Comeback fails, Cards drop from first place
This story originally published on TheCardinalNation.com
Yadier Molina: 4 hits, issues with ump Rob Drake
Yadier Molina: 4 hits, issues with ump Rob Drake

Posted May 25, 2012


St. Louis returned from a 6-0 deficit Thursday night, but the pen couldn’t hold the Phillies. Cincinnati moved into first place following the 10-9 Cardinals loss.

INSIDE PITCH

 

The Cardinals slammed three homers Thursday, 421 feet by catcher Yadier Molina, 446 feet by left fielder Matt Holliday and 456 feet by third baseman David Freese. But, while the Phillies lost the long-distance battle, they peppered Cardinals pitching for 14 singles among their 18 hits and emerged with a 10-9 win.

 

Right-hander Jake Westbrook had a poor start for the Cardinals, but the more concerning pitching news might have been that right-hander Fernando Salas, a standout last season with 24 saves and some valuable setup work, too, again had trouble, notably with left-handed hitters.

 

After the Cardinals had rallied from 6-0 and 7-4 deficits to catch the Phillies at 7-7 on Molina's two-run homer to center in the fifth, Salas allowed four hits, three of them to left-handed hitters, in the sixth as the Phils scored two runs to take the last lead.

 

Salas (0-3) has been touched for 12 hits in 28 at-bats by left-handed batters this season, and manager Mike Matheny said he didn't think Salas had the feel of his changeup.

 

Matheny, asked about Salas' numbers against left-handed hitters, said, "You can't always script it where he faces the right-handed hitters, but there's something to that (statistic), no question."

 

Westbrook, meanwhile, has gone winless in his last three starts, permitting 25 hits in 15 innings. He gave up eight hits and six runs in 3 2/3 innings Thursday in a no-decision.

 

"Not good," Westbrook said. "Not good at all. Very erratic.

 

"It kind of snowballed on me early. I didn't do a very good job of giving my team a chance. I put us in a hole, which is tough to come back from, which we did a great job of doing."

 

NOTES, QUOTES

1B Lance Berkman's operation for his ailing right knee was postponed from Thursday to Friday morning in Houston because of a doctor's scheduling conflict. The arthroscopic surgery, to repair a torn meniscus, is expected to take 45 to 90 minutes. However, Friday's procedure could be only the first in a two-step process should doctors determine Berkmam's ACL is compromised.

C Yadier Molina had a four-hit game, raising his average to .314. However, as early as the first hitter, Molina and plate umpire Rob Drake had issues, which carried into the time between innings after the Phillies had scored three runs in the first. All the Cardinals except Molina came off the field. Manager Mike Matheny, who had to intervene, said, "They hashed it out … and they still had some things they wanted to discuss. Unfortunately, it did take away from the rhythm of the game, and whenever that happens, it ultimately affects a pitcher. We weren't real happy about how that whole thing played out. There was some extra going on there, and they put it behind them."

CF Skip Schumaker, getting more playing time with all the injuries to Cardinals regulars, had an extra-base hit (a double) and an RBI for the third consecutive game.

LHP Marc Rzepczynski did not get onto the field as a counter to turn around some of the Philadelphia switch hitters. Manager Mike Matheny, noting that Rzepczynski had pitched in three of the previous four games, said, "We were trying to stay away from him at all costs."

RHP Fernando Salas, who generally has pitched poorly and who also hadn't been in a game since last Friday before he was tagged for two runs Thursday, might be vulnerable if the Cardinals want to make a bullpen move, as is expected. Salas' ERA is 6.32, and he's given up 23 hits and nine walks in 15 innings.

By the Numbers:

9-1 - The Cardinals' record when 3B David Freese homers. They lost their first such game Thursday night.

Quote to Note:

"They did a great job of fighting and staying with it. … We just hate to have to fight that much."

- Manager Mike Matheny, on his team erasing a 6-0 deficit before losing 10-9 to Philadelphia.

MEDICAL WATCH

INF Matt Carpenter (strained right oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list May 23.

1B Lance Berkman (torn meniscus in right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list May 20. He switched his surgery May 23 from Vail, Colo., to Houston, where he lives. Berkman will have arthroscopic surgery there May 25. So far, no ACL damage has been found but the ligament has been stretched. Berkman surely will be out at least two months, if not more.

OF/1B Allen Craig (left hamstring strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 17. He might be ready to return as soon as he is eligible.

RHP Kyle McClellan (strained right ulnar collateral ligament) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18. He won't need surgery but likely will be sidelined at least late July.

CF Jon Jay (sprained right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list May 15.

RHP Scott Linebrink (right shoulder capsulitis) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 30. He felt tightness during an April 30 bullpen session, and he didn't appear close to a return.

RHP Chris Carpenter (weak right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He probably won't pitch until at least June.

Link to boxscore: Philadelphia 10 at St. Louis 9



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