Tagged: Tyler Lyons

Cards Drop 2 of 3 Against Tigers

Kolten Wong's solo homer helped the Cardinals avoid a sweep last night.

Kolten Wong’s solo homer helped the Cardinals avoid a sweep last night.

Recapping the NL Central results from over the weekend…

The St. Louis Cardinals took the Sunday night game at home against the Detroit Tigers, avoiding being swept… The Chicago Cubs won their sixth straight on Saturday before the streak was broken by the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field… The Cincinnati Reds were swept at home by the San Francisco Giants, pushing them back into a tie with the Bucs for 3rd place… The Milwaukee Brewers predictably lost 2 of 3 visiting the New York Mets

* * *

It’s official. Jaime Garcia is joining the Cardinals’ rotation. When Adam Wainwright went down with a season-ending Achilles injury, it was assumed that the spot would be filled in by either Garcia or Marco Gonzales, but both have been rehabbing from injuries. Ultimately, Garcia pitched decently enough and got healthier faster that Gonzales.

Before Garcia was ready, the Cards went with Tim Cooney (1 GS) and Tyler Lyons (3 GS). They combined for a 6.46 ERA in four starts and averaged fewer than 4 innings per start. That’s not getting it done.

Garcia will get the start Thursday, pitching the final game of a 4-game set against the New York Mets.

* * *

The Brewers sent Scooter Gennett to AAA. I remember driving around this winter and listening to Wisconsin sports radio, naively predicting good things for the Crew this year. (I’ve lamented about this before, but for some reason blind optimism just really grates on me.) I remember them calling out Gennett as one of the bright spots for this team.

If Scooter Gennett is somebody you’re pinning your hopes on, your team is in trouble. This is why nobody with an ounce of objectivity was predicting good things for your team, Milwaukee Sports Radio… Gennett never cracked Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects list. His best ranking ever within the Brewers system was #5 following the 2011 season. In other words – not a guy who a whole lot is expected of by people who know these sorts of things.

Gennett was hitting .159/.209/.206 this season. Read it again. Slowly.

He hit .324 in 69 games during the 2013 season but drew just 10 walks for a .356 OBP. Last year he played 137 games and hit .289 with a decent .754 OPS. By Baseball Reference’s calculations, Gennett was a 2.2 WAR player in 2013 and 1.3 last season – not too bad. He was a minus 1.0 thus far in 2015. He may not be given a chance to rebound.

* * *

On Friday afternoon, I sent out this tweet about the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo.

On Saturday, Tim Healey at SportsOnEarth had stolen all of my hard research and written up this article about Rizzo standing closer to the plate, leading to more plunks.

* * *

Back with the goods tomorrow!

* * *

National League Ranks

Batting Pitching
St. Louis 5th 1st
Chicago 6th 8th
Cincinnati 10th 9th
Pittsburgh 12th 4th
Milwaukee 13th 14th

* * *

Standings

W L GB Strk
St. Louis Cardinals 25 12 W1
Chicago Cubs 21 16 4.0 L1
Cincinnati Reds 18 20 7.5 L3
Pittsburgh Pirates 18 20 7.5 W1
Milwaukee Brewers 13 25 12.5 L2

* * *

Schedule

13-25 BREWERS Fiers (1-4, 5.00)
23-15 Tigers Lobstein (3-3, 4.33)
6:08 PM CT
25-12 CARDINALS Lackey (2-2, 3.226)
22-16 Mets Harvey (5-1, 2.31)
6:10 PM CT
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Cards Stick It To Cubs

It's Mark Reynolds, so you know he's either homering or striking out in this picture.

It’s Mark Reynolds, so you know he’s either homering or striking out in this picture.

The St. Louis Cardinals ran their winning streak up to 7, overcoming the 5 runs that Carlos Martinez allowed in the top of the 1st inning and coming back to beat the upstart Chicago Cubs, 10-9.

