Matt Carpenter (© Benny Sieu / USA TODAY Sports Images)

A recap of St. Louis Cardinals-related news from the period of June 20-26, 2016

The St. Louis Cardinals experienced the highs of a sweep in Chicago and the lows of having to come back Sunday to avoid being swept in Seattle. Matt Carpenter continues an amazing June.

Game recaps

Monday, June 20----Cardinals 3 at Cubs 2

Jaime Garcia picked up his fifth win of the season as the Cardinals defeated the rival Cubs in the first of a three game series.  Garcia pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on six hits, striking out six and walking two.  Seung-Hwan Oh followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings and Trevor Rosenthal pitched the ninth and earned his 13th save of the season.

On the offensive side, Aledmys Diaz and Kolten Wong were 2-for-4 and Diaz had an RBI.  Brandon Moss hit his 16th home run of the season, a second inning solo shot.  Jhonny Peralta followed with a third inning solo home run, his second since returning from injury.  Jedd Gyorko hit a pinch hit double.


Tuesday, June 21----Cardinals 4 at Cubs 3

The Cardinals picked up another game on the division leading Cubs and secured the series win.

Again the long ball was featured, as Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday each hit third inning home runs.  Carpenter’s was a solo blast, and Holliday followed with a two run shot.  Stephen Piscotty was 2-for-4 with a double, the only multi-hit performance of the game.

Starter Adam Wainwright won his sixth game, after going 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits.  Jonathan Broxton got the final out of the seventh.  Kevin Siegrist and Trevor Rosenthal pitched the eighth and ninth in scoreless fashion and Rosenthal earned his 14th save of the season.


Wednesday, June 22----Cardinals 7 at Cubs 2

The Cardinals got out the brooms for the sweep of the Cubs, their first three game sweep at Wrigley since 1988.

Michael Wacha earned his third win, pitching 6 2/3 innings and yielding two runs on three hits. In his first appearance since returning from the disabled list, Seth Maness secured two outs.  Tyler Lyons and Jonathan Broxton combined for the remaining 1 2/3 of scoreless relief.

Shortstop Aledmys Diaz was 3-for-4, including a two run home run in the sixth inning.  Matt Carpenter was doubled and two RBI.  Jhonny Peralta was 2-for-5, including a double.  Stephen Piscotty and Yadier Molina were hitless but drove in two runs; Piscotty plated one on a ground ball force out and Molina on a fielder’s choice.  Another run scored on a throwing error on the Piscotty force out.


Thursday, June 23----Off day

Friday, June 24----Cardinals 3 at Mariners 4

Starter Carlos Martinez pitched a strong game on Friday night but was not rewarded for his efforts, as closer Trevor Rosenthal failed to hold the lead.  Martinez hurled seven innings of one run ball, allowing only four hits.  Seung-Hwan Oh pitched a scoreless eighth.  In the ninth, Rosenthal, who has struggled with command off and on all season, gave up a double, walked the next batter, and then served up the winning three run walk off home run to Adam Lind.

Offensively, Brandon Moss was 2-for-4, the only multi hit performance.  The Cardinals were held scoreless until the eighth, when Yadier Molina drew a leadoff walk and was pinch run for by Eric Fryer.  Pinch hitter Greg Garcia was hit by a pitch.  Tommy Pham followed with a sac bunt to move the runners over.  Matt Carpenter was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Aledmys Diaz drew a walk to score Fryer.  Matt Holliday then reached on a force attempt, and a fielding error allowed Garcia and Carpenter to score.   A wild pitch advanced the runners.  Aledmys Diaz attempted to score on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Stephen Piscotty but was thrown out at home.  All three Cardinals runs scored without benefit of a hit.


Saturday, June 25---Cardinals 4 at Mariners 5

Saturday night brought another frustrating loss for the Cardinals in Seattle.  This time, the starting pitching failed.  Mike Leake lasted only 3 1/3 innings after being hit hard repeatedly by Mariners hitters.  Leake surrendered five runs, four earned, on nine hits.  Long reliever Tyler Lyons pitched brilliantly for the remainder of the game, holding the Mariners scoreless for 4 2/3 innings and allowing only one hit.

The Cardinals offense rallied for four runs, one in the third inning, and three more in the fifth on a three-run blast by Aledmys Diaz.  The offense fell short, despite being kept in the game by the pitching of Lyons.  Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong each went 2-for-4.  DH Matt Holliday drove in the first Cardinal run on a third inning single.


Sunday, June 26----Cardinals 11 at Mariners 6

The Cardinals experienced an offensive cornucopia in the final game of the series in Seattle.

13 extra base hits, including six home runs, headlined the offensive display.  Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham hit two home runs, while Matt Holliday and Jedd Gyorko contributed one, for six solo home runs on the afternoon.  Carpenter was 3-for-6 with two RBI and three runs scored, and Pham was 2-for-5 with two runs scored.  Aledmys Diaz was 3-for-5 with one run driven in.  Brandon Moss tripled, as did Carpenter.  Moss was 2-for-4 and plated one.  Every hitter in the St. Louis lineup had at least one hit.  Stephen Piscotty drove in a run on a double.

Starter Jaime Garcia went 5 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on 10 hits.  Kevin Siegrist relieved in the sixth, and returned for the seventh, when he gave up a three-run home run to tie the game and was tagged with a blown save.  As St. Louis’ offense took the lead in the eighth and kept it, Siegrist also received the win.  Jonathan Broxton and Matt Bowman pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings.


Rosenthal loses his closing job

Manager Mike Matheny announced prior to the game on Saturday in Seattle that closer Trevor Rosenthal has been removed from the closing job for the time being.  Rosenthal has struggled with his command off and on all season and has blown three saves in 24 innings of pitching, equaling his number of blown saves over the entire 2015 season.

Rosenthal’s last appearance was in the ninth inning of Friday’s loss, when he gave up a three run walk off home run after the Cardinals had taken a 3-1 lead in the eighth.  No single pitcher has been named to replace Rosenthal.  Kevin Siegrist, Seung-Hwan Oh, and Jonathan Broxton have all been mentioned as potential ninth inning options.


NL Central Standings

  W L % GB
Chic. Cubs 48 26 0.649 ---
St. Louis 39 35 0.527 9
Pittsburgh 37 39 0.487 12
Milwaukee 34 41 0.453 14.5
Cincinnati 29 47 0.382 20

Who’s Hot

Matt Carpenter continues to be hot at a seven day OPS of .988 with two doubles, one HR and three RBI. For the entire month, he is even better, with a line of .377/.506/.696/1.201.

Aledmys Diaz returns to the hot list.  Diaz had an OPS 1.136 this past week with two HRs and seven RBI.

Brandon Moss has heated up.  His OPS over the past seven days is .950 with three doubles, one HR and two RBI.

Carlos Martinez remains hot, with an ERA of 1.29 and a WHIP of 1.00.

Michael Wacha has reheated, with 1-0 record, an ERA of 2.70 and a WHIP of 0.75.

Seung-Hwan Oh is hot with an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.43.


Who’s Not

Yadier Molina has gone cold.  His OPS this past week is .255.

Matt Adams and Jhonny Peralta remain cold with OPS’s of .533 and .520 respectively.

Tommy Pham is cold so far in his return to the big league club with an OPS of .522.

Mike Leake is cold.  He went 0-1 with an ERA of 5.79 and a WHIP of 2.04.

Trevor Rosenthal is so cold that he lost his closing job.  He was 0-1 this past week, with an ERA of 13.50 and a WHIP of 3.50.


A Look at Cardinals’ Lineups

Matt Carpenter, Aledmys Diaz, Matt Holliday, and Stephen Piscotty have been consistently in the first four spots in the lineup.  Matt Adam had one start in the third spot this past week.

The number five hitter has been Jhonny Peralta with one start by Brandon Moss.

The six hole has been a mixture of Moss, Peralta and Yadier Molina.

The seventh spot has been either Moss or Molina.

The eighth spot has been the home of Kolten Wong, Jedd Gyorko and Tommy Pham.

The ninth spot in interleague DH games has been occupied by Pham or Wong.


Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.



The Cardinals transferred C Brayan Pena’s rehab assignment to the Springfield Cardinals.

The Cardinals signed three 2016 draft picks and four undrafted free agents.


Injury Report

Brayan Pena (left knee) continues his rehab assignment but was reassigned back to Springfield from Memphis.

Matt Adams (back spasms) is day to day.


Looking Ahead

After closing out the series in Seattle on Sunday, the Cardinals travel to Kansas City to begin a four game home and home series against the Royals.   Following two games in Kansas City, the Cardinals play two games against the Royals at Busch Stadium.  Adam Wainwright is the scheduled pitcher for Monday’s game in Kansas City.  Michael Wacha will pitch on Tuesday, followed by Carlos Martinez and Mike Leake in St. Louis.

St. Louis will continue the home stand with a weekend series against the Brewers.  On Monday, July 4, the Cardinals will open a four game series versus the Pirates at Busch.

From July 8-10, the Cardinals will take on the Brewers in a road weekend series.  That leads into the All Star Break, which begins with the Futures Game on Sunday, July 10, the Home Run Derby on Monday, followed by the All Star Game on Tuesday, July 12.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Coach Simo on Pitching and his Double-A Pitchers

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