The Redbird Report 05/22

Manager Tony La Russa said he would be examining lineup alterations for the home stand which begins on Tuesday with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"This is our team," said La Russa, although he added, "I'm great believer that's there's always more you can do. When you think everything's done, there's something else you can do. There's some keys there that I'm missing."

What fans might see soon is a different cleanup hitter. Though La Russa wasn't happy about the one-game trial he gave left fielder Chris Duncan as the cleanup hitter a couple of weeks ago, there is a real possibility that Duncan might appear there against some right-handers on the next homestand.

The two hitters who have been in the cleanup spot most often this season are struggling. Third baseman Scott Rolen is 9 for his last 67 (.134), and center fielder Jim Edmonds is hitting .225 for the season.

Rolen has two homers and Edmonds one as the Cardinals have struggled to a 16-25 record. Duncan has seven homers, tying 1B Albert Pujols for the club lead.

"If we don't turn it around soon, you might see a different team out there in July and August," said Edmonds.


--The Cardinals have lost by four or more runs in 13 of their 25 losses.

--The Cardinals have dropped 20 of their last 30 games. They have allowed their opponents to take the first lead in 31 of 41 games. And, at 16-25, this is the worst quarter-pole performance by a Cardinals team in Tony La Russa's 12 seasons as manager although they were 17-26 after 43 games in La Russa's first season with them in 1996.

--Sunday's game marked the 11th time in the last 24 games that a Cardinals starter had allowed five or more runs.

--C Yadier Molina's 13-game hitting streak is the longest by a Cardinals catcher since Ted Simmons had a 19-game run in 1975.

--Other than RHP Braden Looper, who is 5-3, the Cardinals' starters are 5-20.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2 -- Number of home runs (both by LF Chris Duncan) the Cardinals had in the first 17 days of May.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm slinging slop up there that's hanging and hitting people in the hip. I don't know. It's pretty frustrating." -- RHP Adam Wainwright, who allowed eight runs in 2 2/3 innings on Tuesday.

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