St. Louis Cardinals Major League Notebook – June 3 – 9

photo: Dylan Carlson (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

The 31-33 St. Louis Cardinals had another losing week, struggling to split at home with the last-place Rockies. Outfielder Dylan Carlson had a .929 OPS for the week and may be earning more playing time. Our history feature looks at notable Cardinals debuts during these dates in team history.



Game recaps

Monday, June 3, 2024 – Cardinals 4 at Astros 7

The St. Louis Cardinals lost to the Houston Astros by a 7-4 score on Monday. Starter Kyle Gibson pitched 5 2/3 innings, gave up three runs on five hits, struck out eight and walked three.

Andrew Kittredge relieved Gibson and threw a scoreless inning.  JoJo Romero surrendered four runs, three earned, in one inning and took the loss.  Ryan Loutos secured the final out of the eighth.

The Cardinals took the lead in the first inning on solo home runs by Alec Burleson and Nolan Gorman. They added a run in the top of the third. Paul Goldschmidt doubled and scored on a single by Nolan Gorman.

The Astros answered with two runs in the bottom of the third. St. Louis posted a fourth run in the fifth on a solo home run by Gorman.

Houston came back with one run in the sixth and four in the eighth to win, 7-4.

The Cardinals scored four runs on eight hits. Gorman was 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored. He was the only Cardinal with multiple hits.

On the bases, Iván Herrera stole his second base of the season. On defense, Gorman and Masyn Winn each made a fielding error.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024 – Cardinals 5 at Astros 8

The Cardinals were defeated again by the Astros in the second game of the series on Tuesday.  Starter Andre Pallante pitched three innings, gave up six runs on six hits, struck out one and walked three. Pallante took the loss.

Kyle Leahy surrendered one run in 2 2/3 innings of relief. Matthew Liberatore threw 1/3 of a scoreless inning. Ryan Fernandez yielded one unearned run in the seventh. Chris Roycroft tossed a scoreless eighth.

The Cardinals went up in the first inning on a solo home run by Alec Burleson. The Astros answered with two runs in the home first to take the lead. Houston added four runs in the third.

The Cardinals cut the lead to 6-2 with a run in the top of the fifth. Iván Herrera doubled and Masyn Winn singled. Herrera came home on a ground out by Michael Siani. The Astros responded with one run in the bottom of the inning to increase their lead to 7-2.

St. Louis answered with a two-run home run by Winn in the sixth and a solo home run by Nolan Gorman in the seventh to shrink the lead to 7-5.

Masyn Winn

Houston plated their last run in the home seventh for a final score of 8-5.

The Cardinals scored five runs on 11 hits. Winn was 3-for-3 with two RBI. Gorman was 2-for-5 with an RBI. Burleson was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Herrera was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

On the bases, Winn stole his eighth base of the season. On defense, Gorman made two errors, a missed catch and a fielding miscue. Pallante picked a runner off first base.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024 – Cardinals 4 at Astros 2

The Cardinals salvaged the final game of the series with the Astros and avoided being swept. Starter Miles Mikolas pitched six innings, gave up two runs on five hits and struck out three to earn his fourth win of the season.

Miles Mikolas

The big three in the bullpen delivered per the script. JoJo Romero relieved Mikolas and threw a scoreless seventh. Andrew Kittredge hurled a scoreless eighth. Ryan Helsley tossed a scoreless ninth.

The Cardinals went up 1-0 in the third inning. Brandon Crawford doubled and later came home on a sac fly by Michael Siani. St. Louis added two runs in the fifth to lead 3-0. Pedro Pagés walked and later scored on a single by Brendan Donovan. Alec Burleson plated Donovan on a double.

The Astros responded with two runs in the home fifth to cut the lead to 3-2. The Cardinals came back in the sixth with a solo home run by Nolan Arenado to lead 4-2.

The Cardinals scored four runs on five hits. No Cardinal had multiple hits.

Thursday, June 6, 2024 – Cardinals 2, Rockies 3

The Cardinals lost the first of a four-game home series to the NL West last place Rockies. Coming into the series, the Rockies were the third worst team in baseball.

Starter Sonny Gray pitched 4 2/3 innings, gave up three runs on two hits, struck out five and walked four. Gray took the loss, his fourth of the season.

Matthew Liberatore

Matthew Liberatore threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. John King hurled 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Chris Roycroft tossed the final 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

The Rockies went up 1-0 in the third inning and added two runs in the fifth.

