If the Cardinals don't make the
playoffs -- and they're five games out of the National League Central Division
lead and three games out of the wild-card chase -- they'll know where it went
wrong. By losing three of four games at
At home, the Cardinals
lost two of three each to Houston and Chicago and both games to
Adam Wainwright lost his
third straight, including losses on this trip at both
"I'm not saying
Wainwright, whose earned run average rose to 2.30, gave up a two-run double to Washington pitcher John Lannan in the second inning and then a two-run homer in the third to right firlder Michael Morse. Uncharacteristically behind in counts, Wainwright needed 104 pitches just to get through five innings before he was removed.
"They've outplayed us,"
The Cardinals' road record dipped to 28-36. They have lost 10 of their last 14 overall.
On the seven-game trip, they have not received one quality start (six innings pitched, no more than three earned runs allowed). Wainwright gave up eight runs in 11 innings.
NATIONALS 4, CARDINALS 2: The Cardinals got only two runners to second base other than 3B Pedro Feliz's ninth-inning homer as they lost their fourth series in the last five. They were never ahead in this game and wound up trailing in 12 of the final 13 innings played in the series.
NOTES AND QUOTES
3B Pedro Feliz hit safely
for the ninth time in 10 games, homering in the ninth inning. Feliz also has
played errorless ball in the field since being acquired from
C Yadier Molina returned to the lineup after suffering a strained right knee on Thursday night. Molina was on base three times with two hits and an error.
There was no Cardinal
retaliation needed against Washington CF Nyjer Morgan for Morgan running into
Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson, who was blindsided Saturday night at the
La Russa said that RHP
Kyle Lohse's spot in the rotation is not guaranteed for the final five weeks
after Lohse gave up 11 hits and eight runs in five runs on Saturday in his third
start back after undergoing forearm surgery. RHP Jeff Suppan (strained groin)
will come off the disabled list to start Wednesday in
CF Colby Rasmus, who hasn't started in two weeks because of a right calf strain, almost made it to the post Sunday but was a late scratch. La Russa said that when Rasmus does return, he would like to see the second-year player show more consistency and concentration.
"I think he is convinced that he helps us more if he just yanks the ball out of the park," said La Russa. "That normally is not the case, because you're limiting yourself to a side of the park and you're vulnerable to too many pitches." Rasmus, indeed, did strike out as a pinch hitter to end Sunday's game as he represented the tying run.
The Cardinals are hoping that LHP Dennys Reyes' strained left elbow will heal by the time the Cincinnati Reds come to St. Louis next weekend but manager La Russa isn't counting on anything.
"I just know he's not throwing comfortably yet," said La Russa.
By the Numbers:
1.336 - 1B Albert Pujols' OPS for August, with three games remaining.
Quote to Note:
"If it happens, it happens. But I don't want to stand here thinking about it."
- Albert Pujols, on his chances for the Triple Crown.
C Yadier Molina (sore right knee) did not play Aug. 27-28. He returned to play on Aug. 29.
RHP Ryan Franklin (neck stiffness) was unavailable Aug. 28. He is day-to-day.
CF Colby Rasmus (sore right calf) left the Aug. 15 game. He pinch-hit Aug. 17 and 18, but he didn't play Aug. 20-25. He pinch-hit again Aug. 26 but missed his 11th consecutive start Aug. 28.
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 he will be activated to start for the Cardinals on Sept. 1.
RHP Jason Motte (AC sprain in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 3. He began a rehab assignment Aug. 25 with Class AAA Memphis.
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.