The Cardinals starting pitching woes continued as Michael Wacha gave up four runs in five innings pitched. Wacha walked four and struck out only three while giving up six hits. Matt Bowman followed with two scoreless innings of relief. Zach Duke and Seth Maness each pitched a scoreless inning, with Maness getting the win, his second.
The offense bailed Wacha out. Matt Carpenter was 2-for-5 with two RBI. Stephen Piscotty plated a run and was also 2-for-5. Additional runs were driven in by Brandon Moss and Yadier Molina. Jhonny Peralta was 2-for-4.
It was again pitching that let the Cardinals down. Starter Mike Leake had a quality start, six innings pitched with three runs allowed, but four walks marred the performance. Relief pitching was not the savior this time, as four more runs scored against the bullpen. Kevin Siegrist was responsible for one run in his one inning of work. Matt Bowman, who had pitched two innings of relief the previous night, gave up three runs in 2/3 of an inning, and took the loss. Zach Duke and newly called up uber prospect Alex Reyes combined for the final 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
Solo home runs from Yadier Molina and Matt Holliday were not enough to overcome the pitching woes. Molina and Holliday were both 2-for-4 and Jhonny Peralta was 2-for-3. Brandon Moss drove in a run on a seventh inning single.
The Cardinals received a good starting pitching performance from Jaime Garcia, who went eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits for his ninth win. Seung-Hwan Oh earned his tenth save, pitching a scoreless ninth.
In this rubber game of the series, two solo home runs made the difference. Matt Carpenter jacked one in the first at bat of the game, putting the Cardinals in the early lead. Jhonny Peralta hit the second one in the fourth inning. Carpenter was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Brandon Moss doubled in a run in the third inning.
In this first of a four-game series against the rival Cubs, the Cardinals could not hold on in extra innings. The offense got it going in the first inning, with consecutive singles by Matt Holliday, Brandon Moss, and Yadier Molina. A solo home run from Moss in the sixth, and another solo jack by Randal Grichuk in the seventh, left the game tied at the end of regulation. Moss was 2-for-5, Molina was 3-for-5.
Carlos Martinez was cruising on the mound until the sixth inning, when the wheels came off the bus. Five singles and some loss of focus by Martinez led to three Cubs runs. Grichuk’s home run in the seventh got Martinez off the hook, and four scoreless innings of relief from Kevin Siegrist, Matt Bowman, and Seung-Hwan Oh kept the game tied until the 11th. Zach Duke gave up the winning run in the 11th on a disputed bases-loaded walk and took the loss.
From an extra inning hard luck loss the previous day, came a next day ugly mess of a loss. Starter Adam Wainwright was, in his own words, “terrible”. Wainwright was out after two innings, having given up seven runs on six hits, including a three-run home run. Three combined innings of scoreless relief from Seth Maness and Jonathan Broxton followed. Then came long man Jerome Williams, who was brought in to “wear it” for the Cardinals. Williams gave up six more runs in three innings of work. Wainwright took his seventh loss from this debacle.
The Cardinals offense consisted of solo home runs from Stephen Piscotty and Jedd Gyorko. Gyorko was the only Cardinal with multiple hits, going 2-for-4.
What initially looked like more of the same in the beginning, ended much differently. The Cubs took an early two-run lead, but young pitching and a late innings rally won the day for the Cardinals.
Newly called up Luke Weaver, the Cardinals No. 2 prospect who was needed for short term fill in for the injured Michael Wacha, made the start. After a 1-2-3 first inning, Weaver had a rocky second inning, giving up a two-run home run with the Cubs threatening more. Weaver managed to get out of the potential big inning jam and pitched two more scoreless innings before yielding to No. 1 prospect Alex Reyes. Reyes overwhelmed the Cubs offense for three scoreless innings, allowing only one hit and fanning three. Kevin Siegrist pitched a scoreless eighth. Seth Maness followed in the ninth, but after giving up two runs without recording an out, Maness was pulled for Zach Duke. Duke got out of the ninth without damage.
A grand slam off the bat of Randal Grichuk, and solo home runs from Brandon Moss and Jeff Gyorko provided the bulk of the Cardinal offense. Gyorko also contributed a second run by drawing a walk with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. Matt Carpenter was 2-for-5 and Yadier Molina was 2-for-4. Molina scored on a wild pitch.
The Cardinals finally received a good start from Mike Leake, after several bad starts in a row. Leake gave up two runs in the first inning, but settled down to pitch six innings with only one additional run allowed. It was a quality start and it kept the Cardinals in the game. Leake started the seventh but got into trouble and was lifted for Matt Bowman. Bowman did a nice job getting out of the seventh without damage. Kevin Siegrist started the eighth and gave up a solo home run, but was taken out with an apparent injury with one out in the inning. Seung-Hwan Oh came in for the final five outs, earning his 11th save. Bowman was the winning pitcher.
Stephen Piscotty was the offensive hero. With the Cardinals behind 3-1 in the eighth, Kolten Wong and Greg Garcia singled. Piscotty came to the plate and blasted a three-run home run to give the Cardinals the lead. Brandon Moss followed with a solo home run to give the Cardinals a two-run lead. A walk to Jhonny Peralta, followed by a Jedd Gyorko single and a Randal Grichuk double plated another run. Moss and Garcia each had two hits, as did Yadier Molina.
