photo: Paul Goldschmidt (Billy Hurst/USA TODAY Sports)
The St. Louis Cardinals went 4-3 on the week and share a piece of first place heading into Milwaukee. May NL Player of the Month Paul Goldschmidt continues to lead a resurgent offense. Our Blast from the Past recounts key events this past week in Cardinals history.
The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of a four-game series at Busch Stadium on Monday night. Lefty Zack Thompson started and pitched five innings, gave up five runs on seven hits, struck out two and walked two.
T.J. McFarland relieved Thompson and threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Giovanny Gallegos, Genesis Cabrera, and Ryan Helsley combined to toss the final 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Gallegos received the win, Helsley earned his fifth save.
The Pirates were the dominant team for the first half of the game, scoring one run in the second and four more in the fifth to lead the Redbirds 5-0.
St. Louis rebounded in the sixth inning to tie the game at 5-5. Paul Goldschmidt led off with a double. Tyler O’Neill singled. Brendan Donovan doubled to right to plate Goldschmidt and O’Neill. Juan Yepez singled, and Dylan Carlson followed with a three-run home run to right center field.
Goldschmidt hit a solo home run in the seventh to give the Cardinals a 6-5 lead. In the eighth. Carlson doubled and Andrew Knizner sac bunted Carlson to third, but the throw to first on Knizner was not caught and Carlson scored. St. Louis led 7-5, which became the final score.
Goldschmidt was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Carlson was 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Donovan drove in two.
On the base paths, O’Neill stole his fifth base of the season. Yepez had an outfield assist at second base.
The Cardinals were the winners of the first game of a twin bill against the Pirates in St. Louis. Matthew Liberatore started for the Cardinals. The left hander pitched five scoreless innings, allowed three hits, fanned five and walked two to earn his second win of the season.
Drew VerHagen relieved Liberatore and threw a scoreless sixth. Genesis Cabrera surrendered one run in 1 1/3 innings. Ryan Helsley got the final two outs of the eighth. Giovanny Gallegos tossed a scoreless ninth to earn his ninth save.
The Cardinals got on the board in the third inning on a two-run home run by Paul Goldschmidt. The third and last run came in the fourth. Yadier Molina and Edmundo Sosa each reached on errors. Nolan Gorman drew a walk. Paul Goldschmidt hit a ground ball to shortstop and Gorman ran through the bag at second to draw the throw as Molina scored. Sosa attempted to score but was thrown out at home.
The Pirates scored their only run in the seventh on a solo home run.
Goldschmidt was 2-for-4 with three RBI. He was the only Cardinal with multiple hits. Hits by Molina, Bader, Donovan, O’Neill and Pujols were all singles.
The Cardinals blew past the Pirates in the second game of the twin bill on Tuesday. Miles Mikolas started for St. Louis. The right hander pitched 8 2/3 innings and no-hit the Pirates until the final out of the ninth inning. He struck out six and walked one. Mikolas earned the win, his fifth of the season.
Packy Naughton got the final out of the ninth.
The Cardinals took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on a solo home run by Tommy Edman and a two-run long ball by Paul Goldschmidt. Four more runs were added in the second. Harrison Bader was hit by a pitch. Edman singled. Bader scored on a single by Brendan Donovan. Goldschmidt then hit a three-run bomb to center field. The Cardinals led 7-0.
The Pirates sole run was scored in the fourth. The Cardinals added their final runs in the sixth on a two-run double by Nolan Gorman.
Donovan was 4-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored. Goldschmidt was 4-for-4 with five RBI and three runs scored. Gorman was 2-for-5 with two RBI.
On the base paths, Bader was caught stealing for the first time this season. In the field, Donovan made a throwing error and Juan Yepez had a fielding miscue.
The Cardinals lost the final game of the series to the Pirates on Wednesday. Jack Flaherty made his first start of the season after coming off the injured list. The right hander was not at his best. In three innings, Flaherty gave up four runs, two earned, on three hits, struck out three and walked two.
Johan Oviedo threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Andre Pallante surrendered two runs in 2 1/3 innings. T.J. McFarland tossed the final 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
The Pirates scored twice in both the first and second. The Cardinals answered with one run in the home second on a solo home run by Dylan Carlson.
St. Louis tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth. Harrison Bader led off with a triple. Tommy Edman drew a walk. Brendan Donovan doubled to plate Bader and Edman. Nolan Arenado walked. Nolan Gorman reached on a fielder’s choice, moving Donovan to third and Arenado to second on a throwing error. Donovan scored on a force out by Tyler O’Neill.
In the seventh, the Pirates retook the lead 6-4 on a two-run home run by Bryan Reynolds hit off Pallante. The Cardinals could not answer.
Donovan was 3-for-4 with two RBI. He was the only Cardinal with multiple hits. Extra base hits were the Carlson long ball, triple by Bader, and doubles from Donovan and Goldschmidt.
On the base paths, Edman was caught stealing for the second time.
In the field, Flaherty and Molina each made throwing errors.
Thursday, June 16 – Off day
The Cardinals played a weekend interleague series against Red Sox in Boston beginning on Friday. St. Louis dropped the opener despite rallying for four runs in the ninth inning. Adam Wainwright took the mound for this contest. The right hander pitched 6 1/3 innings, gave up four runs on seven hits, fanned five and walked one. Wainwright took the loss, his fifth of the season.
T.J. McFarland relieved in the seventh and surrendered two runs without recording an out. Nick Wittgren tossed the final 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
Boston went up 1-0 in the first inning. The Cardinals tied it in the second on a solo home run by Nolan Arenado.
The Red Sox took a 3-1 lead in the fourth, then added three more in the seventh to increase the lead to 6-1. They took that lead into the ninth. With the Cards down to their last out, Dylan Carlson started a rally with a double to center. Harrison Bader followed with a triple that plated Carlson. Andrew Knizner was hit by a pitch. Tommy Edman doubled, and Bader scored. Brendan Donovan plated Knizner and Edman on a double. With the lead reduced to 6-5 and two outs on the board, Paul Goldschmidt struck out to end the rally one run short.
Edman was 2-for-5 with an RBI. Arenado was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Carlson was 2-for-3 and Bader was 2-for-4 with a run driven in. Donovan had two RBI.
The Cardinals bounced back from the disappointing loss on Friday to pummel the Red Sox for 11 runs to win the second game of the series at Fenway Park. Dakota Hudson started for St. Louis. The right hander pitched five innings, gave up two runs on four hits, struck out three and walked five. Hudson received the win, his fifth of the season.
Zack Thompson relieved and threw three scoreless innings. T.J. McFarland tossed a scoreless ninth.
The Cardinals began their scoring spree in the first inning with a two-run home run by Nolan Arenado. Dylan Carlson’s RBI double made it 3-0 in the second.
Boston scored the first of their two runs in the home half of the second. In the fourth, the Cardinals plated a fourth run on a Nolan Gorman solo long ball. The Red Sox added their final run in the home fourth.
From there the Cardinals ran up the score with six runs in the sixth inning. Tyler O’Neill thumped a solo shot. Carlson drew a walk. Harrison Bader singled and Andrew Knizner walked. Tommy Edman followed with a single that scored Carlson and Bader. Brendan Donovan reached on a fielder’s choice error by the Boston first baseman. Paul Goldschmidt singled to score Knizner and Edman. Donovan came home on an Arenado single.
The Cardinals topped it all off with a final run in the ninth. Bader singled and scored on a ground rule double by Knizner.
O’Neill went 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored. Bader was 3-for-5. Arenado was 2-for-4 with three RBI. Goldschmidt was 2-for-5 with two runs driven in. Edman plated two.
The Cardinals lost the rubber game of the series in a 6-4 contest remarkably similar to the first game. Andre Pallante started and pitched 5 2/3 innings, gave up two runs on four hits, struck out four and walked one. He took the loss, his second.
Just as in Game 1, the Red Sox scored first, this time in the second inning. Again, like the first game the Cardinals tied it at 1-1 in the fourth but not on a home run. Tyler O’Neill singled, stole second base, and scored on a single by Harrison Bader.
Boston regained the lead 2-1 in the fifth. The Red Sox made it 3-1 in the seventh, then added three runs in the eighth.
As in Game 1, the Red Sox took a 6-1 lead into the ninth, when the Cardinals again rallied. Tyler O’Neill doubled but suffered a hamstring injury and had to come out of the game. He was pinch ran for by Edmundo Sosa. Nolan Gorman, pinch hitting for Albert Pujols, drew a walk. With two on and two outs, Juan Yepez, pinch hitting for catcher Ivan Herrera, hit a three-run home run to left field to cut Boston’s lead to 6-4. Tommy Edman singled and advanced to second on an error. Brendan Donovan came to bat and struck out to end the inning, just like Goldschmidt did to end the rally in Game 1.
On the base paths, O’Neill stole his sixth base of the season but was also caught stealing for the third time. Bader swiped his 15th bag to tie Edman for the NL lead.
In the field, Herrera had a passed ball.
NL Central Standings
The Big Picture
The Cardinals finished the week with a record of 4-3. They won 3 of 4 from the Pirates but lost 2 of 3 to the Red Sox. With the Brewers win and the Cardinals loss on Sunday the two teams are now tied for first place in the NL Central.
St. Louis’ offense continues to roll, and score runs. The number of players with an OPS above .800 for the week has increased to six from only one a couple of weeks ago. The top players are: Paul Goldschmidt (1.482), Dylan Carlson (1.190), Brendan Donovan (1.005), Harrison Bader (.967), Tyler O’Neill (.965), and Tommy Edman (.887).
At the bottom offensively is Edmundo Sosa, with a .000 OPS in four games. Yadier Molina, who went on the IL on Thursday has an OPS of .250 in two games. Albert Pujols in four games has an OPS of .258. The offense has taken a hit with the injury to O’Neill however, and there have been no updates as to the severity of the injury at this time.
If the Cardinals can keep the offense going this way (even possibly without O’Neill) and the pitching improves, the team will be in terrific shape. This happening, however, is remote at this time since the pitching has not improved significantly over the last several weeks and there doesn’t appear to be any changes going forward other than the return of Jack Flaherty, which has already happened, and the return of Steven Matz, which still has not happened.
The bullpen once again has disappointed. After Sunday’s game, a clearly frustrated Oli Marmol enunciated quite forcefully the need for “right handers who can get outs in the middle innings.” Whether that is a call for our current right handers to get it together or a call for some other right handers directed at the front office, is anyone’s guess. In any case, the bullpen is a mess.
The rotation for the most part has been okay. Miles Mikolas narrowly missed a no hitter in the second game of the doubleheader on Tuesday. Wainwright has been fine, though has not pitched his best lately. Dakota Hudson has a walk problem which he hasn’t fixed but needs to. Jack Flaherty’s first start wasn’t great, but he should get better. That fifth spot is taken by Andre Pallante for now, and he is pitching relatively well. The timing of the return of Steven Matz is unknown at this time.
The Cardinals meet the Brewers for four games this week, so the battle for first place goes head-to-head. The Cardinals seem to play the Brewers better in Milwaukee for some unknown reason. Home runs are easier to hit there than at Busch Stadium, so that may be part of it. This is a very important series that the Cardinals must win or at least get a split.
The Cubs will come to St. Louis this weekend for the first time this season. The Cardinals won the previous five-game series at Wrigley though it was very competitive. This series is only three, so a sweep or winning two games at least would be ideal.
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.
- 6/14 The Cardinals recalled LHP Matthew Liberatore from the Memphis Redbirds.
- 6/15 The Cardinals optioned LHP Packy Naughton to the Memphis Redbirds.
- 6/15 The Cardinals optioned LHP Matthew Liberatore to the Memphis Redbirds.
- 6/15 The Cardinals activated RHP Jack Flaherty from the 60-day injured list.
- 6/15 The Cardinals designated C Ali Sanchez for assignment.
- 6/16 The Cardinals sent LF Corey Dickerson on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
- 6/17 The Cardinals placed C Yadier Molina on the 10-day injured list retroactive to June 16. Right knee inflammation.
- 6/17 The Cardinals recalled C Ivan Herrera from the Memphis Redbirds.
- 6/18 C Ali Sanchez was claimed off waivers by the Detroit Tigers.
- RHP Jack Flaherty (right shoulder) was activated from the 60-day injured list and made his first start against the Pirates on Saturday.
- 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 shoulder stiffness) left his last start on May 22 with stiffness in his pitching arm. He was placed on the 15-day injured list on May 23. Matz had a setback in his rehab as his recovery has been slower than expected. He received a second injection in his shoulder. The left hander was expected to make a rehab assignment soon but that has been put off for now.
- RHP Jordan Hicks (right forearm flexor) was placed on the 15-day injured list on May 26, retroactive to May 25. The right hander has thrown two bullpen sessions and is expected to be sent out on a rehab assignment soon.
- OF/DH Corey Dickerson (strained left calf) was placed on the 10-day injured list on June 5. Dickerson was sent on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds on June 16 and is expected to be back on the roster soon.
- C Yadier Molina (right knee inflammation) was placed on the 10-day injured list on June 17, retroactive to June 16. Molina has been battling knee soreness for a while but has been playing through it. It was determined that some time on the injured list was needed. The catcher will be shut down for a short time to let the inflammation subside before any next steps are decided. At least three weeks to a month is being estimated as his return time.
- LF Tyler O’Neill left Sunday’s game in Boston with hamstring tightness. No further information is available.
