Cardinals Major League Notebook: 10/03/09

Questionable managing decisions coupled with poor relief pitching and a shaky defense cost Adam Wainwright his 20th win as the Cardinals allowed the Brewers to score 12 unanswered runs in an ugly 12-6 loss on Friday night at Busch Stadium.

Inside Pitch


There will be no 20-game winner in major league baseball this season. The Cardinals probably won't have any home-field advantage in the divisional playoffs. And you probably won't see for a long time as hideous an exhibition by Cardinals relief pitching and defense as there was in the seventh and eighth innings Friday night at Busch Stadium.


The Milwaukee Brewers, who overcame a 6-0 deficit to win, 12-6, scored six of their 11 runs in the seventh and eighth innings without benefit of a hit. Four came on four of the five wild pitches by the Cardinals, who hadn't tossed that many in a game since 1954, and two more scored on errors.


"It just snowballed," said manager Tony La Russa. "It was ugly."


Adam Wainwright, 19-8, took 6-1 lead into the seventh but was pulled after giving up two singles and throwing a total of 90 pitches after having tossed 130 in his previous start. The bullpen, notably Kyle McClellan, who retired only one of five hitters, failed to do the job.


"I thought it would be a real mistake to push (Wainwright) in the seventh inning," said La Russa.


The Cardinals ended the night still one game behind the Philadelphia Phillies for the second-best record among division leaders in the National League. Because of losing the season series to the Phils, the Cardinals will have to finish ahead of the Phillies to have home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs, when they would play either Los Angeles or Colorado.


MILWAUKEE 12, CARDINALS 6: The Cardinals had blown a lead no larger than three runs this season before they squandered an early six-run cushion on Friday night. Six St. Louis relievers, pitching a total of three innings, threw five wild pitches while allowing seven hits and nine runs.


Notes and Quotes


--3B Troy Glaus, who has missed most of the season after shoulder surgery and then other injuries, was in the Cardinals' starting lineup Friday night for a second time in succession for just the second time this season. Manager Tony La Russa, who was skeptical as to how much Glaus would be able to help, if any, said before Friday's game, "He could be a benefit to us in a lot of ways. He's had an interrupted season and it's impressive he's gotten to where he's got a choice to help us. That's a big statement right there." But Glaus was nothing for three and committed an error on Friday.


--Manager Tony La Russa, answering question about Skip Schumaker's successful conversion from full-time outfielder to most-time second baseman said, For what we asked (Schumaker) to do... if he'd done just an average job, he'd be a hero. He's been so much better than average. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed anything over the course of the season as much. It's been terrific to think about his first day of practice to what he is right now."


--The Cardinals have lost five of their last seven games to fall to just 22 games over .500. Their season high was 27, achieved at 84-57.


BY THE NUMBERS: 37-18 -- Cardinals' record in the first 55 games LF Matt Holliday played for them.


QUOTE TO NOTE: "I nit-pick. But I feel the progress I'm making is pretty darn good." -- RHP John Smoltz, after his sixth of six straight good starts for the Cardinals.


Roster Report


--1B Albert Pujols, who had three hits, raising his average to .331, now has 45 doubles and 47 homers. He has a club-high 15 stolen bases and he has a club-high 13 errors.


--RHP Adam Wainwright, 19-8 overall, finished just 7-7 at home despite an earned run average right at 2.00. On the road, he was 12-1 and 3.48. Wainwright will finish the season with the most innings pitched in the National League at 233. He also had the first triple of his career on Friday.




C Yadier Molina (sore left knee) left the Sept. 26 game, and he didn't play Sept. 27-30. He returned to action Oct. 1, but left the game with a strained left quadriceps. He was back in the lineup Oct. 2.

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