St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of May 3-9

photo: Nolan Arenado via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals completed their 17 consecutive day stretch with 13 wins and the best overall record in the National League. Nolan Arenado was a standout in his first series against his former Colorado Rockies teammates, a home sweep. Our Blast From the Past history segment outlines the team Hall of Fame candidacy of former general manager Bing Devine.

Game Recaps

Monday, May 3 – Cardinals 6, Mets 5

The Cardinals edged the Mets in a the first game of a four-game home set on Monday.  Starter Adam Wainwright, newly activated from the COVID list, had a tough start.  The right hander went 5 1/3 innings and surrendered five runs on seven hits. He fanned five and walked three.

Genesis Cabrera tossed a scoreless inning of relief.  Ryan Helsley got the final out of the seventh in relief of Cabrera.  Giovanny Gallegos and Alex Reyes each pitched a scoreless inning.  Wainwright still received the win, his first of the season, and Reyes the save, his eighth.

The Cardinals got on the board in the first inning on a leadoff triple by Tommy Edman, who scored on a sac fly by Dylan Carlson. The Mets responded with two runs in the top of the second.  In the bottom of the second, Harrison Bader tied it up with a solo home run to left center field.

Nolan Arenado

The Mets came back in the top of the third and scored three runs to make it 5-2.  The Cardinals were undeterred and answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning.  Singles by Dylan Carlson and Paul Goldschmidt were followed by a three-run home run by Nolan Arenado.  Paul DeJong and Tyler O’Neill hit back-to-back doubles to score the fourth run of the inning.

Neither team scored for the remainder of the game.  DeJong and Edman each contributed two hits to the effort.

Tuesday, May 4 – Game postponed

Tuesday’s game was postponed due to threatened inclement weather and was played as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 5 – Cardinals 4, Mets 1 (seven innings, Game 1)

The Cards prevailed over the Mets in the first game of twin bill necessitated by a postponement of the previous day’s game due to the threat of rain.

St. Louis’ offense scored four runs on eight hits.  Paul Goldschmidt got it going with a solo home run in the first inning.  Consecutive singles by Dylan Carlson, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado gave the latter an RBI.

The Mets scored their only run in the fourth inning.  In the fifth the Cardinals added to their lead on two-run long ball from Paul DeJong.

Paul DeJong

Goldschmidt and Arenado each had two hits. Harrison Bader snatched his second base of the season.

Starter Kwang-Hyun Kim tossed four strong innings, giving up only one run on two hits.  The left hander struck out two and walked three. Ryan Helsley, Giovanny Gallegos and Alex Reyes each contributed a scoreless inning of relief.  Helsley picked up the win and Reyes earned his ninth save.

Wednesday May 5 – Cardinals 2, Mets 7 (seven innings, Game 2)

The Cardinals didn’t fare as well in the second game of the twin bill, falling to the Mets 7-2.  Number 6 starter Johan Oviedo struggled in this start, pitching only four innings and yielding four runs on five hits.  The right hander struck out two and gave up two long balls.

Tyler Webb relieved in the fifth and surrendered two additional runs in 2/3 of an inning.  He was relieved by Seth Elledge, who returned to pitch the sixth and allowed only two hits in 1 1/3 scoreless frames.  27th man, Bernardo Flores Jr., started the seventh but couldn’t record an out and relinquished a run before being replaced by Kodi Whitley.  Whitley tossed a scoreless seventh to finish the game.

St. Louis’ offense managed only two runs on 11 hits.  The first run scored on a single by Dylan Carlson in the fourth inning.  Justin Williams plated a run on another single in the sixth. Tommy Edman contributed two hits, and the only extra base hits were doubles by Ali Sanchez and Harrison Bader.

Tyler O’Neill stole his third base of the season.

Thursday, May 6 – Cardinals 1, Mets 4

The series ended on Thursday with a split, as the Cardinals were again losers to the Mets 4-1.  Starter John Gant continued his struggles in giving up way too many walks. The right hander issued six free passes in 4 1/3 innings.  Gant fanned five and surrendered two runs, one earned, on five hits and took the loss. Kodi Whitley got the final two outs of the fifth with giving up a run.

Genesis Cabrera and Seth Elledge each tossed a scoreless inning. Tyler Webb yielded two more Mets runs without recording an out. Jake Woodford bailed out Webb in the eighth and returned to pitch a scoreless ninth.  Elledge was the only pitcher who did not walk a batter. The Cardinals pitching staff issued 11 free passes total.

St. Louis’ offense managed only one run on three hits.  Harrison Bader launched a sacrifice fly in the second inning.  Tommy Edman, Dylan Carlson, and Nolan Arenado had the only hits, all singles.

Arenado committed a throwing error in the fifth inning that led to an unearned run.

Friday, May 7 – Cardinals 5, Rockies 0

On Friday, the Cardinals began a three-game home series against Colorado and blanked the Rockies.

Former Rockies star Nolan Arenado opened up the offense in the second inning with a ground rule double.  Harrison Bader drove him home on a two-run long ball to left center field.  Jack Flaherty got his first home run of the season and his career in the third inning with a solo shot to left field. All came against former Cardinal Austin Gomber, a close friend of Flaherty.

Jack Flaherty

The offense added two insurance runs in the fifth inning.  Andrew Knizner and Tommy Edman singled. Dylan Carlson plated Knizner on a single.  Paul Goldschmidt grounded into a force out and Edman scored.  Arenado and Edman each had two hits.

Flaherty won his league-leading sixth game of the season, going seven scoreless innings and allowing only three hits.  The right hander punched out six and walked one. Ryan Helsley and Genesis Cabrera each tossed a scoreless inning.

Saturday, May 8 – Cardinals 9, Rockies 8

The Cardinals won the second game of the series with the Rockies but it was a tougher effort.  Starter Carlos Martinez struggled with his command throughout his five innings, citing afterwards a sore ankle hurt in Flaherty’s home run celebration on Friday as a contributor.  The right hander struck out only two and walked five while giving up five runs on six hits.

Kodi Whitley tossed a scoreless sixth. Giovanny Gallegos surrendered two runs in 1 1/3 innings of relief. Alex Reyes yielded one run in 1 2/3 innings but earned his 10th save. Martinez picked up the win, his third.

The Rockies got on the board immediately with a run in the first inning.  The Cardinals responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame.  Tommy Edman, Dylan Carlson and Paul Goldschmidt hit consecutive singles to start the half inning.  Edman scored on the Goldschmidt single.  Paul DeJong drove in Carlson on a single.  Goldschmidt crossed the plate on a ground out by Yadier Molina.

The Cardinals increased their lead to 5-1 in the third.  Carlson was hit by a pitch and Goldschmidt singled.  Paul DeJong drew a walk and Molina singled to center to plate Carlson and Goldschmidt.

Yadier Molina

The Rockies tied the game in the fifth with a four-run inning off Martinez.  The Redbirds responded in the bottom half of the fifth to retake the lead with four runs of their own. Carlson singled and Goldschmidt hit a two-run home run to left field. Nolan Arenado doubled and Paul DeJong followed with another double to plate Arenado.  DeJong stole third base and Tyler O’Neill brought him home on a sac fly.

The Rockies were not done though and came back in the eighth to bring the score within one run, scoring three against Gallegos and Reyes. Reyes stiffened, striking out the side in the ninth to end any further threat.

Paul DeJong stole two bases.  O’Neill had a fielding miscue and Reyes made an error on a pickoff throw.

Sunday, May 9 – Cardinals 2, Rockies 0

The Cardinals finished the sweep of the Rockies on Sunday afternoon behind superlative pitching by starter Adam Wainwright.  The right-hander tossed 8 1/3 scoreless innings, two outs short of his 26th career complete game. He allowed only three hits, punched out five and walked three.

Adam Wainwright

Ryan Helsley came in with one out and two men on in the ninth.  After walking his first batter to load the bases, Helsely induced a double play to give Wainwright his second win. Helsley earned his first save.

The offense only managed two runs on eight hits. It began in the second inning on a solo home run by Nolan Arenado, his first home run against his former team.  In the fourth inning, Arenado reached on a throwing error and scored on a double by Yadier Molina.

Paul DeJong committed a throwing error, his fourth of the season.

The Big Picture

The Cardinals finished the week with a record of 5-2 which included a split of the four-game series with the Mets and a three-game sweep of the last-place Rockies.  The Cardinals sit in first place in the NL Central with a record of 21-14, best in the National League, and are two games ahead of the Brewers.

The team is playing well but issues remain, especially with pitching, and specifically issuing too many walks.  In Thursday’s game against the Mets, the pitching staff dished out 11 free passes.  Six of the walks were from starter John Gant.  This must not continue.

The starters are going longer in games which is a plus.  Jack Flaherty and Adam Wainwright have been especially good with pitching into the sixth or seventh inning at a minimum.  Flaherty could go longer if he could be more efficient with his pitches.  The remaining starters Martinez, Kim, and Gant need to go a little farther and cut down on the walks, especially Gant.

The bullpen not surprisingly appears to be wearing down given the long stretch of games with no days off.  That stretch has come to an end fortunately.  The left-handed side of the bullpen has taken a hit with the injury to Andrew Miller, and the brief appearance of Bernardo Flores this week did not work out well.  Genesis Cabrera appears to be handling the extra work fairly well, but Tyler Webb had several poor outings during the week.  Again, the walks are a problem with the bullpen as well.

Offense has been adequate for the most part, though it was notably sparse in the doubleheader on Wednesday.  Strong pitching by the Mets may account for some of it.  The top offensive performances this week have come from Harrison Bader, Paul DeJong, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and Tommy Edman. Dylan Carlson and Yadier Molina both performed well with the bat in the Rockies series.

The defense made four errors this week, two in the infield, one in the outfield, and one by a pitcher.  The defense is a strength for this team, but a week without errors would be welcome.  Baserunning has been good.

The Cardinals’ next stop is Milwaukee to begin the week.  These two teams will likely be fighting for the top berth in the NL Central all season so wins in head to head games for the Cardinals is crucial.  The series with the Brewers will be tough so winning two of three would be ideal.  The team then heads to San Diego to play the Padres, another tough opponent.  Winning each series is the goal.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
St. Louis 21 14 0.600
Milwaukee 19 16 0.543 2
Chicago 17 17 0.500 3.5
Cincinnati 15 16 0.484 4
Pittsburgh 14 19 0.424 6

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

  • 5/3 The Cardinals activated RHP Adam Wainwright from the Covid-IL.
  • 5/3 The Cardinals optioned LF Austin Dean to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/4 The Cardinals placed RHP Jordan Hicks on the 10-day injured list. Right elbow inflammation.
  • 5/4 The Cardinals recalled RHP Johan Oviedo from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/5 The Cardinals recalled LHP Bernardo Flores Jr from the Memphis Redbirds (27th man DH).
  • 5/5 The Cardinals sent RHP Miles Mikolas on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/6 The Cardinals optioned RHP Johan Oviedo to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/6 The Cardinals optioned LHP Bernardo Flores Jr to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/6 The Cardinals recalled CF Lane Thomas from the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/7 The Cardinals sent 1B John Nogowski on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/8 The Cardinals optioned C Ali Sanchez to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 5/8 The Cardinals activated C Yadier Molina from the 10-day injured list.

Injury Report

  • RHP Miles Mikolas (shoulder) was sent to Memphis on a rehab assignment and made a start for the Redbirds on Wednesday, May 5. Mikolas will likely make at least one more rehab start and perhaps more before returning to St. Louis later this month.
  • 1B John Nogowski (left hand bone bruise) was sent to the Memphis Redbirds on a rehab assignment. There has been no report on when Nogowski will conclude the rehab assignment and return to the roster.
  • C Yadier Molina (right foot tendon strain) was activated from the injured list on Saturday and made his first start in Saturday’s lineup against Colorado.
  • RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon (right shoulder inflammation) continues on the 10-day injured list. The right hander has no structural damage to his shoulder and has received an injection to deal with the problem.  No timetable for his return has been reported.
  • RHP Adam Wainwright was activated from the Covid-IL and made his scheduled start on Monday, May 3.
  • LHP Andrew Miller (right foot toe blister) continues on the 10-day injured list. He has begun baseball activities testing out new orthotics, but his return date to the roster has not been set.
  • RHP Jordan Hicks (right elbow inflammation) continues on the 10-day IL. No surgery is expected at this time, but possible treatments such as a PRP injection are being considered.  The right hander may be out for at least six more weeks as the team intends to take it slow with his recovery.  Hicks had not pitched in two seasons before the recent injury after having Tommy John surgery in 2019 and opting out of the 2020 season.

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals have an off day on Monday, May 10 and will travel to Milwaukee to play the Brewers in a three-game series.  Kwang-Hyun Kim is scheduled for the Tuesday start in Milwaukee followed by John Gant on Wednesday and Jack Flaherty on Thursday.

