Cardinals Major League Notebook: 07/31/09

After Dennys Reyes dug the hole, new reliever Todd Wellemeyer yielded the game-winning hit as the Dodgers salvaged game four at Busch Stadium on Thursday night.

INSIDE PITCH

 

Todd Wellemeyer was no more successful in the bullpen Thursday night than he was as a starter.

 

Yanked from the rotation at 7-9 with a 5.79 ERA, Wellemeyer didn't have much margin for error when he came into a 3-3 game with two on and two out in the 10th inning.

 

Typical of his outings as a starter, he made one good pitch—an off-speed pitch that Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp missed badly. And then he made one bad pitch, a breaking ball that Kemp hit into left field for a two-run single that gave the Dodgers their only victory in the four-game series.

 

After a 15-inning game the night before, Wellemeyer pretty much was the last Cardinals reliever available. He was brought into the game to replace Dennys Reyes in a double switch.

 

Reyes, who earlier had learned of a death in his family, had not been especially sharp, walking Andre Ethier after having him down 0-2 in the count. Reyes gave up a single to Casey Blake, then threw a wild pitch, moving runners to second and third before he fanned James Loney.

 

It was then that manager Tony La Russa brought in Wellemeyer. La Russa had the option of walking Kemp to get to Brad Ausmus, but the manager didn't want to put that extra pressure on Wellemeyer by loading the bases.

 

"He had a chance to make a pitch," La Russa said. "He made a mistake with a breaking ball, and (Kemp) hit it."

 

Despite losing, the Cardinals could feel good about the start of Kyle Lohse, who worked six strong innings, giving up one run. After 92 pitches, he was replaced because, La Russa said, "He was on fumes."

 

Lohse had been inconsistent in his three previous starts since coming off the disabled list. He had been sidelined due to a forearm flexor strain.

 

Dodgers 5, Cardinals 3  (10 innings): LF Matt Holliday continued his torrid hitting, cracking his first home run as a Cardinal and adding a single, giving him a seven-game hitting streak (13-for-25, .520). He also has reached base at least twice in each game. RF Rick Ankiel drilled a 431-foot homer to tie the game in the seventh. But after Los Angeles manager Joe Torre had 1B Albert Pujols and Holliday walked intentionally with a man at third and two outs in the eighth, Ankiel fanned on three pitches against LHP Hong-Chih Kuo.

 

NOTES, QUOTES

 

• 1B Albert Pujols was walked intentionally in the eighth inning Thursday, his 35th of the season, breaking the club record he set last year. It was his first intentional walk since LF Matt Holliday joined the team.

 

• RHP Kyle McClellan, who has been erratic lately, gave up three hits and two runs in the seventh inning Thursday as he blew his second save.

 

• SS Julio Lugo singled Thursday to extend his hitting streak to six games. He has looked a bit shaky in the field, but with Brendan Ryan injured, he likely will see regular time at shortstop this weekend.

 

• The Cardinals may have been able to win Wednesday's game in the 12th inning when PH Joe Thurston doubled with one out—except that he missed first base and the Dodgers correctly appealed. Afterward, manager Tony La Russa said, "We're looking for Joe. He's missing in action. I think he dug a hole trying to bury himself, and we can't find him. Hopefully, he got the result of the game and crawled back out. A very embarrassing moment for him."

 

ROSTER REPORT

 

• SS Brendan Ryan, who had been playing brilliantly in the field, probably will be out for at least the three-game series with Houston after fouling a ball of his left ankle in the second inning. "It's not broken, just a big bruise," manager Tony La Russa said. Ryan was on crutches after the game. Julio Lugo finished the game at shortstop.

 

• INF Khalil Greene, who has been on a rehab assignment and hitting well at Class AAA Memphis as he continues to deal with anxiety, may be activated from the 15-day disabled list as early as Friday. The original plan probably was not to activate him until the club goes on the road Tuesday. "I know we're seriously talking about (Greene)," manager Tony La Russa said.

 

• 3B Troy Glaus, whose rehab from shoulder surgery was cut short by back spasms, has had a cortisone shot in the affected area. Manager Tony La Russa said, "I don't expect him here shortly."

 

Medical Watch: 

 

SS Brendan Ryan (bruised left ankle) left the July 30 game, and he is unlikely to play before Aug. 3.

 

OF Rick Ankiel (slight groin strain) did not play July 28. He appeared as a pinch hitter July 29, and he returned to the starting lineup July 30.

 

SS Khalil Greene (social anxiety disorder) went on the 15-day disabled list June 29. He began a minor league rehab assignment July 17, and he could be activated as soon as July 31.

 

3B Troy Glaus (right shoulder surgery in January 2009) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27. He began a minor league rehab assignment July 11. He was shut down in late July due to recurring back pain.

 

LHP Jaime Garcia (Tommy John elbow surgery in September 2008) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27. He began a rehab assignment in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League on July 23.


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