Cardinals Major League Notebook: 07/28/10

Adam Wainwright pitched his worst game of the 2010 season in Tuesday's opener in New York.



Only three times in his first 21 starts had Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright given up more than three runs. He carried a 25-inning scoreless streak into Tuesday night's game at New York.

But while most of the Mets' hits off him in five innings were not struck with much authority, one of them was. That was a hanger to Jeff Francoeur, who was in the Atlanta farm system when Wainwright was. Francoeur was hitting with runners at second and third and one out in the fourth inning of a 1-1 game.

Francoeur has almost no plate discipline, and Wainwright was hoping Francoeur would chase a bad ball. Or at the worst, Wainwright would walk Francoeur and set up a double play situation with rookie catcher Josh Thole up next.

But Wainwright gave Francoeur a pitch that was much too good, and the score suddenly was 4-1.

"I'm trying to walk him. I'm trying to pitch around him," Wainwright said. "I had already had cashed in that at-bat. I was thinking too far in advance. You can't do that.

"I was trying to throw the ball a foot outside, and I threw it right down the middle."

Wainwright said he felt his left hip flying open even when he was warming up in the bullpen, and he couldn't adjust until the game was too far along.

"Poor execution leads to poor results," said Wainwright, who added, "I'll be ready for my next start."

After Francoeur's blow, the Cardinals were on their way to their fourth loss in five games on what will be another non-winning trip.

The Cardinals have had just one winning trip this season, their first one. They were 4-2 at Cincinnati and Milwaukee.

METS 8, CARDINALS 2: RHP Adam Wainwright, who entered the game with a 1.94 ERA, returned to New York for the first time since 2006, when he saved the seventh game of the NL Championship Series for the Cardinals. But Wainwright gave up six runs in five innings, his worst start statistically since Sept. 4, 2009, when he gave up six runs at Pittsburgh. "They got a couple of bloopers, but he missed his location a couple of times," manager Tony La Russa said.


While most of the attention was focused on RHP Adam Wainwright's off night, the Cardinals missed out on plenty of scoring chances. They were only 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position. On three occasions, they had runners at first and second with no outs, and one of those was a bases-loaded, no-out potential rally. The Cardinals plated only two of those runners, one on a ball off LHP Jonathon Niese's glove and another on a bases-loaded double play. Manager Tony La Russa, who often has been disappointed in his team's offensive approach, said, "We definitely could have done a better job of getting better pitches to hit. We definitely did some chasing in key situations."

1B Albert Pujols, who has had five multi-homer games against the Mets, went 0-for-5—he was robbed by Mets 3B David Wright in the first inning—and is in a 1-for-20 slump. At .296, he is under .300 for only the second time since April and the first time since June 12. But manager Tony La Russa said, "Pretty tough 0-for-5. He hit the ball pretty solidly a couple of times." Pujols grabbed his left side as he ran out one groundball, but La Russa said Pujols said he was all right.

Rookie OF Jon Jay made his third consecutive start in place of CF Colby Rasmus, who is in a 1-for-25 slump. Jay had a single and also reached on an error, as he hit safely for the fifth straight game. Jay is hitting .378.

SS Brendan Ryan, with his third straight two-hit game, again has climbed back above the "Mendoza Line" (.200). Ryan is at .201, and he also has been fielding better recently. He bounced a bunt attempt off his right hand but stayed in the game.

RHP Kyle Lohse, who had forearm surgery in late May, said he experienced no trouble Monday in his first rehab start. He threw three innings for Class AAA Memphis, allowing two runs (one earned). He is expected to make at least one or two more rehab appearances. "I'm not going to rush it," Lohse said.

Strange but true: The Cardinals are 18 games over .500 at home (34-16) and eight games under .500 (21-29) on the road. They are in a virtual tie with Cincinnati for first place in the NL Central, leading by one percentage point.

LHP Jaime Garcia and Mets LHP Johan Santana on Wednesday will reprise their April 17 start in which both pitchers worked seven scoreless innings, Garcia giving up just one hit, in a game that went 20 innings before the Mets won 2-1. Garcia has been given two extra days of rest before this start as the club tries to keep him strong down the stretch. After recovering from elbow surgery performed late in the 2008 season, Garcia pitched just 37 2/3 innings in the minors last year.

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.




Medical Watch:

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.

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