St. Louis Cardinals News
7-26-16: On Saturday, Aledmys Diaz extended his on-base streak to 26 games, which stands as the team’s longest streak in 2016. Although Diaz had a sacrifice fly in Sunday’s rubber match loss, his streak ended that day, as he went 0-for-3 against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers. After Monday’s postponement at Citi Field, the Cardinals and Mets will play a doubleheader on Tuesday.
7-19-16: The Cardinals bounced back from losing two of three games against the visiting Miami Marlins over the weekend to destroy the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium on Monday. Mike Leake set yet another season high in strikeouts, he tallied 11 strikeouts in just six innings of 88 pitches while allowing only one run.
7-14-16: The Cardinals bounced back from a frustrating series loss at the hands of the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates by taking two of three games from the Brewers in Milwaukee. In Sunday’s rubber match victory, Mike Leake registered a season-high 10 strikeouts. Matt Adam and Randal Grichuk each hit their 10th home runs of the season in the win.
7-7-16: Aledmys Diaz homered and had three hits, but the Cardinals fell, 7-5, losing for the third straight time. All-Star Matt Carpenter was unable to complete his second at bat of the game, as the Cardinals had to pinch-hit for him in the bottom of the third inning due to an oblique injury. St. Louis is not currently playing at full strength, as Jhonny Peralta deals with thumb discomfort, and Brayan Pena, Brandon Moss and Kevin Siegrist went to the disabled list recently.
6-28-16: On Monday at Kauffman Stadium, three Cardinals had multiple hits, but those were the only visiting players with hits in Kansas City that evening. Matt Holliday launched his 15th home run of the season, but the two-run round tripper accounted for the Cardinals’ only runs of the game. Adam Wainwright allowed six runs in five innings in the 6-2 loss.
6-21-16: The Cardinals stopped their five-game losing streak on Monday, as they defeated the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Monday. The game was a nail biter, as the Cardinals scored the first three runs of the game in the second and third innings, but did not score for the rest of the game. Brandon Moss and Jhonny Peralta homered in the win.
9-25-15: The St. Louis Cardinals starter John Lackey has surpassed the 200 inning mark this season which will earn the veteran right-hander an extra $400K on his salary. Lackey was making just $500K as a base salary in 2015 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and triggering a clause in his contract that he signed with the Boston Red Sox but the Cardinals took a look at the contract this winter and adjusted it a tad. Lackey was set to earn $400K for reaching each of the 100 innings pitched mark and for every 25 innings he pitched after that which capped out at 200 innings and a total of $2 million in incentives. While the team has Lackey for the remainder of the season and possibly the 2016 season the team may be without their catcher and their leader Yadier Molina after tearing a ligament in his thumb. Molina will not be back before the playoffs at the earliest and could sit out for the remainder of the regular season and post season with the torn ligament. Speaking of returning in the playoffs the team may get Adam Wainwright off the disabled list for the postseason in 2015 and could pitch out of the bullpen after missing much of the season after rupturing his Achilles tendon.
9-23-15: On Tuesday, the Cardinals won their third straight game, as they defeated the visiting Cincinnati Reds for the second night in a row. John Lackey recorded his single-season career-high 25th quality start of 2015 in the 3-1 victory, as he threw seven innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts. St. Louis looks for the sweep of the Reds on Wednesday.
9-18-15: The St. Louis Cardinals have heard the names of the available starting pitchers that are expected to hit the free agency market this winter. Names like the Blue Jays ace David Price, the Reds and Royals ace Johnny Cueto, a strong right-handed arm from Washington in Jordan Zimmerman and many others but one name we’re not hearing a lot about is the Cardinals starter John Lackey. Lackey will look to get a raise over his $500K salary that he earned in 2015 and has expressed an interest in remaining with the Cardinals. Recently that would mean taking less money or finding a new landing spot but after the Cardinals signed a new television deal worth $1 Billion this season the team will presumably have a ton of new revenue to add to the team this offseason and going forward. Lackey will be 37-years old at the time of his new deal being signed and comes with a ton of experience in the regular season and in the playoffs. Lackey is finishing a five-year deal that he signed with the Boston Red Sox worth $82.5 million that included a clause that dropped the final year of the deal to a $500K base salary if he underwent Tommy John surgery during the life of the contract. Lackey went under the knife and had his UCL replaced in 2012.
9-15-15: On Saturday, Major League Baseball announced that catcher Cody Stanley has been banned 80 games for performing-enhancing drugs. The Cardinals’ losing streak moved to three games that night, but St. Louis bounced back to salvage the final contest of its four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. The Cardinals won, 9-2, behind home runs by Tommy Pham and Matt Adams.
9-11-15: The St. Louis Cardinals are as sure a bet to make the 2015 playoffs as any team this season but when they reach October they will have to take care of business without their setup man Jordan Walden. Walden was brought to the team along with outfielder Jason Heyward in the deal this winter with the Atlanta Braves and while Heyward has been as good as advertised Walden has been on the disabled list since April 30. The initial diagnosis was a biceps injury for Walden but the team has since found damage in his rotator cuff and will shut him down for the remainder of the 2015 regular season and the entire playoffs. Walden and the team are not sure if the right-hander will have to have surgery to fix the rotator cuff problem but both parties are obviously hopeful that surgery can be avoided. Walden only managed to pitch 10.1 innings this season after signing a two-year deal with the club worth $6.6 million and gave the team little value in exchange for the new contract. Walden took a physical with St. Louis before the deal was made and announced and the Cardinals stated that they had signs of shoulder damage on the physical but still felt comfortable giving Walden the multi-year commitment. It doesn’t happen very often but it seems like the Cardinals messed up handing Walden a two-year commitment and the team will hope for better results in 2016.
9-7-15: The Cardinals are beginning to get their injured players back on the active roster, as they activated Jon Jay and Randal Grichuk from the disabled list over the last week. However, after St. Louis took two of three from the Washington Nationals to take its third consecutive series, the Cardinals dropped two of their three contests against the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates.
9-4-15: The St. Louis Cardinals started their week off by announcing their roster moves and September call ups this week. That list of players included left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales, right-handed pitcher Mitch Harris and catcher Cody Stanley. Marco Gonzales was the 19th overall draft pick in the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft that spent almost no time in the Cardinals farm system before making his Major League debut. Gonzales debuted with the St. Louis Cardinals big league club in 2014 and tossed 34.2 innings before dealing with injuries in his sophomore season. Gonzales has not pitched above Triple-A this season before the month of September but the team has thrown him to the wolves this month. The Cardinals may use Gonzales in the starting rotation in 2016 and beyond so it seems important to evaluate what they have in Gonzales before making a decision on free agent to be John Lackey, Jaime Garcia and Adam Wainwright.
