Cardinals Major League Notebook: 10/09/09

Matt Holliday's ninth-inning error paved the way for Los Angeles to steal NLDS game two from St. Louis Thursday at Dodger Stadium. The Cardinals return home down no games to two in the best of five series resuming Saturday.

Inside Pitch


The Cardinals never have lost a playoff series to the Dodgers (Los Angeles or Brooklyn), but they're one defeat away from seeing that streak -- and their season -- end.


With a two-run, ninth-inning rally Thursday, the Dodgers moved out to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five National League Division Series.


The Cardinals beat Brooklyn two games straight in a best-of-three playoff for the 1946 NL pennant. In 1985, they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers four games to two in the NL Championship Series. And in 2004, the Cardinals won the division series over the Dodgers, three games to one.


If they lose this series, the Cardinals long will look back at a magnificent starting performance by Adam Wainwright that was wasted. Wainwright retired the first 11 men in a row and held the Dodgers to one run over eight innings.


"The quality of that was so good, it's almost impossible to describe," manager Tony La Russa said. "He had very little to work with. Outstanding."


Returning home for Game 3, the Cardinals will turn to Joel Pineiro, who had a 2.87 ERA at Busch Stadium this year.


DODGERS 3, CARDINALS 2: LF Matt Holliday, who had accounted for one of the Cardinals' two runs with a second-inning homer off LHP Clayton Kershaw, lost 1B James Loney's liner to left in the lights with two out and nobody on in the ninth. RHP Ryan Franklin then blew the save and the game.


Notes and Quotes


--The Cardinals have used all of their regular relievers except for RHP Jason Motte in the first two games of the NL Division Series. RHP Ryan Franklin, who blew the save Thursday in his first postseason action, has had just one save since Sept. 5.


--CF Colby Rasmus, who hit .160 against left-handers this season and didn't start against a number of them, had two hits, including a double, off Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw on Thursday. Rasmus is 3-for-6 in the NL Division Series.


--RHP Chris Carpenter was voted the NL Comeback Player of the Year, it was announced Monday. The award was voted on by the 30 beat writers for


--The Cardinals went into the postseason with nobody on the disabled list or even hurt at all. Trainer Barry Weinberg said, "We have no physical issues. Everybody has no limitations, or nobody has any limitations."


BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Intentional walks for 1B Albert Pujols in the first two games of the series.


QUOTE TO NOTE: "We have another opportunity. (But) it was a tough loss, very tough loss. Very disappointing." -- Manager Tony La Russa, after the Cardinals blew Game 2 in the ninth inning.


Roster Report


--RHP Adam Wainwright, but for his team's ninth-inning breakdown, would have scored his 13th road win out of 14 decisions. Wainwright allowed the Dodgers to have more than one runner on base in just the eighth inning, as Los Angeles had trouble tracking his curveball when the shadows crept across Dodger Stadium.


--3B Mark DeRosa, who wound up the regular season going 2-for-22, has had five hits in the first two games of the division series. That is an indication that his left wrist, which has a torn tendon, isn't bothering him much right now.


--INF Julio Lugo, who didn't start Game 1, played second base and had a single and a double in Game 2. But 2B Skip Schumaker, who reached base four times in the opener, will be back in the lineup for Game 3 on Saturday.




No injured players.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories