Cardinals Major League Notebook: 07/24/10

The Cardinals defense was shaky and the bats didn't appear during Friday's loss in Chicago.



The Cardinals, who recently put together an eight-game winning streak, their longest in six years, now have sunk the other way. After a major-league record 2,370 games without suffering consecutive shutouts, they have been blanked twice in succession. In 1995, when Mike Jorgensen was interim manager, the Cardinals lost two straight shutouts, the second of which was a one-hitter by Cubs right-hander Frank Castillo. This time, the first of the shutouts was a one-hitter, by the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. Friday's second shutout again was by the Cubs.

Cardinals right-hander Jeff Suppan allowed three home runs with the wind blowing out, good for four runs.

"We got the leadoff man on (five times) but couldn't score," manager Tony La Russa said. "The wind was blowing out for us, too. We have guys who can hit the ball out of the park -- and they didn't."

Suppan (0-6) permitted five runs and 10 hits in six innings. He fell to 0-4 since rejoining the Cardinals last month after Milwaukee released him. St. Louis is 39-22 in games started by Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia and 15-21 when those three aren't starting.

But La Russa said, "He pitched better than five runs. We just didn't support him. We didn't get him any runs. And defensively we didn't support him as well as he deserved."

Second baseman Skip Schumaker didn't make a good double-play relay in the fifth, allowing the inning to continue long enough for the Cubs' Alfonso Soriano to hit a two-run homer. Then, the Cubs scored their final run in the sixth when a popup fell between catcher Jason LaRue and Suppan, who was pointing to the sky.

La Russa said the ball probably was that of third baseman Felipe Lopez, who made no move on it. "(Lopez) didn't get a good read on it. Jason's going out to get it, it kept drifting out that way, so it's (Lopez's) ball," said La Russa.

CUBS 5, CARDINALS 0: For the second game in a row, the Cardinals had only singles. This time they had five, as opposed to one on Thursday. RHP Jeff Suppan and backup C Jason LaRue had two of the hits Friday.


The Cardinals sent OF Allen Craig, who helped them win a couple of games on the last home stand, back to Class AAA Memphis and recalled RHP P.J. Walters, who had been with the team earlier. Walters was insurance for Friday and Saturday, when winless RHP Jeff Suppan and RHP Blake Hawksworth, in the rotation for just a month, were starting for the Cardinals in Chicago after the Cardinals had played an 11-inning game on Thursday. Walters or another pitcher likely would go back to Memphis when RF Ryan Ludwick (strained left calf) is activated off the disabled list. That move probably will come on Sunday.

RHP P.J. Walters had two perfect innings in relief of Suppan on Friday. He was 1-0 with a 7.44 earned run average in four appearances with the Cardinals earlier in the season.

RF Ryan Ludwick, who has been on a rehabilitation assignment at Memphis, homered in each of his first two games for that team before going 0-for-4 in his third game on Thursday.

LF Matt Holliday, who has had two of the six singles the Cardinals have amassed in the last two games, has a nine-game hitting streak which he's been 12-for-31 with three homers and nine runs batted in.

CF Colby Rasmus is dropping out of sight. He's down to .267 in a 1-for-24 dive. And that hit was a pinch hit.

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.




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.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories