April 2011

Lucky Seven, Here-Come-The-Reds edition

1. Simple question. Division winner. Reds, Cards, Cubs, Brewers: who ya got?

2. What should the Cardinals do about the ninth inning? Boggs? Motte? Batista? Sanchez? Committee? Back to Franklin soon?

3. How should the Cardinals apportion time at second base while Skip Schumaker is out? Options include Punto, Descalso, and Greene.

4. Jaime Garcia currently leads the Cardinals in strikeouts, followed by Lohse, and then Carpenter. At the end of the year, which Cardinals hurler will have the most Ks?

5. Are you following NFL Draft stuff? If so, who should the Rams take? If you’re a fan of another team, who do you want your team to take in the first round?

6. I say Archer is the funniest show on TV. What say you?

7. Best album you’ve heard so far this year?

-M.

Thursday tidbits: The Reds, and storms, are coming

* The Cardinals still are not ready to announce a Sunday starter, but Jake Westbrook still looks like the most likely choice. TLR said this morning that a bullpen game isn’t really a viable option. That means they could go with Westbrook on short rest or recall someone from the Minors. The problem is that the choices are P.J. Walters, who pitched Monday and is not off to a good start to the season, and Brandon Dickson, who pitched Tuesday but is not on the 40-man roster.

* The manager also said the club is considering adding a second left-handed reliever for the Reds series. However, it’s difficult to envision who that might be, since once again, the 40-man roster is full and there are no available lefties who are currently on the 40-man.

* Lance Berkman received a preventative day off on Thursday after he played both games of the doubleheader. The hope is that he’ll play all three games this weekend.

* Nick Punto, meanwhile, came in feeling good after playing last night’s game, so he gets the start for a second straight day at second base.

* Fernando Salas and Jason Motte are unavailable to pitch today.

* Sounds like tomorrow’s game may be threatened by weather, and the rest of the weekend could be a bit dicey as well.

And, finally, the playlist, a 20-years-ago special:
Dramarama, “What Are We Gonna Do?”
Material Issue, “Li’l Christine”
Electronic, “Get the Message”
The La’s, “There She Goes”
Blur, “There’s No Other Way”

-M.

Thursday lineups

Cardinals

1. Theriot SS
2. Rasmus CF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Freese 3B
6. Molina C
7. Punto 2B
8. Jay RF
9. Lohse RHP

Nationals

1. Espinosa 2B
2. Ankiel CF
3. Werth RF
4. LaRoche 1B
5. Desmond SS
6. Morse LF
7. Rodriguez C
8. Cora 3B
9. Gorzelanny LHP

-M.

Franklin statement

Ryan Franklin wanted to get the following statement out, following his earlier comments today:

“Obviously these last 2 1/2 weeks have been frustrating for me, and I’m frustrated with myself. I can understand why the fans are frustrated. I’ve loved my time here in St. Louis. It’s my favorite place to play. It’s just a frustrating time for me right now, because I feel like I’m letting everyone down.

“First and foremost, I’m letting myself down. I’m letting the team down and obviously the fans. It’s just been a hard time for me right now, and it’s something I’ve never been through. It’s just really frustrating. Things didn’t come out the right way. It was right after the game and I said things I shouldn’t have said. I apologize for that. It was the wrong thing to say, but at the same time I was frustrated. I am frustrated. I’m just trying to do my best to do everything I can to get back on track. So that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to get back out there and help this team.”

Wednesday Game 2 lineups

Cardinals:

1. Theriot SS
2. Rasmus CF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Berkman RF
6. Molina C
7. Punto 2B
8. Descalso 3B
9. Garcia LHP

Nationals:

1. Espinosa 2B
2. Ankiel CF
3. Werth RF
4. LaRoche 1B
5. Ramos C
6. Morse LF
7. Desmond SS
8. Hairston 3B
9. Zimmermann RHP

-M.

Wednesday Game 1 lineups

Cardinals:

1. Theriot SS
2. Rasmus CF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Berkman RF
6. Freese 3B
7. Laird C
8. Greene 2B
9. Westbrook RHP

Nationals:

1. Espinosa 2B
2. Ankiel CF
3. Werth RF
4. LaRoche 1B
5. Desmond SS
6. Nix LF
7. Rodriguez C
8. Cora 3B
9. Lannan LHP

-M.

First pitch will be delayed

The following announcement is currently displayed on the video board at Busch Stadium:

“Severe weather is expected to reach downtown at 7 pm. The start time of tonight’s game will be delayed. After the weather clears, tonight’s game will begin.”

The club just announced that there is no scheduled start time at this point.

-M.

Notes of the night/Stat of the day, April 13

Greetings, all, from my last stop on this road trip. I’ll be headed home tomorrow, getting a few days off before rejoining the club for the next homestand. I hate to miss out on Dodger Stadium, but two out of three cities on a trip is plenty in most cases. Here are your postgame notes and goodies…

Notes of the night:

* Matt Holliday said he was fine after being hit on the left hand by a pitch. He didn’t even seem to realize we were waiting for him after the game, to check on how he came through it. He said he had no plan to get any further examination.

* Likewise for Ryan Theriot — there were no issues for him after being hit on the forearm.

* Eduardo Sanchez was pretty impressive in his Major League debut, striking out five in two innings. When I approached him after the game, he was just putting down his phone. I asked him how many messages, and he said, “about a hundred.”

Stat of the day:

Despite their slow start, the Cardinals actually now have a positive run differential. They’ve outscored their opponents by four runs on the year.

-M.

Cardinals confirm Augenstein and Tallet both to DL

PHOENIX — The Cardinals confirmed Wednesday that both Bryan Augenstein and Brian Tallet are being placed on the 15-day disabled list due to injuries they suffered in Tuesday night’s game against the Diamondbacks.

Fernando Salas and Eduardo Sanchez have been recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take their places on the roster. Both Salas and Sanchez are available for Wednesday night’s game.

Augenstein suffered a strained right groin during Tuesday’s game, while Tallet has a fracture in his right hand. Tallet was injured when he and Stephen Drew became entangled on a play at first base.

Salas, 25, pitched effectively in limited duty for the Cardinals in 2010, posting a 3.52 ERA in 27 appearances. He made three scoreless appearances for Memphis in 2011 prior to his recall. Sanchez, 22, will be on a big league roster for the first time. He has pitched three shutout innings over two games for Memphis this year. In 2010, split between Double-A Springfield and Memphis, Sanchez recorded a 2.38 ERA, 58 strikeouts and 20 walks in 53 innings.

-M.

Augenstein, Tallet to DL — UPDATED, no DL at this time for Tallet

Bryan Augenstein will be placed on the disabled list, general manager John Mozeliak said Tuesday night.

The club will not place Brian Tallet on the DL at this time, pending further examination. The initial plan was to go ahead and make a move with Tallet, and that may yet be what the Cardinals do. As of this time, though, it’s not a certainty that he will go on the DL.

Augenstein suffered a strained right groin, while Tallet has an injury to his right (glove) hand. Both pitchers will return to St. Louis on Wednesday for follow-up examinations. The club will soon announce who will be recalled to take Augenstein’s place.

-M.

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