The Redbird Report 08/20

The Cardinals' four-game series with Chicago became a three-game series with the postponement of Sunday night's game.

Neither team had scored before the game was halted in the third inning. No makeup date was announced, although both teams are off Aug. 27 and Sept. 10, both Mondays. Both teams would have to approve a makeup game on either date because it would mean both teams would be playing more than 20 consecutive days.

Through the first two games of the series, which will conclude with a Monday afternoon contest, the Cardinals haven't had a hit with men in scoring position in seven at-bats. All four runs have come on solo home runs -- two by Albert Pujols and one each by Juan Encarnacion and Brendan Ryan -- as the Cardinals have dropped both games.

The rainout enabled the Cardinals to escape a longer battle with Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano, who had retired the first nine men he faced. But it also cost the Cardinals right-hander Kip Wells, who had pitched strongly lately and had worked two-plus scoreless innings before the rain came.

Manager Tony La Russa had put right fielder Rick Ankiel back into the lineup after sitting him for three consecutive games. Ankiel fanned in an at-bat that won't count. With left-hander Ted Lilly scheduled to pitch for the Cubs on Monday, La Russa is expected to leave Ankiel in the lineup.


--After the Cardinals finish a three-game series in Chicago on Monday, they will play 24 of their final 41 games at home.

--RHP Joel Pineiro, Monday's starter for the Cardinals, hasn't walked a man in his last two starts, both covering seven innings. He has won both games.

--When 3B Scott Rolen flied to right in an at-bat that eventually was wiped out Sunday, it marked the fifth straight time he had flied to right, suggesting he might be having more trouble with his left shoulder and can't pull the ball.

--SS David Eckstein got a night off without missing a game. He wasn't in the starting lineup Sunday; switch-hitting Aaron Miles leading off. Eckstein is expected to play Monday against Cubs LHP Ted Lilly.

--LF Chris Duncan has fanned 10 times in his last 20 at-bats and has 103 strikeouts for the season.

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