Mark Reynolds‘ grand slam off of Travis Wood got them right back into the game in the bottom of the 1st and they jumped ahead in the bottom of the 7th, taking a 10-8 lead when the Cubs bullpen couldn’t do their job.

Pedro Strop (L, 0-2) allowed all three batters he faced in the 7th to reach base, then Zac Rosscup allowed them all to score plus one additional run.

Martinez finished with 7 runs allowed in 3.2 innings on 9 hits and 4 walks. Pretty horrible line for a guy who entered the day with a phenomenal ledger in 2015, but he exited the game with a 3.64 ERA.

Wood was pretty bad as well, allowing 6 runs in 5 innings, giving up 6 hits and walking a pair.

Cubs rookie Addison Russell connected for his 2nd homer of the year.

Also, rub your eyes to make sure you’re reading this clearly – Matt Carpenter was 0-for-5 with a pair of whiffs. That can’t be right…

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina did not play last night, having caught every inning of this past weekend’s 3-game sweep of the Pirates, each of which went into extra frames. Yadi, who is batting just .231/.291/.282 this season, is 3 for his last 30.

The Cubs lost Chris Denorfia (again) with a left hamstring injury that he appeared to tweak while advancing from 1st to 3rd on a base hit into left-center. Rookie Matt Szczur, who opened the season on the 25-man roster with Denorfia injured, is expected to get the call up again. He was removed during the 8th inning of a AAA game after Denorfia went down. Denorfia was hitting .429 in 22 plate appearances spanning 12 games.

The Cardinals turn to Tyler Lyons for the start tonight. Could be interesting with both teams having really taxed their bullpens last night. Lyons is replacing Tim Cooney, who failed in his first start as Adam Wainwright‘s replacement in the rotation last Thursday.

Here’s how many innings the St. Louis bullpen has had to throw since Saturday: 5, 7.1, 5.1. That’s a lot of work. They could use a long start, but I’m not sure it’s coming tonight.

With their win, St. Louis set a franchise record for the best 25-game start to a season.

Given the Cubs’ bullpen woes as of late, could it be long before we see yet another of their rookies?  C.J. Edwards might not be long away.

* * *

Hector Gomez (not Carlos) homered and tripled for the Milwaukee Brewers, who gave new manager (and former player) Craig Counsell the game ball after the team was able to come back against Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers to pull off a 4-3 win.

Kershaw was going for his 100th career victory, but that was put off when Ryan Braun legged out a shattered bat, infield single to third, barely beating the throw and allowing the go-ahead run to cross the plate.

It was the Brewers’ 3rd straight win.

* * *

NL Central Leaders

AVG
Matt Carpenter (STL) .347
Matt Holliday (STL) .329
Adam Lind (MIL) .326
Joey Votto (CIN) .323
Anthony Rizzo (CHC) .313

* * *

Schedule

12-13 CINCINNATI Lorenzen (0-1, 5.40)
12-13 PITTSBURGH Locke (2-1, 4.76)
6:05 PM CT
16-9 Los Angeles Greinke (4-0, 1.93)
8-18 MILWAUKEE Garza (2-3, 4.60)
7:10 PM CT
13-11 CHICAGO Hendricks (0-1, 5.23)
19-6 ST. LOUIS Lyons (NR)
7:15 PM CT

* * *

Standings

W L GB Strk
St. Louis Cardinals 19 6 W7
Chicago Cubs 13 11 5.5 L3
Cincinnati Reds 12 13 7.0 L1
Pittsburgh Pirates 12 13 7.0 L3
Milwaukee Brewers 8 18 11.5 W3

Wainwright Suffers Achilles Injury

Adam Wainwright

Adam Wainwright

Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee. Top of the 5th inning. 1-2 count.

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright was at the plate and hit a pop up to Adam Lind at first base.

At first glance, it appeared the ball would drift foul. So Wainwright stood in the batter’s box, looking up to watch the ball soaring into the air.

Noticing the ball was coming back towards play, with Milwaukee Brewers‘ first baseman Adam Lind positioning himself underneath it, Wainwright motioned to jog towards first base.

Only that first step never really happened.

Wainwright lurched forward, trying to force himself down the line.

But whatever damage was going to occur had already been done.

It appears to be an Achilles injury, which is a long and difficult path back.

4 shutout innings in the books to go along with 4 strikeouts, no walks and a 1.44 ERA on the 2015 season.

And that’s how we might be remembering Adam Wainwright until next season, because this could very well be it for the 33-year old veteran leader of the pitching staff.

You’re going to hear a lot about how this is the end of the Cardinals’ season, but I’m not buying it.

Yes, it’s obviously a huge blow. John Lackey, 36, is the only other veteran left in the starting rotation. I don’t see him stepping up to be the new leader; he’s a relative newcomer to the franchise.

But it’s not as though Lance Lynn, 28, isn’t capable of being that veteran face of the staff. He’s in his 5th year in the Bigs, all spent with the Cardinals, and owns a 50-30 lifetime record with a 3.47 ERA and 8.8 strikeouts per 9 innings.

The Cards came into the season with a surplus of pitching in case this sort of thing came up, as it so often does for a team during the course of a 162 game season.

Don’t worry about the Cardinals. They’ll be fine. They’re still going to be favorites to win the division. They always seem to find a way.

2015 will still likely be a successful season.

It just won’t be the same without Wainwright.

* * *

Internally available candidates who have been mentioned to replace Wainwright in the rotation:

* Marco Gonzales – He almost made the team out of spring training and has started well in AAA but was recently placed on the 7-day DL with a sore pectoral. Possibly the Cards tread water with this spot in the rotation for a turn or two until Gonzales can get the call up.
* Carlos Villanueva – The relief pitcher has often worked in a “swing” role before.
* Tim Cooney – Doing so-so in AAA this year, but questions remain about the lefties ability to get righties out at the big league level. The peripherals don’t look so great.
* Tyler Lyons – The lefty made 12 ineffective starts for the Birds last year, had a bad spring and is getting tagged at AAA.
* Zach Petrick – 25-year old right-hander with a bloated ERA (8.66) at AAA but some decent peripherals (12/2 K/BB ration in 17 innings).
* Jaime Garcia – Had a nice spring in trying to work his way back to the bigs, but injuries will likely keep him out another couple of months.

Waino’s turn in the rotation is due up Thursday, so look for one of those first three names to take his spot until Gonzales and Garcia have recovered from injuries they are dealing with.

I have a strange feeling we’ll see the Cards pull off a trade that brings in a stud to replace Wainwright. They’ll have an opportunity to scout Cole Hamels tonight, in fact, going up against the lefty and the Philadelphia Phillies at home.

The bright spot, if you believe in those sorts of things, is that Wainwright missed out on the 2011 season with Tommy John surgery. That was the most recent World Series win for the franchise.

Also don’t forget that they already have some young kids contributing in a huge way, namely Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha. It’s not as though Wainwright himself was the sole reason the Cards lead the National League with a 2.24 team ERA.

* * *

National League Ranks

Batting Pitching
St. Louis 9th 1st
Chicago 3rd 7th
Pittsburgh 7th 2nd
Cincinnati 11th 12th
Milwaukee 14th 15th

* * *

Schedule

4-15 MILWAUKEE Nelson (1-1, 1.35)
8-10 CINCINNATI Marquis (1-1, 7.20)
6:10 PM CT
11-8 PITTSBURGH Worley (2-1, 4.00)
10-7 CHICAGO Hammel (1-1, 5.19)
7:05 PM CT
7-12 Philadelphia Hamels (0-2, 3.75)
12-5 ST. LOUIS Lackey (1-0, 4.34)
7:15 PM CT

* * *

Standings

W L GB Strk
St. Louis Cardinals 12 5 L1
Chicago Cubs 10 7 2.0 W2
Pittsburgh Pirates 11 8 2.0 W5
Cincinnati Reds 8 10 4.5 L3
Milwaukee Brewers 4 15 9.0 W1