The Cardinals failed to pick up any ground in either the National League Central race or the wild-card chase Tuesday, and there was plenty of blame to go around.
Right-hander Adam Wainwright couldn't hold an early 2-0 lead, and instead of earning his 18th win,
he suffered his eighth loss as
"You can put it on me," he said. "I just didn't make pitches. It's something I pride myself on."
Manager Tony La Russa blamed himself for not having rookie center fielder Jon Jay play deeper on two balls that became hits for the Pirates. One, a triple by Jose Tabata, glanced off Jay's glove in a two-run sixth. The other, a double by Ronny Cedeno over Jay's head, ignited a two-run seventh.
"I kick myself," La Russa said. "On a couple of balls, he was too shallow, and that's one of the things I pay attention to. That's not his fault. It's mine."
Another decision La Russa made he did not second-guess. In the seventh, he allowed Tabata to steal second to give the Pirates runners at second and third with two outs in a tie game.
La Russa said wanted first baseman Albert Pujols to play deep to cut off a possible grounder in the hole between first and second. Neil Walker, the hitter, instead singled up the middle and drove in two runs.
"He hits a two-run single and we lose by one run," La Russa said. "If it's a bad move ... I made the move that I thought gave us the best chance in that inning and to win the game.
"I have no problem with anybody who has a different opinion."
Holliday said, "I've hit that ball hard a lot. It was a good pitch to hit. If I had to do it again, I would have swung. I felt good about the swing. Obviously, the results weren't good. Sometimes, you don't get the result that you want."
PIRATES 4, CARDINALS
3: The Cardinals
lost for the second time in eight meetings with
NOTES AND QUOTES
1B Albert Pujols did not get his 400th career homer Tuesday, although he singled twice and doubled, raising his average to .322. He has a 10-game hitting streak in which he has gone 18-for-40 (.450).
CF Colby Rasmus, who has been fighting a strained right calf, told the training staff he felt a little better Tuesday after a workout, but manager Tony La Russa doesn't feel comfortable enough with that information to play Rasmus in Wednesday's series finale. So Rasmus won't start for the eighth consecutive game, and when he will start is questionable. "I have zero feeling," La Russa said. "Just keep an eye on it."
LHP Dennys Reyes' sore left elbow was showing only mild improvement, so the Cardinals put Reyes on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 16 and called up RHP Fernando Salas for the sixth time from Class AAA Memphis. "(Reyes) is feeling better already," manager Tony La Russa said. "I was told he'd be back next week, and we expect him to be back." Reyes has pitched just once since Aug. 3, and that was one inning on Aug. 15 when he felt pain in his elbow.
Now that Reyes is
disabled at least until next Tuesday, the Cardinals have just one left-hander in
the bullpen, Trever Miller, and only two on their 12-man staff, Miller and Jaime Garcia. But La Russa said there was no left-handed help available at
C Yadier Molina started for the 26th consecutive time and the 42nd time in the team's past 44 games. There still are 39 games remaining for the Cardinals, and Molina said, "I'm ready to play every day. That's what they pay me for." Manager Tony La Russa has said he would get Molina a day off sometime during the current 10-game road trip. Molina's average has gone up from .223 at the All-Star break to .260.
"I don't know what it is," Molina said. "I'm doing the same thing I did the first half. And I'm doing the same thing I did two years ago, three years ago."
La Russa said, "He certainly isn't playing worse because he's playing every day. He's playing great."
By the Numbers:
47 - Innings the Cardinals went without having a lead before they finally grabbed the lead on Saturday night.
Quote to Note:
"I'm not a .220 hitter."
- New Cardinals 3B Pedro Feliz.
CF Colby Rasmus (leg cramp) left the Aug. 15 game. He pinch-hit Aug. 17 and 18, but he didn't play Aug. 20-24. He is unlikely to start Aug. 25.
LHP Dennys Reyes (left elbow strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 16. He might be able to return as soon as he is eligible.
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 no pain.
RHP Jason Motte (AC sprain in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 3. He threw off the bullpen mound Aug. 17 and Aug. 21, and he might go on a rehab assignment Aug. 25.
C Jason LaRue (concussion) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 13. He was moved to the 60-day DL on Aug. 19, ending his season.
RHP Adam Ottavino (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 4, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on Aug. 17. He won't need surgery, but he is out for the season.
3B David Freese (right ankle surgery) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 28, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on Aug. 15. He was originally out due to a bone bruise on his right ankle, and then he 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.