Cardinals Major League Notebook: 08/15/09

Adam Wainwright led the Cardinals to a victory over San Diego Friday night with his bat and arm.

INSIDE PITCH

 

Adam Wainwright became the first National League pitcher to reach 14 wins Friday night and he tied Boston's Josh Beckett for most victories by any big-league pitcher this year. But Wainwright has more home runs.

 

American League wins leader Beckett did hit a homer in interleague play this season but Wainwright rocketed his second of the year to break a scoreless tie in the third inning with the San Diego Padres.

 

With a start coming against the Dodgers on Wednesday in Los Angeles, Wainwright was pulled after 103 pitches, two innings short of what could have been his first shutout in 215 professional starts.

 

But Wainwright lasted long enough to extend his major-league-high to 23 straight starts of at least six innings.

 

The 14 wins tie a career high for Wainwright, first attained in his initial season as a Cardinals starter in 2007. That he leads the league in wins "feels pretty good," Wainwright said. "It will feel a lot better when we win the World Series. That's the goal."

 

Wainwright, who didn't walk anyone for the third consecutive start, recorded 15 of his 21 outs on ground balls as he required only three strikeouts, his lowest total for a game since May 31.

 

The more Wainwright (14-7) does what he's doing, he's drawing superlatives that he's reached No. 1 starter status although he smiled and said, "It's hard to be a No. 1 when you're not even No. 1 on your team." He was referring to Chris Carpenter.

 

"I'd like to think that on a lot of teams, I'd be a No. 1. The thing I do know is that every time I take the mound, in my mind, I'm the best pitcher in the league."

 

Cardinals 9, Padres 2:   The Cardinals went to 13 games over .500 for the first time this season as LF Matt Holliday knocked in three runs to support the seven-inning shutout pitching of RHP Adam Wainwright. Wainwright scattered eight hits, including three doubles as he beat the Padres for the first time in his career.

 

NOTES, QUOTES

 

• CF Colby Rasmus had his first three-hit game since July 7. Rasmus, hitting second, and 2B Skip Schumaker, who hit first, were on base five times as table-setters for 1B Albert Pujols, LF Matt Holliday and RF Ryan Ludwick, who drove in his 74th run.

 

• With Thursday's day off, the Cardinals have moved RHP Chris Carpenter up a day so that he will pitch on Monday at Los Angeles. So far, rookie Mitchell Boggs, who was not particularly impressive in a loss here on Tuesday, is tabbed as next Tuesday's starter against the Dodgers. "He's listed," said manager Tony La Russa. "When it counts is when you send the lineup to the umpire. But there's no reason to expect (Boggs) not to pitch."

 

• RHP Adam Wainwright became the first Cardinals pitcher to have more than one homer in a season since LHP Rick Ankiel in 2000.

 

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.

 

ROSTER REPORT

 

• C Yadier Molina stole his seventh base in eight tries—and without a throw. The slow-running Molina ranks third on the club in steals behind 1B Albert Pujols with 11 and SS Brendan Ryan with nine. The club record for steals by a catcher is nine by Tim McCarver (1966) and Tom Pagnozzi (1991)."Now that he's starting to get a reputation, (pitchers) are going to be more careful," said manager Tony La Russa.

 

• LF Matt Holliday, who knocked in three more runs on Friday, had three hits to raise his average as a Cardinal to .493 during his three weeks with them. Manager Tony La Russa said he thought RHP Adam Wainwright's 23 straight starts of six innings or more was the most striking number of the night. But Wainwright said, ".493 is .493, any way you slice it." Holliday has had two four-hit games and four others of three hits in just 19 games with the club.

 

• For the first time in his career, RF Ryan Ludwick, who was National League Player of the Month for July, has a chance to have more RBIs than strikeouts. He has just 68 strikeouts.

 

"That's one of the things I was focusing on coming into this year… cutting down on my strikeouts," he said. "At times, (not wanting to strike out) also takes away from my aggressiveness. And I think with my aggressiveness comes power. It's a give-and-take situation, but, yeah, I've definitely cut down. It would be nice to do the cut-down and still have the same production."

 

• RHP Ryan Franklin is two saves shy of becoming the seventh pitcher in Cardinals history to have 30 or more saves in a season. RHP Jason Isringhausen had the most 30-plus saves years with five. RHPs Lee Smith and Todd Worrell had three each (all Smith's were 40-plus), RHP Bruce Sutter two and RHPs Tom Henke and Dennis Eckersley one apiece.


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