All posts by Marilyn Green

Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of October 23-29

photo: David Freese (USA TODAY Sports Images)

As the World Series continues, the St. Louis Cardinals filled their coaching staff for 2018 and Yadier Molina has again placed among the top three for the Gold Glove Award.  In our history feature, the unforgettable Game 6 of the 2011 World Series is remembered.

Molina repeats as Gold Glove Award finalist

Once again in his distinguished career, St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has been named one of three finalists for the Rawlings National League Gold Glove Award for catcher.  The annual award will be given out during a televised award show on November 7, at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN.

Yadier Molina (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Molina was a finalist in 2016, but lost out to Giants catcher Buster Posey.  That loss broke a string of eight consecutive awards over Molina’s career.  For the prestigious award, Molina is once again among the top three scorers with Posey, as well as Reds’ catcher Tucker Barnhart joining them this year.

Should the catcher win his ninth Gold Glove Award, he will move into a tie with Bob Gibson for the second most Gold Gloves in Cardinals’ franchise history.  Ozzie Smith has the most Gold Gloves as a Cardinal with 11.  Only two catchers in history have more Gold Gloves than Molina – Ivan Rodriguez with 13 and Johnny Bench with 10.

The very durable 35-year old backstop logged 1,125 2/3 innings behind the plate in 2017, the eighth time in the last nine seasons Molina has caught more than 1,100 innings.  His 133 starts led all Major League catchers.  His 36% caught stealing rate was third among NL catchers with at least 100 games played.

The award is voted on by managers and coaches, with 25% of the rating being a sabermetric component established as an index by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).  Molina’s Defensive Runs Saved for 2017 was a +3, which is considerably lower than the +21 compiled by his competition, Tucker Barnhart.  Barnhart did catch 200 fewer innings than Molina.

The winner of the Gold Glove at each position are then eligible for the Platinum Glove, which recognizes the best defensive player in each league.  Molina has won the Platinum Glove four times – in 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015.

Cardinals fill coaching staff

The Cardinals announced four additions to manager Mike Matheny’s coaching staff this past week.  Three of the four coaches are internal hires, with one coming from outside the organization.

Mike Maddux (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Mike Maddux, former pitching coach for the Brewers, Rangers and Nationals, was hired to replace the dismissed Derek Lilliquist.  To replace the also dismissed Blaise Ilsley as bullpen coach, the Cardinals promoted Bryan Eversgerd.

Maddux, 56, was the pitching coach for the Washington Nationals for the last two seasons, but was dismissed along with manager Dusty Baker following the Nationals loss in NLDS.  The availability of Maddux became known after the Cardinals had already dismissed Lilliquist, and had reportedly interviewed former Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey.  Maddux was the pitching coach for the Texas Rangers from 2009-2015, including during the Rangers’ infamous loss to the Cardinals in the 2011 World Series.  Prior to the Rangers, Maddux was the pitching coach for the Milwaukee Brewers from 2003-2008.  Maddux is the brother of Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux.

Bryan Eversgerd (St. Louis Cardinals)

Eversgerd, 48, has been the pitching coach for the Memphis Redbirds for the past five seasons.  He also coached for the Springfield Cardinals, and several of the Cardinals’ Class A affiliates.  Eversgerd was a major league pitcher from 1994 to 1998.  His major league career began and ended with the Cardinals, during 1994 and 1998 seasons. In between, Eversgerd played for the Montreal Expos in 1995, and the Texas Rangers in 1997.

Jose Oquendo (USA TODAY Sports Images)

In addition to Maddux and Eversgerd, the Cardinals sought and obtained the return of Jose Oquendo as third base coach, and have added former outfielder and Cardinals Hall of Famer Willie McGee to Matheny’s coaching staff.

Oquendo’s return to the third base coaching position follows a two year stint away from Matheny’s staff.  Oquendo took a leave of absence in March 2016 after multiple knee surgeries.  The former St. Louis infielder remained employed by the organization, serving as a special assistant to the GM, working with minor league players at the Cardinals spring training facility in Florida for the past two seasons.  Before his two-year absence, Oquendo spent 16 years on the Cardinals’ coaching staff, and played for St. Louis during the majority of his 12 season major league career.

Willie McGee (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

McGee, 58, played 13 of his 18 major league seasons as an outfielder for the Cardinals.  He was hired as a special assistant to the GM in 2013, has been a regular guest instructor at Cardinals’ Spring Training, and made visits to assist with instruction of the major league team.  McGee has not been given an official title as a member of Matheny’s staff.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

There are no new transactions to report.

Injury Report

There is no injury news to report.

Looking Ahead

The World Series continues, with Game 5 to be played in Houston on Sunday night, then moving to Los Angeles for Game 6 on Tuesday.  What to expect once the World Series concludes, follows.

Lance Lynn (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Pending free agents officially enter free agency at 9 a.m. EST on the day following the end of the World Series.  A quiet period follows, when teams can enter into discussions with their pending free agents about extensions. Other teams are prohibited during this period, which lasts five days, from negotiating with or entering into contracts with, another team’s free agents.  During this quiet period, teams may make their free agents a qualifying offer, which is valued at $17.4 million dollars for a one-year contract.  Free agents have ten days following the conclusion of the quiet period to accept or reject the qualifying offer.

The Cardinals free agents are Lance Lynn, Juan Nicasio, Zach Duke, and Seung-Hwan Oh.  The Cardinals are reported to be considering making the qualifying offer only to Lynn.

Offseason awards will be given out in November.  The following is a list of the offseason awards and the dates they will be announced:

November 6           BBWAA Awards Finalists announced on MLB Network

November 7            Rawlings Gold Glove Awards (ESPN, 9 pm ET)

November 9            Louisville Silver Slugger Awards (MLB Network, 6 pm ET)

November 10          Wilson Defensive Players of the Year (MLB Network, 6 pm ET)

November 13          Jackie Robinson Rookies of the Year (MLB Network, 6 pm ET)

November 14          Managers of the Year (MLB Network, 6 pm ET)

November 15          Cy Young Awards (MLB Network. 6 pm ET)

November 16          Most Valuable Players (MLB Network, 6 pm ET)

November 17          Esurance MLB Awards (MLB Network)

Also coming up in November are the GM Meetings, scheduled for November 13-16 in Orlando Florida.

Blast from the Past

This week’s history segment goes back only a short time, but marks an event that will likely be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, World Series game in MLB history.  Saturday, October 28, marked the sixth anniversary of Game 6 of the 2011 World Series between the Cardinals and the Texas Rangers.

That Game 6, the greatest Game 6, was won by the Cardinals by a score of 10-9 after four hours and 33 minutes of head scratching errors, pickoffs, wild pitches and passed balls, plus finger-nail biting, hair-pulling stress, never before experienced by any major league baseball team (or at the very least by this writer).

The Cardinals were down three games to two coming into Game 6.  The game was tied 2-2 in the fourth inning when the fun started.   A pop fly unbelievably fell between Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal and outfielder Matt Holliday.  Then a grounder to the mound was airmailed over second base by Cardinals reliever Fernando Salas.  An RBI single by Mike Napoli put the Rangers in the lead, and Cardinal Nation groaned.  Fortunately, the Rangers couldn’t tack on any more in that inning despite the St. Louis defense looking like the Keystone Cops on steroids.

David Freese (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Texas defense wasn’t much better, which kept St. Louis in the game. Yadier Molina grounded out in the bottom of the fourth to tie the score.  Cardinals third baseman David Freese decided the previous inning’s follies weren’t enough, and took a popup off his head for another error just to prove it.  The Rangers took a one run lead again in the fifth when a double scored the runner who reached on the botched popup.

The Cardinals re-tied the score in the sixth inning because the Rangers’ pitcher went aiming for Yadier Molina’s face and walked him to force in a run via a bases loaded walk.  Maybe another bases loaded run would have occurred on a wild pitch had Matt Holliday not decided to take a nap at third base; you guessed it, he was picked off.

The Rangers took a two-run lead in the seventh via home runs, which made Lance Lynn unhappy.  Octavio Dotel was unhappy when the lead was increased to three runs by Ian Kinsler.   Everyone was sure the Rangers were the World Series winners – almost everyone, that is.  The intrepid Cardinals weren’t going to let defense and baserunning bungling ruin a perfectly good World Series game.

So Allen Craig did his Allen Craig thing and hit a home run.  The Cardinals were only losing by two, but it became the ninth inning and things looked bleak.  Albert Pujols doubled.  Lance Berkman walked.  Then there were two outs and David Freese came to the plate, the popup to the head guy.  Down to his last strike, he hit a line drive to right, and Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz thought he saw something whiz past him, but he wasn’t sure.  Too late; it was a game-tying triple.  David Freese forgot the popup to his head.

So extra innings happened.  Josh Hamilton hit a two-run home run and the Rangers took their lead back.  Again, it looked like the Rangers had won the World Series.  Nuh-uh.  In the home 10th, Daniel Descalso and Jon Jay reached base.  Kyle Lohse bunted.  Ryan Theriot grounded out and Descalso came home.  Albert Pujols was sent to first base because the Rangers were afraid of him.  They should have been afraid of Lance Berkman instead.  With the final strike of the game just moments away for the second time, Berkman singled to tie the game.  Again.

The Rangers didn’t score in the top of the 11th.  Popup guy came to bat in the bottom of the 11th.  He hit a home run to the grass in center field and Joe Buck told everyone listening that he would see them tomorrow night.  Chaos ensued.  Clothing was ripped off popup guy.  There was much rejoicing.  Tim McCarver didn’t understand how it all happened.

Game 7 came and the Rangers just didn’t have it in them.  The rest is history.  Glorious history.

(Editor’s note: Former ESPN scribe Anna McDonald recently published a series of articles consisting of extensive quotes from the newsmakers of the 2011 World Series. I encourage you to read them all, but here is the specific link to her Game 6 quotes.)

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Potential Price of “Pouncing” on Free Agent Greg Holland

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

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© 2017 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook: 10/28/17

photo: Sandy Alcantara (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

Results for the Arizona Fall League game played on Saturday, October 28.

Surprise Saguaros 3, Scottsdale Scorpions 11

Sandy Alcantara (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Saguaros dropped a laugher to the Scorpions on Saturday. Surprise starter and Cardinal Sandy Alcantara was the losing pitcher.  The right-hander gave up three runs on four hits, including a two run home run, in four innings pitched.  Alcantara struck out seven and walked two, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. He suffered his second loss in the AFL, while his ERA grew to 5.73.

Pitching in relief were Cardinals Arturo Reyes and Josh Lucas.  Reyes pitched one inning following Alcantara, and surrendered one run on a hit and a walk. Reyes fanned a pair. Josh Lucas pitched a scoreless ninth with one hit allowed.

Andrew Knizner (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Three Cardinals hitters were in the starting lineup.  Andrew Knizner batted cleanup as the DH, and was 1-for-4 with an RBI, his 10th in 10 AFL games.  Oscar Mercado started in center and hit in the two hole, going 0-for-5, including a strikeout.  Edmundo Sosa, playing second base, batted ninth and was 1-for-4 with a strikeout.  Knizner’s and Sosa’s hits were singles.

The Saguaros fell to 7-9 in the AFL West. They remain tied with the Glendale Desert Dogs, with both teams three games back of the Peoria Javelinas.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Potential Price of “Pouncing” on Free Agent Greg Holland

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

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

© 2017 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook: 10/27/17

photo: Andrew Knizner (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

Results for the Arizona Fall League game played on Friday, October 27.

Surprise Saguaros 5 at Scottsdale Scorpions 6

Andrew Knizner (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Saguaros lost another close contest on Friday against the Scottsdale Scorpions.  Two Cardinals appeared in this game.

Andrew Knizner, last week’s AFL Player of the Week, started at first base, hitting third in the lineup.  Knizner went 1-for-4 with two RBI.  A third inning single by the first sacker with two outs brought two runs home for Surprise, and tied the game.  A throwing error by Knizner in the sixth put a runner on, but no harm was done as that runner did not score.

Knizner is batting .351 in AFL action with two home runs and nine RBI in nine games.

John Nogowski (Sioux City Explorers)

Taxi squad player John Nogowski was Surprise’s designated hitter. The fifth-place batter went 0-for-4, with a line out, two fly outs and a damaging ground into double play in the eighth inning. Down one run in the eighth, Surprise had three singles, but could not tie the score. In addition to the double play, a Saguaros runner was thrown out at home.

None of the Cardinals four pitchers saw action.

The Saguaros are 7-8 in the AFL West, tied with Glendale, and two games behind Peoria.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Scottsdale, Sandy Alcantara (0-1, 5.14) 1:35 CT.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Potential Price of “Pouncing” on Free Agent Greg Holland

Not yet a member?

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

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

© 2017 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of October 16-22

photo: David Bell (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images)

Bench coach David Bell departs

St. Louis Cardinals bench coach David Bell has left the organization to become Vice President for Player Development for the San Francisco Giants.

David Bell (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Bell served as the Cardinals bench coach for the past three seasons and was the assistant hitting coach in 2014.  Before joining the organization, the 45-year old spent one season as the third base coach for the Chicago Cubs.  Bell began his coaching career in the Cincinnati Reds’ minor league system.

Bell played four seasons for the Cardinals from 1995-1998 as a bench infielder.  His career in the majors totaled 12 years, including one season with the Giants.  Bell also played for Cleveland, Seattle, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.

Bell’s father and grandfather were also major league players.  His brother, Mike Bell, was a third baseman for a short time with the Cincinnati Reds, while his father Buddy Bell, played for the Reds from 1985-1988, and also had seasons with Cleveland, Texas, and Houston.  Buddy Bell managed from 1996 to 2007 with the Tigers, the Rockies, and the Royals, and currently serves as Vice President and Assistant General Manager for the White Sox.

The departure of Bell leaves three coaching positions open for 2018.  The Cardinals previously released pitching coach Derek Lilliquist and bullpen coach Blaise Ilsley.  The search to replace all three is ongoing.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

The Cardinals are reportedly interested in former Tampa Bays pitching coach Jim Hickey as a replacement for Lilliquist.  The Cubs have also been reported to be interested in hiring Hickey following the dismissal of pitching coach Chris Bosio.  Hickey is scheduled to interview with the Cubs on Monday.

St. Louis President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak has declined to offer specifics regarding any pursuit of Hickey or the search for a pitching coach other than to say he would like to complete the search by the end of the month.

Transactions

There are no new transactions to report.

Injury Report

There is no new injury news to report.

Looking Ahead

The World Series is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, October 24.  The series pits the Houston Astros against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a best of seven.  The Dodgers have home field advantage in the series, thus Games 1 and 2 will be played in Los Angeles.  Once the World Series concludes, the offseason officially begins.

Pending free agents officially enter free agency at 9 a.m. EST on the day following the end of the World Series.  What follows is a quiet period, where teams can enter into discussions with their pending free agents about extensions. Other teams are prohibited during this period, which lasts five days, from negotiating with or entering into contracts with another team’s free agents.  During this quiet period, teams may make their free agents a qualifying offer, which is valued at about $17.4 million dollars for a one-season contract.  Free agents have ten days following the conclusion of the quiet period, to accept or reject the qualifying offer.

Cardinals free agents are Lance Lynn, Juan Nicasio, Zach Duke, and Seung-Hwan Oh.  The Cardinals are reported to be considering the qualifying offer only for Lynn.

Offseason awards will be given out in November.  The following is a list of the offseason awards and the dates they will be announced:

October 26             Rawlings Gold Glove Finalists announced on Twitter

November 6           BBWAA Awards Finalists announced on MLB Network

November 7            Rawlings Gold Glove Awards (ESPN, 9 pm ET)

November 9            Louisville Silver Slugger Awards (MLB Network, 6 pm ET)

November 10          Wilson Defensive Players of the Year (MLB Network, 6 pm ET)

November 13          Jackie Robinson Rookies of the Year (MLB Network, 6 pm ET)

November 14          Managers of the Year (MLB Network, 6 pm ET)

November 15          Cy Young Awards (MLB Network. 6 pm ET)

November 16          Most Valuable Players (MLB Network, 6 pm ET)

November 17          Esurance MLB Awards (MLB Network)

Also coming up in November are the GM Meetings, scheduled for November 13-16 in Orlando Florida.

Blast from the Past

The World Series is set to begin on Tuesday, with a matchup between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Last week, the history segment focused on the NLCS and the Cardinals franchise history with respect to it.  This week I will take a look at the Cardinals in the World Series.

As most fans reading this know, the Cardinals have 11 World Series titles in franchise history, the most of any National League team, and the second most of any MLB team.  Only the New York Yankees have more, with 27 titles to their name.

The first World Series title occurred in 1926.  That series was played against the aforementioned New York Yankees, who the Cardinals defeated four games to three.  That Cardinals team featured player-manager Rogers Hornsby, as well as pitchers Grover Cleveland Alexander, aka “Pete” and Jesse “Pop” Haines.  Also on that team was future St. Louis manager Billy Southworth.  The most famous Yankees to play in that series were Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.  Ruth hit three home runs in Game 4, a record that has only been matched four times since.  Ironically, that includes 2011, when Albert Pujols hit three home runs for the Cardinals in Game 3.

The Cardinals won World Series titles 10 more times, in 1931, 1934, 1942, 1944, 1946, 1964, 1967, 1982, 2006, and 2011.  In addition, the Cardinals lost the Series eight additional times, in 1928, 1930, 1943, 1968, 1985, 1987, 2004, and 2013.

The Cardinals played the Yankees in the World Series five times, the most of any other team, with the Cardinals winning three.  Boston was the next most common opponent; the Cardinals played them four times, most recently in 2013.  The Cardinals defeated Boston in 1946 and 1967.  The Cardinals played Detroit three times, and Philadelphia twice, defeating Detroit in 1934 and 2006, and Philadelphia in 1931.

The Cardinals have never swept a World Series opponent, but were swept themselves twice, by the Yankees in 1928, and by Boston in 2004.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Cardinals Bring Back Trio of Minor League Free Agents

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© 2017 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook: 10/20/17

photo: Andrew Knizner (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

Results for the Arizona Fall League game played on Friday, October 20.

Surprise Saguaros 6 at Mesa Solar Sox 7

Andrew Knizner (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Saguaros dropped a tough one in Mesa on Friday night.  The Cardinals’ lone position player in the starting lineup made his presence known.  Catcher Andrew Knizner hit two long balls, his first of the AFL campaign.  The number five hitter began with a two-run shot in the fourth inning, followed by a solo shot in the sixth.  Knizner was 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored, raising his AFL average to .393. Knizner did make a miscue in the field, a passed ball in the sixth inning, his second.

Two Cardinals hurlers saw action.  Arturo Reyes pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning of relief, receiving his second hold. The right-hander has now tossed six scoreless AFL innings on three hits, no walks and four strikeouts. Jordan Hicks did not fare well in his ninth inning outing. Ask to protect a three-run lead, he gave up four runs on three hits and two walks. The right-hander took the loss for the Saguaros on a walk-off triple with two out.

The Saguaros fell to 4-6, two games back of Peoria in the AFL West.

Saturday’s game:  No game scheduled.  The Bowman Hitting Challenge will take place at 7:35 CT in Mesa. Participants have not yet been announced. On Monday, Surprise will host Salt River.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Bilardello on Palm Beach’s Title-Winning Offense

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

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© 2017 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of October 9-15

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

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

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

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Cardinals plan to pursue right handed pitcher Greg Holland, once he declines his player option for 2018 in his contract with the Colorado Rockies.  Holland is expected to decline the option and test free agency, as reported by FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.

The Cardinals are reportedly in search of a closer, and Holland, one year removed from Tommy John surgery, posted 41 saves in his all-star 2017 with the Rockies, his third all-star selection. The others were with the Kansas City Royals.  Holland, age 32 next season, is represented by agent Scott Boras, so the price tag will likely be high.

Transactions

There are no new transactions to report.

Injury Report

There is no injury news to report.

Looking Ahead

The Championship Series in both leagues is now underway.  The World Series will follow beginning on October 24.  At the conclusion of the World Series, the offseason activity will officially begin.

Pending free agents officially enter free agency at 9 a.m. EST on the day following the end of the World Series.  A quiet period follows, when teams can enter into discussions with their pending free agents about extensions. Other teams are prohibited during this period, which lasts five days, from negotiating with or entering into contracts with, another team’s free agents.  During this quiet period, teams may make their free agents a qualifying offer, which is valued at about $17.4 million dollars for a one-year contract.  Offered free agents have ten days following the conclusion of the quiet period to accept or reject the qualifying offer.

The Cardinals free agents are Lance Lynn, Juan Nicasio, Zach Duke, and Seung-Hwan Oh.  The Cardinals are reported to be considering the qualifying offer only to Lynn. Nicasio has expressed a desire to return.

Offseason awards will be given out in November.  The following is a list of the awards and announce dates:

October 26             Rawlings Gold Glove Finalists announced on Twitter

November 6           BBWAA Awards Finalists announced on MLB Network

November 7            Rawlings Gold Glove Awards (ESPN, 9 pm ET)

November 9            Louisville Silver Slugger Awards (MLB Network, 6 pm ET)

November 10          Wilson Defensive Players of the Year (MLB Network, 6 pm ET)

November 13          Jackie Robinson Rookies of the Year (MLB Network, 6 pm ET)

November 14          Managers of the Year (MLB Network, 6 pm ET)

November 15          Cy Young Awards (MLB Network. 6 pm ET)

November 16          Most Valuable Players (MLB Network, 6 pm ET)

November 17          Esurance MLB Awards (MLB Network)

Also coming up in November are the GM Meetings, scheduled for November 13-16 in Orlando, Florida.

Blast from the Past

In last week’s Notebook, I discussed the League Division Series in MLB, and the Cardinals’ history in it.  This week’s subject is the League Championship Series.  The current ALCS and NLCS are underway, with the Dodgers and the Cubs playing in the NLCS, and the Astros opposing the Yankees in the ALCS.

The League Championship Series officially began in 1969. In that year, both leagues expanded from 10 teams each to 12.  Added were the Montreal Expos and San Diego Padres in the National League, and the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Pilots in the American League.   The Seattle Pilots were the precursor to the current Milwaukee Brewers, who are now in the National League.  With the expansion to 12 teams, the Leagues were divided in two divisions, the Eastern and the Western.

The LCS was originally a best of five series, in the 2-3 format.  In 1985, it was expanded to the current best of seven, in the 2-3-2 format.  When the League Division Series was added in 1995, the LCS matched the winners of the LDS in each league.  As of 2017, all 30 MLB teams have played in the LCS at least once.

It took 13 years for the Cardinals to reach their first LCS, but since then, they have appeared in 13 different LCS, winning seven – in 1982, 1985, 1987, 2004, 2006, 2011, and 2013.  Three World Series titles came from those seven wins.  The Cardinals were eliminated in the 1996, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2012, and 2014 LCS.

The team the Cardinals played most often in the NLCS is the San Francisco Giants, the opponent four times.  The Cardinals won only once, in seven games in 1987.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: 2017 TCN Cardinals Rookie Player of the Year

Not yet a member?

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

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

© 2017 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook: 10/14/17

photo: Andrew Knizner (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

Results for the Arizona Fall League game played on Saturday, October 14.

Surprise Saguaros 11, Scottsdale Scorpions 1

Andrew Knizner (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Saguaros walloped the Scorpions in Scottsdale on Saturday night, giving Surprise their second win of the early AFL season against three losses.

Three Cardinals position players saw action in the game, with Oscar Mercado and Andrew Knizner in the starting lineup, and Edmundo Sosa making a later appearance.  Mercado had two plate appearances in the game and was hitless.  The designated hitter and third-place hitter lined out and grounded out in the first and third innings, respectively, and was replaced by a pinch hitter in the fifth.

Edmundo Sosa (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Knizner started at first base, and was 1-for-4.  The cleanup hitter drove in two Surprise runs in the seventh on a ground ball single to right field.  Sosa was a defensive replacement at shortstop in the sixth inning and had two plate appearances.  The shortstop singled in both, with an infield single in the seventh and a line drive single to right field in the ninth.

No Cardinals pitchers saw action on Saturday.

Sunday’s game:  No game scheduled.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: 2017 TCN Cardinals Rookie Player of the Year

Not yet a member?

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

Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.

© 2017 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook: 10/13/17

photo: Arturo Reyes (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Results for the Arizona Fall League game played on Friday, October 13.

Surprise Saguaros 6, Glendale Desert Dogs 7

Arturo Reyes (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Saguaros (1-3) fell to the Desert Dogs in a one run loss on Friday.  Cardinals outfielder Oscar Mercado and third baseman Edmundo Sosa saw action in the starting lineup.  Third place hitter Mercado went 2-for-5, with singles in the first and sixth innings. Sosa got his only hit from the eight hole in the sixth, an RBI single.

Jordan Hicks, Arturo Reyes, and Josh Lucas made appearances out of the bullpen for Surprise.  Hicks pitched the fifth and sixth innings and gave up two runs on three hits, while fanning one and issuing no walks.  Reyes tossed a 1-2-3 seventh inning with two strikeouts.  Lucas took the ninth and allowed a run on one hit. Surprise came back with a run in the ninth, but fell just short.

No other Cardinals saw action.

Saturday’s game:  at Scottsdale, Zach Lovvorn (0-0, 0.00) 7:35 CT

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Will the Cardinals Keep Trevor Rosenthal for 2018?

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© 2017 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of October 2-8

photo: Jose Martinez (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports Images)

Offseason includes pursuit of impact bat

During the annual after-season press conference, held on Tuesday, President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak and GM Michael Girsch, outlined the team’s plans for the offseason.  The need for an impact bat in the lineup has often been mentioned as the major area of improvement for the team.  Both Mozeliak and Girsch indicated that the search for the impact hitter will occur this offseason.

Mozeliak did not specify in where that bat would be slotted, only that the lone position on the field with an occupant set in stone is catcher, where Yadier Molina is under contract for three more years.  Mozeliak added that the Cardinals have the flexibility to seek that impact player through both free agency and trade.

Because the Cardinals have not had a draft pick high enough in the draft to fill that hitting spot from within the organization, going outside appears to be the only option.  The organization had seen Oscar Taveras as the possible successor to Albert Pujols, but his untimely death in 2014 left a hole still to be filled.

Adding that impact bat is not the sole goal for the Cardinals offseason, however.  Shoring up the back end of the bullpen, especially in the ninth inning role, and rotation depth, are also needs Mozeliak and Girsch see.  The closer role could be filled internally by allowing a current pitcher to grow into it, or through free agency or trade.

Dexter Fowler (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Topics also covered at the press conference included where Dexter Fowler might fit in the outfield in 2018.  Mozeliak indicated Fowler was never guaranteed that he would play center field for the Cardinals for the duration of his contract, and a move to a corner spot was not ruled out.  Fowler’s defensive numbers were not good during his first season as the Redbirds center fielder.  Injuries may have contributed some to Fowler’s defensive struggles, but the outfielder has never had better than average numbers at best in center field in his career.

The Cardinals have four pending free agents, all pitchers.  Mozeliak stated that the Cardinals are still weighing the decision as to whether to make a qualifying offer to Lance Lynn.  The qualifying offer is set at around $18.1 million dollars for 2018.  In addition to Lynn, Juan Nicasio, Seung-Hwan Oh, and Zach Duke are all pending free agents.  September closer Nicasio has indicated his desire to remain with St. Louis.  There has been no indication that the Cardinals are interested in retaining either Oh or Duke.

Pitching coaches Lilliquist and Ilsley out

It was announced at Tuesday’s press conference that the contracts of pitching coach Derek Lilliquist and bullpen coach Blaise Ilsley are not being renewed for the 2018 season.  The reason was stated as a desire to change philosophy and approach to managing the pitching staff.  The rest of the current coaching staff is slated to return in 2018.

Brent Lilliquist (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Lilliquist had been in the Cardinals organization for 16 years, with the last six as the major league pitching coach.  He succeeded Dave Duncan, who retired as the pitching coach at the end of the 2011 season.  Lilliquist filled various roles within the minor league organization prior to moving up.

Ilsley joined the Cardinals in 2001, and became the Cardinals’ bullpen coach in 2012.  Ilsley spent the previous five years as the pitching coach of the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds.

Mozeliak indicated the Cardinals seek a pitching coach more willing to utilize advanced metrics and data compiled by front office staff.  Working with manager Mike Matheny is also critical for any new pitching coach.

The search for a pitching coach has begun, and the organization will be looking at both internal and external options.

Martinez named NL Rookie of the Month

Jose Alberto Martinez (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Cardinals outfielder Jose Martinez was named the National League Rookie of the Month for September, Major League Baseball announced on Monday.

The 29-year-old had a slash line of .353/.433/.553 in 25 games in September and October.  Martinez had four home runs and 18 RBI in that span.  All of this was accomplished despite him missing three games in September with a left thumb sprain.

Martinez joins infielder Paul DeJong as Cardinals to win the honor this season.  DeJong was the NL selection in July. They are the first Cardinals to win the award since Kolten Wong in May 2014.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported that a Marlins player indicated the Cardinals expressed interest during the summer in Miami players Marcel Ozuna, Dee Gordon, and Brad Ziegler.  The interest in Ziegler occurred after Trevor Rosenthal went down with an elbow injury, and subsequently had Tommy John surgery.

Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch reported that the Cardinals have interest in Japanese closer Yoshihisa Hirano of the Orix Buffaloes.  Hirano is an international free agent, unlimited by bonus caps or posting fees.

Transactions

10/2  In paper transactions, the Cardinals recalled RHP Rowan Wick and RHP Mike Mayers from the Memphis Redbirds, and SS Edmundo Sosa from the Palm Beach Cardinals. The trio are the only 40-man roster players not already brought up to St. Louis in September.

Injury Report

Adam Wainwright (USA TODAY Sports Images)

RHP Adam Wainwright underwent an elbow arthroscopy procedure on Tuesday to shave down a piece of cartilage.  Wainwright will require six weeks of recovery, but is expected to have a normal offseason and be ready and healthy for Spring Training.

Infielder Matt Carpenter will not require surgery for the ailing right shoulder that kept him out of the final series of the regular season.  A follow up MRI showed inflammation but no structural damage to the shoulder.  Carpenter will undergo physical therapy in his home state of Texas, and will not resume hitting or throwing until early December.

Infielder Aledmys Diaz suffered a left hamstring strain in the second inning of the final game of the season.  There has been no indication that the injury will impact Diaz’ Spring Training.

Looking Ahead

With the playoffs in full swing, there will be very little, if any, activity by the Cardinals in terms of roster transactions.   The conclusion of the World Series later this month signals the official beginning of the offseason.

Pending free agents officially enter free agency at 9 a.m. EST on the day following the end of the World Series.  What follows is a quiet period, where teams can enter into discussions with their pending free agents about extensions. Other teams are prohibited during this period, which lasts five days, from negotiating with or entering into contracts with another team’s free agents.  During this quiet period, teams may make their free agents a qualifying offer, which is valued at about $17.4 million dollars for 2018.  Free agents have 10 days following the conclusion of the quiet period to accept or reject the one-year qualifying offer.

Lance Lynn (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Cardinals’ free agents are Lance Lynn, Juan Nicasio, Zach Duke, and Seung-Hwan Oh.  The Cardinals are reported to be considering the qualifying offer only to Lynn.

The offseason awards period begins in November.  Also occurring in November are the GM Meetings, scheduled for November 13-16 in Orlando, FL.

Some shuffling of the 40 man roster will occur in the month of November to prepare for the Rule 5 Draft, which is held during December’s Winter Meetings.

Blast from the Past

The playoffs have begun, and the two Division Series in each League are currently underway.  The Division Series first came into being by agreement of the owners and players union in 1993.  In 1994, both the AL and the NL realigned, increasing the number of playoff teams from four to eight.  Due to a player strike in 1994, resulting in a shortened season, this format did not begin until 1995.

The Cardinals played in their first Division Series in 1996, when they swept the San Diego Padres 3-0 to advance to the NLCS.  The Cardinals returned to the NLDS in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.  Of those NLDS years, the Cardinals were the winner 11 times, losing only in 2001, 2009, and 2015.

The Cardinals swept the NLDS four times, in 1996, 2000, 2002, and 2005.  Two of those 3-0 sweeps were over the Padres, in 1996 and 2005.

Along with the Division Series, the wild card was also added in 1995, sourced from the non-division winner with the best regular-season record.  There was only one wild card team per league from 1995 through 2011.  The Cardinals were the NL wild card in 2001 and 2011.  A second wild card in each league was added in 2012, leading to a one-game play-in between the two wild cards.  The Cardinals were the second wild card team that initial year, winning the play-in game.

Since the advent of the wild card, four such teams went on to win the World Series, including the 2011 Cardinals.  The others were the Marlins in 1997 and 2003, and the Giants in 2014.

Next week, I will discuss the NLCS and the Cardinals history in it.

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Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of September 25-October 1

photo: Juan Nicasio (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports Images)

Game Recaps

Monday, September 25 – Cardinals 2, Cubs 10

In the final week of the regular season at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals took on the Cubs for the final time in 2017.  It did not go well for the Redbirds as they were formally eliminated from the NL Central race with this defeat.

The Cubs scored four runs in the first inning against Luke Weaver and never looked back.  Weaver pitched only three innings and gave up eight runs on seven hits, including two long balls.  The right hander fanned three and walked two.  Jack Flaherty added a scoreless fourth inning.  Ryan Sherriff tossed two scoreless innings of relief, followed by one scoreless inning from Sam Tuivailala. Sandy Alcantara allowed two unearned runs in 2/3 of an inning before Zach Duke finished the inning.  Josh Lucas pitched a scoreless ninth.  Weaver took the loss, his second of the season.

The Cardinals offense managed single runs in the second and seventh innings, both via the long ball.  Jedd Gyorko hit a solo home run in the second and Luke Voit did the same in the seventh.  Gyorko was 3-for-3; Dexter Fowler was 2-for-3.

In the field, Alcantara made a throwing error.

Tuesday, September 26 – Cardinals 8, Cubs 7

The second game of the series was a nail biter, but the Cardinals prevailed in the end.  Matt Carpenter started the scoring with a solo home run in the first inning.  Tommy Pham followed with a two run shot in the second.  In the seventh, Jedd Gyorko and Randal Grichuk both hit solo home runs.   Two additional runs came home in the first on a Grichuk RBI triple and a fielding error.  Paul DeJong plated a run on a double in the fifth inning.  Gyorko, DeJong, and Grichuk were each 2-for-4.  Pham was 2-for-3.

Starter Carlos Martinez pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on four hits.  The right hander struck out six and walked four.  Zach Duke tossed 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.  Tyler Lyons surrendered two runs in his one inning.  John Brebbia started the eighth and allowed two runs; Juan Nicasio got the final out of the eighth, and returned to pitch a scoreless ninth. Duke got the win and Nicasio the save.

On the base paths, Tommy Pham was picked off first base.  In the field, Carson Kelly was charged with catcher interference.

Wednesday, September 27 – Cardinals 1, Cubs 5

In Game 3 of the series, the Cardinals offense was again shut down.  The only Redbirds run came in the second inning on an RBI single by Paul DeJong.  DeJong was the only Cardinal with multiple hits, with two in four at-bats.

Starter Michael Wacha pitched six innings, giving up five runs on seven hits.  Wacha struck out eight and walked one.  Matt Bowman and Zach Duke combined for a scoreless seventh inning.  Sam Tuivailala pitched a scoreless eighth and Brett Cecil pitched a scoreless ninth.  Wacha took the loss, his ninth of the season.

With the win, the Cubs clinched their second straight NL Central title, celebrating their accomplishment on the Busch Stadium turf.

Thursday, September 28 – Cardinals 1, Cubs 2 (11 innings)

The rubber game of the series was another nail biter, with the Cubs coming out on top in extra innings.  The Cubs took the initial lead in the first inning, but the Cardinals came back and tied the score in the sixth, when Tommy Pham singled to lead off, stole second base, and advanced to third on a wild pitch.  Dexter Fowler drove Pham in on a ground out.  Pham was the only Cardinal with multiple hits, with two in four at-bats.

Starter Lance Lynn, in what was likely his last start as a Cardinal, pitched five innings, giving up one run on three hits.  The right hander fanned five and walked four.  Ryan Sherriff, Brett Cecil, Juan Nicasio, Sam Tuivailala, and John Brebbia each contributed one inning each of scoreless relief.  Matt Bowman pitched the final inning, gave up the winning run, and took the loss.

On the base paths, Tommy Pham stole his 24th and 25th bases of the season.  Jedd Gyorko and Harrison Bader were each caught stealing for the second and first time respectively.  In the field, Matt Bowman made a throwing error.

Friday, September 29 – Cardinals 3, Brewers 5

In the first game of the final regular season series, the Cardinals fell to the Brewers, 5-3.  John Gant made the start in the place of Jack Flaherty, and pitched five innings, giving up four runs on seven hits.  The right hander struck out three and walked three.  Josh Lucas added two innings of scoreless relief.  Sandy Alcantara pitched the final two frames, surrendering one run on one hit.  Gant took the loss.

The Cardinals got on the board in the fourth on Paul DeJong’s solo home run.  Jose Martinez’ two run blast in the ninth scored the other Redbirds runs.  DeJong was the only Cardinal with multiple hits, going 3-for-4.

Magneuris Sierra made a fielding error.

Saturday, September 30 – Cardinals 7, Brewers 6

Harrison Bader (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Cardinals came back to edge the Brewers in Game 2 of the series.  The loss eliminated the Brewers from postseason contention.

The Cardinals fell into a 6-0 hole in the third inning, but the offense rallied in the bottom frame to score four.  Paul DeJong drove in two on a double, and Jose Martinez followed with a ground rule double that plated two more.  Stephen Piscotty singled in the eighth and brought two runs home to tie the game.  Harrison Bader’s single drove in Piscotty for the winning run.  Greg Garcia was 2-for-4, the only Cardinal with multiple hits.

Luke Weaver had his second poor start in a row.  Weaver pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on nine hits.  The right hander fanned four and walked four.  Zach Duke, John Brebbia, Ryan Sherriff, and Juan Nicasio combined to pitch the final 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.  Sherriff earned the win and Nicasio the save.

Sunday, October 1 – Cardinals 1, Brewers 6

The Cardinals went out with a whimper, losing the final regular season game to the Brewers without much of a fight against a rookie starter with a 8.00 ERA coming in. The B team started the game, with the lineup consisting of all rookies except for Randal Grichuk, and Aledmys Diaz, back from the minors.

The Brewers starter had a perfect game against the Redbirds until the sixth, when pinch hitter Jose Martinez singled to right.  The Cardinals scored their only run in the seventh on Grichuk’s solo home run.  The long ball was one of only three hits for the Cardinals.

With Carlos Martinez pulled from the start in the meaningless contest, Jack Flaherty was given the ball instead. The rookie pitched five innings and took the loss.  Flaherty gave up four runs in the first, but settled down and pitched four more scoreless innings.  Brett Cecil and John Brebbia each contributed a scoreless inning of relief.  Sandy Alcantara pitched the eighth and gave up a two run home run.  Sam Tuivailala finished with a scoreless ninth.

Thus ends the Cardinals 2017 season.

Big Picture

The Cardinals’ 2017 season is over, ending with a 6-1 loss the Brewers.  The final season record is 83-79 and the Redbirds finished in third place in the NL Central.

The team ended the week 2-5.  There really is nothing left to say.

Final NL Central Standings

W L % GB
Chic. Cubs 92 70 0.568
Milwaukee 86 76 0.531 6
St. Louis 83 79 0.512 9
Pittsburgh 75 87 0.460 17
Cincinnati 68 94 0.420 24

Final Wild Card Standings

W L % GB
Arizona 93 69 0.599
Colorado 87 75 0.537
Milwaukee 86 76 0.531 1
St. Louis 83 79 0.512 4

Who’s Hot

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

Paul DeJong (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Paul DeJong is batting .385 and has an OPS of 1.082.  He has 1 HR, 4 doubles, and 5 RBI.

Jedd Gyorko is batting .353 and has an OPS of 1.156.  He has 2 home runs and 2 RBI.

Jose Martinez is batting .267 and has an OPS of .922.  He has 1 HR, 1 double, and 4 RBIs.

Luke Voit is batting .500 and has an OPS of 1.750 in 4 plate appearances.  He has 1 HR and 1 RBI.

Lance Lynn (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Lance Lynn has an ERA of 1.80 and a WHIP of 1.40.

Zach Duke has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00.

Ryan Sherriff has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.75.

Juan Nicasio has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.50 and had two saves in two opportunities.

Sam Tuivailala has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.33.

Josh Lucas has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.33.

Who’s Not

Over the past 7 days (does not contain recent Sunday games):

Stephen Piscotty is batting .059 and has an OPS of .259.

Carson Kelly is batting .143 and has an OPS of .325.

Harrison Bader is batting .125 and has an OPS of .347 in 9 plate appearances.

Aledmys Diaz is batting .200 and has an OPS of .400 in 10 plate appearances.

Michael Wacha has an ERA of 7.50 and a WHIP of 1.33.

Luke Weaver has an ERA of 16.43 and a WHIP of 2.87.

John Gant has an ERA of 5.63 and a WHIP of 1.88.

Seung-Hwan Oh has an ERA of 18.00 and a WHIP of 2.00.

Tyler Lyons has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last 7 games (does not contain recent Sunday game):

The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter for five games, and Greg Garcia for two games.

The number 2 hitter has been Tommy Pham.

The number 3 hitter has been Dexter Fowler for five games, and Paul DeJong for two games.

The number 4 hitter has been Jose Martinez for three games, Jedd Gyorko for three games, and DeJong for one game.

The number 5 hitter has been DeJong for two games, Stephen Piscotty for two games, Martinez for one game, Kolten Wong for one game, and Yadier Molina for one game.

The number 6 hitter has been DeJong for two games, Gyorko for two games, Randal Grichuk for two games, and Harrison Bader for one game.

The number 7 hitter has been Piscotty for three games, Aledmys Diaz for two games, Grichuk for one game, and Greg Garcia for one game.

The number 8 hitter has been Carson Kelly for six games, and Wong for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

Juan Nicasio (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images)

Free agent-to-be Juan Nicasio stated he wants to return to St. Louis in 2018 and has reportedly asked his agent to try to work out a deal with the Cardinals. The 31-year old right-hander appeared in nine games after joining the team in September, with two wins, no losses and four saves in four opportunities. His St. Louis ERA is 1.64. Nicasio struck out 11 against just two walks in 11 innings.

USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale repeated an earlier rumor that this off-season, the Cardinals will pursue in trade Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, who has a year remaining on his current contract.

Transactions

There are no transactions to report.

Injury Report

Adam Wainwright (USA TODAY Sports Images)

RHP Adam Wainwright, LHP Tyler Lyons, 1B/3B Matt Carpenter, and C Yadier Molina, were all shut down for the season this week.  Molina had taken two foul balls off his mask in Monday’s game and was in concussion protocol.  Carpenter has been suffering from an inflamed right shoulder, Wainwright has had right elbow issues, and Lyons has had knee issues.  Surgery is planned for Wainwright to repair cartilage damage in his elbow.

OF Dexter Fowler was not officially shut down, but had been out of the lineup since Thursday.

2B Kolten Wong (lower back tightness) and 3B Jedd Gyorko (right hamstring) also sat out. Wong did not play after Monday’s game against the Cubs, and Gyorko did not play in the Brewers series.

RHP Alex Reyes threw off the mound on Friday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in February.  Reyes’ recovery is on schedule, and the Cardinals are optimistic he will be healthy for the 2018 season.

Looking Ahead

The final week of the regular season is complete.  The Cardinals were eliminated from playoff contention in the final game of the Cubs series on Thursday.  The season ended on Sunday with a defeat to the Brewers.  The Brewers were eliminated with the loss to the Cardinals on Saturday.  The Cubs will be the only NL Central team participating in postseason play.

The postseason begins on Tuesday, October 3, with the AL Wild Card game between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins.  The NL Wild Card game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies will be played on Wednesday, October 4.  The NLDS begins on Friday October 6, while the NLCS will be played beginning Saturday, October 14.    The World Series begins on Tuesday, October 24.

The Cardinals finished the season with a record of 83-79, and ended in third place in the NL Central, nine games back of the Cubs.

Typically, very little, if any, offseason transactions occur until after the World Series is completed.  Some movement in the rosters is possible, most likely internal paper moves only.  The Hot Stove season begins in earnest following the World Series.  Offseason awards typically occur within a few days of the World Series and continue for several weeks.  Players eligible for free agency shall become a free agent at 9 am EST on the day following the World Series.

Further information about upcoming important dates and the rules regarding offseason activity will be provided in future articles.

Blast from the Past

The 2017 Cardinals finished the regular season on Sunday with a record of 83-79.  This record placed them third in the NL Central, nine games behind the division-winning Cubs and three games back of the second place Brewers.

Four Cardinals teams in franchise history finished the season with the same record.  Those teams were 1966, 1977, 1992, and 1998.  Two other teams had 83 wins but not 79 losses.  Those teams were the 1953 Cardinals, and the 2006 World Series Champion Cardinals.  The 1953 team finished 83-71, and the 2006 team finished 83-78.

In 1966, the 83-79 finish placed the Cardinals 6th in the National League, in a time before divisions.  The 1977, 1992, and 1998 teams all finished third in their division, just as the 2017 team did.  Of course, the 2006 team was unique in that they won the division with the 83-78 record.

The 1953 team finished tied for third place in the National League with the Philadelphia Phillies.  In the decade of the ‘50s, the Cardinals never finished higher than second place, and they accomplished that just one, in 1957.  The team finished third three consecutive years, 1951, 1952, and 1953.

Of course, the ‘60s were a good decade for the franchise, as they won two World Series titles, and played in another World Series and lost.  The ‘70s were another decade in which the Cardinals never finished higher than second place.  The third place finish by the 1977 team was sandwiched between two fifth place finishes in 1976 and 1978.

The 1990s were a transition decade for the franchise.  After being owned by the Busch family since 1953, the Cardinals were sold to a group led by Bill DeWitt Jr, the current owners, in 1995.  The Cardinals won their division only one time in the ‘90s, in 1996.

The St. Louis Cardinals franchise has a long and storied history.  That history consists of decades of success, but few of failure.  The 2017 team may not have ended their season in the manner in which fans expected, but the Cardinals have nothing of which to be ashamed.  Very few major league baseball franchises can boast of the kind of long-term success the St. Louis Cardinals have enjoyed.

Let’s get excited for 2018.

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Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of September 18-24

photo: Dexter Fowler/USA TODAY Sports Images

The St. Louis Cardinals’ playoff hopes improved with a sweep in Cincinnati, but fell again with two losses in Pittsburgh over the weekend. Dexter Fowler has been swinging a hot bat. In our history feature, the Cardinals greatness in the 1940s is remembered.

 

Game Recaps

Monday, September 18 – Off day

Tuesday, September 19 – Cardinals 8 at Reds 7

Dexter Fowler (USA TODAY Sports Images)

As the 2017 regular season entered its final two weeks, the St. Louis Cardinals played their last series of the regular season against the Reds in Cincinnati.  In Game 1, the Cardinals squeaked by the Reds in extra innings.  The Cardinals fell behind 4-0, but in the fourth inning put five runs on the board to take the lead.  It started with an RBI single by Jose Martinez, then was followed by a three run home run off the bat of Yadier Molina.  The fourth inning scoring was capped by Paul DeJong’s solo home run.  The Reds retook the lead in the sixth, but Dexter Fowler tied it up in the eighth with a solo home run.  The game went into the 10th, when Fowler’s RBI double plated one, and DeJong drove in another run on a single.

Fowler was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI.  DeJong was 2-for-5.

Starter Jack Flaherty only lasted two innings.  Flaherty gave up two runs on three hits while fanning two and walking one.  John Gant allowed two more runs in an inning of relief.  Brett Cecil tossed the next three innings, surrendering two additional runs.  John Brebbia started the seventh and pitched to two batters, walking one and hitting a second with a pitch.  Ryan Sherriff took over with two runners on and no outs.  Sherriff got the next three hitters out to finish the inning. Sherriff returned for the eighth and got one out, but left two men on.  Matt Bowman secured the final two outs of the inning.  Juan Nicasio pitched a scoreless ninth.  Nicasio returned for the 10th and gave up a leadoff solo home run.  The right hander got the next three hitters out to earn the win.

Kolten Wong stole his eighth base of the season.

Wednesday, September 20 – Cardinals 9 at Reds 2

Tommy Pham (USA TODAY Sports Images)

In Game 2 of the set, the Cardinals had a much easier win.  The offense took a 7-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning.  The scoring began with a Matt Carpenter solo home run in the first inning.  In the third, Tommy Pham added an RBI double.  Dexter Fowler followed with a two run home run, and Paul DeJong contributed a solo shot to put St. Louis up 5-0.  In the fifth, Yadier Molina added to the lead with a two run double.  The Redbirds added to their lead in on an RBI single by Pham.  In the ninth, Greg Garcia plated the final Cardinals run on a single.  Pham was 3-for-5 with two runs scored.

Starter Luke Weaver won his seventh game of the season.  Weaver went five innings, giving up two runs on five hits.  The right hander fanned seven and walked none.  Zach Duke pitched a scoreless sixth.  Seung-Hwan Oh, Sandy Alcantara, and Sam Tuivailala combined for the final three scoreless innings of relief.

Thursday, September 21 – Cardinals 8 at Reds 5

Carlos Martinez (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Cardinals completed the sweep with an 8-5 victory in Cincinnati.  Starter Carlos Martinez pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on nine hits.  The right hander struck out six, walked one, and surrendered two home runs.  Tyler Lyons followed with 1 2/3 scoreless innings.  Zach Duke pitched the ninth and allowed a run on two hits.  Martinez earned his 12th win.

The Redbirds got on the board in the first inning on Jose Martinez’ RBI single.  In the third, Dexter Fowler plated two on a double, and Yadier Molina’s sac fly tacked on an additional third inning score.  Molina doubled in Martinez in the seventh and Kolten Wong’s ground out plated Molina from third.  In the ninth, Greg Garcia’s double drove in one run, and Alex Mejia followed with a single to plate Garcia.

Fowler was 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Martinez was 2-for-5, Wong and Tommy Pham were 2-for-4, and Matt Carpenter was 2-for-3.

On the base paths, Pham stole his 22nd base of the season and Fowler swiped his sixth.  In the field, Paul DeJong made a throwing error.

Friday, September 22 – Cardinals 4 at Pirates 3

Juan Nicasio (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images)

In the first game of the weekend series in Pittsburgh, the Cardinals rallied in the ninth to edge the Pirates 4-3.  The Redbirds took the early 2-0 lead, scoring in the first and second innings.  An RBI single by Dexter Fowler put the first run on the board.  A bunt force out by Michael Wacha brought Paul DeJong home for run number two.  The Pirates tied it up and then took the lead, and the Cardinals failed to add on until the ninth inning.  In the ninth, Greg Garcia drove in a run on a single and Fowler grounded into a force attempt; a fielding error on the throw to first allowed Randal Grichuk to score the winning run.  Fowler and Stephen Piscotty were each 2-for-4.

Starter Michael Wacha pitched five innings, giving up two runs on three hits.  The right hander struck out four and walked one.  John Brebbia tossed a scoreless sixth.  Ryan Sherriff started the seventh and struck out the first batter.  Sherriff gave up a double and a single and was removed with two men on base.  With Matt Bowman pitching, a throwing error by DeJong on a routine ground ball allowed a run to score.  That run was charged to Sherriff.  Bowman then got the final two outs of the inning.  Juan Nicasio handled the last two scoreless innings, earning the win, his fifth.

On the base paths, Jose Martinez stole his fourth base of the season, Tommy Pham stole his 23rd base, and Fowler stole his seventh.  In the field, DeJong made a throwing error for the second consecutive night.

Saturday, September 23 – Cardinals 6 at Pirates 11

Game 2 of the series was one of the worst starts of Lance Lynn’s career.  Lynn could not complete the first inning, giving up eight runs before he was finally replaced by Josh Lucas.  This big inning followed a two run top of the first by the Cardinals offense.  That eight run inning put the Redbirds in a huge hole, from which they attempted to climb, but sadly failed.

Lynn left with two outs on the board, and Lucas allowed an inherited Lynn runner to score on a triple before getting the final out of the inning.  Adam Wainwright, now in the bullpen, followed with two innings of relief, surrendering one run on three hits.  Sam Tuivailala pitched the next two innings, and allowed an additional run to score.  Sandy Alcantara and Brett Cecil each tossed a scoreless inning.  Seung-Hwan Oh pitched the final inning, relinquishing another run.  Lynn took the loss, his eighth.

The Redbirds offense put six runs on the board.  The first two came in the first on Tommy Pham’s home run.  Pham drove in another run in the third on a double.  In the sixth, Randal Grichuk plated two on a single, and Harrison Bader singled for another run.  Pham was 2-for-4 with three RBI.  Matt Carpenter was 2-for-3.

Sunday, September 24 – Cardinals 1 at Pirates 4

The Cardinals dropped the rubber game of the series, putting their postseason hopes in jeopardy.   The Redbird offense was anemic, putting only one run on the board, and managing only four hits in the game.  Eight runners were left on base, and the offense was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.  The lone run came on a third inning solo home run by Matt Carpenter.  No Cardinal had multiple hits in the game.

Starter John Gant lasted three innings and gave up one run on three hits.  The right hander walked two and struck out none.  Matt Bowman pitched a scoreless fourth. Seung-Hwan Oh surrendered two runs in the fifth and took the loss.  Brett Cecil relinquished one run in the sixth, while John Brebbia and Tyler Lyons pitched one scoreless inning each.

Jedd Gyroko made a fielding error.  Gant picked a runner off first base.

Big Picture

The Cardinals ended the week 4-2, having swept the Reds in three games, but losing 2 of 3 to the Pirates.  The two losses to the Pirates represent a major setback to the Redbirds playoff hopes.  The Cardinals play four with the Cubs, with the Cardinals elimination number at two for the Division. This means Chicago’s clinching celebration will occur at Busch unless St. Louis sweeps.

The elimination number for the wild card stands at 5.  The Redbirds end the season with three against the Brewers, who currently are a half game ahead of the Cardinals in both the Division and the WC standings.

The losses to the Pirates were caused by a terrible start from Lance Lynn in the second game, and the offense taking a nap in the third game.  Some bullpen issues, as well as defense and baserunning mistakes also played a part.

The Cardinals chances at the postseason have dwindled, and winning out may be the only hope for the team.  All of the remaining games are at home.

NL Central W L % GB
Chicago Cubs 87 68 0.561
Milwaukee 82 74 0.526 5.5
St. Louis 81 74 0.517 6
Pittsburgh 71 85 0.455 16.5
Cincinnati 66 90 0.423 21.5
Wild Card W L % GB
Arizona 90 60 0.577 (clinched)
Colorado 84 72 0.538
Milwaukee 82 74 0.526 2
St. Louis 81 74 0.523 2.5

Who’s Hot

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

Dexter Fowler is batting .423 and has an OPS of 1.385.  He has 3 HR, 3 doubles, and 11 RBI.

Matt Carpenter (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Matt Carpenter is batting .389 and has an OPS of 1.167. He has 1 HR, 2 doubles, and 1 RBI.

Tommy Pham is batting .444 and has an OPS of 1.149.  He has 1 HR, 3 doubles, and 5 RBI.

Greg Garcia is batting .600 and has an OPS of 1.514 in 7 plate appearances.  He has 1 double, and 2 RBI.

Luke Weaver has an ERA of 3.60 and a WHIP of 1.00.

Michael Wacha has an ERA of 3.60 and a WHIP of 0.80.

Matt Bowman (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Matt Bowman has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

Sandy Alcantara has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

Juan Nicasio has an ERA of 2.08 and a WHIP of 0.69.

Tyler Lyons has an ERA of 3.38 and a WHIP of 1.13.

Sam Tuivailala has an ERA of 3.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

Who’s Not

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

Jedd Gyorko is batting .182 with an OPS of .455 in 11 plate appearances.

Luke Voit is batting .000 with an OPS of .000 in 3 plate appearances.

Kolten Wong is batting .200 with an OPS of .583.

Alex Mejia is batting .200 with an OPS of .533 in 6 plate appearances.

Lance Lynn has an ERA of 21.21 and a WHIP of 3.64.

Jack Flaherty has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 2.00.

Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 5.68 and a WHIP of 1.58.

John Gant has an ERA of 18.00 and a WHIP of 3.00.

Ryan Sherriff has an ERA of 5.40 and a WHIP of 1.80.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

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

The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter for five games, and Kolten Wong for one game.

The number 2 hitter has been Tommy Pham.

The number 3 hitter has been Dexter Fowler for five games, and Paul DeJong for one game.

The number 4 hitter has been Jose Martinez for four games, DeJong for one game, and Jedd Gyorko for one game.

The number 5 hitter has been Yadier Molina for five games, and Dexter Fowler for one game.

The number 6 hitter has been DeJong for four games, Molina for one game, and Wong for one game.

The number 7 hitter has been Wong for four games, and Gyorko for two games.

The number 8 hitter has been Stephen Piscotty for four games, and Randal Grichuk for two games.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

Adam Wainwright (USA TODAY Sports Images)

9/19 The Cardinals activated RHP Adam Wainwright from the 10 day disabled list. With diminished velocity, he is pitching in relief.

9/20 The Cardinals recalled RHP Josh Lucas from the Memphis Redbirds.

9/20 The Cardinals recalled SS Aledmys Diaz from the Memphis Redbirds.

9/21 The Cardinals recalled 2B Breyvic Valera from the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

Jose Alberto Martinez (USA TODAY Sports Images)

OF Jose Martinez suffered a left thumb sprain in the Sept 22 game against the Pirates.  He has not yet returned to the starting lineup.  An MRI and X-rays revealed no structural damage.  Martinez is listed as day to day.

1B Matt Carpenter has been playing through right shoulder tendinitis.

2B Kolten Wong returned after missing two games last week with back soreness.

Looking Ahead

The regular season is winding down as the Cardinals have two series left.

On Monday, the Cardinals return home to Busch Stadium to begin a crucial four game series with the Cubs.  Luke Weaver will get the start on Monday.  Carlos Martinez takes the mound on Tuesday, followed by Michael Wacha on Wednesday and John Gant on Thursday.

The homestand continues with a weekend series with the Milwaukee Brewers to end the regular season schedule.  Should the Cardinals make the postseason, the NL Wild Card game will be played on Wednesday, October 4.  The first games of the NLDS begin on Friday, October 6.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

Though St. Louis still has hopes for the postseason, slim though they may be, one cannot look back on the last 15 years of Cardinals baseball and not deem it a success.  Two World Series championships, four NL Pennants, nine Division titles, and two 100 win seasons are in the books for the Cardinals since 2000.

The Cardinals have been one of the most successful franchises in MLB history.  Other periods have come close to matching the 2000s.  In the 1960s, the Cardinals won two World Series and played in three.  I have already talked about the teams of the 1960s in depth in previous articles.  One decade of Cardinal success I have not covered much is the 1940s.  I will do so in this history segment.

The Cardinals franchise won three World Series Championships in the 1940s, in 1942, 1944, and 1946.  The Cardinals defeated the New York Yankees in 1942 in five games.  In 1944, the Cardinals beat the crosstown St. Louis Browns, 4-2.  Finally, in 1946, the Cardinals overcame the Boston Red Sox 4-3.

In addition to the three World Series titles, the Cardinals won the NL pennant in 1943, but lost to the Yankees in the World Series, 4-1.  The 1940s Cardinals not only bested the 2000s Cardinals in World Series titles, they also won 100+ games in each of the 1942, 1943, and 1944 seasons. In fact, a series here at The Cardinal Nation named the 1942 and 1944 teams, managed by Hall of Famer Billy Southworth, the Cardinals’ two-best teams of all time.

The 1940s included many of the best years of Stan Musial’s career.  Musial won the NL MVP in 1943, 1946, and 1948.  He was the NL batting champion in those same years.  He was also the NL RBI leader in 1948.

The 1940s also featured some good pitching for the Cardinals.  Mort Cooper, Max Lanier, Howie Pollett, and Harry Brecheen were NL the ERA champion in 1942, 1943, 1946, and 1948 respectively.

Particularly notable about this era of Cardinal baseball is that these teams did all this while World War II was raging overseas.  Several Cardinal players served, and missed time because of it, most notably Musial, who spent the entire 1945 season in the Navy.  Also serving were Enos Slaughter, Red Schoendienst, and Max Lanier, among others.

The Cardinals of the 1940s were exceptional both on and off the field.

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Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of September 11-17

photo: Luke Weaver (Scott Kane/USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals’ playoff hopes took a nosedive over the weekend in Chicago. Starter Luke Weaver continues to pitch well every fifth day. In our history feature, long winning streaks are remembered.

Game Recaps

Monday, September 11 – Off day

Tuesday, September 12 – Cardinals 13, Reds 4

Yadier Molina (USA TODAY Sports Images)

In the first of a three game series, the Cardinals defeated the Reds in a blowout.  St. Louis got on the board in the first on a two run RBI double by Yadier Molina.  Molina drove in a third run in the sixth on a single, and was 2-for-3 in the game.  In the second inning, Tommy Pham’s triple plated two more runs, and double by Paul DeJong brought Pham home for the third run of the inning.  The Cardinals added a run in the third on a sac fly by Randal Grichuk, and again in the fourth on Jose Martinez’ double.  DeJong hit a solo home run in the sixth.  In the seventh, Matt Carpenter plated a run on a double, Carson Kelly drew a bases loaded walk, and Kolten Wong singled in a run.

DeJong was 3-for-4 with two runs scored, Martinez was 2-for-4, and Wong was 2-for-5.

Starter Lance Lynn pitched five innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on six hits.  The right hander struck out three, walked none, and earned his 11th win of the season.  Brett Cecil followed with two scoreless innings of relief. Zach Duke and Sandy Alcantara each pitched a run-free inning.

Martinez stole his third base of the season.  Lynn made a throwing error.

Wednesday, September 13 – Cardinals 0, Reds 6

In the second game of the series, the Cardinals were shut out by the Reds.  The offense managed only five hits, all singles. Jose Martinez was 2-for-4.  Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter, and Stephen Piscotty had the other singles.

Jack Flaherty started and pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on four hits.  The rookie right hander fanned three and walked two.  Ryan Sheriff relieved in the fifth and surrendered three runs.  John Gant followed with two scoreless innings, while Sam Tuivailala and Matt Bowman each pitched a scoreless inning.

In the field, Martinez committed a missed catch error.

Thursday, September 14 – Cardinals 5, Reds 2

Jose Alberto Martinez (USA TODAY Sports Images)

In the rubber game, the Cardinals blanked the Reds to take the series in Cincinnati.  Starter Luke Weaver pitched six innings, giving up one unearned run on two hits.  The righty struck out six and walked none and earned his sixth win.  Tyler Lyons and John Brebbia each tossed a scoreless inning of relief.  Juan Nicasio allowed one run in the ninth.

Jose Martinez drove in two on a single in the third inning.  In the fifth, Tommy Pham hit a two run home run.  Greg Garcia plated the final run on a sac fly in the eighth.  Pham and Martinez were each 2-for-4.

On the base paths, Pham stole his 20th and 21st bases of the season.  Paul DeJong stole his first base, and Harrison Bader swiped his second bag with St. Louis.  DeJong made a fielding error.

Friday, September 15 – Cardinals 2 at Cubs 8

In the opener of a crucial weekend series in Chicago, the Cardinals let the game get away with the big inning.  Starter Carlos Martinez began well, but the wheels came off the bus in the sixth inning.  In 5 1/3 innings pitched, Martinez gave up seven runs on six hits, with six scoring in the sixth.  Martinez was replaced with one out, having given up three runs and with the bases loaded.

Reliever Matt Bowman allowed the three inherited runners to score, and allowed an additional run of his own.  Bowman left with two outs and a runner on before Zach Duke got the final out of the sixth.  Brett Cecil and Sandy Alcantara each pitched a scoreless frame.

Tommy Pham got the Redbirds on the board in the first inning with a solo home run.  Carlos Martinez singled in a run in the fifth for the other Cardinals run.  Only Stephen Piscotty had multiple hits, going 2-for-4.

On the base paths, Pham was caught stealing for the seventh time in the season.  In the field, Greg Garcia made a throwing error, and Pham had an outfield assist.

Saturday, September 16 – Cardinals 1 at Cubs 4

St. Louis dropped the second game of the Wrigley Field series, scoring only one run late, on Matt Carpenter’s solo home run in the eighth.  It was Carpenter’s only hit.  Dexter Fowler was 2-for-3.

Starter Michael Wacha pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits.  The righty fanned seven and walked five.  Wacha took the loss, his eighth.  John Brebbia secured the last out of the sixth and the first two outs of the seventh.  Ryan Sherriff got the final out of the seventh before Tyler Lyons pitched the eighth and surrendered one run.

On the base paths, Jose Martinez was picked off first base.

Sunday, September 17 – Cardinals 3 at Cubs 4

The Cardinals suffered the sweep of the series on Sunday, with a one run loss to the Cubs.  The Redbirds fell behind by three runs but tied the score in the sixth inning when Dexter Fowler hit a three run home run.  The Cardinals could not add on, and the Cubs responded with one run in the seventh to take a lead they would not relinquish.  Fowler was 2-for-5.  Tommy Pham was 3-for-5.

Starter Lance Lynn pitched only four innings, giving up three runs on five hits.  The right hander struck out five and walked four.  Zach Duke and John Brebbia followed with a scoreless inning each.  Tyler Lyons started the seventh and gave up the winning run before Matt Bowman got the final two outs.  Juan Nicasio pitched a scoreless eighth.  Lyons took the loss.

Yadier Molina stole his ninth base of the season, and Kolten Wong stole his seventh bag.

Big Picture

After being swept by the first place Cubs over the weekend, the Cardinals are now six games back of the Cubs, and two games back of the second place Brewers in the NL Central.  The sweep virtually eliminated the Cardinals for contention for the Division.  Their elimination number now stands at eight with the Cubs’ magic number 10.

The offense essentially took a vacation in the Cubs series, and the pitching wasn’t much better.  Defensive errors and poor baserunning came back to haunt the team as well.  It was a complete defeat to say the least.

The Cardinals’ slightly better chance is with the Wild Card.  The team is 4.5 games back of the second WC spot, with an elimination number of nine. It is a tough hill to climb, but not impossible. With just 13 games remaining, the Cardinals have to play much better, and the Colorado Rockies and the Brewers, both of whom are ahead of the Cardinals for the second WC spot, have to play worse.

The Cardinals ended the week 2-4 and are in third place in the NL Central.

NL Central Standings

W L PCT GB E#
Chicago Cubs 83 66 0.557
Milwaukee 79 70 0.530 4 10
St. Louis 77 72 0.517 6 8
Pittsburgh 68 82 0.453 15.5 E
Cincinnati 66 84 0.440 17.5 E

NL Wild Card Standings

W L PCT WCGB WCE #
Arizona 87 63 0.580 5+
Colorado 82 68 0.547
Milwaukee 79 70 0.530 2.5 11
St. Louis 77 72 0.517 4.5 9

Who’s Hot

Over the past 7 days (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

Matt Carpenter is batting .250 and has an OPS of 1.020. He has 1 HR, 1 double, and 2 RBI.

Tommy Pham is batting .235 and has an OPS of 1.174.  He has 2 HRs, 1 triple, 1 double, and 5 RBI.

Dexter Fowler is batting .667 and has an OPS of 1.417 in 4 plate appearances.

Luke Weaver/USA TODAY Sports Images

Luke Weaver has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.33.

Lance Lynn has an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 1.50.

Michael Wacha has an ERA of 1.98 and a WHIP of 1.17.

Brett Cecil has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.67.

Sandy Alcantara has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.50.

Brett Cecil (USA TODAY Sports Images)

John Gant has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.67.

Sam Tuivailala has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00.

Zach Duke has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.75.

Who’s Not

Over the past 7 days (does not contain recent Sunday games):

Alex Mejia is batting .000 with an OPS of .000 in 5 plate appearances.

Harrison Bader is batting .158 with an OPS of .449.

Carson Kelly is batting .000 with an OPS of .250 in 4 plate appearances.

Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 11.81 and a WHIP of 1.69.

Jack Flaherty has an ERA of 6.23 and a WHIP of 1.38.

Matt Bowman has an ERA of 6.75 and a WHIP of 1.50.

Juan Nicasio has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 2.00.

Ryan Sherriff has an ERA of 27.00 and a WHIP of 3.00.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last 6 games (does not contain recent Sunday game):

The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter.

The number 2 hitter has been Tommy Pham for five games, and Kolten Wong for one game.

The number 3 hitter has been Paul DeJong.

The number 4 hitter has been Jose Martinez.

The number 5 hitter has been Yadier Molina for five games, and Dexter Fowler for one game.

The number 6 hitter has been Stephen Piscotty for two games, Wong for two games, Molina for one game, and Harrison Bader for one game.

The number 7 hitter has been Bader for two games, Piscotty for two games, Wong for one game, and Randal Grichuk for one game.

The number 8 hitter has been Grichuk for two games, Bader for two games, Alex Mejia for one game, and Greg Garcia for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

9/11 The Cardinals optioned 2B Breyvic Valera to the Memphis Redbirds.

9/12 The Cardinals recalled OF Magneuris Sierra from the Memphis Redbirds.

9/13 The Cardinals activated 3B Jedd Gyorko from the 10-day disabled list.

Injury Report

Seung-hwan Oh (USA TODAY Sports Images)

RHP Seung-Hwan Oh has been unavailable in the bullpen due to hamstring tightness.  Oh threw a bullpen session on Thursday, but remains unavailable for an indeterminate time. Juan Nicasio seems to have a temporary hold on the ninth inning.

RHP Adam Wainwright (right elbow impingement) remains on the 10 day DL.  Wainwright has thrown three bullpen sessions, most recently on Sunday.  The pitcher’s return to the active roster as a reliever is expected this coming week.

3B Jedd Gyorko (hamstring) was activated from the disabled list, but is available only to pinch hit for an indeterminate time.

Dexter Fowler (USA TODAY Sports Images)

CF Dexter Fowler missed five games after injuring his knee in a collision with the outfield wall at Busch Stadium.  Fowler returned to the starting lineup over the weekend.

2B Kolten Wong missed five games due to recurring back issues.  Wong was back in the lineup for Sunday’s game against the Cubs, however.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals have a travel day on Monday following the weekend series with the Cubs.  The team travels to Cincinnati to take on the Reds in a three game series.  Jack Flaherty is scheduled to make the Tuesday start, followed by Luke Weaver on Wednesday, and Carlos Martinez on Thursday.

The Cardinals continue to road trip in Pittsburgh, playing a weekend series with the Pirates.  No starting pitcher have been announced, but will likely be Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, and Jack Flaherty.

The Cardinals return home on Monday following the Pirates series, to take on the Cubs in a four game series.   The Cardinals finish their regular season schedule with a weekend home series against the Brewers.

The Cards are now 28-35 within the division. All remaining games are against division foes and St. Louis has losing records against three of the four.

3 at CIN (7-9 record to date)
3 at PIT (10-6)
4 vs. CHI (4-11)
3 vs. MIL (7-9)

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

The Cleveland Indians made the history books this past week, with a 22-game winning streak that was ended over the weekend with a loss to the Kansas City Royals.  The streak is the second-longest winning streak in MLB history, with the record held by the 1916 New York Giants, who won 26 games in a row.

One might ask what this has to do with the Cardinals.  The applicability is only indirect, but interesting nonetheless.  Only one St. Louis team has had a winning streak close to the 22-game win streak of the Indians.  That team was not the Cardinals, but the St. Louis Maroons, who won 20 consecutive games in 1884.  The Maroons were a professional baseball team that existed from 1884-1886, part of the short-lived Union Association, a league that lasted only one season, 1884.  The Maroons then moved to the National League, and relocated in 1887 to Indianapolis to become the Indianapolis Hoosiers.  The Hoosiers played for three more seasons, then folded.

The current Cardinals franchise never had a long winning streak like that of the Maroons – at least not as the Cardinals.  The St. Louis Browns of 1885, which eventually became the Cardinals in 1900, had a 14 game winning streak.   That streak was ended by a 7-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles (not the current Baltimore Orioles franchise, which team came into existence when the second incarnation of the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954).

The Cardinals did, however, end the long winning streaks of two major league clubs.  In 1935, St. Louis defeated the Chicago Cubs on September 28 by a score of 7-5 in 11 innings.  That ended a 21-game winning streak by the Cubs that began on September 4.

The other time St. Louis ended a streak was 28 years earlier in 1907.  That year the Cardinals ended a 14 game winning streak of the New York Giants.  The Giants’ streak began on April 25 with a win over the Philadelphia Phillies, and ended on May 20 with a 6-4 loss to the Cardinals.

The longest winning streak by the current Cardinals franchise was 12 games, which occurred from April 10 to April 23, 1982.  The 1901 Cardinals had an 11-game streak from August 8-19, and a 10-game streak from May 7-17.

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 9/17/17

photo: Aledmys Diaz (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

The Memphis Redbirds are the only team in the St. Louis Cardinals system still playing.  On Saturday night, the Redbirds lost their second consecutive game at El Paso to bring the Pacific Coast League Championship Series to 2-2.  The deciding Game 5 will be played Sunday in El Paso.

Josh Zeid (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Results for the game played Saturday, September 16.

Memphis 1 at El Paso 5

For the second consecutive night, Memphis was unable to secure the road victory that would give them the PCL Championship.  A five-run third inning by El Paso against Redbirds starter Zac Gallen put Memphis in a hole from which they were unable to emerge.  Gallen pitched five innings, giving up five runs on seven hits.  The big hit was a three-run home run against the right hander, who fanned six and walked two in his five innings pitched.  Josh Zeid hurled the final three hitless, scoreless innings of relief.

Aledmys Diaz (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Memphis bats managed one run in the sixth, on an RBI double by Aledmys Diaz, his only hit.  Adolis Garcia, Nick Martini, and Jeremy Martinez were each 2-for-4.  The double by Diaz was the only extra base hit.  The sputtering Redbirds offense left eight runners on base and were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

In the field, Patrick Wisdom committed a fielding error, and Martini had an outfield assist.

Sunday’s winner will play the Durham Bulls (Rays), International League Champion, in the winner-take-all Triple-A National Championship Game, to be played Tuesday in Scranton, PA.

Sunday’s game:  at El Paso, Matt Pearce (0-0, 0.00) 7:05 CT.

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 9/16/17

photo: Ryan Helsley (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

The Memphis Redbirds are the only team in the St. Louis Cardinals system still playing.  After taking the first two games in the PCL Championship series, the Redbirds lost Game 3 on Friday night in El Paso. Ryan Helsley tossed six one-run innings and Tyler O’Neill was on base three times, stole a bag and made a great catch.

Results for games played Friday, September 15.

Memphis 0 at El Paso 3

Tyler O’Neill (Memphis Redbirds)

The Redbirds suffered the loss in the Game 3 of the PCL Championship, but still remain ahead 2-1 in the best-of-five series.  A night after the Memphis offense was shut out for 10 innings before winning in the 11th, they could only muster six hits and put no runs on the board over nine innings. Chihuahuas hitters got the better of Redbirds pitching to win their first game of the set.

Jeremy Martinez was the only Redbird with multiple hits, as he singled twice in four at-bats.  Breyvic Valera had the only extra base hit, a double.  Tyler O’Neill, Nick Martini, and Wilfredo Tovar all singled. O’Neill also drew two walks, stole a base and made a running catch into the center field wall to save a run. The Redbirds offense left 10 runners on base and were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Ryan Helsley (Palm Beach Cardinals)

Memphis starter Ryan Helsley pitched six innings and gave up one run on five hits.  The right hander struck out five and walked two.  The run he surrendered was a solo home run in the fifth inning.  In his first post-season appearance, Arturo Reyes gave up two runs in the seventh, and recorded no outs.  Miguel Socolovich finished the final two innings without further damage. Helsley took the hard-luck loss.

In the field, Martini made a throwing error, but all three El Paso runs were earned.

After Saturday’s Game 4, Sunday’s series finale, if necessary, will be Sunday night at 7:05. The winner will play the Durham Bulls (Rays), International League Champion, in the winner-take-all Triple-A National Championship Game, to be played Tuesday in Scranton, PA.

Saturday’s game:  Game 4 at El Paso, Zac Gallen (0-0, 0.00) 8:05 CT.

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Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of September 4-10

photo: Jose Martinez (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals are making a September run, led by Jose Martinez and Yadier Molina offensively. In our history feature, the late-charging 1964 Cardinals are remembered.

 

Game Recaps

Monday, September 4 – Cardinals 2 at Padres 0

In the first of a four game series in San Diego, the Cardinals shut out the Padres in a low scoring contest.  Starter Carlos Martinez pitched a complete game, allowing only three runs, fanning 10 and walking three. Martinez won his 11th game of the season.

Both Cardinals runs were driven in on Yadier Molina’s single in the fourth inning, his only hit of the game.  Tommy Pham was 2-for-4.

Harrison Bader stole his first major league base, and Pham stole his 18th base of the season. Paul DeJong committed a fielding error.

Tuesday, September 5 – Cardinals 8 at Padres 4

Michael Wacha (USA TODAY Sports Images)

In Game 2 of the series, The Cardinals scored more runs, enabling them to claim a win over the Friars.  A first inning two run home run off the bat of Jose Martinez got the scoring started. Martinez contributed a solo shot in the seventh as well.  Harrison Bader had a three run blast in the second inning.  Martinez was a perfect 3-for-3 with three runs scored.  Bader was 2-for-5 with two runs scored.  In the third inning, a run came home on a fielder’s choice.  In that same inning, Stephen Piscotty plated a run on a single.

Starter Michael Wacha pitched six innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on seven hits.  The right hander struck out six and walked three.  Matt Bowman, Brett Cecil, and Tyler Lyons each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.  Wacha earned his 11th win of the season.

Randal Grichuk stole his sixth base of the season.  Piscotty was caught stealing for the sixth time in 2017.  Bader made a throwing error and Piscotty had an outfield assist.

Wednesday, September 6 – Cardinals 3 at Padres 1

The Cardinals managed a victory in Game 3 of the series on a rally in the late innings.  A Stephen Piscotty two run home in the seventh gave the Cardinals the lead. Another run came home in the eighth on a sac fly by Harrison Bader.  Piscotty at 2-for-4 was the only Cardinal with multiple hits.

Jack Flaherty made his second big league start, but did not get the win.  Flaherty pitched five innings, giving up one run on three hits.  The righty fanned four and walked four.  Ryan Sherriff followed with two scoreless innings of relief.  John Brebbia tossed a scoreless eighth, and Tyler Lyons added a run-free ninth.  Sherriff got the win.

On the base paths, Tommy Pham stole his 19th base of the season.  Greg Garcia was caught stealing for the first time in 2017.

Thursday, September 7 – Cardinals 0 at Padres 3

The Cardinals failed to get the sweep, as they were shut out by the Padres in the rubber game of the series.  Starter Lance Lynn pitched well, tossing six innings while giving up only one run on six hits.  The right hander struck out three and walked three.  Zach Duke started the seventh, pitched to one batter and gave up a single.  With no outs and a runner on, Seung-Hwan Oh came in.  Oh gave up a two run home run, with one run inherited from Duke.  Sam Tuivailala pitched a scoreless eighth.  Lynn took the loss, his seventh of the season.

Cardinals bats managed 11 hits, but could not put a run across the plate.  Harrison Bader, Paul DeJong, and Stephen Piscotty were each 2-for-4.

In the field, Alex Mejia made a throwing error, and Dexter Fowler had an outfield assist.

Friday, September 8 – Cardinals 4, Pirates 1

In Game 1 of the weekend series, the Cardinals defeated their NL Central rivals the Pirates at home.  Unlike the previous day’s game against the Padres, Cardinals bats scored almost as many runs as they had hits.  With only five Redbirds hits in total, four runs came across the plate.  The first scored on a Luke Weaver ground out in the third inning.  In the fourth, another ground ball out from Randal Grichuk plated one.  The final two runs scored on an RBI single by Jose Martinez in the fifth. At 2-for-4, Martinez was the only Cardinal with multiple hits.

Starter Luke Weaver went 5 2/3 scoreless innings to earn his fifth win of the season.  The rookie right hander allowed seven hits and struck out seven. Matt Bowman got the final out of the sixth inning in relief of Weaver.  John Brebbia gave up the only Pirates run in the seventh.  Ryan Sherriff and Juan Nicasio combined for a scoreless ninth.

Saturday, September 9 – Cardinals 4, Pirates 3

In the second game of the series, the Cardinals squeaked by the Pirates to win.  Yadier Molina’s two run home run in the second got the Redbirds on the board.  Matt Carpenter’s solo home run in the seventh tied the score.  In the eighth, Randal Grichuk’s ground out plated the winning run.  Only Molina had multiple hits; he was 2-for-4.

Starter Carlos Martinez pitched six innings, giving up two runs on four hits.  The hard throwing right hander fanned eight and issued two free passes.  John Brebbia allowed a run in the seventh.  Tyler Lyons tossed a scoreless eighth to pick up the win.  Juan Nicasio followed with a scoreless ninth.

Matt Carpenter committed a throwing error.

Sunday, September 10 – Cardinals 7, Pirates 0

Yadier Molina (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Cardinals completed the sweep of the Pirates with a 7-0 blanking of the Bucs on Sunday afternoon.  Michael Wacha was brilliant, pitching eight scoreless innings and picking up his 12th win.  The right hander allowed five hits, walked none and struck out seven.  John Gant tossed a scoreless ninth in relief.

Yadier Molina shined again offensively, driving in five of the seven Redbirds runs.  In the third, Molina hit a three run home run, his 17th.  Molina had plated the first run in the first inning on an RBI single.  A sac fly in the seventh gave Molina his fifth RBI and the final run of the game.  Randal Grichuk hit a solo home run in fourth, and Wacha helped himself by plating a run in the sixth on a sac fly.  Molina was 2-for-3 with the five RBI.  Paul DeJong was 2-for-4.

Big Picture

The Cardinals ended the week 6-1, having taken three of four from the Padres, and sweeping the Pirates.  The 8-2 streak in the last 10 games leaves them tied with the Brewers for second place and two games back of the Cubs.  The Cubs have lost six of their last 10, and were swept by the Brewers over the weekend.  The Cardinals have three games remaining with the Brewers, which occur in the last series of the season at home.  The Cardinals have seven games remaining with the Cubs, three in Chicago and four at home.  With the race tightening, the NL Central is up for grabs in the remaining weeks of the regular season.

The Cardinals have been playing well, with pitching being the main driver.  The offense has been inconsistent, but has been good enough to support the pitching for the most part.

All of the remaining games in the regular season are with NL Central teams, including three more with the Pirates and six more with the last place Reds.

NL Central Standings

W L % GB
Chicago Cubs 77 66 0.538
Milwaukee 75 68 0.524 2
St. Louis 75 68 0.524 2
Pittsburgh 67 77 0.465 10.5
Cincinnati 62 82 0.431 15.5

Who’s Hot

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

Jose Alberto Martinez (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Jose Martinez is batting .440 with an OPS of 1.437.  He has 3 HRs, 3 doubles, and 8 RBI.

Matt Carpenter has an OPS of 1.026 in 3 plate appearances.  He has 1 HR.

Stephen Piscotty is batting .294 with an OPS of .871.   He has 1 HR, 1 triple, and 2 RBI.

Harrison Bader is batting .280 with an OPS of .789.  He has 2 HRs and 6 RBI.

Lance Lynn has an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 1.50.

Luke Weaver has an ERA of 1.42 and a WHIP of 1.03.

Carlos Martinez (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 1.20 and a WHIP of 0.80.

Tyler Lyons has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.33.

Matt Bowman has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00.

Sam Tuivailala has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

Brett Cecil has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

Ryan Sherriff has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.13.

Juan Nicasio has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.43.

Who’s Not

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

Alex Mejia is batting .059 with an OPS of .170

Dexter Fowler is batting .000 with an OPS of .167.

Kolten Wong is batting .000 and has an OPS of .286 in 7 plate appearances.

Zach Duke has an ERA of 27.00 and a WHIP of 3.00.

Seung-Hwan Oh has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

Sandy Alcantara has an ERA of 13.50 and a WHIP of 4.50.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

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

The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter for three games, Dexter Fowler for two games, and Harrison Bader for two games.

The number 2 hitter has been Tommy Pham for three games, Harrison Bader for two games, Randal Grichuk for one game, and Stephen Piscotty for one game.

The number 3 hitter has been Paul DeJong for six games, and Pham for one game.

The number 4 hitter has been Jose Martinez.

The number 5 hitter has been Yadier Molina for five games, Fowler for one game, and Piscotty for one game.

The number 6 hitter has been Piscotty for three games, Bader for one game, Grichuk for one game, Molina for one game, and Greg Garcia for one game.

The number 7 hitter has been Greg Garcia for three games, Wong for two games, Carson Kelly for one game, and Breyvic Valera for one game.

The number 8 hitter has been Alex Mejia for five games, Grichuk for one game, and Bader for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

9/5 The Cardinals recalled 2B Breyvic Valera from the Memphis Redbirds.

9/6 The Cardinals acquired RHP Juan Nicasio from the Philadelphia Phillies for 2B Eliezer Alvarez.

Injury Report

Dexter Fowler (USA TODAY Sports Images)

OF Dexter Fowler injured his left knee in a collision with the outfield wall in Saturday’s game.  An initial MRI came back clean, no structural damage.  A full diagnosis and expected return will not be known until Tuesday.

RHP Adam Wainwright (right elbow impingement) threw off flat ground over the weekend and is expected to throw off the mound this week.  A return date remains unknown.

3B Jedd Gyorko (right hamstring strain) did some light running and took batting practice this past week.  Gyorko was expected to run the bases over the weekend.  No expected return date has been announced.

Both Kolten Wong (back tightness) and Matt Carpenter (right shoulder bursitis) returned to the lineup over the weekend.

Tommy Pham (right shoulder tightness) also returned over the weekend, but was out of Sunday’s lineup due to recurring vision issues.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals have an off day Monday.  On Tuesday, the team begins a three game series at home against the Reds.  No starters for the series have yet been designated, but if the rotation holds they will be Flaherty, Lynn, and Weaver. However, they may decide to skip Flaherty this time through.

The Cardinals travel to Chicago to take on the Cubs in a weekend series following the homestand.  After another Monday off day, the team heads to Cincinnati for a three game set with the Reds.  The Cardinals then travel to Pittsburgh for a weekend series with the Pirates.

The Cardinals return home and begin a four game series with the Cubs at Busch Stadium.  The Brewers then come to St. Louis for a weekend series to end the regular season schedule.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

The Cardinals are on a mini run of sorts in these last remaining weeks of the season.  While the run cannot as yet be compared to the magical run of 2011, it has some of the makings of it.  In addition to the comeback of the 2011 Cardinals, another team in Redbird history made a miraculous comeback to win it all.  That team was the 1964 St. Louis Cardinals.

1964 Cardinals celebration

The 1964 Redbirds squad ended the season with a record of 93-69 and finished on top in the National League.  In 1964, there were no divisions, only two leagues, the National League and the American League.  The Cardinals were managed by Johnny Keane in 1964.  The squad consisted of starting position players Tim McCarver behind the plate, Bill White at first base, Julian Javier at second base, Dick Groat at shortstop, Ken Boyer at third base, Lou Brock in left field, Curt Flood in center field, and Mike Shannon in right field.  Brock joined the ‘64 Cardinals at mid-season.  Shannon was a mid-season call-up from the minors.  The rotation was headlined by Hall of Famer Bob Gibson.

The Phillies were the favorite to win the National League.  The Cardinals struggled throughout the first half, and were at times close to the bottom in the league.  By mid-August, the Redbirds were 9.5 games back of first place.  The Cardinals’ struggles got GM Bing Devine fired.  By August 23, the Cardinals were 11 games back.

After August 23, the Cardinals won six games in a row and moved up in the standings.  At the same time, the Phillies began to falter, hampered in part by injuries.  The famous “Phillies Phold” began on September 21.  They were swept by Cincinnati in three games, and Milwaukee in four games.  They lost crucial games to the Braves, and lost another series to Milwaukee.  In the meantime, the Cardinals won five in a row against Pittsburgh, then met the Phillies and swept them in three games on Sept 28-30.  The Cardinals played the Mets in the last series of the season, and though they lost the first two, they won the final game to win the pennant by one game.

The Cardinals then met the Yankees in the World Series, and won it four games to three.

The famous run in 2011 had its precedent in the 1964 team.  It is too soon to predict what will happen in 2017, but the possibilities are exciting.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2017 Week 23

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 9/9/17

photo: Nick Martini (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 0-2 in Friday’s playoff action.  The Peoria Chiefs were eliminated from the Midwest League title chase. Our Players of the Day are the top three hitters in the Memphis lineup, Nick Martini, Aledmys Diaz, and Tyler O’Neill, who combined for seven runs driven in a wild playoff loss.  O’Neill hit the only home run.

Results for games played Friday, September 8.

Memphis 15 at Colorado Springs 16

Aledmys Diaz (USA TODAY Sports Images)

A slugfest in Colorado Springs ended in a one run loss for the Redbirds. Down by nine heading into the eighth, a huge Memphis rally fell just short, despite them putting up eight runs.

The top three in the lineup drove in seven among them.  Nick Martini was 2-for-6 with three runs driven in.  Aledmys Diaz was 3-for-6 with two RBI.  Tyler O’Neill drove in two, one on a solo home run in the ninth.  Adolis Garcia was 3-for-6 with two runs scored.  Patrick Wisdom was 2-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored.  Wilfredo Tovar plated two, scored three, and was 2-for-3.  Magneuris Sierra was 2-for-4 with two runs driven in and two runs scored.  Jacob Wilson was 2-for-2 and drove in two.

Tyler O’Neill (Memphis Redbirds)

Ryan Helsley took the loss.  Helsley pitched four innings, giving up six runs on six hits.  The right hander struck out one and walked two.  Josh Zeid surrendered four runs, three earned, in his one inning pitched.  Rowan Wick followed with an inning in which he allowed three runs, one earned.  Sean Gilmartin relinquished three runs in an inning of relief.  Josh Lucas pitched a scoreless eighth.

The Redbirds’ chances were damaged by three errors (Martini, Tovar, Gilmartin), five walks, and three wild pitches. Memphis went 11-for-22 with runners in scoring position, but the Sky Sox were 10-for-14.

Down two games to one in the best of five set, Memphis must win the next two to move into the Pacific Coast League finals.

Saturday’s game:  at Colorado Springs, Zac Gallen (0-0, 0.00) 5:00 CT.


Peoria 5 at Quad Cities 8

Brian O’Keefe (Peoria Chiefs)

The Chiefs lost a tough one at Quad Cities, a defeat that eliminated them from the Midwest League playoffs.  This makes the third straight playoff elimination loss in a best of three series for the Chiefs.

Starting pitcher Anthony Shew went just 1 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits while fanning four and walking one.  Leland Tilley followed with a three run, two earned, 2/3 inning relief performance.  Austin Sexton surrendered a run in 1 2/3 innings.  Dewin Perez pitched three scoreless innings, and Yelson Medina added a scoreless eighth.

The Chiefs didn’t score until the fifth inning, when Brian O’Keefe launched a solo home run. Kramer Robertson’s RBI double in the sixth added a second run.  Singles by O’Keefe, Matt Fiedler, and Ryan McCarvel plated three in the eighth.  O’Keefe was 2-for-3 with three runs scored.  Robertson was 2-for-5.



Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: State College Spikes Notebook: 2017 Week 12

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Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of August 28-September 3

photo: Lance Lynn (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals won four of six, but sit six games out of first place. Heading toward free agency, Lance Lynn continues to excel on the mound. In our history feature, the 1918 Cardinals and their triples proficiency are remembered.

Cardinals make unexpected trade

Mike Leake (USA TODAY Sports Images)

In a surprising move one day before the August waiver deadline, the St. Louis Cardinals traded starting pitcher Mike Leake to the Seattle Mariners for minor league shortstop Rayder Ascanio.  The Cardinals also sent $750,000 in international pool money to the Mariners.

In his second of a five-year deal with the Cardinals, Leake had to waive his no trade clause in order to make the deal happen.  Leake is owed $48 million over the next three seasons.  The Cardinals are sending $17 million of that to the Mariners.

To fill the rotation spot, St. Louis called up Memphis right handed pitcher Jack Flaherty, who made his first start on Friday against the Giants.

Leake had a fantastic first half, but struggled in the second.  The Cardinals considered removing him from the rotation, but gave him one last start before trading him.

Ascanio, 21, is from Venezuela and has been assigned to the Cardinals Class-A Advanced Palm Beach Cardinals.

Game Recaps

Monday, August 28 – Off day

Tuesday, August 29 – Cardinals 10 at Brewers 2

The Cardinals thumped the Brewers in the first of two games at Miller Park.  St. Louis scored the bulk of its runs in the third, fourth, and fifth innings.  In the third, a Brewers error led to the first St. Louis run, and two more runs came home on a Luke Voit groundout.  Aggressive base running by Dexter Fowler resulted in two runs on the play.  Paul DeJong and Voit plated two runs each on singles in the fourth.  In the fifth, Matt Carpenter blasted a two run home run to center field.  The 10th and final run scored in the seventh on a DeJong RBI single.  DeJong and Voit were 2-for-5.  Tommy Pham was 2-for-4, as was Carson Kelly.

St. Louis starter Luke Weaver pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits.  The rookie right hander fanned 10 and walked one to earn his third win of his major league season.  Zach Duke relieved in the sixth and got the final out of the inning.  Seung-Hwan Oh, Brett Cecil, and Ryan Sherriff each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

On the base paths, Pham was caught stealing for the sixth time.

Wednesday, August 30 – Cardinals 5 at Brewers 6

In the second of two at Miller Park, the Cardinals narrowly lost to the Brewers.  Starter Carlos Martinez pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up six runs, only three earned, on 10 hits, thanks to some poor Redbird defense.  Martinez struck out seven but walked none.  Ryan Sherriff relieved and got the final out of the sixth inning.  Sam Tuivailala and Matt Bowman each tossed a scoreless inning of relief.  Martinez lost his 10th game of the season.

The Cardinals got on the board first in the first inning, on two run home run from Tommy Pham.  The long ball was responsible for all St. Louis’ runs.  Randal Grichuk launched a solo home run in the fifth.  Pham hit another two run shot in the eighth.  Pham was 2-for-4, both home runs, for four RBI and two runs scored.

Three errors hurt the Cardinals.  Jose Martinez and Paul DeJong committed throwing errors.  Matt Carpenter made a fielding error.

Thursday, August 31 – Cardinals 5 at Giants 2

The Cardinals prevailed against the Giants in San Francisco in the first of a four game set.  A two run home run by Randal Grichuk in the second inning got the Cardinals on the board first.  A 3-for-4 performance by Tommy Pham aided in the victory.  Pham singled in a run in the seventh inning and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the eighth to plate his second run.  Also in the fifth, a bases loaded walk by Greg Garcia sent another run home.  Grichuk was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Starting pitcher Michael Wacha pitched six innings, giving up one run on four hits.  The righty struck out two and walked two.   Matt Bowman and Tyler Lyons tossed a scoreless seventh and eighth, respectively.  John Brebbia got one out the ninth and allowed one run.  Zach Duke and Seung-Hwan Oh secured outs two and three, respectively.  Wacha won his 10th game of the season.

Friday, September 1 – Cardinals 11 at Giants 6

The Cardinals took the second of the four game set, thanks to a six run ninth inning rally.  The Redbirds scored twice in the third and the seventh innings and a fifth run in the eighth to tie the game.  Harrison Bader’s two run home run in the third cut the 3-0 Giants lead to one run.  In the seventh, Greg Garcia’s ground out plated a run, and Randal Grichuk followed with a solo home run.  Garcia tripled in a run in the eighth.  The ninth inning scoring began with Kolten Wong’s RBI single.  Paul DeJong doubled to plate two.  Yadier Molina’s single brought a fourth run home, then Stephen Piscotty launched a two run home run.  Wong, Bader, and DeJong were each 2-for-4.  Molina was 2-for-5.  Piscotty was 3-for-5 with three runs scored.

Rookie starter Jack Flaherty made his major league debut.  Flaherty pitched four innings, giving up five runs on eight hits.  Though the start was rough for the rookie, he did strike out six in those four innings.  John Gant tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Flaherty.  Brett Cecil and Tyler Lyons each pitched a scoreless inning, with Lyons getting the win.  Sam Tuivailala allowed one run in the ninth.

Wong made a fielding error.

Saturday, September 2 – Cardinals 1 at Giants 2 (10 innings)

The Redbirds were the hard luck extra-inning loser of the third game of the series in San Francisco. St. Louis bats couldn’t figure out Giants starter Jeff Samardzija, managing only two hits against him and three in the game.  Two of the three hits came from Dexter Fowler, who was 2-for-4 with the only RBI.  The lone run came in the fourth on a Fowler single.  Fowler also tripled in the 10th, but was stranded.

Starter Lance Lynn pitched an excellent game, but wasn’t rewarded by his offense.  Lynn went eight scoreless innings, allowing only one hit, fanning four and walking four.  Tyler Lyons gave up a run in the ninth, and was pulled with one out.  Seung-Hwan Oh pitched to one batter and allowed an inherited runner to score.  After Oh gave up the RBI single to Buster Posey, Ryan Sherriff got the final two outs of the ninth.  Sherriff returned for the 10th and gave up the walk off home run to the first batter he faced to take the loss.

Sunday, September 3 – Cardinals 7 at Giants 3

The Redbirds pulled out the Giants series win on Sunday in the rubber game.  Luke Weaver won his fourth game of the season, pitching seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits.  The righty fanned nine and walked two.  Rookie reliever Sandy Alcantara allowed one run in his major league debut, striking out one and issuing one free pass in his 2/3 of an inning.  Zach Duke got the final out of the eighth before John Brebbia pitched a scoreless ninth.

Harrison Bader and Jose Martinez were the stars of the Cardinals show, driving in five of the seven runs between them.  Martinez and Paul DeJong hit back to back solo home runs in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead.  Bader added a solo shot in the sixth, followed by an RBI double from Martinez and an RBI double by Yadier Molina.  Bader drove in a run on a single in the seventh, and Martinez’ ground rule double in the seventh plated a second run.  Bader was 2-for-5, Martinez was 3-for-5.

Big Picture

The Cardinals finished the week 4-2, splitting the two game series with the Brewers, and taking 3 of 4 from the Giants.  The team remains in third place in the NL Central, six games back of the Cubs, and 2.5 games back of the Brewers.  The Cardinals have 26 games remaining in the regular season.

The rosters expanded on September 1, and the Cardinals added pitchers Jack Flaherty, John Gant, and Sandy Alcantara, and position players Harrison Bader, Alex Mejia, and Alberto Rosario.  Flaherty takes over a rotation spot following the trade of Mike Leake, and Luke Weaver continues in the rotation in place of the injured Adam Wainwright.  It is unknown whether Wainwright will return to the rotation before the end of the regular season, but the expectation is that he will.

The Cardinals are not gaining ground, and without an extended winning streak, they are unlikely to make the postseason.

NL Central Standings

W L % GB
Chicago Cubs 75 61 0.551
Milwaukee 72 65 0.526 3.5
St. Louis 69 67 0.507 6
Pittsburgh 65 72 0.474 10.5
Cincinnati 58 79 0.423 17.5

Who’s Hot

Over the past 7 days (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

Tommy Pham (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Tommy Pham is batting .471 with an OPS of 1.491.  He has 2 HRs, 2 doubles, and 6 RBI.

Stephen Piscotty is batting .286 with an OPS of .976.   He has 1 HR, 1 triple, and 2 RBI.

Harrison Bader is batting .500 with an OPS of 1.850 in five plate appearances.  He has 1 HR and 2 RBI.

Carson Kelly is batting .400 with an OPS of 1.100 in six plate appearances.  He has 1 double.

Lance Lynn (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Lance Lynn has an ERA of 1.20 and a WHIP of 0.93.

Michael Wacha has an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 1.00

Seung-Hwan Oh has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.20

Brett Cecil has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.50.

Zach Duke has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00

Matt Bowman has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.50.

Who’s Not

Over the past seven days (does not contain recent Sunday games):.

Luke Voit is batting .167 and has an OPS of .333.

Paul DeJong is batting .185 and has an OPS of .464.

Kolten Wong is batting .174 and has an OPS of .644

Jack Flaherty has an ERA of 11.25 and a WHIP of 2.25.

Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 4.76 and a WHIP of 1.76.

Sam Tuivailala has an ERA of 6.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

John Brebbia has an ERA of 5.40 and a WHIP of 2.40.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

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

The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter for four games and Kolten Wong for two games.

The number 2 hitter has been Tommy Pham for four games, Harrison Bader for one game, and Jose Martinez for one game.

The number 3 hitter has been Paul DeJong.

The number 4 hitter has been Dexter Fowler for five games, and Matt Carpenter for one game.

The number 5 hitter has been Yadier Molina for five games, and Wong for one game.

The number 6 hitter has been Wong for two games, Stephen Piscotty for two games, Luke Voit for one game, and Martinez for one game.

The number 7 hitter has been Greg Garcia for two games, Piscotty for one game, Wong for one game, Voit for one game, and Grichuk for one game.

The number 8 hitter has been Grichuk for four games, Garcia for one game, and Carson Kelly for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

8/30 The Cardinals traded RHP Mike Leake, international bonus money and cash to the Seattle Mariners for SS Rayder Ascanio.

8/31 The Cardinals designated LHP Kevin Siegrist for assignment.

8/31 The Cardinals recalled RHP John Gant from the Memphis Redbirds.

9/1 The Cardinals sent LHP Sean Gilmartin outright to the Memphis Redbirds.

9/1 The Cardinals selected the contract of RHP Sandy Alcantara from the Springfield Cardinals.

9/1 The Cardinals selected the contract of C Alberto Rosario from the Memphis Redbirds.

9/1 The Cardinals selected the contract of RHP Jack Flaherty from the Memphis Redbirds.

9/1 The Cardinals recalled CF Harrison Bader from the Memphis Redbirds.

9/1 The Cardinals recalled 2B Alex Mejia from the Memphis Redbirds.

9/2 The Philadelphia Phillies claimed LHP Kevin Siegrist off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals.

Injury Report

3B Jedd Gyorko (right hamstring strain) played catch on Saturday, his first baseball activity since going on the disabled list.  Gyorko is eligible to come off the disabled list on Wednesday, but no definitive announcement has been made as to when he will return.

RHP Adam Wainwright (right elbow impingement) continues on the 10 day disabled list.  Wainwright was shut down from throwing activity. A reevaluation is expected soon.

RHP Trevor Rosenthal (right elbow) was scheduled to have Tommy John surgery the week of August 28.

OF Tommy Pham missed two games due to jamming his thumb into second base on Thursday night in San Francisco.  Pham returned to the lineup for Sunday’s game.

OF Dexter Fowler has been out of the lineup for a sore hip, aggravated by a slide into second base in Saturday’s game.  He is considered day to day.

Looking Ahead

Following the Giants series in San Francisco, the Cardinals travel to San Diego to take on the Padres in a four game series.  Carlos Martinez is scheduled to make the Monday start, followed by Wacha on Tuesday, Jack Flaherty on Wednesday, and Lance Lynn on Thursday.

The team then returns home to St. Louis for a weekend series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The Cardinals have an off day on the Monday after the Pirates series, then begin a three game set at home against the Cincinnati Reds.

The homestand will end on Thursday, September 14, as the Cardinals travel to Chicago to play the Cubs in a weekend series at Wrigley Field.  Another Monday off day follows as the team travels to Cincinnati for a three game series against the Reds. St. Louis will then continue to Pittsburgh for a weekend series against the Pirates.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

In Friday’s game against the Giants, four Cardinals tripled in the 11-6 victory – Yadier Molina, Stephen Piscotty, Greg Garcia, and Dexter Fowler.  Garcia’s triple drove in a run.  Hitting four triples in a single game is not an easy feat, even for a ballpark that has a “triples alley” like AT&T Park in San Francisco.

In fact, the last time the Cardinals hit four triples was in the second game of a doubleheader on July 27, 1918, 99 years prior.  Those four triples in that game were hit by three players.  Two triples came from right fielder George Anderson.  The others came from second baseman Bob Fisher, and shortstop Rogers Hornsby.  That July 27 game was a victory for the Cardinals by a score of 22-7 over the Brooklyn Robins.

The Robins were the precursor to the Brooklyn, and later, Los Angeles Dodgers.  The Robins were so named from 1914 to 1931.  The 1918 version of the Robins finished the season with a record of 57-69 and were fifth in the National League.  The 1918 Cardinals were worse, finishing eighth (dead last) in the National League, with a record of 51-78.

The 1918 squad were managed by Jack Hendricks, and featured Hornsby as the starting shortstop.  The primary starting lineup in addition to Hornsby were catcher Mike Gonzalez, first baseman Gene Paulette, second baseman Fisher, third baseman Doug Baird, and outfielders Cliff Heathcote, Austin McHenry, and Walton Cruise.  The starting rotation consisted of right handers Bill Doak, Red Ames, and Lee Meadows, and left handers Gene Packard and Jakie May.

The 1918 Cardinals would be the last Cardinals team to finish in last place until 1990, 72 years later.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Gulf Coast League Cardinals Notebook: 2017 Week 10

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 9/2/17

photo: Jacob Wilson (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 4-2 on Friday. Our Player of the Day is Springfield third baseman Jacob Wilson, who was 2-for-3 with a three run home run and four RBI in the Cardinals win over the Arkansas Travelers.

Results for games played Friday, September 1.

Memphis 3 at Colorado Springs 4

Rangel Ravelo (Memphis Redbirds)

The Redbirds fell to the Sky Sox in Colorado Springs on Friday night.  Memphis initially took the lead with two runs in the first inning on solo home runs by Breyvic Valera and Tyler O’Neill.  The home run was O’Neill’s only hit. Valera was 2-for-5.  Rangel Ravelo was also 2-for-5, with an RBI single in the third inning.

In his Memphis debut, starter Ryan Helsley pitched five innings, giving up two runs on seven hits.  The right hander struck out five and walked three.  Josh Zeid surrendered two runs in two innings of relief, and was charged with a blown save and the loss.  Josh Lucas pitched a scoreless eighth.

In the field, Aledmys Diaz made a missed catch error.  O’Neill had an outfield assist.

The Redbirds are 89-49 on the season and are in first place in the PCL Southern by 23.5 games.

Saturday’s game:  at Colorado Springs, Kevin Herget (4-2, 4.01) 7:00 CT.


Springfield 6, Arkansas 2

Jacob Wilson (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Cardinals defeated the Travelers at Hammons Field on Friday night.  Starter Connor Jones picked up the win, pitching 6 2/3 innings and giving up two runs on six hits.  The righty fanned two and walked three in his Texas League debut.  Tyler Bray and Eric Carter combined for the final 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.

The offense was led by Jacob Wilson, who hit a three run home run in the sixth and was 2-for-3 with four RBI.  Wilson drew a walk in the second to plate a run.  Tommy Edman drove in a run in the second on a force out.  John Nogowski’s RBI single in the seventh delivered the sixth and final run for the Cardinals.  Nogowski was 2-for-4. Magneuris Sierra was 2-for-5.

Edman stole his fifth base in seven attempts for Springfield.  Anthony Garcia stole his seventh bag in nine attempts.  Sierra was caught stealing for the fifth time in 21 attempts, and Oscar Mercado was caught stealing for the 19th time in 55 attempts.

The Cardinals are 76-61 overall, and 41-26 in the second half and are one game back of first place in the Texas League North.

Saturday’s game:  at Tulsa, Pedro Echemendia (2-4, 4.30) 7:05 CT


Palm Beach 8 at St. Lucie 5 (12 innings)

Jose Godoy (Palm Beach Cardinals)

A three run 12th inning for Palm Beach sealed the deal in this extra innings win on Friday night.  The inning began with a two run home run by Jose Godoy, who was 3-for-6 with three RBI.  Leobaldo Pina was also 3-for-6.  Casey Grayson also provided a long ball, a solo shot in the fifth inning.  New Cardinal Rayder Ascanio drove in a run on single in the third.  Godoy also singled in a run in the third.  Vince Jackson plated a run on a single in the ninth.  Edmundo Sosa was 2-for-4.

Starter Mike O’Reilly pitched four innings, giving up five runs, two earned, on nine hits.  The right hander struck out two and walked one.  Ian McKinney tossed three scoreless innings of relief.  Two new Cardinals covered the final five frames. Kodi Whitley went three scoreless innings, and Kevin Hamann added the final two scoreless innings to earn the win.

Jose Martinez committed a fielding error.  Blake Drake had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals are 74-58 overall and 34-31 in the second half, which puts them seven games back of first place in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:  vs. St. Lucie, Sam Tewes (3-1, 2.77) 4:30 CT.


Peoria 7, Quad Cities 4

Frederis Parra (Johnson City Cardinals)

The Chiefs topped the River Bandits on Friday night with the aid of a five run sixth inning.  J.R. Davis’ RBI double in the sixth plated two, and Nick Plummer followed with an RBI single.  Evan Mendoza drove in a run on a single, and Kramer Robertson stole home for the fifth and final run of the inning.  Davis plated the first Chiefs run in the second inning on a double and was 3-for-4.  Mendoza hit a solo home run in the eighth and was 3-for-5.

Starter Frederis Parra pitched six innings, giving up one run on five hits.  The right hander struck out five and walked two.  Ronnie Williams provided two scoreless innings of relief.  Max Almonte surrendered three runs in the ninth and left with two outs.  Yeison Medina got the final out to earn his 10th save.

On the base paths, Robertson stole his ninth base in 13 attempts, and Mendoza swiped his second bag in two attempts for Peoria.  Plummer was caught stealing for the ninth time in 17 attempts.  In the field, both Mendoza and Robertson made throwing errors.

The Chiefs are 67-69 overall and 37-30 in the second half to put them four games back of first place and two games ahead in the wild card in the Midwest League West for the second half.

Saturday’s game:  at Kane County, Austin Warner (2-3, 2.93) 6:30 CT.


State College 1 at Mahoning Valley 2

Matt Davis (Peoria Chiefs)

State College lost a low scoring contest on Friday night in Mahoning Valley.  The Spikes took the lead in the third on Matt Davis’ solo home run, but they would not score again.  The only other hits for State College were a Yariel Gonzalez single and a Brandon Benson double.

Starter Jonathon Mulford went 4 2/3 innings, giving up one run on four hits.  Mulford struck out two and walked four.  Robbie Gordon took the loss after pitching three innings of relief, surrendering one run on two hits.  Jesus Cruz got the final out of the eighth inning.

The Spikes are 38-32 and are 2.5 games back of first place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division and two games behind in the wild card.

Saturday’s game:  at Mahoning Valley, Daniel Castano (8-3, 2.82) 6:05 CT.


GCL Cardinals 6, GCL Mets 5

Robbie Coman (St. Louis Cardinals)

The Cardinals edged the Mets on Friday in a one run contest.  Starter Brian Pirela pitched six innings and gave up three runs on six hits.  The right hander fanned six and walked three.  C.J Saylor added two innings of relief and earned the win.  Saylor surrendered two runs on three hits.  Cory Malcolm tossed a scoreless ninth.

Robbie Coman was 3-for-4 with two RBI, on a sixth inning single.  Elehuris Montero drove in a first inning run on a triple and was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.  Terry Fuller’s two run home run in the eighth was his only hit.    Taylor Bryant was 2-for-4.

On the base paths, Jonatan Machado was caught stealing for the second time in 10 attempts.

The Cardinals are 25-29 on the season and are 8.5 games back in the GCL East.

Saturday’s game:  at GCL Nationals, TBA 9:00 a.m. CT.



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Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of August 21-27

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

The reeling Cardinals lost four of six at home to losing teams from San Diego and Tampa Bay this week, extending their skid to 4-9 since the eight-game win streak. A road trip to Milwaukee and the West Coast is ahead. Yadier Molina has quietly continued to perform well at the plate. Cardinals Hall of Fame inductee Pepper Martin is profiled in our history feature.

Game Recaps

Monday, August 21- Off day

Tuesday, August 22 – Cardinals 4, Padres 12

St. Louis dropped the first of a three game home series to the Padres in large fashion.  The lead changed several times during the first six innings, but the Cardinals bullpen had a major meltdown in the final innings.  Starter Lance Lynn pitched six innings, giving up four runs on six hits.  The right hander struck out four and walked one.  Reliever Matt Bowman started the seventh, but left with three more Padres’ runs on the board and no outs.  Zach Duke then replaced Bowman and allowed three more runs, for six runs in the inning, before getting the three outs to end the inning.  Josh Lucas tossed the final two innings and surrendered two additional runs in those two innings.  Bowman took the loss.

All four Cardinals runs came via the home run.  Jedd Gyorko hit a two run shot in the fourth, and Stephen Piscotty followed with a bases-empty homer.  In the sixth, Yadier Molina hit a solo shot.  Molina was 2-for-2 with two runs scored.  Piscotty was 2-for-3.

Wednesday, August 23 – Cardinals 6, Padres 2

The Cardinals fared better in Game 2, thanks to a pitching gem by Luke Weaver.  The rookie pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits while fanning 10 and walking one.  Seung-Hwan Oh relieved in the eighth, gave up one run, and left with no outs on the board.  Tyler Lyons finished the inning with no further damage.  John Brebbia pitched the ninth and surrendered a solo home run.  Weaver was the winning pitcher, his second.

Tommy Pham got the Cardinals on the board in the first inning with an RBI double to left.  Dexter Fowler also drove in a run in the inning on a sac fly.  In the third, Jedd Gyorko singled to bring a third run home.  Greg Garcia scored in the fourth on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt.  In the fifth, Fowler scored on a wild pitch.  The final Cardinal run came home on Gyorko’s RBI single in the eighth.

Kolten Wong was 3-for-5 with three runs scored.  Gyorko was 2-for-4.

On the base paths, Wong stole both second and third base, but has just six stolen bases on the season.  Pham stole his 17th base.

Thursday, August 24 – Cardinals 3, Padres 4

The Cardinals were edged by the Padres in the rubber game of the series.  The offense had 12 hits, but only scored three runs.  The scoring began in the fourth on Jedd Gyorko’s RBI double to left.  In the sixth, Yadier Molina plated a run on a ground ball single to left.  Randal Grichuk’s solo home in the ninth was the third and final Cardinals run.

Kolten Wong was 2-for-5, while Paul DeJong and Dexter Fowler were both 3-for-4.

Starting pitcher Carlos Martinez pitched seven innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on seven hits.  The right hander struck out six and walked two.  Tyler Lyons pitched a scoreless eighth.  It took four Cardinal relievers to get out of the ninth.  Sam Tuivailala, who took the loss, surrendered two runs on two hits, and left with no outs in the inning.  Zach Duke pitched to one batter and allowed a hit.  Matt Bowman walked a batter but managed to get one out before leaving for Brett Cecil.  Cecil got the last two outs of the inning via the strikeout.

Martinez committed a throwing error.

Friday, August 25 – Cardinals 3, Rays 7

In a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Cardinals dropped the first game by a score of 7-3.  Starter Michael Wacha didn’t get out of the fourth inning, pitching 3 1/3 innings and giving up five runs on nine hits.  The right hander fanned five and walked two and was tagged with this seventh loss of the season.  Zach Duke got the final two outs of the fourth.  Reliever Ryan Sherriff made his major league debut, pitching three scoreless innings, allowing two hits, striking out four and walking one. Sam Tuivailala tossed a scoreless eighth.  In the ninth, Brett Cecil surrendered two runs on three hits.

The Cardinals put one run on the board in the first inning on a sac fly by Dexter Fowler.  In the third, a sac fly double play off the bat of Yadier Molina plated one.  Kolten Wong’s solo home run in the fourth was his third home run of the season.  No Cardinals batter had multiple hits.

Saturday, August 26 – Cardinals 6, Padres 4

The Cardinals won a nail biter in the second game of the weekend series.  The offense was kept off the board until the sixth inning, when two scored on Paul DeJong’s triple and Yadier Molina’s double.  The Cardinals tied the score in the eighth on RBI singles by Molina and Kolten Wong.  In the bottom of the ninth, Tommy Pham became the hero, hitting a two run blast in a walk off win for the Redbirds.  The home run was Pham’s only hit, but he scored three of the six total runs.  Molina was 2-for-4 and Jedd Gyorko was 2-for-3.

Starter Mike Leake pitched seven innings, giving up four runs on six hits.  Leake struck out three and issued no walks.  John Brebbia and Tyler Lyons each tossed a scoreless inning of relief, with Lyons earning the win, his second.

Sunday, August 27 – Cardinals 2, Padres 3 (10 innings)

In the rubber game of the series, St. Louis tied the score in the later innings, but lost in the 10th. All five runs scored via solo homers. The Cardinals were stymied by the pitching of Rays starter Chris Archer, but Kolten Wong final broke through in the seventh with a solo home run.  Matt Carpenter tied it up the next frame with his own solo shot.  Greg Garcia was 3-for-4.

Starter Lance Lynn pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits, including two long balls.  The right hander struck out eight and issued two free passes.  Seung-Hwan Oh, Zach Duke and John Brebbia each got one out in the eighth. Brebbia returned to pitch a scoreless ninth.  Sam Tuivailala gave up the winning run on another solo blast in the 10th and took the loss, his third.

Big Picture

The Cardinals ended the week 2-4, having lost both home series to the below-.500 Padres and Rays.  The losses put the Cardinals themselves back to .500.  St. Louis remains 4.5 games back of the Cubs with 32 games left in the regular season.

Cardinal pitching has fallen off, both starting pitching and the bullpen.  Mike Leake continues to struggle and Michael Wacha’s last three starts were each shorter than the one prior.  Carlos Martinez has struggled off and on since the All-Star Break, especially in the first inning.  Most of the bullpen has struggled, with the exception of Tyler Lyons and John Brebbia.  Luke Weaver has pitched well since coming up to replace the injured Adam Wainwright, and the Cardinals are searching for a closer with the loss of Trevor Rosenthal for the season.  The offense has been inconsistent.  Defense has been adequate, but the loss of Jedd Gyorko to the disabled list could cause the defense to take a hit.

The Cardinals begin a road trip this week, playing the second place Brewers for two games.  The Cardinals play the struggling Giants and the Padres again.

NL Central Standings

W L % GB
Chicago Cubs 69 60 0.535
Milwaukee 68 63 0.519 2
St. Louis 65 65 0.500 4.5
Pittsburgh 63 68 0.481 7
Cincinnati 55 76 0.420 14

Who’s Hot

Over the past 7 days (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

Yadier Molina (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Yadier Molina is batting .429 with an OPS of 1.173.  He has 1 HR, 3 doubles, and 5 RBI.

Jedd Gyorko is batting .364 with an OPS of 1.167.  He has 2 HRs, 2 doubles, and 7 RBI.

Stephen Piscotty is batting .333 with an OPS of .955.   He has 1 HR and 1 RBI.

Kolten Wong is batting .360 with an OPS of .905.  He has 1 HR, 1 double, and 3 RBI.

Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 1.29 and a WHIP of 1.29.

Luke Weaver/USA TODAY Sports Images

Luke Weaver has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.57.

Lance Lynn has an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 1.67.

Tyler Lyons has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.67.

John Brebbia has an ERA of 3.00 and a WHIP of 0.33.

Who’s Not

Over the past 7 days (does not contain recent Sunday games):

Matt Carpenter is batting .188 and has an OPS of .465.

Randal Grichuk is batting .125 with an OPS of .551.

Jose Martinez is batting .200 with an OPS of .400 in 5 plate appearances.

Mike Leake has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 1.40.

Michael Wacha has an ERA of 13.50 and a WHIP of 3.30.

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

Zach Duke has an ERA of 16.20 and a WHIP of 3.60.

Seung-Hwan Oh has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 2.00.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last 6 games (does not contain recent Sunday game):

The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter for four games and Kolten Wong for two games.

The number 2 hitter has been Tommy Pham for four games and Stephen Piscotty for two games.

The number 3 hitter has been Paul DeJong.

The number 4 hitter has been Dexter Fowler for five games, and Randal Grichuk for one game.

The number 5 hitter has been Yadier Molina.

The number 6 hitter has been Jedd Gyorko.

The number 7 hitter has been Piscotty for three games, Wong for two games, and Grichuk for one game.

The number 8 hitter has been Greg Garcia for two games, Wong for two games, and Grichuk for two games.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

8/21 The Cardinals optioned 1B Luke Voit to the Memphis Redbirds.

8/23 The Cardinals transferred RHP Trevor Rosenthal from the 10 day disabled list to the 60 day disabled list.  Right posterior elbow irritation.

8/23 The Cardinals optioned RHP Josh Lucas to the Memphis Redbirds.

8/23 The Cardinals selected the contract of LHP Ryan Sherriff from the Memphis Redbirds.

8/24 The Cardinals sent LHP Kevin Siegrist on a rehab assignment to the Palm Beach Cardinals.

8/27 The Cardinals placed 3B Jedd Gyorko on the 10 day disabled list.  Right hamstring strain.

8/27 The Cardinals recalled 1B Luke Voit from the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

RHP Adam Wainwright continues on the DL with a right forearm impingement. Wainwright had a doctor’s appointment on Sunday to learn when he would be cleared to being a throwing program.  A possible return to the roster could occur in mid-September.

LHP Kevin Siegrist has been sent on a rehab assignment to the Palm Beach Cardinals.  It is expected that Siegrist will make at least two more rehab appearances this week in preparation for activation from the DL.

RHP Trevor Rosenthal has been transferred from the 10 DL to the 60 day DL.  Rosenthal is expected to have Tommy John surgery this week and is out for the remainder of the season and much of the 2018 season.  Rosenthal will be a free agent following the 2018 season.

3B Jedd Gyorko has been placed on the 10-day DL with a right hamstring strain.  An MRI showed a mild to moderate strain and the Cardinals are optimistic that Gyorko will return to the roster before the end of the season.

Matt Carpenter and Dexter Fowler missed games due to a stomach virus.  Both have returned to the lineup.

Looking Ahead

On Monday, the team travels to Milwaukee for a short two game series with the Brewers, beginning on Tuesday.  Luke Weaver is scheduled to make the Tuesday start, followed by Carlos Martinez on Wednesday.

After leaving Milwaukee, the Cardinals head to San Francisco for a four games series against the Giants.  Michael Wacha is set to start on Thursday.  Mike Leake will make the Friday start.  The starters for the remaining two games have not been announced but will likely be Lance Lynn on Saturday, and Luke Weaver on Sunday.

On Monday, Sept 4 following the Giants’ series, the Cardinals play four games against the Padres in San Diego.   The team returns home on Friday for a weekend series with the Pirates.

The Cardinals have another off day on Monday, Sept. 11, but the homestand continues on Tuesday with a three game series against the Reds.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

On Saturday, the 2017 Cardinals Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place, with three former Cardinals honored.  Those players were Tim McCarver and Mark McGwire, voted in by the fans, and Pepper Martin, chosen by the Red Ribbon Committee.  Martin was represented by his family at the ceremony, specifically his daughter, who gave the induction speech.

Pepper Martin (St. Louis Cardinals)

To cover all three players in any depth would take pages of this article.  I choose to focus this segment on Pepper Martin, of the famous “Gas House Gang”.  I have discussed the Gas House Gang in passing several times before, but this segment will cover it more in depth.

The Gas House Gang refers specifically to the 1934 St. Louis Cardinals team.  That team won 95 games during the regular season, won the National League Pennant, and were the 1934 World Series Champions, defeating the Detroit Tigers in seven games.  The nickname was bestowed on that team in reference to their general shabby appearance and rough tactics.

The term gas house in those days referred to factories that produced gas for lighting and cooking from coal.  Those factories were dirty and smelly, hence the reference to the team, who were reported to have played in dirty and smelly uniforms.

The 1934 Cardinals were managed by Frankie Frisch.  Standouts included Joe “Ducky” Medwick, Ripper Collins, the Dean brothers, Dizzy and his brother Paul, and Martin, among others.

Martin played for the Cardinals in 1928, 1930-35, and 1944.  He was a four time All Star and a three time National League stolen base leader in 1933, 1934, and 1936.  Pepper’s full name was John Leonard Roosevelt Martin and he was born on February 29, 1904, in Oklahoma City, leading to his nickname, The Wild Horse of the Osage.

Martin’s career batting line over his 13 year major league career was .298/.358/.443 with 59 HR, and 501 RBI.  Injuries plagued Martin’s career, and he never lived up to the promise of his early career, when the press claimed him to be the next Ty Cobb.

Martin ended his baseball career as a successful manager and coach in both the major and the minor leagues.  He was reported to have a fiery temper, and was once fired from his managing job for a minor league team for allegedly choking an umpire.  He was once arrested for punching a spectator in the stands.

Pepper Martin died of a heart attack on March 5, 1965.  His wife, Ruby, survived him by over 40 years, passing away in 2009, just after her 99th birthday.  In addition to his induction to the Cardinals Hall of Fame, Martin was also inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Johnson City Cardinals Notebook: 2017 Week 10

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 8/27/17

photo: Frederis Parra (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 6-1 on Saturday.  Our Player of the Day is Peoria’s Frederis Parra, who pitched seven scoreless innings in the Chiefs’ shutout of Kane County. Other pitching standouts include Austin Gomber, Connor Jones, Johan Oviedo and Diego Cordero.

Results for games played Saturday, August 26.

Memphis 4 at Iowa 2

Nick Martini/Springfield Cardinals

The Redbirds defeated the Cubs in Iowa on Saturday night, as Jack Flaherty earned his seventh win since joining Memphis.  Flaherty pitched five innings, giving up two runs on seven hits, fanning three and walking one.  Mike Mayers followed with two scoreless innings before Mark Montgomery and Josh Lucas tossed a scoreless inning each, with Lucas earning his 15th save.

Solo home runs off the bats of Rangel Ravelo and Luke Voit, added to the two RBI by Nick Martini, gave the Redbirds the margin of victory. Voit was 3-for-5 on the night. Martini’s RBI came on a ground out in the first and a sac fly in the fifth.

Harrison Bader had an outfield assist.

The Redbirds are 85-48 on the season and are in first place in the PCL American South by 20.5 games.

Sunday’s game:  at Iowa, John Gant (6-5, 3.82) 1:08 CT.


Springfield 8, Tulsa 3

Austin Gomber (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Cardinals topped the Drillers by a score of 8-3 at Hammons Field on Saturday night.  Austin Gomber reached double digits in wins, earning his 10th of the season.  Gomber tossed seven one run innings, allowing two hits while fanning nine and walking two.  Reliever Tyler Bray gave up an unearned run in both the eighth and ninth innings.

