St. Louis Cardinals Major League Notebook – Week of August 8-14

photo: Albert Pujols (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals held onto first place by taking two of three over Milwaukee during the 40-year anniversary of the 1982 championship team. Albert Pujols dramatically decided the series. Our Blast from the Past recounts a major brawl with the Reds during this week back in 2010.

 

Game recaps

Monday, August 8 – Off

Tuesday, August 9 – Cardinals 5 at Rockies 16

The St. Louis Cardinals were shellacked at Coors Field by the Rockies in the first game of a three-game set. Miles Mikolas took the mound for St. Louis. The right hander lasted only 2 2/3 innings, gave up 10 runs on 14 hits and struck out two. It was the ninth loss for Mikolas.

The carnage continued with Packy Naughton in relief, who surrendered four runs in 2 2/3 innings. T.J. McFarland pitched mop up in what turned out to be his final outing for the Cardinals. The left hander allowed two runs in the final 2 2/3 innings.

The game began with the Rockies scoring three runs off Mikolas in the first inning. After a scoreless second, the Rockies put up nine more runs off Mikolas and reliever Naughton.

The Cardinals got on the board in the fifth on a two-run home run by Paul DeJong. In the sixth, an RBI double by Nolan Arenado and an RBI single by Andrew Knizner brought three more runs home for St. Louis.

The Rockies were not done offensively. Colorado scored two runs in both the sixth and seventh to run up the score to 16-5.

Knizner was 2-for-4 with two RBI. Tommy Edman was 2-for-4. DeJong had two RBI.

Arenado made a rare fielding error. Dylan Carlson had an outfield assist at home plate.

Wednesday, August 10 – Cardinals 9 at Rockies 5

The Cardinals rebounded to defeat the Rockies in the second game of the series on Wednesday. Starter Jose Quintana pitched six innings, gave up two runs on seven hits, struck out six and walked two to earn his fifth win of the season.

Andre Pallante relieved Quintana and threw two scoreless innings. Chris Stratton surrendered three runs, two earned, in the ninth.

Putting the prior drubbing to bed, the Cardinals went right after the Rockies in the first inning, scoring five runs. Leading off, Dylan Carlson drew a walk. Tommy Edman ground into a force out, Carlson was out at second. Paul Goldschmidt singled. Nolan Arenado doubled, and Edman scored. Goldschmidt scored on a single by Albert Pujols. Tyler O’Neill doubled to plate Arenado. Paul DeJong drove in Pujols on a single. O’Neill scored on a sac fly by Lars Nootbaar.

The Rockies got on the board with a run in the third. St. Louis took the run right back in the top of the fifth on an RBI single by Yadier Molina. In the home half of the fifth the Rockies made it 6-2.

Nolan Arenado

In the sixth, the Cardinals lead increased to 8-2 on solo home runs by Arenado and Pujols. In the top of the ninth, DeJong singled and scored on a triple by Nootbaar to make it 9-2.

The Rockies rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth bring the final score to 9-5.

Pujols was 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. DeJong was 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Arenado was 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Molina was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Nootbaar was 2-for-4 with two RBI.

On the base paths, Nootbaar stole his second base of the season. Edman swiped his 23rd bag. O’Neill committed a fielding error.

Thursday, August 11 – Cardinals 6 at Rockies 8

In the final game of the Rockies series, the Cardinals fell to Colorado 8-6. Dakota Hudson started for St. Louis. The right hander pitched five innings, gave up two runs on four hits, struck out six and walked four.

Jordan Hicks surrendered two runs in 1 1/3 innings of relief. Hicks took the loss, his sixth of the season. Genesis Cabrera relinquished four runs without recording an out. Jake Woodford tossed the final 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Colorado took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. The Cardinals came back to tie it up in the fourth on a solo home run by Nolan Gorman and an RBI single by Corey Dickerson.

The game remained tied until the seventh inning. In the home half of the seventh, the Rockies scored six runs to break the tie and make it 8-2.

