The Cardinals completed one of their most ignominious home series in recent years Wednesday when they were belted again by the Los Angeles Dodgers, 9-4 at Busch Stadium.
The ballpark may have
been red-hot (98 degrees), but the Cardinals were not as they were outscored
22-6 in the last two games of the series after losing the opener, 2-1, in the
ninth inning. The Dodgers hadn't swept a three-game series in
"When you get swept at home, that's as bad as it can get," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "The last two games, we've been out of it."
Left-hander Jaime Garcia also continued his slump. Garcia didn't last past the fifth inning for the fourth time in his last five starts, giving up seven runs in five innings.
Garcia (10-7) had a 1-0 lead entering the third but walked the first two hitters in that inning, and the next six Dodgers also reached base in a six-run rally.
"When stuff like that happens, you've got to step off and think about the pitch you're going to make," Garcia said. "Just relax for a little bit and try to limit the damage.
"I'm not going to lie. Sometimes, I don't do a very good job. But I'm trying."
Since signing a four-year contract extension last month, Garcia is 1-4 in eight starts and is winless in his last six.
The Cardinals, who have
lost seven of their last nine games, were swept for the second time at home this
With the Cardinals 10 games out of first place and only 32 games remaining, the Cardinals are more likely to be sellers than buyers. General manager John Mozeliak didn't necessarily reject that theory but didn't anticipate major trade action and said that interest in his players had been marginal. "Right now, we would consider anything," Mozeliak said. "If somebody has interest in our players, definitely we would listen. But, as far as potential trades, I don't feel like we're likely to be engaged in that. A lot of times when you're dealing with (his own) players who are potential free agents, they do have draft pick value, so that gets weighed into things. But I don't look at doing any additions unless it really makes sense or has impact for future years."
When the Cardinals can
expand their roster next Thursday,
2B Skip Schumaker, a day after making his professional pitching debut, stroked four singles, giving him five straight hits over two games. Schumaker, hitting .301, hadn't been over .300 since April 6 when he was at .318 on 7-for-22.
LHP Jaime Garcia, his concentration failing him as he didn't back up bases on two consecutive hits, gave up seven runs in five innings, marking the most runs he had given up at home in his two seasons as a starter. His ERA at home shot up from 2.06 to .2.73.
C Gerald Laird hit his first homer as a Cardinal, delivering a two-run shot off Los Angeles RHP Hiroki Kuroda in the seventh inning. Laird caught all nine innings on the hottest day for a Cardinals home game at 98 degrees.
1B Albert Pujols has hit safely in his first at-bat in each of the last four games. A ball was thrown from the third-base stands that sailed past Pujols while he was in the field in the third inning but it missed him by some 10 feet. The culprit was not immediately apprehended.
BY THE NUMBERS: 32-30 - Cardinals' record at home. They were 52-29 at home last year.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I compliment them and what they've done. But the reality is that we just didn't play good baseball here."
- General manager John
Mozeliak, talking about
INF Ryan Theriot (hamstring) was out Aug. 21-23. He pinch-hit on Aug. 24.
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.
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.
VIDEO FROM FOXSPORTSMIDWEST.COM
Hear from Tony La Russa and company after the 9-4 loss and three-game series sweep by the Dodgers.