The Redbird Report 07/04

If anything good came out of the Cardinals' 7-1 shellacking at the hands of the Diamondbacks on Tuesday, it was that right-hander Kip Wells might have pitched himself back into the rotation.

The club had been 6-0 in the first six starts made by right-hander Todd Wellemeyer, a converted reliever. But Wellemeyer, after being victimized by two errors in a two-run first inning, didn't miss too many bats after that. Wellemeyer surrendered three home runs -- to Chris Young, Chad Tracy and Mark Reynolds -- good for four runs in the second and third after giving up only one home run in 23 1/3 innings in June.

Enter from the bullpen Wells (3-11), who retired the first 11 men to face him as he worked four scoreless innings before allowing a run in his fifth and final inning. Wells was very impressive, fanning five and walking none.

"It was a big step forward," manager Tony La Russa said. "Let's see if he can build on that, but it was exceptional."

Wellemeyer was slated to get the Cardinals' last pre-All-Star break start on Sunday against San Francisco, but Wells may have injected himself into that equation.

Now, about the offense ...

Typical of the season, the Cardinals have not done well against a pitcher they haven't seen. Not one player had had a regular-season at-bat against right-hander Yusmeiro Petit, up from Class AAA to replace injured lefty Randy Johnson. Predictably, the Cardinals scored just one run in 5 1/3 innings against Petit.

DIAMONDBACKS 7, CARDINALS 1: Albert Pujols had three hits, but they were all singles, and the Cardinals had only three other singles Tuesday night against Yusmeiro Petit and two relievers. Todd Wellemeyer, who gave up three home runs in three innings, suffered his first loss as a Cardinal in three decisions.


--SS David Eckstein, who took shots in three different areas Monday to try to relieve some of the discomfort in his lower back, still is expected to be able to come off the disabled list July 13 when the second half of the season begins.

--CF Jim Edmonds, who has a pinched nerve in his back, said he expected to be ready to return July 13, as did LHP Tyler Johnson (biceps tendinitis).

--RF Juan Encarnacion, who sat out two games as Ryan Ludwick played, was back in the lineup Tuesday, but he dropped a flyball in the sun in the first inning, leading to two Arizona runs.

--RHP Chris Carpenter gave up five hits and five runs, only three of them earned, as he worked 1 1/3 innings for Class A Palm Beach in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday. Carpenter, making his first start as he recovers from elbow surgery, threw 24 strikes out of 32 pitches and struck out two.

--RHP Troy Percival made his St. Louis debut Tuesday after two relief wins on the road. He pitched a perfect ninth.

BY THE NUMBERS: 5 -- Total number of triples hit by the Cardinals as a team through June.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He had a lot of good years and he's got one more, for sure." -- RHP Ryan Franklin, talking about new Cardinals RHP Troy Percival


INF Scott Spiezio (staph infection in left index finger) underwent treatment in a New York hospital before being released. He did not play June 27-July 3.

LHP Tyler Johnson (biceps tendinitis) went on the disabled list retroactive to June 19. He expects to return to action July 13.

RHP Braden Looper (strained right shoulder) went on the disabled list June 18. He was activated July 2.

OF Jim Edmonds (pinched nerve in lower back) went on the disabled list June 18. He expects to return to action July 13.

SS David Eckstein (lower back pain) went on the disabled list retroactive to June 14. He took three shots in his back July 2, and he is expected to return to action July 13.

RHP Chris Carpenter (right elbow inflammation) went on the disabled list retroactive to April 2. He had arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs on May 8. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Palm Beach on July 3.

LHP Mark Mulder (rotator cuff surgery in September 2006) opened the season on the 15-day disabled list. He was throwing off a mound in early June, but he is not expected to be able to pitch in the majors before late July.

OF Preston Wilson (cartilage damage in right knee) went on the disabled list May 6. He had season-ending surgery June 11.

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