Cardinals Major League Notebook: 06/22/10

Matt Holliday is hot while Colby Rasmus, Yadier Molina and Ryan Ludwick are cold.



It was about this time last year that left fielder Matt Holliday turned torrid.

Still playing with Oakland, Holliday was hitting .269 with eight homers and 39 RBI through June 21. The rest of the season, including the last two-plus months with the Cardinals, he batted .346 with 16 homers and 70 RBI.

Holliday, who had driven in just 25 runs in his first 66 games this year, seems to found that groove again. He banged four homers and drove in eight runs while going 8-for-12 in the three-game weekend series against the A's. He's now got 10 homers and 33 RBI with a .302 average.

"Timing is critical at the plate," manager Tony La Russa said. "He works hard on it, and when the timing is right, the ball is explosive."

But the Cardinals scored only four runs over the weekend that Holliday didn't drive in, though they won two of the three games. While Holliday is not, other run producers, are not.

Center fielder Colby Rasmus, who had been just as hot as Holliday is now, is 0-for-17 since homering June 15. Catcher Yadier Molina is 0-for-19 and hasn't homered since the first week of the season. Right fielder Ryan Ludwick is 2-for-20.



The Cardinals will be the last major league team to play an interleague series on the road this week when they go to Toronto and Kansas City for six total games. That means that manager Tony La Russa can use some of his bench as he gives starters semi-days off as designated hitters. "We'll see who needs to get off his feet," La Russa said.

Before the Cardinals wrapped up their homestand Sunday, La Russa had three of his bench players—OFs Nick Stavinoha and Randy Winn and INF Aaron Miles—participate in a simulated game against batting practice pitchers. None of the three had been playing much, and La Russa said the drill "was better than nothing."

RHP Ryan Franklin has been fighting a sinus infection for several days. He retired none of three hitters he faced Saturday night but said his illness played no role in his difficult outing.

RHPs Brad Penny (strained back muscle) and Kyle Lohse (forearm surgery) will stay behind to continue their rehabilitation while the club is on the road. Neither is expected back before the middle of July. Lohse can't come off the 60-day disabled list until July 22.

Backup C Jason LaRue made only his ninth start Sunday. LaRue, who hasn't caught RHPs Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright and LHP Jaime Garcia, the aces of the staff, has handled just two wins out of the nine starts.

By the Numbers:

22-Number of consecutive starts at home in which RHP Adam Wainwright has worked at least six innings and given up three or fewer runs, the longest streak by any pitcher in major-league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Quote to Note:

"It was nice to see him come up and hit the ball like that. That's Matt Holliday. That's who we know."

-RHP Chris Carpenter, after struggling LF Matt Holliday had three hits and three runs batted in, including a line-drive 414 foot homer. Holliday then would get five more hits, including three home runs, in the next two games.




Medical Watch:

RHP Kyle Lohse (right forearm strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 23, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 5. He had surgery May 28 to alleviate muscle discomfort. He planned to begin playing catch June 21, but that was delayed indefinitely.

RHP Brad Penny (strained upper back) went on the 15-day disabled list May 22. He tossed from a mound June 9 but did not throw on a downward plane. He might be out until the All-Star break.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories