The Cardinals lost for the fifth
time in seven games Friday, but this defeat came with some upside, unlike some
of the others.
First, they erased a
one-run San Francisco lead in the ninth inning on shortstop Ryan Theriot's
two-out, two-run single after Theriot had fouled off four 3-2 pitches in a
Second, they escaped a
jam in the 11th inning when manager Tony La Russa went to a five-man infield.
Left fielder Allen Craig, who lined up at third base, made a diving backhanded
stab on Aaron Rowand's one-out smash down the line, and the Cardinals ran down
Andres Torres between third and home.
Rookie right-hander Bryan Augenstein pitched brilliantly to wriggle of the 11th inning. The Giants had a
runner at third with nobody out and, after two intentional walks following
Craig's great play, Augenstein fanned pinch hitter Mark DeRosa with the bases
Rowand eventually beat
left-hander Brian Tallet in the 12th with a two-out, bases-loaded single off the
left-center-field wall. Preceding the winning hit in the Giants' 5-4 victory was
a play on which Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols couldn't handle a low
throw from Tallet. Pujols may not have seen the ball clearly with Torres running
down the line.
Closer Ryan Franklin blew
his second save in three chances when he allowed a two-out, run-scoring single
by Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval in the ninth inning. Franklin blew just two of
29 save opportunities all last season.
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and Pujols actually had a pickoff play in mind if Franklin's inside pitch to
Sandoval had made it to Molina's glove. Trail runner Buster Posey was well off
first and might have been caught if Sandoval hadn't made contact when the ball
didn't get inside enough. Sandoval hit a shot past Pujols, who was preparing to
move to the bag.
"I don't fault (the
play)," La Russa said. "It's worked too many times."
Apr. 9 at GIANTS: Jaime Garcia (1-0, 0.00) vs. Matt Cain (1-0, 0.00) 9:05 p.m.
CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network)
Manager Tony La Russa
used a five-man infield for the first time in many years Friday in the 11th
inning with a man at third base and no outs. After 2B Freddy Sanchez struck out,
the gambit worked, as LF Allen Craig, moved to a normal third base position,
made a diving stop on Giants LF Aaron Rowand and caught the runner trying to
score. "Sometimes it makes sense," La Russa said. "I thought it would be a good
RHP Bryan Augenstein, a
rookie, worked out of an 11th-inning jam, scoring many points for himself.
"That's another high mark," manager Tony La Russa said. "He never acted like he
was rattled or anything. He continues to impress."
2B Tyler Greene became
the last Cardinal to start a game this season. Greene knocked in the first St. Louis run
in the second inning with a single and played flawlessly in the
The Cardinals' 2-5 start
is their worst since 1997, manager Tony La Russa's second season, when they were
1-6. LHP Brian Tallet, the losing pitcher, said, "We just haven't put it
together yet. Right now we are 2-5, and by the St. Louis Cardinals standards,
that's unacceptable. We're going to be good. We're going to win
A private plane carrying
La Russa, a couple of his coaches and several players to La Russa's fundraising
golf tournament in the Oakland area had to return to a St. Louis airport
Thursday when the plane's cabin failed to pressurize. No one was hurt, and the
traveling party then joined the rest of the team on a later charter flight to
BY THE NUMBERS: 1 - Game out of
their first seven in which the Cardinals scored more than three
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think that's
probably really a push."
- Manager Tony La Russa, upon hearing
that LF Matt Holliday, who had an appendectomy a week ago, hoped to play
LF Matt Holliday
(appendectomy) underwent the procedure April 1. He played catch and ran sprints
April 5, and the next day he hit indoors for the first time since the surgery.
He hopes to play as soon as April 10, but manager Tony La Russa said that was
RHP Adam Wainwright
(Tommy John surgery in February 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 25.
He will miss the entire 2011 season.
INF Nick Punto (hernia
surgery in February 2011) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March
22. He hopes to return in late April.