternoon at Camelback Ranch.  Juan Yepez was the only Cardinal who saw action in this game, playing right field and hitting fourth in the lineup.

The Scorpions got on the board first on a solo home run.  To start the home half of the first, Astros prospect Pedro Leon reached on a fielding error and Dodgers prospect James Outman drew a walk.  Orlando Martinez from the Angels singled to load the bases.  Yepez’ sac fly drove in Glendale’s first run of the day.

Juan Yepez

The Desert Dogs scored again in the fourth, and a third run in the eighth, but the Scorpions’ three-run seventh gave them the one run edge.

Juan Yepez (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Yepez was 1-for-3 on the afternoon with one RBI.  In addition to the sac fly, Yepez grounded out in the fourth, struck out swinging in the sixth, and singled in the eighth (and was stranded).

Saturday’s game:  at Surprise, Robinson Pina RHP (0-0, 0.00) vs. James Marinan RHP (0-0, 0.00) 8:35 CT.

Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nationhm

Cardinals Arizona Fall League Interview – Lars Nootbaar

Now 20% Off – 2021 Cardinals Prospect Guide

Now available, The Cardinal Nation 2021 Prospect Guide is back for a fourth year. It includes over 250 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos.

20% off Blowout Sale now underway on the spiral-bound, printed version.

TCN’s 2021 Cardinals Prospect Guide – 20% Off Blowout Sale

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Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook – October 14, 2021

photo: Nolan Gorman (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Glendale Desert Dogs began their AFL season with an evening game at the Scottsdale Scorpions. The Desert Dogs prevailed in large part thanks to a three-run home run by St. Louis Cardinals top prospect Nolan Gorman.

Results for the game played on Wednesday, October 13.

Glendale 4 at Scottsdale 3 (link to box score)

On Opening Day of the Arizona Fall League, the Glendale Desert Dogs topped the Scottsdale Scorpions by a 4-3 score at Scottsdale Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Three Cardinals were in the starting lineup. Lars Nootbaar played in right field and hit second. Nolan Gorman was the second baseman and hit fourth, and first baseman Juan Yepez hit fifth.

Glendale scored first in the second inning. Dodgers prospect Kody Hoese led off with a single and scored on a ground out by White Sox prospect Yoelqui Cespedes. Scottsdale tied it up in the home half of the second.

In the third, Nootbaar drew a walk and Astros prospect Korey Lee singled. Nolan Gorman followed with a three-run blast to right field to put the Desert Dogs up 4-1.

Nolan Gorman

The Scorpions cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the third, then added a run in the fifth. Neither team scored for the remainder of the game and Glendale held on for the win.

In addition to the long ball, Gorman also walked and flied out a mile high to center field. Nootbaar walked and struck out twice. Yepez went 0-for-3 with a ground out, a hit by pitch, and a pop out to the catcher in foul territory.

Two Cardinals pitchers saw action, both who started in the regular season but are working in relief in the AFL. Andre Pallante relieved starter Johan Dominquez and pitched three innings. The right hander gave up two runs on five hits, fanned five and walked one. Left hander Zack Thompson threw the final three scoreless innings and was sharp with no hits allowed, five punchouts and no walks. Thompson (center in photo below) earned his first save.

Glendale Desert Dogs (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Thompson made the Desert Dogs’ only error, a fielding miscue on the first play of the ninth inning.

Thursday’s game:  at Peoria, Jordan Hicks RHP (0-0, 0.00) vs. William Woods RHP (0-0, 0.00) 2:35 CT.

What is next?

Look for these free AFL game recap articles in the morning following all 30 Desert Dogs games.

Also, Nolan Gorman’s  Wednesday interview with Brian Walton will be posted today (Thursday) for members of The Cardinal Nation.


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2021 Springfield Cardinals Player of the Year


Now 20% Off – 2021 Cardinals Prospect Guide

Now available, The Cardinal Nation 2021 Prospect Guide is back for a fourth year. It includes over 250 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos.

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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of October 4-10

photo: Tyler O’Neill (Michael McLoone/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals finished their late-charging season with a disappointing ninth-inning Wild Card Game loss to the Dodgers. Tyler O’Neill is the National League’s final Player of the Month in 2021. Our history feature covers the NLDS and St. Louis’ prior success in it.

Postseason Recap – Wild Card Game

Wednesday, October 6 – Cardinals 1 at Dodgers 3

The St. Louis Cardinals entered the postseason on the strength of a historic 17-game win streak that only recently ended. The met the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium for the NL Wild Card Game on Wednesday. The pitching matchup was Adam Wainwright for the Redbirds against Max Scherzer for the Dodgers.

The Cardinals manufactured a run in the first inning to take 1-0 lead against Scherzer. Tommy Edman led off with a single to right field and stole second base with Paul Goldschmidt at the plate. Goldschmidt drew a walk. Tyler O’Neill flied out to right field for the first out and Edman advanced to third base. He scored on a wild pitch from Scherzer.

Tommy Edman

The game remained 1-0 in favor of the Cardinals until the fourth inning, when Justin Turner smacked a hanging curveball from Wainwright for a solo home run.

Through the next 4 ½ innings, neither team was able to score. St. Louis’ offense had opportunities but did not capitalize. Edman had three hits including the first inning single, and Harrison Bader was on base three times with a walk and two hit by pitches. Bader was left stranded all three times, as was Edman twice. O’Neill was on base in scoring position but was stranded as well. Dylan Carlson singled in the eighth but was left on first base. Goldschmidt singled and walked twice, but all for naught.

Entering the bottom of the ninth with the game still tied 1-1, T. J. McFarland induced line outs from Albert Pujols and Steven Souza to center field. McFarland walked Cody Bellinger with two outs and was replaced by former closer Alex Reyes. Reyes was 2-1 on the next hitter, Chris Taylor, and threw him an 88-mph slider that hung in the middle of the zone. Taylor sent it over the fence in left center field for a two-run home run to give the Dodgers the walk off 3-1 win.

Edman was 3-for-5. Goldschmidt and Carlson each had a hit for five hits total. Goldschmidt also walked twice. There were runners on base in every inning, via a hit, a walk, an error, or a hit by pitch, but the Cardinals went a pitiful 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Adam Wainwright

Wainwright went toe to toe with Scherzer and outlasted him by one inning. Over 5 1/3 innings, the 40-year-old gave up the one home run and three other hits, struck out five and issued two walks. Luis Garcia relieved Wainwright and tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless eighth but could not return for the ninth due to a fingernail issue. McFarland started the ninth, retired two batters and walked one. Reyes gave up the walk off home run, with one run charged to McFarland and the other to Reyes. McFarland took the loss.

There were two stolen bases, one by Edman, and the other by O’Neill, who reached on a walk.

The offense of the 17-game winning streak failed to show up for the postseason and the Cardinals’ season ended as a result.

The Big Picture (End of season)

The Cardinals were a whirlwind in the final weeks of the season, pitching, scoring, and playing defense right into the second wild card spot with five games left on the schedule. It was wild ride that many expected would continue well into the postseason. The expected outcome did not materialize as the St. Louis offense that was a juggernaut during the 17-game winning streak, flew the coop for the Wild Card Game.

The game ended in a fashion similar to a number of heartbreaking regular-season games, with a ninth inning walk off home run. No doubt Cardinals fans had flashbacks to the ninth inning grand slam by Daniel Vogelbach of the Brewers in the September 5 game. While many fans are inclined to blame reliever Alex Reyes (who also gave up the Vogelbach grand slam) for the Wild Card loss, the blame falls squarely on the offense.

The offense, facing a clearly diminished Max Scherzer, could only scratch out one run in the first inning. The Cardinals had at least one runner on base every inning, and had two runners on in the fifth, but each inning ended in a wasted opportunity.

Tommy Edman came to play, getting three hits and scoring St. Louis’ only run. Paul Goldschmidt reached base three times, as did Harrison Bader (without benefit of a hit). Dylan Carlson singled and reached on an error. Tyler O’Neill walked and stole second. In each case the hitters following did not capitalize. The offense struck out 10 times and was 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

What Cardinals fans saw in the Wild Card game they had seen for much of the season, with the team scoring early but failing to add on. It was a reasonable expectation that the improved offense of the final weeks of the season would carry over to the Wild Card Game. It did not, and that is why the postseason ended early for St. Louis.

On a high note, there is much to look forward to for 2022. The majority of the 2021 roster will be returning, including Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina. It will be the final season for Molina, and perhaps for Wainwright as well. The young outfield, who provided a combined 11.6 WAR for the season, will also be back.

Stronger left-handed hitting and more production from shortstop are other potential needs with the potential addition of the designated hitter offering possibilities. This offense, which provided fans a wild and exciting final month of the season, can do even bigger and better things in 2022.

There are pitching holes to be filled, especially with the rotation. Eight of the nine eligible free agents are pitchers. The pitching depth of 2021 proved to be insufficient, requiring a half-dozen in-season moves. The Cardinals must add some pitching for the 2022 season, perhaps one or two pitchers from outside the organization, at least one of whom should be a starter. Some holes can be filled internally, but not all. With some more pitching, the elite defense, and the potential of the offense, the Cardinals could be a formidable presence in the NL for the 2022 season.

Final NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB WCGB
Milwaukee 95 67 0.586
St. Louis 90 72 0.556 5
Cincinnati 83 79 0.512 12 7
Chicago 71 91 0.438 24 19
Pittsburgh 61 101 0.377 34 29

O’Neill named NL September Player of the Month

Cardinals left fielder Tyler O’Neill was named the National League Player of the Month for September and the first three days of October, MLB announced on October 4.

O’Neill, 26, had a breakout 2021, ending the season with a slash line of .286/.352/.560 with 34 home runs and 80 RBI.

Tyler O’Neill

The right-handed hitter slashed .328/.377/.731 with 13 home runs, 30 RBI and an OPS of 1.108 for September and Oct. He led the NL in HRs, RBI, runs scored, and SLG for that period.

O’Neill was joined by teammates Tommy Edman and Harrison Bader for Player of the Week honors this season. Bader was named NL Player of the Week the week following O’Neill.

Cardinals’ local TV ratings rank No. 1 in MLB

For the third time in the last four seasons, the St. Louis Cardinals’ local television ratings ranked #1 among all major league teams for the 2021 season. This is according to Nielson Media Research Data.

This was the 22nd consecutive year the team placed in the top four in the TV ratings. The Cardinals are primarily broadcast by Bally Sports Midwest, their regional carrier. Bally Sports Midwest carried 149 of the Cardinals 162 games in 2021. The Cardinals averaged a 6.2 household rating in St. Louis, an increase from 5.4 in the shortened 2020 season.

During the 17-game winning streak in September, Cardinals baseball games were the #1 prime time program in St. Louis.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

  • 10/4 The Cardinals recalled OF Austin Dean from the Memphis Redbirds
  • 10/6 The Cardinals reassigned RHP Jake Woodford to the minor leagues. This was a temporary paper transaction to remove the right hander from the roster for the Wild Card game only.
  • 10/6 The Cardinals designated RHP Seth Elledge for assignment.
  • 10/6 The Cardinals selected the contract of 1B Juan Yepez from the Memphis Redbirds. The first baseman did not make his MLB debut in the Wild Card Game but now has a 40-man roster spot.

Juan Yepez

  • 10/6 The Cardinals reassigned LHPs Jon Lester and J.A. Happ to the minor leagues. As with Woodford, this was a temporary paper transaction. Other taxi squadders with the team in Los Angeles were infielders Kramer Robertson and Brendan Donovan, outfielder Nick Plummer, fourth catcher Ali Sanchez and injured pitchers Justin Miller and Wade LeBlanc.
  • 10/7 The Cardinals activated RHP Jake Woodford and LHPs Jon Lester and J.A. Happ.
  • 10/8 The Cardinals activated RHP Justin Miller from the 10-day injured list.
  • 10/8 The Cardinals sent RHP Seth Elledge outright to the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

  • RHP Jordan Hicks (right elbow inflammation) remains on the 60-day injured list. Hicks made three rehab assignments for the Memphis Redbirds and is set to pitch in the Arizona Fall League which begins on October 13. The team is also looking for a winter ball opportunity for the right hander to get him ready to pitch in Spring Training 2022.
  • 2B Max Moroff (left shoulder subluxation) remains on the 60-day injured list after suffering a shoulder injury in a batting practice session. Moroff had season ending surgery on June 6 with a recovery time of about seven months, which puts him on track to return healthy for Spring Training in 2022.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez (right thumb ligament sprain) had surgery on July 16 to repair his thumb ligament and is out for the season. Martinez is on the final year of his contract, and though the team holds options for 2022 and 2023, they are not expected to pick them up.
  • LHP Wade LeBlanc (left elbow pain) remains on the 10-day injured list. Le Blanc will be a free agent the day after the World Series ends. The Cardinals may offer Le Blanc a minor league deal to return in 2022 if he does not sign a major league deal elsewhere.
  • RHP Ryan Helsley (right elbow stress reaction), was placed on the 60-day injured list on September 1. Helsley is expected to be healthy and ready to pitch for Spring Training in 2022.
  • RHP Junior Fernandez (right lat strain) was transferred to the 60-day injured list on September 12. The right hander is expected to be healthy and ready to pitch for Spring Training in 2022.
  • RHP Justin Miller (right elbow strain) was activated from the 10-day injured list for the Wild Card game but did not see action. Miller remains under the Cardinals control for one more season.

Looking Ahead

The 2021 season is at an end for the Cardinals, as they were defeated by the Dodgers 3-1 in the Wild Card Game on Wednesday, October 6. The postseason continues without the Redbirds. The AL and NL Division Series are in progress this week and the AL and NL Championship Series are set to begin next weekend.

The complete postseason schedule can be found here. Cardinals fans can enjoy Adam Wainwright as a FOX Network analyst for some postseason games. His stint began with the Astros vs. White Sox series on FS1.

When the postseason ends, the offseason begins with the election of free agency for eligible players. This is official at 9 am on the morning after the end of the World Series. Following a five-day exclusive window to negotiate with their former team, all free agents can then sign with other teams.

Matt Carpenter

The Cardinals have nine players set to become free agents absent being re-signed by the Cardinals first. This list does not include Nolan Arenado, who has an opt-out clause in his contract but has notified the team he does not intend to exercise it. The nine players are Matt Carpenter, Andrew Miller, Carlos Martinez, Kwang-Hyun Kim, J.A. Happ, Jon Lester, T.J. McFarland, Luis Garcia, and Wade Le Blanc.

Carlos Martinez

The contracts of Carpenter and Martinez include 2022 options that the Cardinals are not expected to pick up. Garcia and McFarland may be re-signed for 2022 if deals can be reached. Miller is not likely to be made an offer. The remaining players may or may not be returning to the Cardinals, either on a major league or a minor league deal.

Teams can also make Qualifying Offers to their eligible free agents. If accepted, the player would remain with the team for 2022 on a one-year contract for around $19 million. The deadline for teams to tender the Qualifying Offer is 4 pm CT on the fifth day following the World Series. The Cardinals are not expected to make a qualifying offer to any of their free agents.

Players under the Cardinals control but who will be arbitration eligible for 2022 under the current rules are Alex Reyes, Harrison Bader, Justin Miller, Jack Flaherty, Jordan Hicks, Giovanny Gallegos, Dakota Hudson and Tyler O’Neill. Some big raises are likely coming.

Blast from the Past

The 2021 postseason has begun, and though St. Louis has been eliminated, we will continue with a series that remembers past Cardinals’ postseasons at each level. Last week the Wild Card and its genesis was the focus, so we move on this week in Blast from the Past to the National League Division Series (NLDS) and look at its beginning as well as the years in which the Cardinals took part in this next level of the MLB playoffs.

As with the Wild Card, the NLDS grew from, temporarily at first, a baseball labor strike. As a result of the midseason labor strike in 1981, MLB implemented for that season only, a format in which the first-place teams before the strike, took on the first-place teams after the strike. This best of five format took an unusual turn because of the strike, in that the two teams with the first and second highest overall record in the NL in 1981, the Reds and the Cardinals, did not participate in the NLDS because their standing in each of the separate halves of the season were not good enough.

The Division Series returned for good following the 1994 strike. The first NLDS was played at the end of the 1995 season. The Braves defeated the Rockies three games to one, while the Reds swept the Dodgers in three games.

From 1998 through 2011, when there was only one Wild Card, the winner of the Wild Card would take on the NL team with the best regular season winning percentage in the NLDS and the other two Division winners would play each other. The exception was when the Wild Card winner and the team with the best record were from the same Division. In that case the Wild Card winner would play the team with the second-best record. During this period, the Wild Card winner won this round nine times, ending with the Cardinals in 2011.

In 2012, MLB added a second Wild Card to each league and the rule was changed. The Wild Card team that advanced to the NLDS would play the team with the best record regardless of Division. In that year only, the usual 2-2-1 home and away format was temporarily changed to 2-3.

Since the NLDS was introduced, the Cardinals have won the most Division Series, with 10 of 13 played. A brief summary of each of these 13 NLDS series follows.

1996 NLDS – The Cardinals, under manager Tony La Russa, defeated the San Diego Padres, led by manager Bruce Bochy, in a three-game sweep. The scores were 3-1 in Game 1, 5-4 in Game 2, and 7-5 in Game 3.

2000 NLDS – The Cardinals swept the Braves 3-0. The Game 1 score was 7-5. The Cardinals won Game 2, 10-4 and Game 3, 7-1.

2001 NLDS – The Cardinals lost this series 3-2 to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cardinals won Game 2 (4-1) and Game 4 (4-1). The Diamondbacks went on to win the World Series.

2002 NLDS – The Cardinals gained revenge for the 2001 loss by sweeping the Diamondbacks in three games, 12-2, 2-1, and 6-3.

2004 NLDS – The Cardinals won 3-1 over the Dodgers. The scores were 8-3 St. Louis in Games 1 and 2, a 4-0 loss in Game 3, and a 6-2 win in Game 4.

2005 NLDS – The Cardinals swept the Padres 3-0. The Game 1 score was 8-5, the Game 2 score was 6-2 and Game 3 ended at 7-4.

2006 NLDS – The Cardinals met the Padres again and St. Louis prevailed in four. The three wins were secured in Game 1 (5-3), Game 2 (2-0), and Game 4 (6-2). The Cardinals dropped Game 3, 3-1. The Redbirds went on to win the World Series against the Detroit Tigers.

2009 NLDS – The Cardinals were swept by the Dodgers, 5-3, 3-2, 5-1. Game 2 featured the infamous fly ball error by Matt Holliday, who lost the ball in the lights, and it bounced off his lower body.

2011 NLDS – The Cardinals defeated the Phillies in five. The Cardinals won Game 2 (5-4), Game 4 (5-3), and Game 5 (1-0). Game 5 was the pitching gem by Chris Carpenter, who defeated his close friend, Roy Halladay. It was the only “winner take all” game in postseason history to end in a 1-0 score. The Cardinals eventually defeated the Texas Rangers to win their 11th World series title.

2012 NLDS – With new manager Mike Matheny, the Cardinals took the Nationals in five games. St. Louis won Game 2 (12-4), Game 3 (8-0), and Game 5(9-7). In the finale, the Cardinals came back from a 6-0 deficit in the first three innings. A wild ninth inning resulted in four runs and a win for the Redbirds.

2013 NLDS – The Cardinals beat the Pirates three games to two. St. Louis won Game 1 (9-1), Game 4 (2-1, and Game 5 (6-1). Following the rule change, this was the first season in which two teams from the same Division met in an NLDS. The Cardinals went on to lose to the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.

2014 NLDS – The Cardinals defeated the Dodgers 3-1. They won Game 1 (10-9), Game 3 (3-1) and Game 4 (3-2). In the wild opener, the Cardinals scored eight runs against Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw in the seventh inning. St. Louis fell to San Francisco in the NLCS.

2015 NLDS – The Cardinals lost to the rival Cubs 3-1. Their only win was by a 4-0 score in Game 1 in Busch Stadium. This was an NLDS to forget.

2019 NLDS – The Cardinals defeated the Braves in five, with wins in Game 1 (7-6), Game 4 (5-4 in extra innings), and Game 5 (13-1). The latter featured a 10-run first inning, setting the major league record for first inning runs in a postseason game. It was also the first (and only) Game 5 between the Cardinals and the Braves in NLDS history.

Next week, we will look at the NLCS and the history of the Cardinals in it.


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of September 27-October 3

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

The St. Louis Cardinals completed a historic win streak and clinched the second Wild Card berth while winning 90 games. Adam Wainwright’s 2022 contract was finalized and Mike Shannon said goodbye. Our history feature covers the team’s prior wild, Wild Card Games.

Game Recaps

Monday, September 27 – Off day

Tuesday, September 28 – Cardinals 6, Brewers 2

The St. Louis Cardinals won their 17th straight game in a 6-2 defeat of the division-winning Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday in the first of a three-game set at Busch Stadium.  It was Wainwright vs. Woodruff and Wainwright got the better of the Brewers right hander.  This win clinched the second wild card spot for the Cardinals.

Wainwright pitched six innings and gave up two runs on seven hits, fanned four and walked two.  It was a shorter outing than usual for the veteran starter, who still earned the win.  Following Wainwright, three relievers each pitched a scoreless inning, T.J. McFarland, Luis Garcia, and Giovanny Gallegos.

The game was scoreless for the first three innings. The Brewers scored first on a two-run home run by Luis Urias off Wainwright in the fourth.  The Cardinals quickly tied it in the home half of the inning with the first run scoring on a solo home run by Dylan Carlson.  Harrison Bader and Paul DeJong followed Carlson with singles.  Bader advanced to third on a fly out by Andrew Knizner.  Wainwright came to the plate and executed a squeeze play that scored Bader for the tying run.

The Redbirds took the lead 4-2 in the fifth.  Paul Goldschmidt doubled and scored on a single by Tyler O’Neill.  O’Neill advanced to third on a fielding error and scored on a sac fly by Nolan Arenado.  The Cardinals added to their lead with a solo home run by Jose Rondon in the sixth and another solo shot by Arenado in the seventh.

Nolan Arenado

Goldschmidt and O’Neill were both 2-for-4.  Arenado had two RBI.

Wednesday, September 29 – Cardinals 0, Brewers 4

The streak ended on Wednesday night against the Brewers as the Cardinals were shut out 4-0 at Busch Stadium.  As the proverb says, “All good things must come to an end”.

The Cardinals faced Brewers starter Adrian Houser, who has given the Redbirds fits this season.  Houser tossed a complete game shutout against them on September 4, by the same score, 4-0.  This night was no different as the improved offense still could get no traction against this right hander.  Only three Cardinals – Lars Nootbaar, Dylan Carlson, and Jose Rondon – were able to hit Houser. Carlson had the only extra base hit, a double.

Miles Mikolas took the loss after pitching 5 2/3 innings and giving up three runs on seven hits while fanning seven and walking one.  It was a good start for Mikolas, but the offense did not support him.  Andrew Miller surrendered one run in relief.  Jack Flaherty and Genesis Cabrera each threw a scoreless inning.

Thursday, September 30 – Cardinals 4, Brewers 3

On Thursday afternoon, the Cardinals bounced back from the shutout loss of the previous day to defeat the Brewers in the final game of the series and take two of three.

St. Louis got on the board first in the second inning.  Nolan Arenado singled and Paul DeJong followed with a double to center field.  Arenado scored on a sac fly by Jose Rondon.  The Brewers came back to tie it 1-1 in the third off Cardinals starter J.A. Happ.

The Redbirds answered in the home half of the third with their second run to take a 2-1 lead on a solo home run by Dylan Carlson.

Milwaukee was not done, however, as they responded by scoring two runs in the fourth to go ahead 3-2.  In the sixth, St. Louis regained the lead with a two-run inning on Carlson’s second long ball of the game, a two-run shot to right field.

Dylan Carlson

Carlson was 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored, as the only Cardinal with multiple hits.

Starter Happ pitched 6 1/3 innings gave up three runs on nine hits and struck out seven to earn his 10th win of the season, fifth with St. Louis.  Kodi Whitley, T.J. McFarland, and Luis Garcia each tossed a scoreless inning of relief.

Friday, October 1 – Cardinals 4, Cubs 3

The Cardinals began their final series of the 2021 season at home against the rival Chicago Cubs.  St. Louis took the Game 1 by a 4-3 score on Friday night at Busch Stadium.

Dakota Hudson made his first MLB start of 2021 in his return from Tommy John surgery.  The right hander pitched five scoreless innings, allowed three hits, fanned four and walked one.  Genesis Cabrera relieved and surrendered two runs in 2/3 of an inning before leaving the game with a fingernail issue.  T.J. McFarland yielded one more run but got the final out of the inning. McFarland was tagged with a blown save.  Alex Reyes, Andrew Miller, and Giovanny Gallegos each pitched a scoreless inning.  Gallegos got the win, his sixth of the season.

The Cardinals scored the first run of the game on a first-inning solo home run by Tyler O’Neill.  O’Neill hit his second solo home run of the night in the fourth to increase St. Louis’ lead to 2-0.

Tyler O’Neill

The Cubs made a comeback in the sixth and scored three runs on a long ball by Trayce Thompson to take a 3-2 lead.  The Cardinals answered in the home half of the sixth with one run to tie. O’Neill doubled to start the inning, then scored on a single by Lars Nootbaar.

The game remained tied 3-3 until the bottom of the ninth.  Andrew Knizner drew a walk and advanced to second on a single by Edmundo Sosa. Knizner advanced to third on a ground out by Tommy Edman, then scored on a walk off single by Paul Goldschmidt.

It was a busy night on the base paths. Harrison Bader stole his ninth base of the season, Edman stole his 29th base and O’Neill purloined his 15th base.  Nootbaar was caught stealing for the first time.  Knizner was picked off first base.

In the field, O’Neill had an outfield assist at home.

Saturday, October 2 – Cardinals 5, Cubs 6

The Cardinals were edged by the Cubs in the second game of the final series. The lead changed hands a couple of times before the Cubs rallied in the ninth to win.

St. Louis scored first on a solo home run by Harrison Bader in the first inning.  Bader was hitting leadoff for the first time this season.  Given that the Cardinals had clinched a spot in the postseason on Tuesday, the lineups over these final few games were shuffled to give key players a day off.  This day was Tommy Edman’s turn to sit, so Bader was moved to the top of the lineup.

The 1-0 lead held until the fifth inning.  The Cubs scored four runs on a grand slam by Trayce Thompson.  The Cardinals answered in the home half of the fifth with a run on an RBI triple by Tyler O’Neill to cut Chicago’s lead to 4-2.

St. Louis mounted a comeback in the seventh. Bader reached base on an error and advanced to second on O’Neill’s single.  Edman singled and Bader scored.  Dylan Carlson singled to plate O’Neill and Edman, and the Cardinals took the 5-4 lead.

But in the ninth, the Cubs regained the lead on a two-run home run by Ian Happ.  The Cardinals failed to score in the bottom of the ninth.

O’Neill was 2-for-4 with an RBI.  Carlson drove in two. Yadier Molina and Edmundo Sosa returned to the lineup after missing multiple games with minor injuries.

Starter Jon Lester pitched five innings against his former team.  The left hander gave up four runs on six hits, struck out four and walked four.  Kwang-Hyun Kim tossed two scoreless innings in relief.  Kodi Whitley pitched a scoreless eighth. Luis Garcia surrendered the two-run home run to Happ and took the loss.  He was also charged with a blown save.

On the base paths, Edman stole his 30th base of the season.

Sunday, October 3 – Cardinals 2, Cubs 3 (seven innings)

St. Louis lost a rain shortened final game to the Cubs by the score of 3-2 at Busch Stadium.  The action was delayed for rain twice, and the game was called after the second delay due to unplayable field conditions.

Jake Woodford got the start in this Game 162 of the 2021 season.  Woodford pitched five innings and gave up three runs on six hits, struck out four and walked one.  Jack Flaherty threw one scoreless inning of relief.  T.J. McFarland followed with a scoreless frame. Alex Reyes was brought out to pitch the eighth but never threw a pitch as the rain came at that point and the game was eventually called.  Woodford took the loss, his fourth of the season.

The Cubs scored one run in the first inning off Woodford.  The Cardinals tied it in the home half of the first on a solo home run by Tommy Edman.  The Redbirds took a 2-1 lead in the second on a Dylan Carlson walk, a Yadier Molina single, and a double play by Edmundo Sosa.

The Cardinals held the 2-1 lead until the fifth, when the Cubs went ahead with two runs off Woodford on a double and a single.  The 3-2 lead held until the second rain delay after the seventh inning, and the Cubs became winners when the game was called.

The offense scored two runs on six hits.  No Cardinal hitter had multiples.  Edman’s long ball was the only extra base hit.  Carlson, Molina, Tyler O’Neill, Harrison Bader, and Matt Carpenter each singled.

In the field, Edmundo Sosa made a fielding error.

The Big Picture

The Cardinals finished the final week of the season with a record of 3-3. They took 2 of 3 from the Brewers and lost 2 of 3 to the Cubs.  The losses should be looked at in the context of the team having clinched the second Wild Card after the first game of the Brewers series, rendering the remaining five games essentially meaningless.  Manager Mike Shildt rightly rested many of his regulars at times during these last five games in preparation for the postseason.

The Cardinals will play the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday, October 6 in Los Angeles.  Adam Wainwright will get the start against Max Scherzer for the Dodgers.  Should the Cardinals win this game they will go on to play the West Division champion San Francisco Giants in the Division Series.

Scherzer will be a tough opponent for St. Louis’ offense.  The Cardinals have faced him twice this year, once each with the Nationals and the Dodgers.  They lost both times.  Scherzer has been essentially unhittable all season, though he has shown some wear recently, having given up 10 earned runs over his last two starts.  Whether this trend will continue remains to be seen, but perhaps there is a chink in the armor the Cardinals offense can exploit.

The offense must continue to score runs at the same pace as they have over the last several weeks. Because this is a one and done game, it must be an all-out effort.  The Dodgers offense is formidable, though they just lost one of their most productive hitters, Max Muncy, with an injury in the last game of the season.  There are plenty of other good hitters in the lineup, however, such as the Turners, Trea and Justin, as well as Corey Seager.

If Wainwright can pitch one of his best games, and the offense can stay hot, the Cardinals have a chance.

In the last week of the season, the best offensive performers were Dylan Carlson (1.500 OPS) and Tyler O’Neill (1.397 OPS).  Nolan Arenado set a new team record for third basemen with his 105th RBI, while Paul Goldschmidt finished one short of 100 driven in and six points short of a .300 average for the season.

Given that the team clinched early and was not in max effort mode for five of the last six games, the performances for the week are arguably not indicative of what the team can do against the Dodgers.  Perhaps the offense of the 17-game winning streak will be present for the game on October 6.

Final NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB WCGB
Milwaukee 95 67 0.586
St. Louis 90 72 0.556 5
Cincinnati 83 79 0.512 12 7
Chicago 71 91 0.438 24 19
Pittsburgh 61 101 0.377 34 29

Cardinals honor retiring Mike Shannon

Longtime voice of the Cardinals Mike Shannon was honored in a pre-game ceremony on Sunday before the final game of the season.  Shannon is retiring, ending a 50-year span of radio broadcasting of Cardinals games by the former St. Louis third baseman-outfielder.

The ceremony included speeches from friends, colleagues, and team owner Bill DeWitt Jr.  Shannon also made a short, tearful speech to fans before taking a spin in a golf cart around the field, driven by his wife.

Mike Shannon and wife (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

The KMOX broadcast booth was renamed the Shannon Broadcast booth in the broadcaster’s honor.  It was announced that Shannon paid for four seats to be reserved and donated to fans throughout next season.

If the Cardinals advance to the Division Series, Shannon may broadcast the home games, otherwise Sunday was his final call.  Shannon is one of only 14 broadcasters in baseball history to have done so for at least 50 years.

Should Sunday indeed be his time in the booth, the memories will linger for Cardinals fans who have enjoyed Shannon’s quirky remarks and his signature home run call, “Get up, get up baby!”

We will miss you, Mike.

Wainwright’s 2020 contract official

Formalizing a deal that both parties had already said they would make happen, the Cardinals announced that 40-year-old Adam Wainwright has agreed to terms on a one-year contract for 2022.

The AP reports the deal guarantees the pitcher $17.5 million and provides him no-trade protection. This is more than a 100% increase from Wainwright’s $8 million 2021 salary and reflects his workhorse 206 1/3 innings with a stellar 3.05 ERA this season.

Adam Wainwright

The 2022 season is now set to be a final goodbye for Wainwright and long-term batterymate Yadier Molina. The two have not finalized their future plans, but odds are high they will hang up their cleats in 12 months as career Cardinals.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

There are no transactions to report.

Injury Report

  • RHP Jordan Hicks (right elbow inflammation) remains on the 60-day injured list. Hicks has made two rehab assignments, with the last one occurring on September 29 at Memphis as he pitched one scoreless inning.  The right hander was the starter for the final Memphis Redbirds game on Sunday, yielding two runs in two innings.  Further, Hicks will be one of several players sent to the Arizona Fall League, which begins on October 13.  The right hander will not pitch for the Cardinals in 2021 but is on track to return for 2022.
  • 2B Max Moroff (left shoulder subluxation) remains on the 60-day injured list after suffering a shoulder injury in a batting practice session. Moroff had surgery on the shoulder and is out for the rest of the season.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez (right thumb ligament sprain) had surgery on July 16 to repair his thumb ligament and is out for the season. Martinez is on the final year of his contract, and though the team holds options for 2022 and 2023, they are not expected to pick them up.
  • LHP Wade LeBlanc (left elbow pain) remains on the 10-day injured list. The left hander is set to undergo a procedure on his left elbow, making a return this season impossible.  Le Blanc will be a free agent at season’s end.  The Cardinals may offer Le Blanc a minor league deal to return in 2022 if he does not sign a major league deal elsewhere.
  • RHP Ryan Helsley (right elbow stress reaction), was placed on the 60-day injured list on September 1. The move signaled an end to Helsley’s season.
  • RHP Junior Fernandez (right lat strain) was transferred to the 60-day injured list on September 12. Scans revealed a Grade 2 lat strain and the right hander’s season is over.
  • RHP Justin Miller (right elbow strain) was placed on the 10-day injured list on September 25. This is Miller’s second elbow issue in the second half of the season.  Miller will not be shut down from throwing but will rest in an effort to be ready for the postseason.
  • SS Edmundo Sosa (right wrist) was held out from the lineup for about a week but returned to the lineup to start at 2B in Saturday’s game against the Cubs.
  • C Yadier Molina (shoulder) returned to the lineup in Saturday’s game against the Cubs.
  • LHP Genesis Cabrera (left middle fingernail) left Friday’s game against the Cubs with a recurring fingernail issue. The left hander will have an artificial nail placed on the finger and is expected to be available to pitch in the postseason.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals played their final regular season game on Sunday.  St. Louis will travel to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers in the NL Wild Card game on Wednesday, October 6.  Advancing to face San Francisco in the Division Series will go to the Wild Card winner.

The complete postseason schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

The Cardinals clinched the second wild card spot with a win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.  It was the last of the 17-game winning streak that began on September 11 with a 6-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.  This week’s Blast from the Past recalls the history of the MLB Wild Card and recounts the three instances since the Wild Card’s inception that the Cardinals held an NL Wild Card berth.

The Wild Card was instituted by Major League Baseball in 1994 but was not actually used that year because a labor strike ended the season early and the playoffs were cancelled. The Wild Card was added when each league was expanded from two divisions per league to three.  Because there were only three Division winners, the Wild Card was devised to even the number to four playoff teams in each league.  The 1994 season was also when the National League Division Series (NLDS) was added on a permanent basis, having been used once only in 1981 due to the labor strike that year. The Wild Card team in each league was the non-division winner with the best overall record for the season.

The first Wild Card teams were the 1995 Colorado Rockies in the NL and the New York Yankees in the AL.  Both lost in the NLDS.  The Rockies have been the Wild Card five times, the most of any NL team.  In the AL, the Yankees and the Red Sox are tied with eight wild card berths each, including when the two face off this Tuesday.

After the 2011 season, Major League Baseball added a second Wild Card per league and instituted the Wild Card game between each league’s the two Wild Card selections.  The first such Wild Card Game were in 2012 and the NL game was played by the Cardinals and the Braves.  St. Louis has been the NL Wild Card three times – in 2011, 2012, and now in 2021.

In 2011, the Cardinals became the winner of the NL Wild Card on the last day of the season. An entire book could probably be written about St. Louis’ 2011 postseason run.  Fans of the Cardinals may know that the team was 10.5 games back of the Wild Card-leading Atlanta Braves on August 25 and went on an historic September run to clinch on September 28, 2011.  They did so though the combination of beating the Houston Astros on that last day and being helped by the Phillies defeating the Braves.  That year the Cardinals became one of only five NL Wild Card teams to go on to win the World Series.  The others are Miami in 1997 and 2003, San Francisco in 2014 and Washington in 2019.

The very next season, St. Louis was again an NL Wild Card selection.  2012 was the first year of two Wild Cards in each league.  The Cardinals and Atlanta Braves met for the first Wild Card game on October 5, 2012, at Turner Field in Atlanta.  It was memorable for a controversial infield fly rule call.  In the eighth inning, with the Cardinals leading 6-3, Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons hit a fly ball into short left field.  The ball dropped between Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma and left fielder Matt Holliday. Umpire Sam Holbrook called the infield fly rule, which resulted in Simmons being automatically out.  Had he not been called out via the rule, the bases would have been loaded with only one out.

Matt Holliday/Pete Kozma (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Braves fans took umbrage with the call and began littering the field with trash.  The game was delayed for 20 minutes. A message over the public address system telling fans that a forfeit was imminent was the only reason the game finally continued.  The Cardinals prevailed 6-3.

The Cardinals have now clinched their third Wild Card berth and are headed to Los Angeles on Wednesday to play in their second Wild Card game.  This historic run of 17 straight wins that led to this moment is reminiscent of the September run of the Cardinals in 2011, which ended in a World Series title.  If the stars are aligned and the fates are with St. Louis, perhaps the ending will be the same as in 2011.

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – October 3, 2021

photo: Cardinals Dominican Academy (St. Louis Cardinals)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 1-1 in one Saturday contest. Memphis’ game was cancelled for the second consecutive day and the DSL season ended with a Blue win over the Red. TCN’s Player of the Day, Blue DH Leonardo Bernal, was 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Results from game played Saturday, October 2.

Memphis vs. Charlotte (cancelled)

The game at AutoZone Park was cancelled for the second consecutive day due to weather in the area.  No makeup is scheduled.  The last regular season game will be played Sunday.

Memphis is 3-4 in the Triple-A Final Stretch, 20th of 30 teams, five games back of first place Durham.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Charlotte, Johan Oviedo RHP (1-6, 6.27) vs. Alex McRae RHP (2-9, 5.38) 2:05 CT. (Or Saturday’s Jordan Hicks/Matthew Liberatore combination could go instead.)

DSL Cardinals Blue 9, DSL Cardinals Red 7 (seven innings)

On Saturday morning, the Cardinals Blue (21-38) topped its sister team the Cardinals Red (27-30) by the score of 9-7 in the final game of the Dominican Summer League regular season.

Red scored first with one run in the first inning on an RBI single by Felix Taveras.  Blue answered in the home half of the first with two runs to take the lead on an RBI triple by Maycol Justo and a single by Leonardo Bernal.

Red jumped ahead 6-2 with a five-run second inning on three long balls.  Jeremy Ramos hit a solo shot, and Carlos Linarez and Romtres Cabrera both had two-run blasts. Red added a run in the third on an RBI single by Miguel Vargas.

Luis Pino scored on a wild pitch for Blue in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 7-3.  Blue then had its own big inning with five runs in the fourth.  Javier Bolivar walked and Robelyn Lopez walked.  Anyel Encarnacion singled and Bolivar scored.  Lopez scored on a single by Jose Cordoba.  Bernal reached on an error and Encarnacion scored.   Fernando Diaz singled to plate Cordoba and Bernal. Blue led for the first time, 8-7.

Blue added their ninth run in the sixth on a sac fly by Bryan Encarnacion.

For Blue, Bernal, Cordoba, and A. Encarnacion each had two hits.  Diaz drove in two.  For Red, Ramos and Jose Rodriguez were both 2-for-2.  Cabrera and Linarez each had two RBI.

Leonardo Bernal

Blue starter Antoni Cuello pitched one inning, gave up one run on two hits and walked one.  Alexander Beltre surrendered five runs, two earned in 2/3 innings in relief.  Marlyn Almonte yielded one run in 1 1/3 innings pitched.  Carlos De La Cruz tossed a scoreless fourth.  Miguel Martinez, Juan Salas, and Juan Peralta combined for the final three scoreless innings. De La Cruz got the win.

Red starter Fraimin Marte pitched three innings and gave up three runs on four hits, struck out two and walked two.  Juan Severino surrendered five runs, two earned, in 2/3 innings and took the loss. Engels Martinez yielded one run in 2 1/3 innings and was tagged with a blown save.

In the field for Blue, Bolivar made a throwing error and Beltre had a fielding miscue.  Cordoba had an outfield assist at second base.  De La Cruz picked a runner off second base.

On the base paths for Red, Cabrera stole his 11th base of the season.  Raul Guzman stole his fourth base.  Cabrera was also picked off and caught stealing.  In the field, Guzman made a fielding error.

Sunday’s game:  None. The DSL season has concluded.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – October 2, 2021

photo: Cardinals Dominican Academy (St. Louis Cardinals)

The St. Louis Cardinals system went 1-1 on Friday as Memphis’ game was cancelled. The Cardinal Nation’s Player of the Day, DSL Red DH Jose Rodriguez, slammed a bases-loaded triple in his club’s win over the Cubs Red.

Results from games played Friday, October 1.

Memphis vs. Charlotte (cancelled)

Friday’s contest at AutoZone Park was cancelled due to poor field conditions.  With only two games remaining in 2021, this game will not be played.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Charlotte, Zack Thompson (2-10, 7.06) or Matthew Liberatore LHP (8-9, 4.15) vs. TBD 3:15 CT.

 

DSL Cardinals Blue 4 at DSL Mets1 6 (six innings)

The Cardinals Blue (20-38) were defeated by the Mets1 in a weather shortened Friday morning contest. Starter Ronny Oliver pitched three innings and gave up five runs, four earned, on five hits, struck out two and walked four.  Frankely Guzman relieved Oliver and surrendered one run in his two innings of relief.  Oliver took the loss, his third of the season.

Down 6-0, the Blue offense was held scoreless until the fifth inning.  Diego Velasquez was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch.  Yancel Guerrero was hit by a pitch.  Anyel Encarnacion reached on an error and Velasquez scored.  Guerrero scored on a passed ball to cut the Mets’ lead to 6-2.

Diego Velasquez

Velasquez hit a two-run home run in the sixth to close the gap to 6-4.  The game was called due to weather after the top half of the sixth ended.

The Blue offense scored four runs on five hits.  The home run was the only extra base hit.

On the base paths, Encarnacion was caught stealing for the third time.  In the field, Velasquez made a fielding error and had a passed ball.

Saturday’s game: vs. Cardinals Red, TBD vs. TBD 9:30 am CT.

 

DSL Cardinals Red 8, DSL Cubs Red 4

The Cardinals Red (27-29) beat the Cubs Red by the score of 8-4 in a Friday morning contest. The Red took an early lead and never relinquished it.

The Red scored four runs in the first inning. Lizandro Espinoza led off with a single and Miguel Vargas followed with a single.  Romtres Cabrera reached on a fielder’s choice and Espinoza was out at third.  Samil De La Rosa singled, and Vargas scored.  Francis Reynoso was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Jose Rodriguez tripled to clear the bases and Red took a 4-0 lead.

Jose Rodriguez

The Cubs got on the board in the second inning on a sac fly. The Red answered in the third with a run scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-1.  The Cubs cut the lead to 5-2 on a second run scored on a sac fly in the fourth.

Red answered in the home half of the fourth with three runs.  Raul Guzman singled and scored on a double by Alejandro Loaiza.  Espinoza was hit by a pitch.  Loaiza scored on a single by Vargas.  Espinoza scored on a ground out by De La Rosa.

The score remained 8-1 until the seventh, when the Cubs added a run. Another single tally in the eighth made the 8-4 final score.

Vargas was 2-for-4 with an RBI.  De La Rosa had two RBI and Rodriguez tripled and drove in three.

Red starter Brayan Ramirez pitched four innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on three hits, struck out two and walked two.  Samuel Fabian relieved and surrendered one run in three innings pitched.  Fabian got the win, his first of the season.  Bruno Lopez threw the final two innings and yielded one run.

On the base paths, Carlos Carmona stole his sixth base of the season.  In the field, Guzman had a fielding miscue and Fabian made an error on a pickoff.  Carmona and Vargas each had an outfield assist.

Saturday’s game:  at Cardinals Blue, TBD vs. TBD 9:30 am CT.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 30, 2021

photo: Justin Williams (Frank Ramirez/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system went 1-0 on Wednesday. The Cardinal Nation’s Players of the Day are DH Juan Yepez and CF Justin Williams, each 4-for-5 in Memphis’ win. Yepez hit two doubles and a solo home run, scored three and drove in two. Williams had a double, a three-run shot and five RBI.

Results from game played Wednesday, September 29.

Memphis 12, Charlotte 1

The Redbirds walloped the Charlotte Knights in the second of a five-game set at AutoZone Park.  The series is the second and final series of the Triple-A Final Stretch.

St. Louis’ Jordan Hicks made his second rehab start following a May injury.  The hard-throwing right hander pitched an efficient scoreless inning with one hit allowed, erased on a double play and one strikeout.  Nine of his 12 pitchers went for strikes.

Regular starter Connor Thomas took over and tossed six scoreless innings, allowing three hits, fanning four and walking just one.  Brandon Waddell surrendered Charlotte’s only run in the eighth.  Freddy Pacheco threw a scoreless ninth. Thomas received the win, his sixth of the season with the Redbirds.

Connor Thomas

The Memphis bats were hopping, scoring four runs in the first inning on an RBI double by Juan Yepez and a three-run home run by Justin Williams.  The Redbirds added four more in the third inning on a three-run home run by Conner Capel and an RBI single by Williams.

Justin Williams

Memphis added to its 8-0 lead with a solo home run from Yepez in the fourth.  Capel contributed his second long ball, a two-run shot in the fifth to make it 11-0.  Williams’ RBI double in the eighth capped the Redbirds scoring at 12.

Juan Yepez

Yepez and Williams were both 4-for-5 on the afternoon.  Yepez scored three runs and had two RBI.  Williams drove in five and scored twice.  Capel was 3-for-4 with five RBI and two runs scored.  Dennis Ortega was 2-for-5 with two runs scored.

Conner Capel

Memphis is 2-4 in Final Stretch action and is tied for 24th place out of 30 teams with Charlotte in the Triple-A Final Stretch, 3.5 games back of first place Durham and Nashville.

Thursday’s game:  vs. Charlotte, T.J. Zeuch RHP (4-3, 4.39) vs. Kade McClure RHP (2-2, 6.09) 6:45 CT.

DSL Cardinals Blue – Off

Thursday’s game:  vs DSL Mets1, TBD vs. TBD 9:30 am CT.

 

DSL Cardinals Red – Off

Thursday’s game:  at DSL Cubs Red, TBD vs. TBD 9:30 am CT.


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

Photo: Harrison Bader (Jim Cowsert/Imagn)

The St. Louis Cardinals went 8-0 this week, extending the winning streak to a club record 16 games. The team swept the Brewers in Milwaukee in a four-game series and the Cubs in Chicago in another four-game series. Harrison Bader has sparked the team at the plate (1.548 OPS), in the field, and on the base paths. Paul Goldschmidt has also stayed hot (1.339 OPS). On the mound, Jake Woodford made a pair of strong starts.

Game Recaps

Monday, Sept 20 – Cardinals 5 at Brewers 2

The Cardinals continued their win streak by beating the Brewers by the score of 5-2 at American Family Field on Monday.  Starter Jon Lester pitched six innings, gave up two runs on three hits and struck out two.  Kodi Whitley, T.J McFarland, and Luis Garcia each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.  Lester earned his seventh win.

The Cardinals got on the board first with two runs in the first inning on a two-run home run by Nolan Arenado.  Milwaukee answered with two runs to tie in the second.

Nolan Arenado

The game remained knotted up at 2-2 until the sixth inning.  Tyler O’Neill drew a walk to start the sixth.  Arenado followed with a single.  Yadier Molina singled to plate O’Neill and the Redbirds led 3-2.

The Cardinals added one run in the seventh on a sac fly by Paul Goldschmidt.  In the eighth, Arenado walked and later scored on a single by Molina to make it 5-2.

Arenado was 2-for-3 with two RBI and two run scored.  Molina was 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Tuesday, Sept 21 – Cardinals 2 at Brewers 1

The Cardinals topped the Brewers in the second game of the series to extend the win streak to 10 games.  The Cardinals again took a lead in the first inning and carried that lead into the eighth inning.

The first inning began with a walk to Tommy Edman.  Edman stole second base, then advanced to third on a ground out by Paul Goldschmidt.  Tyler O’Neill hit a sac fly to plate Edman and the Redbirds led 1-0.

Neither team scored again until the eighth. Lars Nootbaar drew a walk and stole second.  Edman singled and Nootbaar scored to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.  The Brewers finally scratched out a run in the home half of the eighth, but it was the only run they scored.  Neither team scored in the ninth.

Edman was 2-for-3 with an RBI and was the only Cardinal with multiple hits.

Jake Woodford got the start for St. Louis and the right-hander pitched five scoreless innings, allowed two hits, fanned five and walked one.  Alex Reyes and Genesis Cabrera each tossed a scoreless inning of relief. Luis Garcia surrendered a run in the eighth. Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless ninth to earn his 11th save.  Woodford earned his third win.

Jake Woodford

On the base paths, Edman stole his 27th base of the season and Nootbaar stole his second base.

Wednesday, Sept 22 – Cardinals 10 at Brewers 2

The win streak became 11 with a 10-2 Cardinals pummeling of the Brewers on Wednesday night.  Miles Mikolas got the start and pitched seven innings, gave up two runs on four hits and struck out three.  The two Millers, Justin and Andrew both tossed scoreless inning of relief.

Miles Mikolas

St. Louis got on the board in the first inning on a two-run home run by Tyler O’Neill.  The Cardinals added to their lead with four runs scored in the second.  Edmundo Sosa drew a walk to start the inning and Harrison Bader reached on a fielder’s choice with a fielding error.  Mikolas advanced the runners on a sac bunt.  Tommy Edman then hit a sac fly and both Sosa and Bader scored.  Paul Goldschmidt doubled, and O’Neill doubled to plate Goldschmidt.  O’Neill then scored on a double by Nolan Arenado.  The Redbirds led 6-0.

The Redbirds increased the lead to 7-0 in the fourth on a sac fly by Arenado.  The Brewers scored their first run of the game in the fifth to make it 7-1.

The Cardinals made it 8-1 on an RBI double by Bader in the seventh.  Milwaukee answered with their second and final run in the home half of the seventh to cut the lead to 8-2.  Goldschmidt hit a two-run home run in the eighth to widen the Cardinal tally to the final 10-2.

Goldschmidt was 3-for-4 with two RBI and four runs scored.  Bader was 3-for-5 with an RBI.  O’Neill went 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, and Dylan Carlson was also 2-for-5.  Arenado was 2-for-2 with two RBI and Edmundo Sosa was 2-for-4.

Thursday, Sept 23 – Cardinals 8 at Brewers 5

The final game of the four-game series was another win for the Redbirds that extended the win streak to 12. This was a comeback victory for the Cardinals, as they got behind early and scored late.

The Brewers put up four runs on the Cardinals in the first inning against starter Adam Wainwright, who was not his usual sharp self in this game.  Milwaukee added a fifth run off Wainwright in the fourth inning for a 5-0 lead.

The Cardinals began the comeback in the fifth, with Dylan Carlson hitting a triple and then scoring on a single by Yadier Molina.  In the seventh the Redbirds tied the game at 5-5 with a four-run inning.  Edmundo Sosa singled, Harrison Bader walked, and Lars Nootbaar walked to load the bases.  Tommy Edman grounded into a force out and Sosa scored.  Bader then scored on a throwing error by the Brewers pitcher on a pickoff attempt.  Paul Goldschmidt followed with a two-run home run to left center field.

The Cardinals took a 7-5 lead in the eighth. Nolan Arenado drew a walk and Carlson singled and advanced to second.  Arenado scored from third on a passed ball and Carlson moved to third.  Molina hit a sac fly to plate Carlson.  The Redbirds made it 8-5 in the ninth on a solo home run by Goldschmidt.

Goldschmidt was 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored.  Carlson was 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

Paul Goldschmidt

Wainwright had a tough day on the mound, pitching only four innings and giving up five runs on four hits.  The right-hander struck out only one, but it was a memorable punch out as it was his 2000th career strikeout. Wainwright walked two.

Kwang-Hyun Kim relieved Wainwright and tossed two scoreless innings.  T.J. McFarland pitched a scoreless seventh to earn his fourth win.  Luis Garcia pitched a scoreless eighth and Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless ninth to earn his 12th save.

On the base paths, Molina was picked off first base.

Friday, Sept 24 – Cardinals 8 at Cubs 5 (seven innings, game one)

The Cardinals left Milwaukee and went to Chicago to play four games against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.  The first two games were seven inning doubleheader games on Friday. The Redbirds were the winner in this first game of the twin bill and the win streak was extended to 13 games.

The game was scoreless on both sides until the third inning, when Paul Goldschmidt blasted a two-run home run to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.  The Redbirds increased the lead to 6-0 in the fifth on two-run home runs by Jose Rondon and Tyler O’Neill.

The Cardinals added two runs in the sixth.  Edmundo Sosa was hit on the wrist by a pitch and had to come out of the game.  Paul DeJong pinch ran for Sosa.  Harrison Bader singled and DeJong advanced to second. A fly out by Andrew Knizner sent DeJong to third.  Lars Nootbaar then hit into a fielder’s choice and DeJong was thrown out at home.  Tommy Edman followed with a single that scored Bader.  Goldschmidt singled to plate Nootbaar.

The Cubs rallied for five runs in the home half of the sixth to cut the lead to 8-5.  The rally ended there as neither team scored in the seventh.

Edman was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.  Goldschmidt was 2-for-4 with three RBI.  O’Neill drove in two.  Bader was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Rondon had two RBI.

Tommy Edman

J.A. Happ got the start in game one and he pitched four scoreless innings, allowed two hits, fanned six and walked four.

Alex Reyes surrendered four runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief but was awarded the win, his 10th of the season.  T.J McFarland yielded one run in the sixth in relief of Reyes.  Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless seventh to earn his 13th save.

On the base paths, Edman stole his 28th base of the season.

Friday, Sept 24 – Cardinals 12 at Cubs 4 (seven innings, game two)

The Cardinals won big in the second game of the twin bill, shellacking the Cubs 12-4 at Wrigley.  Jack Flaherty, fresh off the injured list, started the game but didn’t finish the first inning.  The right-hander got one out and gave up two runs on two hits, with one punch out and one walk.

Dakota Hudson, also fresh off the injured list, relieved Flaherty with one out in the first.  Hudson tossed 3 2/3 innings and surrendered two runs on four hits.  Genesis Cabrera pitched two scoreless innings and Justin Miller threw a scoreless seventh.  Hudson got the win, his first of the season.

The Cardinals put up three runs in the first inning. Paul Goldschmidt singled, Tyler O’Neill singled, and Nolan Arenado walked to load the bases.  Yadier Molina doubled to score Goldschmidt and O’Neill.  Harrison Bader followed with an RBI single to plate Arenado.

The Cubs answered in the home half of the first with two runs off Flaherty to cut the lead to 3-2.  The Cardinals came back with a three-run home run by Tyler O’Neill in the second to make it 6-2.

The Redbirds added to their tally with two runs in the third on back-to-back solo home runs by Lars Nootbaar and Paul DeJong.  The Cardinals led 8-2.

The Cubs added a run in the home half of the third to make it 8-3.  In the fifth, Bader doubled and scored on a Nootbaar single to increase the lead to 9-3.  The Cubs responded with one run in the bottom frame of the fifth to make it 9-4.

In the seventh, Bader hit a solo home run and was followed by Nootbaar’s second home run of the game.  Goldschmidt added a third run in the inning with an RBI double and the Cardinals were up 12-4.  The Cubs did not score in the bottom of the seventh.

Lars Nootbaar

Goldschmidt was 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. O’Neill was 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored.  Bader was 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, and Nootbaar was 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored.  DeJong was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

The win streak was extended to 14 games.

Saturday, Sept 25 – Cardinals 8 at Cubs 5

The Cardinals won a wild one at Wrigley on Saturday by the score of 8-5 to increase the win streak to 15 games and break the franchise record that was set in 1935.  The game was a battle until the final inning.

The Redbirds scored first on a solo home run by Harrison Bader in the second inning.  The Cubs took the lead in the third with two runs to make it 2-1.

The Cardinals tied it in the fourth on a solo home run by Tyler O’Neill.  The battling Cubs responded by retaking the lead 4-2 in the home half of the fourth.  The game remained 4-2 in favor of the Cubs until the seventh inning.

In the seventh, the Cardinals rallied for three runs to overtake the Cubs 5-4.  Nolan Arenado led off with a double and Yadier Molina followed with a single. Bader singled to score Arenado.  Lars Nootbaar singled to plate Molina.  Bader scored on a sac fly by Paul DeJong.

St. Louis increased the lead to 8-4 in the ninth.  Bader doubled and stole third base.  Lars Nootbaar struck out on a wild pitch and reached first while Bader scored on a nifty slide into home plate, just missing the tag.  Paul DeJong then hit a two-run home run to center field.

The Cubs added a run in the bottom of the ninth on a solo home run by Ian Happ.   The Cardinals prevailed 8-5.

Bader led the offense for the Cardinals, going 4-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored.  DeJong had three RBI.  Bader also had two stolen bases.

Harrison Bader

Jon Lester got the start against his former team.  The left-hander pitched five innings and gave up four runs, three earned, on eight hits, fanned six, and walked three.  Kwang-Hyun Kim relieved Lester and tossed a scoreless sixth to earn the win, his seventh of the season.  T.J. McFarland tossed two scoreless innings. Luis Garcia yielded one run in the ninth.

The Cardinals exceptional defense showed through on an incredible double play in the bottom of the eighth.  The Cubs had David Bote on third and Trayce Thompson on first with only one out.  Rafael Ortega hit a ground ball to Paul Goldschmidt at first base.  Goldschmidt threw to Molina at home plate and Bote was caught in a run down.  Arenado tagged Bote out and then threw the ball to Tommy Edman to get Thompson.  Thompson was caught between second and third.  Edman threw to Molina, who was at third, and Molina, chasing Thompson, threw to second, where Bader was covering in the absence of any other infielder at second.  DeJong was covering third behind Molina, and Bader tossed to DeJong who tagged Thompson out for the double play.  The play went 3-2-5-4-2-8-6.

Bader was awarded an outfield assist for his part in the double play.  Also in the field, Arenado made a fielding error.

Sunday, Sept 26 – Cardinals 4 at Cubs 2

The Cardinals were the winner of another wild one at Wrigley, this time coming from behind in a late inning surge to extend the winning streak to 16 games.

The Cardinals took the first lead on a solo home run by Paul Goldschmidt in the third inning.  The lead lasted only until the next inning, when the Cubs went up 2-1 in the fourth.  The game remained 2-1 until the eighth inning.

In the eighth, Harrison Bader broke the stalemate and tied the game 2-2 on a solo home run that went out of Wrigley onto Waveland Ave.  It was in the ninth that the game got interesting.

Andrew Knizner drew a walk to begin the ninth.  Lars Nootbaar hit a bunt single to the pitcher, who bobbled the ball.  Tommy Edman then sac bunted the runners to second and third.  Goldschmidt was intentionally walked. As so often happens, the pitcher threw a wild pitch and Knizner scored to give the Redbirds the 3-2 lead.  Tyler O’Neill then hit a soft grounder to the pitcher, who barely got O’Neill out at first and Nootbaar scored to increase the lead to 4-2.  Arenado was also intentionally walked, but pinch hitter Jose Rondon struck out to end the inning.

The interesting stuff happened in the Cubs half of the ninth.  The first Cub batter, David Bote, struck out.  Then Austin Romine and Rafael Ortega walked. With Romine on second and Ortega on first, Frank Schwindel hit a routine pop up to third.  The umpire signaled the infield fly rule, but Arenado slipped on the infield and the ball dropped. Arenado picked it up and threw to DeJong at third, who didn’t tag Romine but threw to second instead, apparently mistakenly believing there was a force out at third.  Edman caught the ball at second, while Ortega crossed the bag and passed it.  The umpire incorrectly called Ortega out, even though he was not tagged out (again, no force out at second on the infield fly rule).  Edman, on directions from his teammates, then tagged Ortega, who was off the bag.  At that point the umpire, apparently recognizing his error in calling Ortega out at second, called time, ending the play.

Manager Mike Shildt came out on the field to argue that Ortega was out, but the umpires held firm that the play was dead and Shildt was eventually ejected. Ortega and Romine were left on second and third with two outs (Schwindel was automatically out on the infield fly rule).

The error didn’t matter in the end as the next batter struck out and the game was over with the Cardinals winning 4-2.

Tyler O’Neill was 2-for-5 with an RBI on the afternoon.  Bader and Goldschmidt each had an RBI.

Tyler O’Neill

Jake Woodford got the start for the Cardinals, and he pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on six hits, struck out one and walked two.  Andrew Miller tossed 2/3 scoreless innings.  Kodi Whitley threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings.  Genesis Cabrera pitched 2/3 scoreless innings, and Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless ninth to earn his 14th save.  Cabrera was awarded the win, his fourth.

On the base paths, O’Neill stole his 14th base of the season.

Big Picture

The Cardinals continued their hot ways with an 8-0 week that included two four-game sweeps of the Brewers and the Cubs on the road.  The Cardinals current winning streak stands at 16 games with six more to play in the regular season.

The 7-game week contained a couple of nail biters and some drama.  The drama was predictably during the series with the Cubs.  No brawls, but one ejection.  Also, some fantastic defense including a seven-digit double play that resembles a phone number.  In the eighth inning of the Saturday game the Cardinals turned a 3-2-5-4-2-8-6 double play.  Yes, indeed an outfielder was involved. Guess who.

The drama occurred in the ninth inning of the Sunday game against the Cubs.  It involved the play that no one understands, including some umpires, the infield fly rule.  An umpire made an incorrect call that hurt the Cardinals but, as we all know, umpires are always right, even when they are wrong.  Fortunately, it ended without major damage thanks to a fortuitous strikeout.  Mike Shildt was ejected for arguing about the wrongness of the umpires.  No surprise there.

Winning is good, especially when the offense is clicking on all cylinders and the pitching is good enough to help the offense and defense win the game.  Such was the week for the Cardinals.  There were some pitching hiccups.  Wainwright had a poor start against the Brewers.  Jack Flaherty couldn’t get out of the first inning against the Cubs.  The good news is that Dakota Hudson is back, and he pitched well.

Dakota Hudson

Speaking of the offense, it was very good.  The only low scoring game was the second game of the Brewers series on Tuesday.  The top offensive performers for the week by OPS were Harrison Bader (1.548), Paul Goldschmidt (1.339), Tyler O’Neill (.925), Dylan Carlson (.868), and Nolan Arenado (.836).  Non- regular performers were Jose Rondon (1.600 in five at-bats), Lars Nootbaar (1.417 in 12 at-bats), and Matt Carpenter (.900 in four at-bats).

The Cardinals begin their final homestand on Tuesday with three games against the Brewers and three games against the Cubs.  The Cardinals’ magic number to clinch the second Wild Card spot is 1, so one win or one loss by the next team behind the Cardinals will put them in the catbird seat.  The Brewers, though they have clinched the Division, will likely still be smarting from the sweep and no doubt will give their all to win, even if just for revenge and nothing else.  The Cubs are always gunning for the Cardinals. The motivation to continue the streak may be enough, but the Cardinals should not let up, even though they only need to win one game.  Keep the hot streak going into October.

NL Central Standings

Team                                        W                              L                       Pct                           GB                     WCGB 

 

Milwaukee

 

           94

 

             62

 

         .603

 

         ——

 

——

 

St. Louis

 

           87

 

             69

 

         .558

 

           7

——
 

Cincinnati

 

           81

 

             75

 

         .519

 

          13

 

           6

 

Chicago

 

           67

 

             89

 

         .429

 

          27

 

          20

 

Pittsburgh

 

           58

 

             97

 

         .374

 

         35.5

 

         28.5

Trade and Acquisition Rumors.

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

  • 9/20 The Cardinals designated RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon for assignment.
  • 9/20 The Cardinals recalled LHP Brandon Waddell from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/22 The Cardinals sent RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon outright to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/24 The Cardinals optioned RHP Jake Woodford to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/24 The Cardinals optioned LHP Brandon Waddell to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/24 The Cardinals activated RHP Dakota Hudson from the 60-day injured list.
  • 9/24 The Cardinals activated RHP Jack Flaherty from the 10-day injured list.
  • 9/24 The Cardinals granted RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon his unconditional release.
  • 9/25 The Cardinals placed RHP Justin Miller on the 10-day injured list. Right elbow strain.
  • 9/25 The Cardinals recalled RHP Jake Woodford from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/25 The Cardinals sent RHP Jordan Hicks on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.

 Injury Report

  • RHP Jordan Hicks (right elbow inflammation) remains on the 60-day injured list.  The right-hander was sent to the Spring Training complex in Jupiter to face live hitters.  On Sept 25 it was announced that Hicks was sent on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.  The rehab assignment did no go well, as Hicks gave up three runs in the first inning without recording an out.  No announcement has been made about any subsequent rehab assignments.  It was announced that Hicks will be one of several players sent to the Arizona Fall League, which begins on October 13.  It is unlikely the right-hander will pitch with St. Louis in 2021.
  • 2B Max Moroff (left shoulder subluxation) remains on the 60-day injured list after suffering a shoulder injury in a batting practice session. Moroff had surgery on the shoulder and is out for the rest of the season.
  • RHP Dakota Hudson (Tommy John surgery) was activated from the 60-day injured list on Sept 24 and made a 3 2/3 innings relief appearance in the second game of the doubleheader with the Cubs on Friday.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez (right thumb ligament sprain) had surgery on July 16 to repair his thumb ligament and is out for the season. Martinez is on the final year of his contract, and though the team holds options for 2022 and 2023, they are not expected to pick them up.
  • LHP Wade LeBlanc (left elbow pain) remains on the 10-day injured list. The left-hander is set to undergo a procedure on his left elbow, making a return this season impossible.  LeBlanc will be a free agent at season’s end.  The Cardinals may offer LeBlanc a minor league deal to return in 2022 if he does not sign a major league deal elsewhere.
  • RHP Ryan Helsley (right elbow stress reaction), was placed on the 60-day injured list on Sept 1. The move signaled an end to Helsley’s season.
  • RHP Jack Flaherty (right shoulder strain) was activated from the 10-day injured list on Sept 24 and started the second game of the Friday doubleheader against the Cubs and threw 19 pitches in the first inning of the game. The right-hander will be used in a limited capacity to build back up before October.
  • RHP Junior Fernandez (right lat strain) was transferred to the 60-day injured list on Sept 12. Scans revealed a Grade 2 lat strain and the injury is serious enough that his season is most likely over.
  • RHP Justin Miller (right elbow strain) was placed on the 10-day injured list on Sept 25. This is Miller’s second elbow issue in the second half of the season.  Miller will not be shut down from throwing but will rest in an effort to be ready for the postseason.
  • SS Edmundo Sosa (right wrist) was hit on the wrist by a pitch in the sixth inning of the first game of Friday’s doubleheader against the Cubs. Tests showed no fracture in the wrist, but Sosa has been held out of the remainder of the games in Chicago.  He is expected to be out 3-5 days but will hopefully avoid the injured list.

 Looking Ahead

The team has an off day on Monday following the final game of the Cubs series at Wrigley Field.  The Cardinals return to St. Louis for the final week of the regular season for a six-game homestand.

The team will play the Brewers in a three-game series beginning Tuesday.  Adam Wainwright is set to make the Tuesday start.  The pitchers for the final two games of the series have not been announced.

The Cubs will arrive on Friday to play a weekend series to end the regular season of play.

The Cardinals regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past.

This week, in honor of the Cardinals 16 game winning streak, Blast from the Past looks at past Cardinals winning streaks throughout history.

The 2021 Cardinals currently hold the franchise record for winning streaks at 16 games.  The former record holder was the 1935 Cardinals, who had a 14-game winning streak.  That winning streak began on July 2 with a win over the Pittsburgh Pirates by the score of 7-0.  The Cardinals beat the Cubs in the next two games, 5-3 and 6-4.  The Cardinals moved on to the Cincinnati Reds, beating them 4-2, 9-4 and 5-1. Next up was the Philadelphia Phillies, who the Cardinals defeated in four games, 5-4, 4-0, 5-1, and 10-1.   Finally, the Cardinals beat the Boston Braves in four games, 13-6, 2-1, 2-1, and 13-3.  The streak ended after the 13-3 win on July 18.

The following are a list of double-digit winning streaks with the year of the streak, the period of the streak, the teams, and the scores.  Some of the streaks contained doubleheaders.

1982 – 12 game streak beginning April 11 and ending April 24.  Pirates (7-6, 5-4); Cubs (4-3, 3-1, 6-1); Phillies (3-2, 6-0, 6-5); Pirates again (7-4, 6-2); Phillies again (9-2, 7-4)

1943 – 12 game streak beginning July 18 and ending July 27.  Pirates (7-4, 6-5); New York Giants (3-1, 14-6, 6-2, 1-0); Boston Braves (3-0, 5-1, 7-3, 6-3); Phillies (6-2, 5-2)

2001 – 11 game streak beginning August 9 and ending August 19. Montreal Expos (9-6); Mets (7-6, 6-3, 4-1); Reds (3-2, 7-1, 8-4, 8-3); Phillies (4-3, 6-3, 9-0)

1941 – 11 game winning streak beginning May 21 and ending May 30.  Brooklyn Dodgers (9-3, 7-6); Pirates (2-1, 10-7, 6-4, 4-3); Cubs (12-11, 3-2, 6-5); Reds (10-9, 4-1)

2001 – 10 game winning streak beginning May 7 and ending May 17.  Pirates (7-0, 8-2, 6-2, 11-5); Cubs (7-2, 5-2, 13-4); Pirates (8-3, 3-0, 12-2)

1963 – 10 game winning streak beginning Sept 9 and ending Sept 15. Pirates (6-5, 3-2); Cubs (6-0, 8-0, 4-0, 8-3); Milwaukee Braves (7-0, 3-2, 3-2, 5-0)

1952 – 10 game winning streak beginning June 30 and ending July 10.  Reds (7-3, 8-3, 3-0); Cubs (4-1, 13-7, 4-1); Pirates (5-0, 6-5, 6-4); Phillies (10-3)

1941 – 10 game winning streak beginning April 25 and ending May 5.  Reds (8-4); Cubs (6-2, 8-5); New York Giants (5-4, 6-4, 5-0); Phillies (4-2, 6-0); Boston Braves (3-1, 5-1)

1939 – 10 game winning streak beginning July 30 and ending August 9.  Brooklyn Dodgers (5-2, 5-2); Boston Bees (4-3, 5-1, 4-3); Phillies (9-8, 5-1, 11-0, 8-3); Pirates (5-3)

1921 – 10 game winning streak beginning June 4 and ending June 13.  Phillies (11-9, 7-4, 11-0); Brooklyn Robins (14-5, 4-2, 8-3, 8-3); New York Giants (8-3, 4-3, 10-1)

Other winning streaks were 9 games (15) and 8 games (30) in franchise history.  The most recent 9 game streak was in 2004 from August 27 through Sept 5.  The most recent 8 game streak was in 2018 from August 7 to August 15.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 26, 2021

Photo: Kramer Robertson (Memphis Redbirds)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 2-1 in two games on Saturday.  The two DSL teams played each other.  The Player of the Day is Memphis SS Kramer Robertson, who was 2-for-4 with a grand slam in the Memphis win over Jacksonville.

Results from games played Saturday, Sept 25.

Memphis 6 at Jacksonville 5

The Redbirds topped the Jumbo Shrimp in the final game of the five-game series in Jacksonville.  Jordan Hicks, on a rehab assignment, started the game but surrendered three runs in the first inning without recording an out.

Tommy Parsons relieved Hicks in the first and pitched a scoreless inning.  Matthew Liberatore followed Parsons and threw five innings and gave up one unearned run on three hits, fanned seven and walked one to earn his eighth win of the season.  Seth Elledge tossed a scoreless seventh.  Jesus Cruz started the eighth and yielded one run in 2/3 innings.  Austin Warner got the last out of the eighth and returned to pitch a scoreless ninth to earn his second save.

Jacksonville scored three in the first inning to take an early lead, then added one more in the third to make it 4-0.  Memphis got on the board with two runs in the fifth on a two-run home run by Conner Capel.  The Redbirds took the lead 6-4 on a grand slam by Kramer Robertson in the seventh.

Kramer Robertson

The Jumbo Shrimp cut the lead to 6-5 in the eighth but did not score in the ninth.  The Redbirds salvaged one win in the series to avoid the five-game sweep.

Robertson was 2-for-4 with four RBI.  Juan Yepez was 2-for-3, and Capel had two RBI.

On the base paths, Yepez was picked off and caught stealing.  In the field, Ali Sanchez made a throwing error.  Capel and Rayder Ascanio both had fielding miscues.

Memphis is 1-4 in the Final Stretch and is in 25th place out of 30 teams.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled

DSL Cardinals Blue 2 at DSL Cardinals Red 8

The Cardinals Blue (19-35) were defeated by the Cardinals Red (25-27) in an 8-2 contest between the sister teams on Saturday morning.

Blue scored first with one run in the fourth inning.  Leonardo Bernal led off the inning with a double, and then advanced to third on a fielding error.  Fernando Diaz singled to drive Bernal home.

Red answered in the sixth with three runs scored to take a 3-1 lead.  Marcelo Perez drew a walk to begin the inning, and Miguel Vargas followed with a walk.  Jeremy Ramos singled to load the bases.  Samil De La Rosa walked, and Perez scored.  Carlos Carmona singled to plate Vargas and Ramos.

Red added to their lead with five runs in the eighth.  Vargas singled and scored on a Ramos double.  De La Rosa singled, then Carmona doubled to plate Ramos.  Raul Guzman drew a walk and Carlos Linarez tripled to score De La Rosa and Carmona.  Red led 8-1.

Carlos Carmona

Blue added its second and final score in the ninth on an RBI triple by Javier Bolivar.

Ramos and Carmona were each 2-for-3 for Red. Carmona had three RBI.  Linarez also had three RBI.  For Blue, Diaz was 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Fernando Diaz

The starting pitcher for Red was Roberto Bautista, who pitched one scoreless inning with no hits and one strikeout.  Samuel Fabian and Juan Severino each followed with a scoreless inning of relief.  Fraimin Marte surrendered one unearned run in the fourth.  Augusto Calderon threw the next two scoreless innings to earn his third win of the season.  Omar Yanez tossed a scoreless seventh. Americo Lugo yielded one run in the final two innings and earned his second save.

Juan Salas started for Blue and pitched one scoreless inning with one hit allowed.  Alexander Beltre and Oliver Lopez each tossed two scoreless innings of relief.  Uriel Curvelo surrendered one run in the sixth without recording an out.  Alejandro Cervantes relieved Curvelo in the sixth and yielded two runs, then returned to pitch a scoreless seventh.  Cervantes took the loss, his third, and was charged with a blown save.  Frankely Guzman gave up five runs in the eighth, and Marlyn Almonte replaced Guzman in the eighth and got the final out.

On the base paths for Red, Ramos stole his 13th base of the season.  De La Rosa was picked off and caught stealing.  For Blue, Anyelo Encarnacion stole his fourth base of the season.

In the field for Red, Ramos made a fielding error.  For Blue, catcher Diego Velazquez picked off De La Rosa at second base.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 25, 2021

Photo: Justin Williams (Frank Ramirez/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 0-3 on Friday.  The Player of the Day is Memphis outfielder Justin Williams, who was 3-for-4 with a solo home run in the Memphis loss to Jacksonville.

Results from games played Friday, Sept 24.

Memphis 2 at Jacksonville 3

The Redbirds were edged by the Jumbo Shrimp in the fourth game of the five games series against Jacksonville on Friday night.  Starter T.J. Zeuch pitched six scoreless innings, allowed two hits, fanned six and walked three.  Andre Pallante relived Zeuch and surrendered one run in the seventh.  Jake Walsh yielded the winning two runs in the eighth and was tagged with the loss and a blown save.

Memphis took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning on a solo home run by Nick Plummer.  Justin Williams hit a solo home run in the seventh to increase the lead to 2-0.

Jacksonville scored one run in the home half of the seventh to cut the lead to 2-1.  In the eighth the Jumbo Shrimp took a 3-2 lead.  The Redbirds were unable to come back in the ninth.

Memphis scored two runs on six hits. Williams was 3-for-4 with an RBI on the night.  Plummer was 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Justin Williams

On the base paths, Plummer, and Brendan Donovan were both caught stealing.

Memphis is 0-4 in the first series of the Final Stretch and is in last place in the Triple-A East.

Saturday’s game:  at Jacksonville, Matthew Liberatore LHP (7-9, 4.33) vs. Braxton Garrett LHP (5-2, 3.87) 5:35 CT.

DSL Cardinals Blue 1 at DSL Nationals 2

The Cardinals Blue (19-34) were topped by the Nationals in a one-run loss on Friday morning.  Blue took the early 1-0 lead but could not add on.

Blue scored their only run in the second inning.  Fernando Diaz was hit by a pitch to begin the inning.  Yancel Guerrero drew a walk and Christian Avendano was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Bryan Encarnacion walked, and Diaz scored.

The Nationals tied the game in the fourth and went ahead 2-1 in the eighth to earn the win.

Avendano was 2-for-3 in the game.  Encarnacion had the only RBI.

Christian Avendano

Blue starter Ronny Oliver pitched three scoreless innings, allowed no hits, struck out four and walked one.  Carlos De La Cruz surrendered one run in the fourth.  Miguel Martinez followed with two scoreless innings.  Victor Herrera yielded the winning run in the eighth and took the loss, his sixth of the season.

On the base paths, Encarnacion stole his third base of the season. Avendano was caught stealing for the first time.  In the field, Guerrero made a throwing error.  Encarnacion and Diaz each had a fielding miscue.  Oliver made an error on a pickoff.

Saturday’s game:  at Cardinals Red, TBD vs. TBD 9:30 am CT.

DSL Cardinals Red 1, DSL Giants Black 2 (seven innings)

The Cardinals Red (24-27) lost a one-run contest with the Giants Black on Friday morning.  The Giants took the early 2-0 lead and Red could only score one run in the seven-inning game.

Starter Brayan Ramirez pitched four innings and gave up two unearned runs on six hits, struck out three, and walked one.  Eduar Pimentel relieved Ramirez and tossed a scoreless fifth.  Darlin Saladin threw the final two scoreless innings.  Ramirez took the loss, his fifth of the season.

Darlin Saladin

The Giants went up 2-0 in the first inning. Red was held scoreless until sixth when the offense scratched out one run.  Carlos Carmona led off with single.  Marcelo Perez reached on an error and Carmona advanced to third.  Maikel Hernandez followed with a sac fly to score Carmona.

The Red offense only had two hits in the contest, the single by Carmona, and a single by Alejandro Loaiza.

On the base paths, Loaiza was caught stealing for the first time.  In the field, Lizandro Espinoza made a throwing error and Elias Reynoso had a fielding miscue.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Cardinals Blue, TBD vs. TBD 9:30 am CT.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 23, 2021

Photo: Brendan Donovan (Springfield Cardinals)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 0-1 on Wednesday.  The two DSL teams were off.  The Player of the Day is Memphis 3B Brendan Donovan, who hit a solo home run for the only run for Memphis in their loss to Jacksonville.

Results from games played Wednesday, Sept 22.

Memphis 1 at Jacksonville 7 (six innings)

The Redbird offense was held to only one run as the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp blew past Memphis for a 7-1 victory on Wednesday night.  A rain delay shortened the game, and it was called in the sixth inning.

Austin Warner was a late addition as the starter for this game.  Dakota Hudson was scheduled to make a rehab start but he instead was scratched, with the potential to head back to the big-league club to pitch in Friday’s doubleheader in Chicago.  Warner got the start instead, but he lasted only 1 1/3 innings, gave up four runs, two earned, on four hits and struck out one.  Seth Elledge relieved Warner and tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings.  Freddy Pacheco followed with two scoreless innings.  Jacob Bosiokovic started the sixth, got one out and surrendered three runs, two earned before the game was called.  Warner took the loss, his third of the season.

The Redbirds scored their only one run of the game in the first inning on a solo home run by Brendan Donovan.

Brendan Donovan

Jacksonville scored two runs in the home half of the first and two runs in the second to go up 4-1.  That score lasted until the bottom of the sixth, when the Jumbo Shrimp added three more to their tally before the game ended due to rain.

The Redbird offense managed only two hits, the Donovan long ball and a single by Alec Burleson.

In the field, Donovan and Bosiokovic both made throwing errors. Ali Sanchez had a passed ball.

Memphis is 0-2 in the first series of the Triple-A Final Stretch.

Thursday’s game:  at Jacksonville, Connor Thomas LHP (5-4, 3.43) vs. TBD 6:05 CT.

DSL Cardinals Blue – Off

Thursday’s game:  at DSL Nationals, TBD vs TBD 9:30 am CT

DSL Cardinals Red – Off

Thursday’s game:  DSL Giants Black TBD vs. TBD 9:30 am CT.


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of September 13 – September 19

Photo: Paul Goldschmidt (Billy Hurst/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals went 6-0 this week, earning sweeps of the New York Mets and San Diego Padres. As a result, the Cardinals have jumped out to a three game lead over the second wild card spot. The lineup made major contributions in these games, highlighted by Paul Goldschmidt (1.405 OPS) and Tyler O’Neill (1.308 OPS). Our history feature looks at the youngest player on each Cardinals team from 2011-2021

Game Recaps

Monday, Sept 13 – Cardinals 7 at Mets 0

The Cardinals blanked the Mets by the score of 7-0 in the first game of a three-game series at Citi Field.  Adam Wainwright got the start against Rich Hill for the Mets.  The duo was called the “AARP matchup”, as it was the 40-year-old Wainwright versus the 41-year-old Hill.

Wainwright won the battle, pitching six scoreless innings.  The right-hander allowed four hits, struck out four and walked three. T.J. McFarland, Alex Reyes, and Kodi Whitley each tossed a scoreless inning of relief.  Wainwright picked up his 16th win of the season.

The Cardinal offense put up three runs on the 41-year-old Hill, one each in the second, third, and fifth innings.  A Dylan Carlson RBI double drove in the first run in the second.  Paul Goldschmidt plated the second run on a single in the third, and a solo home run by Nolan Arenado in the fifth made the score 3-0.

The offense increased the lead to 7-0 with a four-run inning in the ninth.  Each of the four runs scored on singles by Arenado, Yadier Molina, Edmundo Sosa, and Harrison Bader.

Molina was 3-for-5 on the night with an RBI and two runs scored.  Bader was 3-for-4 with an RBI.  Goldschmidt was 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.  Tyler O’Neill was 2-for-4.

Yadier Molina

On the base paths, O’Neill, and Goldschmidt both stole their 12th bases of the season.  In field, Molina had a passed ball.

Tuesday, Sept 14 – Cardinals 7 at Mets 6 (11 innings)

The Cardinals were the winners in the second game of the season, but this one took some work.  The Redbirds squeaked out a one-run victory in extra innings.

The Mets scored first in the first inning with two runs on two singles.  The Cardinals tied it up in the fourth.  Paul Goldschmidt led off with a double and Tyler O’Neill drove him home on a single. Yadier Molina singled to move O’Neill to third and Dylan Carlson brought O’Neill home on a sac fly.

The Mets took a 3-2 lead in the fifth.  The score remained 3-2 until the eighth inning, when O’Neill blasted a two-run bomb to center field to give the Cardinals a 4-3 lead.  In the bottom of the ninth, Javier Baez hit a solo home run to send the game into extra innings.

Neither team could score in the 10th, but in the 11th the Cardinals put up three runs.  Molina began the inning on second base.  Jose Rondon singled and Edmundo Sosa singled to score Molina.  Harrison Bader advanced Sosa and Rondon to second and third on a ground out.  Andrew Knizner then singled to plate both Rondon and Sosa.

Andrew Knizner

The Mets fought back in the home half of the 11th, and was able to score two runs, one run short of a tie.  The Cardinals prevailed to win the series.

Jake Woodford took the mound for the Cardinals.  The right-hander pitched four innings, gave up two runs on four hits and walked two.  Daniel Ponce de Leon began the fifth but couldn’t finish it.  The right-hander got the first out, then walked three straight batters to load the bases.  Kodi Whitley relieved Ponce de Leon.  One run that was charged to Ponce de Leon scored on a sac fly, but Whitley retired the next batter to end the inning.  Whitley tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings and was relieved by Genesis Cabrera.

Cabrera followed Whitley by pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Luis Garcia got the final out of the eighth.  Giovanny Gallegos gave up the tying run in the ninth and was tagged with a blown save.  Alex Reyes threw a scoreless 10th. Kwang-Hyun Kim pitched the 11th and yielded two runs.  Reyes was awarded the win, his eighth of the season and Kim earned his first save.

In the field, Kim made a throwing error and Woodford had a fielding miscue.

Wednesday, Sept 15 – Cardinals 11 at Mets 4

The Cardinals pummeled the Mets in the final game of the three-game series at Citi Field to earn the sweep.  Jon Lester got the start for the Cardinals, pitched six innings, gave up three runs, two earned, on six hits and fanned seven.  Andrew Miller surrendered one run in the seventh and did not record an out.  T.J. McFarland relieved Miller and tossed two scoreless innings.  Justin Miller threw a scoreless ninth.  Lester earned his sixth win of the season.

The Cardinals quickly took a 5-0 lead in the first inning.  Tommy Edman led off the inning with a walk.  Paul Goldschmidt doubled, and Tyler O’Neill followed with a double to score Edman and Goldschmidt.  Dylan Carlson singled to score O’Neill.  Edmundo Sosa singled, and Harrison Bader singled to plate Carlson and Sosa.

The Mets got one run back in the second and another run in the third to make it 5-2.  The Redbirds increased their lead to 6-2 on a solo home run by Bader in the fourth.

The Mets scored one run in the sixth, but the Cardinals answered in the top of the sixth with two more runs on solo home runs by Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado.  The Mets again added a run in the home half of the seventh and the Cardinals led 8-4.

Paul Goldschmidt

In the eighth, Sosa hit a solo home run to make it 9-4.  Tommy Edman doubled and scored on a single by Goldschmidt.  Goldschmidt scored on a single by Arenado.

The Cardinal offense scored 11 runs on 16 hits.  Edman was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Goldschmidt was 3-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored.  O’Neill was 2-for-5 with two RBI, and Arenado was 2-for-4 with two RBI.  Sosa was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.  Bader was 2-for-5 with three RBI.

In the field, Sosa made a fielding error.

Thursday, Sept 16 – Off day.

Friday, Sept 17 – Cardinals 8, Padres 2

The Cardinals returned home to St. Louis to take on the San Diego Padres in a weekend series at Busch Stadium.  While the Cardinals were sweeping the Mets, the Reds lost 2 of 3 to the Pirates and the Padres lost 2 of 4 to the Giants.  The Redbirds began the Padres series on Friday in the second Wild Card spot, one half game ahead of the Padres and one game ahead of the Reds.

The Cardinals blew the Padres away in the first game of the series 8-2.  Miles Mikolas got the start and he pitched 5 2/3 innings scoreless innings, allowed three hits, struck out three and walked two to earn his first win of the season.  T.J McFarland relieved Mikolas in the sixth and got the final out.  He returned to start the seventh and surrendered two runs in that inning without recording an out.  Luis Garcia finished the inning without further damage.   Alex Reyes and Genesis Cabrera combined to throw a scoreless eighth.  Kodi Whitley pitched a scoreless ninth.

The Cardinals took a 3-0 lead in the first inning.  Tommy Edman led off with a double and Paul Goldschmidt plated him on a single.  Tyler O’Neill followed with a two-run home run to left field.

St. Louis increased the lead to 4-0 in the fourth on a solo home run by Dylan Carlson.  The Mets finally got on the board with two runs in the seventh inning.

The Cardinals came back in the eighth with a four-run surge.  Paul Goldschmidt doubled to lead off.  Nolan Arenado drew a walk and Yadier Molina was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Dylan Carlson came to the plate and hit a grand slam to center field, and the Redbirds had an 8-2 lead.

Dylan Carlson

Goldschmidt was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.  Carlson was 2-for-4 with five RBI and two runs scored.  O’Neill drove in two.

The Cardinals moved to 1.5 games ahead of the Padres for the Wild Card and remained 1 game ahead of the Reds, who beat the Dodgers.

Saturday, Sept 18 – Cardinals 3, Padres 2

The Cardinals edged the Padres in win that happened in one inning with one hit.  The Padres led 2-0 from the fourth inning on until the eighth, when one hit gave the Cardinals the game.

The game was a pitching duel for the first three innings, between Adam Wainwright and Yu Darvish.  The Padres got to Wainwright in the fourth with two runs on singles by Tommy Pham and Victor Caratini.

The Padres took the 2-0 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning.  The inning began with a leadoff double by Harrison Bader.  Bader eventually scored on a sac fly by Tommy Edman.  Paul Goldschmidt drew a walk, and Tyler O’Neill came to the plate with one on and two outs.  In a six-pitch battle with Padres reliever Emilio Pagan, O’Neill was the victor, blasting pitch number six, an 85-mph cutter, for a two-run home run to left center field.  The Cardinals went ahead 3-2.  The Padres went down 1-2-3 in the ninth.

Tyler O’Neill

Wainwright pitched six innings and gave up two runs on seven hits and struck out two.  Wainwright later said his stuff was “average”.  Darvish on the other hand was very good, pitching seven scoreless innings before Pagan gave up the lead in the eighth.  Wainwright was relieved by Kodi Whitley, who tossed a scoreless seventh.  Justin Miller pitched a scoreless eighth and Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless ninth to earn his ninth save. Miller got the win, his first.

In the field, Carlson had an outfield assist at second base.

Sunday, Sept 19 – Cardinals 8, Padres 7

The Cardinals won a hard-fought game three to sweep the Padres in the series.  The Cardinals broke out to an early lead, but the Padres fought back. The game came down to the last inning, but the bullpen held on.

The Redbirds rocked Padres starter Jake Arrieta for five runs in the first inning, before he left the game with an injury.  Tommy Edman led off with a double, and Paul Goldschmidt followed with a single.  Tyler O’Neill walked to load the bases.  Nolan Arenado hit a pop up into center field that Fernando Tatis Jr dropped, and Edman scored.  Goldschmidt scored on a sac fly by Dylan Carlson.  Edmundo Sosa doubled to plate O’Neill.  After Arrieta exited, Harrison Bader hit a double off reliever Craig Stammen that scored Arenado and Sosa.

Dylan Carlson made a fantastic catch in the first inning, bringing down a hard fly ball to right field off the bat of Fernando Tatis Jr at the wall.  The hit would have likely been a double or a triple if not caught.  The Padres instead did not score.

The Padres scored one run in the third to cut the lead to 5-1, then added two more in the fourth to make it 5-3.  The Cardinals widened the lead in the fifth with two runs scored to make it 7-3. Goldschmidt doubled and scored on a single by O’Neill.  O’Neill then scored on a double by Edmundo Sosa.

The Padres answered with a run in the sixth, but the Cardinals got the run back in the seventh on a walk by O’Neill, a stolen base and a single by Dylan Carlson.

The 8-4 lead shriveled away in the eighth when the Padres surged for three runs to make it a one run lead.  The Cardinals held on with a terrific ninth inning performance by Giovanny Gallegos.

J.A. Happ got the start but lasted only four innings.  The left-hander gave up three runs on four hits, struck out two and walked one.  Alex Reyes relieved Happ and surrendered one run in two innings of relief.  T.J McFarland pitched a scoreless seventh and returned to start the eighth.  The left-hander gave up a lead off single and was replaced by Luis Garcia.  Garcia allowed the inherited runner to score then surrendered two additional runs with only one out recorded.

Genesis Cabrera then came in as the third pitcher of the inning and got the final two outs.  Giovanny Gallegos was brilliant in the ninth, striking out the first two batters and retiring the third on a fly out to center field.  Reyes got the win and Gallegos earned his 10th save.

Giovanny Gallegos

On the base paths, Lars Nootbaar stole his first base of the season and O’Neill stole his 13th.  In the field, Sosa made a throwing error.

Big Picture

The Cardinals had arguably the best week of the season this past week in their run to the playoffs.  They swept the Mets in three games at Citi Field and followed that with a three-game sweep of the Padres at Busch Stadium, for a 6-0 week.  Both the Mets and the Padres are teams in the hunt for the Wild Card spot.

The Reds, who began the week in the second spot, fell out after losing 2 of 3 to the Pirates.  The Padres came into the series this weekend having lost 2 of 4 to the Dodgers.  As the series began the Cardinals were a half game ahead of the Padres and one game ahead of the Reds.  The Reds lost 2 of 3 to the Dodgers while the Cardinals swept the Padres.  The Cardinals now sit in the second spot, 3 games ahead of the Reds, and 3.5 games ahead of the Padres.  The Phillies, who were 2.5 back of the Wild Card on Friday and Saturday by beating the Mets, lost to the Mets on Sunday and are now 3.5 games back, tied with the Padres.

The Cardinals now face two series with the Brewers and two series with the Cubs to end the regular season.  The Reds and the Phillies face lesser opponents in the Pirates and the Orioles in the coming week, while the Padres will be playing the NL West leading Giants.  Over the weekend the Reds play the Nationals, and the Phillies play the Pirates, while the Padres face the Braves.  Given the strength of the schedules, the Cardinals position in the second spot is precarious.

The offense must continue to produce as they have over the last two weeks.  Production up and down the lineup is crucial.  The top offensive performers over the last seven days by OPS are Paul Goldschmidt (1.405), Tyler O’Neill (1.308), Harrison Bader (.828), Tommy Edman (.826), and Dylan Carlson (.821).   Nolan Arenado (.708) and Edmundo Sosa (.738) need to pick it up a little bit.  Yadier Molina (.649) also needs to improve at the plate.

The starting pitching must continue to keep the offense in games and go as deep as possible to preserve a tiring bullpen.  The usually stalwart Adam Wainwright only pitched 6 innings in his last start and hopefully this was just a minor hiccup.  J.A. Happ had a four inning start on Sunday, also not ideal.  The bullpen must be able to hold any leads late in the game, and as we have seen in the past, this has been a continuing problem.

As for the bullpen, things are better than they have been in the not too distant past, but there have still been some issues in individual cases.  A return of Jack Flaherty and possibly Dakota Hudson to pitch out of the bullpen would be a big help, but their returns are not set in stone.  The current bullpen must be reliable with the tough schedule the Cardinals have in these last two weeks.

NL Central Standings

Team                                        W                              L                       Pct                           GB                     WCGB 

 

Milwaukee

 

           91

 

             58

 

         .611

 

         ——

 

——

 

St. Louis

 

           79

 

             69

 

         .534

 

         11.5

——
 

Cincinnati

 

           77

 

             73

 

         .513

 

         14.5

 

           3

 

Chicago

 

           67

 

             83

 

         .447

 

         24.5

 

          13

 

Pittsburgh

 

           56

 

             93

 

         .376

 

          35

 

         23.5

 Busch Stadium showcases the 2011 World Series team in a ten-year reunion.

During the weekend series with the Padres, the Cardinals celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the 2011 World Championship.  More than 30 players from the 2011 team were in attendance over the weekend and were showcased in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday.  Included in the celebration was NLCS and World Series MVP David Freese.

Freese, along with NLDS Game 5 starter Chris Carpenter threw out the ceremonial first pitches on Saturday, with Nolan Arenado and Jack Flaherty receiving the pitches.  The 2011 team members were brought out in trucks that came around the track, just as is done on the Opening Day ceremonies.

Three players from the 2011 team still playing for the Cardinals, Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina, and Matt Carpenter, were also showcased.  Understandably missing were manager Tony La Russa, Albert Pujols, and Lance Lynn, all who are still playing for or managing other teams.  Also with another team but at the ceremony was Skip Schumaker, who is the bench coach for the San Diego Padres, the team the Cardinals were playing that weekend.  He was introduced and came out on the field for the team photo.

Bally Sports Midwest featured interviews with several of the former Cardinals on the telecast of Saturday’s game, who talked about that 2011 run and what it was like for them.  Featured were Lance Berkman, Jon Jay, Allen Craig, and several others.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors.

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

  • 9/13 The Cardinals sent RHP Dakota Hudson on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

  • RHP Jordan Hicks (right elbow inflammation) remains on the 60-day injured list. Hicks was sent to the Cardinals Spring Training complex in Jupiter on Sept 11 to begin facing live hitters.  The right-hander will continue that process while the team looks for opportunities to get him into live action, either in minor league games or in winter ball.  Hicks will not return to the major league roster in 2021.
  • 2B Max Moroff (left shoulder subluxation) remains on the 60-day injured list after suffering a shoulder injury in a batting practice session. Moroff had surgery on the shoulder and is out for the rest of the season.
  • RHP Dakota Hudson (Tommy John surgery) remains on the 60-day injured list. He made a rehab start in Memphis on Friday, and manager Mike Shildt announced on Sunday that the right-hander will pitch another rehab assignment on Wednesday.  No decision has been made on whether Hudson will pitch at all in 2021.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez (right thumb ligament sprain) had surgery on July 16 to repair his thumb ligament. Martinez has begun some light throwing, but he is not expected to return this season.  If that is the case, Martinez may have thrown his last pitch as a Cardinal.  Martinez is on the final year of his contract, and though the team holds options for 2022 and 2023, they are not expected to pick them up.
  • LHP Wade LeBlanc (left elbow pain) remains on the 10-day injured list. The left-hander is set to undergo a procedure on his left elbow, making a return this season impossible.  LeBlanc will be a free agent at season’s end.  The Cardinals may offer LeBlanc a minor league deal to return in 2022 if he does not sign a major league deal elsewhere.
  • RHP Ryan Helsley (right elbow stress reaction), was placed on the 60-day injured list on Sept 1. The move signaled an end to Helsley’s season.
  • RHP Jack Flaherty (right shoulder strain) remains on the 10-day injured list.  The right-hander threw bullpen sessions on Sept 16 and Sept 18 without any setbacks.  Flaherty will throw another bullpen in Milwaukee on Tuesday.  The team has not decided on if/when Flaherty will return to pitch.  If he does pitch in 2021 it will likely be as a reliever, but no decision has been made either way.
  • RHP Junior Fernandez (right lat strain) was transferred to the 60-day injured list on Sept 12. Scans revealed a Grade 2 lat strain and the injury is serious enough that his season is most likely over.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals finish a series at home against the Padres on Sunday and then travel to Milwaukee to play the Brewers in a four-game series.  Jake Woodford is scheduled to make the start on Monday, followed by Lester on Tuesday, Mikolas on Wednesday, and possibly Wainwright on Thursday, though that decision has not been made.

The Cardinals leave Milwaukee following the game on Thursday and go to Chicago to play the Cubs in a weekend series at Wrigley Field.  The series includes a doubleheader on Friday.  The team has an off day on Monday following that series.

The Cardinals return to St. Louis for the final week of the regular season for a six-game homestand.  The team will play the Brewers in a three-game series beginning Tuesday.  The Cubs will arrive on Friday to play a weekend series to end the regular season of play.

The Cardinals regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past.

This week’s Blast from the Past covers the second part of two-part series on the youngest players on each roster from the years 2000 through 2021.  Last week we looked at the 2000 through 2010 seasons.  This week we look at the seasons from 2011 through the present season.

2011 season – The youngest players on the 2011 roster were pitchers Eduardo Sanchez (22) and Maikel Cleto (22).  Sanchez pitched in 26 games that season as a reliever to a record of 3-1 and an ERA of 1.80.  Cleto made only three appearances that season.  The next youngest player on the roster was Pete Kozma (23), who played in 16 games and had 22 plate appearances.

2012 season – P Shelby Miller made his debut late in the 2012 season at the age of 21. Miller pitched in six games, one as a starter.  Trevor Rosenthal (22) debuted in July of 2012.

2013 season – Two 21-year-olds debuted in 2013, Michael Wacha, and Carlos Martinez.  Wacha debuted in May and pitched in 15 games, nine as a starter. Martinez also debuted in May and pitched 21 games, one as a starter.  Kolten Wong (22) debuted in August.

2014 season – Sam Tuivailala (21) made a September 28 debut and pitched in only two games. Oscar Taveras (22), Randal Grichuk (22), and Marco Gonzalez (22) also debuted in 2014.

2015 season – Same Tuivailala was again the youngest player on the roster at 22.   Wacha, Martinez, Grichuk, and Gonzalez all returned for the 2015 season at the age of 23.  Oscar Taveras tragically died in an automobile accident in October of 2014.

2016 season – C Carson Kelly (21) and P Alex Reyes (21) both made their debuts in 2016.  Kelly debuted in September and Reyes in August.  P Luke Weaver (22) also made his debut in August.  Reyes made five starts that season and Weaver started eight games.  Kelly played in 10 games.

2017 season – OF Magneuris Sierra (21), P Jack Flaherty (21) and P Sandy Alcantara (21) all made their debuts in 2017.  Sierra debuted in May and played 22 games that season.  Flaherty debuted in September and made five starts.  Alcantara also debuted in September and pitched in 8 games out of the bullpen.  Also making his debut in 2017 was CF Harrison Bader (23), who debuted in July and played in 23 games.

2018 season – P Jordan Hicks (21) made his debut on the Opening Day roster on March 29.  Hicks appeared in 73 games, 20 as the closer.  SS Edmundo Sosa (22) debuted in September and appeared in three games.  P Dakota Hudson (23) debuted in July and pitched in 26 games.

2019 season – P Genesis Cabrera (22) and P Junior Fernandez (22) joined Hicks in 2019.  Cabrera debuted in May and Fernandez in August.  Cabrera pitched in 22 games, two as a starter. Fernandez pitched in 13 games out of the bullpen.

2020 season – In the 60-game 2020 season, Dylan Carlson (21) debuted in August and played in 35 games.  Johan Oviedo (22) also debuted in August and made five starts for the Cardinals.  P Jake Woodford (23) and P Ricardo Sanchez (23) joined Cabrera, Fernandez, and Hicks.  Woodford made one start and 11 appearances out of the bullpen.  Sanchez pitched in three games out of the bullpen.

2021 season – Dylan Carlson (22) is again the youngest Cardinal and is now the starting RF for the Cardinals.  Lars Nootbaar (23) debuted in June and quickly became a fan favorite.  Angel Rondon (23) also debuted in June but pitched in only two games.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 19, 2021

Photo: Kramer Robertson (Memphis Redbirds)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 3-3 in five games on Saturday. The two DSL teams played each other.  The FCL Cardinals finished their season on Friday.  The Players of the Day are Memphis infielders Kramer Robertson and Nolan Gorman, who drove in five of the Redbirds six runs between them.  Robertson was 2-for-3 with three RBI and Gorman was 2-for-5 with a two-run home run in the Memphis win over Louisville.

Results from games played Saturday, Sept 18.

Memphis 6, Louisville 4

The Redbirds came from behind in the final innings of the game on Saturday night at Auto Zone Park to defeat the Louisville Bats by the score of 6-4.

Starter T.J. Zeuch pitched six innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on six hits, fanned five and walked one.  Ramon Santos started the seventh and surrendered two runs.  Santos was replaced with only one out in the inning by Connor Jones, who got the final two outs of the inning. Angel Rondon tossed a scoreless eighth to earn his sixth win of the season. Jacob Bosiokovic threw a scoreless ninth to earn his second save.

Louisville took a 1-0 lead in the first inning off Zeuch.   Nolan Gorman blasted a two-run home run in the third inning to give Memphis a 2-1 lead.

Nolan Gorman

The Bats tied the game 2-2 in the fifth, then regained the lead 4-2 with two runs in the seventh.  The Redbirds answered with two runs in the home half of the seventh.  Dennis Ortega led off with a single and Nick Plummer followed with a walk.  Brendan Donovan walked to load the bases. Kramer Robertson then hit a single to plate Ortega and Plummer.

With the game tied at 4-4 going into the eighth, Memphis added two more runs to take a 6-4 lead.  Ortega walked and Plummer reached on catcher interference. Rayder Ascanio walked, and the base were juiced again.  Donovan drew a walk to score Ortega and Robertson plated Plummer with a walk.

Robertson was 2-for-3 with three RBI. Gorman was 2-for-5 with two RBI.

Kramer Robertson

In the field, Gorman made a fielding error.

Memphis is 57-62 on the season and is in fifth place in the Triple-A East Southeast Division, 19 games back of the Triple-A Champion Durham Bulls.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Louisville, Matthew Liberatore LHP (7-9, 4.45) vs. TBD 2:05 CT.

Springfield 4 at NW Arkansas 7

The Cardinals lost the fifth game of the final series of the season to NW Arkansas at Arvest Ballpark on Saturday night.  The Naturals took an early lead, forcing Springfield to play catch up.  The comeback attempt fell short of the goal.

NW Arkansas got on the board with three runs in the first inning, and then added two runs in the second and one run in the third.  In the top of the fifth the Cardinals finally scored, putting two runs on the board on an RBI double by Nick Raposo and an RBI single by Matt Koperniak.

The Naturals quickly answered with one more run in the home half of the fifth to give them a 7-2 lead. In the seventh, Springfield added two more on singles by Luken Baker and Leandro Cedeno.  Neither team scored further.

Nick Dunn went 3-for-4 in the game. Baker was 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Nick Dunn

Starter Tyler Pike pitched three innings and gave up six runs, one earned, on four hits, struck out four and walked one.  The Cardinal defense made three errors in the game, which led to unearned runs, and one of the errors was by Pike.  Kyle Leahy threw the final five innings and yielded one run on three hits.  Pike took the loss, his fourth of the season.

The errors in the game were two fielding errors by Baker and a throwing error from Pike.

Springfield has a record of 45-74 and stands in last place in the Double-A Central North Division, 23 games back of first place Wichita.

Sunday’s game:  at NW Arkansas, TBD (SPR) vs. Angel Zerpa LHP (0-3, 6.05) 2:05 CT.

Peoria 3, Cedar Rapids 6

The Chiefs were defeated by the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the next to last game of the season at Dozer Park.  Peoria tried to chip away at an early lead, but Cedar Rapids outlasted them.

Starter Mac Lardner pitched 6 2/3 innings and gave up four runs, three earned, on six hits, struck out five and walked two.  Jacob Schlesener relieved Lardner and surrendered two runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief.  Leonardo Taveras got the final two outs of the ninth.  Lardner took the loss, his sixth of the season.

Cedar Rapids scored one run in the second and two runs in the third to go up 3-0. In the fourth, the Chiefs scored one run on a solo home run by Todd Lott to cut the lead to 3-1.

Todd Lott

The Kernels got that run back in the fifth to lead 4-1, but Peoria responded with one run in the home half of the fifth on a solo home run by Zade Richardson to take the score back to a two-run deficit.

The Chiefs made it 4-3 in the seventh.  Aaron Antonini doubled and scored on a double by Jacob Buchberger.  Cedar Rapids added one run in the eighth and one in the ninth for the final score of 6-3.

Lott was 2-for-4 on the night with one RBI.  Richardson had one RBI and was 2-for-3.

On the base paths, Lott was caught stealing for the fourth time in the season.  Francisco Hernandez was caught stealing for the sixth time.

In the field, Lardner picked a runner off first base.  Antonini had a passed ball.

Peoria has a record of 45-74 and is in last place in the High-A Central West Division, 33 games back of first place Quad Cities.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Cedar Rapids, TBD (PEO) vs. Aaron Rozek LHP (0-1, 5.19) 1:35 CT.

Palm Beach 6, Daytona 1

The Cardinals beat Daytona in the fifth game of the six-game series at Roger Dean Stadium by the score of 6-1.  The game was scoreless for the first three innings, but the Beach Birds got it going with the bat to the tune of six runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

Palm Beach posted four runs in the fourth inning.  Brady Whalen singled and Carlos Soto followed with a double.  Patrick Romeri drew a walk to load the bases.  Whalen was thrown out at home attempting to score on a force out by Mack Chambers.  With the bases still juiced, Osvaldo Tovalin blasted a grand slam to right field.

Osvaldo Tovalin

The Beach Birds added two runs to the tally in the fifth.  Mike Antico doubled and advanced to third on a throwing error.  L.J. Jones drew a walk.  Whalen singled to score Antico, and Soto singled to plate Jones.

The Tortugas scored their only run in the sixth inning.  The 6-1 Cardinal lead held through the end of the game.

Whalen was 2-for-4 in the game with an RBI.  Soto was 2-for-3 with an RBI.  Tovalin drove in four on the grand slam.

Starter Dionys Rodriguez pitched five scoreless innings, allowed three hits, fanned four and walked one to earn his fourth win of the season.  Luis Ortiz surrendered one run in three innings of relief.  Andrew Marrero threw a scoreless ninth.

In the field, Tovalin made a fielding error.

Palm Beach is 37-79 and is in last place in the Low-A Southeast East Division, 24 games back of first place Jupiter.

The Cardinals will play their final game of the season tomorrow.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Daytona, TBD vs. TBD, 9:00 am CT.

DSL Cardinals Blue 8, DSL Cardinals Red 3

The Cardinals Blue (17-32) defeated their sister team the Cardinals Red (23-24) in an 8-3 contest on Saturday morning.  Blue surged to a 7-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back.

Adari Grant led off the bottom of the first for Blue with a double to left field.  A wild pitch sent Grant to third, and a second wild pitch brought him home for the first run of the inning.  Maycol Justo drew a walk and scored on a double by Fernando Diaz.  Jose Cordoba reached on an error and Diaz scored on a wild pitch.  Keshawn Rombley walked and Robelyn Lopez walked to load the bases.  Bryan Encarnacion cleared the bases on a triple.  Encarnacion scored on a single by Grant.

Adari Grant

Red finally got on the board in the fourth inning with two runs scored on a two-run home run by Samil De La Rosa.  Red added their third run in the sixth on an RBI double by Carlos Carmona.

Blue scored their eighth run in the home half of the sixth on a triple by Maycol Justo and a wild pitch.

Grant was 2-for-5 with an RBI for Blue.  Encarnacion had three RBI.

For Red, Elias Reynoso was 2-for-4, and De La Rosa drove in two.

Elias Reynoso

Blue starter Juan Salas pitched two scoreless innings with no hits allowed and two strikeouts.  Alexander Beltre surrendered two runs in his two innings pitched.  Omar Lopez tossed a scoreless fifth.  Miguel Martinez yielded one run in the sixth.  Uriel Curvelo, Marlyn Almonte, and Juan Peralta each threw a scoreless inning.  Lopez got the win, his first of the season.

Red starter Engels Martinez suffered his fourth loss of the season.  The right hander gave up five runs, two earned, on two hits and four walks in 1/3 of an inning.  Fraimin Marte surrendered two runs in 2 2/3 innings of relief. Eduar Pimentel yielded one run in his three innings of relief.  Juan Severino and Americo Lugo each threw a scoreless inning.

In the field for Blue, Leonardo Bernal made an error on a pickoff and Javier Bolivar made a throwing error.  For Red, Reynoso made a throwing error.  Jose Rodriguez had an outfield assist at second base.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 18, 2021

Photo: Mike Antico (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 4-4 on Friday. The Players of the Day are Springfield 2B Nick Dunn and Palm Beach CF Mike Antico. Dunn was 3-for-6 with a home run, three runs scored, and 2 RBI while Antico hit a grand slam and reached base four times in six plate appearances.

Results from games played Friday, Sept 17.

Memphis 6, Louisville 2

The Redbirds defeated the Louisville Bats 6-2 in a Friday night contest at Auto Zone Park.  The starter for Memphis was Dakota Hudson, making his final rehab start as he comes back from Tommy John surgery.  The right-hander pitched five innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on two hits, struck out two and walked three.  Seth Elledge tossed a scoreless sixth.  Tommy Parsons threw a scoreless seventh, and Brandon Waddell followed with a scoreless eighth to earn the win, his second of the season.  Jesus Cruz pitched a scoreless ninth.

The Bats took the first lead, scoring one run in the third and a second run in the fifth.  The Redbirds were held scoreless for the first six innings, but got on the board in the seventh, scoring two runs to tie the game.  Alec Burleson led off the seventh with a single and Evan Mendoza followed with a single.  Nick Plummer singled to score Burleson.  Mendoza scored on a double play by Rayder Ascanio.

Memphis scored four runs in the eighth to take a 6-2 lead.  Brendan Donovan led off with a solo home run and Austin Dean followed with a double.  Dean scored on a single by Ali Sanchez.  Burleson followed Sanchez with a two-run home run to right center field.  The bullpen kept Louisville off the board for the final four innings of the game.

Brendan Donovan

Sanchez and Burleson were each 2-for-4 in the game. Burleson had two RBI and two runs scored.

In the field, Mendoza and Hudson each made a throwing error.

Memphis is 56-62 on the season and is in fifth place in the Triple-A East Southeast Division, 19 games back of Division winner Durham.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Louisville, Matthew Liberatore LHP (7-9, 4.45) vs. Tim Adelman RHP (1-1, 3.79) 6:15 CT.

Springfield 13 at NW Arkansas 12 (11 innings)

Springfield defeated Northwest Arkansas in a game that saw both teams combine for 25 runs. The Naturals forced extra innings by scoring five runs in the eighth and ninth innings, but the S-Cards did enough to secure the game with a three-run 11th inning.

Springfield began the scoring in the top of the first inning when Delvin Perez led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out, and scored on a Chandler Redmond single.

The Naturals tied the game in the bottom half of the inning with a run off Springfield starter Michael Brettell. Brettell allowed another run in the second and two more in fourth before being pulled after five innings of work. In total, the right-hander allowed four runs, all earned, on nine hits and two walks. Brettell struck out one and left the game with a 5-to-4 lead.

Springfield struck again with two runs in the second. Co-Player of the Day Nick Dunn opened the frame with a single and advanced to third on a single by Chase Pinder. Dunn then scored on a squeeze bunt from Irving Lopez, who reached first base safely. Chase Pinder scored two batters later on a single from Matt Koperniak.

Luken Baker’s 25th home run of the season made the score 4-2 after three innings. The S-Cards tacked on another run in the fourth inning on three consecutive singles by Perez, Koperniak, and Ivan Herrera.

Luken Baker

Northwest Arkansas scored two in the home half of the fifth inning to bring the game to within one run. But the Cardinals answered in the top of the sixth with four runs. Perez led off with a walk and Koperniak followed with a single. Herrera then singled, scoring Perez, but was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double. Koperniak moved to third on the single by Herrera and scored on a wild pitch. The final two runs of the inning scored after a walk by Redmond and a home run by Dunn.

Salvador Justo relieved Brettell and pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh innings. He ran into trouble in the eighth, though, hitting a batter and allowing a two-run home run before leaving the game. Johan Quezada entered and allowed another run in the inning before allowing two more in the ninth to tie the game. The right-hander allowed three runs, one earned, on three hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings. Edgar Escobar got the final out in the ninth via a strikeout. Escobar pitched the tenth and eleventh innings as well, allowing three runs, one earned, on a home run and a walk while fanning three.

The S-Cards tallied one run in the tenth inning when Irving Lopez bunted Chase Pinder to third and Matt Koperniak brought him home with a single. After the Naturals matched the Cardinals with a run in the bottom half of the frame, the game went to an eleventh inning.

Springfield put the game away in the final inning, scoring three runs. Nick Dunn singled and Justin Toerner reached on a fielding error, scoring Leandro Cedeno, who began the inning at second base. A Chase Pinder single then loaded the bases. An infield single from Lopez scored another run before a single from Malcom Nunez brought home the third and final run of the inning.

A two-run home run by the Naturals in the bottom half of the frame brought the game to within one run, but they added nothing further, allowing the S-Cards to close out a high scoring, back-and-forth affair.

The S-Cards finished with 18 hits. Notable performances came from Matt Koperniak, who was 4-for-7, Ivan Herrera, who was 3-for-7, Delvin Perez, who went 2-for-4 and scored three times, and Nick Dunn, who was 3-for-6 with a home run, three runs scored, and two RBI.

Nick Dunn

In the field, Redmond and Perez made throwing errors, leading to four unearned runs. On the base paths, Perez swiped his 24th base of the season.

Saturday’s Game:  vs. NW Arkansas, TBD (SGF) vs. Drew Parrish LHP 6-4, 2.78) 6:05 CT.

Peoria 6, Cedar Rapids 7

The Chiefs were topped by the Cedar Rapids Kernels in a one-run loss for Peoria at Dozer Park on Friday night.  The game was a tight race until the end, with Cedar Rapids scoring the winning run in the ninth.

The Kernels took a 1-0 lead in the first inning.  In the third, the Chiefs scored one run to tie the game 1-1.  Tommy Jew drew a walk and Jhon Torres plated Jew on a double.

Cedar Rapids retook the lead 2-1 in the fourth.  Peoria scored two runs in the fifth to lead 3-2.  Jew once again drew a walk, followed by a single from Masyn Winn.  A double steal put Jew on third and Winn on second.  Torres singled and Jew scored.  Pedro Pages then singled to plate Winn.

The Chiefs led 3-2 until the eight, when the Kernels put up four runs in the top of the inning.  Peoria responded in the home half of the eight with three runs to knot it up for the second time 6-6.  Jacob Buchberger tripled and scored on a single by Tyler Reichenborn.  Francisco Hernandez followed Reichenborn with a single and Jew doubled to plate Reichenborn and Hernandez.

Cedar Rapids took the 7-6 lead in the top of the ninth on a solo home run.  Peoria was unable to answer in the bottom half of the inning.

Torres went 3-for-5 with two RBI. Pages was 2-for-4, and Buchberger was 2-for-5. Jew drove in two.

Starter Logan Gragg pitched seven innings, gave up two runs, one earned on three hits, and fanned seven. Nick Trogrlic-Iverson relieved Gragg and surrendered four runs in 2/3 innings and was charged with a blown save.  Diego Cordero surrendered the winning run in 1 1/3 innings of relief and took the loss, his second of the season.

Logan Gragg

On the base paths, Jew stole his third base of the season and Winn stole his 16th base. Todd Lott was caught stealing for the third time.

In the field, Buchberger made a throwing error, and Lott made both a throwing error and missed a catch.

Peoria has a record of 45-73 and sits in last place in the High-A Central West Division, 32 games back of first place Quad Cities.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Cedar Rapids, Mac Lardner LHP (0-5, 6.12) vs. Sawyer Gipson-Long RHP (2-3, 4.63) 6:35 CT.

Palm Beach 1, Daytona 7 (seven innings, game one)

The Cardinals played a twin bill with the Daytona Tortugas at Roger Dean Stadium on Friday.  In the first game the Cardinals were defeated by a six run margin.

The Beach Birds scored their only run of the game in the fifth inning.  Noah Mendlinger singled and Patrick Romeri walked.  Mike Antico singled to score Mendlinger.

Daytona put up seven runs against Palm Beach pitching. They scored three runs in the third inning, two runs in the fourth, and one run each in the fifth and sixth innings.

The Cardinals offense scored one run on four hits. Mendlinger was 2-for-3.

Noah Mendlinger

Levi Prater got the start in game one.  Prater pitched 3 1/3 innings and gave up five runs, three earned, on four hits, struck out four and walked five to suffer his ninth loss of the season.  Edwin Nunez relieved Prater and surrendered two runs in 2 1/3 innings of relief.  Roy Garcia threw the final 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

In the field, Osvaldo Tovalin made a throwing error. Prater picked a runner off first base.

Palm Beach 11, Daytona 3 (seven innings, game two)

The Cardinals prevailed in a big way in the second game of the twin bill, walloping the Tortugas by the score of 11-3 in this Friday night contest at Roger Dean Stadium.

Starter Jose Moreno pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up one run on five hits, fanned nine and walked one.  Nathanael Heredia relieved Moreno and surrendered two runs in the final 2 1/3 innings to get the win, his first of the season.

The game was scoreless for the first three innings.  In the fourth, the Beach Birds threw up a crooked number, scoring six runs to take a 6-0 lead.  Aaron McKeithan was hit by a pitch and Osvaldo Tovalin singled.  Noah Mendlinger walked to load the bases.   Darlyn Del Villar walked and McKeithan scored.   Co-Player of the Day Mike Antico came to the plate and hit a grand slam to right center field.  The final run of the inning was scored by L.J Jones. He drew a walk, advanced to second on a passed ball, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then scored on a wild pitch.

Mike Antico

Daytona cut the lead to 6-1 in the top of the fifth.  The Cardinals answered with one run in the home half of the fifth to lead 7-1 on two singles by Mack Chambers and Tovalin, followed by two walks by Mendlinger and Del Villar.

In the sixth, Palm Beach added four runs to their tally.  Brady Whalen singled and McKeithan walked. Chambers followed with a single.  Tovalin tripled to plate Whalen, McKeithan and Chambers. Tovalin scored on a ground out by Del Villar.

The Tortugas scored two runs in the seventh, but the rally ended there.

Tovalin went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored.  Chambers and Antico were both 2-for-4. Antico had four RBI.

On the base paths, Antico stole his eighth base of the season. In the field, Del Villar made a fielding error.

Palm Beach is 36-79 and is in last place in the Low-A Southeast East Division, 25 games back of first place Jupiter.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Daytona, TBD (PB) vs. Frainger Aranguren RHP (6-7, 4.36) 5:30 CT.

FCL Cardinals 10 at FCL Nationals 6 (eight innings)

The Cardinals (24-29) were the final winners over the Nationals in an eight-inning contest on Friday morning at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.  The Cardinals were behind for most of the game but pulled out the win in the final two innings.

The Nationals scored five on their six runs in the first two innings, two in the first and three in the second.  The score remained 5-0 in favor of the Nationals until the seventh inning.

In the seventh the Cardinals put up five runs to tie the game. The runs scored on an RBI single by Joerlin De Los Santos followed by a two-run double by Luis Montano.  Justin Williams plated one on a ground out and Luis Rodriguez drove in the fifth run on a single.

In the eighth, five more runs came home for the Cardinals to give them the lead 10-5. The eighth was an extra inning, so it began with Smith Vargas on second, pinch running for Jose Zapato.  Vargas scored on a single by Darlin Moquete.  Williams doubled to plate Joerlin De Los Santos, on base by a walk, and Moquete.  Adanson Cruz singled to score Williams, and Cruz came home on a single by Rodriguez.

The Nationals scored one run in the bottom of the eighth to cut the final score to 10-6.

Cruz was 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.  Williams was 2-for-5 with three RBI.  Rodriguez was 2-for-2 with two RBI.  Ramon Mendoza was 2-for-2.

Adanson Cruz

Starter Thomas Hart surrendered two runs in the first inning but recorded only one out.  He was replaced by Enrique Saldana, who gave up three runs in 1 2/3 innings.  Trent Baker, Alex Cornwell, Omar Sanchez, and Alfredo Ruiz combined for the last six scoreless innings. Sanchez was awarded the win, his third of the season.

In the field, Williams had an outfield assist at home plate.

Saturday’s game:   No game scheduled.

DSL Cardinals Blue 2 at DSL Phillies Red 8 (seven innings)

The Cardinals Blue (16-32) lost to the DSL Phillies Red by the score of 8-2 in the Friday morning contest.  Starter Ronny Oliver pitched 1 2/3 innings and gave up six runs on seven hits, struck out two and walked three to suffer his second loss of the season.  Alejandro Cervantes relieved Oliver and tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Randel Clemente surrendered two runs, one earned in 1 2/3 innings pitched.  Victor Herrera got the final out of the sixth.

The Phillies took a 6-0 lead, scoring two runs in the first inning and four runs in the second.  Blue remained off the board until the sixth, when they scored their only two runs on the game on an RBI triple by Jose Cordoba and a wild pitch.

Jose Cordoba

The Phillies added two more runs in the home half of the sixth for the final score of 8-2.

Jose Suarez had two of Blue’s three hits, a single and a double.   Cordoba’s triple was the third hit.

In the field, Justin Guerrero made a throwing error and Luis Pino had a fielding miscue.  Catcher Diego Velasquez picked a runner off first base.

Saturday’s game: vs Cardinals Red, TBD vs. TBD 9:30 am CT.

DSL Cardinals Red 7, DSL Phillies White 9 (seven innings)

The DSL Cardinals Red jumped out to an early lead but were unable to overcome a seven-run onslaught by the DSL Phillies White in the final three innings.

Starter Roberto Bautista allowed one run in the first inning on a hit and two walks and left the game after getting two outs. Bruno Lopez relieved Bautista and got the final out of the first. He then pitched a scoreless second inning and allowed a run in the third before leaving the game. The 19-year-old threw 2 1/3 innings, allowed one run, earned, on two hits and fanned three.

The Cardinals Red scored two runs in the first inning. Elias Reynoso led off with a triple and came around to score on a Samil De La Rosa triple. De La Rosa then scored on a Jeremy Ramos double, making the score 2-1.

Samil De La Rosa

Red added another run in the second after Raul Guzman walked, advanced to second on ground out, moved to third on a throwing error, and scored on a single.

The lead was stretched to 5-2 in the third inning after Felix Taveras walked and Raul Guzman hit a two-run home run.

In the fourth inning, Carlos Linarez reached on a fielding error and moved to second on a single from Lizandro Espinoza. Samil De La Rosa singled to bring home Linarez and move Espinoza to third. Espinoza then scored on a wild pitch, making the score 7-2 in favor of Cardinals Red.

Right-hander Angel Luna shut down the Phillies in the fourth, but the final two relievers combined to concede seven runs and the lead. Samuel Fabian allowed five runs on three hits and three walks in one inning. Augusto Calderon took the loss after surrendering two runs on four hits while striking out three.

In the field, Felix Taveras had an outfield assist.

Samil De La Rosa had three of the team’s nine hits. Raul Guzman scored twice and tallied two RBI on a home run and a walk.

Saturday’s game: vs Cardinals Blue, TBD vs. TBD 9:30 am CT.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 16, 2021

Photo: Jordan Walker (Palm Beach Cardinals)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 2-3 on Wednesday. Both DSL teams had an off day.  The Player of the Day is Peoria 3B Jordan Walker, who was 2-for-4 with an RBI in the Chief’s 2-1 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

Results from games played Wednesday, Sept 15.

Memphis 12, Louisville 3

The Redbirds rocked the Louisville Bats by the score of 12-3 on Wednesday afternoon at Auto Zone Park.  Memphis scored in each of the first five innings before being shut down by the Louisville bullpen for the final three innings.

In the first inning Conner Capel hit an opposite field two run home run to give the Redbirds a 2-0 lead.  The offense added to their tally in the second inning on a solo home run by Dennis Ortega and in the third inning with a solo home run by Nolan Gorman that left the ballpark.

Nolan Gorman

The Bats got on the board in the fourth with one run to cut the lead to 4-1, but the Redbirds answered in the home half of the fourth with a three-run inning to make it 7-1.  Evan Mendoza singled and then stole second base.  Alec Burleson followed with a ground rule double that scored Mendoza.  Ortega drew a walk and Nick Plummer then smacked a triple to plate Burleson and Ortega.

The Redbirds went to 12-1 in the fifth on an RBI double by Burleson, and a two-run single by Brendan Donovan and a two run double by Kramer Robertson.

Louisville chipped away at the big lead by scoring one run in the sixth and one run in the seventh.  That was all that the Bats could manage, and the Redbirds celebrated the 12-1 win at the end of nine.

Burleson and Robertson both had two hits in the game.  Donovan, Robertson, Capel, Burleson, and Plummer each had two RBI.

Johan Oviedo got the start for Memphis and the right hander pitched four innings and gave up one run on three hits, fanned seven and walked two.  Oviedo was ejected after the fourth inning due to an apparent violation of the foreign substances rule.  Oviedo’s glove was confiscated, and he did not return to pitch.

Brandon Waddell was brought in to replace Oviedo and he tossed a scoreless fifth to earn his first win. Angel Rondon surrendered one run in the sixth and Seth Elledge relinquished one run in the seventh. Connor Jones and Jesus Cruz threw a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively.

On the base paths, Mendoza stole his 15th base of the season.

Memphis has a record of 54-62 and is in fifth place in the Triple-A East Southeast Division, 19.5 games back of first place Durham.

Thursday’s game:  vs. Louisville, Connor Thomas LHP (5-4, 3.66) vs. Zach Lee RHP (0-0, 6.00) 6:45 CT.

Springfield 3 at NW Arkansas 5

The Cardinals were defeated by the Naturals in a 5-3 contest at Hammons Field on Wednesday night.  Starter Domingo Robles pitched five innings and gave up four runs, three earned, on seven hits.  Robles suffered his 10th loss of the season.  Jake Walsh relieved Robles and tossed a scoreless sixth.  Freddy Pacheco threw a scoreless seventh. Edgar Escobar surrendered one run in the eighth.

The Naturals put three runs on the board in the second to take a 3-0 lead.  The Cardinals posted their first score in the fifth, one run to cut the lead to 3-1.  Malcom Nunez led off with a single and Leandro Cedeno reached on an error.  Nick Raposo plated Nunez on a ground out.

NW Arkansas increased the lead to 4-1 in the home half of the fifth.  Springfield added a second run to their tally in the seventh on an RBI single by Chase Pinder.

The Naturals scored for the final time in the eighth to make it 5-2.  The Cardinals rallied for one run in the ninth on a single by Cedeno but fell short of the win.

Nunez was 3-for-4 in the game with two runs scored.  Cedeno was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Pinder was 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Malcom Nuñez

On the base paths, Ivan Herrera was caught stealing for the third time this season.  In the field, Moises Castillo made a fielding error. Robles picked off two runners at first base and Escobar picked off one runner at first base.

Springfield is 43-73 and sits in last place in the Double-A Central North Division, 23 games back of first place Wichita.

Thursday’s game:  vs. NW Arkansas, Dalton Roach RHP (6-10, 5.78) vs. Yefri Del Rosario RHP (2-3, 5.75) 7:05 CT.

Peoria 2, Cedar Rapids 1

The Chiefs edged the Cedar Rapids Kernels in a one run victory at Dozer Park on Wednesday night.  It was a low scoring game on both sides, but Peoria scored one run more to take home the win.

The Chiefs put up the first run in the fourth inning.  It began with a triple by Jordan Walker, and a fielding error on a Jhon Torres ball in play sent Walker home.

Jordan Walker

The Kernels tied it up in the fifth.  Peoria came back to score the second and winning run in the sixth, this time also with Walker involved, as he hit the RBI single that scored Masyn Winn, who doubled to right field just prior to Walker’s single.

Walker was 2-for-4 in the game with an RBI. The Chiefs had only four hits, the two from Walker, Winn’s double and a single by Pedro Pages.

Starter Wilfredo Pereira pitched 5 2/3 innings and gave up one unearned run on one hit, fanned five and walked four.  Jacob Schlesener tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Pereira to earn his fifth win of the season.  Leonardo Taveras threw a scoreless eighth, and Enmanuel Solano pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his first save.

Peoria has a record of 45-71 and is in last place in the High-A Central West Division, 31 games back of first place Quad Cities.

Thursday’s game:  vs. Cedar Rapids, Colin Schmid LHP (1-1, 2.52) vs. Sean Mooney RHP (0-1, 9.00) 6:35 CT.

Palm Beach 2, Daytona 7

The Cardinals were overwhelmed by the Daytona Tortugas in a 7-2 loss at Roger Dean Stadium on Wednesday night.  The Beach Birds were held scoreless until a ninth inning rally that was insufficient to erase a seven-run deficit.

The game began with neither team scoring runs until sixth inning.  Daytona had two big innings that were the deciding innings in the game. In the sixth the Tortugas pounded Cardinal pitching for four rounds, then came back to smack them around for three more in the seventh.

Palm Beach entered the ninth inning behind 7-0.  There was little time to come back, though the Beach Birds gave it a try.  Patrick Romeri drew a walk to begin the inning. Ryan Holgate followed with a second walk, and L.J Jones followed suit to load the bases on three walks.  Brady Whalen then singled to left field to score Romeri.  Holgate then scored on a sac fly by Aaron McKeithan.  The next batter, Noah Mendlinger, ground into a double play to end the game.

The Palm Beach offense scored the two runs on only three hits. Whalen had two of the hits, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. The other hit was a triple by Jones to begin the seventh inning.  Jones was left stranded after Whalen struck out, McKeithan lined out, and Mendlinger flew out.

Brady Whalen

Starter John Beller pitched five innings and gave up four runs, three earned, on five hits, struck out two and walked five.  Inohan Paniagua relieved Beller and surrendered three runs in two innings pitched.  Ryan Loutos threw the final two scoreless innings.  Beller took the loss, his seventh of the season.

On the base paths, Mendlinger was caught stealing for the second time this season. In the field, Mendlinger made a fielding error.  Jones had an outfield assist at second base.  Beller picked a runner off first base.

Palm Beach is 35-78 and is in last place in the Low-A Southeast East Division, 24.5 games back of first place Jupiter.

Thursday’s game:  vs. Daytona, Levi Prater LHP (1-8, 6.65) vs. Sam Benschoter RHP (0-1, 9.00) 5:30 CT. 

FCL Cardinals 1, FCL Astros 8 (seven innings)

The Cardinals (23-28) were overpowered by the Astros in an 8-1 loss at Roger Dean Stadium on Wednesday morning.  Starter Gustavo J. Rodriguez pitched two innings, gave up three runs on five hits and struck out three.  The right-hander took the loss, his first of the season.  Victor Villanueva relieved Rodriguez and surrendered four runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief.  Bryan Pope tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings.  Luis Tena threw a scoreless sixth and Chris Gerard gave up one unearned run in the seventh.

The Astros put up three runs in the second, two runs in the third, and two runs in the fourth to take a 7-0 lead.  The Cardinals scored their only run in the fifth inning.  Albert Inoa drew a walk to begin the inning, stole second and third base, then scored on a wild pitch.  The only run from the Cardinals was scored without a hit.

Albert Inoa

The Astros posted their final run of the game in the seventh to take home the 8-1 win.

Though the lone run was scored without benefit of a hit, the offense managed two hits, both singles, from Luis Rodriguez and Joerlin De Los Santos.

On the base paths, Inoa stole his third base of the season. In the field, Ramon Mendoza made a fielding error.  De Los Santos had an outfield assist at second base and Roblin Heredia had a passed ball.

Thursday’s game:  at FCL Marlins, TBD vs. TBD  11:00 am CT.

DSL Cardinals Blue – Off

Thursday’s game:  vs. DSL Phillies Red, TBD vs. TBD 9:30 am CT.

DSL Cardinals Red – Off

Thursday’s game:  at DSL Phillies White, TBD vs. TBD 9:30 am CT.


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of September 6 – September 12

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

The St. Louis Cardinals went 4-3 this week, splitting a four-game series with the Dodgers and winning a series with the Reds. The bats have struggled to consistently score runs, and the bullpen blew one game, but it was a strong week overall against some tough competition. Yadier Molina led the offense while Nolan Arenado had some key home runs. Our history feature looks at the youngest player on each Cardinals team from 2000 to 2010.

Game Recaps

Monday, Sept 6 – Cardinals 1, Dodgers 5

The Cardinals began a four-game series against the Dodgers on Monday and the offense couldn’t get much going against Dodger starter Max Scherzer.  The future Hall of Famer and native of St. Louis held the Redbirds to only one run.

The Dodgers got to Cardinal starter Miles Mikolas for four runs in the first inning.  That inning set the tone for the rest of the game.  Mikolas pitched five innings and gave up five runs on five hits, struck out three and walked two.  The right hander took the loss, his second of the season.  Andrew Miller, Kodi Whitley and Daniel Ponce de Leon kept the Dodgers off the board for the remainder of the game.  Miller and Ponce de Leon threw one scoreless inning and Whitley tossed two scoreless innings.

The Cardinal offense scratched out one run against the Dodger ace, who went eight innings in the game.  That lone run scored in the sixth inning and began with a single by Tommy Edman and a single by Paul Goldschmidt.  With Edman on third, a passed ball by Dodger catcher Austin Barnes sent Edman flying home.  The play was challenged by the Dodgers, but Edman was ruled safe.

Five of the six Cardinal hits came from Edman and Goldschmidt.  Edman was 2-for-4 and Goldschmidt was 3-for-4.  Edman had the only extra base hit, a double.  Edmundo Sosa had the other hit.

Paul Goldschmidt

In the field, catcher Andrew Knizner made an error on a pickoff attempt.

Tuesday, Sept 7 – Cardinals 2, Dodgers 7

The Cardinals suffered the second loss of the series with the Dodgers and this time the offense was held to two runs by an assortment of pitchers from the Dodger bullpen.

The Dodgers scored one run in the first inning against Cardinal starter J.A. Happ.  It was a solo home run by Albert Pujols in his first at bat at Busch Stadium since 2019.  The Cardinals answered with the tying run in the home half of the first. Dylan Carlson singled, and Tyler O’Neill hit a ground rule double to right center field.  Carlson scored on a sac fly by Nolan Arenado.

The Cardinals briefly took the lead in the third inning when O’Neill doubled, and Arenado drove him home on a single.  In the fourth, the Dodgers posted two runs to take a 3-2 lead.  The Cardinals didn’t score for the remainder of the game.  The Dodger added one run in the fifth, one in the sixth, and two in the ninth for the final score of 7-2.

O’Neill went 3-for-3 in the game with a double and two singles.  Arenado had two RBI.

Tyler O’Neill

Starter J.A. Happ pitched five innings, gave up four runs on seven hits and struck out three.  Alex Reyes surrendered one run in the sixth. Daniel Ponce de Leon tossed a scoreless seventh.  Kodi Whitley pitched 2 /3 scoreless innings, and Kwan-Hyun Kim threw the final 1 1/3 innings and yielded two runs.  Happ took the loss, his eighth of the season.

O’Neill stole his 11th base of the season.  Yadier Molina had a passed ball.

Wednesday, Sept 8 – Cardinals 5, Dodgers 4

The Cardinals recovered from the losses in the first two games of the series, to win the third game by a one run margin. This game was an Adam Wainwright start, and just as he has done all season, he again stopped a losing streak.

Wainwright almost went the distance, but stopped at 8 1/3 innings pitched, with four runs allowed on seven hits and four punch outs.  Giovanny Gallegos finished the ninth inning with no hits allowed and one strikeout. Wainwright earned his 15th win of the season.

Adam Wainwright

The Dodgers got on the board first in the first inning.  The inning featured singles by Max Muncy and Mookie Betts, followed by a double by Corey Seager.  Muncy scored, but Betts was thrown out at home by a combination of Harrison Bader and Edmundo Sosa, who both threw missiles to nail Betts with a good tag by Molina.

The Cardinals answered the Dodgers with three runs scored in the home half of the first.  Tommy Edman and Paul Goldschmidt both singled, then executed a double steal.  Edman scored on a ground out by Nolan Arenado.  Yadier Molina then stepped up and hit a two-run home run to put the Cardinals up 3-1.

The Cardinals added a run in the fourth.  Molina singled and advanced on a fielding error. The catcher then moved to third on a wild pitch.  Edmundo Sosa singled and Molina scored.  The Redbirds lead increased to 4-1.

The Dodgers cut the lead to 4-2 in the sixth inning on a solo home run by Max Muncy.  Tyler O’Neill responded in kind with a solo home run in the eight to make it 5-2 in favor of the Cardinals.

The Dodgers attempted a rally in the ninth, and scored two runs to make it close, but Giovanny Gallegos came in to relieve Wainwright with one out in the ninth and kept the Dodgers from catching the Cardinals.

Molina went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.  Sosa was 2-for-4.

Edman stole his 24th base of the season, and Goldschmidt stole his 11th base.  Bader was caught stealing for the fourth time.  Bader had an outfield assist, throwing out Betts at home.

Thursday, Sept 9 – Cardinals 2, Dodgers 1

The Cardinals eked out a win against the Dodgers in the fourth game of the series to split the series 2-2.  Cardinals pitching, beginning with starter Jake Woodford, kept the Dodgers to only one run.

The Redbirds faced Dodger pitcher Tony Gonsolin for the first three innings of the game. The Redbird offense scored one run on Gonsolin in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead.  Dylan Carlson led off with a double and came home on a double by Andrew Knizner.

The Dodgers tied it 1-1 in the third on a walk to Mookie Betts, a double by Max Muncy and a single by Trea Turner that scored Betts.  That was the only Dodger run in the game.

The Cardinals took the lead for good in the fifth inning on a solo home run by Tyler O’Neill.

The offense scored two runs on five hits.  Knizner was 2-for-3 in the game with an RBI.

Jake Woodford pitched four innings and gave up one run on three hits, struck out three and walked two. Alex Reyes tossed two scoreless innings of relief to earn his sixth win of the season.  T.J. McFarland pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings.  Luis Garcia pitched 2/3 innings scoreless, and Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless ninth to earn his sixth save.

Jake Woodford

Paul DeJong stole his fourth base of the season.

Friday, Sept 10 – Cardinals 2, Reds 4

The Cardinals continued the home stand with a three-game series against the Reds, who the Cardinals are chasing for the second wild card spot.  The Cardinals did not win against the Reds in this first game of the series, losing once again in the ninth inning.

The starter for the Cardinals was Jon Lester, and he pitched seven innings and gave up two runs on three hits, struck out two and walked four.  Luis Garcia tossed a scoreless eighth.  T.J. McFarland surrendered the winning runs in the ninth and took the loss, his first of the season.

Jon Lester

The Reds scored one run in the second and one run in the fourth to take a 2-0 lead.  Both runs were on solo home runs, the first by Eugenio Suarez and the second off the bat of Joey Votto.

The Cardinals tied it up 2-2 in the home half of the fourth on a two-run home run by Yadier Molina.  The score remained tied until the ninth inning.  The Reds took the 4-2 lead on an RBI double by Jose Berrero, and a fielder’s choice ground out by Delino DeShields.

Molina was 2-for-4 with two RBI.  Tommy Edman, Dylan Carlson, and Harrison Bader had the other three hits for the Redbirds, all three were singles.

Saturday, Sept 11 – Cardinals 6, Reds 4

The Cardinals rebounded from a tough loss in game one of the series to take game two 6-4.  For the first time this season the Cardinals were able to overcome a four-run deficit to win the game in the end.

The Reds tagged Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas for four runs in the third inning.  The runs were the result of two run home runs by Jonathan India and Nick Castellanos.

The Cardinals responded by scoring two runs in the home half of the third.  Paul DeJong led off the inning with a solo home run.  Harrison Bader followed with a double, and then he advanced to third on a sac bunt by Mikolas.  Tommy Edman singled to plate Bader.

The Redbirds tied the game with two more runs in the sixth.  Tyler O’Neill singled and scored on a triple by Nolan Arenado.  Dylan Carlson then doubled to score Arenado.

In the eighth, Arenado put the nail in the coffin of the Reds with a two-run moonshot to left field.

Arenado was 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Carlson was 2-for-4 with an RBI.  DeJong and Bader were both 2-for-3.

