St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of June 24-30

photo: Tommy Edman (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals broke their five-game losing skid to conclude the dreary 1-4 week and 13-13 month. The struggling offense’s top run producer by far, Marcell Ozuna is out, with rookie Tommy Edman performing well. Our weekly history feature is Cardinals no-hitters.


Game recaps

Monday, June 24 – Off day

Tuesday, June 25 – Cardinals 3, Athletics 7

Stephen Piscotty (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Cardinals reunited with outfielder Stephen Piscotty when his Oakland Athletics came to town for a short two game series.  Unfortunately for St. Louis, the game and the series were a bust.

Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty wasn’t at his best.  Flaherty pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up seven runs on nine hits, including three long balls.  The right hander fanned five and walked one.   John Brebbia tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Dominic Leone pitched two scoreless innings, and Tyler Webb hurled a scoreless ninth.

The Athletics scored in the top of the second to take a 1-0 lead.  The Cardinals answered with three in the bottom of the inning.  With Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong on base, Matt Carpenter’s triple scored both.  Paul DeJong then smacked a ground rule double to plate Carpenter.  That was it for Cardinals scoring, but the Athletics were not done, plating six more.

Kolten Wong stole his 14th base of the season.


Wednesday, June 26 – Cardinals 0, Athletics 2

The Cardinals were blanked 2-0 to lose the home series.  The offense continues to struggle to score runs and this game was no exception.  The offense scattered five hits, two by Tommy Edman, who led off in replacing struggling Matt Carpenter.  Marcell Ozuna had the only extra base hit, a double.

Adam Wainwright got the start, and pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits.  The right hander struck out nine and walked one but took the loss.  Giovanny Gallegos followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings.  John Gant pitched a scoreless ninth.


Thursday, June 27 – Off day


Michael Wacha (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

Friday, June 28 – Cardinals 1 at Padres 3

The Cardinals began a nine-game West Coast trip with three games in San Diego.  The first game ended in a loss, with the offense once again struggling.  The lone St. Louis run came in the fourth inning.  With Yadier Molina on third base, Michael Wacha’s infield single was initially ruled an out a first base but was overturned on review.  Molina scored on the play.  Adding injury to insult, top Cardinals run producer Marcell Ozuna suffered a fractured hand on a play on the bases.

Wacha tossed seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits. The right hander struck out two and walked one.  Giovanny Gallegos surrendered a Padres insurance run in the eighth inning.


Saturday, June 29 – Cardinals 2 at Padres 12

The second game of the series was a stinker.  It was the worst start of Dakota Hudson’s season.  Not only could Hudson not get anyone out, he made a throwing error that led to six of his seven runs being unearned.  Hudson lasted only 1 2/3 innings and was replaced by Daniel Ponce de Leon, who went the next 5 1/3 innings and surrendered four additional runs.  Both Hudson and Ponce de Leon gave up home runs to Manny Machado and Franmil Reyes.  Dominic Leone took the eighth and he surrendered a home run, too, to Fernando Tatis, Jr.

The balls were flying out of Petco Park, but only one flew out for the Cardinals.  That was in the first inning from leadoff hitter Tommy Edman, a solo shot off Chris Paddack.  The Redbirds would score only one more run, in the eighth inning, on Yairo Munoz’ double.


Sunday, June 30 – Cardinals 5 at Padres 3 (11 innings)

Matt Wieters (St. Louis Cardinals)

The Cardinals narrowly managed to salvage a game in this dreadful series and week, but they had to do it in extra innings.  It started out like most of the games recently, with the offense held scoreless for a long stretch.  The Padres jumped ahead 3-0 and the Cardinals were held scoreless heading into the sixth inning.  A rally finally got going when Jose Martinez walked, Paul DeJong singled, and Paul Goldschmidt walked.  Yairo Munoz then singled, scoring Martinez and De Jong.  Munoz was caught stealing to end the inning.

The Redbirds tied the game in the eighth.  Goldschmidt singled and advanced to second on a throwing error.  Tyler O’Neill followed with a single and Goldschmidt scored with the aid of a fielding error by right fielder Franmil Reyes.

The game went into extra innings.  In the 11th, Kolten Wong singled, and Matt Wieters then whacked a two-run home run to left that went high into the upper decks of Petco Park.  The Padres didn’t score in the bottom of the 11th and the Cardinals left San Diego with a win.

The Cardinals used most of their bullpen.  Miles Mikolas started and went six innings. He gave up three runs on eight hits and struck out four. Giovanny Gallegos and Andrew Miller combined to pitch a scoreless seventh.  Gant started the eighth, struck out one, but was pulled after he walked two batters.   Carlos Martinez pitched the next 2 2/3 scoreless innings to get the win.  Tyler Webb and Dominic Leone combined for the 11th.  Leone got his first save.


The Big Picture

It was a bad week for St. Louis.  Two losses to Oakland, followed by two losses out of three games to San Diego.  The Cardinals missed a 0-5 disaster by a two-run win in extra innings on Sunday.  Miraculously, the Cubs and the Brewers continue to not light the world on fire either, so the Cardinals remain in the hunt, behind three games to both teams, who are in a dead heat for the top spot, but only 2 ½ games out of a share of the division cellar as well.

What can one say about the offense?  Not much, literally and figuratively.  The Cardinals managed to score just 11 runs over five games, while allowing 27 runs.  For the math geeks, that’s a minus 16 run differential.  That’s bad.

Dakota Hudson had a horrible start against the Padres on Saturday.  The rest of the starting pitching has been fine, though Jack Flaherty hasn’t been pitching like Flaherty of last season.  The bullpen is mostly fine as well.

Matt Carpenter (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

So, it’s the offense. It can’t be said enough.  Matt Carpenter has been temporarily replaced (one assumes) by Tommy Edman over the last four games.  It was reported that Carpenter was supposed to start on Sunday but wasn’t feeling well.  Carpenter hasn’t hit well either, which goes to explain why he sat.  Then again, most of the lineup hasn’t hit well, other than Marcell Ozuna who is now on the IL with broken fingers.  Paul Goldschmidt still isn’t the player that was expected.  Paul DeJong, though named to the All-Star Game roster, has struggled recently. The rest of the lineup has been so-so.  Harrison Bader hits them right at fielders, over and over.  He made a terrific catch in the outfield Sunday, but needs some terrific hits.

The team goes to Seattle next for a three-game series.  The Mariners are in last place in the AL West. No team is a pushover, however.  The Miami Marlins are a last place team and the Cardinals struggled to win against them.  The Cardinals then play the San Francisco Giants, another last place team.  Wins must come from these series, as these are opportunities not to be passed up.


NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Milwaukee 45 39 0.536
Chicago 45 39 0.536
St. Louis 41 41 0.500 3
Pittsburgh 39 43 0.476 5
Cincinnati 38 43 0.469 5.5

 


News and Notes

  • It turned out that the injury to Jordan Hicks was more than tendinitis as originally reported. Hicks has a torn UCL in his pitching arm and opted to have Tommy John surgery.  The right-hander had the surgery on Wednesday and is of course out for this season, and likely a significant part of the 2020 season, as well.  Carlos Martinez was named closer to replace him.
  • Also, on the injury front, the Cardinals lost their best hitter, Marcell Ozuna, to a hand injury suffered in the Padres opener on Friday. Ozuna was diagnosed with fractures to the base of his middle and ring finger of his right hand.  The injury occurred when Ozuna dived back into first base on a pickoff attempt.  No surgery will be required, but no timetable for how long he will be on the IL has been set.  Ozuna returned to St. Louis on Sunday to see a hand specialist.  The Cardinals called up outfielder Tyler O’Neill and Lane Thomas from Triple-A.  O’Neill made the start in LF on both Saturday and Sunday.
  • The rosters for this year’s All-Star Game were announced on Sunday, and the Cardinals’ lone representative to the Midsummer Classic is shortstop Paul DeJong. DeJong was chosen as an infield reserve by the Commissioner’s Office as part of the final step to ensure each team is represented.  It is the first time since 2007 that the Cardinals have only one player selected to the All-Star Game.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


Transactions 

  • 6/25 The Cardinals placed RHP Jordan Hicks on the 10 day injured list retroactive to June 23, 2019. Torn right UCL.
  • 6/25 The Cardinals optioned LHP Genesis Cabrera to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 6/25 The Cardinals recalled RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 6/25 The Cardinals recalled RHP Dominic Leone from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 6/26 The Cardinals sent RHP Ryan Helsley on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 6/26 The Cardinals sent RHP Mike Mayers on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 6/29 The Cardinals placed RHP John Brebbia on the paternity list.
  • 6/29 The Cardinals placed LF Marcell Ozuna on the 10 day injured list. Right middle finger fracture.
  • 6/29 The Cardinals recalled CF Lane Thomas from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 6/29 The Cardinals recalled LF Tyler O’Neill from the Memphis Redbirds.

Injury Report

  • LHP Brett Cecil (carpal tunnel syndrome left wrist) continues on the 60 day injured list. Cecil had been shut down from throwing for an indefinite period since surgery to address carpal tunnel syndrome during spring training.  The left hander has begun a throwing program.  Cecil could begin a rehab assignment in early July and possibly return to the roster by the end of the month.
  • RHP Mike Mayers (right shoulder lat strain) was transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day injured list on June 20. Mayers was sent on a rehab assignment to Memphis on June 26 and has made two appearances since.  The right hander should return to the roster sometime in the first part of July.
  • 3B Jedd Gyorko remains on the 10-day injured list. Gyorko originally was originally out due to lower back issues, was then reported to have recurring calf issues, and at present is suffering from a wrist ailment for which he had arthroscopic surgery on June 24.  It is expected the infielder will not return to baseball activities for three weeks after the surgery.
  • RHP Ryan Helsley (right shoulder impingement) was placed on the 10-day injured list on June 13. Helsley was sent on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds on June 26 and like Mayers, has pitched twice with mixed results.
  • RHP Jordan Hicks (torn right UCL) underwent Tommy John surgery on June 26 and is out for the rest of the season.
  • LF Marcell Ozuna (fractured right fingers) was placed on the 10-day injured list on June 29. Ozuna suffered the injury diving back to first base on a pickoff attempt.  No timetable for a return has been announced.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals have an off day on Monday, July 1 following the series in San Diego.  The team will be in Seattle to take on the Mariners in a three game interleague series.  Jack Flaherty is scheduled to make the Tuesday start, followed by Adam Wainwright go Wednesday with Michael Wacha the likely starter on July 4th.

The Cardinals will travel to San Francisco for a weekend series beginning Friday, July 5.  It will be the final series prior to the All-Star Break.

The Cardinals return from the All-Star Break on Friday, July 12 to play the Arizona Diamondbacks in a weekend series at Busch Stadium.  The home stand will continue with a three game set with the Pirates from July 15-17.

After the Pirates series, the Cards will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Reds in a four game series beginning Thursday, July 18.  On Monday, July 22 the team flies to Pittsburgh to play the Pirates again for four.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be viewed here.


Blast from the Past

During the television broadcast of the Cardinals-Athletics game on Tuesday, the 20-year anniversary of the no-hitter pitched by rookie starter Jose Jimenez on June 25, 1999 was noted.  This led to the subject of this week’s Blast from the Past – the St. Louis Cardinals’ no-hitters over time.

St. Louis pitchers have thrown nine no-hitters in franchise history.  Let’s briefly look at all of them.

The first Cardinals no hitter was thrown on July 17, 1924 by Jesse Haines.  Haines, nicknamed “Pop”, pitched for the Cardinals from 1920-1937.  The no-hitter by Haines was against the Boston Braves.  Haines pitched in three World Championships for the Cardinals, in 1926, 1931, and 1934 as a member of the infamous “Gashouse Gang”.

Paul Dean

Ten years later, on September 21, 1934, a rookie pitcher named Paul Dean pitched a no-hitter against the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Dean was the brother of Jay Dean, known as “Dizzy”.  Paul Dean took on the nickname “Daffy”.  The no-hitter was in the second game of a doubleheader.  Both Deans pitched in the 1934 World Series.  Paul would not have the career of his more famous brother, as he was injured a few years later and could no longer pitch effectively.  Paul Dean was taken in the 1939 Rule 5 draft by the New York Giants from the Cardinals.

Lon Warneke threw a no-hitter for the Cardinals on August 30, 1941 against the Cincinnati Reds.  The Cardinals had picked up Warneke from the Cubs in a trade in 1939.  Warneke won 83 games for the Cardinals in 5 ½ seasons with the franchise.

27 years passed until the next no-hitter, thrown by Ray Washburn on September 18, 1968 against the San Francisco Giants.  Washburn pitched for the Cardinals from 1961-1969.  1968 was Washburn’s best season as he posted a 14-9 record with an ERA of 2.26.   He was traded to Cincinnati in 1970 and pitched in relief that year before retiring from baseball.

The most famous and beloved of Cardinals pitchers, Bob Gibson, surprisingly pitched only one no-hitter in his long career with St. Louis.  It occurred on August 14, 1971 against the Pittsburgh Pirates as the Cardinals prevailed 11-0 at Three Rivers Stadium.  The Pirates went on to win the World Series that fall.

Bob Forsch

Then came Bob Forsch, the only pitcher to throw multiple no-hitters for the Cardinals.  The came on April 16, 1978 against the Philadelphia Phillies.  That no-hitter was a bit controversial due to an official scorer ruling on an error by Ken Reitz.  Forsch’s second no hitter was thrown on September 26, 1983 against the Montreal Expos.  There was no reported controversy in this no-hitter.  At the time Forsch was the 25th MLB pitcher to throw more than one no-hitter.

The no-hitter that prompted this article was the June 25, 1999 no-hitter by Jose Jimenez. The opponent was the Arizona Diamondbacks and the opposing pitcher was Randy Johnson, with the outcome a 1-0 win for the Cardinals. Ironically Jimenez’ next start was against those same Diamondbacks and Randy Johnson.  It was also a 1-0 win for St. Louis in which Jimenez allowed two hits. Unfortunately for Jimenez and the Cardinals, those were his brightest career highlights.

The last St. Louis no-hitter was pitched by Bud Smith against the San Diego Padres on September 3, 2001, as the Cardinals won, 4-0.  Smith allowed no hits but did issue four walks and threw 134 pitches.  The right-hander pitched only two seasons for the Cardinals and was traded to the Phillies on July 29, 2002 along with Placido Polanco for third baseman Scott Rolen.  Slowed by injuries, Smith never made a major league appearance for the Phillies and was out of MLB by 2004.


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