Cardinals Major League Notebook: 07/01/09

Mark DeRosa

St. Louis lost their ninth in 12 home games and newly-acquired Mark DeRosa was injured Tuesday. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln...

INSIDE PITCH

   The Cardinals, traditionally one of the best home teams in the league, are not so strong in St. Louis this year. They lost their ninth home game in their last 12 Tuesday, falling to San Francisco.

   The 6-3 defeat was their sixth loss in seven games overall. And in the last five games, in which the Cardinals have scored only 11 runs, Albert Pujols has driven in seven runs with homers.

   Pujols had his second two-homer game of the homestand, seventh of the season and 30th of his nine-season career. The number 30 also is significant because the second homer he hit off Randy Johnson was his 30th of the season. He has five off Johnson in his career in just 24 at-bats.

   In the process, Pujols matched his best home run total for any month with 14, tying his production in April 2006. His three RBIs gave him 35 for the month, the best in his career.

   "He keeps showing you why he's a great player," manager Tony La Russa said. "Just enjoy it, respect it, appreciate it."

   Chris Carpenter (5-3) suffered his second consecutive loss as he pitched his worst game of the season. Carpenter was peppered for 11 hits and six runs in five innings. In his first 10 starts, he hadn't given up more than three runs in any game, and he hadn't allowed that many hits and runs since Sept. 26, 2006.

   La Russa, however, thought Carpenter wasn't hit all that hard.

   "He could have been a little sharper," the manager said, "but he certainly didn't give up the contact for six runs. It was a frustrating outing for him."

  

GIANTS 6, CARDINALS 3

The Giants' second win in a row in St. Louis and fourth in five games overall against the Cardinals clinched the seven-game series for San Francisco, which could come into play if there's a wild-card tie between the clubs at the end of the season. The Cardinals have lost four of their first five games on this seven-game homestand and never have led in any of the games they lost.

 

NOTES, QUOTES

   --The Cardinals had a chance to get back into Tuesday's game in the seventh inning when two consecutive walks loaded the bases for 2B Tyler Greene, who bounced the first pitch for an inning-ending double play. Manager Tony La Russa said, "You've heard the argument forever. If a guy makes a first-pitch out, fans get upset, owners get upset, the front office gets upset. ... I don't know about the media. They're objective. The question was, 'Was it a good pitch?' It was probably not a good pitch because it was a sinker down in the zone. The challenge is to be aggressive with pitches you can handle. If they're not, that's why you work the strike zone."

   --How badly are things going for the Cardinals? They're 3-for-32 with men in scoring position on the homestand.

   --RHP Chris Perez is gone, and pitching coach Dave Duncan said that RHP Josh Kinney, recently recalled from Class AAA Memphis, would inherit Perez's seventh- and eighth-inning-type roles, much as Kinney did during the 2006 postseason when he excelled for the world champion Cardinals.

   "He pitched in a pretty significant situation in New York (on Monday) and did a good job," said Duncan. "So I think it was a step in that direction."

   BY THE NUMBERS: 1 -- Big-league, regular-season wins for RH reliever Josh Kinney, after he gained credit for a 5-3 win over Minnesota on June 27. Kinney also had his first major league at-bat in that game. It was a strikeout.

   QUOTE TO NOTE: "He plays a lot of (positions) in a winning way." -- Manager Tony La Russa on new INF/OF Mark DeRosa.

 

ROSTER REPORT

   --INF/OF Mark DeRosa, now 0-for-9 since coming from Cleveland, left Tuesday's game in the sixth inning after suffering a left wrist injury on a swing in which he hit a long foul ball. "He hasn't had any history of it either," said a worried manager Tony La Russa. "We'll get another exam (on Wednesday)." DeRosa said, "I didn't want to go out there and push it."

   --CF Colby Rasmus had two hits off the bench after having spent part of the previous day having a doctor examine him to try to correct a stomach issue. Rasmus, who was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, will have to adjust his diet and perhaps give up chewing tobacco.

   --RF Ryan Ludwick slowly but surely is on the comeback trail. He had a double and a triple Tuesday, although he was stranded both times. It was just Ludwick's third game with more than one extra-base hit.

  

MEDICAL WATCH

   INF/OF Mark DeRosa (sore left wrist) left the June 30 game. He will be examined July 1.

   OF Colby Rasmus (hiatal hernia) did not play June 29. He appeared as a reserve June 30.

   SS Khalil Greene (social anxiety disorder) went on the 15-day disabled list June 29.

   RHP Kyle Lohse (strained right forearm) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 4. He threw simulated games June 23 and 26.

   3B Troy Glaus (right shoulder surgery in January 2009) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27. He was working out in Arizona in late June.

   LHP Jaime Garcia (Tommy John elbow surgery in September 2008) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27. He likely will miss all or nearly all of the 2009 season.

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