Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2011 Week 11

The Cardinals' Triple-A club is surging with a 6-2 week as Matt Carpenter has 13 RBI in nine games since his return from St. Louis.

The big picture

This report covers the week from Thursday, June 16 through Wednesday, June 22.

Manager Chris Maloney's Memphis Redbirds began the week with the final contest of their eight-game marathon against New Orleans (Florida) last Thursday afternoon. Nashville (Brewers) came to AutoZone for a four-game weekend set before the Redbirds headed to Des Moines for five against the Iowa Cubs that started Tuesday. The first three Iowa games are in this reporting period.

As the result of the 6-2 week, including the end of a 7-1 homestand, the Redbirds are 16-6 to date in June and 39-34 on the season. The Redbirds have won an amazing 12 consecutive one-run games during their surge.

They remain in second place in the American North Division. Memphis picked up two more games on first-place Omaha this past week and sit just 1/2 game out of first.

Game summaries

Thursday, June 16: Memphis 9, New Orleans 2
The Redbirds collected their fourth straight win and sixth in their last seven games. Matt Carpenter hit two home runs, including his first career grand slam, and registered a career-high six RBI. Daryl Jones and Jose Garcia each added two hits. Starter P.J. Walters earned the win as he struck out nine and allowed one unearned run on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Friday, June 17: Memphis 1, Nashville 0
Brandon Dickson (7 IP) and Bryan Augenstein (2 IP) combined on a four-hit shutout as Memphis won in walk-off fashion. Freddie Bynum's two-out single up the middle scored Matt Carpenter with the winning run.

Saturday, June 18: Memphis 7, Nashville 6 (10 innings)
The Redbirds won in walk-off fashion for the second consecutive night after scoring two in the ninth to take the game into extra innings. Donovan Solano's double scored Adron Chambers with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th. Solano was 3-for-6 and tied his career high with three doubles, while Aaron Luna was 2-for-5 with his fifth home run of the season. Victor Marte earned the win after throwing a scoreless 10th inning.

Sunday, June 19: Nashville 5 at Memphis 3
Memphis' season-best, six-game win streak ended Sunday night. The visitors blasted four home runs on the evening, jumping on the Redbirds for three first-inning runs. Nick Additon took the loss, surrendering four runs on four hits while walking one and striking out six across five innings. Daryl Jones had two singles and a double and Nick Derba contributed an RBI triple in the losing effort.

Monday, June 20: Memphis 9, Nashville x
The Redbirds scored early, with four in the first and one in the second. Starter Lance Lynn earned the win as he threw six innings allowing three runs on seven hits. Victor Marte picked up his 10th save. Nick Stavinoha finished 2-for-4 with a solo home run and Matt Carpenter collected three RBI on a bases-clearing double. Adron Chambers had a three-hit night for the third time this season.

Tuesday, June 21: Memphis 13 at Iowa 3
Adron Chambers had a two home run night and the Redbirds put seven on the board in the seventh. It was Chambers second multi-homer game of the season. Stavinoha was 3-for-6 with a double as Tyler Greene, Matt Carpenter and Donovan Solano each chipped in with two hits apiece. Bryan Anderson went deep via a three-run shot. David Freese started at third base and finished the game 1-for-3 with a bloop double to left in the third inning as he played five innings in his first rehab start. Starter P.J. Walters picked up the win as he struck out five and allowed three runs on nine hits in 7 2/3 innings pitched. He also smacked a double off the wall.

Wednesday, June 22: Memphis 3 at Iowa 2 (DH game 1 - eight innings)
The Redbirds did not let a 1:13 rain delay at the start bother them as they came back to take game one. Memphis scoring began with Jim Rapoport's solo homer in the fourth. David Freese sent a broken bat flare into shallow right field on a 3-0 count to drive in one and tie the game in the sixth. The scheduled seven-inning game went into the eighth until Aaron Luna hit the game-winner, an RBI-double to deep left-center field. Brandon Dickson tossed 4 2/3 shutout innings in relief of Bryan Augenstein. Chuckie Fick pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the win. Victor Marte needed just four pitches to record three outs and earned his 11th save of the season.

Wednesday, June 22: Iowa 8, Memphis 5 (DH game 2 – seven innings)
Down 4-2 in the third, Rapoport launched his second solo homer of the night and just his third of the season. A Matt Carpenter double plated two more before Jose Garcia followed with a single that sent Carpenter home. The run was taken off the board, however, after the Cubs noticed that Carpenter missed third base and appealed. The Redbirds' last real thread ended there. Starter Brian Broderick took the loss, allowing six runs on ten hits including two home runs in three innings.

On the Move

Last Sunday, shortstop Tyler Greene and first baseman Mark Hamilton were optioned to Memphis. Greene had been with St. Louis from the start of the season. Hamilton was returned to St. Louis two days later due to Albert Pujols' injury.

In the same group of Sunday transactions, shortstop Pete Kozma was returned to the Cardinals for his second stint with the big club. On Wednesday, Lance Lynn also re-joined St. Louis when Miguel Batista was released.

On the Mend

Outfielder Shane Robinson remains out following surgeries on his face and hand as the result of his April 16 collision with Andrew Brown. He is progressing and may be back in July.

Reliever Adam Reifer is done for the season with a torn knee ligament.

After a set-back in extended spring training, 40-man roster right-handed reliever Francisco Samuel (lat injury) was activated and assigned to Palm Beach.

Who's Hot

Nick Stavinoha. The veteran outfielder has nine hits in his last four games and in June is batting .320 with two home runs and 13 RBI in 18 games.

Matt Carpenter. In the nine games since his return from St. Louis, the third baseman is 8-for-22 (.364) with two home runs and 13 RBI. He has also drawn six walks to just five strikeouts.

Cory Rauschenberger. The right-handed reliever has allowed just one earned run in 9 1/3 June innings (0.96 ERA) and lowered his season ERA with the Redbirds to 1.75.

P.J. Walters. Including his two wins this past week, the right-hander is 4-0 in four June starts with a 1.91 ERA. His strikeout to walk ratio is an impressive 30:7 in 28 1/3 innings.

Who's Not

A couple of returnees to the Cardinals system have not fared particularly well in the early going.

Brian Broderick. PCL hitters are batting a collective .397 against the 6-foot-6 righty. His Memphis ERA is 6.46 in 15 2/3 innings, including two starts and seven relief appearances. Broderick's strikeout to walk ratio is just 5:2.

Jess Todd. PCL batters are hitting Todd at a .307 clip. His strikeout to walk ratio is very good at 14:3 in 15 1/3 Memphis innings, but he has been charged with eight earned runs for a 4.80 ERA.

Pacific Coast League individual leaders

Though Andrew Brown is with St. Louis, his name continues to be prominently featured among the league leaders. At .351, he is 12th in the league in batting average and is the only Redbirds qualifier above Matt Carpenter's .292. Brown is second in on-base percentage at .449 with Carpenter up to 7th in the league at .430. Brown also ranks eighth in slugging at .625 and sixth in OPS at 1.074. Carpenter is fourth in the PCL with 45 walks.

At 3.82. 3.84 and 3.95, respectively, Adam Ottavino, Lance Lynn and Brandon Dickson are 11th through 13th in the PCL in ERA. P.J. Walters is third with 78 strikeouts with Ottavino tied for fifth with 70. Brandon Dickson is tied for eighth with 68 strikeouts and Lynn is 12th with 64.

On the less-positive side, Walters' 37 walks are tied for the seventh-most in the league with Ottavino tied for 12th place at 34 free passes issued. Walters holds the league lead with 11 hit batters. Dickson is tied for fifth with 14 home runs allowed. With ten long balls yielded, Ottavino is tied for 20th.

Team stats and rankings – Season to date

The offense warming up is clearly a major contributor to the improved record. The pitching staff is the best in the league and the only reason two of the cells are yellow is that they cannot be better than number one.

(Red/yellow/green denotes period-to-period change of the season-to-date totals, where red is decline, yellow is steady and green is improvement since last report.)

Offense Prev week PCL rank Season PCL rank
YTD # of 16 # of 16
BA 0.261 14th 0.266 13th
Runs 321 13th 367 11th
OPS 0.735 15th 0.751 12th
Doubles 108 15th 129 T14th
HR 48 15th 57 14th

Pitching Prev week PCL rank Season PCL rank
YTD # of 16 # of 16
ERA 3.87 1st 3.83 1st
Ks 478 8th 528 6th
Walks 226 Fewest 238 Fewest
HR allow 63 6th fewest 71 9th fewest
Saves 12 T2nd fewest 15 T2nd fewest

Up Next

The Redbirds complete games four and five in Des Moines on Thursday and Friday. They then head two hours west on Interstate 80 to Omaha. In some odd scheduling, the Storm Chasers (Kansas City) are home during the College World Series, which is being played across town. The Redbirds play there for four, Saturday through Tuesday, with first-place on the line, before taking a day off next Wednesday, June 29.

Questions for Brian Walton about this Memphis report or any other Cardinals minor league topic? Check out our premium, subscriber-only message board today!

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column on Thursdays at Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2011 The Cardinal Nation, and All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories