St. Louis Cardinals Major League Notebook – Week of July 25-31

photo: Adam Wainwright (Jeff Curry/Imagn)

The St. Louis Cardinals posted a 3-2 record last week in Toronto and Washington as the trade deadline approaches. All three wins were marked by strong starting pitching. Our Blast from the Past recounts key events this past week in Cardinals history with many important trades noted.



Game recaps

Monday, July 25 – Off

Tuesday, July 26 – Cardinals 3 at Blue Jays 10

The St. Louis Cardinals were pummeled by the Blue Jays in a 10-3 laugher at The Rogers Centre on Tuesday night. Andre Pallante started for St. Louis. The right hander pitched four innings, gave up three runs on seven hits, fanned seven and walked two.

The game got away from the bullpen. Jordan Hicks surrendered four runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief. Junior Fernandez allowed three more runs in one inning pitched. T.J. McFarland finished the game with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Hicks took the loss, his fifth.

The Cardinals got on the board in the top of the first inning on a solo home run by Dylan Carlson. The Blue Jays answered with Vlad Guerrero Jr’s two-run home run and a third run on a single by Matt Chapman. Toronto took the 3-1 lead.

In the third, Lars Nootbaar led off with a walk. Tommy Edman singled and Dylan Carlson followed with a single that scored Nootbaar. Edman scored on a single by Albert Pujols and the game was tied 3-3.

From there the game remained a tie until the Blue Jays scored five runs in the fifth off the combination of Hicks and Fernandez. Fernandez gave up two more runs in the seventh. The Cardinals did not score after the third.

The Cardinals plated three runs on eight hits. Carlson was 2-for-5 with two RBI. Edman and Corey Dickerson were each 2-for-4.

Center fielder Carlson committed a fielding error but also had an outfield assist at second base.

Wednesday, July 27 – Cardinals 6 at Blue Jays 1

The Cardinals split the two-game series in Toronto by winning the second game 6-1. Adam Wainwright took the mound and pitched seven innings, gave up one run on five hits and punched out eight to win his seventh game of the season.

Adam Wainwright

Giovanny Gallegos relieved and threw a scoreless eighth. Ryan Helsley tossed a scoreless ninth.

The Cardinals scored the first run of the game in the third inning. Nolan Gorman singled and came hom on a double by Dylan Carlson. They added a second run in the fourth. The inning began with a double by Albert Pujols, but Pujols was thrown out at home attempting to score on a single by Brendan Donovan. Lars Nootbaar then doubled, and Donovan scored.

The Blue Jays got on the board in the bottom of the fourth to close St. Louis’ edge to 2-1. Back-to-back home runs by Nolan Gorman (two run shot) and Albert Pujols (two-run shot) made it 6-1 in the fifth.

Albert Pujols

Neither team scored in the final four innings.

Pujols went 3-for-4 with three RBI. Donovan was 2-for-3. Nootbaar, Gorman, and Andrew Knizner were each 2-for-4 with an RBI each for Nootbaar and Gorman.

On the base paths, Gorman stole the first base of his MLB career. Carlson was caught stealing for the first time in 2022.

In the field, right fielder Nootbaar had an assist at third base.

Thursday, July 28 – Off

Friday, July 29 – Cardinals 6 at Nationals 2

The Cardinals defeated the Nationals in the opener of a three-game series at Nationals Park. Starter Miles Mikolas pitched seven innings, gave up two runs on six hits, struck out four and walked one to earn his eighth win of the season.

Miles Mikolas

Genesis Cabrera relieved and threw a scoreless eighth. Giovanny Gallegos tossed a scoreless ninth.

The Nationals scored the first run in the second inning. The Cardinals answered with three runs in the third. Andrew Knizner and Tommy Edman hit back-to-back singles and Knizner advanced to third. Edman stole second base. Dylan Carlson plated Knizner on a ground out. Tyler O’Neill walked and stole second base. Edman scored on a wild pitch that sent O’Neill to third. Paul Goldschmidt grounded out to score O’Neill.

In the sixth, St. Louis scored three more runs on a two-run long ball by Nolan Gorman and a solo home run by Lars Nootbaar. The Nationals made it 6-2 in the home half of the sixth.

Nolan Gorman

Knizner went 2-for- 4. Gorman had two RBI. Carlson, Goldschmidt and Nootbaar each had a run driven in.

On the base paths, Edman stole his 21st base of the season. O’Neill and Nolan Arenado each stole a base.

Saturday, July 30 – Cardinals 6 at Nationals 7

The Cardinals lost a heartbreaker in the second game of the series. Fresh off the injured list, Dakota Hudson started. The right-hander pitched only 4 1/3 innings, gave up two runs on four hits, struck out one and walked two.

Packy Naughton relieved Hudson in the fifth and was unsuccessful in holding back the Nationals offense. The left hander surrendered two runs. Jordan Hicks allowed a run in the sixth. Genesis Cabrera blew the save and took the loss, as he relinquished two more runs in the seventh. Johan Oviedo was the only Cardinals pitcher to hold the Nationals off the board by logging a scoreless eighth.

The Cardinals took the lead in the second inning on a solo home run by Nolan Arenado. The Nationals quickly tied it on a long ball from Victor Robles in the third.

Newly recalled Paul DeJong hit a two-run home run in the fifth, and Corey Dickerson plated a run on a sac fly to give the Cardinals a 4-1 lead. Again the Nationals responded with three runs to tie in the home half of the fifth.

Paul DeJong

St. Louis regained the lead in the sixth. Arenado walked, Nolan Gorman singled, and Arenado scored on a sac fly by Lars Nootbaar. The Nationals came back once more in the seventh and added three runs to go ahead 7-5.

The Cardinals attempted a rally in the eighth and got within one run. Paul Goldschmidt singled, Gorman singled, and Goldschmidt scored on a sac fly by DeJong.

The Cardinals went down quickly in the ninth on three ground outs.

Tyler O’Neill was 2-for-2 before coming out of the game with leg cramps. Gorman was 2-for-4. DeJong had three RBI.

On the base paths, O’Neill was caught stealing for the fourth time. In the field, Andrew Knizner had a passed ball.

Sunday, July 31 – Cardinals 5 at Nationals 0

The Cardinals recovered from the loss of the previous evening to blank the Nationals in the final game of the series. Andre Pallante made the start and had his best outing of the season. The right hander pitched eight scoreless innings, allowed five hits, fanned eight and walked one to earn his fourth win.

Andre Pallante

Ryan Helsley relieved Pallante in the ninth with two runners on and tossed a scoreless inning.

The Cardinals scored the first of their five runs in the third inning. Corey Dickerson doubled, then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Dylan Carlson plated Dickerson on a ground out.

Corey Dickerson

The Cardinals added to the lead with three runs in the fourth on a three-run home run by Dickerson. Paul DeJong hit his second home run of the series in the sixth to give the Cardinals a 5-0 lead they would not relinquish.

Dickerson went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. DeJong and Carlson drove in the other two runs.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Milwaukee 57 45 0.559
St. Louis 54 48 0.529 3
Chicago 41 60 0.406 15.5
Cincinnati 40 61 0.396 16.5
Pittsburgh 40 62 0.392 17

The Big Picture

The Cardinals ended the week with a record of 3-2, winning 1 of 2 from Toronto, and 2 of 3 from the Nationals. With a Sunday loss by the Brewers and a Sunday win by the Cardinals, St. Louis presently sits in second place in the NL Central, three games back of the Brewers.

It does not seem a coincidence that strong outings from starting pitchers Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas and a nice bounce-back performance by Andre Pallante on Sunday directly led to the three wins.

The series in Toronto was played without the Cardinals’ two best players in Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, who were prohibited from entering Canada because of their status as unvaccinated against Covid-19. The Cardinals managed to win one of the two games without them. The two players returned for the Nationals series.

The trade deadline is less than 48 hours away as of this writing. The Cardinals have made one trade, sending infielder Edmundo Sosa to the Phillies for a left-handed reliever, JoJo Romero. Romero was optioned to the Memphis Redbirds. Other trades are the subject of rumors, but no trades have yet been completed.

It is no secret that the Cardinals need pitching, particularly starting pitching. The Cardinals have been rumored to be interested in several pitchers, including Oakland’s Frankie Montas and Tyler Mahle of the Reds. A Mahle trade is less likely because it would be an intra-division trade that is not typically done. The possibility still exists, however.

The Cardinals are also in the mix along with several other teams for Washington star outfielder Juan Soto. A position player is not a specific need at this time, but given the rare circumstances, the Cardinals are talking about and considering such a move. A Soto trade will be costly, perhaps several top prospects and major league players with multiple years of control. Such a trade would likely affect the ability to get a top pitcher on the trade market, though lesser pitchers with lower value should still be available.

All of this is important, as it will affect how the team performs for the remainder of the season. A trade is a gain but could also be a loss if players going out in the trade are contributors on the major league roster.

As for the current state of the team, pitching remains the greatest need. Dakota Hudson, in his first start off the injured list, did not perform as well. Hudson continues to struggle with going deep into games due to a number of factors.

Lars Nootbaar

As for the offense, the top performers for the week by OPS are Paul DeJong (1.393 in 7 ABs), Albert Pujols (1.144 in 11 ABs), Corey Dickerson (1.114 in 14 ABs), Nolan Gorman (1.067 in 18 ABs), Lars Nootbaar (1.050 in 15 ABs), and Andrew Knizner (.829 in 14 ABs).

Those listed are not the typical players who make this list, but the absence of Goldschmidt and Arenado from two of the five games makes this not unexpected. In 13 ABs, Goldschmidt had an OPS of .308. The All-Star first baseman has struggled since the break, even without the two missed games. Arenado on the other hand, has been ok, with an OPS of .708 for the week.

The appearance of DeJong on this list is due to the Sosa trade. It allowed DeJong to return to the roster and he performed well in the two games played. Pujols has been on fire since the break, a most welcome state of affairs for the team dealing with injuries as well as for Pujols.

The team has returned home and will begin a homestand on Tuesday with three games with the Cubs and three with the Yankees. Yadier Molina is expected to return on Tuesday. The team is still without two starting pitchers, Steven Matz and Jack Flaherty. Two position players remain out, too, IF/OF Juan Yepez, as well as CF Harrison Bader, who had a setback with his foot and will remain out for several weeks. Dylan Carlson has performed credibly in center in Bader’s absence, but Carlson is one of the rostered players who is rumored to be in the mix for a possible Soto trade. If Carlson is traded, who will play in center will be an important question to be answered.

This will be a difficult homestand, especially in the series with the Yankees, who are the best team in the American League. The Cubs always play hard against the Cardinals. The Brewers are playing well, and the Cardinals cannot afford to lose further ground in the division.

Cardinals trade infielder Edmundo Sosa to the Phillies

On Saturday, the Cardinals traded infielder Edmundo Sosa to the Philadelphia Phillies for LHP JoJo Romero. The move was made to clear a roster spot for SS Paul DeJong, who was already in Washington as a member of the taxi squad.

Edmundo Sosa

Sosa has struggled with the bat this season, though he remains a strong defensive asset. Sosa has been playing the role of backup shortstop since DeJong was sent down to Memphis in late April because of his continued offensive struggles. The situation was further complicated by Sosa’s lack of minor league options, which left the Cardinals with only two choices, keep him on the roster or trade him. The Cardinals chose the latter.

DeJong has come on strong with the bat recently for Memphis, and it had always been a possibility he would be restored to the major league roster if he showed improvement at the plate. That possibility was realized this weekend as DeJong was immediately added to the roster following the trade.

DeJong already hit two home runs in the Nationals Series in the short time he has been back with the club.

