photo: Marcell Ozuna (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)
In a disappointing week in Washington and Detroit, the St. Louis Cardinals went 3-3. Marcell Ozuna has rediscovered his home run swing. In our weekly history feature, St. Louis’ win over Detroit in the 2006 World Series is remembered.
The Cardinals suffered the one run loss in extra innings against the Nationals on Monday. The Redbirds took the early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Paul DeJong drove in Matt Carpenter and Yairo Munoz on a line drive single to left field. The Nats responded with one run in the bottom of the first against Jack Flaherty. The Cardinals added to their lead with one run in the sixth on a Munoz solo home run. Those would be the only runs scored by the Cardinals, and the Nats came back to tie the game 3-3 in the ninth and won in a walk off in the 10th. Munoz had a good day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Flaherty pitched a good, but inefficient game, going five innings and giving up one run three hits. The right hander’s inefficiency was due to five walks in the game. John Brebbia, Carlos Martinez and Jordan Hicks tossed one scoreless inning each. Bud Norris started the ninth but surrendered the tying runs and was charged with the blown save. Chasen Shreve got the final out of the ninth, then returned for the 10th. Shreve gave up the winning run in the 10th and took the loss.
The Cardinals bounced back on Tuesday to take the win, but it was not easy. John Gant held the Nats scoreless for the first four innings. The fifth began with a fielding error by second baseman Yairo Munoz that eventually led to three unearned runs. Gant came out of the game with one out and the bases loaded. Tyler Webb struck out the first batter he faced. The left hander walked Trea Turner to score one run and gave up a ground rule double to Bryce Harper for two more. Webb intentionally walked Anthony Rendon to again load the bases, then walked Juan Soto for the fourth Nats run of the inning and the game was tied. The last run was charged to Webb. Tyson Ross tossed the next 1 1/3 innings and surrendered one run. Dakota Hudson pitched a scoreless seventh. Dominic Leone pitched a scoreless eighth and returned for the ninth. Leone gave up a run and was removed with one out and two runners on. John Brebbia struck out the next batter but then gave up a two-run double, with both runs charged to Leone. Jordan Hicks got the final out of the game.
The Cardinals offense scored 11 runs, but the outcome was never assured until the last out of the ninth. The Redbirds took a 4-0 lead in the second inning that was the result of a Marcell Ozuna solo home run and a three run single by Matt Carpenter. The Nats tied it up in the fifth, but consecutive solo home runs in the sixth inning by Ozuna, Paul DeJong and Patrick Wisdom gave the Redbirds the 7-4 lead.
The Nats made it 7-5 in the sixth. A grand slam by Yadier Molina in the ninth increased the lead to 11-5, but the Nats fought back with three runs in the home half of the ninth. Fortunately, the Nats’ comeback came up short.
In the rubber game of the series, the Cardinals prevailed with a one run win on Wednesday. It was a nail biter up to the end. The first inning began with a three run home run by Matt Adams. The offense increased the lead to 5-0 in the second on a Matt Carpenter double and a Jose Martinez single. Adams homered again in the sixth, a solo shot. After that it became up to the Cardinals pitching to maintain the lead, and it was a tough row to hoe. The Nats scored in the fifth and sixth. The lead decreased to 7-6 when the Nats plated four more in the seventh.
Miles Mikolas held Washington scoreless through four, but he surrendered a run in the fifth. After a second run in the sixth, the wheels came off the bus for the right hander in the seventh. Mikolas got the first two outs quickly but couldn’t put the next two hitters away. Dakota Hudson took over with two runners on. A double, a single, and a wild pitch scored both of Mikolas’ runners. Hudson was able to end the inning by inducing a line out to get the third out. Carlos Martinez tossed the final two scoreless innings to earn his first save. Mikolas earned his 14th win.
Thursday, Sept 6 – Off day
The Cardinals left Washington following two hard fought wins and traveled to Detroit to take on the Tigers in their final interleague series. Things did not begin well for St. Louis.
The Cardinals took the 1-0 lead in the second on a solo home run by Marcell Ozuna. The Tigers tied it up in the home half of the inning, but the Redbirds responded with one run each in the fourth and the fifth. Ozuna hit a second solo home run and Francisco Pena’s sac fly gave the Cardinals the 3-1 lead. Detroit tied it up with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. The Cardinals failed to score after the fifth, and the Tigers walked it off with two runs in the ninth.
Austin Gomber was on the bump for the Cardinals and he pitched six innings, giving up three runs on six hits. Dominic Leone pitched a scoreless seventh. Jordan Hicks took the final innings and served up the walk off two-run home run.
