Cardinals Major League Notebook: 06/04/11

Cardinals Major League Notebook: 06/04/11

With an extra day of rest, Jaime Garcia returned with a dominating performance over Chicago on Friday night at Busch Stadium.

INSIDE PITCH

 

Left-hander Jaime Garcia, after allowing 12 runs (11 earned) in 3 1/3 innings at Colorado in his previous start, was back in Busch Stadium form on Friday.

Garcia, who has thrown two shutouts at Busch already this season, allowed just one run and four hits in eight innings. After a 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs, his earned run average at Busch is 0.46.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said, "He was in command of all his pitches. He didn't throw many balls in the middle of the plate. He was on the edges all the time. A lot of variations. Outstanding."

La Russa said he hadn't been worried about Garcia's previous effort. "Bob Gibson didn't pitch 30 times and have a shutout every game," said La Russa. "You're going to have some tough starts. (Garcia) already has proven in a year and two months that he's a very tough character and doesn't get distracted."

To shortstop Ryan Theriot, who extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a first-inning double, Garcia was "on a mission" after his outing in Colorado.

"His first five or six innings, it was like, man, he only threw 80 pitches," said Theriot. "Strike one every time, and when they did make contact, it was a groundball or a popup. It was impressive to watch."

The only offense Garcia needed was a three-run homer by right fielder Lance Berkman in the first inning. First baseman Albert Pujols delivered a two-run homer in the fifth, giving him 100 in his career at Busch Stadium III.

Garcia insisted he hadn't let his last start linger.

"It was something that helped me," said Garcia. "I never really got down, I never got sad about that game. I (had) some of the guys and family telling me that I shouldn't worry about it and that everything will be fine. I wasn't thinking that way. I know I have good stuff."

NOTES AND QUOTES

RF Lance Berkman, given a night off Thursday, ended a nothing-for-13 slide with his 12th home run and first since May 15. Manager Tony La Russa, mindful of giving his players days off in the tough months of June and July, said, "It's a little money in the bank if you can give them a little extra time."

1B Albert Pujols hit his seventh homer in 49 career at-bats against Chicago RHP Ryan Dempster. Pujols also became the eighth active player to have hit 100 or more homers in his current park. "That was a bullet," said manager Tony La Russa. "That's the kind he hits, just line drives that carry forever."

SS Ryan Theriot extended his hitting streak to 17 games, longest active streak in the majors. He is 25 for 72 (.347) in that time.

RHP Lance Lynn, who worked 5 1/3 innings, giving up five runs in his first start, will get another start next week, said pitching coach Dave Duncan. But RHP Maikel Cleto, who gave up five runs in his first inning of relief, was returned to Class AA Springfield as 3B Matt Carpenter, along with 1B Mark Hamilton, was brought up from Class AAA Memphis. Carpenter, impressive as a non-roster player in camp this spring, is likely to make his big-league debut either Saturday or Sunday.

3B David Freese has begun taking groundballs as he recovers from the left hand fracture he suffered on May 1. Freese is anticipating a rehabilitation option in a couple of weeks.

The Cardinals will have only one pick, No. 22, on Monday's first day of Major League Baseball first-year player draft. In fact, they have just one in the first 78.

BY THE NUMBERS: 94 - Home runs hit at Busch Stadium II by 1B Albert Pujols, who hit his 100th at Busch III on Friday.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Having one pick means we feel pressure as a scouting department to deliver on that pick. If we miss on that first-round pick, our draft has a lot lower chance of making an impact."

- Jeff Luhnow, vice president of scouting and player development, on the Cardinals having just one first-round pick in the first-year player draft and no supplemental or second-round pick.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

LF Matt Holliday (strained left quadriceps) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 1.

RHP Kyle McClellan (left hip flexor strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 31.

C Gerald Laird (broken right index finger) went on the 15-day disabled list May 23. He will be out until July.

INF Nick Punto (right forearm flexor strain) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18.

3B David Freese (broken left hand) went on the 15-day disabled list May 2. He had surgery May 3, and he is expected to be out until mid- to late July.

RHP Bryan Augenstein (strained right groin) went on the 15-day disabled list April 13. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 16.

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.

NEXT GAME

 

Sat., June 4 vs. CUBS: Kyle Lohse (7-2, 2.13) vs. Randy Wells (1-1, 5.40) 3:10 p.m. CDT (FOX Network, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).

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