Seung-hwan Oh (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images)

A recap of St. Louis Cardinals-related news from the period of September 12-18, 2016 plus a look ahead

St. Louis took just three of seven last week, but came back to win the last two in San Francisco to keep wild card hopes alive. Back from a groin injury, closer Seung-hwan Oh picked up a win and a save against the Giants.

Game recaps

Monday, September 12---Cardinals 1, Cubs 4

In this first of a three-game home series, the Cardinals offense was muzzled by the pitching of Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks.   Hendricks kept the Cardinals to one hit, which didn’t occur until the ninth inning.  The no-hit bid was squashed by Jeremy Hazelbaker, who launched a solo home run.

Cardinals starter Mike Leake tossed six innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on six hits.  Two of the hits were home runs, which accounted for three scores.  Miguel Socolovich, Sam Tuivailala and Dean Kiekhefer combined for the three remaining scoreless innings of relief.

 

Tuesday, September 13----Cardinals 4, Cubs 2

The Cardinals were victorious in game two despite a shortened outing by starter Jaime Garcia, who lasted only 1 2/3 innings.  Garcia gave up two runs on three hits, and was pulled from the game in favor of Alex Reyes.  Reyes pitched the next 4 1/3 innings without giving up a run, though he did walk six batters while giving up only one hit.  Matt Bowman added two scoreless innings, followed by Kevin Siegrist, who tossed a clean ninth for the save.  Reyes earned his second win.

Two long balls provided all of the runs the Cardinals needed.  Aledmys Diaz, in his first start back from the disabled list, hit a two-run home run in the second inning.  Brandon Moss added a two-run shot in the sixth.  Moss was 2-for-3; Diaz was 2-for-2.

 

Wednesday, September 14---Cardinals 0, Cubs 7

The Cardinals were stymied yet again by Cubs pitching. This time Jon Lester kept the offense to three hits, singles by Stephen Piscotty, Yadier Molina, and Randal Grichuk.  The offense left two batters stranded, and two, Aledmys Diaz and Randal Grichuk, were caught stealing. 

Starter Carlos Martinez pitched six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, including two long balls.  The right-hander struck out nine and walked none.  Jonathan Broxton and Zach Duke each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.  Michael Wacha, newly activated from the DL and pitching out of the bullpen, gave up three additional runs in the ninth inning.  Martinez suffered his eighth loss of the season.

 

Thursday, September 15---Cardinals 2 at Giants 6

In a series crucial because of its Wild Card implications, the Cardinals failed to take advantage in the opener.  Starter Adam Wainwright had an indifferent start, giving up four runs in 5 2/3 innings pitched, to take his ninth loss of the season.  Reliever Zach Duke followed and allowed an additional two Giants runs.   Matt Bowman relieved in the seventh and allowed two hits, but got the final out.  Miguel Socolovich pitched a scoreless eighth.

Randal Grichuk was the only Cardinals hitter to have multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.  Jedd Gyorko drove in the other run on a third-inning single.  Jhonny Peralta doubled and Yadier Molina singled.

Peralta committed a catching error.  Stephen Piscotty had an outfield assist, throwing out Buster Posey at third base.

 

Friday, September 16---Cardinals 2 at Giants 8

The Cardinals put themselves farther behind in the Wild Card standings with this second loss to the Giants.  Rookie Luke Weaver had a rough outing, as he lasted only 2 2/3 innings.  Weaver’s downfall came in the third inning, as he allowed six Giants runs to score following a throwing error by Yadier Molina.  Due to the error, all six runs were unearned.

Miguel Socolovich got the final out of the third inning.  Jaime Garcia, in his first appearance out of the bullpen, gave up a two-run home run by Buster Posey in the fourth.  Garcia pitched a scoreless fifth as well.  Jonathan Broxton, Trevor Rosenthal (just activated from the DL) and Dean Kiekhefer tossed scoreless sixth, seventh, and eighth innings.

Both Cardinals runs were driven in by Yadier Molina, on a fourth inning single and a bases-loaded walk in the fifth.  Matt Carpenter was 2-for-3.  Stephen Piscotty, Jedd Gyorko, Jhonny Peralta, and Tommy Pham each singled.

 

Saturday, September 17---Cardinals 3 at Giants 2

The Cardinals managed to squeak by the Giants in this third game, though the lead did not come until the ninth inning.  An RBI single by Randal Grichuk and a sac fly by Kolten Wong gave the victory to the Cardinals.  Brandon Moss hit a solo home run in the first inning to put the Cardinals on the board initially, but the offense did not score again until the ninth.  No Cardinal had multiple hits.

Mike Leake pitched a quality start, going six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits.  Zach Duke added a scoreless seventh.  Closer Seung-Hwan Oh returned from injury by tossing the eighth and ninth in scoreless fashion to earn his fifth win of the season.

Kolten Wong committed a fielding error, and Stephen Piscotty earned his second outfield assist of the series, throwing out Denard Span at second base.

 

Sunday, September 18---Cardinals 3 at Giants 0

The Cardinals split the series with the Giants and ended in exactly the same place in the Wild Card standings as when the weekend began – one game behind San Francisco.

Taking Garcia’s rotation spot, Alex Reyes was terrific, pitching seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits, fanning six and walking two.  Reyes earned his third win in his short major league career.  Kevin Siegrist followed with a scoreless eighth, and Seung-Hwan Oh closed with a clean ninth to earn his 18th save.

Aledmys Diaz put the Cardinals on the board in the third inning with a two-run home run.  Diaz was 2-for-4.  Kolten Wong tripled into the right field corner in the eighth and was brought home on a single by pinch hitter Jhonny Peralta.  Yadier Molina was 2-for-4.

 

NL Central Standings

St. Louis was 3-4 on the week, and is 16 games out of first place.  The Cardinals currently sit a game behind the Giants for the second Wild Card, and two games behind the Mets for the first Wild Card.

  W L % GB
Chicago Cubs 94 55 0.631 ---
St. Louis 78 71 0.523 16
Pittsburgh 74 75 0.497 20
Milwaukee 68 82 0.453 26.5
Cincinnati 63 86 0.423 31

Who’s Hot

There were no hot hitters this past week.  The highest OPS of the week is a .723 from Yadier Molina.

All of the hot pitchers are relievers:

http://www.scout.com/player/133929-trevor-rosenthal?s=321

Trevor Rosenthal has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00 in one appearance.

Jonathan Broxton has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.67.

http://www.scout.com/player/173078-matt-bowman?s=321

Matt Bowman has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.86.

Miguel Socolovich has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.60

http://www.scout.com/player/204704-seung-hwan-oh?s=321

Seung-Hwan Oh has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

 

Who’s Not

Kolten Wong has an OPS of .220.

Jhonny Peralta has an OPS of .313.

Stephen Piscotty has an OPS of .389.

Matt Adams has an OPS of .473.

Jaime Garcia has an ERA of 9.82 and a WHIP of 2.18.

Michael Wacha has an ERA of 27.00 and a WHIP of 3.00.

Adam Wainwright has an ERA of 6.75 and a WHIP of 2.12

 

A Look at Cardinals’ Lineups

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

The second spot in the lineup has been a mixture of Stephen Piscotty, Aledmys Diaz, Randal Grichuk, and Jedd Gyorko.

The number three spot has been held by Piscotty, with one start each by Carpenter and Brandon Moss.

The clean-up spot has been rotated among Piscotty, Moss, Grichuk, and Matt Adams.

The number five hitter has been mostly Molina, with one start by Adams.

The six hole has been a mixture of Jhonny Peralta, Gyorko, and one start by Molina.

The seventh spot has been mostly Grichuk, with one start each by Moss and Peralta.

The eighth spot has been the home of Diaz, Wong, Tommy Pham, and Jeremy Hazelbaker.

 

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

 

Transactions

The Cardinals activated RH pitchers Michael Wacha and Trevor Rosenthal from the 15 day disabled list.

 

Injury Report

Seth Maness (right forearm strain) continues on 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) discontinued his rehab assignment and is traveling with the big league club.  Lynn will not return to the roster this season.

Jordan Walden (right shoulder strain) did not make his scheduled rehab assignment with the Palm Beach Cardinals.  Walden has likely finished his career as a Cardinal.

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) was activated from the 15-day DL and appeared in his first game on Saturday.

Michael Wacha (right shoulder stress reaction) was activated from the 15-day DL and has made one appearance out of the bullpen.

Matt Holliday (fractured right thumb) continues on the 15-day DL.  Holliday suffered a setback in his rehab and the likelihood he will return during the regular season is slim.

 

Looking Ahead

Following the conclusion of the Giants series on Sunday, the Cardinals have traveled to Denver to take on the Rockies.  Carlos Martinez gets the start on Monday, followed by Adam Wainwright on Tuesday, and Luke Weaver on Wednesday.

The Cardinals travel to Chicago on Thursday for a weekend series against the Cubs beginning Friday.  Mike Leake is the scheduled pitcher on Friday.  The pitchers for Saturday and Sunday are to be announced, but will likely be Alex Reyes and Carlos Martinez.

The Cardinals return home next Monday for a four-game set against the last-place Reds.  The home stand continues with a weekend series against the Pirates, which will conclude the regular season for the Cardinals.

If the Cardinals make the postseason as one of the two NL Wild Card teams, the game will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 5. 

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Cardinals Prospect Interview: Dakota Hudson

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