Cardinals Major League Notebook: 08/14/09

The St. Louis Cardinals prepare to face the San Diego Padres for three at Busch Stadium this weekend.



The Cardinals, stretching out their lead in the National League Central, are doing it by beating up on second-division clubs. They just finished winning three in a row from last-place Pittsburgh and taking two of three from injury-riddled Cincinnati, and they greet San Diego on Friday.


In the next two weekends, the Cardinals will play San Diego, the last-place club in the NL West, seven times. The weekend after that, they will entertain Washington, the last-place club in the NL East, in a three-game series.


Ace right-hander Chris Carpenter said the Cardinals' mission is simple.


"When you run into a team that's scuffling, you beat them," he said. "We did that in Pittsburgh. We did that here (against Cincinnati). It's not an easy thing to do. But if you go out, play your butt off, you should win."


Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Joel Pineiro begin the weekend ranked No. 2, No. 6 and No. 13 in ERA in the National League. The Cardinals are 20-3 since July 1 in games started by that trio, and in their last four collective starts (two by Carpenter), they have walked a total of one batter over 28 2/3 innings.


Kyle Lohse also didn't walk anybody in six innings in his last start.


Cardinals pitchers have issued the fewest walks in the National League at 326 through 116 games, an average of 2.81 per game.




• RHP Adam Wainwright, who will face San Diego on Friday, is 5-1 with a 1.35 ERA in his last eight starts dating to July 1. Though he has been a starter for three seasons, he never has started against San Diego, making his last appearance against them in relief in the 2006 playoffs.


• LF Matt Holliday is a .455 lifetime hitter at Busch Stadium (35-for-73), counting another three-hit night Wednesday. Holliday already has had two four-hit games and three three-hit games in the three weeks he has been a Cardinal.


• 1B Albert Pujols, besides hitting a solo homer in the third inning, knocked Cincinnati RHP Homer Bailey out of Wednesday's game with a smash off Bailey's left foot in the first inning. After a flustered Bailey recovered the ball and fired it into right field, two runners scored and Pujols was at third.


"That poor Bailey got nailed," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "I'm surprised he could throw the ball to first base."


By The Numbers:   48-24—The Cardinals' record at Pittsburgh's PNC Park since it opened.


Quote To Note:   "He's a complete player and person."—Manager Tony La Russa on MVP candidate Albert Pujols, who also tended to a fan who fell over the rail chasing a foul ball at PNC Park on Friday night.




• SS Brendan Ryan batted second on Wednesday, becoming the 12th Cardinal to hit there ahead of 1B Albert Pujols, who is in the No. 3 slot. CF Colby Rasmus has had the most games by far ahead of Pujols, batting second 58 times. Next is OF Rick Ankiel at 13 games.


• RHP Jason Motte (5.75 ERA) is struggling, and manager Tony La Russa probably won't be using the rookie in late-inning spots for a while. "I'm going to be careful how I use Jason," La Russa said. "Not hesitant to use him."


• The Cardinals are one of the teams that have kicked the tires on RHP John Smoltz, let go by Boston. "His name has got to get your attention," manager Tony La Russa said.


• RHP Mitchell Boggs, a 5-4 loser Tuesday, is a candidate to start again Monday or Tuesday in Los Angeles. The Cardinals are 5-1 in Boggs' six starts, although he is just 1-1. RHP P.J. Walters, who is red-hot at Class AAA Memphis, also is a candidate to start the game in place of RHP Todd Wellemeyer, on the disabled list with an elbow injury.


Medical Watch: 


RHP Todd Wellemeyer (right elbow inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 5.


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 because of recurring back pain. He will start a new rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on Aug. 15.


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 minor leagues on July 23.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories