Randal Grichuk (Steve Mitchell / USA TODAY Sports Images)

A recap of St. Louis Cardinals-related news from the period of August 22-28, 2016 plus a look ahead

St. Louis went just 2-4 in a dismal home stand against the Mets and Oakland. Randal Grichuk continues to hit well since his latest return from the minors.

Game recaps

Monday, August 22---Off day


Tuesday, August 23----Cardinals 4, Mets 7

In this first of a three-game home series against the Mets, starter Jaime Garcia’s struggles contnued.  The lefty gave up six runs on seven hits, including two long balls, and was pulled after four innings.  Alex Reyes was superb, pitching 2 1/3 scoreless innings before Zach Duke tossed 1 2/3 more.  Sam Tuivailala pitched the ninth and allowed the seventh Mets run.

Cardinals hitters scored three runs in the first inning.  A leadoff walk to Tommy Pham followed by a walk to Matt Carpenter led to a double by Brandon Moss that brought in Pham.  Yadier Molina (3-for-5) doubled to center to plate Carpenter.  A Jhonny Peralta groundout scored Moss from third.

The final run for the Cardinals came on a sixth inning solo home run by Randal Grichuk.


Wednesday, August 24---Cardinals 8, Mets 1

The second game of the series went much better for the Cardinals.  A pitching gem by starter Carlos Martinez was the key to this victory.  Martinez hurled eight strong innings, allowing only one run on four hits.  Martinez struck out five and walked three.  Seung-Hwan Oh, needing work, was brought in to pitch the ninth and he did so flawlessly.

Every hitter in St. Louis’ lineup, including the starting pitcher, had hits.  Stephen Piscotty and Yadier Molina were 3-for-5.  Piscotty hit his 19th home run, a two run blast in the fifth inning; Piscotty drove in three runs, Molina plated one.    Matt Carpenter was the only Cardinal with only one hit, but he made it count - a solo home run in his first at bat.  Jedd Gyorko and Brandon Moss were 2-for-5.  Jhonny Peralta was also 2 for-5 with an RBI.  Randal Grichuk was 2-for-3 with one run driven in.  Greg Garcia plated one and was 2-for-2.  Martinez was 2-for-4.


Thursday, August 25---Cardinals 6, Mets 10

The rubber game of the series again left Cardinals’ fans disappointed.  In a season in which the Cardinals uncharacteristically have a poor record at home, this result was no surprise to many. 

Starter Adam Wainwright had an unusual start.  It wasn’t that he pitched badly necessarily, but the performance lacked the sharpness it needed to keep the Mets bats at bay.  A poor performance from his defense was no help.  Wainwright gave up seven runs, but only two were earned, on nine hits.  There was also an odd play at third base in the fifth inning that prolonged the inning as Wainwright was unable to maintain the tag of the runner, in the opinion of the umpires.  Jonathan Broxton followed with two scoreless innings of relief.  Kevin Siegrist allowed a run in eighth and was lifted for Jerome Williams, who got out of the inning without further damage.  Sam Tuivailala pitched the ninth and gave up two additional runs.  Wainwright took his eighth loss. 

Five of the Cardinals’ six runs came via the long ball. Brandon Moss hit two - a two run home run in the sixth and a solo shot in the eighth.  Jedd Gyorko and Stephen Piscotty hit solo shots in the ninth.  Piscotty’s home run was his 20th of the season.  Greg Garcia drove in the other Cardinal run.  Randal Grichuk was 2-for-4.


Friday, August 26---Cardinals 3, Athletics 1

This was the first game of the Cardinals’ final interleague series of the season.  It was the third start, and the first home start, of pitching prospect Luke Weaver, called up to replace the injured Michael Wacha in the rotation.  Weaver did a nice job, pitching six innings, allowing only one run on four hits, while fanning six and walking two.  Weaver earned his first major league win.  Matt Bowman pitched a scoreless seventh, as did Kevin Siegrist in the eighth.  Seung-Hwan Oh earned his 13th save with a clean ninth inning with no runs and one hit.

A two run home run off the bat of Jedd Gyorko in the first inning got the Cardinals on the board.  A third run scored on a sacrifice double play ball by Jhonny Peralta.  Brandon Moss scored from third as Yadier Molina was caught in a run down between first and second base that resulted in the third out after Moss had scored.  Moss was 2-for-4 on the night.

This was St. Louis’ first interleague win at home this season.


Saturday, August 27----Cardinals 2, Athletics 3

The Cardinals lost a tough one in the late innings.  This was the first major league start for Alex Reyes, starting in place of Mike Leake, who was out due to illness.  Reyes pitched 4 2/3 innings without giving up a run, but was lifted early after putting two men on base.  Reyes had some command/control issues, he walked four, but otherwise looked good.  Reyes was replaced in the fifth by Zach Duke, who walked in a run that was charged to Reyes.  Duke finished the inning without additional damage. 

Matt Bowman pitched the seventh, retiring all three batters in the inning.  Bowman returned for the eighth, but two hits led to a quick hook for the reliever.  Seung-Hwan Oh was brought in for the five out save, but an unfortunate decision by first baseman Brandon Moss to throw home rather than get the easy out at first, led to the tying run scoring.  The run would have scored regardless, as there was only one out, but the extra out led to the winning run scoring on a sac fly by the next batter.

Offense was sparse for St. Louis.  Randal Grichuk (2-for-3) hit a solo home run in the second inning for the first run.  Stephen Piscotty reached on a fielding error by the A’s third baseman that allowed the second run to come home.  Greg Garcia was 2-for-4 and scored on the error.


Sunday, August 28---Cardinals 4, Athletics 7

Another day brought another home loss, as the Cardinals dropped the interleague series to the Athletics.  St. Louis is a pathetic 1-9 in home interleague games.

Once again, Jaime Garcia struggled, managing to hang on for seven innings, despite giving up five runs, all on two home runs.  Garcia has been bitten by the long ball all season, allowing 20 home runs in 25 starts.  Garcia allowed seven hits, struck out six and walked one.   Jonathan Broxton, as inconsistent as ever, couldn’t get out of the eighth inning, surrendering two additional runs to go with just one out secured.  Zach Duke completed the eighth without further damage.  Miguel Socolovich pitched a flawless ninth.  Garcia took the loss and is now 10-10 on the season.

Matt Carpenter (3-for-4) hit a solo home run in the third inning, and scored three runs.  No other Cardinal had multiple hits.  Brandon Moss, Stephen Piscotty, and Alberto Rosario all plated a run.

The Cardinals committed two errors; Greg Garcia had a throwing miscue, and Duke committed a fielding error on a bunt.


NL Central Standings

The Cardinals were a disappointing 2-4 on the home stand and are 14 games out of first place.  The Cardinals currently sit a half a game ahead of the Pirates for the second Wild Card, and 2.5 games behind the Giants for the first Wild Card.

  W L % GB
Chicago Cubs 82 47 0.636 ---
St. Louis 68 61 0.527 14
Pittsburgh 67 61 0.523 14.5
Milwaukee 56 74 0.431 26.5
Cincinnati 55 74 0.426 27

Cardinals Hall Inducts Four New Members

The Cardinals’ annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on Saturday, August 27 at Ballpark Village.  The new members are right handed pitcher Chris Carpenter, player/manager Joe Torre, owner Sam Breadon, and center fielder Terry Moore.

You can read additional details about the induction here.


Who’s Hot


Randal Grichuk has an OPS of 1.221 with three HRs, two doubles and three RBI.

Brandon Moss has an OPS of 1.037.  He has three HRs and six RBI.

Jeremy Hazelbaker has an OPS of 1.262 in seven plate appearances including one HR and two RBI.


Greg Garcia has an OPS of 1.262.  He has one double, four walks, and two RBI.

Stephen Piscotty has an OPS of 1.073.  He has three HRs, and five RBI.

Jedd Gyorko has an OPS of 1.026.  He has three HRs, one double, and five RBI.


Carlos Martinez is 1-0, with an ERA of 1.13 and a WHIP of 0.88.

Luke Weaver is 1-0, with an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 1.00.

Seung-Hwan Oh has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.38.


Zach Duke has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.67.

Jerome Williams has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.60.


Who’s Not

Tommy Pham has an OPS of .333 in nine plate appearances.

Kolten Wong has an OPS of .000 in four plate appearances.

Jaime Garcia has an ERA of 13.50 and a WHIP of 2.00.

Kevin Siegrist has an ERA of 6.75 and a WHIP of 3.00.

Sam Tuivailala has an ERA of 13.50 and a WHIP of 3.00


A Look at Cardinals’ Lineups

The leadoff spot had been a mixture of Greg Garcia and Tommy Pham, before the return of Matt Carpenter, at least for the time being.

The second spot in the lineup had two starts by Stephen Piscotty, and the remainder by Jedd Gyorko.

Carpenter made two starts in the third spot before the remainder were made by Brandon Moss.

The clean-up spot had two starts by Moss, with the remainder by Piscotty.

The number five hitter has been entirely Yadier Molina.

The six hole has been occupied by Jhonny Peralta.

The seventh spot has had two starts by Gyorko and the remainder by Randal Grichuk.

The eighth spot has been the home of Grichuk, Garcia, Tommy Pham, and Jeremy Hazelbaker.


Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.



St. Louis sent RHP Lance Lynn on a rehab assignment to the Springfield Cardinals.  The Cardinals also sent C Brayan Pena on a rehab assignment to the Gulf Coast League. Both had been with Palm Beach. Also, 1B Matt Adams began a rehab assignment with the Memphis Redbirds over the weekend.

The Cardinals optioned RHP Sam Tuivailala to the Memphis Redbirds and recalled RHP Miguel Socolovich.


Injury Report

Mike Leake (illness, shingles) did not make his start on Saturday and it is uncertain whether he will make his next start.  With an upcoming off day, the Cardinals can make do with four starters, but Leake’s return status is indefinite for the time being.  There have been conversations about placing Leake on the disabled list if he does not improve.

Seth Maness (right forearm strain) continues on the 15 day DL and is not expected to return this season.  Maness had surgery to repair the UCL in his right arm.

Lance Lynn (Tommy John surgery, right arm) relocated to Springfield to continue his rehab assignment.  Despite this, Lynn’s return to the Cardinal roster in 2016 is doubtful.

Catcher Brayan Pena (left knee inflammation) relocated to the Gulf Coast League to continue his rehab assignment.  It is expected that Pena will return to the major league roster sometime after rosters expand in September.

Aledmys Diaz (fractured thumb) remains on the 15 day DL.  A tentative return date for Diaz is somewhere around the middle of September.  Diaz has taken ground balls on the infield, but has yet to be cleared for additional baseball activities.

Jordan Walden (right shoulder strain) has been on the DL since April.  Walden complained of continuing shoulder discomfort and did not make his expected rehab assignment.  It is likely Walden does not return to the active roster.

Tyler Lyons (right knee stress reaction) continues on the 60 day DL and is out for the remainder of the season.

Trevor Rosenthal (right shoulder inflammation) continues on the 15 day DL.   Rosenthal began a throwing program this past Tuesday.  The right hander will be re-evaluated to determine further progress in his rehab.  There is some optimism for a late season return.

Michael Wacha (right shoulder stress reaction) continues on the 15 day DL.  Wacha is expected to be cleared for a throwing program within the next week, followed by an MRI to assess how much harder he can be pushed in his rehab.  It remains unlikely that Wacha will return to pitch this season, but if he does, it will likely be out of the bullpen.

Matt Holliday (fractured right thumb) continues on the 15 day DL.  Holliday has relocated to Jupiter, FL for rehab activities.  Holliday’s cast has been removed and replaced by a custom splint.  The possibility of a late season return remains.

Matt Adams (right shoulder inflammation) continues on the 15 day DL.  Adams began a rehab assignment in Memphis this past weekend.  No projected date for return to the roster has been announced.


Looking Ahead

The Cardinals travel to Milwaukee for a three game series beginning Monday.  Pitching probables are Carlos Martinez on Monday, followed by Adam Wainwright on Tuesday, and Luke Weaver on Wednesday.

St. Louis has a travel day on Thursday, when the club travels to Cincinnati to take on the Reds in a weekend series.  Pitching probables have not been announced, but with the off day on Thursday, it will likely be Jaime Garcia, Martinez, and Wainwright.

The Cardinals leave Cincinnati to travel to Pittsburgh for a three game series against the Pirates.  They then return home on Thursday to take on the Brewers again for a four game set.

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