NL Central Standings
The Cardinals were 4-3 in the two series against the Reds and the Cubs, are 12 games out of first place and 1.5 games ahead of the third place Pirates. In the NL wild card race, the Cards are a half-game ahead of Miami for the second spot.
Randal Grichuk has an OPS of 1.444 with two HRs, one double and five RBI in nine plate appearances.
Yadier Molina has an OPS of 1.115 with one HR, one double, and four RBI.
Jedd Gyorko has an OPS of 1.067 with two HRs, one double, and two RBI.
Tommy Pham has an OPS of 1.012. He has one double, one single, and five walks in 12 plate appearances.
Jaime Garcia is 1-0, with an ERA of 2.25 and a WHIP of 0.88.
Alex Reyes is 1-0 with an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.50
Seung-Hwan Oh has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.67
Jonathan Broxton has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.50
Matt Adams has an OPS of .167 in six plate appearances
Greg Garcia has an OPS of .045.
Adam Wainwright has an ERA of 14.63 and a WHIP of 2.63.
Jerome Williams has an ERA of 10.80 and a WHIP of 1.80.
Michael Wacha has an ERA of 7.20 and a WHIP of 2.00.
Matt Bowman has an ERA of 7.36 and a WHIP of 1.91.
A Look at Cardinals’ Lineups
The leadoff spot has been primarily occupied by Matt Carpenter. Kolten Wong and Greg Garcia have each had one start in leadoff.
The second spot in the lineup has been Stephen Piscotty with one start by Wong.
The third spot in the lineup has been a mixture of Matt Holliday and Brandon Moss, with Carpenter moving in at the end of the week.
The clean-up spot has been occupied by either Holliday or Moss.
The number five hitter has been either Yadier Molina, Matt Adams or Jedd Gyorko.
The six hole has been occupied by Jhonny Peralta, and one start from Garcia.
The seventh spot has been a mixture of Molina, Gyorko, Jeremy Hazelbaker, and Randal Grichuk.
The eighth spot has been the home of Wong, Garcia, Gyorko, Grichuk, and Tommy Pham.
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
ESPN Cardinals writer Mark Saxon tweeted that the Cardinals are looking into a possible trade for outfielder Carlos Gomez, who was recently designated for assignment by the Houston Astros.
The Cardinals selected the contract of RHP Alex Reyes from Memphis. In order to make room on both the 40-man and 25-man rosters, the Cardinals made the corresponding moves of transferring C Brayan Pena from the 15 day DL to the 60 day DL and placing RHP Michael Wacha on the 15 day DL with right shoulder inflammation.
The Cardinals placed 1B Matt Adams on the 15 day DL due to left shoulder inflammation. In the corresponding move, Randal Grichuk was recalled from Memphis.
The Cardinals selected the contract of RHP Luke Weaver from Memphis. In the corresponding 40-man and 25-man roster moves, LHP Tyler Lyons was transferred from the 15 day DL to the 60 day DL and OF Matt Holliday was placed on the 15 day DL due to a fractured right thumb.
Catcher Brayan Pena (left knee inflammation) was transferred from the 15 day DL to the 60 day DL. Pena is progressing in his rehab but no announcement about a rehab assignment has been made. Pena continues catching side sessions in Jupiter and received a cortisone injection in his knee.
Aledmys Diaz (fractured thumb) remains on the 15 day DL. No timetable has been set for his return to the roster though the Cardinals are hopeful on having him back by the beginning of September.
Jordan Walden (right shoulder strain) has been on the DL since April. Walden has been throwing bullpen sessions in an effort to return to the Cardinals roster sometime in September and could be headed for a minor league rehab assignment with the next week.
Tyler Lyons (right knee stress reaction) was transferred from the 15 day DL to the 60 day DL. Lyons will remain on crutches throughout the month of August, and will need the month of September for rehab and strengthening. It is expected that Lyons will miss the remainder of the regular season.
Trevor Rosenthal (right shoulder inflammation) continues on the 15 day DL. His initial diagnosis of right shoulder inflammation showed no structural damage. However, there was revealed to be a second injury to the forearm, a significant flexor strain. Rosenthal received a plasma rich injection in his right shoulder. No timetable for his return has been reported and he is not expected to begin throwing for an additional two weeks.
Michael Wacha (right shoulder stress reaction) was scheduled for a second opinion with a specialist in Chicago on Friday, August 12. The results of that second opinion have not been announced.
Matt Holliday (fractured right thumb) was injured when hit by a pitch in Thursday’s game by Cubs pitcher Mike Montgomery. Holliday was placed on the 15 day DL. It is likely that Holliday will miss the remainder of the regular season at a minimum. General manager John Mozeliak has indicated surgery could be an option.
Matt Adams (right shoulder inflammation) was placed on the 15 day DL following reports of right shoulder soreness. There has been no indication of whether Adams will miss more than the 15 days required.
The Cardinals have a travel day on Monday and take on the Astros in Houston for a two-game series on Tuesday and Wednesday. Jaime Garcia is the scheduled pitcher on Tuesday, followed by Carlos Martinez on Wednesday.
The Cardinals travel to Philadelphia on Thursday to begin a weekend series with the Phillies on Friday. Adam Wainwright is the probable starter for the opener. The probables for Saturday and Sunday have yet to be announced, but will likely be Luke Weaver and Mike Leake.
The Cardinals have a third travel day on Monday, August 22, and return home to take on the Mets at Busch for a three game series beginning Tuesday. Following the Mets series, the Oakland Athletics come into St. Louis for a weekend interleague series.
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