The Redbird Report 05/14

The Cardinals offense, sluggish all season, was absolutely feeble this weekend in a three-game series at San Diego. The Cardinals scored in only one inning, tallying four unearned runs in a 5-0 win Saturday.

In the other two games, the Cardinals had bookend, three-hit shutouts pitched against them. Sunday's 3-0 win by San Diego RHP Justin Germano, a rookie, marked the sixth time the Cardinals had been shut out this season, which is a major league high.

"He wasn't anything overpowering," said SS Aaron Miles. "It's tough. It's been happening to us ... but we've got to fight our way through it."

Right-hander Anthony Reyes allowed two more runs in the first inning, hiking his total to nine allowed in the first in seven starts. He threw seven straight pitches out of the strike zone to start the game before outfielder Jose Cruz doubled for the key hit in the first inning.

"I started to yank the ball at the beginning of the game," said Reyes.

Reyes, 0-6 this year and riding an eight-game, regular-season losing streak, was reasonably good after that but again got no run support. Already, he was receiving the lowest run support of any pitcher in the majors and now the Cardinals have scored only eight runs in his seven starts. Just four have come while he has been on the mound.

"The team doesn't take care of him very well," said manager Tony La Russa. "It's embarrassing."

Pressed further about the offense and its approach, La Russa said, "I think that you should go talk to the hitters."

CF Jim Edmonds said, "We need to do a better job. It's sickening what's going on out there. This is a better team than we're playing and we'd better figure it out pretty quick.

"It's getting a little old and we're all to blame."

PADRES 3, CARDINALS 0: The Cardinals, not even averaging two extra-base hits a game, didn't have any Sunday, amassing only three singles off San Diego rookie Justin Germano and two relievers. The Cardinals' shutout was their fourth this month and sixth of the season. RHP Anthony Reyes, who lasted five innings, dropped to 0-6 in seven starts, so he and RHP Kip Wells are a combined 1-13.

NOTES AND QUOTES

--Manager Tony La Russa is hoping that struggling RHP Kip Wells, loser of six straight decisions, can display a more positive demeanor on the mound. "It helps the other side," said La Russa. "You can see him get frustrated and it's something he can improve."

--RHP Braden Looper, after blanking San Diego for seven innings on Friday, raised his record to 5-2. The rest of the Cardinals' starters are 4-16.

--The impatient Cardinals' offense didn't coax a walk from San Diego pitchers on Sunday.

--RF Juan Encarnacion failed to get the ball out of the infield in three at-bats in his first big-league action of the season. Encarnacion, having recovered from left wrist surgery, ended a 20-game rehabilitation assignment at Class AA Springfield. OF Skip Schumaker was optioned to Class AAA Memphis.

--SS David Eckstein, who hasn't batted leadoff in two weeks, was given another day off after his average slipped to .207.

--The Cardinals haven't homered in their last 10 games.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 -- The number of games in the first 35 in which the Cardinals scored in the first inning.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Tony has my 100 percent support as Cardinals manager. That hasn't changed one bit and I don't anticipate that changing." -- Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., on the immediate future of manager Tony La Russa.


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