Cardinals manager Mike Matheny pushed the right button in the sixth
inning Monday night at Busch Stadium, pulling right-hander Jake Westbrook after
only 79 pitches and with a 3-2 lead.
With the bases loaded and two out,
Matheny sent up rookie Matt Carpenter to pinch hit for Westbrook and Carpenter
delivered a two-run single on the 114th pitch on the night from San Francisco's Matt Cain.
Carpenter is 4-for-4 against Cain in his career, all singles.
That made the score 5-2, and then
center fielder Jon Jay capped a three-run seventh with his fourth single of the
game, a two-run blow.
Carpenter, whose eight pinch runs
batted in are the most by a Cardinals rookie since at least 1950, was only 3 for
his first 17 as a pinch hitter before hitting safely twice and walking in his
last three appearances.
"It's something I've definitely gotten
better at. It's a learning experience," said Carpenter.
Westbrook scored his fourth straight
victory to move to 11-8 for the season, and the Cardinals posted their fourth
straight win. The triumph also was the Cardinals' 13th in their last 17 games as
they moved 11 games over .500 at 60-49.
To illustrate the Cardinals' balance
lately, consider ...
Right fielder Carlos Beltran hit his
26th homer and threw out a runner at second.
Left fielder Matt Holliday doubled and
scored the lead run in the sixth after some aggressive baserunning, tagging up
on a flyball to medium center and making third base. "Great play," said Matheny.
"Matt's hustle made that play happen. It doesn't happen if he's not
Third baseman David Freese drove in
two runs with a sacrifice fly and a single.
Shortstop Rafael Furcal drove in a key
run with a single and also drew a walk to keep a scoring inning
CF Jon Jay shot his
average to .296 from .284 with four singles. Jay suffered a sprained right
shoulder in April when he banged into the wall chasing a home run, and the
prevailing theory was that his shoulder had been bothering him for longer than
he had allowed. "I haven't really looked into that," Jay said. "If I'm out
there, I've got to perform. That's the bottom line." But manager Mike Matheny
said, "I don't think he was ever completely right. But you're balancing that as
a young player, realizing you want to be on the field and that you don't want to
be sitting on the sidelines watching your team do something. I think he was
trying to push on something that he probably couldn't."
RHP Kyle Lohse, having a
career year (12-2) as he finishes up a four-year contract with the Cardinals,
said he would be open to discussing an extension if the Cardinals were to bring
it up. "If it comes up, then I'll deal with it. If not, then I'm sure there are
a lot of teams out there that would like my services," he said. "We'll see how
it goes. There are 30 teams once you hit free agency. If I go out there, it's a
business. I've done well. I'm at the point in my career where I want to play to
win, and there are other teams out there."
SS Rafael Furcal, who had
been 0 for 14 and dropped to eighth in the lineup, had a run-scoring single in
the second and a walk that preceded pinch hitter Matt Carpenter's two-run single
in the sixth. This was the best Furcal had looked since he was sidelined for
five games by a recent lower back injury, a condition that persists to some
RHP Jake Westbrook is
just five wins away from 100 for his career after posting his fourth straight
win. Showing consistency that had been elusive during his first two years with
the club, Westbrook has worked at least six innings in 11 straight
LF Matt Holliday is
edging into the Most Valuable Player consideration. He reached base for the 32nd
straight game with a sixth-inning double and is hitting .323 with an on-base
percentage of .405.
3 - Games the Cardinals
are ahead of last year's record. They are 60-49. They were 57-52 at this time
Quote to Note:
"I don't see how I'm not
going to be throwing before the season is over—at least picking up a ball and
- RHP Chris Carpenter,
optimistic that recent surgery correctly addressed a nerve problem that had
plagued his right shoulder.
1B Lance Berkman (sore
right knee) re-injured the surgically repaired joint Aug. 2 and was placed on
the 15-day disabled list Aug. 3.
LHP Jaime Garcia (left
shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 6, and he
was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 16. After further examination, it was
determined that he has tearing in his rotator cuff. He threw 40 pitches from 60
feet on flat ground for the first time in a month July 4. He threw live batting
practice July 25. He began a rehab assignment July 30 in the rookie-level Gulf
Coast League, and he was slated to make three or four starts before a potential
return to the Cardinals in mid-August.
RHP Kyle McClellan (torn
labrum in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18 due to a
strained right elbow, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 30. He
threw on flat ground for the first time July 3, but he subsequently felt
shoulder pain. He had season-ending shoulder surgery July
RHP Chris Carpenter (weak
right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he
was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 10. He threw for the first time since
March on June 13 and then threw another 40 pitches on June 15. He threw to
hitters for the first time June 22 but then had a setback June 25 when he felt
renewed weakness in the shoulder. He said it felt better the next day, and he
had an extensive throwing session off flat ground June 27. On June 28, he was
told he has thoracic outlet syndrome, which can cause, among its effects,
weakness in one's shoulder. A July 2 bullpen session was canceled. He underwent
season-ending surgery July 19 to relieve thoracic outlet
Link to boxscore: St. Louis 8, San Francisco 2