With the internet polls about to close on the vote for the 34th and final berth on the All-Star Game squads in both leagues, National League leader David Freese made his final plea Wednesday night.
Freese, the Most Valuable Player in the NL Championship Series and the World Series last year, stroked a bases-loaded single on an 0-2 count to provide the insurance runs in a 4-1 win over Colorado and run his RBI total to an impressive 50 one game into the second half of the season.
Left fielder Matt Holliday, the hottest hitter in the game, probably won't be on the NL squad unless there are a couple of injuries but he had three more hits -- a double and two singles. He is a scalding 33 for his last 64 since June 16 and has jumped his average to .319.
"I'm not missing good pitches to hit," said Holliday. "Sometimes when you're struggling, you hit over the top of the ball and you foul them back. Now I'm doing a decent job of hitting the ball hard."
Manager Mike Matheny said, "He certainly looks like a different hitter."
Holliday also helped save a run in the first by making a sliding stop in the outfield although he later let a ball get by him for a triple that helped to account for the Rockies' lone run.,
None of the Cardinals' pitchers who worked Wednesday will be on the All-Star club but they all pitched at a high level.
Right-hander Adam Wainwright, whose
earned run average against
The bigger news was the work of the bullpen. Right-hander Maikel Cleto, just recalled from Class AAA Memphis, fanned the first two men he faced in the seventh and then benefited from a dazzling, over-the-shoulder catch by center fielder Jon Jay, who reached high to make the play.
Left-hander Marc Rzepcznski, who has
been erratic all season, went through three left-handed batters in the
The much-discussed bullpen has fanned 19 and walked only one in the last five games.
"We've been talking all season about working ahead in the count," Matheny said. "We've been talking about Cleto getting tougher assignments. And I don't think Zep's had a tougher one, coming in and doing what he did."
SS Rafael Furcal was the
middle man on an unusual 3-6-5 double play to end the sixth and take RHP Adam
Wainwright, the winning pitcher, out of a tough spot. With runners at first and
second and out, Colorado SS Jonathan Herrera hit a line drive to the right of
Cardinals 1B Allen Craig, who could not hold on to the ball but recovered
quickly to throw to second for the force out as the Rockies' runners froze.
Furcal, taking the throw at second, alertly looked toward third and saw
RHP Adam Wainwright gained his seventh win by pitching six durable innings, scattering eight hits. "Today I made pitches with two outs and the last time I didn't. That's the difference in a great outing and a bad one," said Wainwright. He said he helped fight the heat by staying hydrated and eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a protein bar.
LHP Jaime Garcia, who had been shut down with shoulder problems, threw 40 pitches from 60 feet on flat ground for the first time in a month. "It felt really good," Garcia said. "I can definitely tell a big difference already."
RHP Kyle McClellan (elbow strain), who threw from flat ground for the first time the day before, reported he felt good Wednesday. He could be back in early August.
RHP Lance Lynn will make
his last start before he goes to the All-Star Game when he faces
By the Numbers:
20-19 - Cardinals' record at home.
Quote to Note:
"It's a zapping kind of heat. It takes your energy out."
- RHP Adam Wainwright on
the continued steamy weather in
LHP Jaime Garcia (left shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 6. After further examination, it was determined that he has tearing in his rotator cuff. He threw 40 pitches from 60 feet on flat ground for the first time in a month July 4. He is out until at least mid-August.
RHP Kyle McClellan (strained right ulnar collateral ligament) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 30. He won't need surgery but likely will be sidelined until at least late July. He threw from flat ground for the first time July 3 and reported he felt good July 4. He could be back in early August.
1B Lance Berkman (torn meniscus in right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list May 20. He had arthroscopic surgery May 25, and no ACL damage was found. He took batting practice July 2, and he hopes to return to the Cardinals on July 13.
RHP Chris Carpenter (weak right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 10. He threw for the first time since March on June 13 and then threw another 40 pitches on June 15. He threw to hitters for the first time June 22 but then had a setback June 25 when he felt renewed weakness in the shoulder. He said it felt better the next day, and he had an extensive throwing session off flat ground June 27. On June 28, he was told he has thoracic outlet syndrome, which can cause, among its effects, weakness in one's shoulder. A July 2 bullpen session was canceled. On July 3, the Cardinals announced that Carpenter will undergo season-ending surgery July 19 and will be out until February.
Link to boxscore: St. Louis 4, Colorado 1