St. Louis suffered the second tough luck walk off loss in the series on Saturday. The Cardinals offense was stymied by Tigers starter Matt Boyd for seven innings. The Redbirds finally broke through in the eighth when Paul DeJong launched a solo home run off Boyd, just the second hit he had allowed. The Cardinals tied the score vs. Shane Greene in the ninth on a two run home run by Marcell Ozuna. The joy of the comeback didn’t last, as the Tigers walked it off in the home half of the ninth.
Starter Jack Flaherty pitched five innings and gave up three runs on four hits. Daniel Poncedeleon, Brett Cecil, and John Brebbia combined for three scoreless innings of relief. Bud Norris started the ninth, but an error and two walks, one intentional, loaded the bases with only one out in the inning. Norris threw a wild pitch to the next batter and the winning run scored.
The Cardinals avoided the sweep with a victory in the final game of the series in Detroit. It was a pitcher’s duel until the seventh inning. The Cardinals were unable to score against Tiger starter Michael Fulmer, until, in a moment of déjà vu, a squirrel appeared on the field. After the squirrel left the field for other pastures, the Cardinals quickly put up five runs. Kolten Wong singled to score Marcell Ozuna. Yairo Munoz hit a sac fly and Paul DeJong scored. Carson Kelly plated Wong on a single. Munoz came home on a Matt Carpenter sac fly. Greg Garcia scored on single by Jose Martinez.
John Gant pitched six scoreless innings before giving up two runs in the seventh. Dakota Hudson secured the final out of the seventh. Jordan Hicks and Carlos Martinez each pitched a scoreless inning.
The Cardinals played a .500 week, going 3-3 on the road. The Redbirds took 2 of 3 from the Nationals but lost 2 of 3 to Detroit.
Offense, pitching and defense all became issues during the week. Cardinals hitters struck out 30 times over the three game series in Washington, and 33 times in the series in Detroit. That is a massive amount of strikeouts and is very concerning.
St. Louis’ pitchers issued 22 walks in Washington and 15 in Detroit. There doesn’t appear to be an obvious cause for all the free passes. John Gant had the best performances of the week in the rotation. Flaherty continues to be inefficient, while Mikolas gave up a lot of hits in his start. The bullpen has regressed so far in September, and Bud Norris has been so ineffective that he lost his closer job to Carlos Martinez.
The defense made six errors across both series. A Matt Carpenter error at 1B late in the game on Saturday set up the walk off loss.
The Cardinals have regressed in all factors of the game in September. With only three weeks left in the regular season and the team having a precarious hold on the second wild card spot, the Cardinals must improve in the final weeks if they hope to play in October.
The Cardinals have a seven-game homestand this week, playing the Pirates for three and the Dodgers for four. All games are crucial at this time of the season, but the Dodgers series is especially important because the Cardinals have only a one game lead over them for the second wild card.
|Wild Card Standings||W||L||GB|
|St. Louis||79||64||– –|
Over the past six games (does not contain recent Sunday game results):
- Marcell Ozuna has an OPS of 1.293. He has five HR and six RBI.
- Matt Adams has an OPS of 1.333. He has two HR and four RBI.
- Yairo Munoz has an OPS of 1.218. He has two HR, two doubles, and two RBI.
- Yadier Molina has an OPS of 1.098. He has one HR and four RBI.
- John Gant has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.62.
- Carlos Martinez has an ERA of 2.25 and a WHIP of 1.25.
- John Brebbia has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.
- Daniel Poncedeleon has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.
Over the past six games (does not contain recent Sunday game results)
- Tyler O’Neill has an OPS of 0.00.
- Jose Martinez has an OPS of .333.
- Francisco Pena has an OPS of .450.
- Miles Mikolas has an ERA of 5.40 and a WHIP of 1.80.
- Dominic Leone has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 1.67.
- Chasen Shreve has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 3.00.
- Bud Norris has an ERA of 27.00 and a WHIP of 6.00.
A Look at Cardinals Lineups
The lineups over the last six games (does not contain recent Sunday game):
- The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter.
- The number two hitter has been Yairo Munoz for three games, Jose Martinez for two games, and Yadier Molina for one game.
- The number three hitter has been Jose Martinez for three games, Matt Adams for two games, and Tyler O’Neill for one game.
- The cleanup hitter has been Marcell Ozuna.
- The fifth hitter has been Paul DeJong.
- The sixth hitter has been Molina for two games, Patrick Wisdom for two games, and Munoz and Greg Garcia for one game each.
- The seventh hitter has been Harrison Bader for six games, and Wisdom for one game.
- The eighth hitter has been Garcia, Francisco Pena, Bader, Munoz, Wong, and Wisdom for one game each.
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.
- 9/3 The Cardinals recalled RHP John Brebbia from the Memphis Redbirds.
- 9/5 The Cardinals activated 2B Kolten Wong from the 10 day disabled list.
- 9/7 The Cardinals sent RHP Mike Mayers on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
- 9/7 The Cardinals sent RHP Michael Wacha on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
- RHP Alex Reyes (right lat strain) had surgery on June 6 to reattach a tendon in his right lat. The right hander was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL. Reyes is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.
- RHP Adam Wainwright (right elbow inflammation) continues on the 60 day DL. Wainwright is set to be activated from the DL on Monday and is scheduled to make the start for the Cardinals against the Pirates at Busch Stadium.
- RHP Michael Wacha (left oblique strain) continues on the 10 day DL. Wacha was scratched from a Sept 7 rehab start in Memphis due to continued oblique discomfort. His status is uncertain.
- RHP Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement) was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL on August 11.
- OF Dexter Fowler (fractured left foot) was transferred from the 10 day DL to the 60 day DL on August 21.
- RHP Mike Mayers was placed on the 10 day DL on August 26 with right shoulder inflammation. Mayers was sent on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds on Sept 7.
- 3B Jedd Gyorko (left groin strain) was placed on the 10 day DL on August 29. Gyorko is receiving treatment in St. Louis and is scheduled to be reevaluated on Sept 10.
- C Yadier Molina exited the Sept 5 game early due to left hamstring tightness that occurred stealing second base. Molina did not appear during the Detroit series over the weekend. Molina is considered day to day.
The Cardinals begin the week with a three game series in Busch Stadium against the Pirates. Adam Wainwright is set to make the Monday start, followed by Miles Mikolas on Tuesday and Austin Gomber on Wednesday.
The homestand continues on Thursday with a four game set with the Dodgers. No pitching probables have been announced but will likely be Jack Flaherty against Clayton Kershaw on Thursday, John Gant on Friday, Wainwright on Saturday and Mikolas on Sunday.
The Cardinals go on the road for a three game series in Atlanta following the Dodgers series. After a Thursday travel day, the Redbirds return home for a weekend series with the Giants.
The homestand continues with a three game series against the Brewers. Another travel day on Thursday takes the Cardinals to Chicago to play the Cubs in the final series of the regular season.
The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.
Blast from the Past
This week’s look at postseasons of the past focuses on the 2006 World Series win over the Detroit Tigers. The Cardinals stumbled into the postseason in 2006, having taken the NL Central Division with only 83 wins. The Cardinals defeated the San Diego Padres in the Division Series, and the New York Mets in the League Series. The League Series win over the Mets included a home run by Yadier Molina in Game 7 and the famous curve ball by Adam Wainwright that froze Carlos Beltran for the last out of Game 7.
The 2006 Cardinals became the fourth team to win the Series in their home stadium’s debut season. The Cardinals’ 83-78 record was the second worst record for a League champion and the worst record for a World Series champion.
The Cardinals met the Tigers in the World Series for the third time. The first meeting was in 1934 and the Cardinals won that series. St. Louis and Detroit opposed each other again in the 1968 World Series, a series which the Tigers won.
The 2006 World Series began in Detroit, with a 7-2 win for the Cardinals in Game 1. Rookie St. Louis pitcher Anthony Reyes faced rookie pitcher Justin Verlander for Detroit. The Tigers scored first with one run in the first inning, but the Cardinals responded with one run in the second, three runs in the third, and three runs in the sixth. The Tigers added a run in the ninth. Reyes was the game winner. Cardinals home runs were hit by Scott Rolen and Albert Pujols.
The Cardinals lost Game 2, 3-1. On a cold night, a controversy erupted when it was noticed that Tiger starter Kenny Rogers had a foreign substance on his pitching hand that was obvious even on television. St. Louis manager Tony La Russa did not ask for an inspection of his hand, but the umpire ordered Rogers to wash his hand between innings. Rogers pitched eight scoreless innings.
After a one-day rain delay, the Cardinals took Game 4, 5-4. Adam Wainwright was the winning pitcher.
The Redbirds took a 3-1 series lead into Game 5. The Cardinals prevailed 4-2 in a game and series marked by sloppy defense from Tigers pitchers. Starter Justin Verlander made a costly throwing error that allowed the Cardinals to tie the game. Verlander’s error was the fifth by a Detroit pitcher in the series. St. Louis’ winning pitcher was Jeff Weaver. Rookie pitcher Adam Wainwright pitched the ninth inning, replacing closer Jason Isringhausen who had season-ending surgery. Wainwright struck out Brandon Inge for the final out.
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