St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – May 9-15

photo: Brendan Donovan (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The second-place St. Louis Cardinals went 3-3 on the week, splitting two home series. Rookie Brendan Donovan has sparked the offense with dependable veteran Miles Mikolas leading the rotation. Our history feature recounts the 2003 “Typhoon Game” at Wrigley Field.



Game recaps

Monday, May 9 – Off day

Tuesday, May 10 – Cardinals 3, Orioles 5

The St. Louis Cardinals met the Baltimore Orioles in an interleague series at Busch Stadium. St. Louis lost to Baltimore in the first game of the three game series on Tuesday.

Packy Naughton started for the Cardinals in place of Adam Wainwright who remained on the Covid-IL. The left hander pitched 3 1/3 innings, gave up three runs on five hits, and struck out two. Kodi Whitley relieved and surrendered one run in 1 1/3 innings. Nick Wittgren allowed one run in his 1 1/3 innings before Andre Pallante threw a scoreless seventh. T.J. McFarland tossed the final two scoreless innings. Naughton took the loss, his first of the season.

The Orioles got on the board first with two runs in the third inning. They widened their tally with one run in each of the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings to take the 5-0 lead. St. Louis finally scored in the home half of the sixth. Yadier Molina doubled to lead off. Harrison Bader followed with an inside the park home run to cut the Orioles lead to 5-2. Bader’s inside the park home run was the first by a Cardinal since Fernando Vina in San Francisco on May 9, 2000. It was the first by a Cardinal at Busch Stadium since 1985.

Harrison Bader

The score remained 5-2 until the ninth, when Brendan Donovan hit a solo home run.

St. Louis’ offense scored three runs on seven hits. No Cardinal had multiple hits. Bader drove in two.

Wednesday, May 11 – Cardinals 10, Orioles 1

The Cardinals regrouped to pummel the Orioles in a 10-1 contest Wednesday. Miles Mikolas started for St. Louis. The right hander pitched seven innings and gave up one run on four hits, struck out three and walked one to earn the win.

Miles Mikolas

Jake Walsh tossed the final two scoreless innings.

In the second inning, the Cardinals took a 3-0 lead on a solo home run by Juan Yepez and a two-run double by Brendan Donovan.

The Cardinals increased the lead to 7-0 with a four-run fourth inning. Harrison Bader singled. Donovan drew a walk. Tommy Edman singled to plate Bader. Paul Goldschmidt followed with double that scored Donovan and Edman. Goldschmidt crossed the plate vi a Nolan Arenado double.

The Orioles posted their only run in the fifth. St. Louis widened their tally to 8-1 in the sixth on a Goldschmidt RBI single.

The Cardinals scored two more in the eighth to make it 10-1. Albert Pujols drew a walk to begin the inning. Donovan doubled. Pujols scored on a ground out by Edman. Donovan came in on a ground out by pinch hitter Kramer Robertson.

Goldschmidt went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Juan Yepez was 2-for-5 with an RBI. Edman and Donovan drove in two each.

In the field, Robertson made a throwing error.

Thursday, May 12 – Cardinals 2, Orioles 3

The Cardinals lost the interleague series to the Orioles with a 3-2 defeat on Thursday. Steven Matz took the mound for St. Louis. The left hander pitched 6 2/3 innings, gave up three runs on seven hits and fanned seven. Matz took the loss, his third of the season.

Genesis Cabrera relieved and got the final out of the seventh. Nick Wittgren and Giovanny Gallegos each tossed a scoreless inning.

Baltimore scored first with one run in the second inning. In the seventh, the Orioles put up two more runs. The Cardinals answered with one run in the home half of the seventh on a solo home run by Dylan Carlson.

St. Louis added their second and final run in the eighth on a sac fly by Nolan Arenado. The Cardinals managed six hits in total with no Cardinal having multiple hits.

On the base paths, Paul Goldschmidt stole his third base of the season.

Friday, May 13 – Cardinals 2, Giants 8

The Giants came to town for a three-game series. The Cardinals were defeated 8-2 in the opener. Jordan Hicks started and the hard-throwing right hander pitched five innings, gave up three runs on three hits, struck out three and walked two. Hicks took the loss, his third of the season.

Packy Naughton relieved and threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Jake Walsh secured the final two outs of the seventh. Nick Wittgren started the eighth and surrendered two runs while recording one out. T.J. McFarland allowed three more runs in the inning but got the final two outs. Jake Woodford tossed a scoreless ninth.

The Cardinals scored first with one run in the first inning. Tommy Edman drew a walk and stole second base. Edman advanced to third on a wild pitch and came in on a groundout by Paul Goldschmidt.

The Giants quickly tied it in the second, then added two runs in the third to take a 3-1 lead. The score remained 3-1 until the eighth when the Giants blew the game open with a five-run outburst.

In the home half of the eighth, the Cardinals posted their second and final run on a solo home run by Goldschmidt. The Cardinals first baseman was 2-for-4 and drove in both St. Louis runs. Brendan Donovan was 2-for-2.

On the base paths, Edman stole his league leading eighth bag of the season.

Saturday, May 14 – Cardinals 4, Giants 0

The Cardinals blanked the Giants 4-0 in the second game of the weekend series. Dakota Hudson took the mound for the Cardinals. The right-hander pitched five scoreless innings, allowed five hits, struck out two and walked two to earn his third win of the season.

Dakota Hudson

Genesis Cabrera threw a scoreless sixth. Andre Pallante and Ryan Helsley combined for the next two scoreless innings. Giovanny Gallegos tossed a scoreless ninth.

The Cardinals put up their first run in the second inning on an RBI double by Brendan Donovan. Tommy Edman’s solo home run in the fifth made it 2-0 in favor of St. Louis.

In the seventh, the Redbirds added two more runs. Edmundo Sosa singled and scored on a double by Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt crossed the plate on a double by Nolan Arenado.

Arenado went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Yadier Molina was 2-for-4. Edman, Goldschmidt and Donovan each drove in a run.

Sunday, May 15 – Cardinals 15, Giants 6

In what turned out to be one of the most entertaining ESPN Sunday Night Baseball games, the Cardinals shellacked the Giants 15-6 in Game 3 to take the series. Starter Adam Wainwright pitched six innings. The right-hander gave up two runs on three hits, fanned five and walked two to earn his fourth win of the season and an MLB-record 203rd career team win with Yadier Molina catching.

T.J. McFarland threw a scoreless seventh. Drew VerHagen followed with a scoreless eighth. Albert Pujols (yes, that Albert Pujols) pitched the ninth. The future Hall of Famer gave up a pair of home runs for four runs, but no one cared because it was fun, and the game was a blowout anyway.

St. Louis’ offense attacked Giants starter Carlos Rodon early, with four in the first inning. A two-run home run by Paul Goldschmidt preceded a two-run single by Yadier Molina.

Paul Goldschmidt

In the third inning, Pujols drove in a run on a single. In the fourth, Edmundo Sosa plated Harrison Bader on a single and Sosa scored on a double by Goldschmidt. Nolan Arenado completed the four-run inning with a two-run home run.

Molina hit a two-run home run in the fifth. The Giants scored in the sixth on a two-run home run by Joc Pederson.

The Cardinals took two right back on Andrew Knizner’s single in the home half of the sixth. Knizner collected his third RBI in the seventh on a hit by pitch. Dylan Carlson drove in a run on a single.

In the ninth, with the score 15-2, Albert Pujols came in to pitch. The Giants had used a position player pitcher on the mound, OF Luis Gonzalez, in part of the seventh and all of the eighth. Pujols gave up four runs on home runs by Gonzalez and Joey Bart. He also gave up a hit to Evan Longoria, who asked to keep the ball.

Everyone in the Cardinals starting lineup had a hit. Goldschmidt went 3-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored. Juan Yepez was 2-for-4. Pujols was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Molina was 2-for-3 with four RBI. Dylan Carlson was 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Harrison Bader stole his eighth base of the season, tying Tommy Edman for the league lead. Bader also was mic’d up by ESPN and offered his own brand of in-game entertainment.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Milwaukee 22 13 0.629
St. Louis 19 15 0.559 2.5
Pittsburgh 15 19 0.441 6.5
Chicago 13 20 0.394 8
Cincinnati 9 26 0.257 13

The Big Picture

The Cardinals finished the week with a record of 3-3 in six games. They lost 2-of-3 at the hands of Baltimore but won 2-of-3 from the Giants. The Cardinals remain in second place in the NL Central, 2.5 games back of Milwaukee.

The offense remained inconsistent, but improved slightly this past week, due in part to some recent callups from Memphis. Juan Yepez and Brendan Donovan have played well and are likely to stick around for a while.

Brendan Donovan

The top offensive players for the week are Donovan (1.611 OPS in 6 games), Andrew Knizner (1.334 OPS in 4 games), Paul Goldschmidt (1.328 OPS in 5 games), Albert Pujols (1.267 OPS in 3 games), and Yadier Molina (1.071 OPS in 4 games).

