St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – May 2-8

photo: Juan Yepez (D. Ross Cameron/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals went 4-3 in a week that included six road games. The pitching remains inconsistent, with the arrival of rookie Juan Yepez aiding the offense. Our history feature recounts the cross-state Cardinals-Royals rivalry.

Game recaps

Monday, May 2 – Cardinals 1, Royals 0

The St. Louis Cardinals met the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium in a makeup of a previously rained out game. The Cardinals prevailed in a low scoring contest.

Steven Matz took the mound for St. Louis. The left hander pitched six scoreless innings, allowed four hits and fanned four to earn his third win of the season. Kodi Whitley, Nick Wittgren, and Giovanny Gallegos each tossed a scoreless inning. Gallegos collected his fifth save.

Steven Matz

The only run of the game was scored by the Cardinals in the first inning on a solo home run by Paul Goldschmidt. The first baseman was 2-for-3 in the game. There were four hits on the St. Louis side. Dylan Carlson doubled, and Brendan Donovan singled.

Tuesday, May 3 – Cardinals 1 at Royals 7

The Cardinals left St. Louis and traveled to Kansas City to take on the Royals in a two-game series. The Redbirds were overmatched by a determined Royals offense.

Dakota Hudson started for the Cardinals. The right hander pitched six innings and gave up three runs on nine hits, struck out four and walked two. Hudson took the loss, his second of the season. T.J. McFarland surrendered two runs in the seventh and recorded only one out. Jake Woodford tossed the final 1 2/3 innings and allowed two more runs.

The Cardinals scored their sole run in the eighth. Tommy Edman singled and Paul Goldschmidt walked. Tyler O’Neill plated Edman on a single.

On the base paths, Edman was caught stealing for the first time.

Wednesday, May 4 – Cardinals 10 at Royals 0

The Cardinals routed the Royals in the conclusion of the two-game series in Kansas City. Starter Adam Wainwright pitched seven scoreless innings, allowed one hit, struck out two and walked one to earn his third win of the season.

Adam Wainwright

T.J. McFarland and Packy Naughton each tossed a scoreless inning of relief.

St. Louis took an early lead, scoring five runs in the first inning. Tommy Edman and Paul Goldschmidt drew walks. Nolan Arenado followed with a three-run home run to left center field. Juan Yepez doubled for his first professional hit and scored on a triple by Tyler O’Neill. Harrison Bader plated O’Neill on a sac fly.

The score remained 5-0 until the seventh inning when three consecutive walks (to Paul DeJong, Edman and Goldschmidt) and a single by Nolan Arenado, resulted in two runs scored. In the eighth, Bader singled, Yadier Molina singled and Bader scored on a sac fly by DeJong.

The Cardinals posted two more runs in the ninth on an O’Neill long ball. Arenado went 2-for-4 with five RBI. O’Neill was 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Bader and DeJong each drove in one.

Yepez became the first player in Cardinals history double twice in his first MLB game.

On the base paths, DeJong stole his third base of the season and Edman swiped his sixth. Arenado made a fielding error.

Thursday, May 5 – Cardinals 7 at Giants 1

The Cardinals headed to the West Coast for a four-game series at the 2021 NL West champion San Francisco Giants. The Cardinals beat the Giants by a six-run margin.

Miles Mikolas started for St. Louis. The right hander pitched 5 2/3 innings, gave up one run on seven hits, struck out three and walked three to earn his second win of the season.

Miles Mikolas

Andre Pallante relieved Mikolas and threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Nick Wittgren and Kodi Whitley each tossed a scoreless inning.

The Cardinals got on the board in the third inning on a solo home run by Yadier Molina. St. Louis added to the lead in the fifth on a two-run single by Tommy Edman.

The Giants scored their only run in the home fifth. In the seventh, the Cardinals expanded their lead to 7-1. Dylan Carlson doubled and scored on a single by Edman. Paul Goldschmidt singled and Nolan Arenado drew a walk. Tyler O’Neill singled to plate Edman and Goldschmidt. Arenado scored on a single by Juan Yepez.

Tommy Edman

Edman went 3-for-5 with three RBI. O’Neill was 2-for-5 with two RBI. Yepez was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Molina was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Carlson was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

In the field, O’Neill had an outfield assist at second base.

Friday, May 6 – Cardinals 3 at Giants 2

The Cardinals topped the Giants in a ninth inning rally on Friday night at Oracle Park. In a tie game, the Cardinals sneaked ahead in the ninth.

Jordan Hicks made the start for St. Louis. The right hander pitched 4 1/3 innings, gave up two runs on three hits, fanned five and walked two. Genesis Cabrera threw two scoreless innings of relief. Ryan Helsley fanned four in 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Giovanny Gallegos earned his sixth save in a scoreless ninth.

The Cardinals scored first in the fifth inning on a two-run home run by Harrison Bader. The Giants responded in the home half of the fifth with two runs to tie it.

The game remained knotted up 2-2 until the ninth. Juan Yepez doubled and scored on Dylan Carlson’s single to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead. Gallegos held off the Giants in the ninth to grant the Cardinals their second win of the series.

In the field, Cabrera picked a runner off first base.

Saturday, May 7 – Cardinals 7 at Giants 13

The Cardinals were shellacked by the Giants in a slugfest on Saturday night in San Francisco. Starter Steven Matz could not hold back the San Francisco offense. The left hander pitched only two innings and gave up eight runs on five hits, struck out three and walked three. Matz took the loss, his second of the season.

Jake Woodford surrendered one unearned run in 3 1/3 innings of relief. Packy Naughton secured the last two outs of the sixth. Nick Wittgren allowed a run in the seventh. Kodi Whitley started the eighth and could not record an out after walking four Giants and giving up a run. T.J. McFarland replaced Whitley and escaped further damage.

The Cardinals briefly led the game in the first inning 1-0. Tommy Edman walked and stole second. Nolan Arenado plated Edman on a single.

The Giants immediately took over the game by scoring four runs in the home half of the first. The Cardinals made it closer in the second. Juan Yepez singled to lead off. Harrison Bader singled and Yadier Molina singled to score Yepez. Bader scored on a single by Paul DeJong. The Giants lead was cut to 4-3.

The Giants persisted and scored four more runs in the bottom of the second to make it 8-3. The Cardinals added one run in the fourth. Bader walked, stole second base, and scored on a DeJong single.

The Giants matched St. Louis with one run in the bottom of the fourth. St. Louis once again got close in the seventh on a three-run home run by Dylan Carlson. The Giants lead was 9-7.

San Francisco made it 10-7 in the bottom of the seventh, then blew up the score to 13-7 in the eighth. The Cardinals were unable to catch up.

Bader went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Goldschmidt was 2-for-5 and Arenado was 2-for-5 with an RBI. DeJong was 2-for-4 with two RBI. Carlson drove in three.

On the base paths, Bader and Edman each stole their seventh base of the season. In the field, the Cardinals had a poor showing up the middle as Edman made a throwing error, DeJong had a fielding miscue, and Molina dropped a foul ball.

Sunday, May 8 – Cardinals 3 at Giants 4

The Cardinals were edged by the Giants in the final game of the series on Sunday at Oracle Park. Dakota Hudson took the mound for St. Louis. The right hander pitched 4 2/3 innings, gave up three runs on five hits, and walked four.

T.J. McFarland secured the final out of the fifth inning. Genesis Cabrera surrendered one run in the sixth. Andre Pallante and Giovanny Gallegos each tossed a scoreless inning.

The Cardinals took a 2-0 lead in the third on a two-run home run by Juan Yepez, the rookie’s first career long ball. San Francisco quickly took the lead away with three runs in the home second.

Juan Yepez

In the sixth, St. Louis tied it 3-3. Yepez walked and Dylan Carlson smacked a ground rule double. Harrison Bader plated Yepez on a ground out to short.

Once again the Giants responded in the bottom half of the inning, scoring one to take a 4-3 lead. The two teams battled but in the end the Cardinals were unable to push another run across the plate.

Yepez went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored. Carlson and Paul Goldschmidt were both 2-for-4. Harrison Bader drove in one.

In the field, Paul DeJong committed his fourth error, a throwing miscue.

Arenado NL Player of the Month

Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado was named the National League Player of the Month for April.

Nolan Arenado

The 31-year-old batted .375 with 12 extra-base hits including five home runs and 17 RBI. His OPS of 1.125 led the NL and he ranked third in batting average, tied for second in RBI and tied for fourth in home runs.

Arenado is the second straight Cardinal to be NL Player of the Month as Tyler O’Neill received the honors for September 2021.

O’Neill arbitration hearing held

Speaking of O’Neill, the left fielder and the Cardinals held their salary arbitration hearing on Friday with a three-person panel. O’Neill asked for $4.15 million. The team’s offer was $3.4 million. The decision on which will be chosen will be announced in a few weeks.

Tyler O’Neill

Coming off a strong 2021, the 27-year-old is off to a slow start in 2022, with a slash line of .206/.277/.330/.607. O’Neill does have 19 RBI in 26 games, second-most on the team.

