News, Notes and Historical Information on the St. Louis Cardinals
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Chris Carpenter had his final start of the spring season and like past starts, he was phenomonal. He threw six innings and gave up only a single run on two hits and two walks, and he struck out five. He finished the spring with a 1.01 ERA in 26 2/3 innings and he has 23 strikeouts against seven walks. He didn’t give up a single homerun and he finished with a 2-0 record. Carpenters next start will be against the Phillies on opening day.
Adam Wainwright earned a spot in the bullpen with a great spring. He gave up only one earned run in 14 2/3 innings and he had a solid 10/2 strikeout to walk ratio. The one flaw against him is, despite the great ERA, he gave up five unearned runs. Hopefully the rookie will have a solid campaign in 2006.
I know it’s a little too early to be talking about Sidney Ponson as the comeback player of the year, but he has had quite an impressive spring. I thought for sure that super prospect Anthony Reyes would get that fifth spot in the rotation, but he got hit hard and is going to start the season at Triple A. I’m hoping to find the time to do weekly minor league reports so I’ll be keeping tabs on how he’s doing.
Anyway, Ponson went six innings and gave up one run on only two hits. He walked one and struck out one and his spring ERA is now down to an even 3.00. I’m never looking for a breakout season from a fifth starter, but the way Ponson is throwing, 12-13 wins might not be out of the question, which is usually what you’re looking from your bottom rotation guy.
Jim Edmonds continues to hit the ball well. He has 11 hits in 24 at bats with three doubles and a homerun. David Eckstein’s also been a pleasant surprise. While he’s a modest 14 for 42 at the plate, he’s walked six times and only struck out once. Scott Rolen hasn’t quite gotten things going yet. He has yet to hit a homerun this spring in 31 at bats.
Mark Mulder throws for the Cards today against the Marlins.
This really isn’t too surprising with Anthony Reyes’ tough spring. Ponson has thrown 15 quality innings and he has a 3.60 ERA with six strikeouts and three walks. Reyes has an 8.10 ERA in 13 1/3 innings and he’s given up 21 hits and four walks.
The Cardinals had the day off yesterday and they’re blowing out the Nationals today. It’s 9-1 in the eighth inning. Assuming the Cards hang on, they’ll improve to 11-8-1.
Adam Wainwright threw a solid game but an error led to unearned runs against him as the Cardinals lost their spring game this afternoon to the Orioles. Wainwright continued a solid and gave up two runs (both unearned) on three hits in four innings. His spring ERA is now 0.84 and he’s walked only one batter in 10 2/3 innings. The Cardinals struggled at the plate in the loss. They scored single runs in the first two innings, then didn’t score again. They managed only four hits. All eleven hits in the games were singles.
Mark Mulder had another solid start yesterday in a tie with the Marlins. He gave up one run on two hits in four innings. He struck out two and didn’t walk a batter.
So far this spring, Mulder, Wainwright and Carpenter have been very sharp. Jeff Suppan has gotten shelled as has Anthony Reyes. Sidney Ponson has been good but not great and Jason Marquis has thrown only 5 2/3 low quality innings. Right now Wainwright has earned that fifth starter spot, but we’ll have to wait and see what Tony LaRussa has to say.
Jeff Suppan was sharp in the Cardinals loss to the Braves this afternoon. He went four innings and gave up only a single run. Unfortunately Brandon Looper, who’s expected to set up Isringhausen, was shelled by the Braves. He gave up four hits in only 2/3 of inning.
The big news happened yesterday. Jim Edmonds made his spring debut and went two for two with an RBI. Edmonds missed most of the spring with a bruised right foot and sore left calf. A lot has been made of Scott Rolen coming back from his injury, but Edmonds out in centerfield is just as critical so it’s nice to see he’s getting some action.
Brian Daubach’s having a great spring. He’s tied for the team lead with two homeruns and he has more RBIs (8) then any other Cardinal. He has a .375/.474/.875 line in 16 at bats. The former fan favorite of Stephen King in his book “Faithful,” Daubach played most of 2005 for the Mets AAA team. This year he’s fighting for a spot with the Cardinals.
Pop Haines began his career with the Reds. He threw a five inning game in 1918, didn’t play in 1919 and in 1920 he was sold to the Cardinals. He threw 300 innings that year and lost 20 games with an ERA that was right at the league average (2.98). His first good year was 1923 when he won 20 games and finished fifth in the National League with an ERA of 3.11.
1924 and 1925 were not good years for Haines, with one exception. In 1924, his ERA ballooned to 4.41 (ERA+ of 86, WHIP of 1.531) and he finished with an 8-19 record. He didn’t do much better in 1925 although his record, 13-14, was a little better. That season his ERA was 4.57 (ERA+ of 94). The one exception was that Haines threw a no-hitter in 1924.
Haines found his groove in 1926 (as did several Cardinals). He started 14 games but he was also used as sort of a closer in that he finished seven other games. His record was an impressive 13-4 and his ERA came back down to 3.25 (ERA+ of 120). His winning percentage of .765 was the second best in the league and he finished fourth in the league with three shutouts.
Like Alexander, Haines excelled once the World Series started. He won two of the four games in the World Series and sported an impressive 1.08 ERA. He threw a five hit shutout in game three to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead over the Yankees.
Haines used his 1926 season to catapult himself into stardom. In 1927, he had his best season and won 24 games. In 1928, he won 20 more and he pitched well into his 40s. In 1970. Haines was elected into Baseball Hall of Fame.
Games Started 21
Complete Games 14
Innings Pitched 183
Earned Runs 66
Runs Saved Above Average 14
Neutral Wins 10
Neutral Losses 7
Mark Mulder threw 3 2/3 innings this afternoon, and he gave up only a single run on four hits en route to his second win of the spring. Rookie Adam Wainwright had a rough outing but managed to get out of trouble. He gave up six hits in 3 2/3 innings, but he gave up only two runs (one earned).
On the hitting side, Brian Daubach, facing his former team, had two doubles and two RBIs and So Taguchi went two for four with three runs. The Mets and Cardinals combined for five errors and twenty three hits, but the Cardinals made their hits count as they topped the Mets 11-3.
Jason Marquis will get the start tomorrow afternoon against the Orioles.
I know it’s early but the Cardinals bats didn’t show up at all today. They scored a run in the first and then the rest of the way, they were shut down. They had only four hits in the entire game. On the pitching side, Jeff Suppan gave up three runs in the second inning before the rest of the Cards throwers shut down the Dodgers. Jason Isringhausen and Jeff Nelson both threw shutout innings and Blaine Neal held the Dodgers scoreless over two innings.
The 3-1 loss dropped the Dodgers to 2-4 on the season. They’ll square off against the Nationals tomorrow and Chris Carpenter will get the start.
The Cardinals kicked off their spring season yesterday, and despite three run homeruns by both Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols, the Cardinals dropped the game. It wasn’t a good game for the pitchers as the Mets hit Jeff Suppan hard in the first two innings. He was credited with giving up nine of the twelve runs in only 1 1/3 innings. Brad Voyles picked up Suppan though, and he threw 2 2/3 ahutout innings that gave the Cardinals a chance to creep back into the game. You can check out the highlights here. The Cardinals and Mets play again this afternoon.
Japan is running up the score on China. It’s pretty cool being able to watch baseball when you get up first thing in the morning.
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