Cardinals Stumble at Home in NLDS Game 3

Francisco's three-run shot off Garcia Tuesday

After a close loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday, St. Louis faces two must-win games, Wednesday at home and Friday on the road, a game they hope they need to play.

INSIDE PITCH

 

Right-hander Edwin Jackson, a potential free agent perhaps making his last start for St. Louis, is entrusted with keeping the Cardinals' season alive when he pitches Game 4 of the Division Series on Wednesday.

 

In a five-game series, not nailing down a game that you should win can come back and bite you. And the Cardinals well could wind up feeling that way after stranding 14 runners and pushing just two runs home in a 3-2 loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday that left them down in the series two games to one.

 

The Cardinals, who grounded into a National League record 169 double plays this season, were bitten by the DP bug again in the eighth inning. With the bases loaded and one out in a 3-1 game, left fielder Allen Craig hit a shot to second baseman Chase Utley, who started a double play to end the inning.

 

An inning before, manager Tony La Russa had issued an intentional walk to Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz with a man on second and two outs in a scoreless game. The base was open after catcher Yadier Molina had committed a passed ball on a changeup from left-hander Jaime Garcia.

 

The Phillies sent up right-handed-hitting pinch hitter Ben Francisco to hit for left-hander Cole Hamels. Francisco, who had been 1-for-9 against Garcia. hit a three-run homer to win the game.

 

"(Ruiz) has gotten as many big hits (against the Cardinals) as the guys in the middle of the lineup," said La Russa. "He just terrorizes us, and he's already hit two balls hard.

"The matchup we liked. I made the decision, Francisco has had a tough time with Jaime, so it really wasn't a tough call.

 

"But it didn't work."

 

Boxscore

 

NOTES, QUOTES

 

Manager Tony La Russa was fined an unspecified amount by the commissioner's office for comments made during Sunday's telecast of the team's Division Series game against the Philadelphia Phillies. La Russa alleged that plate umpire Jerry Meals was employing different strike zones for the starting pitchers, Cardinals RHP Chris Carpenter and Phillies LHP Cliff Lee, during Game 2.

 

CF Skip Schumaker was the beneficiary of the umpires' change of heart in the ninth inning when he appeared to make a diving catch on Carlos Ruiz's liner but the play initially was ruled otherwise. Schumaker protested, the umpires gathered and the call was changed. "They got it right," said Schumaker. The Cardinals would have had a double play because Phils third baseman Placido Polanco had taken off for second when the ball at first was ruled in play. But the Cardinals weren't hurt because Phillies RH reliever Ryan Madson, left in the game to bat, fanned for the final out.

 

1B Albert Pujols had his first four-hit postseason game, including three doubles, and 2B Ryan Theriot had four singles. This marked the second time in Cardinals postseason history that two Cardinals had had four hits in a game. In Game 4 of the 1946 World Series, rookie C Joe Garagiola, 3B Whitey Kurowski and RF Enos Slaughter each had four hits.

 

C Yadier Molina singled in a run in the ninth inning to extend his postseason hitting streak to 12 games, dating to 2006. He is 16-for-46 (.348) in that time.

 

1B Albert Pujols and RF Lance Berkman recorded a double steal in the first inning, the first by the Cardinals in postseason play in 24 years. SS Ozzie Smith and LF Vince Coleman executed the feat in Game 5 of the 1987 World Series.

 

LF Matt Holliday had a pinch-hit single in the seventh inning. But it still is doubtful that Holliday, bothered by a tendon problem in his right hand, will be able to start Game 4.

 

BY THE NUMBERS: 22 - Multi-hit games by 1B Albert Pujols in postseason play.

 

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Being a military brat growing up, I was on the move. So I'm pretty much used to packing up, moving, meeting new friends."

 

- RHP Edwin Jackson, who has been with seven big-league organizations.

 

ROSTER REPORT

 

MEDICAL WATCH:

 

LF Matt Holliday (strained tendon in right palm) re-injured his hand Sept. 27 and left the game, and he didn't play Sept. 28. He didn't start the opener of the NL Division Series, but he appeared as a pinch hitter. However, he felt more pain during the at-bat and continues to be limited to pinch-hitting.

 

RHP Lance Lynn (strained left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 10 and was transferred to the 60-day DL on Sept. 2.

 

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. Wainwright was getting closer to throwing a full-strength bullpen session in September, but he will not be allowed to throw his signature curveball until next year.

 

NEXT GAME

 

Wed., October 5: vs. PHILLIES: Edwin Jackson (12-9, 3.79) vs. Roy Oswalt (9-10, 3.69) 5:07 P.M. CDT (TBS, ESPN Radio, KMOX).

VIDEO FROM FOXSPORTSMIDWEST.COM

<a href="http://www.foxsportsmidwest.com/pages/video?UUID=6d3e4bda-b894-4418-9631-16f8381036ac&amp;src=SLPl:embed::uuids" target="_new" title="Backs against the wall">Video: Backs against the wall</a>
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa believes his team will go all out against Philly in NLDS Game 4.

<a href="http://www.foxsportsmidwest.com/pages/video?UUID=f01d7738-4403-42fb-9770-e547b7b2dae8&amp;src=SLPl:embed::uuids" target="_new" title="Cardinals fall to Phillies">Video: Cardinals fall to Phillies</a>
St. Louis players sound off on the 3-2 loss against Philadelphia in Game 3.

Tony La Russa's full post-game comments

Q. How huge was Jaime (Garcia) today?

TONY LA RUSSA: He was outstanding. I mean, outstanding. He made one mistake, and the guy hit it out of the park. Usually that doesn't happen. And he rose to the occasion. He'll be proud of himself forever for what he did tonight.

Q. Can you talk about the decision to keep Jaime in there instead of a pinch hitter?

TONY LA RUSSA: Well, it didn't work, so that's bad managing. I'm watching him pitch, and was really pleased, and I believe they had trouble centering the ball on him, and even the lead off double, I saw what they did to Polanco and Mayberry. He just ... I thought he was the guy to continue pitching. And I knew the match ups were in our favor. Francisco has had not had a lot of success against him. But it didn't work.

Q. I think it was after the Mets loss a couple weeks ago, you said our mindset doesn't change. Does the fact that you guys have pretty much been playing without much margin for error going into tomorrow and possibly a Game 5 help you guys out here going forward?

TONY LA RUSSA: I mean, that's probably the easiest mindset that we have for tomorrow, because we have been literally facing this, even if it wasn't the last elimination, we knew if you lose this game or this series, and the club has responded. I can just speak for myself and the coaches and the people around our club. I can't speak for our peers, the media, our fans. But the heart and guts that this club has demonstrated rallying like they did is just off the charts, and there's no doubt in my mind that you will see it again tomorrow.

Q. Can you just talk about the decision to intentionally walk Ruiz?

TONY LA RUSSA: Well, if you follow our club with Ruiz over the years, he's gotten as many big hits as the guys in the middle of the lineup. He just terrorizes us, and he's already hit two balls hard. The match up we liked, I liked. I made the decision. Francisco has had a tough time with Jaime, so it really wasn't a tough call.

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