Cardinals Major League Notebook: 09/21/10

Another loss on Monday in Miami put the Cardinals seven behind Cincinnati with just 13 to play.



The Cardinals made a quick trip to Miami to make up a rainout from Aug. 8, when the game was stopped after about eight minutes and never resumed. When the contest was replayed Monday, the Cardinals accomplished about what they had accomplished before -- nothing.

They could have mailed this game in and could have headed directly to Pittsburgh instead. St. Louis was blanked 4-0 in just 1 hour, 52 minutes.

Chris Carpenter's season is starting to go the way of the Cardinals' season. Carpenter has lost three games in a row after starting out 15-5. The Cardinals are just 12-23 over their last 35 games.

Monday's game came down to two plays. One was a high throw to third in the second inning by center fielder Colby Rasmus, allowing runners to move to third and second after a fly to medium center. With one out, the misplay prompted Cardinals manager Tony La Russa to walk Mike Stanton intentionally to load the bases and get to light-hitting rookie catcher Brad Davis.

Davis hopped on a 2-0 cutter and smacked a grand slam. Game over, and the Cardinals had dropped yet another game to a team with a losing record. They are 44-49 against teams that were below .500.

The game went so quickly that it had a spring training feel to it.

"It certainly had that appearance," manager Tony La Russa said. "We made a lot of quick outs."

The teams use the same Jupiter, Fla., spring training site about 1 1/2 hours north.

MARLINS 4, CARDINALS 0: The Cardinals suffered their 12th shutout loss on the road. They have been blanked just once at home. Only two hitters reached scoring position, Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina on doubles. Neither got to third base, as Florida's Chris Volstad threw a five-hitter.


LHP Jaime Garcia again will be skipped in the rotation because of arm fatigue, and RHP Jeff Suppan will take his place Thursday in Pittsburgh. Garcia may get one start at home before the end of the season. Garcia said he threw a side session Sunday and felt good, but he admitted, "I'm not going to lie to you—it was feeling a little tired. But that was just like everybody else. Nobody (is) feeling 100 percent like you do in spring training."

Two Cardinals rookies took their first major league at-bats on Monday as PHs. 2B Daniel Descalso grounded out in the seventh. 1B Mark Hamilton ended the game by flying to center.

Manager Tony La Russa held out hope before the game that, well, there still was hope for the Cardinals in the National League Central race. "You understand that you've got to get hot," La Russa said. "Playing against the Cubs (and losing three straight) is not hot. Winning three of four from the Padres is hot. Fourteen games (left) is a lot of games. Let's see what we do with them." The Cardinals then lost and the Reds won, leaving St. Louis with a seven-game division deficit and 13 games to play.

The Cardinals have played 18 days in a row, with 13 more to come. But manager Tony La Russa said his team wasn't tired. "I've heard no complaints," La Russa said. "If you get hot, no distractions."

1B Albert Pujols will get his final crack at PNC Park in Pittsburgh when a three-game series with the Pirates begins there Tuesday night. Pujols ranks ninth in career home runs with 24 at PNC—well ahead of anybody who hasn't played with the Pirates. He is hitting .383 in 77 games there.

By the Numbers:

38 - Multi-homer games for 1B Albert Pujols, breaking Stan Musial's club record by one, through Sunday.


Quote to Note:


"I'm done. It's a simple decision."


- C Jason LaRue, announcing he will retire after suffering a concussion when kicked in the head by Cincinnati RHP Johnny Cueto in a brawl in August.




Medical Watch:

RHP Chris Carpenter (dehydration/right hamstring cramp) left his Sept. 15 start. He started Sept. 20.

LHP Jaime Garcia (arm fatigue) missed his Sept. 18 start and is expected to miss another start.

LHP Trever Miller (left forearm strain) did not pitch Sept. 7-17. He returned to action Sept. 18.

C Jason LaRue (concussion) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 13. He was moved to the 60-day DL on Aug. 19, ending his season. He has announced that he will retire.

RHP Adam Ottavino (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 4, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on Aug. 17. He was throwing in early September, hoping to get in a game or two before season's end, but manager Tony La Russa said that was unlikely.

3B David Freese (right ankle surgery in August 2010, left ankle surgery in September 2010) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 28, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on Aug. 15. He was originally out due to a bone bruise on his right ankle, and then he broke his left big toe in mid-July. He tore a right ankle tendon Aug. 2 in his first rehab game with Class AA Springfield, and he had season-ending surgery Aug. 6. He underwent surgery on the left ankle a month later, but he expects to be ready for spring training.

RHP Brad Penny (strained upper back) went on the 15-day disabled list May 22, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 31. He threw bullpen sessions June 28 and July 1 but had to cut short a bullpen session July 6 because of tightness in his triceps area. He underwent an MRI on July 7 that found nothing that hadn't been diagnosed before. As of Aug. 5, he was playing catch but not throwing off a mound. Penny is out indefinitely.

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