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
In the next two weekends, the
Cardinals will play
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
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
• 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
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
• 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
• RHP Mitchell Boggs, a 5-4 loser
Tuesday, is a candidate to start again Monday or Tuesday in
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.