the best offense in the National League, four starting pitchers who have won at
least 11 games and one of the top closers in the league, the Cardinals still are
the subject of the question, "Why aren't they doing better?"
One answer is their inability to win
Their 2-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, a game that started an hour and 25 minutes late
because of rain, dropped the Cardinals to 12-20 in one-run games. Counting the
Cardinals' 5-13 mark in games decided by two runs, they are 17-33 in close games
and 47-21 in games determined by three or more runs.
This one hurt, though, as the
Cardinals had a 1-0 lead with two outs to get before right-hander Jason Motte
gave up two homers on back-to-back pitches in the ninth. He had reeled off 13
straight saves since June 17, the date he allowed his last home run.
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who
had been beaten by two Motte cutters earlier in the at-bat, worked the at-bat to
a ninth pitch before hitting a high cutter over the left-center-field
One pitch later, slumping center
fielder Chris Young lifted a low fastball off the facade of the third
"It wasn't good," Motte (4-4) said of
Regarding Goldschmidt's homer, Motte
said, "You don't want to walk him, but you want to make a good enough pitch that
he can't do much with it. I didn't do either one."
Motte said Young "was geared up for a
fastball and he hit it. I didn't do my job tonight."
RHP Kyle Lohse, who
admitted he had little command of his fastball, made do with his breaking stuff
and fashioned 6 2/3 scoreless innings, giving him a total of 13 2/3 innings,
allowing just one run, over his last two starts. And Lohse (12-2) has two
no-decisions to show for it. "His record has been good," said manager Mike
Matheny, "but not nearly as good as it could be. This was another example of
that. It's a shame." Lohse has had 13 quality starts out of his last 14 and
remains 6-1 at home and 6-1 on the road.
RHP Jason Motte, who
allowed two homers in the ninth inning, hadn't given up a home run since June
17, when Kansas City PH Billy Butler cost him a save. "We haven't seen too much
of that from Jason," said manager Mike Matheny of his closer, who has 27 saves
in 32 tries.
RHP Chris Carpenter, who
had surgery nearly a month ago to relieve a nerve issue in his shoulder, did
some light tossing from 40 to 60 feet on Thursday. "It's exciting to throw
again," Carpenter said. "But also you want to find out what's going on and make
sure we're doing the right things. We're not going to go crazy. We're going to
make sure we take the steps the right way. It's going based on how I feel. It's
only been a month, so there is still some healing going on in there. But it's
healed enough to toss a little bit."
C Yadier Molina missed a
second consecutive game Thursday with back soreness. Molina said he was better
but his availability for Friday night's series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates remained in question. "I want to be here for the team. I want to play.
But I don't want to get back in the lineup and hurt it worse," he
LHP Jaime Garcia will
make his first start Sunday since June 5, when he went out with a strained left
shoulder. He is targeted to face Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and
Washington—three of the top teams in the
National League—in his first three starts. "All I can say is I'm ready to go for
Sunday. I don't want to say I'm 100 percent, 90 percent, 80 percent," Garcia
said. "I don't want to talk about how things used to be or to make predictions.
They asked me how I felt. I said if they needed me to go Sunday, I was
2 - Number of hits the
Cardinals had to the outfield on Thursday. Four of their six hits were infield
Quote to Note:
"We've got to learn a
better way to win these close games."
- RHP Kyle Lohse after
the Cardinals' record in one-run games dropped to 12-20.
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 four starts before a potential return to
the Cardinals in mid-August. The fourth start was Aug. 14. He will be added to
the roster Aug. 19 to face Pittsburgh, with impressive rookie RHP Joe Kelly going to the bullpen.
C Yadier Molina (sore
left hand and elbow) did not play Aug. 12. He incurred some mid-back tightness
and sat out Aug. 14-16.
1B Lance Berkman (right
knee inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug.
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 syndrome. He did some
light tossing from 40 to 60 feet on Aug. 16.
Link to boxscore: Arizona 2 at St. Louis 1