Cardinals have two glaring team statistics that are not conducive to being
considered an outstanding team, though they have been in first place in the
National League Central Division from the first day of the season.
Of their nine losses on the road, four
of them have come in walk-off fashion, including Friday's 6-5 loss at
when right-hander Fernando Salas actually did walk in the winning run. This loss
dropped them to 2-6 in one-run games.
The last two games -- they also lost
to San Francisco, 7-5, the day before, have been marked by Cardinals pitchers
working behind in the count far too often -- they walked 15 -- and defensive
Salas walked the leadoff man in the
ninth inning and, after a subsequent intentional walk loaded the bases, he
passed catcher A. J. Ellis on four pitches to force home the lead
"The leadoff walk is something he's
going to struggle with, as I do," said manager Mike Matheny.
But the Cardinals had given up a run
in the seventh when they failed to turn a double play on right fielder Andre Ethier's grounder to second baseman Tyler Greene. Near the bag, Greene chose to
underhand instead to shortstop Rafael Furcal for the force but Furcal threw the
relay into the dugout behind first, putting Ethier at second.
First baseman James Loney's bloop
single brought home the run after a walk to third baseman Adam Kennedy.
"It seems like when we make these
mistakes on defense, it ends up costing us," said Matheny.
The end negated a dramatic pinch homer
by Lance Berkman with two out in the ninth inning. It was Berkman's first homer
of the season. He has missed most of it with a strained left calf.
OF/1B Allen Craig went on
the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain and RHP Kyle McClellan was
placed on the 15-day DL with a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.
Their replacements were OF Adron Chambers, hitting .308 at Class AAA Memphis,
and RHP Brandon Dickson, who was 2-3 with a 3.42 earned run average in eight AAA
starts. Both were with the Cardinals last season and Chambers was on one of the
RHP Kyle McClellan feared
he might need surgery and be out for the season. But he said, that after an exam
in St. Louis by
Dr. George Paletta, the club's medical supervisor, there was a 70 percent chance
he wouldn't need surgery. "I fully expected to hear today that I needed surgery.
I didn't think there was any question," said McClellan. "If that's your
thinking, you look at this as good news." McClellan will not throw for six weeks
while resting his arm. General manager John Mozeliak said, "It's definitely
better than we had feared. It's still not great news. At a minimum we're talking
about 10 weeks."
RF Carlos Beltran, who
had been bothered by a sore right knee, made his first start in the field after
missing four games. He appeared to move cautiously after a couple of balls hit
to right center in the second inning. Both were doubles. Manager Mike Matheny
thought Beltran was playing it safe on the first one but had gone hard after the
second and that Beltran's gliding style was deceiving. Matheny said Beltran goes
after balls "a whole lot better than it looks. It wasn't for lack of
1B Matt Carpenter made
his 18th start at that position, most on the team. He again contributed
offensively with a single and a walk. 1B Lance Berkman, who delivered his first
homer of the season as a pinch hitter with two outs in the ninth, had been three
for 31 with 10 strikeouts against Los Angeles starter Ted Lilly.
LF Matt Holliday is
heating up. Under .200 for much of April, Holliday has knocked in 15 runs this
month and has hit three homers in the last four games, including a long two-run
shot in the third on Friday.
15 - Number of walks
issued by Cardinals pitchers in their last two games, covering 16 1/3
"The other managers are
getting tired of me waiting till the 11th hour before I give them our
- Manager Mike Matheny,
on his many wounded and walking wounded players, not knowing who can play from
one day to the next.
RHP Kyle McClellan
(strained right ulnar collateral ligament) left the May 17 game and returned to
St. Louis to be
examined by team doctors. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 18
and will be sidelined at least 10 weeks.
RF Carlos Beltran (sore
right knee, plantar fasciitis in right foot) did not start May 14-17, though he
pinch-hit three times. He returned to the lineup May 18.
CF Jon Jay (sprained
right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list May 15.
RHP Scott Linebrink
(right shoulder capsulitis) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to
March 30. He felt tightness during an April 30 bullpen session, and he didn't
appear close to a return.
RHP Chris Carpenter (weak
right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He
isn't likely to begin a real throwing program until sometime in May and probably
won't pitch until at least June.
Link to boxscore: Los Angeles 6, St. Louis 5