The Redbird Report 07/14

St. Louis Cardinals' manager Tony LaRussa tries to make a point with umpire Tim Tschida after catcher Yadler Molina dropped a ball allowing the Philadelphia Phillies' Kyle Kendrick to score' in the third inning of their baseball game Friday, July 13, 2007 in Philadelphia.

Right-handed starter Kip Wells was to get a two-start showcase at the beginning of the second half of the season to show if he belongs in the Cardinals' rotation. The first start, on Friday in Philadelphia, did not go well, Wells pitched just one inning, giving up eight hits and six runs. Some of the hits were not well struck, but Wells didn't help matters by throwing a sacrifice bunt into right field.

In 52 pitches, Wells (3-12), managed just three outs. And this against a Philadelphia team against which he had been 5-0 with a 1.33 earned run average in his career. His next start is scheduled for Wednesday at Florida although that now is in doubt. "Not good. He didn't do a lot to help himself," said manager Tony La Russa. "He set a bad tempo for us."

Wells said he felt badly the Cardinals had to go so deep into their bullpen Friday but he said, "I still felt I threw a lot of good pitches. There were four or five hits on poorly hit balls. It's just frustrating to have to persevere through something like that."

But Wells wasn't the only offender. For the third game in their last four, the Cardinals committed three or more errors.

Catcher Yadier Molina, normally a defensive stalwart, made an errant throw to second and dropped a throw at the plate and shortstop Aaron Miles, who had three errors in one inning the last time he started at shortstop, erred again Friday.

Six Cardinals pitchers allowed 23 hits.

"Hitting is kind of contagious," said Wells. "But it's absurd for a team to have that many hits."

PHILLIES 13, CARDINALS 3: Four days off didn't do much for the Cardinals, who played sloppily, pitched poorly and didn't do much offensively either. They lost at Citizens Bank Park for the first time since 2005 as Kip Wells put them behind by five runs in the first inning. But Albert Pujols ended his career-longest homerless streak after 77 at-bats with a long drive in the eighth inning


--RHP Chris Carpenter, who tentatively was slated to make a couple of starts before the month was over, has experienced some stiffness and swelling in his surgically repaired right elbow after his last rehabilitation start on Sunday, and there is no timetable for his next start at Class A Palm Beach.

--RHP Brad Thompson, working out of the bullpen between starts, gave up eight hits and four runs in two innings.

--OF Skip Schumaker continued his strong work as an extra man. He had two hits and a walk off the bench and is nine for his last 11.

--C Yadier Molina has committed three errors in his last two games.

--SS Brendan Ryan was optioned to Class AAA Memphis to make room for SS David Eckstein, who was activated and is scheduled to play Saturday.

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