8-31-15: The Cardinals’ bats continued to stay hot on Sunday, as they scored seven runs on 13 hits in their 7-5 rubber game victory over the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Matt Carpenter, Brandon Moss and Mark Reynolds each homered in the victory that moved the Cardinals to 38 games above .500 on the season.
8-28-15: The St. Louis Cardinals have had injury after injury occur to their outfield this season but for some unknown reason the team will not let Peter Bourjos see the field much. The team has struggled with injuries to Jason Heyward, Matt Holiday, Jon Jay and Randall Grichuk this season but they have turned to Tommy Pham in center field in their absence while Bourjos continues to ride the bench. While the team looks to solidify their bullpen the team has also turned a bit of their focus to their 2016 pitching staff. The Cardinals have expressed an interest in bringing John Lackey back for the 2016 season potentially as long as the length of the contract is kept to a minimum and Lackey may have taken the next step to that happening this week. Lackey expressed an interest to pitch in the National League next season since it is easier on his body and easier overall and may look to sign a shorter length deal with St. Louis since he will turn37 years old this October. After trading away young left-handed pitcher Rob Kaminsky to the Cleveland Indians for first baseman and outfielder Brandon Moss this July the team may look to stop gap in the rotation for a season or two if the deals make sense for the organization.
8-24-15: Michael Wacha threw six innings of one-run ball and rookie Stephen Piscotty homered twice, as the Cardinals salvaged the final contest of their three-game series against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Sunday was Piscotty’s 30th career game in the majors, and he had just two home runs in his previous 29 contests.
8-21-15: The St. Louis Cardinals easily have the best record in all of Major League Baseball this season and they may have reinforcements on the way in the way of first baseman Matt Adams. The original diagnosis on Adams Achilles injury was that it would be season ending but the Cardinals may get their power hitting first baseman sometime in the month of September. Adams is said to be at full speed in his rehab assignment and is said to be ahead of Jon Jay and Matt Holliday in their rehab progressions. The Cardinals have also seen injuries to outfielders Jason Heyward and Randal Grichuk and those injuries may force the team into the trade market. One name that would fit the Cardinals plan is Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler after he cleared revocable waivers earlier in the week. It seems unsure whether the Cubs would want to help the team they are chasing in the National League Central Division race, especially when Fowler is only owed roughly $2 million this season, but if Chicago makes him available St. Louis may jump on him as a rental option. St. Louis has enough of a cushion to wait things out though and may simply do what the team and organization always does, plug in their own talent from the minor leagues and wait until their outfielders and first baseman get healthy.
8-19-15: Wednesday’s rubber game will decide if the Cardinals win their sixth consecutive series. St. Louis won, 2-1, on Monday before falling to the San Francisco Giants, 2-0, the following day. Unfortunately, Jason Heyward, who is dealing with a left hamstring issue, has been the most recent addition to the long list of injuries for Major League Baseball’s best team. On the bright side, he is expected to return from his short absence on Friday.
8-14-15: The St. Louis Cardinals signed a new television deal this month worth an estimated $1 billion which leaves the Cardinals now facing a flood of revenue into the organization. The newly added revenue along with another strong season to date may allow the team to originally do the unthinkable, sign some of their pending free agents to either extensions or new free agent deals to keep them in St. Louis. That mindset begins and ends with outfielder Jason Heyward who the team surrendered right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller for in the offseason in a trade with the Atlanta Braves. The team may also opt to re-sign one or both of John Lackey and Jaime Garcia for their starting rotation to join an extension candidate in Michael Wacha. The team may also be willing to lock up some of their young talent such as Kolten Wang and Carlos Martinez in separate deals that could keep the Cardinals relevant for a long, long time. The Cardinals and Heyward have not had discussions regarding an extension as of the time of this writing though which may worry Heyward a bit. St. Louis has watched big names and big bats leave in recent years including Carlos Beltran and Albert Pujols which is not a good sign for Heyward if the past is any indicator of the future but the added revenue in St. Louis may change that strategy for the franchise.
8-3-15: The Cardinals, who acquired Jonathan Broxton and Brandon Moss near the non-waiver trade deadline, lost Matt Holliday to the 15-day disabled list due to a Grade 2 strain of his right quadriceps. In, Sunday’s 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies, Moss delivered a walk-off single, which won the four-game series for the Cardinals.
7-31-15: The St. Louis Cardinals came into this final week before the July 31st trading deadline as big time buyers in the market. The Cardinals wasted no time in buying before the deadline when the team made a move to acquire RHP Steve Cishek from the Miami Marlins. St. Louis gave up Double-A RHP Kyle Barraclough in exchange for Cishek and the remainder of his $6.65 million salary owed to him in 2015. Cishek has struggled for most of the 2015 season and has even been demoted to the minor leagues once after losing closers job but St. Louis hopes that the change of scenery and with a new pitching coach Cishek can turn things around and solidify the Cardinals bullpen. St. Louis didn’t look to be done their though as the Cardinals and the Milwaukee started the week by discussing a potential trade involving first baseman Adam Lind with their division rival St. Louis Cardinals. St. Louis is still looking to replace the production lost by the quadriceps injury to Matt Adams and adding Lind and his power stroke may make things even harder for the rest of the teams in the National League Central Division race. The final piece of the puzzle may have been Cleveland Indians outfielder and first baseman Brandon Moss and the Cardinals acquired him before the week was up for Scott Kamisky, a right-hander relief pitcher.
7-22-15: The Cardinals bounced back from their frustrating pre-All-Star break series against the Pittsburgh Pirates to take two of three games against the New York Mets over the weekend. Then, on Tuesday, Matt Holliday came alive at U.S. Cellular Field. For the first time since May 12, he homered. The home run was his sixth grand slam of his career.
7-17-15: The St. Louis Cardinals are still the best team in Major League Baseball according to the wins and loss records and the team may get better if that’s even possible with a slew of players set to come off the disabled list in the second half. Matt Holliday could make an outfield logjam even more difficult to navigate when he returns while Jaime Garcia and Jordan Walden could also return to the club in the next two to three weeks. Matt Belisle, Jon Jay and Mitch Harris are also within a month or so of returning to the club while Marco Gonzales has an outside shot of returning off the disabled list before the 2015 season comes to a close. One player that won’t be joining the Cardinals anytime soon is a big named prospect to come out of Cuba, Aledmys Diaz. Diaz was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for veteran first baseman Dan Johnson despite the massive contract that St. Louis handed Diaz as an amateur player in the Serie Nacional. Diaz was handed a four year deal worth $8 million in March of 2014 and has only managed a .235/.292/.344 in 268 plate appearances this season before the DFA.
6-30-15: On Sunday, the Major League Baseball-leading Cardinals made it six consecutive victories, which stands as the longest current streak in the league. St. Louis outlasted a rain delay of almost two hours to sweep the Chicago Cubs with a 4-1 victory. Carlos Martinez threw six innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts.
6-17-15: Although the Cardinals have by far the best record in Major League Baseball this season, their season has not been all positive. They recently added to their list of injuries to important players with Matt Holliday and Lance Lynn hitting the disabled list. In addition, on Tuesday, reports surfaced that the FBI is investigating the Cardinals for hacking into the Houston Astros’ database.
6-9-15: John Lackey struggled and the Cardinals fell, 11-3, on Monday in Colorado. Matt Holliday left the contest with a right quad strain. However, St. Louis will look to bounce back from Monday’s loss in hopes of winning its fifth consecutive series. Even with the loss, the Cardinals own a 6.5-game lead in the National League Central.
6-5-15: The St. Louis Cardinals future once consisted of top prospect Randall Grichuk but now the future may not be guaranteed for the Cardinals outfielder. The team is making a run at a National League Central division title and possibly a World Series which could leave Grichuk on the outside looking in at Matt Holiday, Jon Jay and Peter Bourjous leaving Grichuk as trade bait this July. One player the team may trade Grichuk for or acquire is a familiar face in Allen Craig. Craig was designated for assignment and outrighted off the 40 man roster by the Boston Red Sox after falling out of grace with the team. Craig could provide the Cardinals some first base depth to replace their big power threat in Matt Adams who will likely miss much if not all of the 2015 season with a torn quad muscle. The good news for the Cardinals is that with all the injuries the team has been able to plug in players from inside their farm system rather than having to overpay by going outside the organization due in large part to rookie scouting director Chris Correa. Correa has been a Cardinals rookie scouting director for six months now and has impressed the team thus far. The true test will come next week obviously when the team drafts at the #23, #39 and the #66 positions in the MLB First Year Player’s Draft.
6-1-15: Although Matt Holliday sat most of the weekend’s series with an illness and Matt Adams is out for three to four months due to a torn right quadriceps muscle, the Cardinals took two of their three games against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers to move to a Major League Baseball-best 33-17 on the season. However, on Monday, St. Louis lost, 1-0, to the Milwaukee Brewers.
5-30-15: The St. Louis Cardinals pitching staff took a bit of a hit this week when the team learned that Marco Gonzales was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder impingement. The shoulder issue will keep Gonzales off the mound for at least three weeks and will force the LHP to take anti-inflammatory medicine and will force him to change his mechanics and preparation tactics. Gonzales will now face a similar program that Michael Wacha faced when he battled a shoulder injury during the 2014 season. The Cardinals were dealt another blow this time to their offense when Matt Adams was diagnosed with a quad tear that will leave him out of the St. Louis lineup for a significant amount of time. Surgery is possible for the 26 year old first baseman forcing Mark Reynolds into an everyday job with the team for the time being. How severe the injury is will determine how the team will handle the predicament because if the injury is season ending it may force the Cardinals into the free agent or trade market where if the injury will only cost Adams a month or so the team may be more inclined to ride it out with their internal options, namely Dan Johnson who is on a minor league deal and currently in Triple-A.
5-26-15: The Memorial Day game took 10 innings at Busch Stadium, but it finished in dramatic fashion, as Jhonny Peralta launched his fourth career walkoff home run. Carlos Martinez
threw seven shutout innings, had eight strikeouts and allowed just five hits and two walks. With the win, the 29-16 Cardinals moved to 16-5 at home this season.
5-18-15: On Sunday, the Cardinals salvaged the final game of their series against the visiting
Detroit Tigers with a 2-1 victory. Lance Lynn threw 7.1 innings of one-run ball with
seven strikeouts, and he went 1-for-2 with a run-scoring single in the third inning. Then in the sixth inning, Kolten Wong hit a go-ahead home run.
5-12-15: Even after dropping the final two games of their three-game weekend series with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cardinals still have Major League Baseball’s best record. With his
fourth home run of the season on Sunday, Kolten Wong pushed both his hitting streak
and his on-base streak to eight games, which each match career highs.
5-5-15: The Cardinals pushed the Major League Baseball’s longest current winning streak to seven games with their 10-9 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Monday. St. Louis played a very close series with the Pittsburgh Pirates over the weekend, as Mike Matheny’s squad won all three home games in extra innings.
4-29-15: Although the Cardinals have lost Adam Wainwright for the season due to a torn left Achilles, it was business as usual at Busch Stadium on Tuesday night, as they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 11-5, behind eight hits in 15 at-bats with runners in scoring position. St. Louis scored multiple runs in five different innings in the victory.
4-21-15: The Cardinals hosted the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday night, and National League Player of the Week Matt Carpenter hit a solo home run in the first inning. The teams went into the bottom of the eighth inning with a 1-1 tie, and Jon Jay hit a leadoff double, allowing St. Louis to manufacture its go-ahead run with a groundout and a sacrifice fly. Jordan Walden closed the game for the Cardinals’ fifth straight victory.
4-14-15: Although the Cardinals lost their home opener to the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, St. Louis took its weekend series from the Cincinnati Reds. Matt Adams hit a home run and Michael Wacha threw 6.1 innings of one-run ball in Saturday’s 4-1 victory. Matt Carpenter hit a two-run extra-inning home run to put the Cardinals ahead for good in their 7-5 Sunday win.
4-7-15: On Sunday night, the Cardinals opened the 2015 Major League Baseball season with a 3-0 victory against the Chicago Cubs behind six shutout innings from Adam Wainwright and a team-high three hits from Jason Heyward. Last Friday, the Cardinals claimed outfielder Gary Brown off waivers from San Francisco Giants and assigned him to Triple-A Memphis.
4-2-15: On Saturday, Jaime Garcia reported some discomfort in his left shoulder. Then, two days later, he hit the 15-day disabled list. With an open spot on the roster, the Cardinals
purchased the contract of right-handed relief pitcher Carlos Villanueva. Carlos Martinez will begin the season as the team’s fifth starter.
3-25-15: The Cardinals played a rain-shortened game against the Boston Red Sox on Monday, and Lance Lynn, who had been dealing with a left hip flexor strain, looked strong in the contest. He allowed just one hit in four innings while striking out three batters. In other good news, Randal Grichuk hit his fourth home run of the spring on Sunday.
3-3-15: Adam Wainwright had to fly from Jupiter, Florida to St. Louis because of abdominal pain. He said that he was pitching through the worst pain in his life in 2014, so the team expected to limit his innings this spring. The star pitcher does not think that it is a serious injury, but with it being February, the Cardinals are not taking any chances.
2-17-15: Michael Wacha, who owns an impressive 3.04 career ERA in his 34 career appearances
in the regular season, threw a bullpen session last Friday in Jupiter, Florida. Mike
Matheny was excited by what he saw in Wacha’s first time throwing in front of his manager in 2015. The starter should not be depended on early in the season as he works back from the stress fracture in his right shoulder.
10-20-14: The St. Louis Cardinals were the winner of the National League Central division this season and watched as the San Francisco Giants and the Pittsburgh Pirates played in the Wild Card Playoff game. When San Francisco wrapped that game up it was time for St. Louis to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. St. Louis made quick work of the Dodgers taking the series in four games setting up the NLCS with that same San Francisco team they spent watching during the Wild Card round. Last week the Cardinals and the Giants split the first two games of the best of seven series setting up a potentially long series between these two clubs.
In Game Three of the NLCS the St. Louis Cardinals sent John Lackey to the mound to face off with the Giants Tim Hudson. This game was especially important for the Giants starter as he had never made an appearance past the Division Series in his postseason career and would be making his first ever start in the NLCS. The Cardinals countered with Lackey who has been on the big stage in October a million times before but didn’t pitch like it early in this one. Lackey allowed four runs in the first inning of the contest but would rebound to give the Cardinals 6.0 innings of work allowing just the four runs while striking out three on five hits. The Cardinals offense picked up Lackey in this one and continually chipped away at the lead scoring two runs in the 4th inning and a run in each of the 6th and 7th innings respectively to tie the game and get Lackey off the hook. The game tying run came off Hudson in his final batter of the game when he allowed a solo home run to Cardinals rookie outfielder Randal Grichuk. The Cardinals handed the ball to Marco Gonzales, Pat Neshek, and Seth Maness and the trio responded with a scoreless inning of relief a piece. The bullpen of the Giants with Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Casilla, Javier Lopez, and Sergio Romo held the Cardinals scoreless through nine innings as the game went into extra innings. Romo and Lopez held the Cardinals scoreless in the 10th and St. Louis sent out Randy Choate for the bottom of the 10th inning. Choate made a costly throwing error at first base that allowed the Giants to score a run and win the game to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
In Game Four of the NLCS the St. Louis Cardinals sent Shelby Miller to the mound looking to even up the series and the Giants sent Ryan Vogelsong to the mound looking for a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. Miller was not exactly what manager Mike Matheny had in mind in this contest lasting just 3.2 innings allowing three runs on six hits but neither was Vogelsong as he lasted just 3.0 allowing seven hits and four earned runs for the Giants. This game quickly became a battle of the bullpens and remained a 4-3 lead for the Cardinals until the bottom of the 6th inning. Marco Gonzales was credited with his first blown save of the series when he allowed three earned runs in just 0.2 innings on just one hit and a walk as the Giants took a 6-4 lead. Yusmeiro Petit was the pitcher of record before manager Bruce Bochy handed the ball to the Giants bullpen for three shutout innings including Sergio Casilla’s second save of the series. The Giants won the contest by the score of 6-4 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best of seven series with the Cardinals. The Giants found themselves just one win away from yet another World Series appearance this decade while the Cardinals were one loss away from heading home for the winter.
In Game Five of the NLCS the St. Louis Cardinals sent their ace Adam Wainwright to the mound looking to extend their season at least one more game. The Giants countered Wainwright with their own ace in Madison Bumgarner. This game was pitched as well as advertised between the pair of aces as Wainwright lasted 7.0 innings allowing just two runs while striking out seven. Bumgarner was even better as he lasted 8.0 innings allowing three runs as the Cardinals took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the 8th inning. Mike Matheny sent the oft-reliable Pat Neshek to the mound to hold the game for Trevor Rosenthal in the 9th inning but Mike Morse had different plans as he took the Cardinals righty deep to tie the game at 3-3 as the game headed into the 9th. Sergio Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt combined to pitch a scoreless ninth inning although St. Louis did have a hit and two walks off Casilla setting up the bottom of the 9th inning for the Giants. The Cardinals sent Michael Wacha to the mound and he had his troubles with the Giants. Wacha recorded just one out before walking a batter and allowing a hit setting up left fielder Travis Ishikawa’s chance at a walk off. Ishikawa launched a pitch off Wacha that went over the field in AT&T Park for a three run home run that would clinch the series for the Giants and send San Francisco to the World Series. The Giants won the series 4-1 for their third trip to the World Series in six seasons. The Giants NLCS MVP award went to starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner.
Mike Matheny and the Cardinals have all winter to think about what went wrong this season and build towards 2015 as their season is over. Yadier Molina now has plenty of time to allow his oblique muscle strain to fully heal as the injury hampered him for the entire NLCS. This was not the storybook ending for the NL Central champions but St. Louis should take pride in making it this far as they trailed the Milwaukee Brewers in the division for much of the season.
10-14-14: The St. Louis Cardinals won the National League Central division in 2014 and faced off with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS in a rematch of the 2013 NLCS. The Dodgers once again sent ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound looking to exercise his own personal demons against the St. Louis Cardinals and in the postseason but eight earned runs later the Cardinals once again knocked around Kershaw and the Dodgers en route to a 1-0 series lead. Matt Kemp hit a game winning home run in front of the Dodgers faithful in Game Two to even the series and send the series even as it headed to St. Louis and Busch Stadium this week.
In Game Three of the NLDS the Cardinals sent John Lackey to the mound to face off with the Giants Hyun-Jin Ryu. Ryu was sharp as he lasted 6.0 innings allowing just five hits and one run, a solo home run off the bat of Matt Carpenter, striking out four before handing the ball to the Dodgers shaky bullpen. Lackey matched Ryu’s strong performance with 7.0 innings of his own allowing just one run while striking out eight as he handed the ball to the Cardinals bullpen with a lead. The Cardinals struck in the 7th inning against Dodgers reliever Scott Elbert when Kolten Wong hit a two run home run to give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead after seven innings. Pat Neshek pitched a perfect 8th inning for the Cardinals while St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal made things interesting in the 9th inning allowing two hits before locking down the save and the 3-1 victory for the Cardinals. St. Louis took a 2-1 series lead as the Cardinals looked to finish the series at home in Busch Stadium in Game Four.
In Game Four Clayton Kershaw was back on the mound on three days of rest for the Dodgers while St. Louis countered with Shelby Miller. Kershaw and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly stated that Kershaw was going to pitch Game Four whether the Dodgers were on the brink of elimination or not which was a questionable decision given the lefty’s career line against the Cardinals. Kershaw seemed ready to put those talks to bed as he was absolutely dominant through six innings and was finally given a lead in the top of the 6th inning. The Dodgers put two runs on the board in the top of the 6th including a Juan Uribe RBI single and Kershaw went out to the mound for the 7th with the lead looking to send the game back to Los Angeles in a decisive Game Five. Kershaw started the inning putting two runners on base before St. Louis’ first baseman Matt Adams came up to bat. Matt Adams took a Kershaw offering deep to right field for a three home run that knocked Kershaw out of the game and eventually knocked the Dodgers out of the playoffs. Kershaw’s demons once again took center stage in the postseason and against the Cardinals and once again St. Louis was moving on while Los Angeles was heading home. Pat Neshek pitched a perfect 8th inning while Rosenthal gave up a single before locking down the save in the 9th inning to win the game 3-2 and win the series 3-1. St. Louis will head to the NLCS to face off with the San Francisco Giants.
In Game One of the NLCS San Francisco sent their ace Madison Bumgarner to the mound for the third time this postseason to face off with the St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright. Bumgarner was on his game in this contest and finished with a pitching line of 7.2 shutout innings striking out seven and allowing just four hits and a walk. Wainwright wasn’t as sharp as he lasted just 4.2 innings allowing three runs, two earned, while allowing six hits and three walks. Travis Ishikawa and Brandon Belt each had RBI’s in the contest while relievers Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla shut down the Cardinals to keep the shutout intact. San Francisco continues to shock the world as win in October on the road as the Giants took a 1-0 lead in the NLCS.
In Game Two of the NLCS the St. Louis Cardinals sent Lance Lynn to the mound to face off with the Giants Jake Peavy. The Cardinals brought their big bats for this game as St. Louis hit four home runs when all was said and done in this one. Matt Carpenter got the home run barrage started with a third run home run off Peavy to score the game’s first run. Both pitchers pitched well but weren’t long for the game as Peavy only lasted 4.0 innings while allowing two runs and Lynn lasted 5.2 innings and also gave up two runs as the game was tied heading into the 7th inning. San Francisco jumped out to a 3-2 lead in their half of the 7th inning but could not hold the lead as rookie outfielder Oscar Tavares hit the team’s second home run of the game to tie the game at 3-3. Pat Neshek pitched a perfect 8th inning for the Cardinals in the 8th when Matt Adams hit the team’s third home run of the contest, another solo shot, as the Cardinals took the 4-3 lead heading into the 9th inning. The Cardinals sent their closer Trevor Rosenthal to the mound looking to secure the victory but the pesky Giants offense was not going to go quietly as the team came back to tie the game at 4-4 in the top of the 9th. In the bottom of the 9th Bruce Bochy sent Sergio Romo to the mound looking to hold the tie game and force extra innings. Romo was not successful in holding down the St. Louis offense as the team hit their fourth and final solo home run of the contest, this time off the bat of Kolten Wong. The Cardinals would win the game in walk off fashion by the score of 5-4 evening up the series at 1-1 in the best of seven series.
10-7-14: The St. Louis Cardinals won the National League Central division title this season and traveled to Los Angeles to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second consecutive season. There was not a single Cardinals ticket not sold for this game as the fans filed into Dodger Stadium for what was scheduled to be a one big pitcher’s duel for the entire series. The fans were entertained in Game One as the two leading Cy Young Award candidates in the NL faced off with Adam Wainwright heading to the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals and Clayton Kershaw heading to the mound for the Dodgers. In a game that was pegged as a definite pitcher’s duel there was plenty of offense to go around for both teams. For much of this game it looked like the Dodgers had the game in hand and even took a 6-2 lead into the Top of the 7th inning before the Cardinals offense broke out of their slump against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers. Matt Holliday hit a two run home run off Kershaw in the frame as a part of an eight run inning for St. Louis that gave them a 10-6 lead heading into the bottom of the 8th. Kershaw finished the night with 6.2 innings of work allowing eight earned runs and two home runs while striking out 10 Cardinals batters. Adrian Gonzalez inched the Dodgers closer in the bottom of the 8th with a two run home run to bring the score to 10-8 heading into the bottom of the ninth. Trevor Rosenthal entered the game in the bottom of the night for the Cardinals and made things interesting giving up a run in the bottom of the 9th before securing the save and giving St. Louis a 1-0 series lead.
In Game Two St. Louis sent Lance Lynn to the mound to face off with Zack Greinke for the Dodgers in what was described as another pitcher’s duel. This time the game lived up to the hype as Greinke threw 7.0 shutout innings only allowing two base hits while striking out seven before handing the game over to the Dodgers bullpen. Lynn pitched well in the game for the Cardinals throwing 6.0 innings but made two mistakes to Dee Gordon and Adrian Gonzalez and left the game trailing 2-0 before handing the ball to the Cardinals bullpen. J.P. Howell entered the game for the Dodgers and ultimately blew the save allowing three hits and two runs without recording an out before Brandon League came in and stopped the bleeding for Los Angeles. The Cardinals sent Pat Neshek out to the mound to hold the lead in the bottom of the 8th inning but Matt Kemp had other plans as he blasted a solo home run to put Los Angeles up for good by the score of 3-2. Kenley Jansen threw a perfect 9th inning striking out two batters to even the series at 1-1 and give the Dodgers that 3-2 victory.
10-1-14: The Cardinals just find a way to win as they secured the top spot in the NL Central, but it took until the last day of the season to make that happen. St. Louis was awful at the plate as the team finished No. 24 in baseball in runs scored. One player who didn't disappoint was Jhonny Peralta. The Cards signed Peralta to a four-year, $53 million deal in the offseason. He ended the year with 21 home runs. St. Louis will play the Dodgers in the NLDS.
9-30-14: The St. Louis Cardinals have not gotten much out of their John Lackey and Justin Masterson trades this year but seem content with their outfield of Oscar Tavares, Peter Bourjos, and Randal Grichuk heading into the postseason. The NL Central division title went down to the final weekend of the season as the Pittsburgh Pirates attempted to chase down the Cardinals but on the final day of the season St. Louis finally clinched the NL Central division title. St. Louis will travel to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers in the first round of the NLDS this season in a series that should be chocked full of starting pitchers. In a short series it is going to be tough for the Cardinals, or any team, to take out both Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke multiple times but St. Louis has that never say die attitude that tends to play well in October. St. Louis finished the 2014 season with a 90-72 record and won the NL Central division title.
9-25-14: The Cardinals clinched a playoff spot last week, but they shave some work to win the NL Central crown. They lead the Pirates by just 1.5 games. How their rotation will shape up come October remains in doubt. Adam Wainwright has pitched well in last three starts. The Cardinals close out the season on the road with series against the Diamondbacks. They are also two games behind the Dodgers for home-field advantage in the NLDS.