JoJo Romero

Romero, 25, is coming off Tommy John surgery and has appeared in two games for the Nationals this season, but has mostly been in Triple-A. He has a combined ERA of 7.89 in 21 1/3 innings over the last three seasons for the Phillies. Romero has two option years remaining and was optioned to the Memphis Redbirds immediately after the trade was completed.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

Multiple sources including Ken Rosenthal of Fox and the Athletic and Jeff Passan of ESPN have reported that the Cardinals are one of the favorites to trade for Nationals outfielder Juan Soto. The Padres are considered the top favorite, with the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Yankees also in the mix.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network tweets that the Cardinals are one of the teams in the mix for Oakland starting pitcher Frankie Montas. Morosi also reports that the Cardinal have interest in Reds starter Tyler Mahle.

Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch writes that the Cardinals are interested in Astros pitcher Jake Odorizzi. Also discussed according to Goold were Noah Syndergaard of the Angels and Nathan Eovaldi of the Red Sox.

Transactions

  • 7/25 The Cardinals recalled C Ivan Herrera from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/25 The Cardinals recalled CF Conner Capel from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/25 The Cardinals selected the contract of 2B Corey Spangenberg from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/25 The Cardinals placed 1B Paul Goldschmidt on the restricted list.
  • 7/25 The Cardinals placed 3B Nolan Arenado on the restricted list.
  • 7/25 The Cardinals placed C Austin Romine on the restricted list.
  • 7/28 The Cardinals optioned CF Conner Capel to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/28 The Cardinals returned 2B Cory Spangenberg to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/28 The Cardinals optioned C Ivan Herrera to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/28 The Cardinals sent C Yadier Molina on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/28 The Cardinals activated 1B Paul Goldschmidt from the restricted list.
  • 7/28 The Cardinals activated 3B Nolan Arenado from the restricted list.
  • 7/28 The Cardinals activated C Austin Romine from the restricted list.
  • 7/30 The Cardinals traded SS Edmundo Sosa to the Philadelphia Phillies for LHP JoJo Romero.
  • 7/30 The Cardinals recalled SS Paul DeJong from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/30 The Cardinals optioned RHP James Naile to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 7/30 The Cardinals activated RHP Dakota Hudson from the 15-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. Whether the injury is season-ending is yet to be determined.
  • LHP Steven Matz (left knee MCL tear) was placed on the 15-day injured list on July 24. It is unknown at this time whether Matz will require surgery. If the left hander avoids surgery, he will be out 4-6 weeks. If surgery is required, the injury will be season-ending. A definite answer is expected soon.
  • C Yadier Molina (right knee inflammation) was placed on the 10-day injured list on June 17, retroactive to June 16. The catcher was sent on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds on July 28. Molina is expected to be activated for the Cubs series on Tuesday.
  • RHP Drew VerHagen (right hip impingement) is on the 15-day injured list. It was reported the right hander threw a side session earlier in the week. No further information is available.
  • 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 “light side session” last weekend but remains out for an indeterminate time.
  • CF Harrison Bader (right foot plantar fasciitis) is on the 15-day injured list. A second opinion earlier in the week confirmed the diagnosis. The CF made one rehab start and was bothered by continued pain in his heel. He has placed in a walking boot which will remain for 1-2 weeks. Cardinals Manager Oli Marmol expressed confidence Bader will return this season but there is no timetable for that return.
  • RHP Dakota Hudson was activated from 15-day injured list and made a start on Saturday against the Nationals.
  • 1B Juan Yepez was placed on the 10-day injured list on July 15 with a right forearm strain. Yepez has been swinging the bat but is still experiencing some pain when throwing. He will be out at least another week.

Looking Ahead

Following the series at the Nationals, the Cardinals return home to begin a six-game homestand with the Cubs and then the Yankees in two three-game series.

After an off day on Monday, August 8, the Cardinals will make a brief road trip to Denver to play the Rockies in three games.

The team will return to Busch Stadium for a weekend series with the Brewers following the trip to Denver. After an off day, the Rockies will visit St. Louis for a three-game set.

An eight-game road trip to Arizona and Chicago begins after the homestand.

The regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

The period of July 25 through July 31 is the focus of this week’s Blast from the Past’s recall of past notable events in Cardinals franchise history. Events that occurred during this time period are noted below with day and year.

July 25, 1962 – Stan Musial surpassed New York Giants great Mel Ott as the National League’s all-time RBI leader in a 5-2 loss to the Dodgers. Musial hit a two-run home run that put him at 1,862 career runs batted in.

July 25, 1990 – On this date, former Cardinals LHP and current Cardinals radio broadcaster Rick Horton played his last major league game. Horton spent four seasons with the Cardinals before being traded to the Chicago White Sox in a February 1988 trade. That August, the White Sox traded Horton to the Dodgers, but he was released mid-season in 1989. The Cardinals signed him as a free agent shortly thereafter. The Cardinals re-signed Horton for the 1990 season, but he was released that July 25th. He was signed to a minor league deal with the Brewers but did not make the majors and was released a month later.

Rogers Hornsby

July 26, 1933 – The Cardinals released one of their legends and future Hall of Famer, Rogers Hornsby. It was Hornsby’s second stint with the Cardinals. Hornsby went on for four more seasons with the St. Louis Browns as a player-manager.

July 26, 1998 – Mark McGwire broke the Cardinals record held by Johnny Mize for home runs hit in a season with 44.

July 27, 1950 – A 30-game hit streak by Stan Musial ended on this day in 1950, a streak that was the longest in the majors at that time. Musial was the only hitless Cardinal in a 13-3 defeat of the Dodgers.

July 27, 2011 – The Cardinals traded outfielder Colby Rasmus, along with pitchers Trever Miller and Bryan Tallet, to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for pitcher Edwin Jackson (just traded from the White Sox to Toronto that day) and relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel. The trade would be significant for the Cardinals in their 2011 World Series win.

July 28, 1969 – Stan Musial was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

July 28, 2002 – Ozzie Smith was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Smith gave a memorable speech with a copy of the “Wizard of Oz” in his hand, and the song “Somewhere over the Rainbow” playing in the background.

July 29, 2002 – The Cardinals acquired future team Hall of Fame third baseman Scott Rolen in a trade with the Phillies in exchange for Placido Polanco, Bud Smith, and Mike Timlin.

July 29, 2018 – The Cardinals acquired reliefer Giovanny Gallegos in a trade with the New York Yankees. The Cardinals sent hometown first baseman Luke Voit to the Yankees.

July 30, 1933 – Dizzy Dean set a modern major league record with 17 strikeouts in a game against the Cubs.

Bob Gibson (AP photo)

July 30, 1959 – Bob Gibson won his first major league game as he shut out the Reds 1-0.

July 31, 1997 – The Cardinals acquired first baseman Mark McGwire in a trade with the Oakland Athletics.

July 31, 2000 – The Cardinals acquired first baseman Will Clark from the Orioles.

July 31, 2010 – In a three-team trade, the Cardinals acquired Jake Westbrook from the Cleveland Indians. The Indians acquired Corey Kluber from the Padres, and the Cardinals sent Nick Greenwood to the Padres.

July 31, 2011 – The Cardinals acquired shortstop Rafael Furcal and cash from the Dodgers for Alex Castellanos.

July 31, 2014 – The Cardinals acquired starting pitcher John Lackey and cash from the Boston Red Sox for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly.

July 31, 2018 – The Cardinals traded Tommy Pham and international bonus slot money to the Tampa Bay Rays for Genesis Cabrera, Roel Ramirez, and Justin Williams.


Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

Dominican Summer League Cardinals Notebook – 2022 Week 8


Now Available – 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide

The Cardinal Nation 2022 Prospect Guide is back for its fifth year. It includes 276 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos. Order your PDF or printed book copy today!

Order TCN’s 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide


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.

© 2022 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.