The Cardinals begin a four-game series at the Brewers on Monday. Miles Mikolas is scheduled to make the Monday start, with Jack Flaherty starting on Tuesday. Adam Wainwright will go on Wednesday and Dakota Hudson on Thursday.
Following the Milwaukee series, the Cardinals return to St. Louis for a six game homestand, three games each with the Cubs and the Marlins.
Beginning July 1, the Cardinals travel to Philadelphia for a weekend series with the Phillies. The road trip concludes with four games in Atlanta against the Braves.
The Cardinals then return home for a 10-game homestand that begins with a weekend series against the Phillies.
The regular season schedule can be found here.
Blast from the Past
This week’s Blast from the Past again remembers notable events that took place in franchise history during the period June 13 through June 19. June 15 is especially important because it was the trade deadline for many years before it was moved to July 31 in the collective bargaining agreement of 1986. The most recent CBA includes changes to this date again. Going forward, the Commissioner may set the trade deadline date on any date between July 28 and August 3. In 2022, the trade deadline is August 2.
Below is a list of memorable events during the period June 13 through June 19. Some significant trades in franchise history took place on June 15.
June 13, 1997 – The Cardinals acquired right-handed pitcher Fernando Valenzuela along with Scott Livingstone and Phil Plantier from the San Diego Padres and sent San Diego Rich Batchelor, Danny Jackson and Mark Sweeney.
June 13, 2000 – The Cardinals traded Juan Acevedo, Eliezer Alfonzo and Matt Parker to the Milwaukee Brewers for second baseman Fernando Vina.
June 14, 1926 – The Cardinals acquired Billy Southworth from the New York Giants for Heinie Mueller. Future Hall of Famer Southworth played a significant role in the Cardinals first World Championship title in 1926. Southworth also managed the Cardinals in 1929, and again from 1940-1945, a period in which the team won two more World Series titles.
June 14, 1956 – The Cardinals traded Red Schoendienst, Bill Sarni, and Dick Littlefield to the New York Giants for Alvin Dark, Whitey Lockman, Ray Katt, and Don Liddle.
June 14, 2010 – The Cardinals signed free agent pitcher Jeff Suppan. This was Suppan’s second time with the Cardinals, as he was part of the Cardinals starting rotation in the 2006 World Series season.
June 15, 1964 – The infamous “Brock for Broglio” trade was made on this date. The Cubs sent Future Hall of Famer Lou Brock, Jack Spring, and Paul Toth to the Cardinals for Ernie Broglio, Doug Clemens, and Bobby Shantz.
June 15, 1977 – The Cardinals traded Bake McBride and Steve Waterbury to the Phillies for Rick Bosetti, Dane Iorg, and Tom Underwood. McBride, who was from Fulton, MO, had been the NL Rookie of the Year in 1974.
June 15, 1983 – The Cardinals traded former MVP first baseman Keith Hernandez to the Mets for pitchers Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey. It was not a good trade for the Cardinals and was dubbed by Mets catcher John Stearns as “The biggest heist since the Thomas Crown Affair.” The Cardinals’ stated reason for the trade was a need for pitching, but most believed the true motivation was a poor relationship between Hernandez and manager Whitey Herzog. Herzog claimed Hernandez had a bad attitude and didn’t hustle or arrive on time. It was later revealed that Hernandez had developed a cocaine habit, though Herzog denied this was a motivating factor but admitted he suspected the drug use.
June 15, 1984 – The Cardinals acquired Ken Dayley and Mike Jorgensen from the Braves for third baseman Ken Oberkfell.
June 16, 1964 – Cardinals third baseman Ken Boyer hit for the cycle in a 7-1 win over the Astros. In that same game, newly acquired Lou Brock made his Cardinal debut and had two hits, including a triple, and stole a base.
June 16, 2001 – Albert Pujols made his first and so far only career sacrifice bunt in a game against the White Sox. It was in the seventh inning with the Cardinals leading 6-3. There were two runners on and no outs and Pujols, batting cleanup, decided to bunt and advance the runners. Bobby Bonilla followed Pujols and was intentionally walked. With the bases loaded, Craig Paquette singled to right field and scored the two runners, Placido Polanco and J.D Drew. The Cardinals won the game 8-3.
June 18, 1940 – Cardinals pitcher Bob Bowman beaned former Cardinal Ducky Medwick, who had just been traded to the Giants a week earlier. Bowman and Medwick had gotten into an argument in an elevator before the game and it was believed Bowman hit Medwick intentionally. An investigation cleared Bowman of wrongdoing.
June 19, 1996 – Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith announced he would retire at the end of the season. Smith was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 2002.
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