Cardinals Major League Notebook: 09/18/09

John Smoltz returns on Friday against Chicago after missing a turn with right shoulder tendinitis as the Cardinals' magic number is 8.

Inside Pitch


As the Cardinals were losing two straight series at home (1-5 overall) against Atlanta and Florida, they mustered only nine extra-base hits and one home run -- by Colby Rasmus. They went 1-for-16 with men in scoring position over the last two days of the Florida series, both losses, and Matt Holliday was 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position in those games.


Hitting coach Hal McRae said, "We're chasing (bad pitches) a bit, and we're not being patient enough. And two, we haven't bunched any hits. I think if we stop chasing, we'll start bunching."


In the last two games with Florida, the Cardinals never had more than two hits in succession, and that happened only twice.


The losses came against solid teams with good pitching staffs. In the last month, the Cardinals are 15-4 against teams with losing records but only 1-5 (Atlanta and Florida) against teams with winning marks.


For the season, the Cardinals have winning records against only two National League teams with winning records -- Chicago (8-5), which is in town Friday, and Los Angeles (5-2). Overall, the Cardinals are 60-33 against teams with losing marks and 25-29 against teams that have winning marks.


Notes, Quotes


      After the Cardinals finish their nine-game homestand against the Cubs, they will go on a nine-game trip, champagne in hand for a potential division clinch. They will travel to Houston, Colorado and Cincinnati before finishing with three at home against Milwaukee on Oct. 2-4. Those will be the last regular-season games at Busch Stadium until April 12, 2010, because the Cardinals will play the first week of next season on the road at Cincinnati and Milwaukee.


      Class AAA Memphis won its fifth consecutive postseason game Wednesday, beating Sacramento 3-2 to take a 2-0 edge in games in the Pacific Coast League championship series. The remaining games in the best-of-5 set will be played in Sacramento. RHP Adam Ottavino, making his first start in 10 days, whiffed nine in six innings for Memphis on Wednesday.


      RHP Kyle Lohse, who had some forearm inflammation after his start on Saturday, will be skipped this weekend. Manager Tony La Russa said he hoped Lohse could pitch against Houston at the start of next week.


      RHP John Smoltz, who missed a start with shoulder tendinitis, will face the Cubs on Friday, followed by RHPs Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright.


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


      RHP John Smoltz, who will pitch Friday against Chicago after missing a turn with tendinitis in his right shoulder, has walked just one and struck out 28 in 22 innings for the Cardinals since being let go by Boston. "Any time you can get an extra couple of days' rest, it's nice at this time of year," Smoltz said of missing the last start.


      3B Troy Glaus may not be able to play again this season. Glaus, sidelined by a pulled left oblique muscle, calls himself "day-to-day" but hasn't been doing anything on the field in the last few days. Glaus, 3-for-17 in limited duty, has missed much of the season after failing to respond to January shoulder surgery.


      The Cardinals will wait until Memphis is through playing before making any call-ups. C Matt Pagnozzi is expected to be summoned because the Cardinals have only two catchers on their roster now.


Medical Watch:


SS Brendan Ryan (sore left pinkie) did not play Sept. 15 and was limited to pinch-running duty Sept. 16. He is expected back Sept. 18.


3B Troy Glaus (pulled left oblique muscle) was injured Sept. 12 and did not play Sept. 13-16. He is out indefinitely.


RHP Kyle Lohse (sore right forearm) will miss his Sept. 19 start.


RHP John Smoltz (right shoulder tendinitis) missed his Sept. 14 start, but he is scheduled to start Sept. 18.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories