Cardinals MLB Notebook: Week of June 19-25

Game Recaps

Monday, June 19 – Off day

Tuesday, June 20 – Cardinals 8 at Phillies 1 (11 innings)

In the first game of a three game series in Philadelphia, the Cardinals went hog wild in extra innings, scoring seven runs in the 11th to secure the victory.  The long ball was featured prominently, as the Cardinals hit three.  Jedd Gyorko got the Redbirds on the board first with a solo shot in the second inning.  Yadier Molina and Tommy Pham were part of the 11th inning surge, each with a two run shot.  Pham was 2-for-5, as were Aledmys Diaz and Paul DeJong.  Stephen Piscotty doubled to left center field in the 11th to plate two.  Matt Carpenter’s double in the 11th also drove in a run.

Starter Mike Leake pitched a quality start.  The right hander went six innings, giving up one run on three hits while fanning five and walking three. Brett Cecil, Trevor Rosenthal, Seung-Hwan Oh, Kevin Siegrist, and Sam Tuivailala each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.  Siegrist was the winning pitcher.

 

Wednesday, June 21 – Cardinals 7 at Phillies 6 (10 innings)

Another day, another extra inning victory for the Redbirds.  It was essentially the same hitters as the previous day that fueled the offense.  Long balls again appeared, this time with four.  Tommy Pham had two, with a solo home run in the fifth inning to finally put the Cardinals on the board, and another solo shot in the ninth.   In the sixth, Jedd Gyorko hit a two-run blast, his first multi run long ball of the season.  Jose Martinez added to the home run tally with a solo shot in the eighth.  Gyorko was 3-for-4, Pham was 2-for-5, and pinch hitter and late outfield insertion Martinez was 2-for-2.  Yadier Molina drove in a run on a single in the 10th.  Martinez scored in the 10th on a throwing error.

Starter Michael Wacha pitched four innings, giving up five runs, two earned, on nine hits.  Defensive errors by Greg Garcia in the first and fourth innings made things more difficult for Wacha.  The right hander struck out three and walked one.  Tyler Lyons pitched three scoreless innings and John Brebbia followed with 1 1/3 more.  Brett Cecil got the last two outs of the ninth and was the winning pitcher.  Seung-Hwan Oh pitched the 10th, and surrendered an additional run, but received his 16th save.

As previously noted, Garcia made two errors, a fielding error and a throwing error.  Lyons committed a throwing error.  Tommy Pham had an outfield assist.

 

Thursday, June 22 – Cardinals 1 at Phillies 5

The Cardinals were unable to manage the sweep, losing in a lackluster effort to the Phillies.

Carlos Martinez was trying for his seventh win, but fell short.  The right hander pitched six innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on six hits.  Two solo home runs did not help his effort.  Martinez struck out four and walked two.  Matt Bowman pitched a scoreless seventh before Kevin Siegrist surrendered two unearned runs in the eighth.  Martinez suffered his sixth loss of the season.

The offense was stymied by the pitching of Phillies starter Aaron Nola.  Cardinals bats managed only four hits, and none at all against the Phillies bullpen.  Paul DeJong’s solo home run in the eighth inning was the only Cardinal run.  Tommy Pham, Stephen Piscotty, and Yadier Molina each hit singles.

There was poor defense for a second day.  DeJong committed a missed catch error.  Aledmys Diaz made a throwing error, his fifth of the season.  Jose Martinez made a fielding miscue.  On the positive side, Pham had another outfield assist, and Molina picked a runner off third base.

 

Friday, June 23 – Cardinals 3, Pirates 4

The Cardinals returned to Busch Stadium for some home cooking, but it didn’t go down easy.  The Redbirds were edged out by the Pirates by one run. 

Adam Wainwright made the start and pitched very well, bit was not rewarded.  The right hander tossed seven innings, giving up two runs, one earned, one two hits, including a solo home run.  Trevor Rosenthal began the eighth and surrendered a run, to earn the blown save. Brett Cecil got the final out of the eighth.  Seung-Hwan Oh pitched the ninth, and gave up the winning run to the Pirates to earn his fourth loss of the season.

St. Louis’ offense consisted of a second inning two run home run off the bat of Jose Martinez, and a solo home run by Paul DeJong in the seventh.  Martinez was 2-for-4.

DeJong made his third error of the season, a throwing error.

 

Saturday, June 24 – Cardinals 3, Pirates 7

The weekend got worse instead of better for the Redbirds.  The Cardinals were completely overrun and overmatched by the Pirates against starter Lance Lynn.  Lynn allowed seven runs on six hits, including two home runs, in 5 2/3 innings pitched.  It was the right hander’s worst start of the season.  John Brebbia and Sam Tuivailala salvaged what they could, combining for the final 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Lynn earned his fifth loss of the season.

St. Louis’ offense managed one run against Pirates starter Gerrit Cole, a first inning solo home run by Matt Carpenter.  The offense didn’t score again until the ninth, as it was too little too late.  Pinch hitter Stephen Piscotty’s RBI single plated two.

 

Sunday, June 25 – Cardinals 8, Pirates 4

The Cardinals avoided the sweep, topping the Pirates comfortably.  Mike Leake was the on the mound, after struggling with four losses and a no-decision in his prior five starts.  On Sunday night, the right hander tossed six innings, surrendering four runs, three earned, for a quality start.  Leake allowed six Pirates hits, while fanning two and walking two.  Matt Bowman started the seventh, and got the first two outs with only one hit allowed.  Trevor Rosenthal entered and struck out his only hitter in three pitches.  Brett Cecil pitched a scoreless eighth, as did Seung-Hwan Oh.  Rosenthal was the winning pitcher.

The offense put two runs on the board early, in the second, but didn’t score again until the sixth.  Two runs in the sixth and four in the seventh gave the Redbirds a comfortable lead.  Greg Garcia plated the two second inning runs on a single to center. In the sixth, Randal Grichuk, just recalled from Memphis, hit a mammoth solo home run, the longest home run in the history of the current Busch Stadium. Grichuk was 2-for-5.   Jedd Gyorko’ ground rule double also drove home a run.  In the seventh, Yadier Molina, singled to score Tommy Pham, who had walked.  Stephen Piscotty also drew a walk, and later scored from third on a fielding error on Aledmys Diaz’ ground ball.  Paul DeJong’s single plated Molina and Diaz.  Molina was 3-for-5 with three runs scored.

 

Big Picture

The Cardinals ended the week 3-3, with half the games on the road. Philadelphia has MLB’s worst record while the Pirates are currently tied with St. Louis in the standings. The issues with the inconsistent offense persist, as with the starting pitching, the latter which was a strength for the initial two months.  The bullpen has stabilized in the short term.  Defensive issues creeped back in to the picture in the last week, especially in the infield.

The Cardinals remain mired below .500 and currently sit neck and neck with the Pirates for third place in the division.  The top 4 spots in the division still remain close, however, with the Reds not far behind.  It is a division waiting for a team to take command.

 

NL Central Standings

 

Who’s Hot

Over the past 7 days (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

http://www.scout.com/player/140971-stephen-piscotty?s=321

Stephen Piscotty is batting .333 with an OPS of 1.078.  He has 2 HRs, 2 doubles, and 6 RBI.

Jose Martinez is batting .385 with an OPS of 1.352.  He has 2 HRs, one double, and 3 RBI.

http://www.scout.com/player/68830-adam-wainwright?s=321

Adam Wainwright has an ERA of 1.29 and a WHIP of 0.57.

Mike Leake has an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of 0.83.

http://www.scout.com/player/94934-brett-cecil?s=321

Brett Cecil has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.33.

John Brebbia has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.38.

http://www.scout.com/player/173078-matt-bowman?s=321

Matt Bowman has an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.00.

 

Who’s Not

Over the past 7 days (does not contain recent Sunday game results):

Greg Garcia is batting .000 and has an OPS of .067 in 15 plate appearances.

Lance Lynn has an ERA of 12.19 and a WHIP of 1.94.

Michael Wacha has an ERA of 4.50 and a WHIP of 2.50.

Seung-Hwan Oh has an ERA of 6.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.

 

A Look at Cardinals Lineups

The lineups over the last 6 games (does not contain recent Sunday game):

The leadoff hitter has been Matt Carpenter.

The number 2 hitter has been Dexter Fowler for four games, and Tommy Pham for two games.

The number 3 hitter has been Stephen Piscotty for four games, and Pham for two games.

The number 4 hitter has been Jedd Gyorko.

The number 5 hitter has been Yadier Molina for four games, and Jose Martinez for two games.

The number 6 hitter has been Aledmys Diaz for two games, Pham for two games, Piscotty for one game, Martinez for one game, and Paul DeJong for one game.

The number 7 hitter has been Diaz for two games, Greg Garcia for two games, Diaz for one game, Pham for one game, and DeJong for one game.

The number 8 hitter has been DeJong for three games, Eric Fryer for two games and Garcia for one game.

 

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

 

Transactions

All of the week’s moves occurred on Sunday.

6/25 The Cardinals placed OF Dexter Fowler on the 10 day DL.

6/25 The Cardinals placed LHP Kevin Siegrist on the 10 day DL.

6/25 The Cardinals recalled OF Randal Grichuk from the Memphis Redbirds.

6/25 The Cardinals recalled RHP Mike Mayers from the Memphis Redbirds.

6/25 The Cardinals purchased the contract of 1B Luke Voit from the Memphis Redbirds.

6/25 The Cardinals optioned OF Chad Huffman to the Memphis Redbirds.           

 

Injury Report

2B Kolten Wong has been rehabbing from a triceps injury in St. Louis.  He has been doing some swinging and throwing, but no announcement about a rehab assignment has been made.

OF Dexter Fowler was placed on the 10 day DL with a right heel spur.

LHP Kevin Siegrist was placed on the 10 day DL with a cervical spine strain.

Yadier Molina (knee soreness) and Stephen Piscotty (forearm tightness) were scratched from games this past week due to injuries not considered severe enough to justify a disabled list trip.

Top pitching prospect Alex Reyes is hoping to begin a throwing program in late July, another step in his expected 2018 return from Tommy John surgery.

 

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals will remain at home on Monday to play a rain makeup game against the Reds.  Michael Wacha is scheduled to make that start.

The Cardinals then travel to Phoenix to play a three game series vs. the D-backs.  Carlos Martinez is scheduled to make the Tuesday start.  Adam Wainwright will pitch on Wednesday, followed by Lance Lynn on Thursday.

The Cardinals return home from Arizona to begin a weekend series against the Nationals on Friday.  The team continues the home stand with a four game series against the Miami Marlins. On that weekend, the Mets travel to St. Louis for a weekend series, which is the last series before the All Star break.

After the break, the Cardinals will travel to Pittsburgh for a weekend series against the Pirates.

The Cardinals’ regular season schedule can be found here.

 

Blast from the Past

Though the current St. Louis team has struggled with defensive issues, one Cardinal stood out this past week with stellar defense.  Outfielder Tommy Pham, playing mostly left field, but some center with the injury to Dexter Fowler, showed what he could do in Philadelphia.  Pham had two outfield assists in the series, nailing two Phillies runners at home plate.

http://www.scout.com/player/88019-tommy-pham?s=321

Assists, especially in the outfield, are always an exciting but difficult to make defensive play.  In the history of the Cardinal franchise, the 1917 team stands out in the assists department.  This club holds the franchise record for assists, with 2,293 assists in the 154-game 1917 season.

The 1917 Cardinals ended the season with an 82-70 record, which put them in third place in the National League.  Manager Miller Huggins was a second baseman who had played for the Cardinals from 1910 through 1916.  Huggins became the player-manager of the team in 1912, then manager only in 1917, succeeded at second base by Rogers Hornsby.  1917 was Huggins final year as manager.

Hornsby led the team that year in assists, as an infielder, with 527.  The three primary outfielders for the team were Walton Cruise, Tom Long, and Jack Smith.  Cruise led the outfielders with 15 assists that year, followed by Smith with 12, and Long with nine.  Interestingly, Jack Smith had the distinction of making an unassisted double play as a right fielder, in a game on August 25, 1925.

Baseball has changed considerably since 1917.  The outfield assist happens less often these days, but it remains one of the more exciting defensive plays in the game.

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