Cardinals Major League Notebook: 09/03/09

The Cardinals clinched another series, this time over Milwaukee, having gone 9-0-1 in their last ten.

Inside Pitch



Chris Carpenter, though forced to work hard by the Brewers, endured six innings to post his 15th win Wednesday night. He has won 10 in a row in a 15-3 season."I think (15) is an amazing number considering that he was on the disabled list," said manager Tony La Russa, referring to Carpenter being sidelined for six weeks with an oblique muscle tear.



But Carpenter had been through far worse than that, as he spent most of the last two seasons on the disabled list with elbow and shoulder problems.



"The significance," La Russa said, "is to see the excitement that he brings, that he feels. You can just see it when he walks in and it's his day to pitch. He's ready."Whatever the number of (wins) turns out to be, we're just glad to get him back."For the season, Carpenter has a 2.28 ERA, best in the majors.

 

On Wednesday, the right-hander had to survive a pitch from Milwaukee 's Dave Bush glancing off his right thumb as Carpenter tried to bunt in the second inning. "Yeah, I was concerned," La Russa said. But Carpenter turned out to be all right.

 

"It would have hit me in the chest, but I was able to get out of the way," Carpenter said. "The second at-bat he got one up there on me, too. I don't know what he's doing or what he's thinking, but it's not too difficult to throw a ball down and away."

 

The Cardinals have won 20 of their last 25 games, but their current five-game winning streak ties their season high.

 

CARDINALS 10, BREWERS 3: Everybody in St. Louis' starting lineup either scored a run or drove one in Wednesday as the Cardinals used a six-run second inning to steamroll Milwaukee. 1B Albert Pujols' two-run double in the second gave him nine hits in 13 at-bats with 27 RBIs when he's batted with the bases loaded this season.

 

Notes and Quotes

 

The Cardinals, by winning the first two games against Milwaukee, have clinched another series. They are 10-0-1 in their last 11 series.

Manager Tony La Russa had to answer questions before Wednesday's game as to why he sat regular RF Ryan Ludwick for Rick Ankiel. But Ankiel backed La Russa's logic by singling twice and walking twice.

 

RHP Joel Pineiro did something Tuesday that he almost never does. He walked a hitter (just his 19th for the season) and gave up a homer (only his seventh) in the same inning. But he lasted seven innings and gave up just one more run after the first, when 3B Casey McGehee hit a three-run homer.

 

GM John Mozeliak suggested the Cardinals might try to re-sign RHP John Smoltz, who will be 43 next year. "There could be something there," said Mozeliak, who has seen two good starts by the veteran. "There is probably going to be a need for one starter going forward." The Cardinals will try to re-sign RHP Joel Pineiro as a free agent, but Smoltz could be a fallback. Smoltz said, "I definitely want to pitch next year. If the desire disappears, I'll be completely comfortable with the decision to walk away."

 
By The Numbers:

10—Consecutive non-losing (9-0-1) series for the Cardinals through Aug. 30.

 
Quote To Note:

"When you only get one at-bat, it's a tough assignment."

—INF Khalil Greene, after tying a game the Cardinals later won with his first pinch-hit homer. Greene, disabled twice with anxiety issues, has lost his SS job to Brendan Ryan but has contributed off the bench.

 

Roster Report

 

2B Skip Schumaker had his first four-hit game of the season, raising his average to .301 with a .360 on-base percentage. Last year, he finished at .302 with a .359 on-base percentage, but this year he is playing a position that was foreign to him until the spring. Manager Tony La Russa, referring to Schumaker as one of the club's most valuable players, said, "It speaks volumes for his toughness. Learning a new position and he's still been able to separate the offense and the defense. … He's had a heckuva year—so far."

 

3B Troy Glaus, who had been on the disabled list all season because of his slow recovery from January shoulder surgery, made his first appearance Wednesday. Greeted with a standing ovation as he came to the plate as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning, Glaus struck out. Manager Tony La Russa said he had been watching Glaus in batting practice, though, and had liked what he'd seen.

 

RHP Jason Motte, who has labored most of the season, has put together some good outings lately. He fanned five in two scoreless innings Wednesday.

 


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