Cardinals Major League Notebook: 09/08/11

Chris Carpenter pitched the Cardinals to a series win Wednesday night, but Milwaukee's Nyjer Morgan took issue in the ninth inning.



Even with a ruckus precipitated by Milwaukee outfielder Nyjer Morgan in the ninth inning, Wednesday night's game lasted only 2 hours, 5 minutes as the Cardinals beat the soon to be divisional champions 2-0 for their fifth win in six meetings with the Brewers over the last two weeks.

Chris Carpenter, who had been only 5-6 with a 5.05 earned run average against Milwaukee, shackled the Brewers on four hits as he pitched his first shutout since a one-hitter at Milwaukee two years ago to the day. Carpenter (9-9) won for the first time in five starts.

The first out of the ninth was Morgan, who struck out and then yelled something at Carpenter before hurling a wad of tobacco toward the mound as he walked toward the dugout. Morgan, who said Carpenter had cursed him first (Carpenter insisted he said nothing to Morgan) then heard from Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, who was not happy about Morgan's antics.

Pujols came in from his position and, meanwhile, Morgan had fired back more invective, causing benches and bullpens to empty before order was restored by the umpires. Morgan was ejected for throwing his tobacco.

"He's a good player," said Cardinals second baseman Skip Schumaker. "But he needs to calm some of his antics down. People are forgetting he's a good player because of some of the stuff he does on the field."

Pujols said, "When (Morgan) got a double, he was screaming. Yesterday, he was screaming, which I don't mind. Do whatever you want. But when you strike out like that and try to throw your chew to the mound ... sometimes he goes overboard. ... Come on, man, you've got to be more professional than that.

"I'm nobody to judge. I've made my mistakes sometimes, so I don't throw the first rock. Everybody's got their own issues."

Morgan has had issues with both the Cardinals and Carpenter before when he played for Washington and Milwaukee. Carpenter said, "He just plays the game a different way. I'm not going to play his game. There is a certain way to compete, and there is a certain way not to compete. He was screaming and yelling the whole game. I'm not going to allow it to happen."



The Cardinals moved within 6 1/2 games of Atlanta in the wild-card race, with three games against the Braves in St. Louis this weekend. "How may games we got left?" asked C Yadier Molina. Told the answer was 19, Molina responded, "Of course we have a chance. Of course."

SS Rafael Furcal, besides playing another strong game defensively, hit his fifth homer off Milwaukee in 12 games since Aug. 1. Furcal has six homers since joining the Cardinals, giving him 107 for his career. Once an accomplished base stealer - he has 298 for his career - Furcal has no steals and just one attempt since coming from the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31.

CF Jon Jay, whose three hits gave him his fifth consecutive multi-hit game, made the defensive play of the night when he made a sliding catch on a drive by Milwaukee 1B Prince Fielder with two Brewers on in the sixth inning. Jay has 11 hits in his last five games, raising his average to .308.

Manager Tony La Russa has juggled his rotation a bit for the Atlanta series, which begins in St. Louis on Friday. LHP Jaime Garcia, who got several extra days' rest before his last start, a win over Cincinnati on Saturday, next will pitch Saturday, following RHP Edwin Jackson, who moved ahead of Garcia to pitch Friday. Not only will Garcia get extra rest this time; manager Tony La Russa said he wanted Garcia (11-7) to pitch Sept. 16 in the first game of a four-game set at Philadelphia. Garcia held the Phillies to one unearned run over eight innings in a 2-1 win in St. Louis on May 17.

3B Daniel Descalso gave slumping 3B David Freese a second game off in the last four. Freese, 1 for his last 14, has dipped under .300 (.298) for the first time since April 11. "He's struggling a little bit right now and he's beating himself up," said manager Tony La Russa.

BY THE NUMBERS: 40 - Multi-hit games by 1B Albert Pujols, who had two hits Wednesday.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "If you win the game you play and if you can string enough of those together, then you can get excited. You can't get excited until you do the first thing. The first thing is to win tonight. The second is to put a bunch of those together. Then you can look around. But if you don't do either one of those, then the third one doesn't become an issue."

- Manager Tony La Russa, on trying to put together a run that would catch Atlanta for the wild-card berth.




RHP Lance Lynn (strained left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 10 and transferred to the 60-day DL on Sept. 2.

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 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.


Thu., Sept. 8: No Game

Fri., Sept. 9: vs. BRAVES: Edwin Jackson (11-9, 3.78) vs. Randall Delgado (0-1, 4.20) 7:15 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).


<a href='' target='_new' title='La Russa: 'He's close to the edge''>Video: La Russa: 'He's close to the edge'</a>
Tony La Russa makes comments on Nyjer Morgan's antics against Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals.

<a href='' target='_new' title='Carpenter, Pujols react to 2-0 victory'>Video: Carpenter, Pujols react to 2-0 victory</a>
St. Louis' Chris Carpenter and Albert Pujols discuss an incident which put a damper on Wednesday's win.

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