The Cardinals got on the board with two runs in the sixth. Nolan Gorman and Brendan Donovan singled. Iván Herrera plated Gorman on a force out. Donovan was out at second base. Matt Carpenter singled. Michael Siani singled to score Herrera.

The offense amassed two runs on eight hits. Masyn Winn was 2-for-5.

On the bases, Matt Carpenter was picked off and caught stealing.

Friday, June 7, 2024 – Cardinals 8, Rockies 5

The Cardinals picked up a win to even the Rockies series at one game apiece. Starter Lance Lynn pitched four innings, gave up four runs on six hits, struck out six and walked two.

Kyle Leahy surrendered one run in one inning of relief. John King threw a scoreless sixth. Andrew Kittredge, JoJo Romero, and Ryan Helsley each tossed a scoreless inning. Romero earned the win. Helsley earned his 21st save.

The Cardinals took a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Masyn Winn doubled and Alec Burleson singled. Paul Goldschmidt plated Winn on a single. Burleson and Goldschmidt advanced on a wild pitch. Burleson crossed the plate on a sac fly by Nolan Arenado. Goldschmidt came home on a single by Nolan Gorman.

St. Louis added a run in the second. Winn drew a walk. Burleson singled. Winn scored on a single by Goldschmidt.

The Rockies tied the game with four runs in the fourth and took a 5-4 lead in the fifth.

The Cardinals tied the game at 5-5 in the sixth. Iván Herrera singled and later scored on a single by Dylan Carlson. St. Louis produced a three-run eighth to lead 8-5.  Gorman walked. Michael Siani pinch ran for Gorman. Herrera singled. Brendan Donovan singled to score Siani. Carlson plated Herrera and Donovan on a double.

Dylan Carlson

The Cardinals offense scored eight runs on 12 hits. Carlson was 2-for-4 with three RBI. Goldschmidt went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Donovan was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Herrera went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Burleson was 2-for-5.

On defense, Gorman made a throwing error. Goldschmidt dropped a foul ball.

Saturday, June 8, 2024 – Cardinals 5, Rockies 6

The Cardinals lost again to the Rockies by the score of 6-5. Starter Kyle Gibson pitched six innings, gave up three runs on eight hits, struck out seven and walked two.

Kyle Gibson

Andrew Kittredge relieved Gibson and surrendered three runs in the seventh to take the loss. Chris Roycroft tossed the final two scoreless innings.

The Rockies put up one run in the first and two in the sixth to lead 3-0.

The Cardinals plated four runs in the home sixth to pull ahead by one run. Matt Carpenter drew a walk. Dyaln Carlson singled. Alec Burleson reached on an error. Paul Goldschmidt reached on a fielder’s choice with a throwing error that allowed Carpenter, Carlson, and Burleson to score. Nolan Arenado plated Goldschmidt on a single.

The lead evaporated quickly as the Rockies added three runs in the top of the seventh to regain the lead 6-4. The Cardinals cut the lead to 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh on a Carpenter solo home run, but their scoring ended there.

The offense scored five runs on five hits. No Cardinal had multiple hits. The team was gifted three runs on an error.

The Cardinals committed their own costly errors. Iván Herrera and Nolan Gorman both made throwing errors. Brendan Donovan had an outfield assist at second base.

Sunday, June 9, 2024 – Cardinals 5, Rockies 1

The Cardinals beat the Rockies in Sunday finale to split the series 2-2. Starter Andre Pallante pitched five scoreless innings, allowed three hits, struck out six and walked one to earn his second win.

Andre Pallante

Matthew Liberatore relieved Pallante and threw a scoreless sixth. Ryan Fernandez hurled 1 2/3 scoreless innings. John King surrendered one run in the final 1 1/3 innings.

The Cardinals scored the game’s first run in the second inning. Dylan Carlson doubled and advanced to third on a fly out by Brendan Donovan. Pedro Pagés drove in Carlson on a sac fly.

St. Louis added a run in the third on a solo home run by Alec Burleson. Two more Cardinals runs came home in the fourth. Donovan and Pagés singled. Michael Siani advanced both runners on a sac bunt. Carlson and Donovan came home on a single by Masyn Winn.

The Cardinals increased their lead to 5-0 in the sixth. Pagés walked and Winn singled. Alec Burleson grounded into a force out and Pagés came home on a throwing error.

The Rockies scored their only run in the ninth to avert being shut out.

The offense scored five runs on 10 hits. Winn was 2-for-5 with two RBI. Nolan Arenado was 2-for-4.

