The Cardinals' Class AAA Memphis
club won the Pacific Coast League title last year and got to the championship
round this year. And, when the Cardinals took the field Wednesday, their lineup
included seven players who had been at Memphis last year and this year.
Some, like outfielder Jon Jay, already had made a significant mark at the big-league level. Others, like
right-hander P.J. Walters, are trying to enhance their resumes for next
Walters, whose spring
training was curtailed by the serious illness and then subsequent death of his
prematurely born infant daughter, had been up with the Cardinals earlier in the
season and had had one good start in San Diego, blanking the Padres for five
innings. He was even better Wednesday.
Featuring his changeup
and a couple of different fastballs, Walters threw seven scoreless innings of
three-hit ball at Pittsburgh as he scored his second victory of
Before the game, manager
Tony La Russa had talked of how thin the Cardinals' staff was and that Walters
would have to stay out there awhile, whether he pitched well or
Afterward, La Russa said,
"I don't think you can over-exaggerate it. He knew we were short. He's got great
guts, and he's got a feel for pitching. I can't tell you how much we all were
impressed with what he did."
Walters said, "It was a
lot of fun looking up and seeing all those (Memphis) guys behind me."
Most of the offense came
alumni, too. Outfielder Allen Craig, 7-for-18 over his past five games, cracked
his fourth homer and a double. Catcher Bryan Anderson had two hits and drove in
a run, as did shortstop Tyler Greene.
First baseman Mark Hamilton had his first two big-league hits. The only hit by a player who wasn't
at Memphis this
year was a run-scoring single by 2B Aaron Miles -- who played 16 games at Class
AA Springfield this season.
CARDINALS 4, PIRATES
1: The Cardinals
posted back-to-back series wins for the first time since late July. They also
ensured their 10th winning season in the last 11 years as RHP P. J. Walters
allowed only three hits and one walk over seven shutout
1B Albert Pujols and LF
Matt Holliday were out of the Cardinals' lineup together for the first time this
season the day after the Cardinals were eliminated from postseason contention.
Manager Tony La Russa said Pujols would play at least three games of the four
remaining, and Holliday probably would play all four.
RF Allen Craig, who had
been ineffective in spot duty much of the season, is 7-for-18 (.389) over the
past five games, including two homers. He is improving with regular action. "A
lot of us are boosters of Allen Craig," manager Tony La Russa said. "He's never
really had a chance to put games together. He does a lot of good
The Cardinals' win was
their 82nd, which ensures a winning season. "We're not celebrating or popping
champagne," Tony La Russa said. But the manager said a winning season had its
importance. "Don't be too cool not to acknowledge it," he
RHP Chris Carpenter will
try to end a four-game losing streak when he opposes Colorado in his final
start Thursday. In each of his last four starts, Carpenter has had one inning in
which he has allowed at least four runs. On one occasion, he gave up a six-run
The Cardinals won the
season series from Pittsburgh, 9-6. Other than beating Cincinnati 12 times in 18
games, the Cardinals lost the season series to the four other teams in the
National League Central.
By the Numbers:
2 - Saves blown by RH reliever
Ryan Franklin, the Cardinals' closer, through the first 25 weeks of the season.
The problem was that he had only 28 save chances in that
Quote to Note:
- Manager Tony La Russa, about his
team dropping eight straight games to teams with losing records before finally
winning at Pittsburgh.
RHP Adam Wainwright
(right forearm strain) was shut down for the season Sept.
RHP Blake Hawksworth
(mouth, lip lacerations) was struck in the face by a line drive Sept. 25 and was
hospitalized for observation. He was discharged from the hospital Sept. 26 after
requiring almost 30 stitches to close wounds in his mouth and upper lip. He
won't pitch again this season.
C Yadier Molina (sore
right knee) hasn't played since Sept. 21. An MRI on Sept. 22 found inflammation
in the knee, and he was shut down for the season.
LHP Jaime Garcia (arm
fatigue) missed starts Sept. 18 and Sept. 23, and the Cardinals announced Sept.
24 that he had been shut down for the season.
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. He has announced that he will
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 was throwing Sept. 28, hoping to
get in a game or two before season's end.
3B David Freese (right
ankle surgery in August 2010, left ankle surgery in September 2010) 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. He underwent surgery on the left ankle a month
later, but he expects to be ready for spring training.
RHP Brad Penny (strained
upper back) went on the 15-day disabled list May 22, and he was transferred to
the 60-day DL on July 31. 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 that 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.