Jeff Curry, USA TODAY Sports Images

A recap of St. Louis Cardinals-related news from the period of September 5-11, 2016 plus a look ahead

St. Louis won two of three over skidding Pittsburgh, but just split a four-game set with Milwaukee, losing ground in the Wild Card chase. Kolten Wong is among the Cardinals’ many hot hitters.

Game recaps

Monday, September 5---Cardinals 12 at Pirates 6

The bats were working on Monday night in Pittsburgh, as the Cardinals put up a big score and a victory over the Pirates.  Only three of the 12 Cardinals runs came via the Birds’ signature long ball, however.  Jedd Gyorko hit a solo shot in the fourth inning, and Matt Adams punched a two run shot in the fifth.  Gyorko was 2-for-5 and Adams was 2-for-6. 

Starting pitcher Adam Wainwright did what he has done all season and helped himself with the bat once again, going 2-for-3 with three RBI.  Kolten Wong was 2-for-4 with one run driven in.  Stephen Piscotty plated two on a second inning double.  Tommy Pham drove in a run on a ground out.  In the eighth inning, Randal Grichuk doubled in a run, and Jhonny Peralta plated Grichuk on a sac fly.

Wainwright finally earned his 10th win of the season, though it was not one of his best pitching performances.  The starter was out after the fifth inning, having allowed four runs on seven hits, including a home run.  Jonathan Broxton tossed two scoreless innings in relief.  Miguel Socolovich tossed the final two innings, giving up two runs on three hits, including a solo home run.


Tuesday, September 6----Cardinals 9 at Pirates 7

In home run night at PNC Park, fortunately most of the home runs came off the bats of Cardinal hitters.  The long ball marathon started fittingly with a grand slam in the first inning, by none other than Yadier Molina.  Matt Adams followed with a solo shot in the third.  The remaining home runs came in the ninth, in dramatic fashion, as the Cardinals had been behind 6-5 since the fifth inning.  With two outs in the ninth, and the game looking like one for the loss column, pinch hitter Matt Carpenter came to the plate and tied the game with a solo shot to right center field.  A Molina double was next, immediately followed by a Randal Grichuk two-run blast to left field, with a Jhonny Peralta solo whack to right center field next.  On the night, Yadier Molina was 4-for-5, while Grichuk and Peralta were each 2-for-5.  Kolten Wong was 2-for-4.

Starter Luke Weaver pitched four innings, giving up two runs on six hits and fanning five.  Matt Bowman started the fifth, but had a rough outing, giving up four runs before being lifted with one out for Zach Duke, who got the two remaining outs and returned to pitch a scoreless sixth inning.  Kevin Siegrist and Mike Mayers pitched successive scoreless innings, followed in the ninth by closer Seung Hwan Oh, who gave up a solo home run but earned his 16th save.  Mayers was the winning pitcher.


Wednesday, September 7---Cardinals 3 at Pirates 4

The Cardinals could not complete the sweep of the Pirates as a solo home run to Cardinal nemesis Jung-Ho Kang gave the Pirates the edge.  Starter Mike Leake, in his first start since returning from his shingles induced DL stint, could not get the second out in the fifth, having given up three runs on nine hits in his 4 1/3 inning outing.  Alex Reyes finished the game, with his only blemish over the remaining 3 2/3 innings the solo home run to Kang.  Reyes allowed two hits, striking out six and walking none, and suffered his first loss of the season.

Cardinals bats plated three runs on nine hits, but no home runs.  Randal Grichuk was 2-for-3 with an RBI.  Jhonny Peralta plated one and was 2-for-4.  Matt Adams drove in a run on a first inning single.  The only extra base hits were doubles by Peralta and Yadier Molina.


Thursday, September 8---Cardinals 5, Brewers 12

The first game of the home stand was ugly; there is no other word for it.  Facing a team that they had much success against, and one with a losing record, the Cardinals were hampered by bad pitching plus sloppy defense and base running.

Starter Jaime Garcia continued to struggle, this time removed after 3 2/3 innings.  Garcia gave up five runs on eight hits, including two long balls.  This was his 12th loss of the season.  Miguel Socolovich secured the last out of the fourth inning, but was not brought back for the fifth.  Instead, Mike Mayers came in, and proceeded to give up six runs on five hits.  Following that disaster of an inning, Dean Kiekhefer arrived in the sixth and surrendered an additional run.  Sam Tuivailala pitched a scoreless seventh.  Jerome Williams finished the last two innings, also scoreless.

The offense put up five runs on 11 hits, which seemed like a pittance amidst the deluge of Brewers’ runs.  Kolten Wong hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning, the only long ball for the Cardinals.  Stephen Piscotty was 2-for-3 with an RBI.  Jedd Gyorko and Randal Grichuk were 2-for-4.  September call-ups Jose Martinez and Carson Kelly plated the last two Cardinal runs. Martinez’ RBI came on an eighth inning single, before Kelly plated his run on a ninth inning ground out.

Gyorko committed a fielding error and Grichuk was picked off second base.


Friday, September 9---Cardinals 4, Brewers 3

The Cardinals fared better in the second game of the series, behind an indifferent start by Carlos Martinez.  Martinez did not have his best stuff, but made it work for seven innings. The right-hander gave up three runs, one unearned, thanks to an error by Jedd Gyorko at shortstop.  Martinez only struck out one, but his start earned him his 14th win.  Kevin Siegrist and Seung-Hwan Oh combined for two scoreless innings to close out the win. It was Oh’s 17th save.

All four of St. Louis’ runs came via the long ball, a two-run blast by Matt Carpenter in the third inning, followed by another two run shot by Stephen Piscotty one batter later.  Carpenter was 2-for-4 on the night.  Two other hits, both singles, came off the bats of Randal Grichuk and Martinez.

Grichuk had an outfield assist, gunning out Chris Carter at second base.


Saturday, September 10----Cardinals 5, Brewers 1

This was another late inning rally win for the Cardinals, the second of the week. Adam Wainwright’s start was one of his best.  Wainwright was mowing them down until the fifth, until one bad pitch to Keon Broxton resulted in a solo home run for the Brewers.  Wainwright pitched three more scoreless after that, for a total of eight strong innings.  Four walks were the only other blemishes.   Matt Bowman pitched a quick and clean ninth.

The Redbirds bats were fairly quiet for the majority of the game.  All five Cardinals runs came in the eighth inning.   Jhonny Peralta began the inning with an infield single deep in the hole at shortstop.  Tommy Pham pinch ran.  Randal Grichuk then smoked a double to right field but Pham was held at third.  Pinch hitter Matt Adams hit a ground out to second that brought Pham home and sent Grichuk to third.  After Matt Carpenter was intentionally walked, Kolten Wong singled to plate Grichuk.  Stephen Piscotty followed with a bases-clearing double to the gap in left center field.  Yadier Molina singled to center and Piscotty scored the final run of the inning.

All of this eighth inning action followed a tension-filled top frame for Wainwright, who had the bases loaded and fanned Hernan Perez on a called third strike that Perez didn’t like and for which he was ejected.


Sunday, September 11---Cardinals 1, Brewers 2

The Cardinals offense failed to support a very good start by rookie Luke Weaver.  Weaver pitched his best start of the season so far, going six innings, while only giving up one run on three hits.  The right-hander struck out eight and walked only one.  Jonathan Broxton and Zach Duke combined for two scoreless innings of relief.  With the scored tied at 1-1, rather than bringing the closer Oh in, Kevin Siegrist pitched to the top of the Brewers order.  Siegrist got the first out, but then gave up a home run to Ryan Braun as the Brewers took the lead.  Siegrist took the loss.

The offense was more or less stymied once again by Brewers starter Zach Davies.   Matt Carpenter had two hits agianst Davies, both doubles.  Jedd Gyorko also doubled, while Stephen Piscotty and Matt Adams each singled.  The Cardinals lone run scored when Matt Carpenter doubled in the eighth, advanced to third on a Kolten Wong ground out to second, and came home on a Piscotty sac fly.


NL Central Standings

The Cardinals were 4-3 on the week, remaining 16 games out of first place.  St. Louis currently sits a half game behind the Mets for the second Wild Card, and 1.5 games behind the Giants for the first Wild Card.

  W L % GB
Chicago Cubs 91 51 0.641 ---
St. Louis 75 67 0.528 16
Pittsburgh 69 72 0.489 21.5
Milwaukee 64 78 0.441 27.5
Cincinnati 60 82 0.423 31

Who’s Hot

This past week has featured many hot hitters.  The list follows.

Kolten Wong has an OPS of 1.250.  He has two HRs, one triple, and five RBI.

Randal Grichuk has an OPS of 1.121, with two HRs, two doubles, and six RBI.

Stephen Piscotty has an OPS of 1.082.  He has one HR, four doubles, and seven RBI.

Jhonny Peralta has an OPS of .988, with one HR, one double, and three RBI.

Matt Carpenter has an OPS of .940.  He has two HRs, two doubles, and three RBI.

Yadier Molina has an OPS of .913, with one HR, three doubles, and five RBI.

In very limited plate appearances, Brayan Pena, Jose Martinez, and Carson Kelly have OPS’s of 1.500, 1.000 and 1.000 respectively.

Alex Reyes has an ERA of 2.45 and a WHIP of 0.55 with a K/9 of 14.73.

Jonathan Broxton has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00

Jerome Williams has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.


Who’s Not

Tommy Pham has an OPS of .143 in seven plate appearances.

Jeremy Hazelbaker has an OPS of .200 in six plate appearances.

Brandon Moss has an OPS of .163.

Greg Garcia has an OPS of .425 in 10 plate appearances.

Jaime Garcia has an ERA of 12.27 and a WHIP of 2.45.

Mike Leake has an ERA of 6.23 and a WHIP of 2.31.

Matt Bowman has an ERA of 6.75 and a WHIP of 3.00.

Mike Mayers has an ERA of 27.00 and a WHIP of 3.00.

Miguel Socolovich has an ERA of 7.71 and a WHIP of 1.29.

Dean Kiekhefer has an ERA of 9.00 and a WHIP of 2.00.


A Look at Cardinals’ Lineups

The leadoff spot has been filled by Matt Carpenter, with one start by Kolten Wong.

The second spot in the lineup has included a mixture of Wong, Stephen Piscotty, and Jedd Gyorko.

The number three spot was held by Piscotty, Brandon Moss, and one start by Matt Adams.

The clean-up spot had one start by Piscotty, and two starts each by Adams, Moss, and Yadier Molina.

The number five hitter has been mostly Molina, with two starts by Moss.

The six hole had four starts by Randal Grichuk, and one start each by Gyorko, Jhonny Peralta, and Greg Garcia.

The seventh spot was a mixture of Grichuk, Peralta, Gyorko and one start by Jeremy Hazelbaker.

The eighth spot has been the home of Wong, Garcia, Grichuk and Hazelbaker.


Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.



The Cardinals recalled RHPs Sam Tuivailala and Mike Mayers, and OF Jose Martinez from Memphis.

The Cardinals activated RHP Mike Leake from the 15 day DL.

The Cardinals sent SS Aledmys Diaz on a rehab assignment to Springfield Cardinals and activated him on Sunday.

The Cardinals released Memphis SS Dean Anna after he cleared waivers.


Injury Report

Seth Maness (right forearm strain) was transferred from the 15 day DL to the 60 day DL to make room for the activation of C Brayan Pena from the 60 day DL.  Maness had surgery to repair the UCL in his right arm and is out for the remainder of the season.

Lance Lynn (Tommy John surgery, right arm) has discontinued his rehab assignment and is traveling with the big league club.  Lynn will not return to the roster this season.

Aledmys Diaz (fractured thumb) has finished his rehab assignment and returned to St. Louis.  Diaz was activated on Sunday, but did not play in the game.

Jordan Walden (right shoulder strain) was sent on a rehab assignment to the Palm Beach Cardinals, but could not pitch.  No announcement about the possible return of Walden to the big league roster has been made, but his return seems unlikely.

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 has been throwing to hitters and could be reactivated within the next week.

Michael Wacha (right shoulder stress reaction) continues on the 15 day DL.  Wacha has thrown one bullpen session and is scheduled to throw another on Monday.  There is some optimism that Wacha may return sometime in the month in a bullpen role.

Matt Holliday (fractured right thumb) continues on the 15 day DL.  Holliday has taken ground balls at first, but his return to hitting has taken a slower progression.


Looking Ahead

Following the Sunday conclusion of the four-game series with the Brewers, the Cubs arrive for a three-game set starting on Monday.  Pitching probables for the series are Mike Leake on Monday, followed by Jaime Garcia on Tuesday and Carlos Martinez on Wednesday.

The Cardinals head to San Francisco after the Cubs series for four games beginning Thursday.  Pitching probables have not been announced, but will likely be Wainwright, Weaver, Leake and Garcia.

After San Francisco, the Cards move for Denver to take on the Rockies for three games.  Following a travel day on Thursday, the Cardinals will be in Chicago to face the Cubs again for a weekend series.

The last week of the regular season will be spent at home against the Reds and the Pirates.

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