The Redbird Report 09/20

After two weeks of one-run and two-run defeats that took the Cardinals out of contention for their seventh playoff berth in eight seasons, St. Louis got its first walk-off hit at Busch Stadium since July 28 on Wednesday night.

On Yadier Molina Bobblehead Night, the Cardinals catcher came out of sick bay and sent a seeing-eye single to left field with two outs in the 10th inning, and veteran Miguel Cairo scored from second with the winning run. It was just the Cardinals' second win in their last 14 games.

Molina, who left Tuesday's game with flu symptoms, started Wednesday.

The Cardinals caught a break in that the Phillies had taken out third baseman Abraham Nunez, a defensive whiz, and put Greg Dobbs, a better hitter than Nunez, into the game. And the St. Louis caught another break, as Dobbs was playing "no-doubles" defense, i.e., shading toward the foul line.

"I don't know why," Molina said. "Thank God, it went through."

The only downside for the Cardinals was that the victory did not go to right-hander Adam Wainwright.

In his last 10 starts, he has given up three earned runs or fewer every time but has earned only four wins in that stretch. Wainwright's ERA since the All-Star break is 2.36.

Wainwright also is carrying a .310 batting average and has even pinch-hit at a .600 clip. On Wednesday, he had two hits, one of which drove in a run and another of which was sabotaged by some faulty baserunning.

CARDINALS 2, PHILLIES 1 (10 innings): Yadier Molina, who had to come out of the previous night's game with the flu, had three hits, including the game-winner in the 10th inning, and St. Louis beat Philadelphia for only the second time in nine games at new Busch Stadium. Adam Wainwright held the Phillies to four hits over eight innings but got a no-decision.


--LHP Mark Mulder, who had labrum and rotator cuff surgery last September, is going back for more surgery. An MRI revealed that the labrum has healed but not the rotator cuff. Mulder, whose first surgery was in New York, will have arthroscopic surgery on Monday in St. Louis to be performed by George Paletta, the Cardinals' medical supervisor. Mulder pitched in three games this month, losing all three.

--1B Albert Pujols, who has missed appearing in just three games this season (including Wednesday) is "doubtful for the weekend," according to manager Tony La Russa, and may not start the rest of the season. Pujols has a strained left calf.

--CF Jim Edmonds, who has a strained groin, is day-to-day, said trainer Barry Weinberg, but Edmonds may not play much the rest of the season either.

--Asked if there was anything to a Seattle newspaper report that he might be interested in managing the Mariners next year, manager Tony La Russa smiled and said, "I don't think so."

--INF Scott Spiezio has started six of seven games since coming out of treatment for substance abuse. "Bench me or trade me," Spiezio quipped.

BY THE NUMBERS: 12 -- The number of games under .500 (33-45) the Cardinals are against non-division opponents with three games remaining against Philadelphia and one against New York.

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