St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of September 6 – September 12

Photo: Yadier Molina (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals went 4-3 this week, splitting a four-game series with the Dodgers and winning a series with the Reds. The bats have struggled to consistently score runs, and the bullpen blew one game, but it was a strong week overall against some tough competition. Yadier Molina led the offense while Nolan Arenado had some key home runs. Our history feature looks at the youngest player on each Cardinals team from 2000 to 2010.

Game Recaps

Monday, Sept 6 – Cardinals 1, Dodgers 5

The Cardinals began a four-game series against the Dodgers on Monday and the offense couldn’t get much going against Dodger starter Max Scherzer.  The future Hall of Famer and native of St. Louis held the Redbirds to only one run.

The Dodgers got to Cardinal starter Miles Mikolas for four runs in the first inning.  That inning set the tone for the rest of the game.  Mikolas pitched five innings and gave up five runs on five hits, struck out three and walked two.  The right hander took the loss, his second of the season.  Andrew Miller, Kodi Whitley and Daniel Ponce de Leon kept the Dodgers off the board for the remainder of the game.  Miller and Ponce de Leon threw one scoreless inning and Whitley tossed two scoreless innings.

The Cardinal offense scratched out one run against the Dodger ace, who went eight innings in the game.  That lone run scored in the sixth inning and began with a single by Tommy Edman and a single by Paul Goldschmidt.  With Edman on third, a passed ball by Dodger catcher Austin Barnes sent Edman flying home.  The play was challenged by the Dodgers, but Edman was ruled safe.

Five of the six Cardinal hits came from Edman and Goldschmidt.  Edman was 2-for-4 and Goldschmidt was 3-for-4.  Edman had the only extra base hit, a double.  Edmundo Sosa had the other hit.

Paul Goldschmidt

In the field, catcher Andrew Knizner made an error on a pickoff attempt.

Tuesday, Sept 7 – Cardinals 2, Dodgers 7

The Cardinals suffered the second loss of the series with the Dodgers and this time the offense was held to two runs by an assortment of pitchers from the Dodger bullpen.

The Dodgers scored one run in the first inning against Cardinal starter J.A. Happ.  It was a solo home run by Albert Pujols in his first at bat at Busch Stadium since 2019.  The Cardinals answered with the tying run in the home half of the first. Dylan Carlson singled, and Tyler O’Neill hit a ground rule double to right center field.  Carlson scored on a sac fly by Nolan Arenado.

The Cardinals briefly took the lead in the third inning when O’Neill doubled, and Arenado drove him home on a single.  In the fourth, the Dodgers posted two runs to take a 3-2 lead.  The Cardinals didn’t score for the remainder of the game.  The Dodger added one run in the fifth, one in the sixth, and two in the ninth for the final score of 7-2.

O’Neill went 3-for-3 in the game with a double and two singles.  Arenado had two RBI.

Tyler O’Neill

Starter J.A. Happ pitched five innings, gave up four runs on seven hits and struck out three.  Alex Reyes surrendered one run in the sixth. Daniel Ponce de Leon tossed a scoreless seventh.  Kodi Whitley pitched 2 /3 scoreless innings, and Kwan-Hyun Kim threw the final 1 1/3 innings and yielded two runs.  Happ took the loss, his eighth of the season.

O’Neill stole his 11th base of the season.  Yadier Molina had a passed ball.

Wednesday, Sept 8 – Cardinals 5, Dodgers 4

The Cardinals recovered from the losses in the first two games of the series, to win the third game by a one run margin. This game was an Adam Wainwright start, and just as he has done all season, he again stopped a losing streak.

Wainwright almost went the distance, but stopped at 8 1/3 innings pitched, with four runs allowed on seven hits and four punch outs.  Giovanny Gallegos finished the ninth inning with no hits allowed and one strikeout. Wainwright earned his 15th win of the season.

Adam Wainwright

The Dodgers got on the board first in the first inning.  The inning featured singles by Max Muncy and Mookie Betts, followed by a double by Corey Seager.  Muncy scored, but Betts was thrown out at home by a combination of Harrison Bader and Edmundo Sosa, who both threw missiles to nail Betts with a good tag by Molina.

The Cardinals answered the Dodgers with three runs scored in the home half of the first.  Tommy Edman and Paul Goldschmidt both singled, then executed a double steal.  Edman scored on a ground out by Nolan Arenado.  Yadier Molina then stepped up and hit a two-run home run to put the Cardinals up 3-1.

The Cardinals added a run in the fourth.  Molina singled and advanced on a fielding error. The catcher then moved to third on a wild pitch.  Edmundo Sosa singled and Molina scored.  The Redbirds lead increased to 4-1.

The Dodgers cut the lead to 4-2 in the sixth inning on a solo home run by Max Muncy.  Tyler O’Neill responded in kind with a solo home run in the eight to make it 5-2 in favor of the Cardinals.

The Dodgers attempted a rally in the ninth, and scored two runs to make it close, but Giovanny Gallegos came in to relieve Wainwright with one out in the ninth and kept the Dodgers from catching the Cardinals.

Molina went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.  Sosa was 2-for-4.

Edman stole his 24th base of the season, and Goldschmidt stole his 11th base.  Bader was caught stealing for the fourth time.  Bader had an outfield assist, throwing out Betts at home.

Thursday, Sept 9 – Cardinals 2, Dodgers 1

The Cardinals eked out a win against the Dodgers in the fourth game of the series to split the series 2-2.  Cardinals pitching, beginning with starter Jake Woodford, kept the Dodgers to only one run.

The Redbirds faced Dodger pitcher Tony Gonsolin for the first three innings of the game. The Redbird offense scored one run on Gonsolin in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead.  Dylan Carlson led off with a double and came home on a double by Andrew Knizner.

The Dodgers tied it 1-1 in the third on a walk to Mookie Betts, a double by Max Muncy and a single by Trea Turner that scored Betts.  That was the only Dodger run in the game.

The Cardinals took the lead for good in the fifth inning on a solo home run by Tyler O’Neill.

The offense scored two runs on five hits.  Knizner was 2-for-3 in the game with an RBI.

Jake Woodford pitched four innings and gave up one run on three hits, struck out three and walked two. Alex Reyes tossed two scoreless innings of relief to earn his sixth win of the season.  T.J. McFarland pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings.  Luis Garcia pitched 2/3 innings scoreless, and Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless ninth to earn his sixth save.

Jake Woodford

Paul DeJong stole his fourth base of the season.

Friday, Sept 10 – Cardinals 2, Reds 4

The Cardinals continued the home stand with a three-game series against the Reds, who the Cardinals are chasing for the second wild card spot.  The Cardinals did not win against the Reds in this first game of the series, losing once again in the ninth inning.

The starter for the Cardinals was Jon Lester, and he pitched seven innings and gave up two runs on three hits, struck out two and walked four.  Luis Garcia tossed a scoreless eighth.  T.J. McFarland surrendered the winning runs in the ninth and took the loss, his first of the season.

Jon Lester

The Reds scored one run in the second and one run in the fourth to take a 2-0 lead.  Both runs were on solo home runs, the first by Eugenio Suarez and the second off the bat of Joey Votto.

The Cardinals tied it up 2-2 in the home half of the fourth on a two-run home run by Yadier Molina.  The score remained tied until the ninth inning.  The Reds took the 4-2 lead on an RBI double by Jose Berrero, and a fielder’s choice ground out by Delino DeShields.

Molina was 2-for-4 with two RBI.  Tommy Edman, Dylan Carlson, and Harrison Bader had the other three hits for the Redbirds, all three were singles.

Saturday, Sept 11 – Cardinals 6, Reds 4

The Cardinals rebounded from a tough loss in game one of the series to take game two 6-4.  For the first time this season the Cardinals were able to overcome a four-run deficit to win the game in the end.

The Reds tagged Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas for four runs in the third inning.  The runs were the result of two run home runs by Jonathan India and Nick Castellanos.

The Cardinals responded by scoring two runs in the home half of the third.  Paul DeJong led off the inning with a solo home run.  Harrison Bader followed with a double, and then he advanced to third on a sac bunt by Mikolas.  Tommy Edman singled to plate Bader.

The Redbirds tied the game with two more runs in the sixth.  Tyler O’Neill singled and scored on a triple by Nolan Arenado.  Dylan Carlson then doubled to score Arenado.

In the eighth, Arenado put the nail in the coffin of the Reds with a two-run moonshot to left field.

Arenado was 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Carlson was 2-for-4 with an RBI.  DeJong and Bader were both 2-for-3.

Nolan Arenado

Mikolas pitched five innings and gave up four runs on six hits, struck out one and walked one.  Genesis Cabrera tossed two scoreless innings of relief.  Alex Reyes pitched a scoreless eighth to earn his seventh win of the season. Giovanny Gallegos earned his seventh save with a scoreless ninth.

Sunday, Sept 12 – Cardinals 2, Reds 0

The Cardinals won the rubber game of the series 2-0 and won this final series against the Reds this season.  This was the second series win against the Reds in September.

The Cardinals scored both of their runs in the first inning on a two-run home run by Nolan Arenado.  The Cardinals pitching kept the Reds off the board for the entire game.

The offense scored two runs on three hits, the long ball by Arenado, and singles by Tommy Edman and Tyler O’Neill.

Starter J.A. Happ pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings, allowed only two hits, fanned four and walked one.  Luis Garcia tossed a scoreless inning with one hit allowed and two punch outs.  T.J McFarland went 2/3 innings scoreless.  Genesis Cabrera pitched a scoreless eighth and Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless ninth.  Happ earned his ninth win and Gallegos got his eighth save.

J.A. Happ

Edman stole his 25th base of the season.  Arenado made a throwing error.

Big Picture

The Cardinals ended the week 4-3, splitting a four-game series with the Dodgers and taking 2 of 3 from the Reds.  Following the Sunday win against the Reds, the Cardinals found themselves only one game back of the second Wild Card.  The Reds and the Padres are now tied for the second Wild Card Spot.

For the first time all season, there isn’t much to complain about with respect to the Cardinals performance this past week.  The offense was sparse in the first two games with the Dodgers, but this has been a recurring theme in games against tough opponents.  In the first game the offense faced Max Scherzer, so the fact that they scored one run is an accomplishment.  Scherzer is arguably now the best pitcher in the NL with the ongoing health issues plaguing Jacob DeGrom, who has missed much of the season.  The second game was a bullpen game, which is a difficult type of pitching for which to plan.  The Dodgers sent nine different pitchers to the mound.

The Cardinals dug in and beat the Dodgers in the last two games, based in part from good pitching by Adam Wainwright and Jake Woodford plus the bullpen.  The first game of the Reds series featured a mini bullpen meltdown in the ninth, but this was the only game during the week where the game was lost in the ninth inning.  Considering all the times this had happened in the past, a one-time occurrence is an improvement.

If one can complain about the offense, it would be that there wasn’t enough to really feel comfortable of a win in the end.  Each game they won was still a nail biter for the fans.  The offense was enough, however, and that is the relevant point.  More offense is better, but wins are what count.

Top offensive performers over the last seven days by OPS are Yadier Molina (1.108) and Tyler O’Neill (.933). There were fewer players with higher than .800 OPS this week than there were last week, which was a 3-3 week.  Nolan Arenado ended the week with a .789 OPS, but his performance in the Reds series was the reason for the success.  His two-run home run in Sunday’s game was the winning hit. Paul DeJong and Edmundo Sosa split time at SS.  Paul DeJong had a .761 OPS and Sosa had a .727 OPS.   Even the players with a low overall OPS had individual success in one or two games, such as Carlson and Bader in Saturday’s win over the Reds.

The schedule does not get any easier next week.  The team plays three games with the Mets, who are also in the race for a wild card spot but are, as of this writing, 2.5 games behind the Cardinals.  The Cardinals then return home to play a series with the Padres, currently tied with the Reds for the second wild card. To keep themselves in the race and with a chance to overtake both the Reds and the Padres, the pitchers must continue to pitch well, and the offense needs to pick it up.  The Cardinals do not play the Reds again in the regular season, but they do play the Padres, and next weekend is the opportunity to gain ground there.

NL Central Standings

Team                                        W                              L                       Pct                           GB                     WCGB 
























St. Louis



































 Trade and Acquisition Rumors.

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


  • 9/6 The Cardinals designated RHP Brandon Dickson for assignment.
  • 9/6 The Cardinals activated LHP Andrew Miller from the 10-day injured list.
  • 9/7 The Cardinals sent RHP Justin Miller on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/8 The Cardinals sent RHP Brandon Dickson outright to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/11 The Cardinals activated RHP Justin Miller.
  • 9/11 The Cardinals optioned C Ali Sanchez to the Memphis Redbirds.
  • 9/12 The Cardinals placed RHP Junior Fernandez on the 60-day injured list.

Injury Report

  • RHP Jordan Hicks (right elbow inflammation) remains on the 60-day injured list. Hicks was sent to the Cardinals Spring Training complex in Jupiter on Sept 11 to begin facing live hitters.  The right hander will continue that process while the team looks for opportunities to get him into live action, either in minor league games or in winter ball.  Hicks will not return to the major league roster in 2021.
  • 2B Max Moroff (left shoulder subluxation) remains on the 60-day injured list after suffering a shoulder injury in a batting practice session. Moroff had surgery on the shoulder and is out for the rest of the season.
  • RHP Dakota Hudson (Tommy John surgery) remains on the 60-day injured list. He will make his next rehab start on Sunday, Sept 12 for the Springfield Cardinals. Hudson will likely make one more rehab start after Sunday’s outing before activation is considered.  If he returns this season, he will pitch out of the bullpen for what remains of the 2021 season.  He continues to be on track to be in the 2022 rotation.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez (right thumb ligament sprain) had surgery on July 16 to repair his thumb ligament. Martinez has begun some light throwing, but he is not expected to return this season.  If that is the case, Martinez may have thrown his last pitch as a Cardinal.  Martinez is on the final year of his contract, and though the team holds options for 2022 and 2023, they are not expected to pick them up.
  • LHP Wade LeBlanc (left elbow pain) remains on the 10-day injured list. The left hander is set to undergo a procedure on his left elbow, making a return this season impossible.  LeBlanc will be a free agent at season’s end.  The Cardinals may offer LeBlanc a minor league deal to return in 2022 if he does not sign a major league deal elsewhere.
  • RHP Ryan Helsley (right elbow stress reaction), was placed on the 60-day injured list on Sept 1. The move signaled an end to Helsley’s season.
  • RHP Justin Miller (right ulnar nerve irritation) was activated on Sept 11.
  • LHP Andrew Miller (left foot blister) was activated on Sept 6.
  • RHP Jack Flaherty (right shoulder strain) remains on the 10-day injured list. Manager Mike Shildt informed the media on Sept 10 that the team is optimistic Flaherty could return to the team in some capacity, most likely the bullpen, as there is insufficient time for the right hander to build up to a starter’s workload.  The right hander is scheduled to throw off a mound by Sept 16.
  • RHP Junior Fernandez (right lat strain) was transferred to the 60-day injured list on Sept 12. Scans revealed a Grade 2 lat strain and the injury is serious enough that his season is most likely over.
  • SS Edmundo Sosa (left wrist soreness) injured the wrist diving for a ground ball in the Sept 8 game against the Dodgers. Sosa had been kept out of the lineup since, but he took some at bats on Sept 11.  Sosa is considered day to day.

Looking Ahead

Following the Reds series end on Sunday, the Cardinals will make a brief road trip to New York to play the Mets in a three-game series starting Monday, September 13.  Adam Wainwright is set to make the Monday start, followed by Jake Woodford on Tuesday, and Jon Lester on Wednesday.

The team then returns home for a weekend series against the San Diego Padres.

Following the Padres series, the Cardinals return to Milwaukee for a four-game series.  They end the week with a weekend series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

The Cardinals have an off day on Monday, Sept 27 and return home to play the Brewers in a three-game series.  The final series of the season is against the Cubs at Busch Stadium beginning Friday, Oct 1.

The Cardinals regular season schedule can be found here.

Blast from the Past.

In this week’s Blast from the Past, we take a turn from the oldest Cardinal, Adam Wainwright, who turned 40 last week, to looking at the youngest Cardinals over the last two decades of Cardinals baseball.  This series will be in two parts.  Each year from 2000 through 2010 will be featured this week.  The following list includes the youngest players on the roster for those seasons.  In some cases, there are more than one player of the same age.

2000 season – P Rick Ankiel (20).  Ankiel debuted late in 1999 and posted a record in 2000 of 11-7 with an ERA of 3.50.  Ankiel’s control issues that ultimately led to the end of his pitching career began in the 2000 postseason.

2001 season – UT Albert Pujols (21),  P Bud Smith (21), and P Rick Ankiel (21).  Pujols was called up on April 2 and played in all but one game that season.  He played multiple positions, including 1B, 3B, LF and RF and some DH.  Bud Smith made his debut on June 10 and pitched in 16 games, 14 as a starter and posted a record of 21-6 with an ERA of 3.83.

2002 season – Albert Pujols (22) and Bud Smith (22) were again the youngest players on the 2002 roster.  Ankiel was out the entire 2002 season with injuries.

2003 season – P Dan Haren (22).  Haren made his debut on June 30.  He made 14 starts for the Cardinals that season with a record of 3-7 and an ERA of 5.08.

2004 season – Yadier Molina (21).  Molina made his debut on June 3.  He played in 51 games that season and had a slash line of .267/.329/.356

Yadier Molina

2005 season – Yadier Molina (22) was the youngest player on the 2005 roster.  Molina became the starting catcher in the 2005 season.  Three other players were age 23, Pitchers Brad Thompson, Anthony Reyes, and Adam Wainwright.

2006 season – Yadier Molina (23) for the third straight season was the youngest player on the roster.  The 24 years old Thompson, Reyes, and Wainwright were joined by 24-year-old Chris Narveson.

2007 season – Yadier Molina (24) still the youngest. To the 25-year-old club is added SS Brendan Ryan, and P Dennis Dove.  Dove appeared in only three games in 2007.

2008 season – P Jaime Garcia (21) supplanted Molina as the youngest in 2008.  He appeared in 10 games that season.  Also younger than the 25-year-old Molina were P Chris Perez (22), P Mitchell Boggs (24) and P Kyle McClellan (24).

2009 season – CF Colby Rasmus (22) was the youngest player on the 2009 roster.  Jaime Garcia missed the entire 2009 season due to Tommy John surgery.  Rasmus played in 147 of the 162 games in 2009 as the starting CF.

2010 season – Colby Rasmus (23) was joined by the returning Jaime Garcia (23) and by 3B Daniel Descalso (23), and C Bryan Anderson (23).  Descalso debuted on September 18 and played in 11 games.  Anderson debuted on April 15 and played in 15 games in the 2010 season.  Jaime Garcia made 28 starts and had a record of 13-8 with an ERA of 2.70.  Rasmus appeared in 144 of the 162 games that season in CF.

Next week we look at the youngest players on the rosters for the 2011 through 2021 seasons.

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