Cardinals Major League Notebook: 09/16/09

Anxious Cardinals hitters wasted another fine start by Adam Wainwright in a 2-1 loss to Florida on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium.

Inside Pitch


Adam Wainwright figures to have three starts left to get to 20 wins for the season. In manager Tony La Russa's mind, he should have had win No. 19 Tuesday.


Wainwright gave up two runs in seven innings and fanned eight. The only blemish off him was a two-run homer by Florida's Dan Uggla in the sixth, but that was enough to give the Marlins a 2-1 victory.


"He's not the losing pitcher," La Russa said. "He pitched a winning game.


"We couldn't support him. Part of it was (Florida rookie left-hander Sean) West. He pitched well, but we helped him way too many times. I don't want to take too much away from him, but we chased balls up. We chased balls in the dirt. I think we're better than that. We like to be aggressive, but we like to mix in aggressiveness with good sense.


"A disappointing day."


Wainwright said of his effort, "Almost every night with this team, that's going to win. The guy on the other side pitched a great game."


The Cardinals, who have lost four of their last five games overall, are still 26-20 in games started by opposing left-handers, but they are batting only .233 against them for the season. La Russa, however, doesn't feel there's a problem.


"I like our lineup against left-handed pitching," La Russa said. "I don't like our lineup against anybody if he we help the pitcher as much as we did tonight.


"The lineup as it is now (with Matt Holliday in it) is a good lineup against left-handed pitching. For months, it wasn't quite as good."


Holliday is hitting .341 against left-handers as a Cardinal since joining the team July 24.


MARLINS 2, CARDINALS 1: Florida's Dan Uggla yanked a low curveball, probably out of the strike zone, for a two-run homer in the sixth inning to erase a 1-0 Cardinals lead. The Cardinals had only three official at-bats with men in scoring position and were 0-for-3, although Albert Pujols' sacrifice fly scored the lone St. Louis run in the fifth inning.


Notes, Quotes


      The Cardinals have suffered three one-run losses in their recent run of four defeats in five games. For the season, they are a modest 22-18 in one-run verdicts.


      RHP Mitchell Boggs, a rookie who made nine starts with the Cardinals, winning seven of them, had an impressive 1 2/3-inning relief stint Tuesday, striking out three of the five men he faced. "His velocity was good, location was good, movement was good, mixed in a breaking ball … very impressive," manager Tony La Russa said.


      3B David Freese hit a solo homer and LHP Jaime Garcia worked 6 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, fanning seven, as Memphis beat Sacramento 1-0 Tuesday at Memphis in the first game of the best-of-five Pacific Coast League championship playoff series. It was the second consecutive 1-0 win by Memphis in the postseason.


      RHP Blake Hawksworth, a rookie, gained his fourth straight victory by working 1 1/3 scoreless innings Monday. Hawksworth gradually has gone from long relief to prominent relief. "He's done it the way you're supposed to do it," said manager Tony La Russa. "He was impressive in spring training. He went down to Class AAA and didn't pout. He was going to be an innings guy, which means ahead by a lot or behind by a lot. Then there was that kind of famous extra-inning game (a 15-inning win over Los Angeles), where he was the guy (Hawksworth worked three scoreless innings for his first big-league win). From then on, he's gotten more and more assignments when the game's on the line. That's the way you hoped a guy would respond to it."


By The Numbers:


10—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.


Roster Report


      SS Brendan Ryan missed Tuesday's start and likely will miss Wednesday's game, too, because of a jammed left pinkie finger suffered when he dived back into first base Monday. Ryan, who will get a day of rest Thursday when the Cardinals are off, seems a candidate to play when the Cubs come to town Friday.


      3B Troy Glaus, whose latest setback was a pulled left oblique muscle, was unavailable for the third day in a row, and manager Tony La Russa said he didn't know when Glaus, who has been out virtually all season with shoulder and back issues, would be usable. "You're only talking about three weeks left in the season. It's definitely not a good development," La Russa said. "If a guy's played all year long and he misses 10 days, it's less of a factor than if you miss five months and come back in and you're trying to get going. It's not a good time to miss time."


      2B Skip Schumaker had two hits, giving him three consecutive multi-hit games in which he is 8-for-12. He was a late fill-in for SS Brendan Ryan.


      1B Albert Pujols is 4-for-5 in the first two games of the series with the Marlins and has been on base six times. His career average of .282 against Florida is Pujols' second lowest against any National League opponent. He has a .269 average against Philadelphia.


Medical Watch:


SS Brendan Ryan (sore left pinkie) did not play Sept. 15, and he is unlikely to play Sept. 16.


3B Troy Glaus (pulled left oblique muscle) was injured Sept. 12 and did not play Sept. 13-15. He is out indefinitely.


RHP Kyle Lohse (sore right forearm) likely will miss his start during the Sept. 18-20 weekend.


RHP John Smoltz (right shoulder tendinitis) missed his Sept. 14 start. He is expected to be ready for his next start.

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