St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of April 26-May 2

photo: Carlos Martinez via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals posted a strong 5-2 week with a split against the Phillies before sweeping the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Carlos Martinez picked up two wins and Matt Carpenter hit pinch-hit three-run home runs in consecutive games. Our Blast From the Past history segment outlines the team Hall of Fame candidacy of long-time coach Buzzy Wares.

Game Recaps

Monday, April 26 – Cardinals 1, Phillies 2

The St. Louis Cardinals were edged by the Phillies in the first of a four-game series at Busch Stadium against Philadelphia.  The contest was a pitchers duel between Adam Wainwright and Phillies starter Zack Wheeler.

As is the case with most pitchers duels, neither team scored for the majority of the game, in this case, the first six innings. The Phillies got to Wainwright in the top of the seventh when Rhys Hoskins led off with a solo home run to left field.  Wainwright went the entire nine innings and gave up a second home run to Hoskins in the ninth.  The right hander allowed six hits and fanned eight with no walks issued.

Adam Wainwright

The meager St. Louis offense scored one run on two hits.  The run was manufactured in the final inning when Matt Carpenter, pinch hitting for Wainwright, drew a leadoff walk.  Tommy Edman singled, advancing Carpenter to third base.  As Dylan Carlson grounded out to second, Carpenter scored.

The only other hit in the game was a single by Paul DeJong.

Tuesday, April 27 – Cardinals 5, Phillies 2

With a little more offense, the Cardinals fared better in the second game of the Phillies series on Tuesday.

St. Louis’ offense scored five times on 11 hits.  After the Phillies took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, the Cardinals responded to tie the game in the bottom frame.  Dylan Carlson singled to left field and later scored on a double by Nolan Arenado.  St. Louis added to their lead in the bottom of the second with two runs plated by Tommy Edman on a double to right field.  Paul Goldschmidt doubled in two more in the seventh inning.

Edman, Carlson, Arenado and Andrew Knizner each had two hits.

Carlos Martinez

Starter Carlos Martinez pitched 7 1/3 innings and surrendered two runs, one earned on two hits.  The right-hander struck out four and walked two and picked up his first win as a starter since 2018.  Giovanny Gallegos finished the eighth inning.  Alex Reyes tossed a scoreless ninth to earn his sixth save.

Justin Williams committed his second fielding error of the season and Martinez erred on a pickoff attempt.

Wednesday, April 28 – Cardinals 3, Phillies 5

In the third game of the series, the Phillies beat the Cardinals 5-3 in a contentious situation in the later innings.

The Phillies got on the board first with a run in the top of the second inning.  The Cardinals came back in the bottom half to take a 2-1 lead.   Paul DeJong drew a lead off walk and Tyler O’Neill brought them both in with a home run to left field.  St. Louis added on in the third inning on a solo home run by Paul Goldschmidt.

The Phillies tied the game in the fifth inning on a two-run home run by former Cardinal Brad Miller.  The Phillies added lone runs in the sixth and the seventh to take the final 5-3 lead.

Spot starter Johan Oviedo pitched five innings, giving up three runs on three hits. The right hander fanned seven and walked two.

Didi Gregorius (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

Genesis Cabrera relieved to start the sixth but had no command.  His first pitch came inside to left hander Bryce Harper and the ball struck his wrist and then his face, knocking him to the ground.  After pinch runner Matt Joyce took first base, Cabrera’s next pitch to Didi Gregorius hit him in the ribs.  At that point Phillies manager Joe Girardi came out on the field to argue about pitcher warnings and was ejected.  Cabrera still had to pitch to another batter due to MLB’s three batter minimum rule.  Andrew McCutchen singled to score Joyce for what became the winning run for Philadelphia.  Cabrera was then removed without recording an out and replaced by Tyler Webb, who finished the inning.

Ryan Helsley, Andrew Miller, and Daniel Ponce de Leon combined to pitch the final innings.  Ponce de Leon surrendered a run in the ninth.  Cabrera was tagged with the loss.

O’Neill stole his first base of the season.

Thursday, April 29 – Cardinals 4, Phillies 3 (10 innings)

On Thursday, the Cardinals split the series by winning the fourth game against the Phillies.  Starter Kwang-Hyun Kim pitched five innings, allowing one run on seven hits and punching out four.  Jordan Hicks tossed a scoreless sixth.  Andrew Miller allowed two runs.  Giovanny Gallegos replaced Miller with one out in the seventh and gave up a single to allow an inherited runner to score.  He was tagged with a blown save.  Gallegos returned to pitch a scoreless eighth.  Alex Reyes finished, hurling the final two scoreless innings to earn his first win.

Matt Carpenter

The Cardinals fell behind 1-0 in the third inning, but in the fifth they took the lead 3-1 on a three run pinch hit home run by Matt Carpenter.  The Phillies tied it up with two in the seventh.  The Cardinals walked it off in the 10th when designated runner Tyler O’Neill scored from third on a wild pitch.

St. Louis’ offense managed four hits, two by Andrew Knizner. Carpenter’s pinch hit home run and a single by Edmundo Sosa were the others.

Sosa was caught stealing  for the first time in 2021.  Dylan Carlson had an outfield assist at third and Kim picked a runner off first.

Friday, April 30 – Cardinals 7 at Pirates 3

The Cardinals began a weekend series in Pittsburgh on Friday and defeated the Pirates 7-3 behind seven runs on 10 hits.

St. Louis got on the board first on doubles by Dylan Carlson and Nolan Arenado in the first inning.  Arenado doubled again in the third to plate a run which extended St. Louis’ lead.  Tyler O’Neill’s solo home run in the fourth expanded the edge to 3-0.

The Phillies scored a run in the fourth to reduce the Cardinal lead to 3-1.  In the sixth, following an O’Neill single and a walk by Andrew Knizner, Matt Carpenter hit his second pinch hit three-run home run in two days to give the Cardinals a 6-1 lead.  The Pirates responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. St. Louis added an insurance run in the ninth as pinch hitter Justin Williams and Tommy Edman were both hit by a pitch and Williams later scored on a fielding error.

John Gant

Starter John Gant tossed five innings, surrendering one run on three hits.  The right hander struck out two and walked five to earn his second win of the season.  Tyler Webb relieved in the sixth and was charged with two runs.  Kodi Whitley took over with two outs and allowed an inherited runner to score on a balk, but got the final out of the inning.  Genesis Cabrera pitched two scoreless innings followed by Ryan Helsley with one scoreless inning.

O’Neill stole his second base of the season.  Knizner committed a throwing error.

Saturday, May 1 – Cardinals 12 at Pirates 5

The Cardinals took the second game the series in Pittsburgh with a 12-5 victory.  Starter Jack Flaherty earns his fifth win and is the first pitcher in MLB to reach five wins this season.  The right hander went six innings and gave up three runs on six hits.  He fanned nine and issued two free passes.

Jack Flaherty

Jordan Hicks relieved in the seventh but did not finish the inning.  The right-hander was pulled due to inflammation in the right elbow.  Genesis Cabrera relieved with two outs.  Both relievers were charged with a run.  Giovanny Gallegos tossed a scoreless eighth and Kodi Whitley pitched a scoreless ninth.

The Cardinals took a 4-0 lead in the first inning.  Tommy Edman led off with a double.  Paul Goldschmidt singled to plate Edman.  Nolan Arenado drew a walk and Paul DeJong followed with a three-run home run to left center field.

The Pirates scored one in the second. In the third, Goldschmidt drew a walk and Arenado singled. Tyler O’Neill singled to plate Goldschmidt for a 5-1 lead for the Redbirds.  Pittsburgh added two in the bottom frame of the third to reduce the lead to 5-3.

Neither team scored again until the seventh.  Dylan Carlson led off with a walk, Goldschmidt singled, and Arenado drove them both in on a double to center field.  The Pirates added two more in the bottom half and the score was 7-5.

In the ninth, St. Louis’ offense went to town.  Goldschmidt led off with double to left field. Arenado tripled to right and Goldschmidt scored. O’Neill plated Arenado on a single to center.  Andrew Knizner reached on a error that sent O’Neill to third.  O’Neill scored on a ground out by Harrison Bader.  Pinch hitter Justin Williams followed with a two run home run to conclude the scoring.

Edman went 4 for-6. Goldschmidt and Arenado were each 3-for-4. O’Neill went 2-for-5.

Bader stole his first base of the season.

Sunday, May 2 – Cardinals 3 at Pirates 0

The Cardinals swept the Pirates in a 3-0 Sunday shutout that was won with one swing on a hanging slider.

The Cardinals scored their runs in the second inning, and they were the only runs by either side Paul DeJong led off with a walk and Tyler O’Neill singled to left.  Andrew Knizner grounded into a force play that eliminated DeJong at second.  With O’Neill on third and Knizner on first, Harrison Bader came up.  After he took a fastball in the zone for a called strike, and laid off a slider that was called a ball, another slider that hung in the middle of the plate was launched by Bader into the left center field bleachers for a three run bomb.

Harrison Bader

That was all  that needed for the win, as Carlos Martinez kept the Pirates off the board for eight innings and Alex Reyes did the same in the ninth.  Martinez allowed five Pirate hits, struck out three and walked two.  He also threw a pitch that hit Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings in the face, though it was a glancing blow.  Stallings stayed in for the remainder of the game.

Reyes retired all three batters he faced for his seventh save.  Martinez earned his second win of the week and season.

O’Neill went 2-for-4, a single and a double, as the only Cardinal with multiple hits.  The offense had only four hits; Bader’s long ball and Paul DeJong’s double were the others.

The Big Picture

The Cardinals ended the road week with a record of 5-2, splitting the four game set with the Phillies, and sweeping the Pirates in three.  The team now returns home for a seven-game homestand with the Mets and the Rockies.  The Cardinals are in second place in the NL Central, one game back of the Brewers.

The starting pitching remained solid for a second week now, and with more rest, the bullpen has stabilized somewhat.  Adam Wainwright pitched a complete game on Monday, and Carlos Martinez went eight innings on Sunday.  Walks continue to be an issue however for some of the pitchers.  John Gant issued five free passes in his start on Friday and leads all Cardinals pitchers with 18. Alex Reyes, Jack Flaherty, and Jordan Hicks are tied with 10 apiece.  The pitchers need to cut down on the free passes.

The offense has picked it up from last week. Matt Carpenter leads the team in OPS for the week with 2.100, due to two three-run home runs in six plate appearances.  Tyler O’Neill has an OPS of 1.259.  These numbers do not include Sunday’s game.  Tommy Edman and Nolan Arenado have OPS’s of .820 and .922 respectively.  The offense of Paul Goldschmidt and Dylan Carlson have fallen off a little bit. Harrison Bader hit the three-run home run Sunday, which helps his cause over the three days since his return to the roster.

The defense has improved somewhat and should continue to show progress in the outfield with the return of Bader.  Baserunning has been good.

The Cardinals have a four-game winning streak and momentum has shifted in their favor on all levels. They continue a second week of games with no off days, so keeping everyone fresh and being mindful of the areas that need improvement are a must.  The Cardinals will face uber-pitcher Jacob deGrom in the Mets series, so no small task awaits them.  The Mets are basically a .500 team so far but are no pushover by any stretch.  The Rockies are a last place team but should not be underestimated, especially with Austin Gomber and Nolan Arenado facing their former clubs for the first time.  Continuing to win series is the goal.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Milwaukee 17 11 0.607
St. Louis 16 12 0.571 1
Cincinnati 13 14 0.481 3.5
Pittsburgh 12 15 0.444 4.5
Chicago 12 16 0.429 5

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


  • 4/27 The Cardinals placed C Yadier Molina on the 10-day injured list. Right foot tendon strain
  • 4/27 The Cardinals recalled C Ali Sanchez from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 4/28 The Cardinals recalled RHP Johan Oviedo from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 4/28 The Cardinals optioned CF Scott Hurst to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 4/29 The Cardinals recalled RHP Seth Elledge from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 4/29 The Cardinals optioned RHP Johan Oviedo to the Alternate Training Site.
  • 4/30 The Cardinals activated CF Harrison Bader from the 10-day injured list.
  • 4/30 The Cardinals placed RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon on the 10-day injured list. Right shoulder inflammation.
  • 4/30 The Cardinals recalled RHP Kodi Whitley from the Alterate Training Site.
  • 4/30 The Cardinals recalled RHP Jake Woodford from the Alternate Training Site.
  • 4/30 The Cardinals placed RHP Adam Wainwright on the Covid injured list.
  • 4/30 The Cardinals placed LHP Andrew Miller on the 10-day injured list. Right foot toe blister.

Injury Report

  • RHP Miles Mikolas (shoulder) continues his rehab at the Alternate Training Site. He will likely begin a rehab assignment on Wednesday with the Memphis Redbirds according to President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak.
  • CF Harrison Bader (right forearm flexor tendon) was activated from the 10-day injured list on Friday and has been in the starting lineup.
  • 1B John Nogowski (left hand bone bruise) was placed on the 10-day injured list on April 23 as a precaution for continued discomfort in his left hand after being hit on that hand by a pitch. Nogowski remains on the injured list.  He is expected to head to Memphis to get some at-bats this coming week.
  • C Yadier Molina (right foot tendon strain) was placed on the 10-day injured list on April 27. The Cardinals are hoping the catcher’s stay on the IL will be minimal.  Molina will be eligible to return this coming weekend against the Rockies at Busch Stadium.
  • RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon (right shoulder inflammation) was placed on the injured list on Friday. No further updates on the right hander’s condition or possible return date to the roster have been forthcoming.
  • RHP Adam Wainwright was placed on the Covid injured list on Friday. Wainwright has not tested positive for the virus but was exposed to a positive family member.  The right hander had been vaccinated and continues to test negative.  Wainwright did not travel to Pittsburgh and skipped his Sunday start but it is expected he will make the Monday start against the Mets in St. Louis.
  • LHP Andrew Miller (right foot toe blister) was placed on the 10-day injured list on Friday. No further updates on the pitcher’s condition or a possible return date to the roster have been forthcoming.
  • RHP Jordan Hicks was removed from an appearance in Saturday’s game due to injury. Manager Mike Shildt told reporters after the game that the move was precautionary and that the right hander has some inflammation in his right elbow but that the team is not unduly concerned. Hicks will undergo additional tests on Monday.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals return to St. Louis on Monday to take on the Mets in a four game set.  Adam Wainwright is expected to come off the Covid IL and make the Monday start.  Kwang-Hyun Kim is scheduled for the Tuesday start, followed by John Gant on Wednesday and Jack Flaherty on Thursday.

The homestand continues on Friday, May 7 with a three-game weekend series against the Rockies. The Cardinals have an off day on Monday, May 10 and will travel to Milwaukee to face the Brewers for three. The Cards will then travel to San Diego for a weekend series against the Padres.

The Cardinals regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past

This week’s installment of the Cardinals Hall of Fame series takes a look at another coach, one who coached along side a previous subject of this series.

Clyde Ellsworth “Buzzy” Wares was born on March 23, 1866 in Newberg Township, Michigan.  Buzzy was the youngest of two children of Frank and Rosa Wares.  He learned to love baseball at an early age and played while attending Kalamazoo High School and later Kalamazoo College.

There are conflicting stories concerning how he came by his nickname.  One told of how he used a hidden buzzer in the palm of his hand on a girlfriend.  The other story is that Wares himself claimed to have gotten the nickname from a teammate on the St. Louis Browns who said he was always buzzing about baseball.

Coach Buzzy Wares

Wares began playing baseball professionally in 1906 with the Hancock Infants of the Northern Copper Country League.  The League was Class C in 1906 and became Class D in 1907.  Wares later played for the Houghton Giants of that league.  Buzzy moved on to the Zanesville, Ohio minor league team in 1907 and remained there until 1910, when he played for the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League.  Wares finished his minor league career with the Montgomery Rebels of the Southern Association.

Wares was called up by the St. Louis Browns and made his major league debut on September 15, 1913.  Buzzy played in 11 games for the Browns that season and slashed .286/.306/.343.  Branch Rickey took over managing the Browns two days after Buzzy’s debut and continued to manage him throughout his brief major league career.

Buzzy returned to the Browns for the 1914 season and appeared in 81 games.  Wares played primarily at shortstop after manning second base in 1913.  His slash line dropped to .209/.300/.265 for overall career marks of .220/.301/.276.  The 1914 season would be his last as a player in major league baseball.

Buzzy returned to the minor leagues as a player-manager for the Wichita Witches in 1915 and the Little  Rock Travelers in 1917.  Wares moved around in the minor leagues as player-manager for various clubs for the next decade plus.

In 1930, Rickey hired Wares to be a coach for the Cardinals.  That led Buzzy to a long and distinguished career as a coach for the club, from 1930 through 1952.  During that time the Cardinals won five World Series titles – in 1931, 1934, 1942, 1944 and 1946.

Buzzy was considered an excellent teacher, and he shared coaching duties for a dozen years with Mike Gonzalez, the colorful Cuban who was one of the first Hispanic major leaguers.  Gonzalez got most of the attention, but Wares was given equal credit for the successes of those years.  Hall of Fame manager Billy Southworth once said he considered Wares and Gonzalez to be his right and left arms.  Southworth said the number of times their suggestions won ballgames was too staggering a number to count.

Buzzy retired from baseball in 1952 and returned to South Bend, Indiana, the hometown of his wife Getrude.  He passed away after a long illness on May 26, 1964 at the age of 78.  Gertrude and a daughter Elizabeth survived him.

Like his counterpart Gonzalez, Wares contributed greatly to the most fruitful period of Cardinals baseball of all time.  Buzzy contributed to this success no less than did Gonzalez.  For his 23-year successful coaching career, Wares deserves the honor of an induction into the Cardinals Hall of Fame.

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