The road trip will continue to San Diego for a weekend series against the Padres. The team has a travel day on Monday and returns to St. Louis for two games against the Pirates.

After a second off day on Thursday, the homestand continues with a weekend series against the Cubs.

The next road trip begins on Monday, May 24 in Chicago with a three-game set at the White Sox.

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 a former front office executive. This man was at various times a business manager, a player, and a general manager in the Cardinals farm system.  He then rose to be the General Manager of the team for eight seasons, including the World Series-winning 1964 season.

Vaughn Pallmore “Bing” Devine was born on March 1, 1916 in the St. Louis suburb of Overland. He was the first of two children born to Grover W. and Pearl Devine.  His younger sister Barbara died of scarlet fever at the age of 2 so Bing grew up an only child.  His nickname “Bing” was given to him by his Aunt Daisy because of the way he threw things around as a child.

Bing’s father was a Cardinals fan and would often take his family and follow the team on road trips as a vacation.  Bing attended University City High School and played baseball and basketball at Washington University in St. Louis.  Devine was a better basketball player and was inducted into Washington University’s Sports Hall of Fame for his court feats.  Bing continued to play baseball, playing some amateur ball around the city.

Devine graduated from college in 1938 and got a job with the Cardinals as a part time publicity man and sometimes batting practice pitcher. In 1941 he was named manager of the Cardinals Appalachian League team in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he met and married his wife Mary.  Once when the team had a roster shortage due to the military draft, Devine signed himself as a player and played in 27 games for the team as a second baseman.  That was Bing’s one an only foray into playing professional ball.  In 1942 Bing was hired to run the Fresno Giants of the California League.

Bing spent three years in the Navy, serving in Hawaii. After the Navy, Devine spent two season leading the Columbus Foxes, a Cardinals Single A affiliate, and then seven more seasons running the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.

Bing Devine

Bing was promoted in 1956 to be an assistant to Cardinals GM Frank Lane.  After the 1957 season Lane resigned and Gussie Busch hired Bing to replace him as GM.

Bing’s first trade was to send three pitchers to the Cincinnati Reds for outfielders Joe Taylor and Curt Flood. In his nearly seven years as Cardinals GM, Bing acquired Bill White from the San Francisco Giants and signed pitcher Bob Gibson out of Creighton University in just some of his notable transactions.

Devine was forced to hire Solly Hemus as manager by Gussie Busch, a moved that did not turn out well.  By mid 1961, after much turmoil involving alleged racist behavior by Hemus toward his black players, Devine was allowed to hire his own manager, Johnny Keane.  Busch became frustrated with not contending and hired Branch Rickey as an adviser to Devine in late 1962.  He and Rickey did not get along and Devine refused to veto a trade for Dick Groat of the Pirates when Rickey advised him to do so.

The Cardinals finally had a winning season in 1963, finishing in second place with a record of 93-69.  The success was largely credited to Devine in acquiring White, Groat, Julian Javier and Ken Boyer, all four of whom made the All-Star team that year.

Bing’s greatest achievement would be the Brock for Broglio trade, a move that was instrumental in bringing about the Cardinals 1964 World Series-winning season.  Unfortunately Devine would not be on hand for the celebration, as Gussie Busch fired him on August 17 due to what Busch saw as a problem on the team involving a dispute between Groat and Keane.  The dispute was resolved, but several weeks later Busch fired Devine on the advice of Rickey.

Devine spent three years as GM of the Mets before Busch rehired Devine after the 1967 season.  Devine remained in that position for another 10 years, though his first reign as GM was more successful than his second.  Perhaps one of the worst trades in Cardinals history, Steve Carlton to the Phillies for Rick Wise, was made during that time – at the insistence of Busch.

The Cardinals did not contend again during Devine’s second tenure and Busch fired him a second time in 1978.  Bing continued to work in baseball for the Giants and the Expos and became the GM for the football Cardinals in 1981, a position he held for six years.  He returned to the baseball Cardinals as a special advisor to Walt Jocketty in 2000.

Devine passed away on January 27, 2007 at the age of 90. He was survived by his wife, three daughters and eight grandchildren.  Devine’s legacy in the St. Louis sports world was exemplary and his contributions to the Cardinals were unparalleled.  He brought icons of Cardinal baseball such as Flood, Gibson, and Brock to St. Louis and he more than deserves a spot in the Cardinals Hall of Fame.


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