The Inside Pitch With Ray Mileur

Jim Edmonds is not in the starting lineup Saturday, due to a sore shoulder. Cardinals' Manager Tony La Russa, said Edmonds could be available to pinch hit, if necessary.

The Cardinals hadn't lost a 1-0 game since Aug. 26, 2004, and Friday's game had a familiar ring to it. On that night in Cincinnati, Reds right-hander Aaron Harang beat Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter, 1-0. Harang did the same Friday night.

The new Busch Stadium probably doesn't have much to do with it, but the Cardinals are hitting only .215 in four games at their new $365 million palace. They went only 1 for 9 with men in scoring position on Friday and Albert Pujols' single up the middle with two on in the eighth was kept in the infield by a diving 2B Tony Womack.

Center fielder Jim Edmonds, who fanned three more times -- he has 15 in 38 at-bats -- then chased a full-count changeup with the bases loaded and struck out to end the Cardinals' only real threat. Edmonds is hitting .158 and he has made three errors, one on Friday, in the last two games. The eight-time Gold Glover made only two all last season.

Edmonds will not start in today's game, due to a sore shoulder. He is questionable for Sunday's game as well. Cardinals' Manager Tony La Russa said Saturday morning, that Edmonds will be available to pinch hit this weekend, if needed.

Carpenter gave up only four hits, but one was a fifth-inning blooper by Harang, a .044 hitter in 159 previous at-bats.

"I'd have taken a blooper or two," said manager Tony La Russa.

REPLAY: The game came down to CF Jim Edmonds against Reds RHP Todd Coffey with the bases loaded and two out in the eighth inning.

Edmonds took a 3-1 fastball down the middle and then went after a marginal changeup, striking out for the third time.

"When he wants to be aggressive, he chases. When he's trying to be patient, he takes," said manager Tony La Russa. "That's the kind of funk hitters get in sometimes."

NOTES, QUOTES --2B Aaron Miles and C Yadier Molina both snapped nothing-for-13
skids on Friday. Miles singled in the third and Molina doubled in the
   --RHP Chris Carpenter has received only two unearned runs of support
in his last 13 innings. In that time, he has given up just one run, but
the 2005 Cy Young Award winner didn't gain the victory in either game.
   --Looking for a way to try to cure his team's slump, manager Tony La
Russa canceled on-field batting practice Saturday and had his club work
inside instead on another warm day.
   --The Cardinals have been held to three runs or fewer in four of
their five losses. "We've got a lot of weapons," said Manager Tony La
Russa. "You've got to figure that when somebody shuts us down, we'd find a way to get three. But we didn't do it."
   --OF Larry Bigbie, who has been out nearly a month with a cracked
bone in his left heel, is ready to go out on a minor league
rehabilitation assignment on Sunday. Manager Tony La Russa isn't looking for Bigbie
to be activated anytime soon, however.
   A position player on the disabled list is allowed to rehabilitate
for 20 days in the minor leagues without taking up a roster spot on the
minor league team and La Russa suggested that Bigbie, who played little
this spring, would need all that time.
   --OF John Rodriguez, who started the season on the active roster
despite an ailing left shoulder, still isn't ready to play on any regular
basis in the field, said manager Tony La Russa. Rodriguez has made only
one start.
   BY THE NUMBERS: 6 -- It took a Cardinals pitcher (Mark Mulder) just
six innings to hit the first homer by a Cardinals pitcher at Busch
Stadium. In the previous Busch Stadium, it took four years.

   QUOTE TO NOTE: "I stink right now." -- RHP Jason Isringhausen, after losing two games by allowing late-inning home runs.

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