Matt Adams, Randal Grichuk (Scott Rovak / USA TODAY Sports Images)

A recap of St. Louis Cardinals-related news from the period of September 19-25, 2016 plus a look ahead

Last week, St. Louis went 3-3 at Denver and Chicago and remain in a tight, three-way fight for two Wild Card berths. Matt Adams and Randal Grichuk have hit well for the Cardinals’ inconsistent offense, which scored just two runs in the three losses, but plated 25 in the three wins.

Game recaps

Monday, September 19---Cardinals 5 at Rockies 3

The Redbirds began a three-game series at Coors Field behind the pitching of Carlos Martinez.  Martinez earned his 15th win with an inefficient but effective start.  The righty tossed five innings, giving up two runs on five hits while fanning six and walking three. 

Reliever Matt Bowman got the first two outs of the sixth inning, giving up a hit and a walk, and was lifted for Zach Duke. Duke got the last out of the sixth and returned to pitch a scoreless seventh.  Dean Kiekhefer began the eighth and retired the first two batters before Jonathan Broxton got the final out.  Kevin Siegrist pitched the ninth, allowing a solo home run, but earned his third save.

The offense scored the entirety of their five runs in the third and fourth innings.  Jedd Gyorko led off the third with a double, and Randal Grichuk brought him in with a two-run home run to left field.  In the fourth, it again was Gyorko and Grichuk that got it started.  Gyorko singled, and Grichuk reached on an error.  Pitcher Martinez then doubled to plate the two.  Matt Carpenter followed with a single to score Martinez.  Carpenter was 2-for-5 on the night.  Gyorko and Yadier Molina were both 2-for-4.


Tuesday, September 20----Cardinals 10 at Rockies 5

Game two of the series was a typical Coors Field slugfest.  Fortunately, the Cardinals outslugged the Rockies to get the victory. 

The Redbirds got on the board in the second inning on a solo home run by Matt Adams.  The offense added two additional runs in that inning, both coming on an RBI double by pitcher Adam Wainwright.  A Jedd Gyorko home run in the fourth added two more.  Three runs in the fifth came the old fashioned way, as Randal Grichuk hit an RBI single followed by another RBI single by Wainwright that scored two.  Additional runs were plated in the sixth and seventh on a Brandon Moss sac fly and pinch hit single by Jeremy Hazelbaker.  Gyorko was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Yadier Molina was 2-for-5.  Randal Grichuk crossed the plate four times and was 3-for-4.  Wainwright was 2-for-2.

On the mound, Wainwright was not as effective as he was with the bat.  The right hander gave up four runs on seven hits.  Three of the runs came on solo shots in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings.  Wainwright lasted 5 1/3 innings before Dean Kiekhefer finished the sixth without additional damage.  Michael Wacha pitched two scoreless innings of relief.  Trevor Rosenthal took the ninth and allowed one run on three hits.  Despite Wainwright’s indifferent outing, the scoring outburst earned him his 12th win of the season.


Wednesday, September 21---Cardinals 1 at Rockies 11

The Cardinals could not manage the sweep, as they were soundly routed by the Rockies in game three.  It was a short day for rookie pitcher Luke Weaver, who didn’t take well to pitching in Coors Field. Weaver was out after two innings, during which he allowed six runs on seven hits.  Weaver was replaced by Jaime Garcia, who had lost his starting job and was working out of the bullpen.   Garcia pitched four scoreless innings of relief, giving up only one hit, and fanning five.  Dean Kiekhefer entered in the seventh inning and promptly surrendered three runs while recording only one out.  Kiekhefer was lifted for Jonathan Broxton, who gave up an additional run, but got the final two outs.  Miguel Socolovich tossed a clean ninth inning.

The Cardinals offense was lackluster, managing only one run. The second inning score was plated by Kolten Wong on a sac fly, following a Jeremy Hazelbaker leadoff double, the club’s only extra-base hit.  No St. Louis hitter had multiple hits.   

The defense committed two errors, throwing miscues by Weaver and Kolten Wong.


Thursday, September 22---Off day


Friday, September 23--Cardinals 0 at Cubs 5

St. Louis’ offense was flat in the opener of the weekend series at Wrigley Field.  The offense managed only five hits, all singles, against Cubs starter Jake Arrieta. 

Starter Mike Leake got the quick hook after giving up five runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings of work.  Dean Kiekhefer followed, gave up a hit and was lifted for Miguel Socolovich, who finished the fourth inning and also pitched a scoreless fifth.  Trevor Rosenthal, Sam Tuivailala, Zach Duke, and Jerome Williams combined for the remaining three innings of scoreless relief.


Saturday, September 24---Cardinals 10 at Cubs 4 

Saturday's game two was much better for the Redbirds offense.  The bats were active, putting 10 runs on the board to defeat the Cubs.  St. Louis got out ahead quickly, with four runs in the first inning.  Brandon Moss drew a two-out walk.  Jhonny Peralta singled and Matt Adams was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Yadier Molina doubled to left to score Moss and Peralta, and Randal Grichuk singled to plate Adams and Molina.  Stephen Piscotty hit a solo home run in the second inning, and Grichuk doubled in the third to plate a sixth run.  The Cardinals added three runs in the seventh as Piscotty led off with a double and a Matt Adams double brought him home.  Yadier Molina singled to drive in two more.  In the eighth, Jose Martinez doubled, and a Piscotty single scored Martinez for the 10th and final run. Piscotty was 3-for-5 on the day, Peralta and Molina were each 3-for-4.  Grichuk was 2-for-5.

