The Cardinals have been
beaten twice in a row, in a sense, by former St. Louis closer Jason Isringhausen.
Tuesday night's 4-2 victory by the Mets over the Cardinals and he was the
winning pitcher on Wednesday night in a 6-5 Mets victory in 10 innings over the
But the bigger issue was
that the Cardinals lost on a walk-off hit for the ninth time this season when
right-handed reliever Fernando Salas, working into his second inning,
surrendered a first-pitch, one-out home run to center fielder Angel Pagan in the
It was the third time
Salas, who has 17 saves, had walked off the field with a loss.
Jason Motte was unable to close out the eighth. Coming in with a runner third
and two out, Motte, the worst in the bullpen at stranding inherited runners,
permitted a game-tying single by New
York catcher Josh Thole.
Motte has allowed
17-of-39 inherited runners to score this season.
Thole is a left-handed
hitter, but the Cardinals don't seem to have much confidence in their
left-handed relief. Motte, on the other hand, is being solved at a .340 clip by
"Obviously, I didn't do
my job," Motte said. Of the sinker he threw, Motte said, "It didn't really do
Manager Tony La Russa
pulled right-handed reliever Lance Lynn for another right-hander, Motte. "It
looked like Lynn's stuff was changing," La Russa said. "I
thought it was a good time for a fresh arm."
La Russa said he didn't
want to use a left-handed reliever to face Thole because he feared the Mets
would go with a veteran right-handed pinch hitter like Scott Hairston or Ronny Paulino.
The Cardinals, though
losing their third game in succession and fourth in five games on this trip, did
some good things offensively. In the first three innings, they delivered three
consecutive runners from third base with under two outs.
They did not come
through, however, in a similar spot in the seventh when pinch hitter Tony Cruz
grounded out on the first pitch with a runner at third and one out, and then
pinch hitter Albert Pujols popped up.
Backup catcher Gerald Laird delivered what could have been a game-winning hit in the eighth when he
beat out a bunt with a runner at third, breaking a 4-4 tie.
Right-hander Kyle McClellan, winless in his last eight starts, had a decent effort, but allowed a
two-run home run in the fifth to right fielder Carlos Beltran after the
Cardinals failed to turn a double play on shortstop Jose Reyes, and third
baseman David Freese was unable to track down a foul ball into the stands.
himself for his approach to Beltran on a 3-and-2 pitch.
"If you walk him, it
could lead to bigger things, but he's a pretty good player," McClellan said. "I
made a mistake to the guy you don't want to make a mistake to. Sooner or later
he was waiting on you to make a mistake and I made one."
The Cardinals hit into
two more double plays on Wednesday, raising their National League-leading total
to 105, but 1B Albert Pujols, who leads the league individually at 22, didn't
hit into any of them. He didn't start, but was 0-for-2 after coming into the
game as a pinch hitter. "Just use my name; I know you want to use my name,"
Pujols said of the double play epidemic. "That doesn't bother me. When you put
the ball in play, those are the chances that you're going to take. That doesn't
bother me putting the ball in play, that's what it's all about. I prefer to do
that than a guy going out there to strike out 100, 200 times."
INF Nick Punto, who had
been having elbow problems, decided to throw as hard as he could a couple of
days ago to see what would happen. What happened, acccording to Punto, was that
he broke loose some scar tissue and he hasn't had any pain since. Punto, who was
thought headed to the disabled list for a third time because he couldn't play
all three infield positions, will be in the lineup at second base on Thursday.
"It turned out great," Punto said of the strategy to "air it out," a notion
suggested by his father. Punto fininshed Wednesday's game at second.
2B Skip Schumaker,
restored to the leadoff spot, reached base in all three of his plate appearances
on Wednesday. That may be a sign of things to come because SS Ryan Theriot, the
normal leadoff man who didn't start on Wednesday, has had only only one hit in
his last four starts.
1B Lance Berkman drove in
a run with a single in the third inning, marking the first time since June 30 he
had driven in a run without a home run. In that time, Berkman had had 10 RBI on
seven home runs.
RHP Kyle McClellan is
winless since May 19, although he pitched a respectable six innings, giving up
four runs, on Wednesday. McClellan, who couldn't hold an early four-run lead,
allowed a game-tying home run on a full-count fastball to Mets RF Carlos Beltran
in the fifth. He said, in retrospect, he should have thrown a curveball or
certainly something off the plate because, with the runner going from first on
the 3-and-2 pitch, it was as if the runner was already at second with a base
open anyway. "I made the wrong choice," McClellan said. Manager Tony La Russa
said: "I'm sure he'd like to have that one back. He didn't want to throw a
fastball where he threw it."
BY THE NUMBERS: 0 -
Number of stolen bases by the Cardinals since June 9.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't
think you want to use (Fernando) Salas there. Evidently. Because I didn't use
- Manager Tony La Russa, on not
bringing in RHP Fernando Salas, his closer, with the tying run at third and two
out in the eighth. RHP Jason Motte entered instead and allowed the game-tying
INF Nick Punto (sore
right elbow) left the July 16 game, and he might be placed on the disabled list.
He pinch-hit July 17 but didn't play July 18-19. Punto missed the season's first
16 games after having abdominal surgery in February, then missed 36 games from
mid-May to late June due to a right forearm strain. Punto decided to throw hard
and see what happened, and broke loose some scar tissue. He has felt fine since
and was scheduled to start at second base July 21.
LHP Brian Tallet
(strained right intercostal muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive
to July 4. He was injured while sneezing.
RHP Eduardo Sanchez (mild
right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 13.
He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Springfield on July 7 but had renewed
soreness soon after and was shut down until late August or early
OF Allen Craig (broken
right kneecap) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 8. He might
return in late July.
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.
July 21 vs. METS: Jake Westbrook (7-4, 5.26) vs. Jon Niese (8-7, 3.88) 11:10
a.m. (FOX Sports
Midwest, MLB Network, KMOX Radio and Cardinals
VIDEO FROM FOXSPORTSMIDWEST.COM
Tony TV: Cardinals manager Tony La Russa shares his thoughts following the 6-5 loss to the Mets Wednesday night.
Kyle McClellan and Jason Motte share their thoughts on the tough loss.