The Cardinals Major League Notebook 09/05

The Cardinals got a glimpse of their future Wednesday when rookie reliever Jason Motte made his major league debut.

Motte, a former catcher, throws as high as 99 mph, and he whipped through four outs in the seventh and eighth innings at Arizona before turning the ball over to rookie reliever Chris Perez. The latter had a rare misstep, giving up a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, but those two are apt to be closing out a few more games this season and perhaps be in the same roles next year.

"(Motte) handled himself very well," manager Tony La Russa said.

Motte, 26, fanned 110 in just 66 2/3 innings at Class AAA Memphis this year. He said, "I try to go right at guys, whether up here or down there. It doesn't matter where you are. Try to get ahead of them."

And that he did, throwing 21 of 25 pitches for strikes.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals returned home from a 1-5 trip that has all but knocked them out of wild-card contention.

"We came on this trip needing to win games, a lot of games," third baseman Troy Glaus said. "It didn't happen."

"It's the big leagues," La Russa said. "You usually get what you earn. To get more wins, we would have had to do more. We didn't do enough."


--The Cardinals have lost 20 games in the opposition's last at-bat.

--RHPs Braden Looper and Todd Wellemeyer will pitch the first two games of a series against Florida at home this weekend. Sunday's pitcher could be either RHP Joel Pineiro or RHP Adam Wainwright. Wainwright would be on his fifth day. If he is moved back, Wainwright could open a series against Chicago at home on Tuesday.

--INF Felipe Lopez, picked up when Washington released him, is batting .405 during an 11-game hitting streak.

--RHP Kyle McClellan has given up 10 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings over his last seven outings.

--Once possessors of the league's best road record, the Cardinals have dropped six of their last seven away from home.

BY THE NUMBERS: 97 -- Games pitched over two seasons by RHP Russ Springer without suffering a defeat before he took the loss Aug. 29 at Houston.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's one pitch here or there that's costing me, costing the team." -- RHP Kyle Lohse, winless in five starts, after giving up a game-tying homer to Houston 2B David Newhan.

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