Cardinals Major League Notebook: 07/24/09

Adam Wainwright pitched the Cardinals to a rain-shortened makeup game win in Washington on Thursday night.

INSIDE PITCH

 

The Cardinals spent a long day's night in Washington, and after six innings and some 2 1/2 hours in rain delays, they salvaged a makeup game from a May 3 rainout and put to rest some of the sting from a three-game sweep at Houston earlier in the week.

 

The club didn't arrive in Washington from Houston until the wee hours Thursday morning but rode Adam Wainwright's solid, six-inning performance.

 

"There was never any doubt whether our club was ready to play," manager Tony La Russa said. "The best thing this club does is that it gets ready to play."

 

Wainwright wasn't going to come back after the second delay, but he didn't have to. His first complete game came in his 11th victory, and his curveball was as sharp as it's been all season. He got four of his seven strikeouts on called third strikes.

 

Slowly but surely, left fielder Rick Ankiel seems to be coming around. He hit his sixth homer and first since June 16, although he then struck out twice.

 

"If he has a little success, he'll get more confidence," said La Russa, not wanting to rush to judgment.

 

Cardinals 4, Nationals 1 (6 innings, rain): Skip Schumaker, the outfielder-turned-second baseman, had another strong game as the Cardinals' leadoff man. He doubled twice, scoring once, and he forced home another run with a bases-loaded walk.

 

NOTES, QUOTES

 

• The Cardinals will play the Phillies in their second and final series this weekend in Philadelphia. The Phils outscored the Cardinals 17-7 in sweeping a two-game set in St. Louis in May. The Cardinals won't have either RHP Chris Carpenter or RHP Adam Wainwright pitching in the series.

 

• With the trade deadline approaching, the Cardinals reportedly are casting their lines in the direction of Oakland (OF Matt Holliday) or Washington (OF Adam Dunn or OF Josh Willingham). "We're exploring a lot of things," said GM John Mozeliak. "Nothing is imminent at this time."

 

But Mozeliak said, "I've always said we don't have untouchables." One report had Oakland being interested in Class AAA Memphis 3B Brett Wallace, the Cardinals' top hitting prospect.

 

Mozeliak added that how long the Cardinals would be able to control a player (Holliday can be a free agent after this season) has some bearing. "It's a big part of your acquisition cost," Mozeliak said.

 

• Chris Duncan's father, Dave Duncan, had some pointed commentary about the trade that sent the outfielder to Boston.

 

"The way I look at it is he was traded for a player who had very little (leverage)," Dave Duncan said. "He was designated for assignment. It's highly unusual for a major league roster player to be traded for somebody like that. So somebody wanted to get him out of the organization, and they've accomplished what they wanted to accomplish.

 

"Either that or we don't have anybody in the minor leagues that they wanted for (Lugo). One or the other."

 

By The Numbers:   32—Career pickoffs for C Yadier Molina, through July 19.

 

Quote to Note:   "As long as I can go out there and not think about it, I should be fine. I want to get to the point where the wrist does not consume my every thought at the plate."—INF/OF Mark DeRosa, returning to action after being disabled with a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist.

 

ROSTER REPORT

 

• INF Julio Lugo, obtained from Boston on Wednesday for OF Chris Duncan, joined the Cardinals the next day. Manager Tony La Russa said he wasn't sure yet how he would use the 33-year-old veteran.

 

• RHP P.J. Walters, a rookie who was ineffective in spot duty, was optioned to Class AAA Memphis. It is likely another pitcher will be called up from Memphis for the weekend series in Philadelphia, putting INF Brian Barden in jeopardy again.

 

• 3B Troy Glaus, who has been bothered by back spasms, didn't play once again Thursday night for Class AAA Memphis. He is on a rehab option as he continues his lengthy recovery from right shoulder surgery in January. (ed note: Glaus will play in the outfield for Springfield this weekend.)

 

• INF Khalil Greene, who is on a rehab option while working to overcome social anxiety disorder, was 1-for-4 Thursday for Class AAA Memphis. He said he is ready to rejoin the big-league team whenever it wants him back.


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