The Cardinals have won every game
right-hander Kyle McClellan has appeared in this year -- and that counts spring
McClellan, a former
reliever making his sixth big-league start this season (he relieved once after a
long rain delay), ran his record to 5-0 as he ventured into uncharted waters
Sunday in a 3-1 win over Milwaukee.
Having completed a
career-high eight innings of shutout ball, McClellan raced out to pitch the
ninth but was lifted after giving up a leadoff single to the Brewers' Prince Fielder. "I don't feel like I was out of gas," McClellan said. "I believe in
myself, I believe I can get a job done."
But manager Tony La Russa
went to his hot rookie, right-handed reliever Eduardo Sanchez, who walked two
and allowed an infield hit to Milwaukee pinch-hitter Craig Counsell, who put
Sanchez through a grinding 13-pitch at-bat. La Russa felt Sanchez, already at 29
pitches, had enough and switched to right-handed reliever Fernando Salas, who
needed just three pitches to fan second baseman Rickie Weeks and record his
Salas, Sanchez and
right-handed reliever Mitchell Boggs each have three saves since right-handed
reliever Ryan Franklin -- who didn't appear during a game on the concluded
seven-game home stand -- was replaced as closer after the first two weeks of the
The game was one of the
Cardinals' best defensive efforts of the season. Second baseman Tyler Greene, who had a tough day on Saturday, made several good plays and also
singled three times. Third baseman Nick Punto also played well and Gold Glove
first baseman Albert Pujols made a game-turning play when he threw home in the
midst of an attempted double play that had gone slightly awry to catch the
potential go-ahead run.
"We're used to seeing
that," said McClellan. "Albert's always looking to make the great
Manager Tony La Russa
flew to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., after the game to have his right eye
looked at. La Russa, who said he was scheduled to take a physical there anyway
relative to his duties as chairperson of his own Animal Rescue Foundation, has
had a viral infection he hasn't been able to shake for four weeks. "It would be
nice for them get a fresh look at it," said La Russa.
CF Colby Rasmus, a
left-handed batter who hit .160 against left-handers in 2009 and improved to
.270 last year, is at .324 this year after hitting a two-out, two-run double off
Milwaukee LHP Chris Narveson on Sunday. Rasmus' 12 hits left-handed in 37
at-bats are only five hits less than his total in 2009 when he had 106 at-bats
1B Albert Pujols got his
first extra-base hit, a double, since April 23. Pujols has just two doubles this
season, to go with seven home runs.
2B Tyler Greene had three
hits (all singles), matching his career high. Greene, a right-handed batter, has
seen plenty of time against left-handers recently with regular 2B Skip Schumaker
injured and is 6-for-16 (.375) against left-handers for the season.
pitchers had their best series of the year. In three games they worked 25
innings, giving up only two runs and 12 hits.
The Cardinals' 4-0 loss
Saturday was their first shutout defeat of the season.
BY THE NUMBERS: 7-0-1 - The Cardinals' series
record in their last eight series.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's still the same guy. You can
chalk it up to baseball. He's just been kind of human this
- Colby Rasmus on the
hitting struggles experienced by 1B Albert Pujols, a three-time Most Valuable
Player, in the first six weeks.
INF/OF Allen Craig, (left
calf) fouled a ball off his calf on May 6, and missed the May 7 and 8 games
Craig told reporters, though, the injury was "nothing serious" and said he could
have played May 8 if absolutely necessary.
SS Ryan Theriot (bruised
left shin) left the May 6 game shortly after being hit by a pitch. He was back
in the lineup May 8 and went 0-for-4.
3B David Freese (broken
left hand) went on the 15-day disabled list May 2. He will have surgery May 3,
and he is expected to be out until mid- to late July. Freese was scheduled to
have a removable cast put on his broken left hand on May
2B Skip Schumaker
(strained right triceps) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April
16. He hopes to return in May.
LHP Bryan Tallet
(fractured right hand) went on 15-day disabled list April 13. He was throwing
but not catching in early May, and the timetable for his return was
RHP Bryan Augenstein
(strained right groin) went on the 15-day disabled list April
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.
May 9: OPEN DATE
May 10 at CUBS: Chris Carpenter (0-2, 4.19) vs. Carlos Zambrano (4-1, 4.23) 7:05
p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and
Cardinals Radio Network).