Cardinals Major League Notebook: 09/12/09

Despite pitching very well, Joel Pineiro and the Cardinals lost 1-0 to Atlanta as a crucial call at home plate went against them.



   Joel Pineiro suffered his first loss since June 28 after eight victories and 11 games, but he hardly pitched like a losing pitcher Friday night. 


   Pineiro (14-10) allowed just one run and five hits in seven innings, fanning seven.


   "I thought he was just outstanding," said Atlanta manager Bobby Cox. "I don't know how many balls we hit hard, but it wasn't too many. I can see why his record is what it is. He's got stuff and he never throws anything above the knee."


   Afterward, Pineiro was philosophic. "They (his teammates) have picked me up a couple of times," he said. "(Friday) was just one of those days."


   The Cardinals, down a run, put their first four runners on base in the sixth but didn't score. Martin Prado made a diving stop to end the inning, robbing Mark DeRosa. But on the big play before that, Matt Holliday was called out at the plate as he tried to score on Colby Rasmus' single to right.


   Holliday thought he was safe ahead of Ryan Church's throw to home. "It was obviously a close play," Holliday said. "But I thought I was clearly on the plate when he tagged me.


   "You win some and you lose some."


   The Cardinals lost for only the 12th time in 44 games since they acquired Holliday on July 24 from Oakland.


   ATLANTA 1, CARDINALS 0: The Cardinals were blanked for the ninth time this season and lost a game off their lead in the National League Central Division for the first time since they gained undisputed possession of first place on Aug. 7. LF Matt Holliday, 7-for-13 against Atlanta RHP Jair Jurrjens, had the only extra-base hit, a second-inning double. But after a single by RF Ryan Ludwick in that inning, CF Colby Rasmus and 3B Mark DeRosa fanned and C Yadier Molina grounded out.




   --Friday's loss was the Cardinals' third by a 1-0 score. The previous two came in a 10-day stretch at the hands of Milwaukee in May.


   --Manager Tony La Russa is stumping for young SS Brendan Ryan to be a Gold Glove candidate. "Whoever you consider as the best defensive shortstop in the National League... he's got to be in that discussion. Absolutely," said La Russa.


   BY THE NUMBERS: 10 -- Number of multi-homer games for 1B Albert Pujols, tying Mark McGwire's single-season club record.


   QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm not a home run hitter." -- 1B Albert Pujols, after hitting his major-league-leading 46th and 47th homers on Sept. 9.




   --1B Albert Pujols, a former Gold Glove winner, had a rare two-error night but also made two outstanding defensive plays in the field. "This guy never ceases to amaze me," said Atlanta manager Bobby Cox. "I watch all the games that I can during the day and he's fun to watch. He's always doing something. He made two errors (Friday night)? I've never seen him make one (error) until (Friday night)."


   --RHP Kyle Lohse, recovered from a strained left groin, will make his first start since Aug. 21 on Saturday when he faces Atlanta. Manager Tony La Russa said he felt confident that Lohse was healthy. "Now, we'll see how sharp he is," said La Russa.


   --LF Matt Holliday was back in the lineup after coming out early on Wednesday when he suffered a bruised left knee when he tripped after crossing first base. The swelling lasted only a day or so.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories