Cardinals Major League Notebook: 05/20/10

The Cardinals offense continued to struggle as the visiting Marlins won 5-1 on Wednesday night.


Rookie left-hander Jaime Garcia extended his streak of scoreless innings at home this season to 19 Wednesday night. But the bad news for the Cardinals was that Florida made Garcia employ 96 pitches in five innings, and manager Tony La Russa felt he needed to pull Garcia, who had worked hard to get to that point, stranding nine Marlins.

"He used a lot of pitches to get to zero," La Russa said. "But he kept competing. I was pleased he got through five, actually."

It was a no-decision for Garcia because the Cardinals did nothing with Florida right-hander Anibal Sanchez. It was a loss for the Cardinals when right-hander Blake Hawksworth walked Sanchez in a bunting situation to load the bases in what became a two-run sixth. Hawksworth then surrendered home runs to Dan Uggla and Cameron Maybin in the seventh.

"In the big leagues, if you make mistakes, you're going to pay for them," said Hawksworth (0-2).

The Cardinals offense still is spinning its wheels. For the 13th time in 18 losses, St. Louis scored two runs or fewer, and for the ninth time in a defeat, the Cards scored one or none.

They had a huge chance to climb back into the game in the eighth, and they had what seemed the perfect combination at the plate.

Reliever Clay Hensley walked the first two men he faced, Felipe Lopez and Ryan Ludwick. But Matt Holliday struck out and Albert Pujols bounced into a double play. Holliday now is 8-for-50 (.160) with runners in scoring position, and Pujols has had only seven extra-base hits this month.

"There was real hope there," La Russa said. "Albert was the tying run on deck. We were optimistic. Matt chased a couple, and Albert got in front of one. It's disappointing."

Pujols, who has five singles in 10 at-bats in the first three games of the homestand said, "It happens."

MARLINS 5, CARDINALS 1: The Cardinals avoided their fourth shutout by scoring a run in the ninth on a double by CF Colby Rasmus, who had struck out in his first three at-bats, and a single by 3B David Freese, who has 25 RBI through one-quarter of the season. But Freese's hit was the team's only one in six at-bats with a runner in scoring position.


RHP Blake Hawksworth, scored on in five of his past seven appearances, saw his ERA climb from 2.35 to 4.15 with his poor outing Wednesday. "Got to get better. Got to get the ball down," he said.

Besides being one of two Cardinals regulars hitting over .300—behind 1B Albert Pujols—and besides being second in RBI on the club—behind Pujols—3B David Freese is tied for first on the club in an unusual category. He has four sacrifice bunts, four more then he had had in his first four years of pro ball. "I haven't been asked to put down a bunt since high school," Freese said. "Whatever helps the team, I'm all for it."

RHP Ryan Franklin has hit one batter but issued no walks in his first 17 outings this season, covering 17 1/3 innings. He is pitching just as he did most of last season, when he made the All-Star team and converted 38 saves.

The Cardinals have committed 27 errors, leading to the total of 25 unearned runs, which is tied for first with Chicago in the National League.

Manager Tony Russa said there was a "good chance" that temporarily deposed SS Brendan Ryan would play against Florida LHP Nate Robertson on Thursday. Ryan has been sitting out in a 1-for-30 nosedive that has dropped his average to .162.

By The Numbers:

9-Games the Cardinals went without a home run before they hit two on May 14. That was their longest dry spell since they had 10 homerless games in May 2007.

Quote To Note:

"I stopped worrying about where my body was, where my hands were … I went back to just trying to see the baseball."

-RF Ryan Ludwick, whose average had slipped into the .250s before he went on a recent eight-game hitting streak.
Medical Watch:

The Cardinals have no significant injuries.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories