Uncertain of when veteran right-hander Brad Penny will return from a strained muscle in his upper back, the Cardinals, for probably the next couple of weeks or so, are forced to use a combination of rookies P.J. Walters and Adam Ottavino to take up the slack for Penny and right-hander Kyle Lohse, whom they suspect will be out for several months after forearm surgery.
Walters, who was cuffed
around Tuesday by
"He's still trying to
make his mark," La Russa said. "He had a good one in
Walters worked five
scoreless innings in his first start of the season in
NOTES AND QUOTES
RHP Jason Motte, throwing mostly fastballs and eschewing his slider, has reeled off eight scoreless outings. He's also not allowed any of eight inherited runners to score for the season. In 20 2/3 innings, Motte has fanned 23 and walked only five (one intentionally).
Although the Cardinals' offense has been more productive with Felipe Lopez batting leadoff and playing mostly shortstop, Brendan Ryan has started four straight winning games for the Cardinals. With a double and a triple Wednesday, the slick-fielding Ryan has raised his average to .211, which is his highest since Opening Day.
RHP Ryan Franklin has walked just one batter this year. He has fanned 13 and, with 10 saves in 11 tries, hardly has been the question mark he was perceived to be in the offseason and through much of a poor spring.
The Cardinals had an off day Thursday and will have one off day in each of the next three weeks, and in four out of five weeks, before the All-Star break.
By the end of the first
half of the season, the Cardinals will have played the Cubs only three times
while engaging divisional rival Cincinnati 12 times and Milwaukee 10 times.
By the Numbers:
34-Consecutive games (he played every inning) before rookie 3B David Freese was rested May 28.
Quote to Note:
"That's why those guys scout and I'm playing."
-1B Albert Pujols, referring to those baseball people who had sounded off on what had happened to Pujols' extra-base pop. Pujols hit three homers in a game for the fourth time in his career May 30.
SS Felipe Lopez (swollen right thumb) left the June 1 game. He did not play June 2, but he should return to action June 4.
RHP Kyle Lohse (right forearm strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 23. He had surgery May 28 to alleviate muscle discomfort, and he is expected to be out until at least late July.
RHP Brad Penny (strained upper back) went on the 15-day disabled list May 22. He might return mid June.