Cardinals' three-game sweep by the Reds at Cincinnati had some familiar themes.
A former Cardinal beat them. After
left fielder Ryan Ludwick hit a 10th-inning homer to win Saturday's game for the
Reds, 3-2, third baseman Scott Rolen delivered a two-run, two-out bases-loaded
single to win Sunday night for Cincinnati, 4-2.
The bullpen failed. In each of the
three losses, the Cardinals' bullpen faltered. After contributing to three runs
in the seventh inning on Friday and right-hander Victor Marte tossing Ludwick's
homer on Saturday, right-handed Mitchell Boggs allowed Rolen's game-winning
single in the eighth on Sunday.
But, besides another familiar theme,
Reds lefty Aroldis Chapman fanning eight hitters in three innings over three
games, the main memory of the series will be the Cardinals' invisible offense.
In three games, the Cardinals scored only seven runs. They didn't have a hit
with men in scoring position in eight at-bats on Sunday.
Catcher Yadier Molina had six hits,
including two homers and two doubles in the series. The rest of the club had two
extra-base hits in the series.
The most notable miss by the Cardinals
came in the eighth. With the score tied at 2-2, left fielder Matt Holliday and
right fielder Carlos Beltran both singled. But first baseman Lance Berkman was
called out on strikes, Molina flied out and third baseman David Freese tapped to
Right-hander Jake Westbrook (7-8)
pitched strongly until the eighth inning but he walked first baseman Joey Votto
and then, after a wild pitch, nicked second baseman Brandon Phillips with a
pitch, putting two on with one out.
Left-hander Marc Rzepczynski made a
kick save on right fielder Jay Bruce's grounder and second baseman Skip Schumaker got the out at first. But, righty Mitchell Boggs walked Ludwick
intentionally after falling behind 3-0 and then gave up the winning single to
Westbrook, however, took the
"I hadn't walked a guy all night, and
I walked (Votto)," Westbrook said. "Then I hit Phillips, which ultimately cost
us the game."
1B Lance Berkman made his
first start since suffering torn cartilage in his right knee on May 19. He
reached on 1B Joey Votto's error in the second inning, then came all the way
around to score standing up on C Yadier Molina's double to the gap in
left-center. But, after a walk in his second plate appearance, Berkman's night
trended downward as he hit into a double play and struck
INF Tyler Greene, whose
playing time has shrunk at both second base and shortstop, where he almost never
plays, is 0-for-12 as a pinch hitter after fanning against Cincinnati LHP
Aroldis Chapman on Sunday night. Greene has 49 strikeouts in 161 at-bats. "The
unfortunate thing is that you have one shot," said Greene. "The toughest part of
it is understanding the big picture—that you might get one at-bat within several
days. As a player, you're so used to getting three or four at-bats in a game to
build off." Manager Mike Matheny said, "We all know he can play middle
(infield). How that plays into the lineup every day I don't exactly
LF Matt Holliday had a
double and a single, extending his hitting streak to 14 games at 21-for-54
(.389). Since June 16, he is 41-for-93 (.440).
RF Carlos Beltran, who
was 1-for-21 before singling in his final two at-bats on Sunday, will get one
day off and maybe two at Milwaukee during the next series. Beltran, a
Home Run Derby contestant and starter in the All-Star Game at Kansas City, really hasn't
had a break lately.
The Cardinals lost all
three games at Cincinnati but struggling LHP Marc Rzepczynski
may have had a breakthrough. He retired all four men he faced, including Reds RF
Jay Bruce twice.
24-39 - The Cardinals'
record in one-and two-run games.
Quote to Note:
"There has to be urgency.
We're fighting. But it's time to win these ball games."
- 3B David Freese, after
another one-run loss for the Cardinals.
3B David Freese (bruised
left leg) was hurt July 7. He appeared as a pinch hitter July 8. He was back in
the lineup July 13 after the All-Star break.
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 was activated July 14.
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 (torn
labrum in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18 due to a
strained right elbow, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 30. He
threw on flat ground for the first time July 3, but he subsequently felt
shoulder pain. He had season-ending shoulder surgery July
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 would undergo season-ending surgery July
19 to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.
Link to boxscore: Cincinnati 4, St. Louis 2