The Cardinals will reach the
100-games-played plateau when they meet the Mets in
Do they need to acquire a pitcher? Or do they believe they can count on right-hander Kyle Lohse, who has begun what he hopes will be a short period of rehabilitation starts after his recovery from forearm surgery?
Do they need to acquire a middle infielder with some pop? Second baseman Skip Schumaker, though he had four hits Sunday, still is at a powerless .262, and he has committed 13 errors. Shortstop Brendan Ryan is starting to hit, but even after consecutive two-hit games, he is only at .196.
Who will play most often in center field? Colby Rasmus has 16 homers -- all before the All-Star break. Rasmus is 3-for-29 since then, including a current 1-for-25 skid. The past two games, he sat as rookie Jon Jay started.
Jay, who had four hits in those two games, has been the flavor of the month, going 23-for-50 (.460) since his recall from Class AAA Memphis on July 3, raising his average to .387 for the season.
Significantly, 11 of those 23 hits have gone for extra bases -- eight doubles, one triple and two homers. If nothing else, Jay has established himself in a four-outfielder rotation. He will give right fielder Ryan Ludwick a day off now and then as Ludwick gets back into playing trim after sitting out a month with a left calf strain.
NOTES AND QUOTES
RHP Adam Wainwright,
staying on his fifth day, will move ahead of LHP Jaime Garcia when the series at
SS Brendan Ryan appears
to have recaptured his job again after a solid series in
1B Albert Pujols, striving for his 10th consecutive season of at least a .300 average, 30 homers and 100 RBI, has dipped to an even .300. He has been under .300 only one day (June 12) since April 24.
The Cardinals' schedule the rest of the way has 38 games against the NL Central, 11 against the NL West (all at home) and 14 against the NL East (all on the road).
The most games the
Cardinals will play against any other team the rest the way is 12 versus
By the Numbers:
15 - Number of extra-base hits for rookie OF Jon Jay out of 36 hits in his first 93 big-league at-bats.
Quote to Note:
"Everybody is looking for help. We're assuming we won't get any and we win with what we've got."
- Manager Tony La Russa, hoping a trade will be made but prepared for nothing to happen before July 31.
RF Nick Stavinoha (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 12. He began a rehab assignment on July 26.
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 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.