Cardinals Major League Notebook: 08/02/11

The Cardinals lost to the first-place club in the Milwaukee series opener Monday night.



The inning started innocently enough for Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter.

Carrying a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth Monday at Milwaukee, Carpenter allowed his first hit to the outfield, a single by Yuniesky Betancourt. But then it got a little weird, as the Brewers would get five more hits in succession.

On a hit-and-run, Casey McGehee singled through a hole vacated by second baseman Skip Schumaker, who thought he could have held his ground an instant longer.

Jonathan Lucroy then bounced a run-scoring single over the head of third baseman David Freese. One of the biggest plays in the inning came when Milwaukee pitcher Zack Greinke attempted to sacrifice. The bunt rolled among Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, Carpenter and Freese. Molina ultimately picked up the ball but chose not to throw to first, where Schumaker, thinking the play was a suicide squeeze, admitted he was a step late in covering the bag.

The single loaded the bases, and then Carpenter hung a couple of breaking balls. The first resulted in a run-scoring single by Corey Hart. The second, which Carpenter thought was not that bad a pitch, turned into a three-run double by Nyjer Morgan, capping a five-run inning, and the Brewers were on their way to a 6-2 victory.

Carpenter, whose winning streak ended at five games, said, "I felt good the whole game. Command was good, stuff was good, everything was good.

"I'm not quite sure what happened in the fifth. I made a couple of bad pitches where the ball was up. I had a couple of tough breaks, but I've got to make better pitches."

Manager Tony La Russa, surveying the critical fifth inning, said, "There's an awful lot of runs scored for not much contact. We could have defended better, but there's no doubt there were a couple of tough breaks.

"It just escalated. It's tough to take, but that's it."

The Cardinals have lost all four of their games at Miller Park this year, getting outscored 23-8. They trail the Brewers by 3 1/2 games in the NL Central.

The double-play ball, a problem which has afflicted the Cardinals all season, hurt them again in the sixth. The Cardinals should have had a run in the inning, but Matt Holliday, who had hit a two-run homer in the first, had to be stopped at third when he broke late from second on Freese's one-out single.

Schumaker then grounded into an inning-ending double play, although television replays showed that he was safe. It was the big-league-leading 117th double play grounded into by the Cardinals in 109 games.

"I was safe," Schumaker said. "It's a huge play, so it's upsetting."



RHP Chris Carpenter got his 1,000th strikeout as a Cardinal when he fanned Milwaukee RF Corey Hart in the third inning. Otherwise, he had no success again with the Brewers. In two starts against Milwaukee, Carpenter, who was pulled after five innings Monday, has given up 10 runs in 11 innings and lost both decisions.

LF Matt Holliday, ending a streak of 17 homerless games, hit his first since July 8 when he banged a two-run drive to the opposite field against Milwaukee RHP Zack Greinke in the first inning. Holliday's last homer had come just before he competed in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game, and manager Tony La Russa, asked if that might have hurt Holliday, said he thought the length of the derby should be cut in half. "His timing is not quite right," La Russa said before the game. "My prediction is he gets right these next three days."

RHP Mitchell Boggs, who is being treated for a bulging disk in his lower back, worked two innings Monday, giving up four hits and one run. Boggs has had a cortisone shot but admitted he may have to have something more done in the offseason.

2B Skip Schumaker, may get some time in center field with the addition of SS Rafael Furcal to the infield mix. "I was blessed with only one tool. Some guys have five. I'm going to use the one that I have," Schumaker said, referring to his throwing arm.

SS Rafael Furcal, the leadoff hitter in his first start for the Cardinals, singled and scored in the first inning. He finished 1-for-4 with a walk.

RHP Octavio Dotel is becoming an iron man, and an effective one at that. He pitched for the fourth day out of five since coming from Toronto and reeled off his fourth straight scoreless inning.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1-for-6 - The Cardinals' performance with runners in scoring position Monday. The one hit did not score a run.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We just need to win every game we can. It doesn't matter who we're playing."

- 2B Skip Schumaker, after Monday's loss to the Brewers, whom the Cardinals play 11 more times in the next 34 games.




C Gerald Laird (sprained left ring finger) left the July 28 game. He didn't play July 29. He appeared as a defensive replacement July 30, then sat out again July 31-Aug. 1.

INF Nick Punto (strained left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list July 29.

RHP Eduardo Sanchez (mild right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 13. He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Springfield on July 7 but had renewed soreness soon after and was shut down until late August or early September. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 31.

OF Allen Craig (broken right kneecap) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 8. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on July 23.

RHP Adam Wainwright (Tommy John surgery in February 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 25. He will miss the entire 2011 season.


Tue., Aug. 2 at BREWERS: Jaime Garcia (10-4, 3.14) vs. Shaun Marcum (10-3, 3.33) 7:10 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, MLB Network, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).


<a href='' target='_new' title='La Russa on loss'>Video: La Russa on loss</a>
Tony TV: Cardinals manager Tony La Russa shares his thoughts on the 6-2 loss against Milwaukee Monday night.

<a href='' target='_new' title='Cardinals outdone 6-2 by Brewers'>Video: Cardinals outdone 6-2 by Brewers</a>
Skip Schumaker, Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia sound off losing to the Milwaukee Brewers Monday night.

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