9-23-14: The St. Louis Cardinals may quietly have the best defensive centerfielder in the game right in Peter Bourjos. Bourjos and fellow outfielder Randal Grichuk were both acquired in the same deal from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for David Freese. The Cardinals clinched a playoff spot this week as the Milwaukee Brewers continued their fall from grace in the National League Central division. St. Louis currently has a 87-69 record and the team leads the Pittsburgh Pirates by 2.5 games for the division lead. Pittsburgh is putting some pressure on the first place Cardinals though as St. Louis had a great week going 7-3 in their last 10 games but actually lost a game in the standings as the Pirates went 8-2 in that same span. Home field advantage may be important for both teams as St. Louis has protected their home field with a 51-30 home record while Pittsburgh has matched that with an identical 51-30 record in Pittsburgh. On the road St. Louis’ record drops to 36-39 while Pittsburgh has a 33-41 record on the road this season.
9-18-14: The Cardinals dropped three out of four to the Reds to start last week, but bounced back nicely in their sweep the Rockies over the weekend. They dropped 3-2 decision to Milwaukee on Tuesday and currently have 2.5 game lead over the Pirates in the NL Central. After their series with the Brewers this week, St. Louis closes out the season with nine games against non-contenders. The NL Central title is theirs to lose.
9-16-14: The St. Louis Cardinals have designated outfielder Rafael Ortega and catcher Audrey Perez for assignment this week to make room for outfielder Tommy Pham, right handed pitcher Sam Tuivailala, and infielder Greg Garcia on the active roster. Both Ortega and Perez were sent to Triple-A camps and outrighted off the 40 man roster and neither player can elect free agency. While St. Louis has trailed in the NL Central division for much of the 2014 season the team has finally overtaken the division lead in recent weeks. The Cardinals currently sit at 83-67 and own a healthy 3.5 game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Central division. The Cardinals are going to be a tough team to contend with in the postseason this year especially when playing in Busch Stadium. St. Louis has a 47-28 record at home this season which will play well in the postseason with all their starting pitching they currently have.
9-12-14: The Cardinals are doing what the Cardinals do every year and that is play their best baseball of the season when the weather gets cooler. They have a 4.5 game lead in the NL Central and are well on their way to another postseason berth. Michael Wacha returned to the mound last Thursday after missing 68 games with a shoulder injury. He allowed three hits and one run in three innings of work. He could be dangerous weapon come October. The only question mark surrounding St. Louis is their offense.
9-9-14: The St. Louis Cardinals had chased down and caught the first place Milwaukee Brewers last week and have since put some distance between them and the rest of the NL Central division. The Cardinals lead the second place Pittsburgh Pirates by 4.5 games and the third place Milwaukee Brewers by five games with their 79-64 record. Milwaukee has fallen apart with a 1-9 record in their last 10 games while St. Louis has gone 8-2 as the team has gotten hot right when it mattered at the end of the season. St. Louis has also been linked to Korean Baseball Organization shortstop product Jung-Ho Kang in recent weeks as the 27 year old is expected to be posted this offseason. Many teams have shown interest in Kang but none more than the Cardinals as the team is considered to be the early favorite for the power hitting shortstop.
9-4-14: The Cardinals are doing what they do every year. They hang around the entire year and come
the final month of the season they overtake the division lead. St. Louis currently leads the NL
Central by two games over Milwaukee and four games over Pittsburgh. Yadier Molina returned
to action last Friday giving the Cardinals a much needed offensive boost. No other team is as
dangerous as St. Louis heading down the stretch.
9-2-14: The Cincinnati Reds placed two of their better starting pitchers on revocable waivers this week in Mat Latos and Mike Leake, presumably more to gauge interest and less to potentially trade either right hander. Cincinnati also placed relief pitcher Jonathan Broxton on waivers this week and ultimately traded the right hander to the Milwaukee Brewers. Broxton was traded even though he is under team control for the 2015 season and owns a mutual option for the 2016 season. Cincinnati will receive two players to be named later in the deal and currently have a list of Brewers minor leaguers to choose from to complete the deal. Cincinnati is now off the hook for $1.19 million of salary this season, $9 million next season, and potentially $9 million in 2016 with a $1 million buyout.
9-2-14: The St. Louis Cardinals expect catcher Yadier Molina to return to the club early next week and may keep AJ Pierzynski around with rosters expanding in September. The Cardinals could conceivably shift Tony Cruz to the third catcher spot and keep Pierzynski around to help ease Molina back into the everyday grind of being a major league catcher. Molina is coming back at the perfect time as St. Louis has finally caught the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central division and currently sit in a tie for first place with the Brewers. The Cardinals and Brewers both have a 73-63 record and continue to fight for the postseason. The Cardinals have struggled as of late with a 4-6 record in their last ten games but have still have made up ground since Milwaukee has gone 2-8 in their last 10. It is unlikely that the loser of the division race will win a Wild Card so it may be a division title or bust in the playoffs this season.
8-27-14: After sweeping the Reds to kick off last week, the Cardinals dropped a series to the Phillies this past weekend and dropped a game to the Pirates this week. They still managed to gain a game-and-a-half on the Brewers in the NL Central standings, and they are now just 1.5 games back. With the potential September return of both Yadier Molina and Michael Wacha, Cardinals fans should be excited for their chances this fall. St. Louis is currently occupies the top wild-card spot in the NL.
8-26-14: The St. Louis Cardinals continue to chase the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central division while posting a 70-59 record to date this season. The Cardinals are only 1.5 games behind the Brewers for first place and if the season ended today the Cardinals would be the first Wild Card winner and would host a one game playoff with the San Francisco Giants. The Cardinals did make up a game in the division race though as they team has gone 7-3 in their last 10 games while the Brewers have only gone 6-4. While St. Louis continues to win the Brewers continue to match them win for win and it’s going to be difficult for the Cardinals to make up enough ground without a collapse by Milwaukee. The Cardinals are no strangers to must win games, especially in the playoffs, so I don’t believe Mike Matheny’s squad is worrying too much about the standings as long as they get into the playoffs.
8-20-14: The Cardinals continue to hold down the top spot in the NL wildcard and look to chase Milwaukee down for the division crown as they’re only 2.5 back of the Brewers. John Lackey and Justin Masterson have been excellent since being acquired at the deadline. If there is one team nobody wants to see come October its St. Louis.
