Cardinals Major League Notebook: 09/07/09

The two re-signed relievers, Ryan Franklin and Trever Miller, let one get away in Pittsburgh on Sunday.



The Cardinals let a rare one-run lead in the ninth inning get away Sunday but manager Tony La Russa said, "We took another number off the magic number (15). You can never be unhappy about that."


Three things happened that almost never happen. On the same day the Cardinals' streak of winning right-hander Joel Pineiro's starts ended at 11, righty Ryan Franklin suffered only his third blown save out of 40 and lefty reliever Trever Miller, who surrendered the game-winning hit to Pittsburgh first baseman Garrett Jones, allowed only his seventh of 49 inherited runners to score. Miller, who had been fourth in the majors in that category, also allowed just his 10th hit in 84 at-bats (.119) against left-handers.


Franklin, who suffered his second loss, had thrown 22 pitches the night before and even though he hadn't worked in the four days before that, La Russa said, "He's been out there a lot. His stuff probably was not quite as sharp."


Rick Ankiel, whose sensational defensive play in left field helped the Cardinals win Saturday night's game in extra innings, almost won Sunday's game with a pinch homer off reliever Jesse Chavez to break a 4-4 tie in the ninth inning.


Ankiel is hitting only .232 with a low on-base percentage of .287 for the season but he is a .353 pinch hitter at six for 17. "He's almost more controlled when he pinch-hits," said La Russa. I don't know."


The Cardinals were eight games over .500 on Aug. 7 when they started their 22-6 run. Their immediate goal was to get to 10 games over .500, where they hadn't been since May 1. But they soared past 10, 15, 20 and even got to 25 over before Sunday.


"My number one dream," said La Russa, "is that we continue to play our hearts out and see what our record ends up being. We don't need this or need that. We don't need squat.


"We need to play our hearts out every day. Then, whatever it is... is what it is."


PITTSBURGH 6, CARDINALS 5: The Cardinals ran their record to 11-0-1 in their last 12 series but couldn't convert the sweep at Pittsburgh as the Pirates jumped on RHP Ryan Franklin's breaking pitches in the ninth inning. Franklin allowed the game-tying hit to PH Ryan Doumit and then suffered his second loss when LHP Trever Miller gave up a single to 1B Garrett Jones, who was seven for 13 in the series against the Cardinals.




--It will be at least a week more before the Cardinals get any reinforcements from the minors. The Memphis Redbirds, many of whom have played with the Cardinals at one time this season, wrapped up their division title in the Pacific Coast League by winning a doubleheader from Oklahoma City Saturday night while Nashville was losing. The Redbirds now will head into the best-of-five first round of the playoffs on Wednesday night at Albuquerque.


The only immediate downside for the Cardinals is that they won't be able to bring up another catcher, probably Matt Pagnozzi, until the playoffs are over. So the Cardinals will continue with Yadier Molina and Jason LaRue.


--RHP Ryan Franklin had converted saves in his last 13 outings before blowing the save and suffering his second loss on Sunday when LHP Trever Miller, who also has been very effective, allowed a game-ending hit.


"I'm not saying that either one of us (Franklin and Miller) have been on too much of a high but it brings you back down to where you're supposed to be," said Franklin.


BY THE NUMBERS: 32-5 -- The Cardinals' record since July 1 in games started by RHPs Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Joel Pineiro.


QUOTE TO NOTE: "It might be his last one for the '09 season." -- Manager Tony La Russa, on giving LF Matt Holliday his first day off after Holliday had played in 38 straight games since being acquired from Oakland.




   --3B Mark DeRosa again was out of the lineup because of some back soreness. Troy Glaus, just activated after missing most of the season following off-season shoulder surgery, played third base Sunday and first base Saturday and went nothing for eight.

   --RHP Mitchell Boggs, who pitched seven strong innings on Saturday, has pitched in seven winning games out of the nine starts he has made. Boggs or RHP Kyle Lohse, pulled off the disabled list on Sunday, would be in line to start next weekend against Atlanta at home.


   --CF Colby Rasmus, after striking out twice in three at-bats against Pittsburgh LHP Paul Maholm on Sunday, is just 13-for-93 (.140) against left-handed pitching. "(Sunday) he didn't have good swings," said manager Tony La Russa. "(Rasmus) was definitely tilting (Sunday), taking a lot of uppercuts. He's got to get back on top where he's squaring the ball."




   3B Mark DeRosa (sore back) did not play on Sept. 6 and is day to day.


   LHP Kyle Lohse (strained groin) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 22. He threw a bullpen session Aug. 27, and he was activated Sept. 6.

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