Cardinals Major League Notebook: 08/19/10

The St. Louis Cardinals home losing skid grew to four games after a sweep by the Milwaukee Brewers completed on Wednesday afternoon.

INSIDE PITCH

 

The Cardinals lost for the third game out of four by a 3-2 score. And manager Tony La Russa's patience with his lack of offense must be running thin.

"We've got to do better," said La Russa.

"We're capable -- and we've shown it. We just have to show it more often. Whatever the (pitcher) is doing to us, make an adjustment and make something happen.

"Our offense should never be satisfied. You should never be satisfied to be held to less than three runs. Never acceptable. And our guys don't accept it."

The Cardinals have lost 53 games this season, and in 33 of them they have scored two or fewer runs.

Wednesday's loss marked he Cardinals' fourth straight to under-.500 teams in their division. Milwaukee finished the season winning five of nine games at Busch Stadium while second-tier Houston won six of nine and the struggling Chicago Cubs have won two of their first three games this season in St. Louis.

The Cardinals scored twice in the ninth inning on Wednesday after scoring five runs in the ninth inning to lose, 9-7, on Sunday to Chicago.

"We've rallied late," said La Russa. "Maybe there's something to learn about the first two-thirds of the game. We'll pay attention to that."

BREWERS 3, CARDINALS 2: RHP Adam Wainwright's home winning streak ended at 11 and his 9-0 daytime record was sullied for the first time. Despite pitching well in allowing three runs in seven innings, Wainwright also failed to notch what would have been a major league high 18th win. "There's no justice in this game," said manager Tony La Russa.

NOTES AND QUOTES

RHP Adam Wainwright, a Gold Glove winner last year, chastised himself for not coming up with the play on a fifth-inning tapper by Milwaukee's George Kottaras that drove in the first run. Wainwright was trying to glove the ball and shovel it home but he mishandled it.

"It's a very easy play. It's going one mile an hour," said Wainwright. "A professional athlete should make that play every time. I won a Gold Glove last year. I should be able to make that play. I had him by five feet if I make the play."

Before he began his trek to the Cardinals' Gulf Coast League operation in Jupiter, Fla., 2010 top draft pick Zack Cox, a third baseman, impressed Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and general manager John Mozeliak during a brief workout Wednesday morning. "I'm talking about the whole deal," said La Russa. "He's got nice hands. He's got a strong arm. He looks like a player." Mozeliak said, "Obviously, he held his own pretty well with the bat. He looked quite comfortable." Cox might not play games in the Gulf Coast League, where the season is almost over, but he is slated to play in the Arizona Fall League.

C Jason LaRue, who suffered a concussion last Tuesday when he was kicked in the head by Cincinnati pitcher Johnny Cueto, is still having issues and his return is not imminent. Asked if LaRue might be out for the season, GM John Mozeliak said, "I'm concerned. I don't think we've crossed the bridge yet to determine if he's going to miss the remaining part of the season. But given the fact that we're now 10 days out (actually eight) from that injury, it's concerning."

C Bryan Anderson, recalled from Class AAA Memphis, may see more time than he might have expected down the stretch although Yadier Molina started his 21st consecutive game Wednesday. Anderson had had a mild concussion recently when he took a foul tip off his head but he has been medically cleared to play.

Rookie C Steven Hill was sent down to Class AAA Memphis to make room for Bryan Anderson. Hill, who had been brought up from Class AA Springfield as a stopgap when LaRue was hurt, homered in his second big-league at-bat on Sunday.

The Cardinals had not lost four straight games on the same homestand since June 2009, when they were swept in a four-game series by Colorado.

By the Numbers:

30, 10 - When 1B Albert Pujols hit his 30th homer on Sunday, it marked the 10th straight year that Pujols had reached that figure. He has played only 10 seasons.

 

Quote to Note:

 

"I don't know how long he has to play to be one of the greatest who's ever played this game. He's certainly going to be in the conversation. He is for the first 10 years."

 

- Manager Tony La Russa, on star 1B Albert Pujols.

 

ROSTER REPORT

 

Medical Watch:

CF Colby Rasmus (leg cramp) left the Aug. 15 game. He pinch-hit Aug. 17 and 18, but he probably won't play in the field until sometime during the Aug. 20-22 series against San Francisco.

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 began a minor league rehab assignment July 26, and he made his final rehab start Aug. 10 for Class AAA Memphis. He was activated to start for the Cardinals on Aug. 15.

C Jason LaRue (mild concussion, bruised ribs) was hurt during a skirmish in the Aug. 10 game. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 13 and still has post-concussion symptoms. He might be out for the season.

RHP Jeff Suppan (sore right groin) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 1. He threw a three-inning simulated game Aug. 17 and said he felt nothing untoward.

RHP Jason Motte (AC sprain in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 3. He hoped to return as soon as he's eligible Aug. 18, but that won't happen. He threw about 10 pitches off the bullpen mound Aug. 17.

SS Tyler Greene (bruised right hand) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 1. Greene was struck by a pitch July 17. He came off the DL Aug. 17 and was optioned to Class AAA Memphis.

RHP Adam Ottavino (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 4. He won't need surgery, but he is probably out for the year. He was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list on Aug. 17.

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. He tore a right ankle tendon Aug. 2 in his first rehab game with Class AA Springfield, and he had season-ending surgery Aug. 6.

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. As of Aug. 5, he was playing catch but not throwing off a mound. Penny is out indefinitely.


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