The Cardinals Major League Notebook 05/29

Since the Cardinals have hit only .225 in May and have scored the fewest runs in the National League in the month, it is clear why they are in first place in the National League Central and have the second-best record in the league. Cardinals pitching, both starting and relieving, has bordered on the unbelievable in the last 10 days.

In compiling a 7-2 record, the starters, who had all the decisions, gave up seven runs in 64 innings for an ERA of 0.98. Meanwhile, the bullpen worked 17 2/3 innings, allowing only 10 hits and one earned run. The overall team ERA of 3.58 is the lowest in the majors.

"You hope it continues, but you know it's going to end at some point," reliever Chris Perez said. "But it certainly came at the right time with the injuries we've had to some of our hitters."

In the upcoming San Francisco series, there is likely to be a slight adjustment in the rotation. Right-hander Kyle Lohse, hit in the right forearm by a pitch in the eighth inning of his start Saturday, probably will be moved back to next week.

"I don't see (a start Friday) happening," Lohse said. "Everybody seems to agree there's no reason to push it."

With Thursday having been a day off, Joel Pineiro and Chris Carpenter will be moved up a day and would pitch on their proper rest in San Francisco.

Notes, Quotes

• With CF Rick Ankiel and RF Ryan Ludwick (strained right hamstring) on the disabled list or sidelined (Ankiel has played one game since he came back from shoulder and side injuries), the Cardinals scored only 31 runs in the last nine games but won seven.

• 1B Albert Pujols, with little protection after two slugging outfielders were sidelined, is in a 14-for-58 dive. In the Cardinals' last six games, Pujols has been walked 12 times, seven intentionally.

• Cardinals relievers are on a record-setting pace for not allowing inherited runners to score. They are at 13 percent for the season.

By The Numbers: 11—Home runs the Cardinals had against left-handed pitching in the first 44 games of the season. They had 36 against right-handed pitchers.

Quote To Note: "Our starting pitching has been ridiculous. It really has."—2B Skip Schumaker after a five-game stretch in which Cardinals' starting pitchers allowed one run in 36 2/3 innings.

Roster Report

• CF Rick Ankiel and RF Ryan Ludwick are expected to be ready to play Friday in San Francisco. They have not appeared in the same game since May 4. Ludwick's return especially should help 1B Albert Pujols. "I think he'll be happy to get Ludwick behind him," manager Tony La Russa said.

• SS Khalil Greene could wind up on the disabled list because of anxiety issues. Manager Tony La Russa started Greene for the first time in nine days Tuesday, and Greene made an error and struck out twice while also walking twice. La Russa had intended to start Greene again Wednesday in Milwaukee but thought better of it. GM John Mozeliak said, "We're interested foremost in doing what's best for Khalil." Greene is hitting .200 with a club-high seven errors.

• CF Colby Rasmus sat out Wednesday's start against Milwaukee LHP Manny Parra. One of the reasons was Rasmus' .111 average (4-for-36) against left-handed pitching but, with Giants RHP Matt Cain going Friday, he might be in the lineup.

• RHP Todd Wellemeyer, with C Jason LaRue handling three of his starts, wound up May with four wins. He had one win in April, also caught by backup LaRue.


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