The Cardinals Spring Training Notebook

The St. Louis Cardinals suffered a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday, as the Cardinals (11-5-1), fall a game-and-a-half back of the Atlanta Braves (12-3) in the National League & Grapefruit League standings.

Second baseman/shortstop Brendan Ryan had a base hit in his only plate appearance Sunday and drove in the only run for St. Louis.

Starter Kyle Lohse tossed five solid innings and gave up just one run on five hits and no walks with five strikeouts. Minor league pitcher Adam Ottavino and left-handed reliever Trever Miller each threw a scoreless frame before the Cardinals 2008 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Jess Todd was saddled with the loss after giving up the winning run in the ninth.

It was an unusually quiet day for St. Louis' offense, which managed just six hits. Khalil Greene, the only player with a multi-hit game went 2-for-3 with a double. Albert Pujols doubled. Skip Schumaker, Brendan Ryan and Rick Ankiel with a bloop single in the first inning provided the other Cardinal base hits.

Through the first couple of weeks of spring training, the Cardinals had been one of the best scoring teams in the majors, last week, setting on 69 runs scored, tied with the Kansas City Royals. This week, after Sunday's game, the Cardinals are tied for second, in runs scored with 106, with, you are never going to believe this, the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Kansas City Royals continue to set the pace with runs scored, leading the Major Leagues with 114 runs crossing the plate.

The Cardinals travel to Lakeland, Fla., for Monday's 12:05 p.m. CT game against the Tigers. Todd Wellemeyer gets the start for St. Louis.



RASMUS WATCH

Rasmus started Sunday's game in left field, hitting in the seventh hole and went 0-for-2 at the plate before coming out of the game. The Cardinals top prospect is hitting just .244 this spring and the odds of him making the team, may depend solely on Skip Schumaker starting the season at second base. Colby leads the team in one stat category, strikeouts, with 13. First, leading the team in strikeouts is a good thing, if you are a pitcher. If you are rookie and a hitter, it's not so good. It will be interesting the next couple of weeks as the cuts are made to get down to the 25-man roster by opening day.



THE 21 CLUB

The comeback kids; Chris Duncan and Khalil Greene both sit on top of the Cardinals' leader board with 21 total bases.



NOTES AND QUOTES

---Reliever Josh Kinney earned a save Saturday with another scoreless inning. Kinney still hasn't given up a hit this spring in five innings of work. He has walked four and struck out seven. Kinney, once considered a dark horse among the contenders for the closing job in St. Louis, has probably already passed Chris Perez the early front runner and could be competing against only Jason Motte and Ryan Franklin for the job as spring training reaches the halfway mark today.

---Adam Wainwright had his best start of the spring Saturday, pitching five innings without issuing a walk. He gave up six hits, giving him 15 in just 9.2 innings this spring but looks like he has turned things around and will be ready to be the Opening Day starter for St. Louis.

--- Chris Carpenter will likely start the fourth game of the regular season, as opposed to the fifth game as I had earlier anticipated.

--- Pedro Martinez still hasn't signed with anyone. There are some Cardinal fans who had hoped the Cardinals would sign Martinez to come in as the Redbirds' closer. The Pirates are interested in signing Martinez, but don't appear able or willing to meet his asking price, the Pirates' official site reports. According to Rotowire, Martinez supposedly is asking for somewhere between $5 to $8 million in a one-year deal.

 

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