8-19-14: The St. Louis Cardinals attempted to catch lightning in a bottle when they signed left handed specialist Pedro Feliciano to a minor league deal but did not get much out of the contract. This week the Cardinals released Feliciano from his contract after posting a 5.57 ERA in Triple-A this season. The Cardinals look to be only the fifth team to make the playoffs with a negative run differential as they currently sit three games behind the first place Milwaukee Brewers with a 66-57 record. The negative eight run differential tells a different story but the club has only gone 5-5 in their last ten games while Milwaukee has gone 7-3 in the same span putting a little space between the two NL Central clubs.
8-13-14: After series wins against the Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox to open the month of August, the Cardinals were trounced by the Orioles over the weekend, allowing 22 runs in the first two games of the series before picking up a win on Sunday. They have now dropped two straight to the Marlins on Monday and Tuesday leaving them in the second wildcard spot in the NL and three games back of Milwaukee in the NL Central.
8-12-14: The St. Louis Cardinals are happy to have John Lackey and Lackey’s former GM Ben Cherington guesses that Lackey is also happy where he is. Lackey went from a last place team to a World Series contender over night while St. Louis only had to give up Allen Craig and righty Joe Kelly. Craig is already injured in Boston and may miss the remainder of the season after seeing a foot specialist to help with his ailing foot. The Cardinals made an additional minor transaction this week as they traded Angel Castro to the Oakland Athletics for cash considerations. Castro is in his age 31 season and sports a 4.01 ERA in Triple-A. Castro has never made the Major Leagues in his career and has split time between starting and relieving for the Cardinals Triple-A squad.
8-6-14: Jon Jay hit an RBI single with two outs in the eighth inning to break a tie and propelled the Cardinals to a 3-2 win over the Boston Red Sox in a rematch between the two World Series teams from last October. The Cardinals won their third in a row and fourth in the last five. Trevor Rosenthal recorded his NL-leading 35th save in 39 chances. St. Louis sits one game back of Milwaukee in the NL Central and is currently tied with San Francisco atop the NL Wildcard standings.
8-5-14: The St. Louis Cardinals beefed up their starting rotation at this year’s trading deadline while the team attempts to chase down the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. The Cardinals started it off by acquiring Justin Masterson from the Cleveland Indians for top outfield prospect James Ramsey. St. Louis was not done as they also added John Lackey from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for first baseman and outfielder Allen Craig and right handed relief pitcher Joe Smith. The Cardinals all of a sudden have a filthy starting rotation once you add ace Adam Wainwright and get back a healthy Michael Wacha.
7-30-14: The St. Louis Cardinals look like the early favorites to acquire the Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price is the team makes their lefty ace available. St. Louis is not expecting Michael Wacha back until at least September so the need for a starter may be direr now than it’s ever been in St. Louis. The Cardinals are also keeping in touch with the Colorado Rockies and may pounce if the team makes their shortstop Troy Tulowitzki available in a trade. The Cardinals definitely have the pieces to make such a trade happen so this is something Cardinals fans will be monitoring closely. The Cardinals upgraded behind the plate as well this week as they designated George Kottaras for assignment and acquired AJ Pierzynski off the free agent market to fill in for the injured Yadier Molina.
7-28-14: The Cardinals lost their fourth consecutive game on Friday, as they fell to the Chicago Cubs, 7-6. Unfortunately, Kevin Segrist, who was activated on Wednesday, suffered the loss in that contest. After struggling against the Tampa Bay Rays at Busch Stadium, St. Louis looks to improve at Wrigley Field and Petco Park. The Cardinals’ signing of A.J. Pierzynski helps their depth at catcher.
7-24-14: Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, making his first appearance since starting for the NL in the All-Star game, gave up six runs, four of them earned, in 4 2/3 innings of work as St. Louis fell to Tampa 7-2 Tuesday. Wainwright, who fell to 12-5 on the year, was trying to become the first 13-game winner in the NL. Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday hit solo home runs for the Cardinals who remain 1 ½ games back of Milwaukee for the NL Central lead.
7-21-14: The St. Louis Cardinals have a ton of outfield depth that may come in handy at this year’s trading deadline. The Cardinals have Randal Grichuk, Stephen Piscotty, James Ramsey, and Oscar Tavares as future mainstays in the St. Louis outfield. The Cardinals also have Jon Jay, Peter Bourjous, and Allen Craig in the outfield fold as well currently. With the Cardinals only having two reliable starting pitchers currently in Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn and a huge hole behind the dish with the injury to Yadier Molina the Cardinals may dangle a couple of their outfielders in a deal.
7-19-14: Although Adam Wainwright and Pat Neshek did not pitch so well for Mike Matheny’s National League All-Star team, which lost the All-Star Game on Tuesday, Lance Lynn made Cardinals fans happy three days later. He struck out nine Los Angeles Dodgers and got his 11th victory of the season as St. Louis beat Los Angeles, 3-2.
7-17-14: The loss of Yadier Molina to a thumb injury last week has the Cardinals trending downward heading into the break. George Kottaras was added to help take some of the load off of backup Tony Cruz, but there is no replacing what Molina does for St. Louis. Losing him will certainly hurt an offense that has struggled to get things going. Carlos Martinez has been consistently taxing the bullpen when he starts. There is a lot of work to do if the Cardinals hope to live up to expectations this year.
7-15-14: The St. Louis Cardinals were among the teams being linked to the Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy this week but have come out and expressed an interest in offense, not pitching. St. Louis feels like they would have to give up some of their starting pitchers to acquire a top notch starter and do not want to sacrifice years of team control for a run at the division this season. The Cardinals, no matter what GM John Mozeliak says publicly, are definitely in the market for a starting pitcher after losing Jaime Garcia for the season and Michael Wacha for an indefinite amount of time last week. The Cardinals also lost All Star catcher Yadier Molina to a torn ligament in his thumb and will miss him for around twelve weeks. The Cardinals picked up George Kottaras to try and replace Yadier but this was a huge blow to the Cardinals squad that is still chasing the Milwaukee Brewers in the standings.
7-14-14: The Cardinals quietly crept up the National League Central standings as the Milwaukee Brewers continued to struggle. On Friday, Mike Matheny’s squad went into Milwaukee and made a tremendous comeback. The Cardinals trailed by six runs early in the game, but they scored seven unanswered runs to move to 51-43 on the season. However, Yadier Molina is expected to out for eight to 12 weeks with a torn right thumb ligament.
7-10-14: Kolten Wong gave the St. Louis Cardinals their second straight walk off ninth-inning home run on a two-out, full-count drive that soared over the right field wall as the Cardinals beat the Pirates 11-9. The Cardinals last had consecutive game-winning homers when Albert Pujols twice beat the Cubs on June 4 and 5 of 2011. They have a total of four game-winners this season. St. Louis rookie Oscar Taveras had his first career multi hit game with two singles. St. Louis is just 3 ½ games back of sputtering Milwaukee.
