Cardinals offense misses flight to Washington

Mark McGwire wondering where his offense went

St. Louis just missed being shut out for the third night in a row and lost the series opener in Washington, DC Thursday night.

INSIDE PITCH

 

It took a throwing error by Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to break the Cardinals' scoreless streak at 28 innings Thursday night. But it was a blip on the radar.

 

The Cardinals were thrashed for the third straight night, 8-1, by Washington. That came on the heels of 9-0 and 5-0 losses to Pittsburgh.

 

When they lost to Pittsburgh right-hander James McDonald and left-hander Wandy Rodriguez in the previous two games, the Cardinals felt as if they had some hittable pitches. Not so much on Thursday when former Cardinals right-hander Edwin Jackson struck out 10 and allowed just an unearned run.

 

Still ...

 

"I have no explanation at this point," said manager Mike Matheny. "Jackson threw the ball well, (but) we chased a lot of balls out of the zone.

"We've got to find that button. We need to find it tomorrow."

 

In the big picture, the Cardinals still are in the lead by a half-game for the second wild-card spot in the National League.

 

More immediately, though catcher Yadier Molina returned after missing one game because of several upper-body strains suffered in a collision at home plate on Tuesday, shortstop Rafael Furcal is expected to be lost for a while and maybe a long while.

 

Furcal came out of the game with a strained elbow after making a throw to second in the sixth inning. He will return to St. Louis to have an MRI on Friday.

The veteran said he felt a "pop" on one throw and later a "tingle."

 

After the game, he said he was very sore and couldn't extend his arm.

 

"I hope it's not crazy," he said. "I've never felt anything like this in my arm. It's like 'Where's this coming from?' "

 

Matheny had Furcal take a warmup throw. "He winced, and that was all we needed to see," said Matheny.

 

"He's been a phenomenal part of this team. He's had a great season. Even losing him for today wasn't good. We're hopeful that all the tests come back in a positive way and that we get him back soon."

 

Also, left-hander Jaime Garcia and right-hander Lance Lynn were unimpressive. Garcia, who hasn't looked as good after throwing 107 pitches and giving up two unearned runs over eight innings in his first start after coming off the disabled list, gave up six runs in 5 1/3 innings. Garcia fell behind on a two-run homer to center fielder Bryce Harper, the second batter he faced in the game, after he had walked the leadoff man.

 

"I didn't get the job done in the first inning, falling behind," said Garcia. "My arm felt fine, better than last time. But every single mistake I made, it seemed like they took advantage of it."

 

Lynn, shuffled to the bullpen after five poor starts, pitched a listless seventh inning, walking two and giving up two singles while allowing two runs.

 

NOTES, QUOTES

C Yadier Molina returned to the lineup Thursday after passing a series of tests conducted by the team's training staff. Bowled over by Pittsburgh Pirates 2B Josh Harrison on Tuesday night, Molina missed Wednesday's series finale with neck stiffness. He said only minor neck stiffness remained Thursday. Manager Mike Matheny declined Molina's lobbying to play Wednesday. Matheny, whose career was cut short by a concussion suffered while playing with the San Francisco Giants, said, he was "going to be more cautious about this because I know more about this than any one person should know."

RHP Adam Wainwright has informed the club that he prefers to wait until the completion of this season before negotiating a contract extension.

Wainwright, still in the first year of a two-year, $21 million club option, said general manager John Mozeliak contacted him in the last two weeks about the matter. "I don't want to do anything to create a distraction for me or the team," said Wainwright, who turned 31 on Thursday.

LF Matt Holliday got his 1,500th hit in unusual fashion on Thursday. He singled off the glove of Washington RHP Edwin Jackson in the first inning.

1B Lance Berkman, on a rehabilitation assignment at Class AAA Memphis for the last week, will rejoin the team on Friday and could be activated on Saturday. Berkman has been dealing with pain and stiffness in both knees.

C Bryan Anderson got his first hit of the season, a double in the eighth inning, and scored the Cardinals' only run. Anderson was brought up when C Yadier Molina appeared as if he would be out awhile after being plowed over in a home-plate incident on Tuesday.

RHP Kyle Lohse still is the only Cardinals hitter in the last four games to drive in a run on a hit with men in scoring position. The Cardinals' 28-inning scoreless streak was their longest of the season and most extensive since 1995, when the streak lasted 33 innings.

By the Numbers:

6-0 - What RHP Adam Wainwright's record for August will be if wins Friday on the final day of the month.

Quote to Note:

"It was up and down. I don't think it was as bad as it turned out."

- Manager Mike Matheny's positive take on LHP Jaime Garcia's outing of six runs allowed in 5 1/3 innings on Thursday.

MEDICAL WATCH

C Yadier Molina (strained upper back, left shoulder and neck) was injured in a home-plate collision Aug. 28. Concussion tests were negative, but he didn't play on Aug. 29. He was back in the lineup Aug. 30.

1B Lance Berkman (right knee inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 3. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on Aug. 24, and he is expected to be activated Sept. 1.

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 10.

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. He underwent surgery July 19 to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.

Link to boxscore: Washington 8, St. Louis 1

TheCardinalNation.com Recommended Stories


Up Next


Tweets