Cardinals have wasted some excellent pitching the last two nights.
Friday, right-hander Jake Westbrook
didn't allow either of the two runs he allowed to score on a hit, the Pirates
tallying on a wild pitch and a passed ball in the fourth inning. Westbrook,
whose winning streak ended at five, suffered his ninth loss against 12 victories
as he pitched 7 2/3 strong innings.
Yet another one-run loss -- they also
lost 2-1 Thursday -- dropped the Cardinals to 12-21 in that category. They are
5-13 in two-run games, making them 17-34 (.333) in close games.
Pittsburgh Pirates starter James McDonald, who had allowed an astounding 30 earned runs in his last 31 innings
over six starts, held the Cardinals to none for six innings Friday night. After
McDonald (11-5) departed, having permitted just two hits, the Cardinals nudged
across a run in the seventh against Pittsburgh relief but that was it.
The Cardinals broke through with their
run against right-hander Chris Resop in the seventh, but they probably should
have had more. Right fielder Carlos Beltran singled and third baseman David Freese doubled, Beltran stopping at third.
With veteran backup Skip Schumaker, a
.390 hitter with runners in scoring position, available, Cardinals manager Mike
Matheny elected to let second baseman Daniel Descalso bat. Descalso, hitting a
dreadful .103 with men in scoring position, flied to short left. The runners
A groundout up the middle by catcher
Tony Cruz got the run home, but Pittsburgh then switched from one right-handed
reliever to another and Juan Cruz retired shortstop Rafael Furcal on a popup.
Furcal had been only 2 for 10 against Juan Cruz.
Matheny, questioned about his decision
not to pinch hit for Descalso, said he had the man he wanted at the plate. But
Descalso is 6 for 59 with men in scoring position, and he is 3 for his last 33
C Yadier Molina still is
sidelined by back stiffness, but he is optimistic about returning this weekend.
"Yesterday, I couldn't swing. (Friday) I was swinging way better. Hopefully
tomorrow I can give you good news," he said. "It's hard because you want to be
part of this big series. But at the same time, you have to think about your
health. You can't go out there 50 percent. You have to go out there 100
1B Lance Berkman,
sidelined with soreness in both knees, is scheduled to begin a rehabilitation
assignment at Class AAA Memphis on Wednesday at the start of a nine-game
homestand for the Redbirds that will take them close to the Sept. 1 date for
roster expansion. Berkman declined a minor league assignment the last time he
was on the disabled list, when he was recovering from right knee surgery, and he
encountered more problems when playing at the major league level. He also went 6
for 33 in that time. Berkman, 36, has had only 75 at-bats this
RHP Lance Lynn, who has
warmed up earlier in his last two starts to try to avoid his first-inning
problems, will make the start Saturday for the Cardinals. Lynn has given up three
runs in the first inning in three of his last four starts. "It's been a problem
my whole life, since I was 10 years old," Lynn said. "I have always been someone who
pitched better late in games." Lynn said he would go back to his normal warmup
routine on Saturday.
RHP Jake Westbrook
pitched 7 2/3 good innings and allowed two runs in the fourth inning, neither
scoring on a hit. One came home on a wild pitch and the other on a passed ball.
"It's nobody's fault but my own. I just got outpitched," said Westbrook.
Westbrook said the wild pitch was a "terrible sinker that landed about 55 feet
away." The passed ball came on a changeup. "Actually, it was a really good
changeup. It was a tough pitch to handle," he said.
1B Mark Hamilton, who was
at Class AAA Memphis, was taken off the 40-man roster and released. The roster
spot can be used for the addition of LHP Jaime Garcia, who will come off the
disabled list to pitch on Sunday. Hamilton hit
.231 with 15 homers this year at Memphis.
17 - Years since the
Cardinals lost a game without an RBI by their opponent.
Quote to Note:
"He establishes the zone,
but that doesn't mean we have to like it."
- Manager Mike Matheny,
not wild about home plate umpire Lance Barrett's strike zone. Third-base coach
Jose Oquendo was ejected during the game for objecting.
LHP Jaime Garcia (left
shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 6, and he
was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 16. After further examination, it was
determined that he has tearing in his rotator cuff. He threw 40 pitches from 60
feet on flat ground for the first time in a month July 4. He threw live batting
practice July 25. He began a rehab assignment July 30 in the rookie-level Gulf
Coast League, and he was slated to make four starts before a potential return to
the Cardinals in mid-August. The fourth start was Aug. 14. He will be added to
the roster Aug. 19 to face Pittsburgh, with impressive rookie RHP Joe Kelly going to the bullpen.
C Yadier Molina (sore
left hand and elbow) did not play Aug. 12. He incurred some mid-back tightness
and sat out Aug. 14-17.
1B Lance Berkman (right
knee inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 3. He is scheduled to
start a rehab assignment at Class AAA Memphis on Aug. 22.
RHP Kyle McClellan (torn
labrum in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18 due to a
strained right elbow, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 30. He
threw on flat ground for the first time July 3, but he subsequently felt
shoulder pain. He had season-ending shoulder surgery July
RHP Chris Carpenter (weak
right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he
was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 10. He threw for the first time since
March on June 13 and then threw another 40 pitches on June 15. He threw to
hitters for the first time June 22 but then had a setback June 25 when he felt
renewed weakness in the shoulder. He said it felt better the next day, and he
had an extensive throwing session off flat ground June 27. On June 28, he was
told he has thoracic outlet syndrome, which can cause, among its effects,
weakness in one's shoulder. A July 2 bullpen session was canceled. He underwent
season-ending surgery July 19 to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome. He did some
light tossing from 40 to 60 feet on Aug. 16.
Link to boxscore: Pittsburgh 2 at St. Louis 1