MLB Team Report - St. Louis Cardinals - INSIDE PITCH
With the absence of first basemen Allen Craig (sprained left foot), outfielder Carlos Beltran's presence as a run producer is needed. But, lately, he hasn't been producing.
Beltran was an All-Star last year, too, but encountered tough times in the second half of the season, batting .200 in July and .211 in August before surging in September and the postseason.
This year, he had a spectacular August, hitting .366, but he has had a rough September.
Having to play more than perhaps he should, Beltran is just 11-for-57 (.192) with three doubles this month, and manager Mike Matheny rested him Wednesday in the third game of a four-game set at Colorado.
But Matheny will keep Beltran fourth in the lineup for the time being, and he did contribute two hits in a 13-inning loss Thursday.
"Carlos is a run producer," Matheny said. "(Hitting fourth) is a place where he feels the most comfortable. Not everybody can hit in that four spot, and Carlos can."
The statistics don't necessarily back up that theory as Beltran, 36, is just 19-for-84 (.226) hitting cleanup this year.
Craig isn't due back until probably the last series at home, if then. First baseman Matt Adams (sore right elbow) singled late in Thursday's game after coming off the bench, but he may not be able to play every day while Craig remains out.
MLB Team Report - St. Louis Cardinals - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost one
PAST 10 GAMES: 6-4
NEXT: Cardinals (Shelby Miller, 14-9, 3.01) at Brewers (Johnny Hellweg, 1-4, 3.81)
--RHP Michael Wacha threw 63 of 88 pitches for strikes but somehow lasted just 4 2/3 innings Thursday in a 7-6 loss to Colorado. Wacha allowed four runs on 12 hits and no walks with seven strikeouts. "Plain and simple, I gave up too many hits," he said. "And I didn't put our team in a good position to win a game. I feel it all starts with the starting pitcher, and I just wasn't able to get guys out there for a while and gave up entirely way too many hits." Asked whether pitching at spacious Coors Field in Denver's mile-high altitude contributed to his performance, Wacha said, "The ballpark really didn't factor into how I went about it today. I was just trying to attack the zone. I was just leaving too many balls up."
--1B Matt Adams, who left the game Wednesday with elbow pain, was able to take swings without any issues before Thursday's game. He entered defensively in the eighth inning and singled in the ninth. Adams, who had a bone chip removed from the elbow nearly a year ago, took anti-inflammatory medicine Wednesday night and wore a compression sleeve with his elbow heavily taped Thursday. On Friday at Milwaukee, Adams will wear a brace that will keep him from fully extending his elbow while swinging.
--LF Matt Holliday went 3-for-4 with two RBI, two runs scored and three walks. It was his third three-hit game in the last five games he has played. In the four-game series against the Rockies, with whom Holliday began his career, he went 8-for-16 with two doubles, one homer, five RBI and five runs scored.
--LHP Kevin Siegrist, one of 10 pitchers used by the Cardinals, gave up one walk and struck out two while working a scoreless sixth. He extended his scoreless streak to 22 consecutive innings, the longest active streak in the National League. In 40 games, Siegrist is 3-1 with an 0.49 ERA, having allowed 14 hits in 36 2/3 innings, with 18 walks and 50 strikeouts.
--OF Carlos Beltran is just 11-for-57 (.192) with three doubles this month, but manager Mike Matheny will keep him in the cleanup spot. "Carlos is a run producer," Matheny said. "(Hitting fourth) is a place where he feels the most comfortable. Not everybody can hit in that four spot, and Carlos can."
--C Yadier Molina, who has played first base late in games, made his third career start at the position. Molina went behind the plate in the eighth. He has played an entire game at first base once.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Plain and simple, I gave up too many hits. And I didn't put our team in a good position to win a game. I feel it all starts with the starting pitcher, and I just wasn't able to get guys out there for a while and gave up entirely way too many hits." -- RHP Michael Wacha, who gave up four runs on 12 hits in 4 2/3 innings Thursday in a 7-6 loss to Colorado.
MLB Team Report - St. Louis Cardinals - ROSTER REPORT
--1B Matt Adams (elbow tenderness) did not play Sept. 19 but may be able to play Sept. 20 in Milwaukee.
--RHP Joe Kelly (tightness in upper right calf and knee) left the Sept. 17 game.
--1B Allen Craig (sprained left foot) left the Sept. 4 game. The foot was re-evaluated Sept. 12, and doctors recommended that he resume wearing a walking boot to protect it.
--LHP John Gast (left shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list May 26. Gast had season-ending surgery July 26, and he will need eight to 12 months of recovery time.
--LHP Jaime Garcia (left shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18 and was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 30. He was diagnosed with a torn labrum, and he underwent season-ending surgery May 24. He expects to begin throwing in late August.
--RHP Jason Motte (muscle flexor strain in right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list March 22, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 14. He had season-ending Tommy John surgery May 7.
--SS Rafael Furcal (Tommy John surgery in March 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list March 20, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 3. He is out for the season.
--RHP Chris Carpenter (nerve problem in right shoulder) went on the 60-day disabled list Feb. 22. He started a rehab assignment at Double-A Springfield on July 15, then pitched for Triple-A Memphis on July 20. On July 23, he announced that he was shutting down his rehab due to numbness in his right hand. He is not optimistic that he will pitch this year.
RHP Adam Wainwright
RHP Lance Lynn
RHP Shelby Miller
RHP Joe Kelly
RHP Michael Wacha
RHP Edward Mujica (closer)
RHP Trevor Rosenthal
LHP Randy Choate
RHP Seth Maness
LHP Kevin Siegrist
RHP Fernando Salas
LHP Sam Freeman
RHP John Axford
LHP Tyler Lyons
RHP Carlos Martinez
RHP Jake Westbrook
1B Allen Craig
2B Matt Carpenter
SS Pete Kozma
3B David Freese
INF Matt Adams
INF Daniel Descalso
INF Kolten Wong
INF Brock Peterson
INF Ryan Jackson
LF Matt Holliday
CF Jon Jay
RF Carlos Beltran
OF Shane Robinson
OF Adron Chambers