Adam Wainwright (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images)

A recap of St. Louis Cardinals-related news from the period of July 11-17, 2016 plus a look ahead

Coming off the All-Star break, the St. Louis Cardinals dropped two of three at home to Miami as the defense and bullpen remained inconsistent. Adam Wainwright is pitching like an ace again.

Game recaps

Monday, July 11 through Thursday, July 14

The Cardinals had no scheduled games due to the All Star Break.


Friday, July 15--- Cardinals 6, Marlins 7

In the first game post break, the Cardinals played a sloppy game defensively, and the bullpen couldn’t hang on to a lead. 

Starter Jaime Garcia pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, striking out two and issuing two free passes.  Trevor Rosenthal was brought into the game in the seventh with one out and two men on base.  Rosenthal struck out his first batter, but then the control issues that have plagued him all season resulted in a walk to load the bases, and a hit by pitch to score a run.  A single to the next batter plated two more runs and surrendered the lead.  At that point Rosenthal was lifted for Kevin Siegrist, who got the final out of the inning without further damage. 

Siegrist returned for the eighth, but was removed with a man on and two outs for Jonathan Broxton.  Broxton gave up a single that scored the inherited runner from Siegrist.  Seung-Hwan Oh pitched the ninth, yielding the winning run to earn the loss, his first of the season.  Rosenthal and Broxton were charged with blown saves.

The Cardinals offense scored four runs in the fourth inning and two more in the seventh.  All came via the home run.  Stephen Piscotty hit a solo shot in the fourth inning, followed by a three run blast in that inning off the bat of Tommy Pham.  Pham contributed another home run, a solo home run in the seventh, and Randal Grichuk joined him with a solo shot one batter later.  Grichuk was 2-for-5, Diaz was 2-for-4, and Pham was 3-for-4.


Saturday, July 16---Cardinals 5, Marlins 0

This second game of the series was the mirror opposite of the first.  Stellar pitching by starter Adam Wainwright was both welcome and fitting given the prior day’s woes and the fact that the Cardinals were celebrating the 10th anniversary of the 2006 World Championship.  With the battery of Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina, who were the architects of the final out in the 2006 series, the symbolism was not lost.

Wainwright pitched a complete game shutout, taking a no hitter into the sixth inning, and ultimately allowing only three hits in nine innings of brilliant pitching.  Wainwright fanned five and walked two on the way to his first complete game shutout since September 17, 2014.  It was Wainwright’s 22nd complete game of his career.

The Cardinals offense scored four times in the third inning, beginning with a double by Tommy Pham.  Aledmys Diaz drew a walk, and Stephen Piscotty doubled to plate both Pham and Diaz.  Randal Grichuk followed with a double to score Piscotty, and Matt Adams singled Grichuk home.  Jhonny Peralta added a fifth run in the fifth inning with a solo home run to left center field.  Pham was 2-for-4 on the night; Piscotty was 2-for-3.


Sunday, July 17---Cardinals 3, Marlins 6

Starter Michael Wacha battled into the fifth inning but didn’t have his best stuff, as he exited with no outs in the fifth, having given up two runs to put his team behind.  Wacha allowed three runs total in his four innings of work, fanning four and walking two.  Matt Bowman entered with no outs in the fifth and got out of the inning with no further damage.  Bowman returned to pitch a scoreless sixth.  Jonathan Broxton gave up two additional runs in the seventh.  Kevin Siegrist surrendered another run in the eighth, and Seth Maness pitched the ninth without allowing any additional runs.  Broxton was tagged with the loss.

The offense was held to four hits by Marlins pitching and struck out a collective 15 times.  Matt Holliday hit a solo home run in the second to put the Cardinals in the lead briefly.  Holliday was essentially the only offense, going 3-for-4, with the only RBI, as the Cardinals scored two other runs on a wild pitch and a throwing error.  The only other St. Louis hit was a double by Greg Garcia.


AL defeats NL in the All Star Game

The American League again won the All Star Game in a 4-2 victory over the National League. An infield dominated by the Chicago Cubs was not enough as the National League fell short in regaining the all Star Game crown from the Junior Circuit.

The Cardinals had two representatives at the game. Matt Carpenter was voted in and was present but unable to play due to an oblique injury.  His replacement, Aledmys Diaz, entered the game in the eighth inning, with a pinch hit appearance with the bases loaded and two outs.  Diaz struck out looking in this key spot, with at least one strike call that appeared questionable to many eyes.

Diaz described his All Star experience:

“I think that was the perfect moment for me,” Diaz said. “That was everything you wanted when it comes to the All-Star Game. Bases loaded. A chance to hit. I try to do my best. He threw me a good pitch, 3-2, and he got me.”

Diaz was greeted warmly in San Diego by his childhood pal, Marlins’ starter Jose Fernandez, also an All Star representative.  Diaz and Fernandez grew up together and played baseball together in the same Cuban town, Santa Clara.

Diaz flew back to St. Louis on a charter plane with Carpenter.  Before leaving, Diaz discovered he had been left a parting gift, a child sized All Star Jersey with his number, 36, on the back.  The jersey was for the first child he and his wife are expecting very shortly.

NL Central Standings

The Cardinals remain in second place but fall to only .5 game ahead of the Pirates.

  W L % GB
Chicago Cubs 55 36 0.604 ---
St. Louis 47 44 0.516 8
Pittsburgh 47 45 0.511 8.5
Milwaukee 39 51 0.433 15.5
Cincinnati 34 58 0.37 21.5

Who’s Hot

Tommy Pham also continues to be hot, with an OPS of 1.538, two HRs, two doubles and four RBI for the week.

Randal Grichuk has an OPS of 1.429 with two HRs, two doubles and four RBI.

Stephen Piscotty has an OPS of 1.357 this past week, with one HR, one double and four RBI.

Matt Adams has reheated, with an OPS of 1.000, one HR, one double and three RBI.

Adam Wainwright remains hot, he is 1-0 this past week with an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.56.

Mike Leake is back on the hot list, he is 1-0 with an ERA of 1.29 and a WHIP of 1.00.


Who’s Not

Matt Holliday is cold, with an OPS of .000 this past week before his three-hit outburst on Sunday.

Yadier Molina is cold, with an OPS of .500.

Jaime Garcia remains cold, with an ERA of 5.68 and a WHIP of 1.58.

Trevor Rosenthal is frigid, with an ERA of 27.00 and a WHIP of 6.00.

Jonathan Broxton pitched in two games, allowing two runs in 1 1/3 innings for a 13.50 ERA.


A Look at Cardinals’ Lineups

The leadoff spot in the absence of Matt Carpenter has been assigned either to Tommy Pham or Randal Grichuk.

The second spot in the lineup has been occupied by Aledmys Diaz.

Matt Holliday has made one start in the shortened week, while Stephen Piscotty has made the remaining starts in the third spot in the lineup.

Piscotty has made one start in clean-up, Grichuk and Jhonny Peralta have made the others before Holliday appeared there on Sunday.

The number five hitter has been either Peralta or Matt Adams.

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

The seventh spot has been a mixture of Molina, Kolten Wong, and Jedd Gyroko.

The eighth spot has been the home of Pham, Wong, and one start by Alberto Rosario.


Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.



To open the second half, the Cardinals reactivated LHP Kevin Siegrist from the 15 day disabled list on Friday.  In the corresponding move, the Cardinals optioned RHP Sam Tuivailala to the Memphis Redbirds.


Injury Report

First baseman Brandon Moss (left ankle sprain) continues on the 15 day DL.  Moss was quoted as saying he expects to remove his walking boot on Monday.  

Catcher Brayan Pena (left knee inflammation) continues on the 15 day DL.

Second baseman Matt Carpenter (right oblique strain) continues on the 15 day DL.  Carpenter is expected to miss 3-4 weeks.


Looking Ahead

The home stand continues on Monday with a four game series against the Padres. Pitching probables are Mike Leake on Monday, Carlos Martinez on Tuesday, Jaime Garcia on Wednesday, and Adam Wainwright on Thursday.

The Cardinals end the home stand with a weekend series against the Dodgers.  Pitching probables have not been announced, but will likely be Wacha on Friday, Leake on Saturday, and Martinez on Sunday.

The Cardinals travel to New York on Monday, July 25 for a three game series against the Mets, then follow with a four game weekend series in Miami against the Marlins beginning on Thursday, July 28.

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