7-7-14: Although the Cardinals dropped three of four games to the Los Angeles Dodgers about a week ago, they took two of three games from the San Francisco Giants. St. Louis started its series with the Miami Marlins with a 3-2 victory on Friday to move back to a season-best seven games over .500. Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez and Lance Lynn all pitched well over the team’s last three wins.
7-3-14: Marco Gonzales gave up five runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings of work as St. Louis was shutout by Tim Lincecum and the Giants 5-0 Tuesday in San Francisco. The Cardinals have now lost three straight games and four out of their last five in a tough stretch against the league's best pitchers. The Cardinals have now faced a pitcher with a no-hitter this season for the third time in five games. Josh Beckett and Clayton Kershaw were the other two. The Cards are 6 ½ games back of Milwaukee in the NL Central.
7-2-14: The St. Louis Cardinals will likely have to include Oscar Tavares in any deal that would bring either David Price or Jeff Samardzija to Busch Stadium, a price that is unlikely to be paid by the Cardinals. The team has outlined a way to acquire Price and fit him into their payroll plans next season by not re-signing Jason Motte and Pat Neshek and possibly non-tendering Peter Bourjous this winter. The Cardinals would instead put together a package centered on Carlos Martinez. St. Louis is said to be in the second base and third base market as Matt Carpenter can play the position that is not filled by the trade.
6-30-14: The Cardinals have had to dig into their deep farm system to complete their rotation after both Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia hit the disabled list earlier in the week. On Wednesday, left-handed Marco Gonzales made his major league debut. He gave up five runs at Coors Field, but the Cardinals bats bailed him out. Matt Adams has been hitting the cover off the ball lately, as St. Louis split the first two games of its series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
6-26-14: The Cardinals successfully pitched around Troy Tulowitzki Tuesday night, but there was Justin Morneau waiting to make them pay. Boy, did Morneau make St. Louis pitching pay as he hit a three-run homer and drove in six runs as the Cardinals fell to the Rockies 10-5 in Denver. Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run homer and Matt Holliday had a productive day at Coors Field against his former team, going 2 for 5. Holliday is hitting .545 in his last five games at Coors. St. Louis remains 4 ½ games back of Milwaukee for the NL Central lead.
6-24-14: The St. Louis Cardinals are still slipping in the National League Central and trail the Milwaukee Brewers by 5.5 games for the top spot. The news did not get any better this week as the team put up a 7-3 record in their last ten that was matched by the Brewers. St. Louis also lost not one but two starting pitchers this week in Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia. Wacha has a stress reaction in his shoulder and will miss several weeks and Garcia could not get through a bullpen session on Sunday. It seems like both pitchers will be on the shelf at least through the All Star break and through the trading deadline. This is not the news the Cardinals needed as they do not have the depth they had in the minor leagues just a couple seasons ago.
6-18-14: Michael Wacha baffled New York Mets hitters and escaped a pair of jams with strikeouts, as the St. Louis Cardinals snapped a fifth-inning tie en route to a 5-2 victory Tuesday night. Wacha gave up just a run and five hits in six innings of work. Wacha struck out Ruben Tejada with two on to end the sixth inning when the Cardinals led 3-1. Jon Jay's RBI triple with two outs in the fifth inning gave the Cardinals the lead. Jay has been putting up real solid numbers at the plate. He’s batting .405 in his past 12 games with four multi-hit games. St. Louis is lurking 3 1/2 games behind NL Central leading Milwaukee.
6-17-14: The St. Louis Cardinals are reluctant to give up or acquire any starting pitching this season because of the depth they have, most notably with Joe Kelly and Carlos Martinez. The Cardinals also feel that they probably do not have the pieces, that they would be willing to part with anyway, to acquire one of the bigger names in Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel, etc. The Cardinals are restocking their farm system and have agreed to deals with their first three picks in the draft by signing Jack Flaherty, Luke Weaver, and Ronnie Williams. Flaherty signed for $2 million, his slot recommendation was $1.65 million, Weaver and Williams signed for slot deals worth $1.843 million and $834K respectively.
6-10-14: The St. Louis Cardinals seem primed to trade away some of their depth in the infield and outfield this year to acquire some starting pitching at the trading deadline. Some big names have been thrown out there for St. Louis including James Shields from Kansas City and Tampa Bay’s David Price. The Cardinals are usually not one to trade away blue chip players for big names simply for the cost to the farm system but the Cards are generally not trailing teams like the Milwaukee Brewers in the standings either. The Cards are currently 33-31 and five games behind the Brew Crew while they keep staying close in hopes of either the Brewers coming back down to Earth or another Michael Wacha type to take control down the stretch and save the season for St. Louis.
6-3-14: The St. Louis Cardinals have finally acknowledged that they are ready and willing to call up top prospect Oscar Tavares but not until they could find him some playing time before calling him up. Well the Cardinals must have found him some at bats because they have called up their top prospect this week. Tavares is hitting well with a .319/.369/.527 triple slash in his first 198 plate appearances which makes you wonder which of the group of Allen Craig, Jon Jay, Matt Adams, and Peter Bourjos is either going to be traded or see decreased playing time in St. Louis. The Cardinals are in a position to either go with what they have and hope that the Brewers continue to struggle and come back down to Earth or they can trade some of this outfield surplus knowing they have Tavares’ service time clock officially ticking, either way the Cardinals do not make mistakes so it should be interesting.
5-28-14: The St. Louis Cardinals have been patiently waiting for top prospect Oscar Tavares to be ready for his major league call up but Tavares may have fallen to second on the waiting list behind fellow outfielder Randal Grichuk. Tavares has been described lately as being “on cruise control” with all the at bats he is giving away and the lack of intensity he is said to be playing with. The Cardinals now are preparing for a historic and rare series with the New York Yankees at Busch Stadium in a matchup of two teams that have a combined 38 World Series titles between them. The Cardinals will have a former Yankee in the fold as Pedro Feliciano has signed a minor league deal with the club after struggling with shoulder issues in his career in New York.
5-21-14: The St. Louis Cardinals are frustrated with the start to their 2014 season but they claim they are not panicked. The Cardinals currently sit at 23-20 and in second place in the National League Central division behind the surprise Milwaukee Brewers. They have an identical run differential and comparable home and away records as the Brewers but still find themselves four games behind their division rivals three weeks into May. The Cardinals are looking at adding 37 year old left handed relief pitcher Pedro Feliciano on a minor league deal after watching a showcase and a simulated game from Feliciano. Mix in Feliciano with David Aardsma, who did not exercise his opt-out clause in his contract recently, and the Cards have a few veteran options for the bullpen down on the farm just in case.