Starter Alex Reyes earned his fourth major league win, pitching five innings, allowing three runs on six hits.  Reyes fanned six and walked three.  Matt Bowman added two scoreless innings on 18 pitches.  Zach Duke followed with a scoreless eighth.  Seung-Hwan Oh pitched the ninth, surrendering a solo home run but allowed no further damage.


Sunday, September 25---Cardinals 1 at Cubs 3          

The Redbirds faltered in the rubber game of the series, as the offense was stymied once again, this time by the pitching of Jon Lester.  Yadier Molina was the only Cardinal hitter to make any headway against Lester, as he was 2-for-4 with a double.  The lone run scored in the eighth after Lester was out of the game.  Jose Martinez drew a walk and then advanced to third on a Matt Carpenter single.  Jhonny Peralta followed with a single to center to plate Martinez.

Starter Carlos Martinez pitched six innings, giving up two runs on six hits.  Martinez took the loss, his ninth of the season.  Kevin Siegrist followed with a scoreless seventh.  Zach Duke started the eighth and allowed a single and a walk before being lifted with one out for Jonathan Broxton.  Broxton hit the batter with the first pitch he threw to load the bases.  The next batter singled to score a run that was charged to Duke.  Another runner was thrown out at home by Stephen Piscotty on the single, and Broxton struck out the next batter to end the inning.


NL Central Standings

The Cardinals were 3-3 on the week, and are 18 games out of first place.  The Cardinals currently sit a game and a half behind the Mets for the first Wild Card, and a half game behind the Giants for the second Wild Card.

NL Central W L % GB   NL Wild Card W L GB
Chicago Cubs 99 56 0.639 ---   New York Mets 83 73 +1
St. Louis 81 74 0.523 18   San Francisco 82 74  
Pittsburgh 77 78 0.497 22   St. Louis 81 74 0.5
Milwaukee 70 86 0.449 29.5   Pittsburgh 77 78 4.5
Cincinnati 65 90 0.419 34   Miami 77 78 4.5


Who’s Hot

Matt Adams has an OPS of 1.615 with one HR, two doubles, three walks, and two RBI.

Yadier Molina has an OPS of 1.050.  He has one double and four RBI.

Jhonny Peralta has an OPS of .967, with one double, two walks, and one RBI.

Randal Grichuk has an OPS of .984.  He has one HR, three doubles, and six RBI.

In three plate appearances each, Jose Martinez, Jeremy Hazelbaker, and Greg Garcia have an OPS of 2.333, 1.667, and 1.333 respectively.

Alex Reyes has an ERA of 2.25 and a WHIP of 1.25.

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

Jaime Garcia (as a reliever) has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.25.

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

Michael Wacha has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

Matt Bowman has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.13.

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


Who’s Not

Brandon Moss has an OPS of .189.

Tommy Pham has an OPS of .400.

Matt Carpenter has an OPS of .409.

Adam Wainwright has an ERA of 6.75 and a WHIP of 1.69.

Mike Leake has an ERA of 3.50 and a WHIP of 3.00.

Luke Weaver has an ERA of 27.00 and a WHIP of 4.00.

Dean Kiekhefer has an ERA of 21.60 and a WHIP of 3.00.


A Look at Cardinals’ Lineups

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

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

The number three spot has been one start by Gyorko and the rest by Piscotty and Brandon Moss.

The clean-up spot has been a mixture of Piscotty, Moss, Matt Adams, and Jhonny Peralta.

The number five hitter has been mostly Yadier Molina, with one start by Adams and one start by Randal Grichuk.

The six hole has been a mixture of Adams, Peralta, Gyorko, Molina, Grichuk, and Jeremy Hazelbaker.

The seventh spot has been Grichuk, Gyorko, Peralta, and one start by Carson Kelly.

The eighth spot has been the home of Grichuk, Kolten Wong, and one start by Aledmys Diaz.


Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.



There were no transactions during the past week.


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) has 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) will not return this season and has likely finished his time as a Cardinal.

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

Matt Holliday (fractured right thumb) continues on the 15-day DL.  Holliday continues to have swelling in the surgically repaired thumb following batting practice and remains unlikely to return during the regular season.

Though off the disabled list, shortstop Aledmys Diaz has played sparingly, with talk of arm strength issues and him rehabbing while active.


Looking Ahead

The Cardinals enter the last week of regular season play at home starting with a four-game series against the Reds.  In his return to the rotation, Jaime Garcia is scheduled to start on Monday with rookie Luke Weaver pitching out of the bullpen.  On Tuesday, Adam Wainwright will take the mound, followed by Mike Leake on Wednesday, and Alex Reyes on Thursday.

The home stand ends with a weekend series against the Pirates.  The probable pitchers for the series have not been announced, but will likely be Carlos Martinez, Jaime Garcia, with Adam Wainwright ready for the final game of the regular season, assuming it would have playoff implications.

Should the Cardinals win one of the Wild Card spots, that game will be played on Wednesday following the end of regular season play.  Carlos Martinez would likely get that start, but of course, that has not been confirmed.

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