Cardinals Major League Notebook: 07/30/10

The Cardinals finished a 2-4 roadtrip with an uninspiring shutout at the hands of the Mets on Thursday.



Feeble was about the only word that could be said about the Cardinals' attack against New York knuckleballer R.A. Dickey on Thursday. St. Louis had only one walk and three hits off Dickey until the ninth inning, when pinch hitter Colby Rasmus singled and Jon Jay walked.

At that point, Francisco Rodriguez entered the game for the third day in a row and easily disposed of Albert Pujols on a fly to center and put an end to Matt Holliday's 13-game hitting streak by freezing Holliday on a called third strike. It was the 10th shutout of the season for the Cardinals, nine of them on the road.

Blake Hawksworth was better than he had been lately as the Cardinals' starter. But Hawksworth surrendered a three-run homer on a changeup to New York rookie Ike Davis in the third inning. Hawksworth gave up just one other run in his six innings.

"He was all right," manager Tony La Russa said. "First-pitch changeup. Three-run homer. That was the difference."

Hawksworth had thrown mostly changeups to Davis in the first inning, retiring the Mets first baseman on a groundout, but he didn't second-guess the decision to go back to the pitch in the third.

"I'm sure he was looking for something out over the plate with men on base," Hawksworth said. "He's got kind of a long swing, but the changeup stayed in the middle and he crushed it. One mistake today.

"If I could have that pitch back, I'd love to. But I threw it with the right mind-set, and that's all I can do. Sometimes they make you pay for it."

The Cardinals are 22-30 on the road now.

"We're a little short," said La Russa, referring to some injuries. "We haven't gotten buried. We've survived. That's a good thing."

METS 4, CARDINALS 0: The Cardinals finished a six-game trip at 2-4 as nobody had more than one hit. The team was 0-for-5 with men in scoring position, with four of those failures by the Cardinals' meal tickets, 1B Albert Pujols and LF Matt Holliday. Only CF Jon Jay had an extra-base hit, a double in the first inning.


RHP Jeff Suppan, who temporarily was bypassed in the rotation, was available in the bullpen as a reliever Thursday. But once RHP Blake Hawksworth got through six innings, Suppan wasn't needed. Suppan's next start is scheduled for Saturday.

RHP Mike MacDougal, just brought up from Class AAA Memphis, was used for the second day in a row. MacDougal experienced control issues, hitting one batter and walking two more, but he escaped with a scoreless eighth inning.

The Cardinals return home for a six-game homestand against NL Central bottom-feeders Pittsburgh and Houston. The Cardinals are 2-1 against the Pirates with 12 games remaining. They're 4-5 against Houston with six left.

RHP Chris Carpenter will start Friday against the Pirates. Carpenter is 11-1 in his career against Pittsburgh.

OF Jon Jay, who seems to have taken over the center field job, had a double and a walk and threw out a runner at the plate. "He looks like a player," manager Tony La Russa said of the rookie. "He does something every day."

1B Albert Pujols, after a 3-for-7 night Wednesday, went hitless in four at-bats Thursday, although he hit one ball hard. Pujols is in a 4-for-31 (.129) slump.

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 or early August.

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 begin a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on July 26 and could return to the Cardinals in August.

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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