The Cardinals staged a partial comeback in the eighth, with a two-run long ball by Paul Goldschmidt and a solo home run by Nolan Arenado. A ninth inning rally added one run, on a force out by Goldschmidt following a Brendan Donovan single, a walk by Lars Nootbaar, and single by Gorman. Donovan scored on the force out. The one run was not enough, and the Rockies took the series.

Goldschmidt was 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored. Dickerson was 3-for-4 with an RBI. Gorman was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

In the field, Gorman made a throwing error.

Friday, August 12 – Cardinals 3, Brewers 1

In the first game of a weekend series in St. Louis against the Brewers, the Cardinals defeated Milwaukee by the score of 3-1. Starter Jordan Montgomery pitched six scoreless innings, allowed four hits, fanned eight and walked two to earn his fifth win, second as a Cardinal.

Jordan Montgomery

Andre Pallante relieved Montgomery and surrendered one run in the seventh. Ryan Helsley tossed the final two scoreless innings to earn his 12th save.

The Cardinals took an early lead in the first inning on a two-run home run by Paul Goldschmidt. A sixth inning solo shot by Nolan Arenado made it 3-0.

The Brewers scored their only run in the seventh.

No Cardinal had more than one hit. In addition to the two long balls, Dylan Carlson, Paul DeJong, Lars Nootbaar, and Albert Pujols each singled.

Nootbaar stole his third base of the season.

Saturday, August 13 – Cardinals 2, Brewers 3 (10 innings)

The Cardinals lost to the Brewers by one run in extra innings, wasting a gem by starter Adam Wainwright. The right hander pitched nine innings, gave up one run on three hits, fanned eight and walked one. Wainwright had a no-hitter going into the seventh.

Giovanny Gallegos relieved in the 10th and gave up the winning two runs. Gallegos took the loss.

The game was a pitching duel through seven innings. Wainwright was pitching against Corbin Burnes and the game was scoreless until the Cardinals broke through in the seventh. Paul Goldschmidt singled and scored on a double off the wall hit by Nolan Gorman.

The Brewers tied it up in the eighth when Wainwright threw a first pitch fastball that Luis Urias hit for a home run.

After neither team scored in the ninth, the game went into the 10th. Gallegos gave up a leadoff triple that scored the first of two runs he allowed.

The Cardinals were able to get one run back in the bottom of the 10th. With Gorman on second, Paul DeJong singled, moving Gorman to third. Dylan Carlson plated Gorman on a sac fly. Yadier Molina and Tommy Edman struck out to end the game.

Sunday, August 14 – Cardinals 6, Brewers 3

The Cardinals beat the Brewers in the final game of the series to take the series and maintain their NL Central lead. Starter Miles Mikolas recovered from his rough start on Tuesday. The veteran right-hander  pitched eight innings, gave up two runs on four hits and struck out six to earn his ninth win of the season.

Ryan Helsley gave up one run in the ninth.

The Brewers scored in the second to go up 2-0. The Cardinals partially answered in the home half of the second with an Albert Pujols solo home run.

In the sixth, Tyler O’Neill thumped a solo home run to tie the game at 2-2.

Two innings later the Cardinals put the game away with a four-run inning bottom of the eighth. Dylan Carlson broke the tie with a solo home run. O’Neill followed Carlson with a single and Paul Goldschmidt drew a walk. Then Albert Pujols came to the plate and sent a monster long ball into left center field for three more runs.

Milwaukee tried to rally in the ninth and scored one run on a solo home run by Rowdy Tellez, who went down to get a Helsley slider at the bottom of the zone. Helsley closed the door, and the Cardinals won the series.

Albert Pujols

Pujols was 2-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored. O’Neill was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Tommy Edman was 2-for-2.

On the base paths, Edman stole his 24th base of the season.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
St. Louis 63 51 0.553
Milwaukee 61 52 0.540 1.5
Chicago 47 66 0.416 15.5
Cincinnati 45 68 0.398 17.5
Pittsburgh 45 70 0.391 18.5

The Big Picture

The Cardinals went 3-3 for the week. The team had a disappointing series in Denver, losing 2 of 3 to the Rockies. They bounced back at home against the Brewers to win 2-of-3 and keep their slim lead in the NL Central, which is currently 1.5 games.

