St. Louis Cardinals Major League Notebook – Week of August 1-7

photo: Jordan Montgomery (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

With momentum gained from the acquisition of two new left-handed starters, the first-place St. Louis Cardinals have won seven straight. Our Blast from the Past recounts key Cardinals trades over time with the Pirates and Yankees.

 

Game recaps

Monday, August 1 – Off

Tuesday, August 2 – Cardinals 6, Cubs 0

The St. Louis Cardinals blanked the Chicago Cubs in the first of a three-game series at Busch Stadium. Starter Adam Wainwright pitched seven scoreless innings, allowed six hits and struck out four to earn his eighth win of the season.

Adam Wainwright

Jordan Hicks and Chris Stratton each tossed a scoreless inning of relief.

The Cardinals got on the board in the third inning and took a 2-0 lead. Tommy Edman singled, and Nolan Gorman hit a ground rule double. Both runners scored on a single by Paul Goldschmidt.

The Cardinals increased the lead to 5-0 in the fifth on a two-run home run by Dylan Carlson and a solo long ball from Goldschmidt. The sixth and final run came home in the seventh on a solo shot by Nolan Arenado.

Goldschmidt was 2-for-3 with three RBI. Lars Nootbaar was 3-for-3. Arenado was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Carlson drove in two.

Wednesday, August 3 – postponed

The game on Wednesday was postponed due to the threat of rain and was rescheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Thursday, August 4 – Cardinals 4, Cubs 3 (Game 1)

The Cardinals edged the Cubs in the first game of a twin bill on Thursday. Miles Mikolas started for St. Louis. The right hander pitched 6 1/3 innings, gave up three runs on eight hits, fanned six and walked one.

James Naile relieved Mikolas and pitched 2/3 scoreless innings to finish the seventh. Giovanny Gallegos and Ryan Helsley each tossed a scoreless inning. Helsley took the win, his sixth.

The Cubs took the initial lead with one run in the first inning. Inthe sixth, Chicago scored two to increase the lead to 3-0.

The Cardinals began their comeback in the seventh with three runs to tie the game. Nolan Gorman and Paul Goldschmidt hit back-to-back solo home runs. Nolan Arenado doubled and scored on a sac fly by Lars Nootbaar.

St. Louis broke the tie and walked it off 4-3 in the ninth. Arenado and Paul DeJong each drew a walk. Nootbaar singled to plate Arenado.

Lars Nootbaar

Brendan Donovan was 2-for-2 and was the only Cardinal with multiple hits. Nootbaar had two RBI.

In the field, Paul DeJong made a throwing error.

Thursday, August 4 – Cardinals 7, Cubs 2 (Game 2)

The Cardinals swept the doubleheader and the series with the Cubs in a 7-2 victory in the regularly scheduled night game. New Cardinal starter Jose Quintana took the mound for the second game of the twin bill. The left hander pitched six innings, gave up one run on one hit, punched out seven and walked two.

José Quintana

Reliever Jordan Hicks surrendered one run in the seventh. Genesis Cabrera and Chris Stratton each tossed a scoreless inning. Hicks received the win, his third, but not until he was also charged with his first blown save.

The Cubs went up 1-0 in the top of the first inning on a solo home run. The Cardinals quickly answered in the home half of the first with a two-run long ball by Nolan Arenado.

The Cubs tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the seventh. The Cardinals responded in the bottom of the seventh to retake the lead on a three-run home run by Tyler O’Neill.

Tyler O’Neill

Tommy Edman hit a two-run double in the eighth to increase the lead to 7-2. Edman was 3-for-5 with two RBI. Paul Goldschmidt was 2-for-4. O’Neill had three RBI.

On the base paths, Edman stole his 22nd base of the season.

Friday, August 5 – Cardinals 4, Yankees 3

The Cardinals topped the New York Yankees in the first game of a weekend series at Busch Stadium. Starter Dakota Hudson pitched four innings, gave up three runs on seven hits, struck out two and walked two.

Andre Pallante relieved Hudson and threw four scoreless innings to earn his fifth win. Ryan Helsley tossed a scoreless ninth for his 10th save.

Andre Pallante

The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. The Cardinals tied the game in the second. Nolan Arenado and Paul DeJong walked. Yadier Molina plated Arenado on a single.

New York regained the lead with one run in the third and increased the lead to 3-1 in the fifth. The Cardinals cut the lead to 3-2 in the sixth on an RBI single by Tyler O’Neill.

In the eighth, a two run double by DeJong gave the Redbirds the 4-3 lead and the game.

Arenado was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. DeJong had two RBI.

Saturday, August 6 – Cardinals 1, Yankees 0

The Cardinals beat the Yankees in a 1-0 Saturday squeaker at Busch Stadium. Jordan Montgomery, pitching to his old team just days after he was traded, threw five scoreless innings, allowed two hits, struck out one and walked one to earn his fourth win of the season and first win as a Cardinal.

Jordan Montgomery

Jordan Hicks, Genesis Cabrera, and Giovanny Gallegos combined to toss the final four scoreless innings.

The only run of the game was scored by the Cardinals in the first inning. Paul Goldschmidt doubled and scored on a single by Nolan Arenado.

The pitching of both teams kept any further runs from scoring and the Cardinals took the series with the Game 2 win.

On the base paths, Brendan Donovan was picked off and caught stealing.

Sunday, August 7 – Cardinals 12, Yankees 9

The Cardinals completed the sweep of the Yankees in a slugfest on Sunday. Starter Adam Wainwright had a tough outing. The right hander pitched four innings, gave up six runs on eight hits, struck out five and walked four.

Chris Stratton surrendered two runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief, but received the win, his sixth of the season. Jordan Hicks threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Packy Naughton followed with 2/3 scoreless innings. Ryan Helsley allowed a home run in the ninth but finished the final 1 1/3 innings to earn his 11th save.

The Yankees drew first blood with one run in the top of the first inning. The Cardinals tied it in the home half of the first. Dylan Carlson singled and Brendan Donovan was hit by a pitch. Nolan Arenado plated Carlson on a single.

The Yankees came back with three runs in the top of the second. The Cardinals answered with five runs in the bottom of the sixth to go up 6-4. The five runs came on an RBI double by Carlson, a sac fly by Paul Goldschmidt, and a three-run home run by Arenado.

Nolan Arenado

The Yankees tied the game in the top of fifth, but the resilient Cardinals gained the lead a second time with three runs in the bottom frame of the fifth on a Paul DeJong double, a Tommy Edman single, and a bases loaded walk by Goldschmidt. The Cardinals led 9-6.

New York edged to within one run in the sixth. St. Louis was granted a cushion in the eighth on a three-run long ball by DeJong.

Paul DeJong

The Yankees were able to plate one more run on a solo home run against closer Ryan Helsley in the ninth.

Arenado went 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored. Carlson was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. DeJong was 3-for-3 with four RBI and three runs scored. Goldschmidt was hitless but plated two.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
St. Louis 60 48 0.556
Milwaukee 58 50 0.537 2
Cincinnati 44 63 0.411 15.5
Pittsburgh 44 64 0.407 16
Chicago 43 64 0.402 16.5

The Big Picture

The Cardinals had a 6-0 week with a pair of three game sweeps of the Cubs and the Yankees. St. Louis is now in first place in the NL Central, two games ahead of the Brewers.

The trade deadline was this past week, and the roster changed to add two more starting pitchers. This was a need that the Cardinals had to fill, and they did. A trade for Juan Soto did not happen. The roster did lose its Gold Glove center fielder in the trade with the Yankees, which diminishes the overall defense a not insignificant amount.

Harrison Bader was on the injured list when he was traded to New York for LHP Jordan Montgomery, so the changes had already taken place but will now be permanent. Bader is being replaced by Dylan Carlson, who was playing in center while Bader was out. Carlson is an above average corner outfielder and will play center field adequately, but his defensive value would be higher if he stayed on the corners. Carlson lacks Bader’s speed and range.

Dylan Carlson

Nevertheless, the team has clearly improved on the pitching side, which has been its greatest need. The acquisition of Montgomery, as well as LHP Jose Quintana from the Pirates give the Cardinals much needed pitching depth, from the left side especially. Both Quintana and Montgomery have made their first start in St. Louis, with good results.

The bullpen was also changed with Chris Stratton, who came with Quintana in the Pirates trade, replacing Johan Oviedo. Stratton’s record is mixed, and his initial results with the Cardinals over the weekend were not promising. It is early though, and some transition time is needed before a judgment is made.

The offense has been performing well, with Nolan Arenado especially heating up, and Paul DeJong, newly returned from a long stint in the minors, has not disappointed. Paul Goldschmidt continues to enhance his MVP case. The week’s top performers by OPS are: Nolan Arenado (1.560), Paul Goldschmidt (1.353), Brendan Donovan (1.025 in 5 ABs), Paul DeJong (.973), and Nolan Gorman (.824).

Paul Goldschmidt

The Cardinals have won seven straight, including two sweeps. The momentum is clearly on the Cardinals side as they travel to Denver to take on the last place Rockies. The Cardinals must not let up, as the Brewers are especially vulnerable after having lost their All-Star closer, Josh Hader, in a trade to the Padres. The Cardinals will play Milwaukee next weekend at Busch Stadium after the quick road trip to Denver. The opportunity to widen the lead in the NL Central must not be lost.

Cardinals make two trades for pitching at the deadline

The trade deadline came and went this past week and the Cardinals made two deals that brought pitching to the roster on the last day, one in the final minutes.

Earlier in the day on August 2, the Cardinals traded within the division with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates sent LHP Jose Quintana and RHP Chris Stratton to St. Louis for RHP Johan Oviedo and minor league 1B Malcom Nunez. The Cardinals had been mentioned as possible suitors for Quintana and the deal was made with the added bonus of Stratton, a right-handed reliever.

Quintana, 33, began his major league career with the Chicago White Sox, where he pitched for six seasons. He played for the Cubs, Angels, and Giants before signing a one-year deal with the Pirates for the 2022 season. The left hander was 3-5 with ERA of 3.50 in 103 innings in Pittsburgh.

Chris Stratton

The 31-year-old Stratton has pitched the last four seasons for the Pirates with a combined record in those four seasons of 15-7 and an ERA of 3.98.

With about five minutes left before the 5:00 CT deadline, the Cardinals announced a trade with the New York Yankees. They sent their injured Gold Glove center fielder, Harrison Bader, to the Yankees for LHP Jordan Montgomery. The trade came as something of a surprise because players on the injured list typically don’t get traded, though there is no prohibition in the CBA for doing so.

Bader had been on the injured list with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Montgomery, 29, was in his sixth season in New York, but with his current service time, still has one more year of arbitration in 2023. The left hander amassed a record of 22-20 with an ERA of 3.94 over those six seasons.

Both Quintana and Montgomery made their first starts with the Cardinals this week. Quintana received a no-decision in Thursday’s win over the Cubs, and Montgomery earned his first Cardinal win on Saturday against his former team.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

  • 8/2 The Cardinals traded C Austin Romine to the Cincinnati Reds for cash.
  • 8/2 The Cardinals traded RHP Johan Oviedo and Double-A 1B Malcom Nunez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for LHP Jose Quintana and RHP Chris Stratton.
  • 8/2 The Cardinals traded CF Harrison Bader to the New York Yankees for LHP Jordan Montgomery.
  • 8/2 The Cardinals optioned RHP Junior Fernandez to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/2 The Cardinals activated C Yadier Molina from the 10-day injured list.
  • 8/2 The Cardinals activated LHP Jose Quintana and RHP Chris Stratton.
  • 8/4 The Cardinals optioned LHP Zack Thompson to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/4 The Cardinals recalled RHP James Naile from the Memphis Redbirds (27th man for double header).
  • 8/4 The Cardinals activated LHP Jordan Montgomery.
  • 8/5 The Cardinals claimed 2B Kramer Robertson off waivers from the New York Mets.
  • 8/5 The Cardinals optioned 2B Kramer Robertson to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/5 The Cardinals transferred RHP Drew VerHagen from the 15-day injured list to the 60-day injured list.

Injury Report

  • RHP Alex Reyes (frayed right labrum) remains on the 60-day IL. The right hander received a second opinion and has had surgery on the shoulder. No return date has been reported.
  • LHP Steven Matz (left knee MCL tear) was placed on the 15-day injured list on July 24. Some significant healing has already occurred in the knee, and it is hopeful the left hander will avoid surgery. Matz will not return before September if at all this season.
  • C Yadier Molina (right knee inflammation) has been activated.
  • RHP Drew VerHagen (right hip impingement) was transferred to the 60-day injured list. VerHagen had hip surgery and is out for the remainder of the season.
  • RHP Jack Flaherty (right shoulder strain) was transferred from the 15-day injured list to the 60-day injured list. The right hander threw a bullpen session on Sunday and is expected to begin a rehab assignment within the next few days.
  • 1B Juan Yepez was placed on the 10-day injured list on July 15 with a right forearm strain. Yepez will begin a rehab assignment with the Memphis Redbirds on Tuesday.
  • LHP Jordan Montgomery was removed from Saturday’s game after the fifth inning due to a hamstring cramp. There has been no report on whether it will affect the left hander’s next start.

Looking Ahead

Following the six game homestand, the Cardinals have a travel day on Monday, They take a brief road trip to Denver to play the Rockies in three games.

The team returns to Busch Stadium for a weekend series with the Brewers. After an off day, the Rockies come to St. Louis for a three-game set.

An eight-game road trip to Arizona and Chicago begins after the homestand. The Cardinals return briefly to St. Louis to play three with the Braves, then end the month with three at Cincinnati.

The regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

The Cardinals made two deals on trade deadline day. Both trades brought back needed pitching, but one came at the cost of their Gold Glove center fielder. Nevertheless, the team was clearly improved. The two teams involved in the trades were the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees.

This week’s Blast focuses on past trades between the Cardinals and the two teams mentioned above. One is currently in the same division as the Cardinals, and trades within division are typically very uncommon. Below is a history of some notable trades, first between the Cardinals and the Pirates, and following between the Cardinals and the Yankees.

May 17, 1956 – The Cardinals traded Bill Virdon to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Bobby Del Greco and Dick Littlefield. Littlefield was a left-handed pitcher who was frequently traded, including three times in 1956. The first was this deal. The Cardinals then turned around a month later and sent Littlefield along with Red Schoendienst and two other players to the New York Giants. In December of 1956, the Giants attempted to trade Littlefield to the Dodgers for Jackie Robinson, but Robinson refused the trade and retired, making the trade void.

Julian Javier

May 28, 1960 – The Cardinals traded Dick Gray and Vinegar Bend Mizell to the Pirates for Ed Bauta and Julian Javier. Javier remained with the Cardinals for 12 seasons, which included two World Series titles.

November 19, 1962 – The Cardinals traded Don Cardwell and Julio Gotay to the Pirates for Dick Groat and Diomedes Olivo. Groat played three seasons with the Cardinals which included two All-Star Game appearances and a second-place finish for the MVP award.

John Tudor

December 12, 1984 – The Cardinals traded Steve Barnard and George Hendrick to the Pirates for Brian Harper and John Tudor. Tudor’s best season with the Cardinals was 1985 when he went 21-8 and led the NL in shutouts with 10. Tudor, a future Cardinals Hall of Famer, came in second for the Cy Young Award that year, losing to Dwight Gooden.

April 1, 1987 – The Cardinals traded Mike Dunne, Mike LaValliere, and Andy Van Slyke to the Pirates for Tony Pena. Pena solidified the catcher’s position, but Van Slyke starred for the Bucs.

April 11, 1954 – The Cardinals traded future Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter to the Yankees for Bill Virdon, Mel Wright, and Emil Tellinger.

Roger Maris

December 8, 1966 – The Cardinals traded Charley Smith to the Yankees for Roger Maris. The former two-time MVP finished his career in St. Louis and was a key for the 1967 championship club.

April 30, 1980 – The Yankees sent Jim Kaat to the Cardinals for cash considerations. The recent inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame pitched the final three seasons of his stellar 25-year major league career with the Cardinals.

October 21, 1981 – The Cardinals traded Bob Sykes to the Yankees for Willie McGee. McGee was playing in the Yankees farm system at the time of the trade. He made his debut with the Cardinals on May 10, 1982, and the rest is history, a history that included an MVP award, three Gold Gloves, and four trips to the All-Star Game, among other accomplishments.

July 29, 2018 – The Cardinals traded Luke Voit and international bonus slot money to the Yankees for Giovanny Gallegos and Chasen Shreve. Shreve is no longer a Cardinal, but Gallegos is a fixture in the current Cardinals bullpen. After a quick start with New York, Voit has been traded twice more since, including last week from the Padres to the Nationals.


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