Cardinals Major League Notebook: 05/01/10

Brad Penny exits for the rain delay

The Cardinals lost a tough game to the Cincinnati Reds in some rough conditions Friday night at Busch Stadium. Brad Penny took the loss.

INSIDE PITCH

 

The Cardinals' winning streak ended at five games under some adverse circumstances Friday night/Saturday morning.

 

Though he didn't have his best command, right-hander Brad Penny nursed a 2-1 lead over Cincinnati into the top of the sixth but, having to pitch in a heavy rain before the Reds' half inning came to a close, he allowed three singles with two out as the Reds took a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

 

After the half inning was over, crew chief Gary Darling halted play for 2 hours 32 minutes. Manager Tony La Russa, asked if he thought the game should have been halted before the top of the sixth started or even before the half-inning ended, said, tersely, "You know what I believe? We all have a job to do and we all have enough trouble doing our jobs without trying to do somebody else's job. They're experienced umpires that try to do the right thing. And whatever they decide, we go with it."

 

Penny suffered his first loss after three wins. His biggest error was giving up a two-run, game-tying single in the sixth to left-handed-hitting Jay Bruce with a base open and right-handed-hitting Orlando Cabrera, a .138 lifetime hitter against Penny, up next. Cabrera then blooped a single, keeping the inning alive for what proved to be the game-winning hit, a single by Jonny Gomes.

 

"It was pretty wet," said Penny, "but regardless of the situation, I've got to make better pitches. I probably messed up and lost a little focus. But we should have won that game. I consider it my fault that we lost."

 

REDS 3, CARDINALS 2: The Cardinals went only 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, a two-run single by LF Matt Holliday, who had been 3-for-30 in such situations. But RHP Brad Penny, who had issued just three walks in his first four starts, walked five Reds and made several other pitches that were not where he meant to throw them.

 

NOTES, QUOTES

 

--After 3B David Freese drove in six runs in the best game of his career on Thursday, he had warned that being a hero can be fleeting because there's always a game the next day. How right he was. Not only was the rookie picked off second base in the seventh when the Cardinals had runners at first and second and nobody out, but he also bounced into a double play to end the eighth when the Cardinals had the bases loaded and one out.

 

--SS Brendan Ryan, enjoying only his third multi-hit game in four weeks, doubled and singled in four at-bats. Since being dropped to the No. 9 spot, Ryan is three for 10.

 

--RF Jon Jay made his first big-league start. He got his first assist by throwing out a runner at the plate. His first hit, a ground-rule double, was one of the key hits in the Cardinals' two-run third inning.

 

--RF Ryan Ludwick was given the start off although he pinch hit in the seventh and struck out. LF Matt Holliday, who has been in all 23 Cardinals games, may get a start off before the weekend is over as the Cardinals are in a stretch of playing 17 straight days. 1B Albert Pujols got his day off on Thursday.

 

--With 1B Pujols being walked intentionally in the third inning, the Cardinals now have 17 intentional passes, seven for Pujols, for the season. The next closest teams have only eight.

 

BY THE NUMBERS: 15 -- Home run differential (24-9) for the Cardinals after the first three weeks of the season.

 

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It was unbelievable. You're talking to a lot of people who seem perfectly normal but who obviously have done some really bad things." -- 2B Skip Schumaker, after visiting San Quentin State Prison near San Francisco.

 

ROSTER REPORT

 

MEDICAL WATCH:

 

--INF Felipe Lopez (strained right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list April 26.

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