Posted June 04, 2012 on AP on Fox
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny hopes the Cardinals' latest performance is the beginning of good things to come for his struggling team. With their longest losing streak of the season over, the Cardinals open a three-game road series against the Houston Astros on Tuesday night. St. Louis (28-27) totaled one run while dropping the first three of a four-game series at New York, extending its losing skid to a season-high five. The Cardinals snapped out of it Monday, beating the Mets 5-4 behind three RBIs from Allen Craig, including a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning. "Doesn't take much. Just a win,'' Matheny said. "That was much needed, and nobody needed it more than we did. It will change the atmosphere around here. You never know which win will be the one that helps you take off.'' Matheny's Cardinals still have their issues. They were no-hit Friday by Johan Santana and have struck out 68 times in their last seven games. Kyle Lohse allowed one run in six innings Monday, but that merely lowered the ERA of St. Louis' rotation to 7.03 ERA over the last six contests. "You just got to keep working, keep fighting," said Matheny, whose team has lost nine of 11 on the road. "You've got to trust yourself.'' The Cardinals, who lost two of three at Houston in early May, hope Jaime Garcia (3-3, 3.78 ERA) is healthy enough to be effective Tuesday after his last start was skipped because of elbow discomfort. The left-hander underwent an MRI that did not show anything to be concerned about going forward. "We'll be listening to him," Matheny told the Cardinals' official website. "If we see anything that looks out of the ordinary, we'll be checking with him in between innings." Garcia, who allowed four runs in six innings of a 4-0 loss at Philadelphia in his last outing May 26, is 0-4 with a 6.89 ERA in six career starts against the Astros. He gave up six runs and walked four in six innings of an 8-2 loss at Minute Maid Park on May 5. Craig is 6 for 17 (.353) with three home runs and nine RBIs in six career games at Houston. The Astros (23-31) are also taking the field for the first time since snapping their longest losing streak of the season, an eight-game skid that ended Sunday with a 5-3 home win over Cincinnati. First baseman Brett Wallace, called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City to replace the injured Carlos Lee (hamstring), had two hits in his 2012 debut. He'd been batting .265 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs in 50 games in the minors. "He's swinging the bat really well," manager Brad Mills told the Astros' official website. "He looks good swinging the bat and physically he looks good. I would encourage him to continue to do that." Wallace, who appeared in 115 major league games last season, is batting .467 (14 for 30) in 11 games against the Cardinals at MInute Maid Park. The Astros will give the ball to Springfield, Missouri native Lucas Harrell (4-4, 4.71), who allowed four runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-4 victory over St. Louis on May 4. The right-hander hopes to bounce back after yielding career highs of nine runs and 10 hits in five innings of Wednesday's 13-5 loss at Colorado. Houston starters have compiled an 8.29 ERA over the last nine games.

Rosenthal still benefiting from big league camp

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. It was an overcast spring training morning in mid-March, while most hitters were finishing up batting practice and pitchers were inside enjoying some lunch. Pitching prospect Trevor Rosenthal was not among them. He was on the bullpen mound just outside the Cardinals clubhouse, engaged in a conversation that he still remembers daily. One he takes with him to the...

Cardinals select Wacha at No. 19

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Anyone Care To Take Any Responsibility Here?

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When Jaime Garcia was sent back to St. Louis to have his tender left elbow examined, he missed one start but passed muster medically to rejoin the club and make a start Tuesday night in Houston. But as manager Mike Matheny said after an aborted performance of two innings, "He isn't right." Minute Maid Park in Houston never has been terribly kind to Garcia, who before...

Cardinal talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Escaping The Big Apple

St. Louis Cardinals chat on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines. Late Monday afternoon, I joined Jim Brinson and Joe Quinn on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines in a special installment of this year’s series to discuss the St. Louis Cardinals, “Cardinal Talk.” I reported from New York’s Citi Field after the Mets defeated the Cards in three of four games. Cardinals...

“Not right” Garcia makes early Tuesday exit

The St. Louis Cardinals were behind early and could not quite come back against Houston Tuesday night, losing the series opener at Minute Maid Park, 9-8.

Cards avoid 4 Game Sweep

The St. Louis Cardinals avoided a 4-game sweep, defeating the Mets 5-4 at Citi Field. Allen Craig put the Cardinals ahead for good with a two-run homer in the eighth inning. The Mets' were unable to capitalize on a fourth straight impressive outing from one of their starting pitchers, this time in Dillon Gee. They were however, able to make it interesting...

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It was a random Sunday tweet from a Houston Astros follower, destined to be lost among the volumes of Twitter noise – except I couldn’t forget it. “All Astros farm teams at .500 or better. Hasn’t happened in a long time.” Player development is the main priority in all organizations, but playing winning baseball is important, too. Of course, it would be ridiculous to declare...

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What a weekend!  The last 72 hours for Mets fans has been so surreal, I’m still wondering if it all really happened.  The defending World Champion St. Louis Cardinals have been held to 1 run…ONE!  all series so far, Johan pitched the first Mets no-hitter in history (still trying to process that one), and R.A. Dickey said “I’ll see your no-hitter and raise you another shut...

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Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last few weeks, you are aware the St. Louis Cardinals are in the middle of a very bad stretch of baseball. Before Monday’s win at New York, the club had dropped 5 straight and if you take out the sweep against the AAA padres on a 4-17 stretch of baseball. Bad. For whatever reason, I do not believe the sky is falling and all is lost...
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