Cardinals Major League Notebook: 07/09/10

The Cardinals were swept by Colorado, a team that has beaten them 11 of the last 12.

INSIDE PITCH

 

No late-inning drama for the Cardinals this time. After blowing leads of 9-2 and 5-0 in the first two games of the series -- each game ending in walk-off homers by Colorado -- St. Louis had no lead at all Thursday.

The Cardinals mustered just three hits and one run off Colorado right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez through eight innings, and St. Louis right-hander Chris Carpenter was nicked for four singles and two runs in the first inning. Carpenter, whose command was a bit better than in his last start, also gave up single runs in the third and fifth innings as he suffered his third loss of the season and second in a row.

"I didn't pitch well enough to win (Thursday)," said Carpenter, who has been unhappy with his mechanics. "I've got to be better than I am right now. Throwing 120 (actually 113) pitches is not normal. Walking guys (two) is not normal. I've got make adjustments."

The good news was that the Cardinals had to use just two relievers for only a total of two innings after they had gone through much of the bullpen in the previous two games.

All-Star catcher Yadier Molina continued his offensive struggles. After, bunting on a 2-0 count to try to score a run from third base in the seventh with the Cardinals down by three runs, Molina meekly grounded into a double play, and the Cardinals' last threat against Jimenez was over.

"There was some miscommunication there," manager Tony La Russa said about Molina's bunt attempt.

The highlight offensively was another strong game by rookie outfielder Jon Jay, who won't be going back to Class AAA Memphis when outfielder Ryan Ludwick comes off the disabled list next week. Jay, who had three hits including a home run Wednesday, had two doubles Thursday, scoring one run and driving in the other.

Jay hit safely for the fifth straight game since being recalled last week.

"If he keeps that up, he's going to earn a lot of playing time," La Russa said.

ROCKIES 4, CARDINALS 2: The Cardinals have lost nine of their last 10 meetings with Colorado covering the last two seasons and 11 of 12 dating to 2008. RHP Chris Carpenter's six-inning stint was the longest of the three starts made by the Cardinals this series.

NOTES AND QUOTES

The Cardinals' three-game losing streak has dropped them to five games over .500. They haven't been that close to .500 since they were 34-29 on June 13. Since they were 10 games over .500 on June 5, the Cardinals have gone 12-17.

RHP Mike MacDougal, who recently signed a minor league deal with the Cardinals, allowed two runs in one inning Wednesday in his debut with Class AAA Memphis. He had opted out of his minor league deal with the Nationals last week after going 4-1 with two saves and a 4.71 ERA for two teams in the Washington farm system.

As if being swept at Colorado weren't bad enough, St. Louis now heads for Houston to encounter RHP Bud Norris, whose only two wins this season have come against the Cardinals, whom he also beat twice last year as a rookie.

SS Brendan Ryan got his first start on the trip. He drove in a run with an infield out but went hitless and now is in a 4-for-42 slump. His average is down to .196.

LF Matt Holliday finished the three-game series at his old home, Coors Field, with six hits in 13 at-bats, including three homers. He drove in five runs.

By the Numbers:

20,60 - 1B Albert Pujols has had at least that many home runs and that many runs batted in eight times in his career, including this year, through the first 81 games.

Quote to Note:

"It's pretty unbelievable. It makes me sick to my stomach."

- SS Brendan Ryan, on his average sinking to .198.

 

ROSTER REPORT

 

Medical Watch:

RHP Adam Ottavino (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 4.

RF Ryan Ludwick (strained left calf) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 26. He hopes to return just after the All-Star break.

3B David Freese (bone bruise on right ankle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 28. He will begin a rehab assignment during the All-Star break, and he might return to the Cardinals just after the break.

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 played catch June 28 for the first time since the surgery.

RHP Brad Penny (strained upper back) went on the 15-day disabled list May 22. He threw bullpen sessions June 28 and July 1 but had to cut short a bullpen session July 6 due to tightness in his triceps area. He underwent an MRI on July 7, which found nothing that hadn't been diagnosed before. He won't resume throwing until after the All-Star break, meaning he probably won't be pitching with the Cardinals until August.


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