The Redbird Report 05/04

RHP Chris Carpenter, still recovering from elbow problems, will throw again on the sideline this weekend and, said manager Tony La Russa, "we'll get serious about it next week."

The Brewers outscored the Cardinals 23-3 in sweeping a three-game series this week.

The Cardinals had lost two games before that, too, so it is difficult to gauge how their play was affected by the grief they felt over reliever Josh Hancock's death last Sunday.

"The games go on," shortstop David Eckstein said. "It's a very cold thing. They're not over there feeling sorry for us. They want to beat us just as bad when we're down. We have to deal with it."

The players are trying to deal with it the best they can, even attempting to remember Hancock's lighter side. Catcher Gary Bennett said: "When Chris (Carpenter) and I were talking (about Hancock) Sunday, he said something and I kind of laughed. Then I wondered if I should have done that. I didn't know whether to feel bad about it or not."

Manager Tony La Russa had called his team's play "fuzzy" in the first month when the Cardinals were 10-14. After a 12-2 loss to Milwaukee on Tuesday, he said it had gone from "fuzzy" to "horse manure."

"It's embarrassing," said La Russa, who then added he was confident his club would come out of it.

But one of the most telling comments came from GM Walt Jocketty, who while, of course, very sympathetic to the issue, said, "It's not like we police these guys away from the ball park. It's up to them to police themselves."

A memorial service was held Thursday in Tupelo, Miss., for Hancock.

About 50 members of the Cardinals' traveling party was on hand to visit with the Hancock family and present various memorabilia to the family, including the American flag which flew over Busch Stadium the last day Hancock pitched on Saturday.


--CF Jim Edmonds should be back in the lineup Friday night after sitting out Wednesday's game. "I'm just not getting it done right now," said Edmonds, who is hitting .211. Edmonds has had some residual shoulder problems, stemming, presumably, from his offseason surgery.

--The Cardinals have scored three runs or fewer in 19 of 26 games.

--RF Preston Wilson was held out of Wednesday's start because, said La Russa, Wilson's knee was "barking."

--RHP Braden Looper is 3-2. The rest of the Cardinals' starters are 2-12.

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