Nolan Arenado

Mikolas pitched five innings and gave up four runs on six hits, struck out one and walked one.  Genesis Cabrera tossed two scoreless innings of relief.  Alex Reyes pitched a scoreless eighth to earn his seventh win of the season. Giovanny Gallegos earned his seventh save with a scoreless ninth.

Sunday, Sept 12 – Cardinals 2, Reds 0

The Cardinals won the rubber game of the series 2-0 and won this final series against the Reds this season.  This was the second series win against the Reds in September.

The Cardinals scored both of their runs in the first inning on a two-run home run by Nolan Arenado.  The Cardinals pitching kept the Reds off the board for the entire game.

The offense scored two runs on three hits, the long ball by Arenado, and singles by Tommy Edman and Tyler O’Neill.

Starter J.A. Happ pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings, allowed only two hits, fanned four and walked one.  Luis Garcia tossed a scoreless inning with one hit allowed and two punch outs.  T.J McFarland went 2/3 innings scoreless.  Genesis Cabrera pitched a scoreless eighth and Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless ninth.  Happ earned his ninth win and Gallegos got his eighth save.

J.A. Happ

Edman stole his 25th base of the season.  Arenado made a throwing error.

Big Picture

The Cardinals ended the week 4-3, splitting a four-game series with the Dodgers and taking 2 of 3 from the Reds.  Following the Sunday win against the Reds, the Cardinals found themselves only one game back of the second Wild Card.  The Reds and the Padres are now tied for the second Wild Card Spot.

For the first time all season, there isn’t much to complain about with respect to the Cardinals performance this past week.  The offense was sparse in the first two games with the Dodgers, but this has been a recurring theme in games against tough opponents.  In the first game the offense faced Max Scherzer, so the fact that they scored one run is an accomplishment.  Scherzer is arguably now the best pitcher in the NL with the ongoing health issues plaguing Jacob DeGrom, who has missed much of the season.  The second game was a bullpen game, which is a difficult type of pitching for which to plan.  The Dodgers sent nine different pitchers to the mound.

The Cardinals dug in and beat the Dodgers in the last two games, based in part from good pitching by Adam Wainwright and Jake Woodford plus the bullpen.  The first game of the Reds series featured a mini bullpen meltdown in the ninth, but this was the only game during the week where the game was lost in the ninth inning.  Considering all the times this had happened in the past, a one-time occurrence is an improvement.

If one can complain about the offense, it would be that there wasn’t enough to really feel comfortable of a win in the end.  Each game they won was still a nail biter for the fans.  The offense was enough, however, and that is the relevant point.  More offense is better, but wins are what count.

Top offensive performers over the last seven days by OPS are Yadier Molina (1.108) and Tyler O’Neill (.933). There were fewer players with higher than .800 OPS this week than there were last week, which was a 3-3 week.  Nolan Arenado ended the week with a .789 OPS, but his performance in the Reds series was the reason for the success.  His two-run home run in Sunday’s game was the winning hit. Paul DeJong and Edmundo Sosa split time at SS.  Paul DeJong had a .761 OPS and Sosa had a .727 OPS.   Even the players with a low overall OPS had individual success in one or two games, such as Carlson and Bader in Saturday’s win over the Reds.

The schedule does not get any easier next week.  The team plays three games with the Mets, who are also in the race for a wild card spot but are, as of this writing, 2.5 games behind the Cardinals.  The Cardinals then return home to play a series with the Padres, currently tied with the Reds for the second wild card. To keep themselves in the race and with a chance to overtake both the Reds and the Padres, the pitchers must continue to pitch well, and the offense needs to pick it up.  The Cardinals do not play the Reds again in the regular season, but they do play the Padres, and next weekend is the opportunity to gain ground there.

NL Central Standings

Team                                        W                              L                       Pct                           GB                     WCGB 

 

Milwaukee

 

           89

 

             55

 

         .618

 

         ——

 

——

 

Cincinnati

 

           75

 

             69

 

         .521

 

          14

——
 

St. Louis

 

           73

 

             69

 

         .514

 

          15

 

           1

 

Chicago

 

           65

 

             79

 

         .451

 

          24

 

          10

 

Pittsburgh

 

           52

 

             91

 

         .364

 

        36.5

 

         22.5

 Trade and Acquisition Rumors.

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

  • 9/6 The Cardinals designated RHP Brandon Dickson for assignment.
  • 9/6 The Cardinals activated LHP Andrew Miller from the 10-day injured list.
  • 9/7 The Cardinals sent RHP Justin Miller on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/8 The Cardinals sent RHP Brandon Dickson outright to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/11 The Cardinals activated RHP Justin Miller.
  • 9/11 The Cardinals optioned C Ali Sanchez to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/12 The Cardinals placed RHP Junior Fernandez on the 60-day injured list.

Injury Report

  • RHP Jordan Hicks (right elbow inflammation) remains on the 60-day injured list. Hicks was sent to the Cardinals Spring Training complex in Jupiter on Sept 11 to begin facing live hitters.  The right hander will continue that process while the team looks for opportunities to get him into live action, either in minor league games or in winter ball.  Hicks will not return to the major league roster in 2021.
  • 2B Max Moroff (left shoulder subluxation) remains on the 60-day injured list after suffering a shoulder injury in a batting practice session. Moroff had surgery on the shoulder and is out for the rest of the season.
  • RHP Dakota Hudson (Tommy John surgery) remains on the 60-day injured list. He will make his next rehab start on Sunday, Sept 12 for the Springfield Cardinals. Hudson will likely make one more rehab start after Sunday’s outing before activation is considered.  If he returns this season, he will pitch out of the bullpen for what remains of the 2021 season.  He continues to be on track to be in the 2022 rotation.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez (right thumb ligament sprain) had surgery on July 16 to repair his thumb ligament. Martinez has begun some light throwing, but he is not expected to return this season.  If that is the case, Martinez may have thrown his last pitch as a Cardinal.  Martinez is on the final year of his contract, and though the team holds options for 2022 and 2023, they are not expected to pick them up.
  • LHP Wade LeBlanc (left elbow pain) remains on the 10-day injured list. The left hander is set to undergo a procedure on his left elbow, making a return this season impossible.  LeBlanc will be a free agent at season’s end.  The Cardinals may offer LeBlanc a minor league deal to return in 2022 if he does not sign a major league deal elsewhere.
  • RHP Ryan Helsley (right elbow stress reaction), was placed on the 60-day injured list on Sept 1. The move signaled an end to Helsley’s season.
  • RHP Justin Miller (right ulnar nerve irritation) was activated on Sept 11.
  • LHP Andrew Miller (left foot blister) was activated on Sept 6.
  • RHP Jack Flaherty (right shoulder strain) remains on the 10-day injured list. Manager Mike Shildt informed the media on Sept 10 that the team is optimistic Flaherty could return to the team in some capacity, most likely the bullpen, as there is insufficient time for the right hander to build up to a starter’s workload.  The right hander is scheduled to throw off a mound by Sept 16.
  • RHP Junior Fernandez (right lat strain) was transferred to the 60-day injured list on Sept 12. Scans revealed a Grade 2 lat strain and the injury is serious enough that his season is most likely over.
  • SS Edmundo Sosa (left wrist soreness) injured the wrist diving for a ground ball in the Sept 8 game against the Dodgers. Sosa had been kept out of the lineup since, but he took some at bats on Sept 11.  Sosa is considered day to day.

Looking Ahead

Following the Reds series end on Sunday, the Cardinals will make a brief road trip to New York to play the Mets in a three-game series starting Monday, September 13.  Adam Wainwright is set to make the Monday start, followed by Jake Woodford on Tuesday, and Jon Lester on Wednesday.

The team then returns home for a weekend series against the San Diego Padres.

Following the Padres series, the Cardinals return to Milwaukee for a four-game series.  They end the week with a weekend series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

The Cardinals have an off day on Monday, Sept 27 and return home to play the Brewers in a three-game series.  The final series of the season is against the Cubs at Busch Stadium beginning Friday, Oct 1.

The Cardinals regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past.

In this week’s Blast from the Past, we take a turn from the oldest Cardinal, Adam Wainwright, who turned 40 last week, to looking at the youngest Cardinals over the last two decades of Cardinals baseball.  This series will be in two parts.  Each year from 2000 through 2010 will be featured this week.  The following list includes the youngest players on the roster for those seasons.  In some cases, there are more than one player of the same age.

2000 season – P Rick Ankiel (20).  Ankiel debuted late in 1999 and posted a record in 2000 of 11-7 with an ERA of 3.50.  Ankiel’s control issues that ultimately led to the end of his pitching career began in the 2000 postseason.

2001 season – UT Albert Pujols (21),  P Bud Smith (21), and P Rick Ankiel (21).  Pujols was called up on April 2 and played in all but one game that season.  He played multiple positions, including 1B, 3B, LF and RF and some DH.  Bud Smith made his debut on June 10 and pitched in 16 games, 14 as a starter and posted a record of 21-6 with an ERA of 3.83.

2002 season – Albert Pujols (22) and Bud Smith (22) were again the youngest players on the 2002 roster.  Ankiel was out the entire 2002 season with injuries.

2003 season – P Dan Haren (22).  Haren made his debut on June 30.  He made 14 starts for the Cardinals that season with a record of 3-7 and an ERA of 5.08.

2004 season – Yadier Molina (21).  Molina made his debut on June 3.  He played in 51 games that season and had a slash line of .267/.329/.356

Yadier Molina

2005 season – Yadier Molina (22) was the youngest player on the 2005 roster.  Molina became the starting catcher in the 2005 season.  Three other players were age 23, Pitchers Brad Thompson, Anthony Reyes, and Adam Wainwright.

2006 season – Yadier Molina (23) for the third straight season was the youngest player on the roster.  The 24 years old Thompson, Reyes, and Wainwright were joined by 24-year-old Chris Narveson.

2007 season – Yadier Molina (24) still the youngest. To the 25-year-old club is added SS Brendan Ryan, and P Dennis Dove.  Dove appeared in only three games in 2007.

2008 season – P Jaime Garcia (21) supplanted Molina as the youngest in 2008.  He appeared in 10 games that season.  Also younger than the 25-year-old Molina were P Chris Perez (22), P Mitchell Boggs (24) and P Kyle McClellan (24).

2009 season – CF Colby Rasmus (22) was the youngest player on the 2009 roster.  Jaime Garcia missed the entire 2009 season due to Tommy John surgery.  Rasmus played in 147 of the 162 games in 2009 as the starting CF.

2010 season – Colby Rasmus (23) was joined by the returning Jaime Garcia (23) and by 3B Daniel Descalso (23), and C Bryan Anderson (23).  Descalso debuted on September 18 and played in 11 games.  Anderson debuted on April 15 and played in 15 games in the 2010 season.  Jaime Garcia made 28 starts and had a record of 13-8 with an ERA of 2.70.  Rasmus appeared in 144 of the 162 games that season in CF.

Next week we look at the youngest players on the rosters for the 2011 through 2021 seasons.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 12, 2021

Photo: Chandler Redmond (Peoria Chiefs)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 4-3 in six games on Saturday.  The two DSL teams played each other. The Players of the Day are Springfield 1B Chandler Redmond, who was 4-for-4 with four RBI, and Springfield 2B Nick Dunn, who was 4-for-5 with five RBI in Springfield’s win over Arkansas.

Results from games played Saturday, Sept 11.

Memphis 6 at Nashville 5

The Redbirds held on to top the Sounds in a 6-5 win at First Horizon Park on Saturday night.  Memphis starter T.J. Zeuch pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on six hits, fanned six and walked two to earn his fourth win of the season.  Jesus Cruz relieved Zeuch and tossed 2/3 scoreless innings.  Brandon Waddell pitched a scoreless eighth and Jacob Bosiokovic threw a scoreless ninth to earn his first save.

Memphis took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.  Brendan Donovan singled and stole second base.  Nolan Gorman singled and Donovan advanced to third. Juan Yepez plated Donovan on a sac fly.

The Sounds scored one run in the home half of the first to tie the game at 1-1.  In the fourth, the Redbirds posted a three-run inning to take a 4-1 lead on a three-run home run by Donovan.

Brendan Donovan

Nashville came back to score two runs in the fifth to get within one run of the Redbirds.  In the seventh, Memphis widened the lead to 6-3.  Zeuch led off with a single and Donovan followed with a single. Gorman reached on a fielder’s choice and Zeuch scored.  Yepez then hit a ground rule double to plate Donovan.

Nashville scored two in the home half of the seventh to narrow the Redbird lead to 6-5.  Neither team scored in the final two innings.

Donovan went 3-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored. Evan Mendoza was 2-for-4.  Yepez had two RBI.

On the base paths, Donovan stole his third base of the season.

Memphis has a record of 52-61 and is in fifth place in the Triple-A East Southeast Division, 19 games back of first place Durham.

Sunday’s game:  at Nashville, Matthew Liberatore LHP (6-8, 4.53) vs. TBD 6:15 CT.

Springfield 14, Arkansas 7

The Cardinals throttled the Travelers in a 14-7 slugfest at Hammons Field on Saturday night.  Springfield scored the bulk of their runs in the final third of the game to leave Arkansas in the dust.

The Cardinals got on the board first with one run in the first inning on an RBI double by Leandro Cedeno. Arkansas took the lead 2-1 in the third inning, but the Cardinals tied it up in the fourth.  Nick Dunn singled and scored on a single by Irving Lopez to knot it up 2-2.

The Travelers retook the lead in the fifth with two runs scored to make it 4-2.  Springfield got one run back in the home half of the fifth on an RBI single by Chandler Redmond.

Arkansas scored one run in the sixth to go up 5-3.  The Cardinals responded by scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth.  Delvin Perez walked, and Matt Koperniak followed with a single. Ivan Herrera smacked a double to left and Perez scored.  Redmond singled to plate Koperniak.  Herrera later scored on a single by Dunn.  The Cardinals led 6-5.

Springfield posted a crooked number in the seventh, sending six runs across the plate to increase the lead to 12-5.  Lopez, Koperniak, and Herrera each walked.  Redmond singled to score Lopez and Koperniak.  Cedeno was hit by a pitch and the bases were loaded.  Dunn blasted a grand slam to put the Cardinals up by seven runs.

Nick Dunn

Springfield added two more runs to their tally.  Koperniak singled and Chase Pinder walked. Cedeno doubled to plate Koperniak.  Pinder scored on a wild pitch and the Cardinals led 14-5.

Arkansas scored two runs in the ninth to bring the final score of the game to 14-7.

The Cardinal offense scored 14 runs on 19 hits.  Redmond was 4-for-4 with four RBI.  Dunn was 4-for-5 with five RBI. Koperniak was 3-for-5 with three runs scored.  Herrera was 3-for-5 with an RBI and four runs scored.  Cedeno was 2-for-5 with two RBI. Lopez was 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Chandler Redmond

Springfield starter Michael Brettell pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on five hits, struck out two and walked one.  Garrett Williams tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Brettell to earn his first win.  Edgar Escobar yielded two runs in the final two innings pitched.

On the base paths, Lopez stole his second base of the season.

Springfield has a record of 42-71 and sits in last place in the Double-A Central North Division, 22 games back of first place Wichita.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Arkansas, Dakota Hudson (MLB rehab) vs. TBD 6:05 CT.

Peoria 0 at Quad Cities 2

The Chiefs were blanked by the River Bandits in a 2-0 loss at Modern Woodman Park on Saturday night.  Peoria’s offense was shut down almost completely.

Starter Logan Gragg pitched five innings and gave up two unearned runs on three hits, fanned six and walked three.  Gragg took the loss, his seventh of the season.  Enmanuel Solano tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Gragg.  Leonardo Taveras got the final out of the eighth.

Logan Gragg

The Chiefs offense managed only one hit in the game, a single by Pedro Pages.  A scoring opportunity came in the second inning with two runners on, but both were left stranded.

In the field, Gragg made a throwing error.

Peoria has a record of 43-70 and is in last place in the High-A Central West Division, 30 games back of first place Quad Cities.

Sunday’s game:  at Quad Cities, Mac Lardner LHP (0-5, 6.51) vs. Christian Cosby RHP (4-3, 4.48) 1:00 CT.

Palm Beach 5 at Fort Myers 6

The Cardinals were edged by the Mighty Mussels in a 6-5 contest at Hammond Stadium on Saturday night.  Palm Beach took the initial lead, but Fort Myers fought back to just top the Cardinals by one run.

The game was scoreless for the first three innings.  In the fourth the Cardinals posted a three-run inning to take the lead 3-0.  L.J Jones began with a single and Carlos Soto followed with a walk.  Aaron McKeithan doubled to score Jones.  Soto then scored on a sac fly by Mack Chambers.  Osvaldo Tovalin reached on an error and McKeithan scored.

The Beach Birds added a run in the fifth to increase the lead to 4-0.  Ryan Holgate drew a walk and Jones doubled to move Holgate to third. Soto grounded out and Holgate scored.

Fort Myers got on the board in the sixth with one run to cut the lead to 4-1.  The Cardinals answered with their fifth run in the seventh on a solo home run by Mike Antico.

In the home half of the seventh the Mighty Mussels tied it up with a four-run inning.  Fort Myers took the lead in the eighth 6-5, and Peoria was unable to score in the ninth.

Antico was 2-for-4 with an RBI in the game.  Jones was 2-for-3.

Chiefs starter Dionys Rodriguez pitched six innings and gave up one run on two hits, fanned seven and walked three.  Roy Garcia took the seventh and surrendered four runs, three earned.  Garcia was tagged with the blown save.   Andrew Marrero yielded the winning run in the eighth and took the loss, his second of the season.

Dionys Rodriguez

On the base paths, Tovalin was caught stealing for the first time. In the field, Chambers made a throwing error.

Palm Beach is 34-76 on the season and is in last place in the Low-A Southeast East Division, 25.5 games back of first place Jupiter.

Sunday’s game:  at Fort Myers, Ludwin Jimenez vs. TBD 11:00 am CT.

FCL Cardinals 8, FCL Nationals 6 (seven innings)

The Cardinals (23-26) defeated the Nationals in a morning contest at Roger Dean Stadium.

Cardinal starter Yordy Richard pitched two innings, gave up three runs on three hits, and struck out three.  Hector Soto relieved Richard and surrendered one run in 1 2/3 innings of relief.  Enrique Saldana yielded one run in 1 1/3 innings to earn his first win of the season.  Alfredo Ruiz gave up one unearned run in the sixth, and Omar Sanchez threw a scoreless seventh to earn his seventh save.

The Nationals took a 3-0 lead early, scoring one run in the first inning and two runs in the second.

The Cardinals put up three runs in the third to tie it up 3-3.  Sander Mora was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, and Brandon Hernandez singled.  Mora scored on a ground out by Joerlin De Los Santos.  Darlin Moquete doubled to plate Hernandez.  Moquete scored on a single by Edgardo Rodriguez.

The Nationals briefly regained the lead with one run scored in the top of the fourth.  The Cardinals answered in the home half of the fourth with five runs on the board.  Mora doubled and Hernandez singled. Hernandez then stole second base.  De Los Santos and Moquete were hit by a pitch and Mora scored.  Jeremy Rivas singled to plate Hernandez.  De Los Santos scored on a wild pitch and Moquete came home on a single by Rodriguez.  The Cardinals led 8-4

The Nationals scored one run in the fifth and one in the sixth, but that was all the Nationals offense could muster.  The Cardinals took home the 8-6 victory.

Rodriguez was 2-for-4 with two RBI.  Hernandez was 2-for-3.  Moquete drove in two.

Edgardo Rodriguez

On the base paths, Hernandez stole his third base of the season.  In the field, Rivas made a throwing error.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled.

DSL Cardinals Red 7, DSL Cardinals Blue 1 (five innings)

The Cardinals Red (21-20) blew past the Cardinals Blue (14-29) in a shortened game on Saturday morning.  The game ended in the bottom of the fifth with no outs due to rain.

Red scored two runs in the first inning on a two-run home run by Romtres Cabrera.  Blue cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth. Jose Suarez, Robelyn Lopez, and Diego Velasquez were each hit by a pitch.  Bryan Encarnacion lined out to second and Suarez scored on a throwing error.

In the fifth, Red scored five runs before the rain came.  Maikel Hernandez doubled to begin the inning. Marcelo Perez reached on an error and Hernandez scored.  Perez scored on a single by Cabrera.  Samil De La Rosa was hit by a pitch and both Cabrera and De La Rosa advanced on a wild pitch. Jose Rodriguez drew a walk.  Jeremy Ramos doubled to plate Cabrera and De La Rosa.  Rodriguez scored on a wild pitch.  The rain then came, and the game was called.

Cabrera was 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored for Red.  Ramos drove in two.  Maycol Justo was 2-for-3 for Blue.

Romtres Cabrera

Red starter Samuel Fabian pitched two scoreless innings, allowed two hits, struck out one and walked one.  Bruno Lopez relieved Fabian and surrendered one unearned run in two innings of relief to earn his fourth win of the season. Omar Yanez threw a scoreless fifth to earn his third save.

Blue starter Alexander Beltre pitched only one inning and gave up two runs, one earned on two hits, struck out one and walked two.  Victor Herrera tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Beltre.

Randel Clemente pitched a scoreless fourth, then returned to pitch the fifth. Clemente surrendered five runs, four earned, in the fifth without recording an out.  Miguel Martinez came in to relieve Clemente but pitched to only two batters before the game was called.  He allowed two inherited runners to score.

On the base paths for Red, Lizandro Espinoza stole his ninth base of the season, but was also picked off and caught stealing for the fourth time.  In the field, Espinoza made a throwing error.

On the base paths for Blue, Velasquez was caught stealing for the first time. In the field, Justo and Fernando Diaz both made throwing errors.  Encarnacion had a fielding miscue. Clemente picked Espinoza off first base.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 11, 2021

Photo: Ryan Holgate (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 3-4 on Friday.   The Player of the Day is Palm Beach RF Ryan Holgate, who drove in both Cardinals runs on a solo home run and a single in the Palm Beach win over Fort Myers.

Results from games played Friday, Sept 10.

Memphis 2 at Nashville 8

The Redbirds were overwhelmed by the Sounds on Friday night at First Horizon Park, losing by the score of 8-2 in the fourth game of the six-game series in Nashville.

The Redbird offense was held scoreless for seven innings.  By the time Memphis was able to put runs on the board they were behind 8-0 going into the final two innings, with not much time to catch up.

The Sounds scored three runs in the fourth inning and added five runs in the seventh.  To begin the eighth, Brendan Donovan was hit by a pitch and Kramer Robertson walked.  Nick Plummer was also hit by a pitch and the bases were loaded.  Conner Capel hit a sac fly to score Donovan and the Redbirds were on the board.

Memphis added a second run in the ninth when Alec Burleson doubled and scored on a single by Nolan Gorman.

The offense scored two runs on seven hits.  Clint Coulter was the only Redbird with multiple hits, he was 2-for-3.  Plummer and Burleson both doubled for the only extra base hits in the game.  Capel and Gorman each had an RBI.

Clint Coulter

Starter Connor Thomas pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up five runs, three earned, on eight hits, struck out four and walked one. The left hander took the loss, his fourth of the season. Tommy Parsons relieved Thomas and surrendered three runs in 2/3 innings.  Evan Kruczynski threw a scoreless eighth.

In the field, Evan Mendoza made two errors, one fielding and one throwing.

Memphis has a record of 51-61 and is in fifth place in the Triple-A East Southeast Division, 19.5 games back of first place Durham.

Saturday’s game:  at Nashville, T.J. Zeuch RHP (3-3, 4.73) vs. Alec Bettinger RHP (2-5, 4.94) 7:05 CT.

Springfield 5 Arkansas 12

The Cardinals were rocked by the Travelers in a 12-5 thrashing at Hammons Field on Friday night.  Starter Dalton Roach pitched four innings, gave up six runs on 10 hits and walked two to take the loss, his 10th of the season.  Kevin Marnon relieved Roach and surrendered six runs in 2 2/3 innings of relief.  Salvador Justo threw the final 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

The Cardinal offense fell behind 9-0 before they finally scored in the sixth inning.  Springfield was able to scratch two runs home in that inning that began with a single by Delvin Perez, a single by Justin Toerner, and an RBI single by Luken Baker.  Following a walk by Leandro Cedeno, Toerner scored on a single by Malcom Nunez.

Arkansas put three more runs on the board in the top of the seventh to make it 12-2.  The Cardinals responded in the home half of the seventh by scoring three runs. Nick Dunn drew a walk and Perez singled. Baker again drove in a run on a single that scored Dunn.  Cedeno then doubled to plate Perez and Baker.

Neither team scored in the final two innings and the Travelers prevailed 12-5.

Perez was 3-for-5 with two runs scored in the contest. Baker was also 3-for-5 with two RBI.  Nunez was 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Delvin Perez

In the field, Cedeno made a fielding error but also had an outfield assist at second base.

Springfield has a record of 41-71 and stands in last place in the Double-A Central North Division, 23 games back of first place Wichita.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Arkansas, Michael Brettell (1-5, 7.99) vs. George Kirby RHP (0-1, 2.93) 6:05 CT.

Peoria 7 at Quad Cities 6

The Chiefs edged the River Bandits in a hard-fought contest at Modern Woodman Park on Friday night.

Peoria starter Colin Schmid pitched 2 2/3 innings and gave up one run on five hits, struck out three and walked one.  Michael YaSenka relieved Schmid and surrendered two runs in 2 1/3 innings.  Jacob Schlesener yielded three runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief and was tagged with a blown save.  Jack Ralston finished the game and threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win, his second of the season.

The Chiefs got on the board first in the top of the first inning on a solo home run by Jordan Walker.  Quad Cities quickly tied it in the home half of the first.

Peoria went up 4-1 in the second on a three-run home run by Tyler Reichenborn.  Zade Richardson thumped a solo home run in the fourth to give the Chiefs a 5-1 lead.

The River Bandits got one back in the bottom of the fourth to make it 5-2, then added a third run in the fifth to cut the lead to 5-3.

Peoria widened the lead to 6-3 on an RBI double by Richardson.  Quad Cities fought back to score three runs in the seventh to tie the game for the second time.

The Chiefs answered with one run in the eighth to regain the lead 7-6.  Todd Lott led off the inning with a triple.  Thomas Francisco reached on a fielder’s choice and Lott scored.  The lead held through the end of the game.

Lott, Richardson, and Jacob Buchberger were each 2-for-4 in the game.  Reichenborn had three RBI and Richardson drove in two.

Zade Richardson

On the base paths, Lott stole his fourth base of the season.  In the field, Walker made a throwing error and Reichenborn had a fielding miscue.

Peoria is 43-69 on the season and sits in last place in the High-A Central West Division, 29 games back of first place Quad Cities.

Saturday’s game:  at Quad Cities, Logan Gragg RHP (2-6, 4.97) vs. A.J. Block LHP (3-5, 4.23) 6:30 CT.

Palm Beach 2 at Fort Myers 0

The Cardinals blanked Fort Myers in a 2-0 shutout at Hammonds Stadium on Friday night. The offense was sparse on both sides, but the Beach Birds did just enough to take home the win.

After three scoreless innings, the Cardinals went up 1-0 in the fourth on a solo home run by Ryan Holgate.  Palm Beach didn’t score again until the eighth, and it was Holgate again who drove in the second run, this time on an RBI single.

Ryan Holgate

The Beach Bird offense totaled nine hits in the game.  Holgate was 2-for-4 with two RBI.  Mike Antico and Osvaldo Tovalin were also 2-for-4.

Starter Jose Moreno pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowed four hits, fanned five and walked three.  Inohan Paniagua tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings and was awarded the win, his fourth of the season.  Andre Granillo threw a scoreless ninth to earn his second save.

In the field, Tovalin made a fielding error.  Patrick Romeri had an outfield assist at home.

Palm Beach has a record of 34-75 and is in last place in the Low-A Southeast East Division, 25.5 games back of first place Jupiter.

Saturday’s game:  at Fort Myers, Dionys Rodriguez vs. Regi Grace RHP (1-0, 3.47) 6:00 CT.

FCL Cardinals 5, FCL Marlins 11

The Cardinals were thrashed by the Marlins in a 11-5 loss at Roger Dean Stadium on Friday morning.

Cardinals starter Reinys Portillo pitched four scoreless innings, allowed one hit, struck out three and walked three.  Johan Quezada relieved Portillo and surrendered one in two innings of relief.  Thomas Hart followed with 2/3 innings in which he yielded five runs on two hits and four walks.  Victor Villanueva got the last out of the seventh inning.  Ettore Giulianelli gave up one run in the eighth.  Trent Baker started the ninth and allowed four runs in 2/3 of an inning, while Ben Baird relieved Baker and got the final out of the game.  Hart was tagged with a blown save and the loss.

Reinys Portillo

The game was scoreless for the first four innings.  The Marlins scored the first run in the top of the fifth.  The Cardinals responded with two runs in the home half of the fifth.  Jesus Orrechia drew a walk but was eliminated on a force out by Sander Mora.  Mora advanced to second on a wild pitch.  Joerlin De Los Santos singled, and Mora scored.  De Los Santos went to second on a throwing error.  Jeremy Rivas struck out and De Los Santos stole third base and then scored.

The Cardinals increased their lead to 4-1 with two runs scored in the sixth.  Jake Burns drew a walk, and Hansel Otamendi doubled to left.  Roblin Heredia walked, and Ramon Mendoza was hit by a pitch to score Burns.  Otamendi then scored on a sac fly by Orrechia.

The 4-1 lead was short lived.  In the top of the seventh, the Marlins put five runs on the board to take a 6-4 lead.  The Cardinals answered with one run in the bottom of the seventh to cut the lead to 6-5.

The Marlins scored one run in the eighth and four runs in the ninth to jump ahead 11-5.  The Cardinals did not score after the seventh inning.

Otamendi went 3-for-5 in the game.  Darlyn Moquete replaced Joshua Baez in CF in the fifth inning and went 3-for-3 in the remaining innings with two singles and a double.

Darlin Moquete

On the base paths, Baez, De Los Santos, and Otamendi each stole a base.  Moquete was caught stealing for the first time.

Saturday’s game:  vs. FCL Nationals, TBD vs. TBD 9:00 am CT.

DSL Cardinals Blue 6 at DSL Rockies 5

The Cardinals Blue (14-28) topped the Rockies 6-5 in a contest on Friday morning.  Cardinals Blue took the early lead, though the Rockies fought back to tie in the middle innings, but Blue prevailed in the end.

Blue put up three runs in the first inning.  Adari Grant drew a walk to begin the inning and Luis Pino singled to advance Grant to third.  Leonardo Bernal grounded out and Grant scored.  Fernando Diaz then followed with a two-run home run to center field to give Blue a 3-0 lead.

The Rockies scored one run in the second to cut the lead to 3-1.  Blue added a run in the top of the third on an RBI double by Bernal.

The Rockies scored one run in the home half of the third, and then plated two more runs in the fourth to tie the game 4-4.  Blue regained the lead with one run scored in the fifth on an RBI single by Diaz.  Bernal drove in a run on a single in the seventh and Blue led 6-4.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Rockies rallied to score one final run, but it was not enough, and Blue took home the victory.

Pino led the offense, going 4-for-5 with three runs scored.  Bernal was 2-for-5 with three RBI and Diaz was 2-for-4 with three RBI.  Jose Suarez was 2-for-4.

Luis Mario Piño

Blue starter Ronny Oliver pitched 3 1/3 innings and gave up four runs, three earned, on six hits, struck out three and walked three.  Juan Peralta relieved Oliver and tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the win, his first of the season.  Antoni Cuello and Juan Salas each pitched a scoreless inning.  Alejandro Cervantes threw two innings and surrendered one run to earn his second save.

On the base paths, Grant stole his third base of the season.  In the field, Suarez made a fielding error but also had an outfield assist at third base.

Saturday’s game:  at Cardinals Red, TBD vs. TBD 9:30 am CT. 

DSL Cardinals Red 2, DSL Tigers 4 (seven innings)

The Cardinals Red (20-20) lost to the DSL Tigers by a two-run deficit in a Friday morning contest.  Red starter Diorys Guerrero pitched five innings and gave up two runs on four hits, fanned six and walked one.  Roberto Bautista relieved Guerrero and surrendered two runs in 2/3 innings. Augusto Calderon threw the final 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the second inning.  Cardinals Red answered with one run in the home half of the second. Lizandro Espinosa singled and stole second base.  Jeremy Ramos singled and Espinosa scored.

Red tied the game 2-2 with one run scored in the bottom of the fifth, when Jeremy Ramos tripled and scored on a single by Francis Reynoso.  The Tigers retook the lead 4-2 in the top of the sixth.  Neither team scored in the final inning.

Ramos went 2-for-3 with an RBI in the game.  The Ramos triple and a double by Jose Rodriguez were the only extra base hits.

Jeremy Ramos

On the base paths, Espinoza stole his eighth base of the season.  In the field, Espinoza had a missed catch error and Felix Taveras had a fielding miscue.  Guerrero picked a runner off first base.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Cardinals Blue, TBD vs. TBD 9:30 am CT.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 9, 2021

photo: Brendan Donovan (Springfield Cardinals)

The St. Louis Cardinals farm system went 0-4 on Wednesday. The Cardinal Nation’s Player of the Day is shortstop Brendan Donovan, who was 3-for-3 with a walk and two RBI in Memphis’ loss at Nashville.

Results from games played Wednesday, September 8.

Memphis 4 at Nashville 6

The Redbirds lost to the Nashville Sounds by a 6-4 score on Wednesday night at First Horizon Park.  Memphis fell behind but tied it once before Nashville surged ahead for good.

The Sounds scored two runs in the first inning to take an early lead.  The Redbirds got one run back in the third on a lead off triple by Kramer Robertson and a sac fly by Nolan Gorman.  Memphis tied it 2-2 in the fourth when Conner Capel singled and scored on a single by Brendan Donovan.

Nashville quickly regained the lead with a three-run fifth inning.  The Redbirds crept back to 5-4 in the sixth on an RBI single by Donovan and the seventh on a solo home run by Gorman, his second long ball in two nights.

Nashville tacked on an insurance run in the eighth for the final two-score margin of victory.

Robertson was 2-for-5.  Gorman was 2-for-4 with two RBI.  Donovan went 3-for-3 with a walk and two RBI.

Brendan Donovan

Memphis starter Zack Thompson pitched 4 1/3 innings and gave up five runs, three earned, on four hits, fanned six and walked four.  Thompson took the loss, his eighth of the season.  Connor Jones got the final two outs of the fifth.  Jacob Bosiokovic tossed two scoreless innings of relief before Austin Warner surrendered one run in the eighth.

On the base paths, Donovan stole his second base for Memphis, but in the field, he committed two errors, one throwing and one fielding. Warner made an error on a pickoff.  Alex Burleson had a throwing miscue.

Memphis has a record of 51-59 and is in fifth place in the Triple-A East Southeast Division, 18.5 games back of first place Durham.

Thursday’s game:  at Nashville, Johan Oviedo RHP (1-5, 6.75) vs. Colin Rea RHP (1-2, 4.08) 7:05 CT.

Springfield 3, Arkansas 10

Plagued by a leaky defense, the Cardinals were walloped by the Arkansas Travelers in the Wednesday night game at Hammons Field.

Two players fresh off the injured list shared early mound duties but yielded seven runs in the first four innings. Starter Andre Pallante pitched two innings and gave up one unearned run on three hits and struck out two. Tyler Pike surrendered six runs, four earned in 1 1/3 innings pitched.

Garrett Williams

Garrett Williams tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings and was followed by Jake Walsh, who threw a clean seventh.  Edgar Escobar yielded one unearned run in the eighth and Salvador Justo gave up two unearned runs in the ninth.  Pallante took the loss, his seventh of the season.

Down 7-0, Springfield finally got on the board in the sixth when Nick Raposo walked and later scored on a ground out by Justin Toerner.

Arkansas added a run in the top of the eighth, and the Cardinals answered with a run in the home half of the eighth on an RBI double by Luken Baker.  The Travelers put up two final runs in the ninth, while the Cardinals tacked on their third and final run in the bottom of the ninth on a solo home run by Chandler Redmond.

In his second game off the injured list, left fielder Chase Pinder went 2-for-4 as the only Cardinal with multiple hits.

Springfield’s infield defense had a very bad night as they committed six errors leading to six unearned runs.  Malcom Nunez made two throwing errors. Delvin Perez had a missed catch and a throwing error.  Moises Castillo and Nick Dunn each had a fielding miscue.

Springfield is 41-68 and stands in last place in the Double-A Central North Division, 22 games back of first place Wichita.

Thursday’s game:  vs. Arkansas, LHP Domingo Robles (3-9, 6.22) vs. Matt Brash RHP (3-1, 1.64) 7:05 CT.

Peoria 3 at Quad Cities 9

The Chiefs were defeated by the Quad Cities River Bandits in a Wednesday night contest at Modern Woodmen Park.  Peoria was never in it and a brief ninth inning rally was far too little, too late.

The River Bandits went up 2-0 in the third on a triple and a ground rule double.  Peoria scratched out a run in the fifth on a double by Thomas Francisco, walks to Zade Richardson and Matt Chamberlain, and a double play off the bat of Masyn Winn that scored Francisco.

Quad Cities increased its lead in the home half of the fifth with two runs.  The River Bandits widened the lead to 9-1 with five more in the sixth.

In the ninth, Zade Richardson hit a two-run home run to cut the lead to 9-3, but the rally and game ended when Chamberlain struck out.

Zade Richardson

Winn was 3-for-4 as the only Chiefs hitter with multiple hits.  Richardson drove in two on the long ball.

Starter Connor Lunn pitched five innings and gave up four runs on four hits, fanned seven and walked two. Fabian Blanco surrendered five runs, four earned, in the sixth. Jacob Schlesener and Leonardo Taveras each threw a scoreless inning. Lunn took the loss, his eighth of the season.

On the base paths, Winn stole his 15th base and Jordan Walker snatched his 12th.  Todd Lott was picked off and caught stealing between second and third base.

Blanco made a fielding error.

Peoria has a record of 41-68 and resides in last place in the High-A Central West Division, 31 games back of first place Quad Cities.

Thursday’s game:  at Quad Cities, Wilfredo Pereira RHP (3-8, 3.43) vs. Charlie Neuweiler RHP (2-2, 5.63) 6:30 CT.

Palm Beach at Fort Myers (suspended)

Wednesday’s game was suspended due to rain in the bottom of the fourth inning with Fort Myers leading 3-2.

John Beller pitched for the Beach Birds rather than announced starter Michael McGreevy. The former was still on the mound with the bases full of Mighty Mussels when the action was stopped.

Play will resume on Thursday, September 9 two hours prior to the regularly scheduled contest.

Thursday’s games:  at Fort Myers, TBA/Levi Prater LHP (1-7, 6.11) vs. Casey Legumina RHP (3-2, 3.23) 4:00 CT.

FCL Cardinals 1, FCL Mets 3

The Cardinals (22-24) fell to the Mets by a two-run deficit in a Wednesday morning contest in Jupiter.  Starter Jose Davila pitched 2 1/3 innings and gave up three runs on six hits, struck out three and walked one.  Davila took the loss, his second of the season.  Alfredo Ruiz tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.  Alex Cornwell, Hector Soto, and Omar Sanchez each delivered a scoreless inning.

The Cardinals posted their one and only run in the second inning to take a brief 1-0 lead.  Adanson Cruz walked, and Luis Rodriguez singled to plate Cruz.  The lead didn’t last long, as the Mets answered in the third with three runs scored to go up 3-1.

Luis Rodriguez

Joshua Baez was 2-for-4. Rodriguez drove in the only run of the day for the Cardinals.

On the base paths, Jeremy Rivas was caught stealing for the fifth time this season.  In the field, Darlyn Moquete had an outfield assist at third base.  Soto picked a runner off first base.

Thursday’s game:  at FCL Astros, TBA vs. TBA 11:00 am CT.

DSL Cardinals Blue – Off

Thursday’s game:  vs. DSL Rockies, TBA vs. TBA 9:30 am CT.

DSL Cardinals Red – Off

Thursday’s game:  at DSL Tigers, TBA vs. TBA 9:30 am CT.


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St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of August 30-September 5

photo: Jon Lester (Jeff Le/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals continue to frustrate, going 3-3 while losing winnable games due to bullpen failures. Veteran Jon Lester made two solid starts. As Adam Wainwright turned 40, our history feature checks where the pitcher was at ages 20, 25, 30 and 35.

Game Recaps

Monday, August 30 – Cardinals 3 at Reds 1

The St. Louis Cardinals took on the Reds at Great American Ball Park in the first game of a three-game series.  The visitors were the victors on Monday, 3-1.

Jon Lester took the mound for the Redbirds and was very good.  The left hander pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up only one run on one hit, a home run.  Lester struck out five and walked two to earn his fifth win of the season.  T.J. McFarland and tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Luis Garcia got the final out of the eighth.  Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless ninth to earn his third save.

Jon Lester

Paul Goldschmidt blasted a two-run home run in the first inning to get the Cardinals on the board.  The Reds got one back in the second on a solo home run by Kyle Farmer, the only hit given up by Lester and the only run the Reds scored.

The score remained 2-1 until the sixth inning.  Dylan Carlson doubled to right and scored on a single by Tyler O’Neill to make if 3-1, the final score.

Nolan Arenado and O’Neill were both 2-for-4.  Goldschmidt drove in two.  In the field, Arenado made a fielding error.

Tuesday, August 31 – Cardinals at Reds (postponed)

The second game of the series was rained out and was played on Wednesday as the first game of a doubleheader.

Wednesday, September 1 – Cardinals 5 at Reds 4 (seven innings, Game 1)

The Cardinals won the first game of the twin bill on Wednesday by a one run margin in seven innings.

St. Louis got on the board first with a solo home run by Paul Goldschmidt in the first inning.  This was the second first inning long ball of the series by the first baseman.  St. Louis increased the lead in the second inning on a solo home run by Harrison Bader.

The Reds answered with three runs in the home half of the second to go up on the Cardinals 3-2.  The Redbirds responded by tying the game in the top of the third. Nolan Arenado singled, Dylan Carlson singled, and Arenado scored on a sac fly by Edmundo Sosa.

In the bottom of the third the Reds regained the lead 4-3.  The Cardinals persevered and scored two runs in the fourth the second long ball of the game by Goldschmidt, a two-run shot that gave the Redbirds the 5-4 lead and eventually the win.

Paul Goldschmidt

Miles Mikolas got the start for St. Louis and the right hander pitched three innings and gave up four runs on five hits, struck out three and walked one.  Genesis Cabrera followed with two scoreless innings of relief to earn his third win of the season.  Luis Garcia tossed a scoreless fifth and Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless seventh to earn his fourth save.

Pinch hitter Jose Rondon was picked off first base.

Wednesday, September 1 – Cardinals 2 at Reds 12 (seven innings, Game 2)

The Reds avoided the double header and series sweep in a big way by shellacking the Cardinals in the finale of the twin bill.  Starter J.A. Happ did not have a good outing and lasted only one-plus innings.  The left hander gave up seven runs on eight hits and walked two.  In the top of the second, Junior Fernandez relieved Happ with no outs and one runner on.  He struck out the first hitter, then gave up a two-run home run.  One run was charged to Happ and the other to Fernandez.  Daniel Ponce de Leon relieved Fernandez and finished the inning but allowed an inherited runner to score.  Ponce de Leon returned for the third inning and surrendered two more runs.  Kodi Whitley followed and tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings.  Brandon Dickson yielded one run in the fifth and Alex Reyes threw a scoreless sixth.  Happ took the loss, his seventh of the season.

St. Louis offense scored two runs on three hits against Reds pitching.  Tommy Edman hit a solo home run in the first inning to get the Redbirds on the board.  Nolan Arenado’s solo home run in the fourth inning provided the only other St. Louis score.

In the field, Paul DeJong and Tyler O’Neill each made a throwing error.

Thursday, September 2 – Off day

Friday, September 3 – Cardinals 15 at Brewers 4

The Cardinals bounced back from Wednesday’s trouncing to become the trouncer, as the Redbirds walloped the Brewers at American Family Field on Friday in the first game of a weekend series.  The game marked the 300th game starting together for the battery of Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina.

Wainwright pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on four hits, struck out four and walked three.  It was not one of Wainwright’s best starts, but it got the job done.  T.J. McFarland relieved and got the final two outs of the seventh inning.  Kodi Whitley tossed and scoreless eighth.  Brandon Dickson surrendered two runs in the ninth.  Wainwright earned his 14th win of the season.

The scoring began with a two-run home run by Nolan Arenado in the first inning.  In the second inning, Molina was hit by a pitch and Edmundo Sosa drew a walk.  Harrison Bader followed with a single to load the bases. Wainwright singled to score Molina.  The Cardinals led 4-0.

Nolan Arenado

The score became 8-0 in the third inning.  Arenado hit his second long ball of the night, a solo shot.  Dylan Carlson and Edmundo Sosa singled.  Harrison Bader then thumped a three-run home run to left center field.

The score remained 8-0 until the seventh inning.  Tyler O’Neill hit a two-run home run to increase the Cardinal lead to 10-0.  The Brewers finally got on the board in the home half of the seventh.

The Cardinals were not content with 10 runs.  In the top of the ninth, Tommy Edman doubled, O’Neill and Carlson walked, and Molina came to the plate and hit a grand slam to left center field.  Sosa followed with a solo home run and the Redbirds led 15-2.

The Brewers managed to score two more runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 15-4 final.

Arenado was 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored.  Sosa went 2-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored.  Bader was 3-for-5 with three RBI.

On the base paths, Edman stole his 22nd base of the season.  The second baseman also made a throwing error.

Saturday, September 4 – Cardinals 0 at Brewers 4

The Cardinals followed their big offensive game with a nothing offensive game on Saturday.  The Redbirds were shut down and shut out by the Brewers in a 4-0 loss.

St. Louis’ offense could not figure out Brewers starter Adrian Houser, who pitched a complete game shutout.  The Cardinals had three hits against Houser, scattered over nine innings with none producing a run.  All three hits were singles, two by Tommy Edman.  The other hit was from Nolan Arenado.

The Brewers scored four runs against Cardinals pitching and all four runs came in the first two innings off starter Kwang-Hyun Kim, who just didn’t have it that day. The lefty pitched through 1 2/3 innings and was pulled for Jake Woodford.  Recently called up from Memphis, Woodford was very good and kept the score at 4-0.  The right hander tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings and saved the bullpen. Alex Reyes came in for the eighth and threw a scoreless frame.  Kim took the loss, his seventh of the season.

Jake Woodford

In the field, Dylan Carlson made a throwing error but also had an outfield assist at second base.  Tyler O’Neill also had an outfield assist at second base.  Woodford picked a runner off first base.

Sunday, September 5 – Cardinals 5 at Brewers 6

This game started out as a promise of redemption for the Cardinals’ shutout loss the previous day and a series win, and for the bulk of the game the promised was fulfilled, until it wasn’t.

It began with the Brewers taking the lead on a solo home run in the second inning.  The Cardinals came back with three runs in the fourth inning to take a 3-1 lead.  Nolan Arenado and Tyler O’Neill each singled to start the fourth.  Yadier Molina drew a walk to load the bases.  Edmundo Sosa’s sac fly scored Arenado and the game was tied.  Harrison Bader hit a soft grounder up the third base line that appeared to be foul, but the Brewers third baseman touched it in an attempt to field it, and it went by him.  At that point, the ball was called fair, and two runs scored.  Bader ended up on second base on a squibber.  The play was originally scored as an error on the third baseman but was later changed to a double for the Cardinals center fielder.

The Cardinals added two in the seventh on a two-run moonshot by O’Neill that was hit out of the ballpark.  The game entered the bottom of the ninth with the Cardinals up by four runs and on the cusp of leading town on a high note.

This is when the promise failed miserably.  The bullpen, the source of past frustration and several devastating losses, did what it has done before.  Giovanny Gallegos was brought in to pitch the ninth after relieving ineffective Genesis Cabrera in the eighth.  Cabrera had loaded the bases on a double and two walks.  Gallegos got the final two outs, but it was a slow process which took eight pitches and seemed like more.  Gallegos was sent back in to pitch the ninth and it did not go well.  The right-hander gave up two doubles, a single and a walk with one run scoring.  With the score at 5-2, the bases loaded and only one out, Gallegos came out and Alex Reyes came in.  Reyes threw a pitch that was called a ball and the next pitch he threw was hammered into the right center field stands for a walk off grand slam.  The Cardinals lost a four-run lead and the game in the blink of an eye.

Prior to this catastrophe, Jon Lester started the game and performed well again. The veteran left-hander pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up one run on six hits, struck out two and walked two.  After Lester came the club’s two most effective relievers of late, but neither remained in the game long. T.J. McFarland, who threw two pitches and got two outs.  He did not return.  Then came Luis Garcia, who threw 12 pitches and got three outs in the seventh.  He also did not return.   Cabrera was next and the rest need not be repeated.

Tyler O’Neill

Tyler O’Neill had a good day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.  Dylan Carlson was 2-for-4 and Harrison Bader was 2-for-5 with two RBI.  The outfield did well.  The bullpen did not.

Tommy Edman stole a base and so did Edmundo Sosa.  Molina back picked Luis Urias off first base.

The Big Picture

The Cardinals had a 3-3 week.  They took 2 of 3 from the Reds but lost two of three to the Brewers.  The final loss was one of the worst of the season.

Once again, the bullpen failed in the worst way possible.  St. Louis fans have heard this song before if they haven’t tuned out already.  The Cardinals had a 5-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth in Sunday’s game and lost 6-5 on a walk off grand slam.  It was ugly and it was devastating to say the least.

There is no other way to say it other than the relievers involved have done this before and it could have been avoided.  Genesis Cabrera, Giovanny Gallegos, and Alex Reyes have made a ton of appearances over the season and may just be worn out.  This has appeared to be obvious for several weeks now, yet the manager has not markedly changed his bullpen usage formula.

T.J. McFarland

On the other hand, two of the newer and lately more effective relievers, T.J. McFarland and Luis Garcia, pitched earlier in the game and threw just 14 pitches between them.  Either or both could have continued for multiple innings, but they were one and done in favor of the big three, who were a big flop.

Luis Garcia

Things were going well up to Sunday.  The offense has made big strides, and except for the shutout game on Saturday when the entire offense was fooled by Adrian Houser for nine innings, have not been the problem lately.  The starting pitching has also not been a major issue, as Jon Lester made two good starts. though Kwang-Hyun Kim and J.A Happ didn’t pitch well during the week.  That will happen on occasion. What continues to happen to the bullpen should not be happening.

Harrison Bader

Top offensive performers for the week by OPS are Harrison Bader (1.130), Tyler O’Neill (1.098), Nolan Arenado (1.087), and Paul Goldschmidt (1.059).  Bader and Arenado have improved the most from their sub .500 OPS from a week ago.  Tommy Edman (.750) came down from last week, and Edmundo Sosa (.698) and Dylan Carlson (.681) have slipped as well.  Yadier Molina brings up the rear at .564.

The tough schedule continues as the Cardinals return home for four games against the Dodgers and three more games with the Reds for the final time in 2021.  If the offense and the starting pitching can continue the current course, and something changes for the better with the bullpen, then the team has a chance.   The Big Three in the bullpen need to be a big no for the back end of games for the foreseeable future, but whether anything will change is the big question.

Albert Einstein is quoted as having said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.  The Cardinals should do everything possible to avoid insanity.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Milwaukee 84 54 0.609
Cincinnati 73 65 0.529 11
St. Louis 69 66 0.511 13.5
Chicago 63 75 0.457 21
Pittsburgh 48 89 0.350 35.5

At this point, the more relevant standings are the Wild Card. Currently, St. Louis is three games behind the second WC club San Diego. Also ahead of St. Louis are Cincinnati and Philadelphia.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

  • 9/1 The Cardinals recalled C Ali Sanchez from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/1 The Cardinals selected the contract of RHP Brandon Dickson from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/1 The Cardinals placed RHP Ryan Helsley on the 60-day injured list. Right elbow stress reaction.
  • 9/2 The Cardinals sent RHP Dakota Hudson on a rehab assignment to the Springfield Cardinals.
  • 9/3 The Cardinals placed RHP Junior Fernandez on the 10-day injured list.
  • 9/3 The Cardinals recalled RHP Jake Woodford from the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

  • RHP Jordan Hicks (right elbow inflammation) remains on the 60-day injured list. Hicks began throwing bullpen sessions on August 16, but the team is being very cautious with the young right hander.  It appears there may not be enough time for Hicks to return for this season and the team is looking for places for Hicks to play winter ball over the offseason to evaluate where he is at in his recovery.
  • 2B Max Moroff (left shoulder subluxation) remains on the 60-day injured list after suffering a shoulder injury in a batting practice session. Moroff had surgery on the shoulder and is out for the rest of the season.
  • RHP Dakota Hudson (Tommy John surgery) made a rehab start for the Springfield Cardinals on Thursday. He is scheduled to make another start for Springfield on September 7.  Manager Mike Shildt told the media that Hudson may be making two or three more starts before activation.  His next start will be Tuesday night for Double-A Springfield at Hammons Field. The RHP could possibly pitch for the Cardinals out of the bullpen at some point before the season is over.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez (right thumb ligament sprain) had surgery on July 16 to repair his thumb ligament. The surgery makes it less likely the right hander will return to pitch this season.  If that is the case, Martinez may have thrown his last pitch as a Cardinal.  Martinez is on the final year of his contract, and though the team holds options for 2022 and 2023, they are not expected to pick them up.
  • LHP Wade LeBlanc (left elbow pain) remains on the 10-day injured list. The left hander has suffered a setback in his attempt to return from an elbow injury.  Le Blanc experienced continued discomfort after throwing his first bullpen session on August 24. His next bullpen has been delayed and his likely return to pitching is doubtful, but if he does return it will not be as a starter.
  • RHP Ryan Helsley (right elbow stress reaction), was placed on the 60-day injured list on September 1. The move signaled an end to Helsley’s season.
  • RHP Justin Miller (right ulnar nerve irritation) was placed on the 10-day injured list on August 18. Miller was scheduled to throw a bullpen on Sunday.  How he recovers from his bullpens will determine whether the right hander will return to pitch this season.
  • LHP Andrew Miller (left foot blister) was placed on the 10-day injured list on August 28, retroactive to August 27. The left hander has thrown two bullpen sessions and the team is optimistic he will return shortly after the 10-day minimum has expired.
  • RHP Jack Flaherty (right shoulder strain) remains on the 10-day injured list. He is set to start playing catch, but the team is being very cautious with him.  The bottom line appears to be that Flaherty may not return this season, or if he does, it may be out of the bullpen toward the end of the season.  There isn’t sufficient time for the right hander to build back up to a starter’s workload.
  • RHP Junior Fernandez (right lat strain) was placed on the 10-day injured list on September 3. Scans revealed a Grade 2 lat strain and the injury is serious enough that his season is most likely over.

Looking Ahead

On Monday, Albert Pujols and the Los Angeles Dodgers come to Busch Stadium for a four-game series.  Miles Mikolas is set to make the Monday start, followed by J.A Happ on Tuesday, Adam Wainwright on Wednesday, and Kwang-Hyun Kim on Thursday.

The homestand will continue as the Reds come to St. Louis for a weekend series beginning September 10.

The Cardinals will make a brief road trip to New York to play the Mets in a three-game series starting Monday, September 13, then return home for a weekend home series against San Diego.

Following the Padres series, the Cardinals return to Milwaukee for a four-game set.  They end that week with a weekend series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

The Cardinals regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

Adam Wainwright turned 40 years old on Monday, August 30.  The big right-handed pitcher has had a long and fruitful major league career with the St. Louis Cardinals, and if all goes well, he may return for the 2022 season.  If he does not return, his career can be counted as nothing short of a complete success in the aggregate. At this point, at age 40 he has a career line of 181 wins and 105 losses and a career ERA of 3.35.  He has been a Cy Young Award finalist four times and has two Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger Award.

Adam Wainwright

This week’s Blast looks at the career of Wainwright at four distinct points in his career, ages 20, 25, 30, and 35.

Adam Wainwright

At age 20, Wainwright was pitching in the minor leagues in the Braves organization, the team that took him in the first round of the 2000 draft.  On August 30, 2001, Wainwright turned 20 years old.  On that day he was with the Macon Braves, then a Class A team in the South Atlantic League. Future Hall of Famer John Smoltz was a teammate of his.  Wainwright made 28 starts for the Macon Braves in 2001 and had a record at the end of the season of 10-10 and an ERA of 3.77.  He pitched 164 2/3 innings and had one complete game that season.

By the time Wainwright turned 25, he was with the Cardinals organization after being traded on December 13, 2003.  On August 30, 2006, his 25th birthday, the right hander was already in the big leagues, having made his debut the year before on September 11, 2005.  On August 30, 2006, he pitched out of the bullpen in a game against the Marlins at Busch Stadium.  He went two scoreless innings in a 13-6 win for St. Louis.

Up to that point, Wainwright had made no starts but had appeared in 51 games out of the bullpen and had an ERA of 3.17 in 65 1/3 innings pitched.  He finished five of the 51 games.  At the end of the season, he had pitched 75 innings with an ERA of 3.12, all in relief.  He also appeared in the postseason as the Cardinals won the World Series title.  Wainwright appeared in nine postseason games, all as the closer, which of course included the NLCS against the Mets when he froze future teammate Carlos Beltran with a curveball to win the series.

Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina (Getty Images)

Wainwright turned 30 on August 30, 2011.  He did not pitch that season, recovering from Tommy John surgery.  That was also a World Series Championship year, a title he enjoyed even though he participated in spirit only.  He was with the team during the postseason as a cheerleader and did receive a World Series ring.

Wainwright’s 35th birthday came on August 30, 2016.  On that date, the right hander started a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.  Wainwright went seven innings and gave up one run on three hits.  He struck out seven but got a no decision in a 2-1 win over the Brewers.  At the end of the 2016 season, Wainwright had a record of 13-9 with an ERA of 4.62.  Though it was not his worst season, it was not one of his best.  He led the NL in hits allowed and earned runs.

This season, the year of his 40th birthday, Wainwright’s career has been reborn in a sense.  He has pitched his best baseball since 2015.  He did not pitch on his birthday this year but started two days prior on August 28 against the Pirates at PNC Park, a game the Cardinals won 13-0.  He tossed seven scoreless innings with only three hits allowed.

Wainwright is still going strong and most fans hope he will decide to be back with the Cardinals for his 41st birthday.  Stay tuned.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 5, 2021

photo: Cardinals Dominican Academy (St. Louis Cardinals)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 1-7 in seven games on Saturday.  TCN’s Player of the Day, DSL Red left fielder Felix Taveras, was 3-for-5 with four RBI and three runs scored in the DSL Blue win over the Red.  Honorable Mention goes to Peoria catcher Pedro Pages, who was 4-for-5 with a two-run home run and three RBI.

Results from games played Saturday, September 4.

Memphis 3 at Gwinnett 5 (Game 1)

The Redbirds fell to the Gwinnett Stripers in the first game of a twin bill on Saturday at Coolray Field.  This was the completion of the suspended game from Friday.

Memphis got on the board first with a run in the first inning.  Nick Plummer drew a walk and Kramer Robertson singled.  Juan Yepez singled to score Plummer.  The Redbirds took a 2-0 lead in the third when Nolan Gorman doubled and came home on a wild pitch.

Gwinnett came back to score four runs in the fifth to take a 4-2 lead. The Stripers added a fifth run in the seventh.  Memphis attempted to rally in the ninth but was only able to scratch one run across the plate.  Conner Capel singled and scored on a ground rule double by Brendan Donovan.  The rally fell short and the Stripers took home the victory.

Gorman and Donovan were 2-for-4. Donovan had an RBI and Gorman scored one run.

Brendan Donovan

Johan Oviedo got the start for Memphis and pitched 3 2/3 innings scoreless innings, allowed two hits, fanned three and walked one.  New Redbird Ramon Santos surrendered four runs in the fifth and took the loss.  Connor Jones tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings.  Evan Kruczynski yielded a run in his two innings to finish.

On the base paths, Robertson stole his 10th base of the season.  In the field, Kruczynski picked a runner off first base.

Memphis 2 at Gwinnett 5 (seven innings, Game 2)

The Redbirds lost to Gwinnett 5-2 in the seven-inning Game 2.  Starter Connor Thomas pitched six innings and gave up five runs, one earned, on six hits, fanned four and walked two.  Thomas took the loss, his third of the season.

As in the opener, Memphis took the early lead with two runs in the second inning.  Conner Capel singled, and Brendan Donovan singled.  Thomas reached on an error and Capel scored.  Nick Plummer singled to plate Donovan.

Gwinnett put up the crooked number again, this time in the third inning.  A fielding error by shortstop Evan Mendoza with two outs led to one run on an RBI single with a three-run home run to follow.  The Stripers added their fifth run in the fifth inning.

Kramer Robertson was 2-for-3 as the only Redbird with multiple hits.

Kramer Robertson

In the field, Mendoza had the fielding error and Donovan had a missed catch error.  Clint Coulter had a passed ball.

Memphis is 50-57 on the season and sits in fifth place in the Triple-A East Southeast Division, 18.5 games back of first place Durham.

Sunday’s game:  at Gwinnett, T.J. Zeuch RHP (2-3, 4.75) vs. TBD 12:05 CT.

Springfield 3 at Tulsa 15

In an odd series in Tulsa, Springfield pitching yielded 15 runs in a loss for the second time this week, but in the other three contests, the Cardinals plated a total of 30 runs.

On Saturday night at ONEOK Field, the Cardinals were shellacked by the Tulsa Drillers, 15-3.  The Drillers scored all their runs after the Cardinals took an early 2-0 lead.

Malcom Nuñez

In the top of the second, Malcom Nunez blasted a two-run home run.  The Cardinals did not score again until the ninth inning. In between, Tulsa plated five runs in the second, three in the fourth, five in the fifth and one run each in the seventh and eighth off.

In the top of the ninth, with Springfield behind 15-2, Luken Baker doubled and scored on a force out by Julio Rodriguez.

Nunez went 2-for-4 with two RBI as the only Cardinal with multiple hits. Doubles by Matt Koperniak and Baker were the only other extra base hits.

Starter Kevin McGovern pitched 3 2/3 innings and gave up eight runs, six earned, on six hits, struck out three and walked four.  Alex FaGalde surrendered five unearned runs in 1 1/3 innings of relief.  Salvador Justo yielded one run in two innings pitched.  Jake Walsh gave up one run in the eighth.  McGovern took the loss, his fifth of the season.

Chandler Redmond, and Nick Dunn both made fielding errors.

Springfield is 40-67 and is in last place in the Double-A Central North Division, 22 games back of first place Wichita.

Sunday’s game:  at Tulsa, Michael Brettell RHP (1-4, 7.45) vs. TBD 6:05 CT.

Peoria 6 at West Michigan 7

The Chiefs were topped by the West Michigan Whitecaps in a Saturday night contest at LMCU Ballpark.  Peoria starter Michael YaSenka pitched 3 2/3 innings and gave up six runs, five earned, on six hits, struck out three and walked two.  Colin Schmid surrendered one run in 2 1/3 innings of relief to take the loss, his first since joining the club.  Fabian Blanco and Jack Ralston each tossed a scoreless inning.

The Chiefs went up 2-0 in the first on a two-run home by Pedro Pages.  West Michigan answered with their own two-run home run in the home half of the first.  The Whitecaps added a run in the second to take a 3-2 lead.

Peoria tied it up 3-3 in the third on singles by Jhon Torres and Pages, followed by a sac fly by Todd Lott.  West Michigan wasted no time in the bottom of the third to regain the lead 4-3.  The Whitecaps widened their edge to 6-3 in the fourth.

The Chiefs knotted it up for the second time with a three-run fifth inning.  Torres singled and Pages doubled to score Torres.  Lott doubled and Pages scored.  Lott scored on a sac fly by Matt Chamberlain.

West Michigan went up 7-6 in the sixth.  Neither team scored in the final 2 ½ innings.

Pages was 4-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored.  Torres was 2-for-5.

Pedro Pages

On the base paths, Lott, and Francisco Hernandez each stole a base. In the field, Pages and Masyn Winn each had a throwing error.  Jacob Buchberger had a fielding miscue.  Tyler Reichenborn earned an outfield assist at home.

Peoria is 40-67 and is in last place in the High-A Central West Division, 30 games back of first place Quad Cities.

Sunday’s game:  at West Michigan, Logan Gragg RHP (2-5, 4.82) vs. Austin Bergner RHP (3-0, 2.82) 5:00 CT.

Palm Beach 0 at Dunedin 8

The Cardinals were blanked by the Blue Jays 8-0 on Saturday night at TD Ballpark.  The Beach Birds offense managed only three hits, with a double by Thomas Francisco the only extra base hit.

Starter Ludwin Jimenez pitched 4 1/3 innings and gave up all eight runs on eight hits, struck out four and walked two to take his eighth loss of the season.  Nathanael Heredia tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Edwin Nunez added a scoreless eighth, a welcome sight after the 19-year-old had yielded 13 runs over his last three relief appearances.

Nathanael Heredia

Palm Beach had its best scoring opportunity in the fourth when Francisco doubled, and Carlos Soto drew a walk.  Aaron McKeithan flied out to center and Noah Mendlinger grounded out to end the threat.

Palm Beach is 32-72 on the season and stands in last place in the Low-A Southeast East Division, 23.5 games back of first place Jupiter.

Sunday’s game:  at Dunedin, Dionys Rodriguez (3-5, 3.93) vs. TBD 12:00 CT.

FCL Cardinals 1 at FCL Marlins 6

The Cardinals (22-22) fell to the Marlins in a Saturday contest in Jupiter.  Starter Reinys Portillo pitched 2 2/3 innings and gave up five runs, two earned, on two hits, struck out one and walked five.  Bryan Pope relieved and tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Johan Quezada, Hector Soto, Trent Baker, and Omar Sanchez each contributed a scoreless inning of relief.  Portillo took the loss, his fifth of the season.

Bryan Pope

The Cardinals fell behind early and were held scoreless until the fifth inning.  The Cardinals cut the lead to 5-1 after Joshua Baez reached on an error and advanced all the way to third base.  The center fielder scored on a wild pitch.

The Cardinals offense scored one run on five hits.  Adanson Cruz was 2-for-4 as the only Cardinal with multiple hits.

On the base paths, Brady Whalen stole his first base.  In the field, Roblin Heredia dropped a foul ball. Jeremy Rivas made a throwing and a fielding error.  Cruz had an outfield assist at home.  Portillo, Heredia, and Baker each picked a runner off first base.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled.

DSL Cardinals Blue 6, DSL Cardinals Red 9

The Cardinals Blue (12-26) were defeated by their sister team the Cardinals Red (17-18) by the score of 9-6 in a Saturday morning contest. Red took the early lead and never relinquished it.

Blue starter Randel Clemente pitched three innings, gave up five runs on four hits, and walked one to take the loss, his fifth of the season.  Carlos De La Cruz relieved and surrendered one run in 1/3 innings pitched. Juan Peralta tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings.  Alexander Beltre yielded one run in two innings of relief.  Oliver Lopez threw a scoreless eighth.  Alejandro Cervantes gave up two runs in the ninth.

Red starter Juan Severino pitched two innings, gave up one run on two hits, and walked one.  Samuel Fabian surrendered one run in the third.  Eduar Pimentel yielded two runs in two innings pitched.  Augusto Calderon allowed one run in his two innings of work. Americo Lugo gave up one run in the final two innings to earn the win, his second of the season.

The offense of Cardinals Red put up three runs in the first inning.  Elias Reynoso led off with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored on a wild pitch.  Samil De La Rosa drew a walk but was eliminated on a force out by Carlos Carmoso.  Carmoso stole second base, then advanced to third on a wild pitch.  Felix Taveras doubled to plate Carmoso.  Taveras later stole home to score the third run of the inning.

Cardinals Blue cut the lead to 3-1 in the home half of the first on a double by Maycol Justo, who later came home on a sac fly by Jose Cordoba.  Red added two more runs in the third on two solo home runs by Taveras and Jeremy Ramos.  Cordoba hit a solo home run in the bottom of the third to make it 5-2.

Both teams scored in the fourth.  Red increased the lead to 6-2 when Marcelo Perez singled and later scored on a sac fly by Carmona.  In the bottom frame of the fourth, Diego Velasquez walked and Christian Avendano was hit by a pitch.  Velasquez advanced to third and then stole home to score the first run of the inning.  Avendano scored on a single by Cordoba.  Red led 6-4.

In the sixth, Maikel Hernandez doubled and scored on a throwing error for Red.  Blue scored in the bottom of the sixth on a solo home run by Velazquez.  The score was 7-5 in favor of Red.

Blue made it 7-6 in the eighth.  Yancel Guerrero tripled and scored on a dropped third strike.  In the ninth, Taveras hit a two-run home run to give Red the 9-6 win.

Felix Taveras

Taveras was 3-for-5 with four RBI and three runs scored.  For Blue, Cordoba was 2-for-4 with three RBI.

On the base paths, Carmona, Lizandro Espinoza, Taveras, and Reynoso each stole a base.  For Blue, Avenando and Velasquez both stole a base, and Cordoba was caught stealing.

In the field for Blue, Velasquez made a throwing error and Fernando Diaz had a missed catch error.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 4, 2021

photo: Jacob Buchberger (Palm Beach Cardinals)

The St. Louis Cardinals system went 4-2 on Friday.  Our Player of the Day, 2B Jacob Buchberger, went 3-for-5 with three RBI in Peoria’s win over West Michigan.  Honorable Mention goes to his teammate Jordan Walker, who was 3-for-3 with an RBI, and Springfield 2B Irving Lopez, who was 2-for-3 with a grand slam in Springfield’s victory over Tulsa.

Results from games played Friday, September 3.

Memphis at Gwinnett (suspended)

This game was suspended in the fourth inning due to a light tower outage at Coolray Field. The Redbirds are up 2-0. It will be resumed on Saturday at 3:05 CT and played to its completion.  The regularly scheduled game will be a seven-inning contest and will begin 30 minutes after the end of Game 1.

Saturday’s games:  at Gwinnett, TBD vs. TBD 3:05 CT (Game 1, completion of suspended game), Connor Thomas LHP (5-2, 3.79) vs. Jose Rodriguez RHP (4-3, 5.27) (Game 2).

Springfield 11 at Tulsa 9

The Cardinals held on to beat the Tulsa Drillers by a two-run margin in a shootout on Friday night at ONEOK Field.  Springfield scored 11 runs on 15 hits and took home the victory despite a last-minute surge by the home team.

The Cardinals scored first in the second inning.  Nick Raposo tripled and crossed home on a single by Delvin Perez.  Tulsa tied it 1-1 in the third inning.

Springfield regained the lead with one run in the fourth on a bases loaded walk by Irving Lopez and added to the lead in the fifth to make it 3-1 on a sac fly by David Vinsky.

The Drillers fought back with three runs in the home half of the fifth to go up 4-3.  The Cardinals surged ahead with an eight-run sixth inning.  Matt Koperniak singled and Ivan Herrera doubled.  Leandro Cedeno grounded out to plate Koperniak.  Malcom Nunez reached on an error but Herrera was thrown out at home.  Justin Toerner singled and Raposo was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Irving Lopez hit a grand slam to right field.  Vinsky was hit by a pitch, Delvin Perez singled, and Koperniak blasted a three-run home run to right field.  The Cardinals went ahead 11-4.

Irving Lopez

The Drillers fought back with two runs in the seventh, and three in the eighth.  The Cardinals bullpen stiffened and ended with an 11-9 win after Tulsa failed to score in the ninth.

Perez was 3-for-6 with an RBI. Koperniak was 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored.  Herrera was 3-for-5. Raposo was 2-for-3 with three runs scored.  Lopez was 2-for-3 with four RBI.

Cardinals starter Dalton Roach pitched four innings and gave up one unearned run on four hits, fanned eight and walked one.  Garrett Williams surrendered three runs in 1/3 innings.  Cory Thompson yielded two runs in 2 2/3 innings pitched and got the win, his first of the season.  Kevin Marnon yielded three runs in 2/3 innings, and Freddy Pacheco threw the final 1 1/3 scoreless innings to earn his third save.

In the field, Nunez made a throwing error and Vinsky had a fielding miscue.  Vinsky had an outfield assist at second base.

Springfield has a record of 40-66 and is in last place in the Double-A Central North Division, 22 games back of first place Wichita.

Saturday’s game:  at Tulsa, LHP Kevin McGovern (1-4, 5.86) vs. TBD 7:05 CT.

Peoria 6 at West Michigan 1

The Chiefs blew past the West Michigan Whitecaps for a five-run win on Friday night at LMCU Ballpark.  Starter Wilfredo Pereira pitched six scoreless innings with three hits allowed, six punch outs and one walk to earn his third win of the season.  Sean Kealey surrendered one run in 1 1/3 innings of relief.  Enmanuel Solano threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Wilfredo Pereira

Peoria took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Jordan Walker.  In the sixth, the Chiefs added a second run.  Todd Lott doubled and scored on a ground rule double by Jacob Buchberger.

The Chiefs put up three more runs in the seventh.  Tyler Reichenborn doubled, and Walker was intentionally walked.  Pedro Pages singled, and Reichenborn scored.  Lott singled to plate Walker and Pages scored on a fielding error.

West Michigan scored their only run in the eighth.  In the ninth, Peoria added an insurance run on an RBI double by Buchberger.

Jacob Buchberger

Walker was 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.  Buchberger was 3-for-5 with three RBI. Lott was 2-for-5 with an RBI and Reichenborn was 2-for-3.

On the base paths, Masyn Winn stole his 13th base of the season.  Buchberger stole his second.  Walker and Lott were both caught stealing.  In the field, Matt Chamberlain had an outfield assist at home.

Peoria is 40-66 and is in last place in the High-A Central West Division, 30 games back of first place Quad Cities.

Saturday’s game:  at West Michigan, Michael YaSenka RHP (1-8, 5.88) vs. TBD 6:05 CT.

Palm Beach 12 at Dunedin 9 (13 innings)

The Cardinals grinded out a win in a 13-inning slugfest at TD Ballpark on Friday night.  Both teams fought hard to get the edge, but at the end, the Beach Birds outlasted the Blue Jays.

Palm Beach took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on two walks and a wild pitch. In third, the Cardinals put up four runs to go ahead 5-0.  Mike Antico drew a walk and Ryan Holgate doubled to plate Antico.  L.J. Jones was hit by a pitch and he and Holgate scored on a three-run home run by Carlos Soto.

Carlos Soto

Dunedin cut the lead to 5-1 in the home half of the third.  In the fifth the Jays added another.  Three innings later, in the eighth, Dunedin tied it up 5-5 with a three-run burst.

The game went into extra innings.  Thomas Francisco started the 10th on second base.  Soto walked.  Francisco and Soto advanced a base on a passed ball.  Mack Chambers grounded out and Francisco scored.

The Jays scored in the bottom of the 10th to tie it up again 6-6.  Palm Beach scored once more in the 11th on an RBI ground out by Holgate.  Dunedin tied it up again 7-7 with a run in the home 11th.

Neither team scored in the 12th.  In the 13th the Cardinals broke through with a five-run eruption.  Elijah Cabell started the inning on second base. Chambers singled, moving Cabell to third.  Franklin Soto singled and Cabell scored.  Antico walked and Chambers scored on a wild pitch.  L.J. Jones singled to plate Soto and Antico.  Jones scored on a single by Francisco.  The Beach Birds led 12-7.

The Jays rallied in the home half of the 13th, and scored two runs, not it was not enough.  The Cardinals took home the win 12-9.

Starter Jose Moreno pitched five innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on three hits, fanned six and walked four.  Gordon Graceffo surrendered three runs, one earned in 2 1/3 innings of relief.  Andre Granillo tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings and was charged with a blown save.  Andrew Marrero yielded two runs in two innings and was also tagged with a blown save.  Ryan Loutos threw the final two innings and gave up two runs, one earned.  Loutos got the win, his first of his professional career.

Leadoff man Antico singled, walked five times and scored twice. Francisco had three hits including a double, scored one and plated one. Soto homered, walked twice, scored twice and plated three. Jones and Holgate had two RBI each.

On the base paths, Antico stole his sixth base of the season.  In the field, Chambers made three throwing errors.

Palm Beach is 32-71 on the season and sits in last place in the Low-A Southeast East Division, 23 games back of first place St. Lucie.

Saturday’s game:  at Dunedin, Ludwin Jimenez (0-7, 5.32) vs. TBD 5:30 CT.

FCL Cardinals 5, FCL Astros 1

The Cardinals (22-21) defeated the Astros 5-1 in a morning contest in Jupiter on Friday.  Austin Love pitched a scoreless first inning and was relieved by Thomas Hart, who tossed two scoreless innings of relief. Gustavo J. Rodriguez surrendered on run in two innings pitched.  Hayes Heinecke, Chris Gerard, Victor Villanueva, and Zane Mills each threw a scoreless inning.  Rodriguez was awarded the win, his second of the season with the club.

Thomas Hart

In the first inning, Joshua Baez reached on an error and scored on a single by Brady Whalen.  The Cardinals increased their lead to 3-0 in the second inning.  Albert Inoa drew a walk, advanced to second on a balk, then advanced to third on a wild pitch.  Baez hit a sac fly to score Inoa.  Joerlin De Los Santos walked and later scored on a sac fly by Whalen.

The Astros tallied their only run in the fifth.  In the seventh, Ramon Mendoza walked and later scored on a wild pitch.  In the eighth, Luis Montano walked and came home on a sac fly by Mendoza.

The Cardinals scored five runs on only three hits.  Whalen, Jeremy Rivas, and Hansel Otamendi singled.

On the base paths, Baez, Rivas, and De Los Santos each stole a base.  Whalen was caught stealing. In the field, Zane Mills made a throwing error and Heinecke picked a runner off first base.

Saturday’s game:  at FCL Marlins, TBD vs. TBD 9:00 am CT.

DSL Cardinals Blue 1, DSL Angels 4

The Cardinals Blue (12-25) lost to the Angels with a three-run deficit in a morning contest on Friday.  The Blue offense was kept off the board until the seventh when they scratched their only run across home plate.

The seventh inning run began with back-to-back walks to Adari Grant and Luis Pino.  Two batters later Jose Cordoba hit an infield single, and Grant scored on a throwing error.

The Angels also were kept scoreless for the first six innings.  They scored two runs in the sixth and one run each in the seventh and eighth.

Blue scored one run on four hits.  Grant was 2-for-3.  Cordoba and Anyelo Encarnacion each singled.

Ronny Oliver

Starter Ronny Oliver pitched four scoreless innings, allowed two hits, struck out three and walked three.  Frankely Guzman tossed a scoreless fifth.  Juan Salas surrendered two runs in the sixth and took the loss, his second of the season.  Marlyn Almonte yielded an unearned run in the seventh and Antoni Cuello gave up one run the eighth.  Miguel Martinez threw a scoreless ninth.

On the base paths, Grant was picked off and caught stealing.  In the field, Grant made three throwing errors, and Oliver made an error on a pickoff.  Cordoba had an outfield assist at home.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Cardinals Red, TBD vs. TBD 9:30 am CT.

DSL Cardinals Red 4 at DSL Mets2 5

The Cardinals Red (16-18) were edged by the Mets2 by the score of 5-4 in a walk off loss on Friday morning.   Red starter Diorys Guerrero pitched four innings and gave up three runs, one earned, on four hits, fanned four and walked two.  Engels Martinez surrendered one unearned run in two innings of relief.  Bruno Lopez yielded the winning run in the ninth and took the loss, his first of the season.

Red scored first with two runs in the first inning.  Elias Reynoso led off the game with a single to left.  Samil De La Rosa doubled to scored Reynoso. Jose Rodriguez doubled, and De La Rosa scored.  The Cardinals made it 3-0 in the top of the second on an RBI single by Reynoso.

Samil De La Rosa

The Mets answered in the home half of the second with a run to cut the lead to 3-1.  In the fourth the Mets tied it 3-3 with two runs scored in the inning.  The Mets took a 4-3 lead in the fifth.

The Cardinals added a run in the top of the ninth to knot it up 4-4.  The Mets walked it off in the bottom of the ninth to take home the victory.

Reynoso, De La Rosa and Rodriguez were each 2-for-4.  Carlos Linarez was 2-for-3.  De La Rosa drove in two.

On the base paths, Miguel Vargas stole his second base of the season. In the field, De La Rosa made a throwing error, and Reynoso had a fielding miscue.

Saturday’s game:  at Cardinals Blue, TBD vs. TBD, 9:30 am CT.


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 2, 2021

photo: Matt Koperniak (Palm Beach Cardinals)

The St. Louis Cardinals system went 1-2 on Wednesday. The Cardinal Nation’s Player of the Day, right fielder Matt Koperniak, was 3-for-5 with two RBI in Springfield’s win over Tulsa. Other standouts include Matthew Liberatore, Nick Plummer and Matt Chamberlain.

Results from games played Wednesday, September 1.

Memphis 2 at Gwinnett 3

The Redbirds were topped by the Stripers in Wednesday night contest at Coolray Field.  Memphis took the early 2-0 lead, but Gwinnett came back late and kept the Redbirds at bay.

Memphis scored their first run in the second inning.  Juan Yepez led off with a double and scored on a single by Dennis Ortega.  The lead increased to 2-0 in the third inning on a solo home run by Nick Plummer, his first at Triple-A.

Nick Plummer

The Stripers cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth inning on a solo home run.  In the seventh, Gwinnett scored two to take the 3-2 lead on a two-run home run.  The Redbirds failed to score after the third inning.  Four of the five runs scored between the two teams came on the long ball.

Yepez, Ortega, and Kramer Robertson were each 2-for-4. In addition to his home run, leadoff man Plummer walked twice and stole a base, his second for Memphis.

Matthew Liberatore

Starter Matthew Liberatore pitched 6 2/3 innings and gave up three runs on five hits, fanned six and walked two.  The left hander absorbed the tough-luck loss, his eighth of the season.  Tommy Parsons tossed the final 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Memphis is 48-55 on the season and remains in fifth place in the Triple-A East Southeast Division, 18.5 games back of first place Durham.

Thursday’s games: doubleheader at Gwinnett to make up 8/31 postponement, Zack Thompson LHP (2-7, 6.38) /Johan Oviedo RHP (1-5, 7.41) 4:05 CT (Game 1)

Springfield 9 at Tulsa 3

The Cardinals blew past the Tulsa Drillers in a six-run win at ONEOK Field on Wednesday afternoon.  Starter Grant Black earned his first win of the season, pitching five innings and giving up three runs on eight hits while fanning four and walking two. Cory Thompson and Freddy Pacheco relieved and tossed two scoreless innings each.

Springfield got off to a quick start.  Justin Toerner led off the game with a double to right. Leandro Cedeno was hit by a pitch.  Chandler Redmond singled to drive in Toerner. Matt Koperniak singled and Cedeno scored. The Cardinals were up 2-0.

The Drillers responded in the home half of the first with a solo home run and took a 3-2 advantage in the bottom of the second.

In the third, the Cardinals bounced back with the crooked number to take a commanding lead with the help of the Tulsa defense.  Cedeno reached on a fielding error and Julio Rodriquez reached on a missed catch error.  Koperniak doubled and Cedeno scored.  Moises Castillo drew a walk.  Irving Lopez drove in Rodriguez and Koperniak on a single.  David Vinsky walked.  Toerner doubled to plate Castillo and Lopez.  Vinsky came home on a wild pitch.  Springfield went up 8-3.

The Drillers were held scoreless for the remainder of the game.  The Cardinals added a run in the eighth on a third error by the Tulsa defense that allowed Lopez, who reached base on a hit by pitch, to score.

Matt Koperniak

Koperniak was 3-for-5 on the afternoon with two RBI.  Toerner and Redmond were both 2-for-5.  Toerner and Lopez each had two RBI.

Cedeno stole his first base for Springfield. Nick Dunn made a fielding error.

Springfield is 38-66 on the season and sits in last place in the Double-A Central North Division, 23.5 games back of first place Wichita.

Thursday’s game:  at Tulsa, RHP Dakota Hudson (MLB Rehab) vs. Clayton Beeter RHP (0-0, 1.42) 7:05 CT.

Peoria 2 at West Michigan 8

The Chiefs were defeated by the West Michigan Whitecaps by an 8-2 score at LMCU Ballpark on Wednesday night. Starter Mac Lardner had a tough night on the mound, pitching four innings and giving up eight runs on nine hits while striking out three.  The bullpen kept the game from getting worse than it was, as Jack Ralston tossed two scoreless innings in relief.  Colin Schmid and Fabian Blanco followed with a scoreless inning each.  Lardner took the loss, his fifth of the season.

Peoria was kept off the board for most of the night.  The Chiefs put up two runs late, one in the seventh and one in the eighth.  In the seventh, Matt Chamberlain singled and stole second base.  He scored on a single by Tyler Reichenborn. Chamberlain drove in the second Peoria run on a single that plated Jordan Walker, who singled and advanced on a single by Todd Lott.

Matt Chamberlain

Lott and Chamberlain were both 2-for-4.  Chamberlain stole his eighth base of the season.  Walker made two errors, one fielding and one throwing.

Peoria is 39-65 on the season and is in last place in the High-A Central West Division, 29.5 games back of first place Quad Cities.

Thursday’s game:  at West Michigan, Connor Lunn RHP (5-7, 4.01) vs. TBD 6:05 CT.

Palm Beach at Dunedin (postponed)

Wednesday’s game at Dunedin was postponed due to inclement weather and will made up as in a Thursday doubleheader.

Thursday’s games:  doubleheader at Dunedin, Michael McGreevy (0-0, 9.00) / Levi Prater (1-6, 6.08) 4:00 CT (Game 1)

FCL Cardinals – Off

Thursday’s game:  at FCL Mets, TBD vs. TBD 11:00 am CT

DSL Cardinals Blue – Off

Thursday’s game:  at DSL Angels, TBD vs. TBD 9:30 am CT.

DSL Cardinals Red – Off

Thursday’s game:  vs. DSL Mets2, TBD vs. TBD 9:30 am CT.


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© 2021 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.