The Big Picture

The Cardinals ended the week with a record of 3-4. They took 1 of 3 from the Astros and split the four games with the Rockies. The team is now in a three-way tie for second place in the division with the Cubs and the Reds and is in a four-way tie for the third Wild Card spot. All three teams are 6.5 games back of the Brewers. The Pirates are seven games back, so it is a tight race for all four teams.

The offense has seemed to reach a wall in terms of improvement.  It is one step forward and two steps back. The only relative constant in the lineup has been Masyn Winn. The offense needs the return of Willson Contreras as soon as possible. Lars Nootbaar would be a help as well, though he has been inconsistent.

The top performers by OPS is a short list over the last seven days. They are Alec Burleson (.944) and Dylan Carlson (.929). Nipping at their heels is Winn (.893). Burleson appears to be boom or bust. Carlson is hitting better due to more playing time. He is playing because Michael Siani, though he is the superior defender, went ice cold with the bat. In addition, Burleson is a poor defender and Nootbaar is absent. If Carlson can stay healthy, which is a great big “if”, he will hopefully continue to contribute.

Alec Burleson

In the basement by OPS for the week is Siani (.321) and Brendan Donovan (.491). Both contributed with the bat in the final game of the Rockies series, however.

The starting pitching has seen better days. Miles Mikolas was the only starter to post an ERA under 4.00 this week. Lynn, Gibson, and Gray all had shaky outings. Andre Pallante was very bad in one start and very good in the second one. Steven Matz should be returning soon, though as he is the weak link in the rotation, how much his return will help remains to be seen.

The bullpen has been very good and is the only part of the collective team that has performed consistently well.

The formerly good to very good defense was very bad over the week. It has not been very good for a couple of weeks, in fact. There were some ugly defensive games against the Rockies. To be fair, the final game was much better defensively, and the Rockies aren’t exactly terrific on defense themselves.

Another last place team, the Pirates, come to town this week, though that isn’t the good news anyone should hope for. Pittsburgh has some ferociously good starting pitching and the Cardinals are going to see the best one in the first game. Can this offense meet the challenge? Stay tuned.

The Cardinals leave on a road trip after the Pirates series and their first challenger is the rival Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Cubs have been as bad or worse as the Cardinals lately, but that could change on a dime.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Milwaukee 38 27 0.585
Chicago 32 34 0.485 6.5
Cincinnati 32 34 0.485 6.5
St. Louis 31 33 0.484 6.5
Pittsburgh 31 34 0.477 7

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

  • 6/4 The Cardinals optioned RHP Ryan Loutos to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 6/4 The Cardinals recalled RHP Chris Roycroft from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 6/6 The Cardinals sent LHP Steven Matz on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds

Injury Report

  • CF Tommy Edman (arthroscopic wrist surgery) was transferred to the 60-day injured list from the 15-day injured list on May 6. Edman has been taking some batting practice. There is no timetable for his return.
  • RHP Keynan Middleton (right forearm strain) was placed on the 15-day injured list retroactive to March 25. Middleton is set to undergo season ending forearm surgery. The right hander has not thrown a pitch for the Cardinals this season.
  • LHP Drew Rom (left bicep tendinitis and left shoulder surgery) was transferred from the 15-day injured list to the 60 day-injured list on April 30. Rom underwent left shoulder surgery. The left hander is expected to be out until at least September.
  • RHP Riley O’Brien (right forearm flexor strain) was transferred from the 15-day injured list to the 60-day injured list on May 10. O’Brien has thrown several bullpen sessions and is close to a rehab assignment.

Steven Matz

  • LHP Steven Matz (lower back strain) was placed on the 15-day injured list on May 3, retroactive to May 1. On Thursday, June 6, Matz was sent on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds. He has made one rehab start and is scheduled to make a second one on Tuesday.
  • RHP Giovanny Gallegos (right shoulder impingement). Gallegos was placed on the 15-day injured list on May 6. Gallegos was sent on a rehab assignment to Memphis and has made four appearances with an 11.25 ERA.

Willson Contreras

  • C Willson Contreras (left arm fracture) was placed on the 10-day injured list on May 8. Contreras had a CT scan that showed significant healing of the arm. He has received medical clearance to begin baseball activities. He caught a bullpen session for Andre Pallante on Friday. Contreras will begin taking two handed swings off a tee and off soft toss throws. The catcher could return as soon as late June.
  • OF Lars Nootbaar (left oblique strain) was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to May 30. The outfielder will be out for several weeks with a moderate oblique strain. The timing of his return is uncertain but could be as soon as late June.
  • RHP Nick Robertson (right elbow inflammation) was placed on the 15-day injured list retroactive to May 23. Robertson could return by late June.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals will take on the Pirates in a three game home series beginning Tuesday. Miles Mikolas is set to make the Tuesday start, Sonny Gray on Wednesday, followed by Lance Lynn on Thursday.

The team then heads out on another road trip that begins at Wrigley Field for three games and ends at Loan Depot Park in Miami against the Marlins for three.

The Cardinals will face the Giants in the annual Field of Dreams Game on Thursday, June 20. That game will be played at historic Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama rather than the Field of Dreams field in Dyersville Iowa. That field is undergoing major renovations.

The Cardinals will finish the three-game series with the Giants at Busch Stadium after a Friday off day. The homestand then continues with three games against the Atlanta Braves and four with the Cincinnati Reds that ends the month of June.

Blast from the Past

This week’s Blast from the Past centers around current or very recent St. Louis Cardinals who made their major league debuts during the period June 3 through June 9. One recently retired Cardinal and three current Cardinals who are either on the active roster or the 40-man roster, made their major league debuts during this period in June.

What follows is the name of the debuting Cardinal, the date of his debut, and particular details about the debut. This may be a recurring feature in Blast from the Past if the number of debuts during a particular period warrant coverage.

Yadier Molina

Yadier Molina – The possible future Hall of Fame catcher for the Cardinals made his MLB debut on June 3, 2004. Molina played for 19 seasons in St. Louis and retired after the 2022 season.

On June 3, 2004, the Cardinals faced the Pittsburgh Pirates in a night game at PNC Park. It was a night game. Molina was in the starting lineup as the catcher, batting seventh and played the entire game. The starting pitcher was Woody Williams as the Cardinals defeated the Pirates 4-2.

Molina appeared in all nine innings. After he caught Williams for six innings, he caught in succession Steve Kline, Julián Taverás, Ray King, and Jason Isringhausen.

Molina made four plate appearances that evening. He went 2-for-4 with one run scored. Molina made the last out of the second inning on a pop fly to second base. In the fifth inning, Molina had his first major league hit, a single to left field off Pirates starter Óliver Peréz. Molina’s second hit was a double to left field in the seventh inning. His final at bat was a ground out to third base in the eighth.

Zack Thompson

Zack Thompson – Thompson is currently pitching for the Memphis Redbirds. Thompson made his major league debut on June 3, 2022.

On June 3, 2022, the Cardinals played the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. It was a day game. Thompson pitched in relief of Miles Mikolas for the final four innings. He was caught by Andrew Knizner. The Cardinals beat the Cubs 14-5.

Thompson gave up one earned run on three hits. He struck out three and walked one. Thompson earned his first career save. Two of his four innings were straight 1-2-3 outs. All three of the hits he gave up were singles.

Luken Baker

Luken Baker – Baker, who is currently playing for the Memphis Redbirds, made his major league debut on June 4, 2023.

That day, the Cardinals again played the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Baker was in the starting lineup at DH, batting seventh. Baker was replaced on the bases by a pinch runner in the bottom of the ninth. The Cardinals lost the game 2-1.

Baker made four plate appearances and had two hits. His first at bat was in the second inning as he collected his first major league hit, a single to right field off Pirates starter Rich Hill. The Cardinals did not score in that inning. Baker’s second at bat was in the fourth. He struck out swinging. He was the first hitter up in the seventh and flied out to right field. His last bat was in the ninth inning, when he singled to right field, and Oscar Mercado replaced him as a pinch runner. The Cardinals did not score in that inning.

Tommy Edman

Tommy Edman – Edman is currently on the 60-day injured list. Edman made his major league debut on June 8, 2019.

On June 8, 2019, the Cardinals played the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in a night game. Edman was not in the starting lineup. He pinch hit for Ryan Helsley in the ninth inning and struck out swinging.

Edman’s first start was on June 14, 2019. The Cardinals played the New York Mets at Citi Field. The Cardinals won the game 9-5. Edman started at second base, batting eighth.

Edman made three plate appearances and was 1-for-3 with two runs scored. His first major league hit was a double to center field in the third inning off then-Mets starter and current teammate Steven Matz. He scored the Cardinals first run of the game on a sac fly by Matt Carpenter. Edman reached on an error in the fifth inning and was driven in by a home run by José Martínez. His final at bat was in the top of the seventh. He flied out to center field. Edman was replaced in a double switch by relief pitcher Andrew Miller in the bottom of the seventh.


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