The other six Cardinals who are eligible for arbitration previously settled. Agreeing to one-year deals were pitchers Jack Flaherty, Giovanny Gallegos, Jordan Hicks, Dakota Hudson and Alex Reyes. Outfielder Harrison Bader came to terms with the club on a two-year extension covering 2022 and 2023.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Milwaukee 19 10 0.655
St. Louis 16 12 0.571 2.5
Pittsburgh 11 16 0.407 7
Chicago 9 18 0.333 9
Cincinnati 5 23 0.179 13.5

The Big Picture

With six road games, the Cardinals ended the week with a winning record of 4-3. They took 2 of 3 from the Royals and split 2-2 with the Giants.

St. Louis remains in second place in the NL Central, 2.5 games back of the Brewers. Both teams lost their last two games, so the Cardinals failed to make any gains when they had the opportunity.

The offense has been able to score runs for the most part, but the pitching needs to give up less. The run differential for the week was +5. The team can do better.

Dylan Carlson

The top offensive performers for the week by OPS are Juan Yepez (1.289 on nine hits in his first five games), Dylan Carlson (1.155 in seven games), Paul Goldschmidt (.994 in seven games), and Tyler O’Neill (.808 in six games). Yadier Molina has an OPS of .846 in three games. Former OPS leaders Tommy Edman (.732) and Nolan Arenado (.707), have fallen off for the week.

Andrew Knizner (.133 in four games), Paul DeJong (.216 in seven games), and Corey Dickerson (.222 in five games) are scuffling. In fact the designated hitter position has been a disappointment so far for the season. Albert Pujols (.220 in 2022) has performed only slightly better than Dickerson. Yepez filled the DH position in three of his five games and if he hit left-handed, would be an excellent candidate for the job on a permanent basis. Dickerson has shown almost nothing so far this season (.430 OPS). DeJong’s OPS remains a disappointing .417 and Sosa is on the IL.

Miles Mikolas continues to be the bright spot in the rotation. Adam Wainwright, whose recent performances had been underwhelming, had an excellent start against the Royals on Wednesday. In contrast, Dakota Hudson, who started the season well, struggled in his last two starts, especially Sunday’s start in San Francisco. Steven Matz has shown flashes but has been mostly disappointing. Jordan Hicks has improved to a degree as his pitch counts increase.

Ryan Helsley

The really bright spot in the bullpen is Ryan Helsley, who had two spectacular outings recently and has yet to allow a run in 2022. The right-hander threw triple digit gas and mowed down hitters. Giovanny Gallegos and rookie Andre Pallante have also been good. The rest of the bullpen needs some work, most especially Kodi Whitley, who had a disastrous appearance against the Giants.

The Cardinals have Monday off after 20 straight games. It will be a much needed rest for the pitchers. The Orioles come to St. Louis for a three-game series. Baltimore has been a cellar dweller for the past several seasons, though they are surprisingly playing better than the Red Sox, who are in last place in the AL East. Historically, the Cardinals haven’t performed well in interleague play.

At the end of the week the Cardinals play the Giants again at Busch Stadium. Winning both series or even sweeping one of the series would be a big boost, especially because the Brewers continue to have a fairly easy schedule. The Cardinals need to keep the Brewers from getting a large lead in the Division as they did in 2021.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


  • 5/2 The Cardinals optioned LHP Packy Naughton to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/2 The Cardinals designated RHP Aaron Brooks for assignment.
  • 5/3 The Cardinals recalled 1B Juan Yepez from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/3 The Cardinals recalled LHP Packy Naughton from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/3 The Cardinals placed LHP Steven Matz on the bereavement list.
  • 5/3 The Cardinals placed INF Edmundo Sosa on the Covid-IL
  • 5/3 The Cardinals sent RHP Drew VerHagen on rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/5 The Cardinals sent RHP Aaron Brooks outright to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/6 The Cardinals placed RHP Adam Wainwright on the Covid-IL
  • 5/6 The Cardinals activated LHP Steven Matz from the bereavement list.

Injury Report

  • RHP Jack Flaherty (right shoulder) had imaging done on his shoulder which revealed inflammation as well as a small tear called a SLAP tear (superior labrum and posterior). Flaherty told the media the tear has been there for several years and is unrelated to the inflammation. Flaherty received a PRP injection in the shoulder. The right hander was placed on the 10-day injured list to begin the season. Flaherty has been throwing at increasing distances on flat ground. Last week, John Mozeliak told Bally Sports Midwest that Flaherty is about a week away from his first bullpen session and that the club is optimistic about his recovery.
  • RHP Alex Reyes (frayed right labrum) has been shut down from throwing for four weeks and has received a stem cell injection in his shoulder. Reyes was placed on the 60-day injured list and will be unavailable until June. John Mozeliak said last week that Reyes is about two weeks behind Flaherty with more news expected mid-May.
  • RHP Drew VerHagen remains on the 10-day injured list due to a right hip impingement. He received an injection in the hip. The right hander threw 1 2/3 innings in a rehab start in Memphis on Tuesday, May 3. VerHagen then tested positive for COVID and was unable to make another start during the week. It was announced during the game on Sunday that when the pitcher gets a negative test he will throw a bullpen and then be sent on another rehab assignment, likely in Springfield since Memphis will be on the road.
  • INF Edmundo Sosa was placed on the COVID IL on May 3. Sosa must be symptom free and test negative twice before he can return to the team.
  • RHP Adam Wainwright was placed on the COVID IL on May 6. Wainwright tested positive for COVID but is symptom free. He must test negative twice before returning to the team. As of Sunday Wainwright has not tested negative twice but will be tested again on Monday and if he tests negative can make his Tuesday scheduled start.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals return home for a six-game homestand to begin on Tuesday. Three games against the Orioles open the homestand. A three-game set with the Giants concludes the week.

St. Louis leaves for a seven-game road trip the following week, starting in New York as they take on the Mets in four games. The Cardinals then head to Pittsburgh to play the Pirates in a weekend series.

The regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

The Cardinals played the Kansas City Royals this week in the final three games of a four game season series. The teams met the previous week in which one of the two games was rained out. The makeup of that game was played on Monday in St. Louis with two more games following in Kansas City.

The two teams, one in the NL and one in the AL, met in the 1985 World Series, but did not face each other in the regular season until interleague games were introduced starting with in 1997. The Royals as came into existence in 1969 as an expansion franchise after the Athletics left Kansas City in 1968 and moved to Oakland.

This week’s Blast takes a look at the history between the two teams, their records and other interesting details of note since the Cards and Royals first met in the 1985 World Series.

The two teams have met in every regular season since 1997 for a total of 127 times. Unlike with other AL teams the Cardinals play only every three years, the Cardinals play their Missouri AL rivals every year. This is the same for every NL team who has an AL team in their state or locality, like the Chicago Cubs against the White Sox and the Dodgers against the Angels, etc.

The Cardinals’ overall record against the Royals in the regular season is 76-51 for a win percentage of 59.8%. St. Louis’ record in home games is 30-27 and their record in Kansas City is 46-24. The Cardinals clearly play the Royals better in Kansas City than at home.

The Cardinals have met the Royals in the postseason only once, in the 1985 World Series, during which they lost to Kansas City in seven games. Most Cardinals fans are aware of the controversy that surrounded that series.

Beginning with interleague play in 1997, the Cardinals have shut out the Royals 14 times. The first regular season shutout was on July 2, 1998, a 3-0 win for the Cardinals. The last shutout was the 1-0 win over the Royals on Monday. The Cardinals have been shut out by the Royals three times in the regular season. All occurred during the five-year span from 2011-15. The first was May 20, 2011 (3-0), then June 2, 2014 (6-0) and last on May 22, 2015 (5-0).

The biggest run differential in a game was the 10-0 St. Louis win on Wednesday. The most runs the Cardinals have scored against the Royals was 13, which they accomplished three times – two were wins and one was a loss. In 2003, the Cardinals beat the Royals on back to back days, June 28 and 29, 13-9 and 13-6. On June 9, 1999, the Cardinals lost to the Royals 17-13. The Royals beat the Cardinals 11-10 the previous day on June 8. The Royals scored 17 runs on the Cardinals a second time, on June 14, 2007, in a 17-8 loss for the Cardinals.

The longest game between the two teams was 15 innings on June 17, 2012, a 5-3 loss for the Cardinals in Busch Stadium. The two teams played nine other extra-inning games. The shortest between the two teams was a six-inning game that was called for rain on May 23, 2015. The Royals won 3-2 at Kauffman Stadium.

The World Series matchup between the Cardinals and the Royals ended with a seven-game loss for St. Louis. The Cardinals won three of the seven games. Two of the games were shutouts, a 3-0 win for the Cardinals in Game 4 and an 11-0 win for the Royals in Game 7. St. Louis won the other two games, 3-1 (Game 1) and 4-2 (Game 2).

Starting in 2023, every team in the NL will play every team in the AL. MLB is abandoning the rotating formula of every three years. All 30 teams will play at least one three-games series against the other 29 teams. Intradivision games will be reduced from 19 to 14. The Cardinals and Royals typically play four games, two in St. Louis and two in Kansas City. This may change.

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