Cardinals Major League Notebook: 07/23/10

Reliever Kyle McClellan took Thursday's loss in the 11th inning but the Cardinals finished a 7-1 homestand in first place.

INSIDE PITCH

 

The Cardinals pitching outdid itself for 10 innings Thursday, holding the Phillies scoreless until Philadelphia got two in the 11th. But the offense ... well, for one of the few times since the second half of the season started, there was none, and the club's eight-game winning streak, St. Louis' longest in six seasons, was over.

Left fielder Matt Holliday's fifth-inning single off Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels was the Cardinals' only hit. They had just three baserunners in a 2-0 loss but maintained their 1 1/2-game lead in the NL Central.

Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright, though he didn't win, extended his major league record to 26 home games in which he has pitched at least six innings and given up three runs or fewer. Wainwright had to work hard through the early innings and came out of the game after six innings although he walked nobody. He stranded four runners in scoring position.

"They fouled a lot of pitches off today," Wainwright said. "Probably I was up a little bit more than I usually am in the zone. I didn't make the quality pitch that I was trying to when I was ahead in the count, so it ran into deeper counts."

Still, Wainwright has pitched 25 consecutive scoreless innings over his last four starts, lowering his ERA to 1.94.

Right-hander Kyle McClellan allowed a run at home for the first time in 20 appearances this year when he surrendered a tiebreaking homer to Placido Polanco in the 11th.

PHILLIES 2, CARDINALS 0 (11 innings): The Cardinals' bullpen has a record of 12-15 now after RHP Kyle McClellan was the loser in a 2-0, 11-inning setback to the Philadelphia Phillies. The Cardinals had just one single, by LF Matt Holliday, as they lost for the first time since the day before the All-Star break.

NOTES AND QUOTES

Roy Oswalt fever has hit St. Louis. The Houston right-hander has told the Astros that if they intend to trade him, his "first choice" is the Cardinals, a league executive with knowledge of the Astros' discussions with interested teams told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. But, a Cardinals team official told the newspaper that he viewed adding a "premium player" as a "long shot."

Oswalt is due $16 million for next season and has a $16 million club option for 2012, and there have been reports that Oswalt would like that option picked up, although there could be some restructuring. The trade deadline without needing waivers is July 31.

Although RF Ryan Ludwick had two homers and a double in his first two minor league games at Class AAA Memphis as he rehabilitates from a strained left calf, manager Tony La Russa is cautious about when to bring him back.

"He needs to understand the opportunity he has," La Russa said. "It is a chance for him to really come in and be ready. It is seeing (the ball) and being ready over and over again. In this case, he is a defensive player as well, so he has to get his body ready for that."

High school OF Austin Wilson, a 12th-round pick the Cardinals are trying to sway away from Stanford, put on an impressive batting practice display Thursday. "Very impressive," La Russa said. "One of the most impressive teenagers I can ever remember."

INF Tyler Greene, who had been out four days after being hit in the right wrist by a pitch, was back in the lineup at third base, rather than at shortstop, as Felipe Lopez got a start off.

The Cardinals will play two more day games in Chicago, on Friday and Saturday, giving them three day games in succession before they play Sunday night in Wrigley Field. The Cardinals are 20-14 in day games, and they're also six games over .500 at night at 34-28.

By the Numbers:

15-3 - Cardinals' regular-season record at new Busch Stadium against the Dodgers since the park opened in 2006. That doesn't count Los Angeles' division series-clinching game at Busch last October.

Quote to Note:

"When he shut it down, it wasn't like he had been pushed to air it out. That makes you believe it's a very uncertain situation."

 

- Manager Tony La Russa , on still injured RHP Brad Penny, who is showing no improvement from upper back and shoulder ailments.

 

ROSTER REPORT

 

Medical Watch:

INF Tyler Greene (sore right wrist) returned to the lineup July 22 after missing four games.

RF Ryan Ludwick (strained left calf) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 26. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on July 20, and he might be activated during the weekend of July 23-25.

RF Nick Stavinoha (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 12.

RHP Adam Ottavino (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 4. He will not undergo surgery but is probably out for the year.

3B David Freese (bone bruise on right ankle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 28. He also broke his left big toe in mid-July, but he still expects to begin a rehab assignment in late July.

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. Lohse threw a simulated game July 21, and he might begin a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on July 26.

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 because of tightness in his triceps area. He underwent an MRI on July 7, which found nothing that hadn't been diagnosed before. He is out indefinitely.


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