Since the Cardinals' won six in a row from July 18-24, they have lost two, won two, lost two, won two and lost two. Five of those 10 games were decided by one run, with the Cardinals going 2-3 in those. At 22-17 (11-9 at home, 11-8 on the road), they have fallen seven games behind the division-leading Marlins, but are two games ahead of the third-place Mets. If the season ended today, the Marlins, Yankees and Orioles would be division winners, with the Cardinals claiming the wild card spot in the postseason.
Comings and goings
LHP Chase Reid came to the GCL
Monday, lost to Marlins 17-5 in Jupiter: Tied at four going into the 8th, the Marlins put up an 11-spot, fueled mostly by seven walks in the inning, to blow the game open.
Cardinals highlight: Vargas had two hits, a single and a double.
Tuesday, defeated Nationals 5-3 in Jupiter: Trailing 2-1 in the sixth inning, Anthony Bryant turned the game around with a three-run home run, following singles by Sam Tuivailala, the second of his three hits, and Lance Jeffries. Brad Watson allowed two runs over six innings to earn the win. Angel Tapia and Willy Paulino closed the door.
Cardinals highlight: Bryant's first home run of the season.
Wednesday, defeated Mets 5-4 (14 innings) in Port St. Lucie: Rehabber Phil Cerreto walked to lead off the top of the 14th, then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. With one out, Gerwuins Velazco singled on a line drive to right, scoring Cerreto with the go-ahead run. The Cardinals trailing 4-2 in the seventh when C.J. McElroy ignited the rally with a leadoff single and advanced to second on Ildemaro Vargas' line single to left. After Cerreto walked to load the bases, Michael Knox grounded a single up the middle that scored McElroy and Vargas.
Cardinals highlight: After the Mets scored four runs off starter Ramon Ulacio, five Cardinals relievers – Tyler Melling, Brandon Creath, Fermin Montanez, Cesar Aguilar and Willy Paulino -- combined to hold the Mets to no runs (scattering three hits and two walks) over the last nine innings, allowing the offense to catch up and then win the game.
Friday, lost to Astros 3-2 in Jupiter: Trailing 3-0 going to the last of the sixth, the Cardinals scored two runs on an RBI double by Sam Tuivailala and a ground out by Lance Jeffries, but it wasn't enough as the Astros held on.
Cardinals highlight: Tuivailala had two hits, including the RBI double.
Saturday: lost to Marlins 9-0 in Jupiter: In what was probably their worst all-around game this season, and unfortunately was against the first-place Marlins, the Cardinals made four errors that made two of the Marlins' runs unearned. The Cardinals managed only two singles in two innings off the Marlins starter, rehabbing major-league reliever Ryan Webb, and then nothing the rest of the way.
Cardinals highlight: None.
2B Ildemaro Vargas has continued his hot hitting, going 17-for-41 (.415) in his last 10 games, with five walks to only three strikeouts and his first two stolen bases of the season. 3B Sam Tuivailala is 12-for-23 over his last seven games. … CF C.J. McElroy went 7-for-15 in a four-game stretch, but is 1-for-18 since then. … Though RHP Cesar Aguilar walked 10 in nine innings over his last seven appearances, he allowed only three hits and one run in those games. … RHP Cole Brand's streak of not allowing a home run as a professional ended Monday at 37-1/3 innings when Mayobanex Soto of the Marlins took him deep in the ninth inning of the Cardinals 17-5 loss.
A Closer Look at …
By the end of the GCL season, we will have at least one report on every player who appears in a GCL Cardinals game. This week, we look at two position players and two pitchers the Cardinals selected in this year's draft. Most of these analyses are based on interviews with GCL Cardinals manager Steve Turco and pitching coach Dernier Orozco.
Michael Knox: A 22-year-old, right-handed 1B selected in the 41st round, who hit a total of 47 home runs in his last two seasons at Mt. Olive College (N.C.), Knox made a splash when he hit three home runs against the Marlins in his second pro game, but has hit only one more in 27 games since then. His average is only .213, but with 17 walks Knox has a decent .339 on-base percentage, though his strike-zone recognition "comes and goes," Turco said. A dead-pull hitter, Knox needs to learn to "utilize more of the field to have success, even at this level," Turco said. "It's hard to be a one-field hitter and have success and move up." Turco said he has hopes that Knox will turn the corner. "He's an intelligent kid who understands what he needs to do, but executing his plan is where he's struggling right now." At first base, Knox's glove work is fine – "He's made some great picks," Turco said – but he needs to improve his footwork around the bag.
Lance Jeffries: The
10th-round pick wore No. 5 at
Brad Watson: The
37th-round pick from
Tyler Melling: The
39th-round pick from the
Monday, vs. Mets; Tuesday, no game; Wednesday, at Astros; Thursday, vs. Marlins; Friday, vs. Nationals; Saturday, at Mets; Sunday, no game.
© 2011 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.