Scoring occurred in the second, fourth, and fifth innings.  Jacob Wilson blasted a two run home run and Andrew Knizner came home on a wild pitch in the second.  Wilson and Knizner were both 2-for-4.  Eliezer Alvarez was a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs scored.  Darren Seferina plated two runs and was 2-for-5.  Gomber also drove in a run.

Oscar Mercado stole his 36th base in 52 attempts.  Knizner committed a fielding error, while Seferina made two errors, one throwing and one fielding.  Adolis Garcia had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals are 74-57 overall, 39-22 in the second half, and in first place by one game in the Texas League North.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Tulsa, Ryan Helsley (3-0, 1.93) 2:10 CT.


Palm Beach 5, St. Lucie 2

Connor Jones (St. Louis Cardinals)

The Cardinals defeated the Mets on Saturday, and improved to 6-3 on the season against St. Lucie.  Jose Martinez and Jose Godoy each had two hits, Martinez in three at-bats, and Godoy in four.  Godoy also had an RBI.  Also plating runs were Thomas Spitz, Casey Grayson, Edmundo Sosa, and Shane Billings.

Rehabbing St. Louis reliever Kevin Siegrist pitched the first inning, allowing no runs and only one hit.  Regular starter Connor Jones followed with seven innings to earn the win, his eighth.  Jones gave up one run on five hits, fanned six and walked three.  In the ninth, Eric Carter allowed two hits and a run, coming on a long ball, but then struck out the side.

The Cardinals are 71-55 overall and 31-28 in the second half.  They are 7.5 games back of first in the FSL South.

Sunday’s game:  vs. St. Lucie, Mike O’Reilly (3-0, 3.30) 12:00 p.m. CT.


Peoria 4, Kane County 0      

Frederis Parra (Johnson City Cardinals)

The Chiefs shut out the Cougars, with half the runs coming off the bat of Stefan Trosclair.  Trosclair hit a solo home run in the third inning, and later doubled in a run in the fifth to end the night 2-for-4.  Danny Hudzina was also 2-for-4 and plated a run.  Matt Fiedler’s triple also drove a run home.

Starter Frederis Parra pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits, striking out seven and walking two.  Leland Tilley finished with two run-free frames of relief.  The win was Parra’s fourth of the season.

The Chiefs are 62-69 overall on the season, 32-30 in the second half to put them eight games back of first place in the Midwest League West. Peoria is tied for the wild card.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Kane County, Austin Warner (2-3, 2.93) 2:00 CT.


State College 3, Williamsport 1

Johan Oviedo (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Excellent starting pitching by Johan Oveido propelled the Spikes to a 3-1 victory over the Crosscutters.  Oveido threw eight strong innings, giving up only one run on two hits, while striking out nine and walking one for his second win as a Spike.  Will Latcham earned his fourth save, pitching a scoreless ninth.

Yariel Gonzalez and Joshua Lopez had two hits.  Bryce Denton, Wood Myers and Zach Kirtley had an RBI each.  Myers tripled in the sixth and came home on Kirtley’s double.

Scott Hurst was caught stealing for the fourth time in nine attempts.  Lopez had a passed ball.

The Spikes are 34-30 on the season and are three games out of first place in the NY-Penn Pinckney Division and 3 ½ back of the wild card.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Williamsport, Jonathon Mulford (2-5, 4.31) 5:05 CT.


Johnson City 2 at Princeton 12

The Cardinals were dealt a walloping by the Rays in Princeton, on a night when the big league clubs had a different outcome.  Three Cardinals errors didn’t help the situation, but the offense was sluggish against Rays pitching.  The bats scored two runs on only four hits, with no Cardinal having multiple hits.   Carlos Rodriguez and Walker Robbins drove in the two runs.

Starter Edwar Ramirez pitched 3 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on nine hits.  The right hander struck out two and walked one and was tagged with his seventh loss.  Will Changarotty gave up one unearned run in 3 1/3 innings.  Paul Salazar surrendered a three-run home run and six scores, only one earned, in 2/3 of an inning.  Thomas St. Clair finished the eighth with no further damage.

Carlos Rodriguez made two fielding errors, and Imeldo Diaz committed one fielding error.

The Cardinals are 33-29 on the season and are 4.5 games back of first place in the Appalachian League West. Johnson City has a one-game lead for the wild card.

Sunday’s game:  at Princeton, Jacob Schlesener (2-2, 3.56) 4:00 CT.


GCL Cardinals – Off

Sunday’s game:  at GCL Mets, TBA 9:00 a.m. CT


DSL Cardinals 6 at DSL Nationals 1

Diego Cordero (St. Louis Cardinals)

The Cardinals were victorious against the Nationals in the season finale.  Starter Diego Cordero won his fourth game with six innings of sharp pitching.  Cordero gave up only one run on two hits, struck out four and issued two free passes.  Roy Garcia and Nelson Prado combined for three scoreless innings of relief.

Center fielder Carlos Soler had a big day at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a triple, a double, and two runs scored.  Pablo Gomez and Franklin Soto plated a run each and were both 2-for-4.  Diomedes Del Rio was 2-for-5 with an RBI.  Also driving in runs were Freddy De Jesus and Joyser Garcia.

Pablo Gomez was picked off and caught stealing in the second inning.  It was his fourth caught stealing in 12 attempts.  De Jesus committed a throwing error, and Cordero picked a runner off first base.

The Cardinals finished the season at 30-40, 18.5 games back of first place in the DSL South.



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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 8/26/17

photo: Andrew Summerville (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system endured a 1-7 Friday. Our Player of the Day is State College starting pitcher Andrew Summerville, who pitched seven scoreless, one hit innings in the Spikes’ victory over Williamsport.

Results for games played Friday, August 25.

Memphis 2 at Iowa 4

The Redbirds were defeated in a close contest in Des Moines for the second night in a row.  Starter Dakota Hudson was tagged with his first loss with Memphis, pitching six innings and giving up four runs on five hits.  The right hander struck out one and walked three.  Miguel Socolovich and Sean Gilmartin each added a scoreless inning of relief.

Luke Voit plated a run in the fourth on a ground out.  Nick Martini doubled in the other run in the ninth.  Voit was 2-for-4 on the night. Harrison Bader stole his 14th base in 22 attempts.

The Redbirds are 84-48 on the season and are in first place in the PCL Southern by 21 games.  Memphis has already clinched the Division.

Saturday’s game:  at Iowa, Jack Flaherty (6-2, 2.69) 7:08 CT.


Springfield 1 at NW Arkansas 4

Zac Gallen (Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Cardinals fell to NW Arkansas on the road on Friday night, as the bats went virtually silent.  Only one Cardinals run came across the plate, and it was on a wild pitch in the fourth inning.  The offense managed seven hits, including doubles by Eliezer Alvarez and Anthony Garcia.

Starter Zac Gallen pitched six innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on six hits.  The right hander struck out five and walked two.  Corey Littrell was charged with two runs on three hits in his one inning of relief.  Landon Beck tossed a scoreless eighth. Gallen was tagged with the hard-luck loss.

Darren Seferina stole his 10th base in 12 attempts.  Alvarez made a missed catch error, and Jacob Wilson committed a fielding error.

The Cardinals are 73-57 overall, including 38-21 in the second half and remain tied for first place in the Texas League North.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Tulsa, TBA 6:10 CT


Palm Beach 2, St. Lucie 6

Ramon Santos (Johnson City Cardinals)

The Mets’ late inning surge coincided with a fade from the Cardinals bullpen.  Starter Ramon Santos pitched well, going 6 1/3 innings, giving up one run on eight hits.  The right hander struck out four and walked one.  Ian McKinney tossed one inning of relief in which he gave up two runs on two hits. McKinney took the loss.  Dailyn Martinez surrendered three runs in his one inning and was charged with the blown save.  Ross Vance got the last two outs of the ninth.

Cardinals bats scored two runs despite just five hits.  Jose Godoy was 2-for-3 and drove in both Palm Beach runs.  Thomas Spitz was caught stealing for the fourth time in 15 attempts.

Godoy had a passed ball. Spitz and Vince Jackson each had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals are 70-55 overall and 30-27 in the second half, which puts them seven games back of first place in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:  vs. St. Lucie, Connor Jones (7-5. 4.15) 4:30 CT.


Peoria 2, Kane County 3

Evan Kruczynski (Peoria Chiefs)

The Chiefs lost a squeaker to Kane County on Friday night with a run in the eighth.  The bats managed two runs on eight hits, including doubles by Juan Yepez and Mick Fennell.  Yepez was a perfect 4-for-4 with an RBI.  Yepez drove in his run on a single in the eighth. Fennell’s double plated one in the seventh.

Chiefs’ starter Evan Kruczynski pitched seven innings, giving up one run on four hits, while fanning eight and walking one.  Dewin Perez surrendered two runs, one earned, in 1/3 of an inning and took the loss.  Bryan Dobzanski pitched the final 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

In the field, Perez committed a fielding error.

The Chiefs are 61-69 overall and 31-29 in the second half to put them eight games back of first place in the Midwest League West for the second half.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Kane County, Frederis Parra (3-6, 4.32) 6:30 CT.


State College 2, Williamsport 0

Andrew Summerville (State College Spikes)

The Spikes shut out Williamsport on Friday.  Starter Andrew Summerville pitched seven scoreless innings to earn his fourth win of the season.  The left hander allowed only one run, while fanning seven and walking two.  Robbie Gordon tossed the final two run-free innings to earn his second save.

The Spikes scored in the first on a sac fly by Bryce Denton.  The other run came home in the sixth on a Yariel Gonzalez single.  Gonzalez was 2-for-3.  Edwin Figuera was 3-for-4.

Scott Hurst stole his fifth base of the season in seven attempts, but was also caught stealing for the third time in eight attempts.  Both occurred in the same inning.  Zach Kirtley made a fielding error.  Summerville picked two runners off first base.

The Spikes are 33-30 and are three games back of first place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Williamsport, Johan Oviedo (1-2, 5.22) 6:05 CT.


Johnson City 6, Greeneville 9

Jake Dahlberg (Johnson City Cardinals)

The Cardinals fell to the Astros Friday night at home.  Starter Franyel Casadilla did not have a good night on the mound.  Casadilla gave up eight runs, seven earned, on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings.  The right hander fanned three and walked two to suffer his sixth loss of the season.  Juan Alvarez followed with 2 2/3 innings of relief, surrendering one run on three hits.  Jake Dahlberg tossed the final three scoreless innings.

The Cardinals scored all six runs across the third and fourth innings.  In the third, one came home on a wild pitch, while two more came home on Luis Bandes’ single.  In the fourth, Jonathan Rivera doubled in a run.  Irving Lopez’ sac fly plated one, and another came home on a wild pitch.  No Johnson City batters had multiple hits.

Bandes and Brady Whalen each committed a fielding error.

The Cardinals are 33-27 on the season. They are 2.5 games back of first place in the Appalachian League West and have a one-game lead in the wild card.

Saturday’s game:  at Princeton, Edwar Ramirez (3-6, 6.62) 6:00 CT.


GCL Cardinals 3 at GCL Astros 4 (seven innings, Game 1 DH)

Jonatan Machado (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Cardinals were edged by the Astros in a game shortened by rain.  It was the first of a doubleheader, with the second cancelled due to the weather.  The Cardinals offense managed three runs on eight hits.  Center fielder Jonatan Machado was a perfect 3-for-3 and drove in all three runs with a sixth-inning double.  Dariel Gomez was 2-for-3.

Winston Nicacio pitched the first inning, allowing no runs and no hits.  Angel Rondon followed with four innings, surrendering four runs, two earned, on eight hits and took the loss.  Cory Malcom tossed a scoreless seventh.

Catcher Cameron Knight had a throwing error and a passed ball.

The Cardinals are 23-24 on the season and are 5.5 games back of first place in the GCL East.

Saturday’s game:  Off.


DSL Cardinals 4, DSL Nationals 10

The Cardinals were pounded by the Nationals on Friday.  Cardinals pitching had a tough day at the park, with starter Dionis Zamora suffering his fourth loss of the season.  Zamora went three innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, while striking out one and walking one.   Hector Soto followed with two innings, surrendering two runs on four hits.  Wilman Madera relinquished four runs in his 2 2/3 innings of work. Only Anthony Trompiz put up a zero in his 1 1/3 innings.

The Cardinals offense scored four runs on eight hits.  The first run came on a fielding error in the second inning.  Victor Garcia doubled in a run in the sixth and another came home on a hit by pitch.  The final run was plated on a Diomedes Del Rio groundout. Raffy Ozuna was 3-for-4 with two runs scored.  Ivan Herrera was 2-for-4.

Carlos Soler had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals are 29-40 on the season and are 19.5 games back of first place in the DSL South.

Saturday’s game:  at DSL Nationals, TBA 9:30 a.m. CT.



Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: State College Spikes Notebook: 2017 Week 10

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Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of August 14-20

photo: Dexter Fowler and Paul DeJong (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals lost four of six on their road trip to Boston, Pittsburgh and Williamsport. Three and four hitters Paul DeJong and Dexter Fowler lead the offense as the pitching struggles, averaging almost seven runs allowed per game this week. DeJong’s success leads to a look at team all-time rookie hitting records in our history feature.

Game Recaps

Monday, August 14 – Off day

Tuesday, August 15 – Cardinals 4 at Red Sox 10

In the first of a two game series at Boston, the big inning doomed the Cardinals.  Starter Mike Leake gave up a run in the first inning, but then held Boston scoreless for three innings.  In the fifth inning, the wheels came off the bus.  Facing eight batters, Leake gave up a double, four singles, a hit by pitch, and an intentional walk, leaving with four more runs on the board, and the bases loaded.  Matt Bowman allowed three inherited runners to score, then surrendered a run of his own, but eventually got the final two outs in the inning.  Brett Cecil pitched the sixth and allowed another run.  John Brebbia and Sam Tuivailala tossed a scoreless seventh and eighth.

The Cardinals scored three in the sixth and one in the eighth.  Dexter Fowler plated two on a double and went 3-for-4 overall.  Carson Kelly drove in the third run of the sixth on a single.  In the eighth, Paul DeJong’s single plated the final Cardinal run.  DeJong was 2-for-4.  Luke Voit was 2-for-2 with two runs scored.

Greg Garcia made a fielding error.

Wednesday, August 16 – Cardinals 4 at Red Sox 5

The Red Sox took advantage of shaky pitching performances in the ninth to take the lead and win the game and series  Starter Lance Lynn went six innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on seven hits.  The right hander struck out three and walked three.  Seung-Hwan Oh and Tyler Lyons pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth, respectively.  Trevor Rosenthal started the ninth, gave up two runs without recording an out, and was replaced by Zach Duke.  Duke got one out but surrendered another run.  Duke was replaced by John Brebbia, who allowed the inherited runner to score and was charged with a blown save.  Duke was the losing pitcher.

The Cardinals scored all four of their runs in the second inning.  Kolten Wong’s single plated Yadier Molina.  Luke Voit then doubled to score Jedd Gyorko.  Wong scored on a passed ball.  Matt Carpenter plated Voit with a single.  Wong was 3-for-4, Paul DeJong was 2-for-5.

Lynn made an error on a throw.

Thursday, August 17 – Cardinals 11 at Pirates 7

In the first of a four game series, the Cardinals offense got the better of the Pirates.  Every starting position player had at least one hit.  Dexter Fowler drove in three runs and was 2-for-3 with three runs scored.  Kolten Wong and Randal Grichuk plated two and were 2-for-5.  Jedd Gyorko hit a solo home run in the second inning and was 3-for-5 with two runs scored.  Tommy Pham was 2-for-4 and hit a solo home run in the ninth inning. Paul DeJong and Yadier Molina both drove in a run.

Starter Adam Wainwright pitched only three innings and gave up five runs on seven hits.  Subsequent to this start Wainwright went on the DL with an elbow issue.  Luke Weaver relieved and tossed two scoreless innings.  Sam Tuivailala, Matt Bowman, and Tyler Lyons each added a scoreless inning.  Seung-Hwan Oh pitched the ninth and gave up two runs.  Tuivailala was the winning pitcher.

Luke Weaver made an error on a pickoff attempt.

Friday, August 18 – Cardinals 11 at Pirates 10

A game that appeared to be a blowout win, ended in just a one run edge for the Cardinals.  The offense was again prolific, as three home runs aided the scoring frenzy.  Tommy Pham hit a first inning solo shot.  Matt Carpenter blasted a three run shot in the second inning.   Paul DeJong had a solo home run in the third.  Pham also drove in a run on a ground out in the fourth.  Greg Garcia singled in a run in the second inning.  Carlos Martinez plated a run in the fourth inning on sac bunt.   DeJong had an RBI single in the sixth, and Dexter Fowler added an RBI double in that inning.  In the eighth, Jose Martinez singled home a run.

DeJong was 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored.  Randal Grichuk was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.  Greg Garcia was 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Starting pitcher Carlos Martinez pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits.  The right hander fanned four and walked one.  Mike Mayers started the eighth, and though he managed to get two outs, allowed five runs, four earned, on four hits. Brett Cecil got the final out of the inning.  Matt Bowman started the ninth, surrendered another two runs, and left with one out.  Zach Duke walked his only batter and was replaced by Seung-Hwan Oh, who got the final two outs to earn his 19th save.  Martinez earned his 10th win.

In the field, Jose Martinez made a fielding error.  Randal Grichuk had an outfield assist.

Saturday, August 19 – Cardinals 4 at Pirates 6

The Cardinals lost the third game of the series as a rally in the late innings fell short.  Though the Cardinals scored first in the second inning, on a Kolten Wong single, the Pirates responded with five runs in the bottom frame to take the lead.  The Cardinals didn’t score again until the eighth, when Paul DeJong’s two run home run tightened the Pirates lead.  In the ninth, Jose Martinez’ solo home run made it a one run game, but the scoring ended there.  Martinez was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.  Randal Grichuk was also 2-for-4.

Starter Michael Wacha may have been affected by a two hour rain delay, as he went four innings, giving up five runs on seven hits.  The right hander struck out three and walked two.  A new addition to the Cardinal bullpen, Josh Lucas, tossed two innings of relief and allowed one run on four hits.  Brett Cecil and John Brebbia pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth, respectively.

DeJong committed a throwing error.

Sunday, August 20 – Cardinals 3 at Pirates 6

The fourth and final game of the series was played on Sunday night in Williamsport PA, a special event that coincided with the Little League World Series.  The stadium is a minor league facility, home of the Williamsport Crosscutters, a Class A short season affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies which plays in the NY Penn League.  All 16 teams participating in the Little League World Series were spectators in the stands, along with their families.

The Cardinals lost to split the four game series.  Starter Mike Leake lost his 12th game of the season.  Leake lasted only three innings, giving up six runs on eight hits.  The right hander fanned three and walked none.  Sam Tuivailala contributed three scoreless innings.  Just as on Saturday, Brett Cecil and John Brebbia pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth, respectively.

On the offensive side, Jedd Gyorko’s two run home run in the second put the Cardinals on the board.  Kolten Wong drove in the third and final run in the sixth, on a line drive single.  Yadier Molina was 3-for-4.  Gyorko was 2-for-4 and Stephen Piscotty, recalled as the 26th player for the game, was 2-for-4.

Big Picture

The Cardinals finished the week and the road trip 2-4.  They fell from second place to third in the NL Central.  The pitching, both starting and relief, has struggled, and injuries have played a part.  Adam Wainwright and Trevor Rosenthal went on the 10 day DL this week with elbow injuries.  Mike Leake continues to struggle.  The bullpen has been inconsistent at times.  Offense has been inconsistent as well.  Defense and baserunning remain the same.

With six weeks left in the season, the Cardinals need to find a way to put it all together.  They remain in contention for both the division and the wild card, but playing at the current pace is not likely to get them either.

The Cardinals are now 3.5 games back of the first place Cubs, and 1.5 games back of the second place Brewers.  The record stands at 63-61.

NL Central Standings

W L % GB
Chicago Cubs 66 57 0.537
Milwaukee 65 60 0.520 2
St. Louis 63 61 0.508 3.5
Pittsburgh 60 64 0.484 6.5
Cincinnati 53 72 0.424 14

 

Who’s Hot

Dexter Fowler (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Over the past 7 days (does not include recent Sunday game results):

Dexter Fowler is batting .467 with an OPS of 1.289.  He has 1 triple, 2 doubles, and 6 RBI.

Paul DeJong is batting .440 with an OPS of 1.321.  He has 3HRs, 1 double, and 7 RBI.

Jose Martinez is batting .308 with an OPS of .973.  He has 1 HR, 1 double, and 2 RBI

Kolten Wong is batting .381 with an OPS of .952.  He has 1 triple, 2 doubles, and 5 RBI.

Tyler Lyons (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Tyler Lyons has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 3.86 and a WHIP of 1.00.

Lance Lynn has an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 1.67.

John Brebbia has an ERA of 2.70 and a WHIP of 0.90.

Who’s Not

Over the past 7 days (does not include recent Sunday game):

Jedd Gyorko is batting .200 and has an OPS of .588.

Matt Carpenter is batting .136 and has an OPS of .542.

Yadier Molina is batting .235 and has an OPS of .588.

Carson Kelly is batting .200 and has an OPS of .473.

Mike Leake has an ERA of 16.62 and a WHIP of 2.54.

Adam Wainwright has an ERA of 15.00 and a WHIP of 2.67.

Michael Wacha has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 2.00.

Matt Bowman has an ERA of 13.50 and a WHIP of 2.50.

Zach Duke has an ERA of 27.00 and a WHIP of 6.00.

Trevor Rosenthal has an ERA of 18.00 and a WHIP of 2.00

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last 6 games (does not contain recent Sunday game):

The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter.

The number 2 hitter has been Tommy Pham.

The number 3 hitter has been Paul DeJong.

The number 4 hitter has been Dexter Fowler for four games, Jose Martinez for one game, and Jedd Gyorko for one game.

The number 5 hitter has been Yadier Molina for four games, Martinez for one game, and Randal Grichuk for one game.

The number 6 hitter has been Gyorko for four games, and Kolten Wong for two games.

The number 7 hitter has Wong for three games, Grichuk for two games, and Carson Kelly for one game.

The number 8 hitter has been Greg Garcia for two games, Martinez for one game, Grichuk for one game, Kelly for one game, and Luke Voit for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

Trevor Rosenthal (USA TODAY Sports Images)

8/17 The Cardinals placed RHP Trevor Rosenthal on the 10 day disabled list.

8/17 The Cardinals recalled RHP Luke Weaver from the Memphis Redbirds.

8/18 The Cardinals placed RHP Adam Wainwright on the 10 day disable list.

8/18 The Cardinals recalled RHP Mike Mayers from the Memphis Redbirds.

8/19 The Cardinals optioned RHP Mike Mayers to the Memphis Redbirds.

8/19 The Cardinals selected the contract of RHP Josh Lucas from the Memphis Redbirds.

8/20 The Cardinals recalled OF Stephen Piscotty from the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

Adam Wainwright (USA TODAY Sports Images)

RHP Adam Wainwright was placed on the 10 day DL with right elbow impingement.  Wainwright had a platelet rich plasma injection in his elbow and is suspended from throwing for 10-14 days.  A mid -September return for Wainwright is possible.

RHP Trevor Rosenthal was placed on the 10 day DL with right posterior elbow irritation.  Rosenthal is set to get a second opinion sometime this week, to determine the next course of action.  That action could be surgery.

LHP Kevin Siegrist (left forearm tendinitis) has been throwing bullpen sessions and is expected to return to the roster by later in August.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals have a travel day on Monday and return home to St. Louis to begin a three game series with the Padres.  Lance Lynn is scheduled to make the Tuesday start.  Luke Weaver will make the start on Wednesday, and Carlos Martinez pitches on Thursday.

On Friday, the Tampa Bay Rays will come to Busch Stadium for a weekend series.  No pitchers are yet announced, but will likely be Michael Wacha, Mike Leake and Lance Lynn.

The Cardinals have another travel day a week from Monday as they head to Milwaukee for a two game set with the Brewers then to San Francisco for four game series beginning Thursday. After the Giants, the Cardinals travel to San Diego to play the Padres in a four game series.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

Paul DeJong (USA TODAY Sports Images)

This week, rookie Paul DeJong hit his 20th home run since being called up in late May.  DeJong has been something of a local celebrity that no one expected due to his performance since joining St. Louis.  The 20 home runs are one short of the single season Cardinals record for a shortstop, held by the 2014 version of Jhonny Peralta, who had 21.  It is quite likely DeJong will pass Peralta for that record.

Aside from that record that DeJong may very well break, I thought to look at other Cardinals rookie records in the offensive category.  The one Cardinal who stands out in terms of offensive records for rookies should surprise no one.  That is of course, Albert Pujols.

Albert Pujols (USA TODAY Sports Images)

In Pujols’ debut season of 2001, he set the following team rookie records:  Runs (112), Hits (194, tied with 1899 Emmet Heidrick), Doubles (47), Home Runs (37), Extra Base Hits (88, also the NL rookie record), Total Bases (360, also the NL rookie record), and RBI (130, also the NL rookie record).

Other Cardinals rookie records are held by Vince Coleman in 1985 for At Bats (636) and Stolen Bases (110, also the MLB rookie record).  The aforementioned Emmet Heidrick (in 1899) has the Cardinal rookie record for Singles (157).  The rookie record for Triples belongs to Tommy Long (25) in 1915.  George Watkins holds St. Louis and MLB rookie records for Batting Average (.373) and Slugging (.621) in 1930.  Former Cardinals manager Solly Hemus holds the team rookie record for Walks (75) in 1951.  The Cardinal rookie record for Strikeouts belongs to Hector Cruz (119) in 1976.  Joe Frazier, in 1954, holds the rookie record for Pinch Hits (20), and the record for Longest Hitting Streak is held by Joe McEwing (25), set in 1999.

DeJong may never make that list, but he has definitely made Cardinals fans happy with his 2017 performance.  Time will tell if his name someday appears among the likes of greats like Albert Pujols.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Johnson City Cardinals Notebook: 2017 Week 9

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 8/20/17

photo: Eliezer Alvarez (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 3-5 on Saturday.  Our Player of the Day is designated hitter Eliezer Alvarez, who was 3-for-4 with six RBI for first-place Springfield. John Gant and Ramon Santos threw six scoreless innings for Memphis and Palm Beach, respectively. Peoria’s Stefan Trosclair hit a grand slam.

Results for games played Saturday, August 19.

Memphis 4, New Orleans 0

John Gant (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Redbirds shut out New Orleans at AutoZone Park on Saturday night.  Starting pitcher John Gant pitched six scoreless innings, allowing six hits, striking out five and walking three.  Miguel Socolovich added a scoreless seventh.  Sean Gilmartin allowed just one hit in the scoreless eighth and ninth.  Gant earned his sixth win of the season.

The Redbirds got on the board in the second inning on solo blast by Patrick Wisdom, his 28th home run of the season.  In the third inning, three runs came home on Alex Mejia’s two run double, and a double by Aledmys Diaz.  Diaz was 2-for-4.  Wisdom was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

On the base paths, Breyvic Valera was picked off first base.

The Redbirds are 83-44 on the season and are in first place in the PCL American South by 22 games.

Sunday’s game:  vs. New Orleans, Dakota Hudson (0-0, 4.56) 2:05 CT.


Springfield 12, Corpus Christi 5

Eliezer Alvarez (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

The Cardinals won decisively against Corpus Christi in Springfield on Saturday night.  Eliezer Alvarez led the offense with a 3-for-4 performance.  Alvarez drove in six runs and scored two. In the first inning Alvarez plated two on a double.  Also driving in single runs in that inning were Adolis Garcia on a double, a single by John Nogowski, and a double by Jacob Wilson.  Alvarez drove in two more runs with his second inning single.  Jesse Jenner doubled in two runs in the fifth.  Alvarez again doubled for two runs in the eighth.  The final Cardinals run scored in the eighth when Wilson drew a bases loaded walk.

Adolis Garcia was 3-for-4 with three runs scored.  Nogowski was 3-for-4 with two runs.  Darren Seferina was 2-for-4 and scored three times.

Starter Zac Gallen had a rough night, giving up five runs on seven hits while striking out one and walking three in 3 2/3 innings.  Tyler Bray followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Corey Littrell pitched three scoreless frames and was the winning pitcher.  Landon Beck tossed a scoreless ninth.

Seferina stole his eighth base in 10 attempts.  Randy Arozarena was caught stealing for the second time in nine attempts.  Anthony Garcia committed a fielding error.

The Cardinals are 71-54 overall, 36-19 in the second half, and in first place by 1.5 games in the Texas League North.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Corpus Christi, Austin Gomber (8-7, 3.58) 2:10 CT.


Palm Beach 3, Bradenton 0

Ramon Santos (Johnson City Cardinals)

The Cardinals shut out Bradenton at home on Saturday.  Starting pitcher Ramon Santos won his fourth game of the season, pitching six scoreless innings and allowing three hits.  The right hander fanned five and walked two.  Eric Carter tossed a perfect seventh and eighth.  Jordan Hicks added a 1-2-3 ninth including two strikeouts to earn his first professional save.

Jose Martinez drove in the first run on a second inning single. Martinez was 3-for-4.  Blake Drake added an RBI double in the sixth.  In the seventh, Casey Grayson grounded into a force out that scored a run.  Drake was 2-for-4 and Thomas Spitz was 2-for-3.

On the base paths, Martinez stole his second base in four attempts.  In the field, Vince Jackson had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals are 68-53 overall and 28-26 in the second half.  They are 8 games back of first in the FSL South.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Bradenton, Connor Jones (7-5. 4.19) 12:00 p.m. CT.


Peoria 6, Clinton 7

Stefan Trosclair (The Cardinal Nation)

The Chiefs lost a close content at home against Clinton on Saturday night.  Peora fell behind early, but scored six runs in the third and fourth innings to take the lead.  The lead didn’t hold, however.

The four runs in the third inning came on a grand slam by Stefan Trosclair.  In the fourth, Mick Fennell’s single scored two.  Fennell and Danny Hudzina went 2-for-4.

Starter Ian Oxnevad pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up five runs, three earned, on seven hits.  The left hander struck out two and walked four.  Max Almonte surrendered one run in his 1 1/3 innings of relief.  Dewin Perez relinquished another run in 2 1/3 innings and took the loss.  Austin Sexton got the last two outs of the ninth.

Nick Plummer was caught stealing for the seventh time in 15 attempts.  Fennell was picked off first base.  In a sloppy game for the defense, Fennell had a throwing error, Trosclair made a fielding error and a throwing error, and Hudzina committed a fielding error.

The Chiefs are 59-65 overall on the season, 29-25 in the second half to put them six games back of first place in the Midwest League West and one game ahead in the wild card race.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Clinton, Evan Kruczynski (2-3, 4.25) 2:00 CT.


State College 5 at Auburn 7

Yariel Gonzalez (State College Spikes)

The Spikes were defeated by the Doubledays at Auburn on Saturday.  State College took an early lead, but a six run fourth inning by Auburn put them in a hole from which they couldn’t climb.  Starter Paul Balestrieri had a tough start, pitching 3 2/3 innings and giving up seven runs on eight hits.  The right hander struck out two and walked two and was tagged with his third loss of the season.  Steven Farinaro added 4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.

Scott Hurst was 4-for-5.  Yariel Gonzalez was 2-for-4 and plated four, via a sac fly and a three run double.  Edwin Figuera was 2-for-5 with two runs scored.  Joshua Lopez plated a run on a fourth inning double.

Wood Myers stole his second base in four attempts.  Gonzalez stole his second in base in four attempts also.  Hurst made a throwing error.

The Spikes are 30-27 on the season and are 3.5 games back of first place in the NY-Penn Pinckney Division and three games out of the wild card.

Sunday’s game:  at Auburn, Andrew Summerville (3-0, 1.73) 1:05 CT.


Johnson City 1 at Bluefield 6

The Cardinals were blanked by the Blue Jays in Bluefield.  Johnson City offense was scarce, with the only run scoring on a third inning single by Julio Rodriguez.  Rodriguez was the only Cardinal with multiple hits, going 2-for-4.

Starter Franyel Casadilla pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up five runs on 13 hits.  The right hander fanned three and walked none and suffered his fifth loss of the season.  Juan Alvarez added 1 2/3 innings of relief and surrendered one run on two hits.  Jake Dahlberg pitched a scoreless eighth.

Carlos Talavera was caught stealing for the fifth time in 10 attempts.  Pitcher Alvarez made a fielding error.

The Cardinals are 30-25 on the season and are 3.5 games back of first place in the Appalachian League West but one game ahead in the wild card race.

Sunday’s game:  at Elizabethton, Edwar Ramirez (2-6, 7.11) 5:00 CT.


GCL Cardinals 8 at GCL Marlins 10

Jordan Schafer (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Cardinals were topped by the Marlins in a high scoring game on Saturday.  Jordan Schafer, rehabbing from an injury in Spring Training that led to elbow surgery, drove in two runs, and was 2-for-4 with a double and a triple.  Michael Brdar drove in two runs on a seventh inning double.  Edmundo Sosa, also rehabbing an injury, was 2-for-5 with an RBI, as was Dariel Gomez.  Donivan Williams plated a run on a fifth inning single.

Starter Noel De Jesus pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on six hits.  Enrique Perez surrendered six runs on three hits in his one inning of relief.  Perez was the losing pitcher.  Wilberto Rivera relinquished two runs, one earned in one frame.  Kevin Hamann pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Sanel Rosendo was caught stealing for the third time in four attempts and committed a throwing error.  De Jesus picked a runner off first base.

The Cardinals are 23-21 on the season and 3.5 games back of first place in the GCL East.

Sunday’s games :  at GCL Astros, TBA 9:00 a.m. CT (Game 1 doubleheader), TBA (Game 2 following Game 1)


DSL Cardinals 5 at DSL Phillies Red 12

The Cardinals were clobbered by the Phillies Red team on Saturday.  Starter Dionis Zamora suffered his third loss of the season after pitching four innings, and giving up three unearned runs on four hits.  The right hander struck out two and walked one.  Roy Garcia surrendered five runs, four earned, on five hits in the fifth.  Leonardo Taveras pitched a scoreless sixth.  Rodardo Avelino started the seventh and gave up four runs in 2/3 of an inning.  Jose Geronimo finished the seventh and pitched a scoreless eighth.  Cardinals pitching gave up 12 runs on 15 hits.

The Cardinals bats scored five runs on 14 hits.  Yowelfy Rosario was 3-for-5 with two RBI.  Alexander Samuel plated a run and was 3-for-4.  Freddy DeJesus was 2-for-4 with one run driven in.  Victor Garcia was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.  Extra base hits were a double by Garcia, and a triple from Carlos Soler.

The Cards committed six errors. Raffy Ozuna made two fielding errors and Pablo Gomez had one.  DeJesus had two throwing miscues and Rosario one.

The Cardinals are 27-36 on the season and are 17.5 games back of first place in the DSL South.

Sunday’s game:  Off.



Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Springfield’s Wick Adds New Pitch in Injury-Free Push

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 8/19/17

photo: Scott Hurst (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 4-3 on Friday. Our Player of the Day is State College center fielder Scott Hurst, whose three run home run in the 15th inning gave the Spikes a victory over West Virginia.

Results for games played Friday, August 18.

Memphis 7, Nashville 8

Rangel Ravelo (Memphis Redbirds)

The Redbirds lost their first series since April, losing to the Sounds at home for the third loss in the four game series.  The Sounds scored in the first, but Memphis quickly responded with two runs on a two run home run by Alex Mejia.  The lead changed hands several times.  The Redbirds scored three in the fourth to regain the lead on Patrick Wisdom’s two run home run and Breyvic Valera’s RBI single.  After the lead was lost again, the Redbirds rallied in the ninth but fell short by one run.  Another two run home run, this time by Rangel Ravelo, brought the Redbirds to within one, but the rally died with ground outs by Mejia and Tyler O’Neill.

Ravelo was 3-for 5 with the two RBI and two runs scored.  Mejia and Valera were 2-for-5.

Starter Matt Pearce could not put up zeros in consecutive innings.  Pearce pitched seven innings, giving up eight runs on 12 hits.  The right hander struck out six and walked none. Josh Zeid tossed the final two scoreless innings.  Pearce took the loss, his second with Memphis.

The Redbirds are 82-44 on the season and are in first place in the PCL Southern by 22.5 games.  Memphis has already clinched the Division.

Saturday’s game:  vs. New Orleans, John Gant (5-5, 4.07) 6:35 CT.


Springfield 4, Corpus Christi 7

Adolis Garcia (St. Louis Cardinals)

The Cardinals went down in defeat to Corpus Christi at home on Friday night.  Springfield starter Chris Ellis was tagged with his seventh loss of the season.  Ellis pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on seven hits, while fanning six and walking one.  Andrew Morales followed with 2 1/3 innings of relief, surrendering one run on three hits.  Rowan Wick pitched a scoreless ninth.

Offense was on the light side for Springfield, four runs on only five hits.  No Cardinal had multiple hits.  One of those hits was a big fly, a two run home run by Adolis Garcia in the fourth inning.  Springfield plated two more in the eighth on Magneuris Sierra’s double, and Tommy Edman’s single.

On the base paths, Garcia stole his 11th base in 19 attempts, Darren Seferina swiped his seventh in nine tries, and Edman stole his fourth base in in five attempts.

The Cardinals are 70-54 overall, 35-18 in the second half and in first place in the Texas League North by two games.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Corpus Christi, Zac Gallen (4-3, 3.40) 6:10 CT.


Palm Beach 2, Bradenton 1

Jake Woodford (Peoria Chiefs)

The Cardinals edged the Marauders at home on Friday night in a low scoring contest.  The game was scoreless until the eighth, when Bradenton scored one and Palm Beach responded with two. The first run scored on three consecutive singles by Casey Grayson, Chris Chinea and Leobaldo Pina.  Pina’s single plated Grayson.  A single by Blake Drake scored Chinea.  Chinea was 2-for-4, and Drake was 3-for-4.

Cardinals starter Jake Woodford pitched eight innings, giving up one run on four hits.  The right hander fanned five and walked two on route to his seventh win of the season.  Dailyn Martinez pitched a scoreless ninth for this fourth save.

Drake stole his fifth base in eight attempts for Palm Beach.  Pina swiped his fifth base in six tries.  Grayson committed a fielding error.  Thomas Spitz had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals are 67-53 overall and 27-26 in the second half, which puts them eight games back of first place in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Bradenton, Ramon Santos (3-3, 3.63) 4:30 CT.


Peoria 2, Clinton 1

Anthony Shew (State College Spikes)

Peoria squeaked by Clinton in a game with little offense on both sides.  The Chiefs scored twice on six hits.  In the second inning, Dylan Carlson walked and Matt Fiedler singled.  Fiedler stole second base and Carlson scored on a throwing error by the Clinton catcher.  After the Lumber Kings tied it up in the seventh, the Chiefs took the lead with one run in the bottom frame, on Carlson’s RBI double.  No Chiefs had multiple hits.

Peoria starter Anthony Shew won his second Midwest League game.  Shew pitched 7 1/3 innings, giving up one run on four hits.  The right hander struck out 11, walked none and logged eight ground ball outs to just two flies.  Leland Tilley pitched the final 1 2/3 scoreless innings to earn his fourth save.

Fiedler stole his fourth base in eighth attempts for Peoria.  Stefan Trosclair was caught stealing for just the fourth time in 17 attempts.

The Chiefs are 59-64 overall and 28-25 in the second half to put them six games back of first place in the Midwest League West for the second half and one game ahead of Kane County for the wild card.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Clinton, Ian Oxnevad (3-10, 4.22) 6:30 CT.


State College 5 at West Virginia 2 (15 innings)

Scott Hurst (State College Spikes)

It was long and drawn out victory for the Spikes on Friday.  A 2-2 tie was taken into the 15th inning before State College finally broke the stalemate with a three run top of the 15th.  The Spikes fell behind initially, but tied it up with one run each in the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh, Zach Kirtley led off with a solo home run.  In the eighth, Joshua Lopez’ solo shot tied the game.  Finally, in the 15th inning, Scott Hurst’s three run blast gave the Spikes the lead and the victory.  Hurst was 2-for-7 with three RBI. Bryce Denton was 3-for-6.

Starting pitcher Daniel Castano pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on eight hits.  Castano fanned five and walked none.  The bullpen was fantastic as Levi MaVorhis and Noel Gonzalez followed with three scoreless innings of relief each.  Robbie Gordon hurled the final two scoreless innings to earn the win.

On the base paths, Edwin Figuera stole his 10th base in 12 attempts.

The Spikes are 30-26 and are 3.5 games back of first place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.

Saturday’s game:  at Auburn, Paul Balestrieri (3-2, 5.30) 5:05 CT.


Johnson City 10 at Bluefield 5

Alexis Wilson (The Cardinal Nation)

The Cardinals blanked the Blue Jays in Bluefield on Friday.  A four RBI night by catcher Alexis Wilson was the offensive highlight.  Wilson plated the first Cardinals run in the first inning on a sac fly.  A second run scored in the second inning on a wild pitch.  Three runs came home on the fourth on a passed ball and a throwing error.  In the fifth, Brady Whalen plated a run on a fielder’s choice.  Wilson later hit a bases clearing double to score three. Irving Lopez’ RBI single scored the final Johnson City run in the sixth.

Wilson was 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBI. Lopez was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.  Walker Robbins was 2-for-4 and Carlos Rodriguez was 2-for-5.

Starter Zach Prendegast pitched five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits to win his third game.  The right hander struck out six and walked one.  Paul Salazar tossed two innings of relief and surrendered one unearned run.  Will Changarotty allowed a run in his one inning, before Brett Seeburger pitched a scoreless ninth.

On the base paths, Carlos Talavera stole his fifth base.  In the field, Whalen and Lopez committed throwing errors.

The Cardinals are 30-24 on the season and are 2.5 games back of first place in the Appalachian League West and one game ahead of Greeneville for the wild card.

Saturday’s game:  at Bluefield, Franyel Casadilla (1-4, 7.78) 6:05 CT.


GCL Cardinals 3, GCL Nationals 9

Edmundo Sosa (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Cardinals were soundly defeated by the Nationals on Friday. Defensive errors played a significant role, as the Nationals posted five unearned runs.  Palm Beach rehabber Derian Gonzalez started, pitching the first inning and giving up one run on three hits.  Gonzalez fanned two and walked none.  Brian Pirela took the next three innings, yielding six runs, two earned, on four hits.  Patrick Dayton surrendered two runs, one earned in 2 2/3 innings.  Kodi Whitley added 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and Gabriel Gentner pitched a scoreless ninth.  Pirela was the losing pitcher.

Rehabber Edmundo Sosa was 2-for-3, including a first inning solo home run.  Dariel Gomez hit a solo shot in the second inning and was also 2-for-3.  Elehuris Montero was 2-for-3.  The final Cardinals run scored in the seventh on Moises Castillo’s double.

On the base paths, Sanel Rosendo was caught stealing for the second time in three attempts.  In the field, Luis Flores and Brian Sanchez both committed a fielding error.  Montero made a throwing error.

The Cardinals are 23-20 on the season and are 2.5 games back of first place in the GCL East.

Saturday’s game:  vs. GCL Marlins, TBA 9:00 a.m. CT.


DSL Cardinals – Off

Saturday’s game:  vs. DSL Phillies Red, TBA 9:30 a.m. CT.



Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Springfield’s Wick Adds New Pitch in Injury-Free Push

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

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Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of August 7-13

(photo: Dexter Fowler/USA TODAY Sports Images)

Whether due to a stray cat, a players meeting, a favorable home schedule or something else, the St. Louis Cardinals reeled off an eight-game winning streak that has them in the middle of the Central Division race. Dexter Fowler is the new clean-up hitter and has been cleaning up. Our history feature looks at the 1987 Cardinals.

 

“Rally Cat” becomes a phenomenon

To those who remember the Rally Squirrel from the 2011 Championship season, this season brings us another “rally” animal to get behind.  In Wednesday’s game against the Royals at Busch Stadium, the St. Louis Cardinals were behind the Kansas City Royals by a score of 5-4.  In the sixth inning, with two outs and the bases juiced, Yadier Molina came to the plate.  After taking the first pitch from Royals reliever Peter Moylan for a ball, Molina backed away and pointed toward the outfield.  There, scampering across the outfield, was a kitten.  The game was delayed while a member of the grounds crew attempted to remove the kitten.  The kitten was removed from the field, but not without putting up a fight with the grounds crew member (who was bitten).  When the game continued, Molina immediately hit a grand slam that won the game for the Cardinals.

The fate of the kitten was a mish mash of stories.  One story was that the kitten was taken to the Humane Society, which turned out to be false.  Another one was that the kitten was placed at the Stan Musial statue and mysteriously claimed by a woman, who later supposedly claimed to have lost the kitten.

Finally, the kitten was found and delivered to the St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach.  It turned out it was not feral at all, just a stray.  The cat was given a health check, appeared to be healthy, and will now be quarantined for 10 days and then offered out for adoption.  One has the feeling this kitty will be fought over, and hopefully the lucky adopter will be revealed in the next week or two.

Game Recaps

Monday, August 7 – Cardinals 11 at Royals 3

In the first of a four game home and home series against the Royals, the Cardinals continued their offensive outburst from Sunday’s game against the Reds.  The long ball accounted for seven of the Redbirds’ 11 runs.  Matt Carpenter hit a three run home run in the fourth inning, Kolten Wong had a two run shot in the eighth, and Paul DeJong added a two run shot in the ninth.  Wong had four RBI as he drove in the first Cardinal run in the second inning on a sac fly, and plated a run in the fourth on a force attempt that resulted in a throwing error.  Also in the fourth, Greg Garcia drew a bases loaded walk to score a run.  Carpenter was 2-for-4.  Jose Martinez was 2-for-5 and Yadier Molina was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Starter Carlos Martinez pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on seven hits to earn his eighth win.  The right hander struck out seven and walked none.  Sam Tuivailala pitched the ninth and surrendered one run.

Tuesday, August 8 – Cardinals 10 at Royals 3

In game two of the series, the Redbird bats came to play with the long ball again playing a major role.  Yadier Molina hit a solo shot in the fourth inning, and Randal Grichuk added a solo blast in the fifth.  Jedd Gyorko blasted a three run shot, also in the fifth.  Molina was 2-for-4 and drove in three runs.  Grichuk was 2-for-5, and he plated two runs on a single in the seventh.  Matt Carpenter had an RBI double in the seventh and was 2-for-3.  Paul DeJong was 2-for-5.

Starter Michael Wacha pitched six innings, giving up three runs on six hits.  The right hander struck out five and walked two to earn his ninth win.  Three relievers added a scoreless inning each – Seung-Hwan Oh, Zach Duke and John Brebbia.

On the base paths, Gyorko was picked off and caught stealing second base.

Wednesday, August 9 – Cardinals 8, Royals 5

The Cardinals returned home to Busch to play the Royals in the second half of the home and home series.  The Redbirds continued their winning streak by defeating the Royals for the third time.

Starter Mike Leake had an indifferent outing, going five innings and giving up five runs, four earned, on 11 hits.  The right hander struck out five and walked one.  Matt Bowman pitched a scoreless inning of relief and was the winning pitcher.  Zach Duke added a scoreless seventh.  Seung-Hwan Oh and Tyler Lyons combined for a scoreless eighth, and Trevor Rosenthal tossed a scoreless ninth to earn his ninth save.

A grand slam by Yadier Molina in the sixth was the offensive highlight, which occurred with the Cardinals were behind 5-4.  After the first pitch to Molina, the catcher pointed to the outfield, as there was a small kitten running across the outfield.  The game was halted and the kitten was captured by a member of the grounds crew and carried off the field.  The kitten was dubbed the “rally cat” as Molina followed the incident with the grand slam that secured the victory for the Cardinals.

Also driving in runs in the game were Mike Leake on a sac bunt in the second, followed by an RBI single by Matt Carpenter.  In the third inning, Jedd Gyorko plated a run on a single to left, and in the fourth, Jose Martinez launched a solo home run.  Martinez and Grichuk were 2-for-4.

On the base paths, Kolten Wong stole his fourth base of the season, and Dexter Fowler stole his fifth base of the season.  Wong was also picked off and caught stealing.  In the field, Molina committed a throwing error and Fowler had an outfield assist.

Thursday, August 10 – Cardinals 8, Royals 6

In the rubber game of the home and home series, the Cardinals accomplished the sweep against the Royals. Like the previous game, this was a come from behind win.  The Redbirds were held scoreless until the sixth, when three runs tied the score.  Four tallies in the seventh, and one in the eighth gave the Cardinals the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.  Dexter Fowler’s double plated the first run in the sixth.  A throwing error on Jose Martinez’ ground ball force attempt brought a second run home.  Kolten Wong’s sac fly scored another.

The grand slam was again prominent, by Fowler in the seventh inning.  Paul DeJong’s double in the eighth brought in the final run.  Fowler was 2-for-5 with five RBI.  DeJong was 2-for-3, and Wong was 2-for-2.

Lance Lynn pitched six innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on six hits.  The right hander fanned three and walked five.  Matt Bowman and Tyler Lyons combined for a scoreless seventh inning.  Lyons was the winning pitcher.  Brett Cecil surrendered two runs and Seung-Hwan Oh was charged with one, as both pitchers got one out each in the eighth inning.  Trevor Rosenthal secured the final four outs for his 10th save.

Friday, August 11 – Cardinals 8, Braves 5

The Cardinals began the weekend series against the Braves with their seventh consecutive win.  Adam Wainwright won his 12th game despite subpar velocity.  The veteran right hander pitched five innings, giving up one run on four hits.  Wainwright walked three but struck out none.  Brett Cecil started the sixth and had a tough outing, surrendering four runs and only two outs.  John Brebbia got the final out of the inning and two outs in the seventh before Zach Duke retired the next four batters.  Matt Bowman pitched a quiet ninth to earn his second save.

The Cardinals scored four runs in the second inning, starting with an RBI double from Kolten Wong.  Randal Grichuk plated a run on a single.  Matt Carpenter and Paul DeJong each doubled in a run.  In the third, Grichuk tripled to bring a run home and Wainwright singled in another.  DeJong plated two on a double in the eighth for the final two Redbirds runs.   DeJong was 2-for-5 with three RBI.  Grichuk was 2-for-4 with two driven in and two scored.

Yadier Molina stole his eighth base of the season.

Saturday, August 12 – Cardinals 6, Braves 5

The Cardinals edged the Braves in the second game of weekend series.  Dexter Fowler got St. Louis on the board in the first inning on an RBI single to right.  In the second inning, Randal Grichuk’s solo home run added another. Three runs came home in the fourth on Greg Garcia’s ground out and singles by Carlos Martinez and Tommy Pham.  In the seventh, Paul DeJong’s 17th major league home run was the final Cardinals score.  DeJong was 2-for-3, Fowler was 2-for-4.  Grichuk was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Starter Carlos Martinez earned his ninth win, pitching six innings, and giving up three runs on seven hits.  The righty fanned seven and walked one.  Tyler Lyons followed with two scoreless frames of relief.  Trevor Rosenthal gave up two runs in the ninth, but earned his 11th save.

