Cardinals Major League Notebook: 05/27/10

Again, plenty of pitching but no hitting as St. Louis lost 2-1 in 13 innings in San Diego Wednesday night.



Jaime Garcia had seen this movie before. For the second consecutive start, the impressive young left-hander didn't allow a run. But not only did he not win either game, the Cardinals didn't either.


After working five scoreless innings May 19 in what became a loss to Florida, the rookie pitched six scoreless innings Wednesday at San Diego. But the Cardinals, for the second night in succession, fell victim to a homer by the Padres' Jerry Hairston Jr., who has two homers for the series -- and for the season.


This time, the game-winner came in the 13th inning, marking the 12th time in 21 losses the Cardinals had scored one run or none in a defeat. They probably shouldn't have had any runs Wednesday, but a Padres misplay by rookie outfielder Luis Durango enabled Skip Schumaker to get a two-out double instead of a single in the ninth inning. Ryan Ludwick, a .412 hitter with men in scoring position, then singled home the tying run on an 0-2 pitch.


Besides striking out an unwieldy 16 times, the Cardinals also ran the bases poorly. They had two runners thrown out in the first inning, including one at the plate, when they had four runners and no runs. But the coup de grace came in the 11th.


Colby Rasmus got a broken-bat single and stole second. Yadier Molina, in a grinding at-bat, singled to right, with Rasmus stopping at third. Then Schumaker grounded to Padres second baseman David Eckstein, who threw home. Rasmus broke on contact and then stopped, creating a rundown situation. But Rasmus didn't stay in the rundown long enough for the Padres to make an extra throw. He was tagged out by catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who then flipped to third where the slow-running Molina was tagged out to complete a double play. Ludwick then lined to center.


"(Rasmus) got too far to the catcher," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "If he stops in the middle, he can do a deke and get two or three throws. That's not the way to operate.


"We made a couple of mistakes, and in a game like this, you can't make mistakes."

Rasmus, a second-year player, also was caught between second and third in the fourth inning after Molina had beaten out an infield hit.


PADRES 2, CARDINALS 1 (13 innings): RHP Mitch Boggs, the seventh Cardinals pitcher, recorded two quick outs in the 13th inning but then served up a game-losing homer to San Diego SS Jerry Hairston Jr. The Cardinals, who have given up just three runs in 21 innings in a brilliantly pitched series, fell one game behind Cincinnati for the first time this season in the NL Central after a second consecutive trying loss.


"I was trying to go right after him and I made a bad pitch," said Boggs, who said he felt he had let down his teammates who had battled, futilely, it turned out, for more than four hours.




RHP Kyle Lohse, who has had continued forearm issues this season, is likely to require surgery, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Lohse, who visited a hand specialist in Anaheim, Calif., on Wednesday, is suffering, according to those familiar with his diagnosis, from a rare condition called "exertional compartment syndrome," whereby the sheath covering a muscle in the pitcher's forearm fails to allow it to expand.


According to the Post-Dispatch, the condition has been more often associated with distance runners and motocross riders, although San Francisco LHP Noah Lowry had surgery for same problem in the spring of 2008. He has yet to return to the majors, and he later accused his doctors of misdiagnosing him.


The Cardinals have made no statement about Lohse's condition, although manager Tony La Russa said there was "no chance" that Lohse would be able to start Saturday in Chicago.


Given the fact that the Cardinals employed seven pitchers Wednesday and they have rookie RHP P.J. Walters working in Thursday's series finale, the club probably would be best served by disabling Lohse on Thursday and bringing up a reliever right away. Or the Cardinals could wait and summon a starter like RHP Adam Ottavino from Class AAA Memphis to start Saturday in Chicago in place of Lohse.


Even though manager Tony La Russa had LHP Trever Miller up, he allowed RHP Kyle McClellan to face left-handed-hitting PH Matt Stairs with two outs in the eighth inning. Stairs doubled home a runner from first to break a scoreless tie. La Russa said he kept McClellan in the game because the next two hitters after Stairs were right-handed batters and that McClellan, one of the Cardinals' top relievers, was just as effective against left-handed hitters anyway. But Stairs had fanned three times in three career at-bats against Miller.


It's pretty simple to see one of the reasons why the Cardinals aren't scoring. 1B Albert Pujols and LF Matt Holliday are doing little to nothing. Pujols, who hasn't knocked in a run in 11 games, has had three singles and two walks in the first two games of this series but no extra-base hits. He has only eight extra-base hits for the month. Holliday is 0-for-9 with a walk in the series, and he fanned in a key fifth-inning spot with the bases loaded after Pujols was passed intentionally for the 15th time this season.


LHP Jamie Garcia pitched scoreless ball for the second consecutive game, and he wound up with two no-decisions. He held the Padres to three hits and four walks in six inning Wednesday, lowering his ERA to 1.14.


   BY THE NUMBERS: 1,045 -- Consecutive starts, since May 2003, in which 1B Albert Pujols had hit third before manager Tony La Russa moved him to fourth at the start of a home stand May 17. Pujols returned to the No. 3 spot on May 22 after the Cardinals went 4-1.

   QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's over. We said what we said. It's over." -- 1B Albert Pujols, after a testy exchange with manager Tony La Russa when Pujols showed displeasure with a runner being thrown out trying to steal while he was at-bat May 21.




Medical Watch:


   RHP Kyle Lohse (right forearm inflammation) left his May 22 start. An MRI on May 24 found no structural damage. He almost certainly will miss his May 29 start, but his long-term status was in doubt pending further evaluation.


   RHP Blake Hawksworth (right groin soreness) didn't pitch May 20-23. He is expected to be ready to pitch May 25.


   RHP Brad Penny (strained upper back) went on the 15-day disabled list May 22. He might resume throwing in late May.

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