The Redbird Report 09/11

St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan trying to mend a broken down staff, Even with relievers and rehabbing pitchers (Brad Thompson, Mark Mulder and Mike Maroth) making three of the last six starts, Cardinals starters have worked a total of only 20 1/3 innings in those starts -- not even an average of four innings. They have given up 38 hits and 24 earned runs for an ERA of 10.62.

The Cardinals have lost five of those six games, including Joel Pineiro's 3 1/3-inning stint Monday at Wrigley Field.

The loss was the fourth straight on this seven-game trip for the Cardinals, already ensuring a losing journey, and knocked them three games under .500 for the first time since Aug. 24.

In the last six games, only Adam Wainwright has pitched longer than four innings. He completed six innings compared to four for Mulder, 3 1/3 for both Pineiro and Braden Looper, two for Thompson and 1 2/3 for Maroth.

"I don't worry about the innings as much as I do the quality," said pitching coach Dave Duncan. "We've got enough bodies (18 pitchers) to fill innings.

"It really isn't a six-man (rotation). We're trying to do whatever we can each day."

Duncan said he thought Pineiro was tipping his pitches, something Duncan had noticed when he came over in a trade with Boston.

"We come up here and look at the game afterward and I (can) call every pitch he's throwing," Duncan said. "He's been trying to make the adjustment. At times he does and at other times, I think he gets a little careless. There are times where he reverts back.

"I just believe they knew what was coming. There are some clubs where you can't get away with that. And Chicago is one of them."

CUBS 12, CARDINALS 3: The Cardinals lost their fourth straight and fifth in the last six as their pitchers surrendered 17 hits to the Chicago Cubs. Jim Edmonds had a solo homer and So Taguchi hit a two-run shot after being knocked down, but the Cardinals had only Taguchi's at-bat with men in scoring position. It marked the 18th time the Cardinals have given up 10 or more runs, or once in every eight games.


--RF Rick Ankiel, hitting fourth for the first time in his big-league career, fanned four times and is 1-for-14 since his name surfaced Friday in a New York Daily News report that alleged he had received shipments of human growth hormone three years ago.

--The Cardinals have 11 games left with winning teams -- four with Chicago, three with Philadelphia and Milwaukee and one at New York -- out of their final 21, of which 11 will be home. Those 11 all will be on the same homestand, which will begin Friday.

--Monday's lopsided loss left the Cardinals 71 runs in arrears of their opponents, at 640-711.

--LF Chris Duncan went home to St. Louis on Monday morning to have Dr. George Paletta, the Cardinals' medical supervisor, examine Duncan's sports hernia. Duncan isn't expected to play on the remainder of this trip, and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said it was questionable whether Duncan would play the rest of the season.

--3B Scott Rolen was preparing for surgery in Cincinnati to relieve tightness in his left shoulder. Rolen will be the seventh Cardinal to go out for the season.

--RHP Anthony Reyes, dropped from the rotation several times this season, is likely to appear in Wednesday's "bullpen game" at Cincinnati, said manager Tony La Russa. Reyes threw a bullpen session on Monday in Chicago. If RHP Todd Wellemeyer isn't used to back up LHP Mark Mulder on Tuesday night in Cincinnati, he also might pitch Wednesday.

BY THE NUMBERS: 44 -- Number of players the Cardinals had used when INF Brian Barden made his debut as a pinch hitter on Sept. 5.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We are prioritizing his personal life, and then, if there (are) some professional opportunities, we're all for it." -- Manager Tony La Russa, on the potential return of INF-OF Scott Spiezio, who has been in rehabilitation for substance abuse for the last month.

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