As was stated last week here, the starting pitching is much better since the trade deadline with the additions of Jose Quintana and Jordan Montgomery. The additions along with the impending return of Jack Flaherty, and perhaps Steven Matz by the end of the season, give the rotation some breathing space. It gives more room for struggling pitchers like Dakota Hudson, who will skip a start this week in order to work on some of his weaknesses. If the rotation can continue the momentum and there are no further injuries, at least the pitching on the starting side can give the team the boost it needs to finish the season strong.

On the relief side, however, there are still issues. Ryan Helsley continues to get outs on a consistent basis, in high leverage situations especially. Andre Pallante has been okay. Every single other pitcher in the pen has had issues over the last several weeks. T.J. McFarland was released. Giovanny Gallegos could not close out the second game of the Brewers series. Genesis Cabrera could not get anyone out in his last appearance. Jordan Hicks and Packy Naughton have been hit and miss. The newest acquisition, Chris Stratton, continues to struggle. The bullpen needs stability, and it still falls short of that goal.

Nolan Gorman

The offense has been good, though it would be better if the Cardinals offense could figure out how to hit Corbin Burnes. The top offensive performers for the week by OPS are Albert Pujols (1.714), Corey Dickerson (1.167 in 6 ABs), Nolan Gorman (1.049), Lars Nootbaar (1.002), Paul Goldschmidt (.976), Nolan Arenado (.949), and Paul DeJong (.940). At the bottom for the week is Dylan Carlson (.480), though Carlson did hit a home run in Sunday’s game to break the tie.

Lars Nootbaar

The defense and baserunning continue to be fine with no major issues.

The Cardinals play the Rockies again this coming week, but not in the abnormal conditions of Coors Field. The team should perform better this time around. To end the week the Cardinals begin a road trip with a weekend series against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Chase Field is another difficult ballpark, though not quite as difficult as Coors Field. Both opponents are below .500 and the team needs to take advantage of this. There are a limited number of games left before the season ends and their lead in the Division is slim. The Brewers have a tougher schedule for the remainder of the season so beating up on the lesser teams is essential.

The Cardinals host the 40th anniversary of the 1982 World Series

It has been 40 years since the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers in the 1982 World Series. This weekend the Cardinals hosted a 40th anniversary celebration for the team members, coaches and staff from that historic team, along with their families.

A ceremony was conducted prior to the game on Saturday night. Manager Whitey Herzog, more than 20 players, and various coaches and staff were driven around the stadium track in convertibles and introduced individually to fans in attendance. Herzog led off the procession.

Three players who have passed away were represented by family members – Bob Forsch, Darrell Porter, and David Green, the latter who passed away in January of this year. Players in attendance included two Hall of Famers in Jim Kaat and Ozzie Smith. Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter could not attend. Also attending were Cardinals Hall of Famers Willie McGee, Tom Herr, and Keith Hernandez.

Two of the attendees, both broadcasters following their playing days, were guests in the Cardinals television booth with Dan McLaughlin. Kaat was interviewed during Friday night’s game, and Hernandez spent time with McLaughlin on air Saturday night.

The celebration continued through Sunday.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

  • 8/9 The Cardinals sent 1B Juan Yepez on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/10 The Cardinals recalled RHP Jake Woodford from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/10 The Cardinals designated LHP T.J. McFarland for assignment.
  • 8/10 The Cardinals sent RHP Jack Flaherty on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 8/12 The Cardinals released LHP T.J. McFarland.

Injury Report

  • RHP Alex Reyes (frayed right labrum) remains on the 60-day IL. The right hander received a second opinion and 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. The left hander played catch in Colorado on Tuesday, August 9. Matz will be reevaluated on Monday, August 15.
  • 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) continues on the 60-day injured list. Flaherty was sent on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds and pitched one inning in a game on August 11. Flaherty is set to make a second start in Springfield on Tuesday.
  • 1B Juan Yepez was placed on the 10-day injured list on July 15 with a right forearm strain. Yepez has been sent on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • OF Corey Dickerson reinjured his calf on Friday but remained active and was a late-inning replacement on Saturday.

Looking Ahead

After Monday’s off day, the Rockies come to St. Louis for a three-game series. Jose Quintana will pitch the opener. Presumed Game 2 starter Dakota Hudson is being skipped this time through the rotation for extra side work.

An eight-game road trip with the Diamondbacks and the Cubs 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.

To open the month of September, the Cardinals play a home weekend series with the Cubs. Following that, the Nationals come to town for four games.

After the homestand, the team makes a brief trip to Pittsburgh to play a three game weekend series.

The regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

This week’s Blast from the Past remembers an event that occurred 12 years ago this past week during a game between the Cardinals and Reds in Cincinnati. The event in question is not your typical baseball event such as a great pitching or hitting performance but was an event as old as time in baseball, though it happens infrequently.

The event in question was a brawl. Fights during baseball games have taken place since the dawn of the game. Over the centuries and decades they have become less frequent and fairly tame, with very few injuries or even punches thrown.

One such brawl where injuries did happen, and punches were thrown occurred on August 10, 2010, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. With both teams battling for supremacy in the NL Central Division, tensions were already high, as one would expect from a fierce rivalry. The tension was exacerbated by some comments made by a Reds player the night before the game that became public.

Yadier Molina (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

Reds 2B Brandon Phillips, in an interview with Dayton Daily News reporter Hal McCoy, made some derogatory remarks about the Cardinals. He was quoted as calling the players “whiny little bitches” and further expressed his dislike for the team in general terms. Of course, the comments became public.

Not surprisingly, the words were not taken well by many Cardinals players, especially catcher Yadier Molina, always a fierce defender of his teammates and his city.

What eventually transpired began with a shin tap. Phillips came to the plate for his first at bat and greeted Molina with a bat tap on the catcher’s shin guard. Molina, already irritated by Phillips comments the day before, was not amused.

Molina stepped in front of home plate and confronted Phillips. Words were exchanged. Molina ripped off his face mask, and players from both sides came running. The fracas began.

The mass of players began some mild shoving, while other players from both sides tried to keep the peace. At first it looked like the scrum would die down quickly. Umpires began moving players back toward their respective dugouts. Then all at once some more scuffling began and the mass of players were pushed back against the backstop.

Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter was in the thick of it. At one point Reds starter Johnny Cueto can be seen with his back against the backstop, kicking at Carpenter, with backup catcher Jason LaRue, defending his pitcher, taking some blows as well.

Carpenter’s former teammate, Reds 3B Scott Rolen, grabbed onto Carpenter and pulled him out of the melee. The umpires finally got everything under control and the brawl was over.

After the game, which the Cardinals won 8-4, Carpenter told reporters that Cueto had kicked him in the back and that he had scratches there from Cueto’s cleats. It was discovered that LaRue had been kicked in the head by the Reds pitcher and was diagnosed with a concussion. That concussion, though not LaRue’s first, was his last, as LaRue’s career ended that season.

Fines and suspensions were given out as a result of the incident. Cueto received the worst penalty, a seven-game suspension for “violent and aggressive actions.”  Managers Tony La Russa and Dusty Baker were suspended two games and fined an undisclosed amount.

Others who were also fined were Carpenter and Molina, as well as Phillips, and Reds reliever Russ Springer. Springer was fined for coming on the field while on the disabled list.

The Reds eventually won the Division that year, but Karma of sorts came back on the Reds. They were swept in three games by the Phillies in the Division Series and were no-hit by Roy Halladay.

Reporters caught up with Jason LaRue some 10 years later and LaRue was still bitter, stating that Cueto never apologized to him. The Cardinals won the World Series the next year in 2011, while the Reds have won only one Division title since then, in 2012. They have gone to the postseason only two more times, in 2013 and 2020 as a Wild Card team that did not advance.

On the other hand, the Cardinals have won four Division titles, two NL pennants and one World Series since 2010. Molina is still playing at the major league level. Phillips’ affiliated career ended in Boston’s minor league system in 2018, but at age 41, he continues to play in independent ball.

Revenge as they say, is sweet.

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