In the field, Matt Carpenter made a missed catch error in the ninth that made matters tense. It was his 11th error of the season.

Sunday, August 13 – Cardinals 3, Braves 6

The Cardinals were unable to complete the sweep against the Braves on Sunday as Michael Wacha did not have a good start.  Wacha pitched five innings, giving up four runs on eight hits.  The right hander struck out one and walked one in his fifth loss.  Sam Tuivailala tossed two innings of relief and surrendered one run on two hits.  Brett Cecil pitched a scoreless eighth.  John Brebbia took the ninth and relinquished one run.

Paul DeJong hit his 18th home run for St. Louis, a solo shot.  DeJong was 3-for-5.  Carson Kelly singled in a run in the seventh inning.  Kolten Wong’s single in the eighth plated the third and final run for St. Louis.  Wong and Randal Grichuk went 2-for-4.

Tommy Pham was picked off first base.

Big Picture

The Cardinals went 6-1 this past week, and had an eight game winning streak going back to last Saturday’s game against the Reds.  The streak was broken with the loss to the Braves on Sunday.  The winning streak moved the Cardinals into a virtual tie with the Cubs as of Saturday.  With the loss on Sunday and the Cubs and Brewers winning, the Cardinals are now one game back of the Cubs, and one game ahead of the Brewers.

The offense was outstanding the past week, scoring 49 runs in seven games.  Other than a poor outing by Brett Cecil, the bullpen has been good.  The defense has been fine, and there have been minor issues with baserunning.  The starting pitching has been so-so but the offense made up for that.

The team’s improved play could in part be tied back to a team meeting called by Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright in Cincinnati on August 3.

The Cardinals play the Red Sox and the Pirates on the road in the coming week, and how the Cardinals fare against both teams will be telling.

NL Central Standings

W L % GB
Chicago Cubs 61 55 0.526
St. Louis 61 57 0.517 1
Milwaukee 61 59 0.508 2
Pittsburgh 58 60 0.492 4
Cincinnati 49 69 0.415 13

Who’s Hot

Over the past 7 days (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

Dexter Fowler (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Dexter Fowler is batting .421 with an OPS of 1.502.  He has 1 HR, 1 triple, 4 doubles, and 6 RBI.

Kolten Wong is batting .455 with an OPS of 1.261.  He has 1 HR, 3 doubles, and 7 RBI.

Paul DeJong is batting .387 with an OPS of 1.119.  He has 2 HRs, 3 doubles, and 7 RBI.

Randal Grichuk is batting .357 with an OPS of 1.107.  He has 2 HRs, 1 triple, 3 doubles, and 7 RBI.

Kolten Wong (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Matt Carpenter is batting .360 with an OPS of 1.195.  He has 1 HR, 1 triple, 3 doubles, and 8 RBI.

Jose Martinez is batting .333 with an OPS of 1.083.  He has 2 HRs, 1 double, and 5 RBI

Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 3.21 and a WHIP of 1.07

Tyler Lyons has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.67

Paul DeJong (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Trevor Rosenthal has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.50.

Zach Duke has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00.

Matt Bowman has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.90.

Who’s Not

Over the past 7 days (does not contain recent Sunday games):

Tommy Pham is batting .240 and has an OPS of .707

Luke Voit is batting .143 and has an OPS of .536.

Mike Leake has an ERA of 7.20 and a WHIP of 2.40.

Brett Cecil has an ERA of 13.50 and a WHIP of 2.25.

Sam Tuivailala has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last 7 games (does not contain recent Sunday game):

The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter.

The number 2 hitter has been Tommy Pham for 6 games and Jose Martinez for one game.

The number 3 hitter has been Paul DeJong.

The number 4 hitter has been Dexter Fowler for four games, and Martinez for three games.

The number 5 hitter has been Yadier Molina.

The number 6 hitter has been Fowler for two games, Kolten Wong for two games, Jedd Gyorko for two games, and Martinez for one game.

The number 7 hitter has Wong for four games, Randal Grichuk for two games, and Gyorko for one game.

The number 8 hitter has been Grichuk for three games, Greg Garcia for three games, and Wong for one game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

8/17 The Cardinals activated OF Dexter Fowler from the 10 day disabled list.

8/17 The Cardinals optioned OF Stephen Piscotty to the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

LHP Kevin Siegrist remains on the 10-day DL with left forearm tendinitis.  Siegrist is doing strength work with trainers, but the timing of his expected return to the roster is unknown.

3B Jedd Gyorko was a late scratch to the lineup in Saturday’s game against the Braves.  Gyorko is dealing with a sore right knee and sat out Sunday as well.  Gyorko is considered day to day.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals have an off day Monday and travel to Boston to play the second half of a home and home series with the Red Sox.  Mike Leake is scheduled to make the Tuesday start.  The Wednesday starter will be Lance Lynn.

The Cardinals travel to Pittsburgh for a four game series with the Pirates opening on Thursday.   Monday, August 21 is an off day, and the Cardinals head home to begin a homestand, starting with a three game series against the Padres.  The Cardinals then play a weekend series with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Monday, August 28 is another off day, and the Cardinals travel to Milwaukee to play two games with the Brewers.  The Cardinals then travel to San Francisco for a four game sets against the Giants. The Cardinals leave San Francisco and travel to San Diego to play a four game series against the Padres.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

The 1987 World Champion Cardinals were celebrated this weekend at Busch Stadium. I have talked a little about that team in the past, but let’s look at some tidbits about that squad in this week’s history segment.

Whitey Herzog

The 1987 Cardinals were managed by Whitey Herzog, who had also managed the previous World Champion Cardinals in 1982.  The 1987 GM was former Cardinals shortstop Dal Maxvill.  The 1987 squad finished with a record of 95-67 and with the division title in the National League East.  It was the last season the Cardinals finished in first place before moving to the National League Central in 1994.

The 1987 season included the Tommy Herr walk off grand slam on “Seat Cushion Night”.  The team went into the post season without cleanup hitter Jack Clark, who had injured his ankle on the Astroturf at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.

Notable players on the 1987 team were Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, fan favorite Willie McGee, and the aforementioned Jack Clark.  Also on the 1987 roster was former pitcher and Fox Sports Midwest color analyst Ricky Horton, and former Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo.  The regular starters were Smith, McGee, Clark, Terry Pendleton, Tommy Herr, Vince Coleman, Curt Ford, and catcher Tony Pena. In the book of weird names, this team also had a bench infielder named Skeeter Barnes.

The 1987 Cardinals won the Division, and defeated the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS 4-3 (there was no NLDS in 1987, it was not implemented until 1995).  St. Louis was defeated in the World Series 4-3 by the Minnesota Twins.  The Cardinals were as successful as they were despite no starting pitcher winning more than 11 games during the season.  The 1987 World Series was the first series in which both teams won only their home games.

Three Cardinals on the 1987 team won awards in the offseason.  Pendleton was awarded the National League Gold Glove at third base.  Smith won the National League Gold Glove at shortstop and the Silver Slugger at shortstop.  Clark was the National League Silver Slugger winner at first base.

After the 1987 World Series, the Cardinals did not reach another World Series until 2004.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Springfield Speedster Mercado Developing “Sneaky Power”

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 8/13/17

(photo: Julio Rodriguez/Johnson City Cardinals)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 7-1 on Saturday. Our Player of the Day is Johnson City C-1B Julio Rodriguez, who was 3-for-4 with five RBI and two runs scored in Johnson City’s victory over the Elizabethton Twins.

Results for games played Saturday, August 12.

Memphis 6 at Nashville 1

Patrick Wisdom (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Redbirds won in Nashville in the second of eight straight games against the Sounds.  Patrick Wisdom’s two run home run in the second inning got Memphis on the board.  The Redbirds didn’t score again until the eighth inning, when Stephen Piscotty hit a solo home run to the same spot as the hit in Friday night’s game that was changed from a home run to a double.  In the ninth, Breyvic Valera plated a run on a double, and Piscotty’s single scored Valera.  Valera, Wisdom, Alberto Rosario, and Alex Mejia were each 2-for-4.  Piscotty was 2-for-5.  Wisdom and Piscotty had two RBI.

Starter Luke Weaver went six innings, giving up one run on three hits.  The right hander fanned five and walked three.  Mark Montgomery pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth.  Ryan Sherriff added a scoreless ninth.

On the base paths, Valera stole his 11th base in 21 attempts.

The Redbirds are 79-41 on the season and are in first place in the PCL American South by 21.5 games.

Sunday’s game:  at Nashville, Matt Pearce (2-1, 4.32) 6:35 CT.


Springfield 6 at Corpus Christi 5

Sandy Alcantara (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Springfield was victorious in a close contest in Corpus Christi on Saturday.  The Cardinals obtained a healthy lead by the seventh, but an eighth inning surge by the Hooks made it closer.  The Cards scored their first two runs in the second without benefit of a hit, on Bruce Caldwell’s ground out, and on Tommy Edman’s bases loaded walk.  Back to back solo home runs by Andrew Knizner and Edman that increased the lead by two more in the fourth.  Anthony Garcia plated two in the sixth on a double to right field.  Garcia was 2-for-4, as was Jacob Wilson.  Magneuris Sierra was 2-for-5.

Springfield starter Sandy Alcantara pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on three hits to earn his seventh win of the season.  The right hander struck out eight and walked five.  Corey Littrell followed with two innings of relief, in which he surrendered two additional runs.  Andrew Morales gave up a run without recording an out after replacing Littrell with two outs in the eighth.  Jacob Evans retired the final batter of the inning.  Evans returned to get the first out of the ninth and was replaced by Tyler Bray.  Bray got the final two outs without any runs scoring, to earn his second save.

Wilson committed a throwing error, his ninth of the season.

The Cardinals are 67-52 overall, 31-17 in the second half, and in first place by 1.5 games in the Texas League North.

Sunday’s game:  at Corpus Christi, Chris Ellis (4-6, 3.60) 6:05 CT.


Palm Beach 4 at Daytona 1

Jake Woodford (Peoria Chiefs)

The Cardinals topped the Tortugas in Daytona on Saturday night.  Daytona initially took the 1-0 lead, but Palm Beach tied it up in the sixth inning on a leadoff single by Jose Martinez, who stole second base and then scored on a wild pitch.  The Cardinals added three more in the eighth on Casey Grayson’s two run single, with a third run scoring on a throwing error.  Grayson was 3-for-4, Luke Dykstra was 2-for-4 and Jeremy Martinez was 2-for-3.

Starter Jake Woodford pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up one run on five hits.  Woodford fanned two and walked four.  Ian McKinney tossed the final 2 1/3 scoreless innings, and earned the win.

Grayson stole his first base in one attempt.  Jose Martinez stole his first base in three attempts for Palm Beach.

The Cardinals are 64-51 overall and 24-24 in the second half.  They are 6.5 games back of first in the FSL South.

Sunday’s game:  at Daytona, Ramon Santos (3-2, 4.08) 4:35 CT.


Peoria 2, Burlington 4

Austin Warner (Peoria Chiefs)

The Chiefs were the hard luck losers at home against Burlington on Saturday.  The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the seventh, when the Chiefs put up a run on Danny Hudzina’s RBI double.  The Bees returned fire with two runs in the ninth to take the lead, but Peoria tied it up in the bottom frame on Mick Fennell’s RBI single.  The game went into extra innings, and the Bees put up two in the 11th to take the lead and the game.  No Chief hitter had multiple hits.  In addition to Hudzina’s double, Stefan Trosclair tripled.

Starter Austin Warner pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits while fanning five and issuing one free pass.  Ronnie Williams surrendered two runs in his two innings and was charged with the blown save.  Max Almonte relinquished the winning two runs and took the loss.

The Chiefs are 56-61 overall on the season, 26-21 in the second half to put them 4.5 games back of first place in the Midwest League West.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Burlington, Anthony Shew (1-0, 4.78) 2:00 CT.


State College 5, Vermont 4 (11 innings)

Andrew Summerville (State College Spikes)

The Spikes won a squeaker in extra innings at home against Vermont.  State College got on the board first in the fifth inning on Edwin Figuera’s RBI single.  The Spikes added a run in the eighth on Zach Kirtley’s single to score Figuera, who reached via a bunt single and then advanced to second on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt.  Wood Myers’ two run home run in the ninth tied up the game and sent it into extra innings.  The winning run came in the 11th on Brandon Benson’s walk off RBI single.  Figuera was 2-for-3 with an RBI.  Yariel Gonzalez was 2-for-5.

Starter Andrew Summerville pitched seven innings, giving up one run on three hits.  The left hander struck out one and walked one.  Robbie Gordon pitched a scoreless eighth.  Will Latcham blew the save in the ninth, surrendering three runs.  Latcham pitched a scoreless 10th and 11th, however, and earned the win.

Figuera stole his ninth base in 10 attempts, but was also caught stealing for the second time in 11 attempts.  Benson made a fielding error, but also had an outfield assist.  Summerville picked off a runner at first base, and catcher Joshua Lopez picked a runner off second base.

The Spikes are 29-23 on the season and are two games back of first place in the NY-Penn Pinckney Division.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Vermont, Paul Balestrieri (3-1, 4.63) 5:05 CT.


Johnson City 12, Elizabethton 5

Julio Rodriguez (Johnson City Cardinals)

The Cardinals soundly defeated the Twins on Saturday, thanks in part to a five RBI night by Julio Rodriguez.  The Cardinals scored two in the second inning on two RBI single by Imeldo Diaz.  Rodriguez drove in his first run on a ground out in the third.  Carlos Rodriguez’ single plated a run in the fourth.  Johnson City poured it on in the fifth with a seven run inning. Julio Rodriguez’ two run home run began the scoring.  A third run scored on a bases loaded hit by pitch of Carlos Rodriguez.  Chase Pinder drew a bases loaded walk to plate a run, and Wadye Ynfante did the same.  Julio Rodriguez, batting for the second time in the inning, plated two runs on a double to left field.  The Cardinals added one more in the seventh on Luis Bandes’ ground out.  Julio Rodriguez was 3-for-4 with five RBI and two runs scored.  Imeldo Diaz was 4-for-5 with an RBI.

Starter Zach Prendergast pitched five innings, giving up two runs on two hits while fanning three and walking none.  Prendergast earned his second win of the season.  Paul Salazar followed with two innings, allowing one run on two hits.  Fabian Blanco surrendered two runs in the eighth, while Thomas St. Clair pitched a scoreless ninth.

The Cardinals are 27-22 on the season and are 1.5 games back of first place in the Appalachian League West.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Elizabethton, Franyel Casadilla (1-3, 7.09) 5:00 CT.


GCL Cardinals 5, GCL Mets 0

Jonatan Machado (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Cardinals were victorious in a two hit shutout against the Mets on Saturday.  Five Cardinals pitchers kept the Mets off the board for nine innings, allowing only two hits and striking out 12. Rehabber Sean Gilmartin pitched the first two no hit innings, striking out three and walking done.  Angel Rondon followed with three frames, and was the winning pitcher.  Rondon allowed only one hit, fanned four and walked one.  Enrique Perez hurled the next two, also striking out four and walking one.  Chris Hunt tossed a perfect eighth.  Kodi Whitley allowed one hit in the ninth.

The Cardinals got on the board with two runs in the third inning, on Carlos Soler’s RBI single, and a ground out force out from Andres Luna.  In the fourth, a bases loaded walk by Elehuris Montero plated one run.  A second run scored on Taylor Bryant’s sac fly.  A solo home run by Luna in the fifth scored the fifth and final Cardinal run.  Jonatan Machado was 3-for-5 with two runs scored.  Luis Flores was 2-for-4.  Carlos Soto was 2-for-5.

Machado stole his sixth base in seven attempts.  Flores swiped his fourth bag in five attempts.  Luna stole his second base in two attempts.

The Cardinals are 19-18 on the season and three games back of first place in the GCL East.

Sunday’s game:  at GCL Nationals, TBA 9:00 a.m. CT


DSL Cardinals 6, DSL Rockies 5

The Cardinals edged the Rockies in a one run game on Saturday.  Starter Dionis Zamora went three scoreless innings, allowing four hits, striking out five and walking two.  Oneiver Diaz followed, pitching three innings and giving up three runs, none earned, on five hits.  Roy Garcia added a scoreless seventh.  Nelson Prada pitched the eighth and surrendered two runs.  Prada was charged with a blown save.  Jesus Cruz tossed a scoreless ninth and earned the win, his third.

The offense scored six runs on ten hits.  Victor Garcia was 3-for-4 with an RBI.  Luis Montano’s RBI double put the first Cardinal run on the board in the third inning.  Garcia singled in the sixth to plate a run.  Raffy Ozuna’s solo home run led off the seventh.  A second run scored in the seventh on a throwing error on a Carlos Soler ball in play.  The winning run scored in the ninth on Ivan Herrera’s RBI single.

Ozuna committed a fielding error, his 22nd error.

The Cardinals are 25-34 on the season and are 18 games back of first place in the DSL South.

Sunday’s game:  Off.



Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: In Taking on Leadership Role, Wilson Turns Corner

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Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 8/12/17

(photo: Ryan Helsley/Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 2-4 on Friday. Our Players of the Day are the Springfield Cardinals pitchers.  Starting pitcher Ryan Helsley and relievers Pedro Echemendia and Rowan Wick combined for a one-hit shutout of the Corpus Christi Hooks.

Results for games played Friday, August 11.

Memphis 1 at Nashville 3

Stephen Piscotty (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Redbirds lost Friday in the first of eight straight games against the Nashville Sounds.  Two controversial home run calls led to the defeat.  In the first inning, Stephen Piscotty hit what was originally ruled a two run home run.  Instead, the umpires conferred and ruled the hit was a double instead, and only one run scored.  That turned out to be the only Redbird run of the game.  The call led to the ejection of the Memphis first base coach.   A second controversial call came in the eighth, again on a home run call.  A ball hit to right field by a Nashville hitter was ruled a home run.  Right fielder Piscotty and the Redbirds bullpen in right field, immediately insisted it was a foul ball.  The umpires got together for a second time, but did not overturn the original call, as they had with the Piscotty hit.  Thus, Memphis came out on the short end of both calls.

Starter Jack Flaherty pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on six hits.  The right hander struck out five and walked two.  Mike Mayers tossed the final 2 1/3 innings, surrendering the controversial home run in the eighth.  Flaherty took the loss, his second.

The Piscotty double was his only hit.  Only one Redbird had multiple hits, as Nick Martini was 2-for-3.

On the base paths, Aledmys Diaz was caught stealing for the third time in five attempts, and Wifredo Tovar was caught stealing for the fourth time in 18 attempts.  In the field, Nick Martini had an outfield assist.

The Redbirds are 78-41 on the season and are in first place in the PCL Southern by 20.5 games.

Saturday’s game:  at Nashville, Luke Weaver (9-2, 2.64) 7:05 CT.


Springfield 7 at Corpus Christi 0

Pedro Echemendia (St. Louis Cardinals)

The Cardinals almost no-hit the Hooks in Corpus Christi on Friday night.  It was all Springfield all the time, as Cardinals pitching kept the Hooks off the board.  Starter Ryan Helsey pitched six scoreless, hitless innings.  The outing was likely shortened due to his five walks.  Helsley fanned six.  Pedro Echemendia followed with two scoreless, hitless innings.  Rowan Wick lost the no-no in the ninth, but secured the final three outs.

Adolis Garcia, in his second game back with Springfield to make room on the Memphis roster for Stephen Piscotty, hit two home runs – a solo shot in the third, and a two run blast in the seventh.  Garcia was 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored.  Jacob Wilson drove in a run in the fourth on a single.  Eliezer Alvarez had an RBI single in the fifth.  Two runs in the ninth came home on a Garcia RBI single and a fielding error.

Randy Arozarena stole his seventh base of the season in eighth attempts.

The Cardinals are 66-52 overall, and 30-17 in the second half and are in first place in the Texas League North by 1 game.

Saturday’s game:  at Corpus Christi, Sandy Alcantara (6-5, 4.55) 7:05 CT.


Palm Beach 8 at Daytona 12

Leobaldo Pina (Peoria Chiefs)

The Cardinals were defeated by the Tortugas in a high scoring contest in Daytona.  The offense took the lead in the second with a four run outburst.  Leobaldo Pina led off with a double, and Blake Drake followed with a single.  A double play ground out by Shane Billings plated the first run.  Andy Young was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch.  Jeremy Martinez’ RBI single scored Young.  Jose Martinez followed with a two run home run to left field.  Casey Grayson double in a run in the fourth, and scored in the seventh on a Billings ground out.  In the ninth, Pina hit a two run home run.  Pina was 3-for-5 with two RBI, and two runs scored.  Drake was 4-for-4.  Jose Martinez was 2-for-5 with two RBI, and Jeremy Martinez was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Starter Sam Tewes pitched five innings, giving up five runs, three earned, on nine hits.  The right hander struck out two and walked one.  Ross Vance went two innings and was bombed, surrendering six runs on eight hits.  Vance took the loss.  Estarlin Arias tossed the eighth and was charged with a run.

On the base paths, Billings was caught stealing for the first time in three attempts for Palm Beach.  In the field, both Billings and Grayson made throwing errors, leading to the pair of unearned runs.

The Cardinals are 63-51 overall and 23-24 in the second half, which puts them 6.5 games back of first place in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:  at Daytona, Jake Woodford (6-6, 3.43) 6:05 CT.


Peoria 2, Burlington 6

Stefan Trosclair (The Cardinal Nation)

The Chiefs were topped by the Bees at home on Friday night.  The Chiefs scored one in the fourth and the other in the seventh.  Stefan Trosclair’s triple plated the first run.  In the seventh, Trosclair, who led off the inning with a single, eventually scored on a wild pitch.  Trosclair was 3-for-4 including a triple and a double and one RBI.  J.R. Davis was 2-for-3.

Starter Frederis Parra pitched six innings, giving up four runs on nine hits while fanning two and walking one.  Dewin Perez surrendered a run in the seventh.  Leland Tilley added a scoreless eighth, and Austin Sexton allowed a run in the ninth.  Parra took the loss, his fourth.

In the field, Brian O’Keefe committed a throwing error, Trosclair made a fielding error, and Kramer Robertson had a throwing error.  O’Keefe also had a passed ball. But all six Bees runs were earned.

The Chiefs are 56-60 overall and 26-21 in the second half to put them five games back of first place in the Midwest League West for the second half.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Burlington, Austin Warner (2-2, 3.52) 6:30 CT.


State College 5, Vermont 4 (11 innings)

Yariel Gonzalez (State College Spikes)

The Spikes battled with the Lake Monsters and finally pulled out the win in the 11th inning at home on Friday.  State College took the early lead with a three run third inning.  Singles by J.D. Crowe and Zach Kirtley were followed by an RBI single by Brandon Benson and then a throwing error to plate a second run.  Wood Myers singled in the third run of the inning. The Spikes didn’t score again until the 10th inning, when Myers’ RBI single again tied the score. In the 11th,  Yariel Gonzalez’ walk off single ended it.   Gonzalez was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.  Benson was also 2-for-3.  Myers was 2-for-4 and Crowe was 3-for-5.

Starter Jonathan Mulford pitched five innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on five hits.  Mulford fanned three and walked four.  Steven Farinaro went two innings, allowing one run to tie the game.  Farinaro was charged with the blown save. Noel Gonzalez tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings.  Spencer Traynor hurled the final 2 1/3 innings, surrendering one run but gaining the win, his fourth of the season.

Gonzalez stole his first base in two attempts.  Myers was caught stealing for the second time in three attempts for the Spikes.  Mulford made an error on a pickoff attempt and Myers made a throwing error.

The Spikes are 28-23, three games back of first place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Vermont, Andrew Summerville (3-0, 1.84) 6:05 CT.


Johnson City at Bristol – Cancelled

This game was cancelled due to rain.  No makeup date has yet been scheduled.

Saturday’s game:  at Elizabethton, Jacob Schlesener (1-1, 2.45) 6:00 CT.


GCL Cardinals – Off

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


DSL Cardinals 3 at DSL Rockies 4

The Cardinals were edged by the Rockies on Friday.  The Cardinals scored in the first three innings to take a three run lead, but fell behind late.  Starter Francis Ventura pitched four scoreless innings, allowing three hits, three walks and struck out one. But the bullpen let the team down. Cristoffer Zapata surrendered one run in the fifth, and began the sixth, but gave up two singles and was replaced with no outs.  Wilman Madera allowed both inherited runners to score, charged to Zapata.  Madera took the blown save. Madera pitched a scoreless seventh.  Anthony Trompiz pitched the eighth, relinquished the winning run, and was tagged with the loss.

The Cardinals scored in the first inning on an RBI double by Victor Garcia.  The double was Garcia’s only hit.  Joyser Garcia’s single in the second plated a run.  In the third, Carlos Soler scored on a wild pitch.  Soler was 2-for-3.  Raffy Ozuna was 3-for-4.

Soler stole his seventh base, and was caught stealing for the eighth time in 15 attempts.  Soler also had an outfield assist, and Joyser Garcia had a passed ball.

The Cardinals are 24-34 on the season and are 18 games back of first place in the DSL South

Saturday’s game:  vs. DSL Rockies, TBA 9:30 a.m. CT.



Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: In Taking on Leadership Role, Wilson Turns Corner

Not yet a member?

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

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© 2017 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.