Former starting shortstop Paul DeJong was sent down to Triple-A and was replaced by a combination of Donovan and Edmundo Sosa. Left-fielder Tyler O’Neill (.166 OPS) continues to struggle and didn’t play in the last two games.

Miles Mikolas

The starting pitching was better this week in that no starter had a particularly bad game. Miles Mikolas continues to stand out in the rotation. Adam Wainwright caught Covid and missed his Tuesday start but made the start on Sunday and pitched well. Dakota Hudson also recovered from his poor starts last week and pitched a good game against the Giants on Saturday. Steven Matz also bounced back with a quality start over the Orioles.

The bullpen had some changes this week as Kodi Whitley, Packy Naughton and Jake Woodford were optioned to Memphis, making room for rookie Jake Walsh, veteran Drew VerHagen off the IL and the return of Adam Wainwright, also from the injured list. Most of the bullpen has been good, with the exception of Nick Wittgren, who had a poor appearance for the Cardinals on Friday against the Giants.

The Cardinals leave for a road trip that begins in New York and ends in Pittsburgh. The four-game series against the 23-13, first-place Mets will be tough and potentially tense considering the hit-by-pitches, fines and suspensions when they met in St. Louis. The Pirates are the Pirates. They will give the Cardinals a fight, but the team should be able to handle them. The Mets are a different story. With the Cardinals 2.5 games behind the Brewers, a sweep of the Pirates would be helpful. A split with the Mets would be a plus if they can pull it off.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

  • 5/10 The Cardinals optioned SS Paul DeJong to the Memphis Redbirds
  • 5/10 The Cardinals selected the contract of 2B Kramer Robertson from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/10 The Cardinals sent SS Edmundo Sosa on a rehab assignment to Springfield Cardinals
  • 5/11 The Cardinals recalled RHP Jake Walsh from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/11 The Cardinals optioned RHP Kodi Whitley to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/12 The Cardinals optioned 2B Kramer Robertson to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/12 The Cardinals sent RHP Drew VerHagen on a rehab assignment to the Springfield Cardinals.
  • 5/14 The Cardinals optioned LHP Packy Naughton to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/14 The Cardinals activated RHP Drew VerHagen.
  • 5/15 The Cardinals optioned RHP Jake Woodford to the Memphis Redbirds
  • 5/15 The Cardinals activated RHP Adam Wainwright from the injured 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 was throwing at increasing distances on flat ground. He then had a series on bullpen sessions, including most recently this past week while the team was in St. Louis.
  • RHP Alex Reyes (frayed right labrum) remains on the 60-day IL. The latest news is not good. Reyes reportedly suffered shoulder soreness after throwing this week and has been shut down again. The right-hander had an MRI and is seeking a second opinion.

Alex Reyes

  • RHP Drew VerHagen was activated from the 10-day injured list on May 14. He suffered from a hip impingement and had made one appearance for Memphis on a rehab assignment before testing positive for Covid-19. After VerHagen was released from Covid protocols he made one rehab appearance for the Springfield Cardinals on May 12.
  • INF Edmundo Sosa had been placed on the COVID IL on May 3. Sosa was released from Covid protocols and was sent on a rehab assignment in Springfield on May 10. The infielder was activated on Thursday, May 12 and started at shortstop against the Giants on Saturday.
  • RHP Adam Wainwright was placed on the COVID IL on May 6. Wainwright was released from Covid protocols and started against the Giants on Sunday.

Looking Ahead

St. Louis travels to New York to take on the Mets in four games. Miles Mikolas is scheduled to make the start on Monday. The probable pitchers for the remainder of the series are Steven Matz and Jordan Hicks with Thursday afternoon’s starter to be announced.

The Cardinals will then go to Pittsburgh to play the Pirates in a weekend series.

The following week, the Cards return to St. Louis for a two-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays.

After an off day, the homestand will continue with a four-game set with the first-place Brewers. The homestand will end with three against the Padres.

The regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

Wrigley Field (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

In this week’s Blast from the Past, we remember a game that didn’t count. This game between the Cardinals and the Cubs was ultimately rained out, but was memorable not only for the extreme weather, but for the extreme offense. A total of 20 runs and 21 hits, including seven home runs, was compiled by both teams in only four innings. This game was played on May 11, 2003 (Mother’s Day) at Wrigley Field. The game was called by some “The Typhoon Game,” with a summary of the day’s events following.

Chicago is known as “The Windy City” and weather conditions at Wrigley Field are well known for contributing to a lot of offense, depending on the speed and direction of the wind. When rain is added to those conditions it can make for some extreme outcomes. In the past, games with these types of weather conditions were not played, but in this instance, this one was attempted.

On that Mother’s Day, the temperature was 53 degrees at first pitch, but quickly fell into the 40s as the game progressed. The wind was blowing at 23 mph with gusts up to 47 mph. A steady rain fell throughout the game. There is video available of this game here.

St. Louis’ starting lineup was: 2B Fernando Vina, RF J.D. Drew, LF Albert Pujols, CF Jim Edmonds, 3B Scott Rolen, 1B Tino Martinez, SS Edgar Renteria, C Mike Matheny, P Brett Tomko.

The Chicago starting lineup was:  3B Mark Bellhorn, SS Alex Gonzalez, RF Troy O’Leary, LF Moises Alou, 1B Hee-Seop Choi, CF Corey Patterson, 2B Mark Grudzielanek, C Damien Miller, P Matt Clement.

The Cardinals came to the plate first and the leadoff hitter, Vina, singled to right. Drew followed with a ground ball to the shortstop, forcing Vina out at second. Pujols forced out Drew at third. Edmonds walked, and the inning ended with a strike out by Rolen.

The Cubs came to bat in the home half of the first. Bellhorn flied out to left. Gonzalez walked. O’Leary forced Gonzalez out at second. Alou then hit a two-run home run to right center field. The inning concluded with a ground out by Choi.

Albert Pujols (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Cardinals answered in the top of the second. Martinez struck out. Renteria doubled to right center. Matheny singled to left and Renteria scored. Tomko struck out. Vina singled, Drew hit an infield single, and the bases were loaded. Pujols hit a grand slam to left center to give the Cardinals a 5-2 lead. Edmonds grounded out to second to end the inning.

Eli Marrero replaced Drew in right field. A reason was never given but the Cubs announcers speculated Drew was injured running out his infield hit.

The inning began with a solo home run by Patterson. Grudzielanek singled to right. Miller grounded into a double play. Clement popped out to second. The Cardinals led 5-3.

In the top of the third, Rolen struck out swinging. Martinez followed with a solo home run to left center to increase St. Louis’ lead to 6-3. Renteria ground out to third and Matheny struck out swinging.

In the bottom of the third, Bellhorn grounded out to first. Gonzalez then doubled to right center and O’Leary followed with a two-run long ball to center, cutting the Cardinals’ lead to 6-5. Alou grounded out to shortstop and Choi struck out swinging.

The fourth inning began with Tomko grounding out to third. Vina doubled to right center and Marrero drew a walk. Pujols grounded to third, Marrero out at second on the fielder’s choice. Edmonds then hit a wind-aided double to left (the video shows Alou coming in on the ball and then veering to his left sharply to try to run it down; he failed). Vina and Pujols scored on the double to make it 8-5. Rolen was hit by a pitch (Clement had become very wild). Martinez then blasted a three-run shot to right to increase the Cardinals’ lead to 11-5. Clement then hit Matheny on the back of his helmet (as he turned away from the inside pitch). Matheny glared at Clement and at that point, manager Dusty Baker removed Clement and brought in Juan Cruz. Cruz then threw a wild pitch, advancing Renteria to third and Matheny to second. Tomko ended the inning by grounding out to short.

Eli Marrero

The top of the fourth began with a Patterson single to right and a Grudzielanek double to left. Miller flied out to center. Cruz hit a sac fly to right center. Marrero and Edmonds converged on the ball, then Marrero pulled up sharply and fell, with his right leg folding under him. Medical personnel from both teams came out to aid Marrero and after a few minutes the right fielder was carted off on a stretcher. (Marrero suffered an Achilles injury that kept him out until September.) Edmonds caught the ball, but a run scored on the sac fly to cut St. Louis’ lead to 11-6.

The inning continued with Eduardo Perez replacing Marrero in right field. Bellhorn singled to right, scoring Grudzielanek. Gonzalez then thumped a two-run home run to left to make it 11-9. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa pulled Tomko and replaced him with Steve Kline. O’Leary singled to left, Alou walked. Kline struck out Choi to end the inning.

When the game came back from commercial, the rain had increased to a sideways gale. After Cruz threw four pitches to Vina, the umpires stopped the game. Because the game was not official, all the stats were thrown out and the game ceased to exist from that point.

The game was made up as part of a doubleheader on September 2. The Cubs went on a 19-8 run that month and won the NL Central title. St. Louis missed the playoffs, finishing in third place, three games back.


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