MILWAUKEE -- An inning after taking a foul tip square off his right knee guard, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina had to pull himself out of the team's series-opening game against Milwaukee Friday night.
MILWAUKEE -- After investing in various mechanical changes this spring, lefty Kevin Siegrist has opened the season with numbers reminiscent of those he posted during a sensational 2013 season. Siegrist is getting those results, however, with a much different look.
Entering Friday, over seven scoreless appearances, in which Siegrist has allowed five baserunners in six innings, he's averaged a fastball velocity of 92.7, according to Fangraphs.com. That's a few ticks below where he was in 2013 (95.2 mph) and '14 (94.2).
MILWAUKEE -- Choosing to stick with an eight-man bullpen for at least a while longer, the Cardinals optioned infielder Dean Anna to Triple-A Memphis on Friday to create roster room for outfielder Peter Bourjos, who is returning from paternity leave.
Anna, who joined the team last weekend when Randal Grichuk went on the disabled list, made one pinch-hit appearance during his stay. His departure leaves the Cards with a four-man bench until further notice.
Both pitchers were strong in their respective seven-inning starts, though Scherzer shouldered the loss, his second this season despite allowing just four earned runs over 28 2/3 innings. The Cardinals ambushed him for a first-inning run when Matt Carpenter and Jason Heyward opened the game with first-pitch hits. Carpenter scored on a wild pitch, though Scherzer then steadied and went on to retire 15 batters over his next 53 pitches.
WASHINGTON -- After taking down a Cy Young runner-up (Johnny Cueto) in his first two starts, Cardinals starter Michael Wacha outpitched a Cy Young winner (Max Scherzer) in Thursday's 4-1 win over the Nationals, while quietly building a case for his own inclusion in the discussion of the league's elite starters.
He's not there yet, largely because he lacks the longevity of success that either of those pitchers has attained. But in showcasing an expanded pitch repertoire, Wacha is positioning himself to be on his way. He limited the Nationals to one run on five hits while striking out a season-high six and teasing with a curveball that manager Mike Matheny later described as "nasty" and a cutter that is allowing him to navigate through innings more efficiently.
WASHINGTON -- While it was a largely forgettable defensive series for Matt Adams, the Cardinals first baseman found a bit of redemption with his offensive contributions.
On Thursday, those included a tiebreaking single to left off Nationals ace Max Scherzer with two out and two on in the sixth. Jason Heyward scored on the hit, giving Adams his third RBI in two games and helping push the Cardinals toward a 4-1 win over the Nationals.
WASHINGTON -- Pete Kozma insists he never did hear the boos raining down on him as he was introduced in a spring game at Space Coast Stadium last month in Viera, Fla. Several others picked up on it, however, and found humor that a player whose career has limited highlights still haunts one team's opposing fans.
It was Kozma, of course, who capped the Cardinals' improbable comeback victory over the Nationals in Game 5 of the 2012 National League Division Series. At the time of his game-winning, two-run single, he had just 92 Major League at-bats to his name. Since then, he's hit just .214 over 500 more.
WASHINGTON -- Though they frittered away an early five-run lead, the Cardinals, propelled by second baseman Kolten Wong, struck late to steal a 7-5 win over Washington on Wednesday and even a three-game series at Nationals Park.
Wong had his second straight three-hit night, this time delivering a two-run homer in his first at-bat and giving the Cards the lead back with an RBI double off Blake Treinen in the eighth. In between, Wong provided a reel of defensive gems. His most impressive two came in succession as he closed the fifth and opened the sixth by ranging far to his right (past the second base bag in the case of the latter) and making perfect, off-balance throws to first.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. Benjamin Standig is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
WASHINGTON -- Without any evening plans upon the team's arrival in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Kolten Wong instead nestled into his Ritz-Carlton hotel room and pulled out his iPad.
On it, he can cue up video of any Major League at-bat he has ever taken. He didn't want to look at just any, however. Wong had his eyes on those he took last October, when he excelled with seven extra-base hits in eight postseason games.
WASHINGTON -- The Cardinals' decision to carry Carlos Villanueva on their Opening Day roster meant that for the first time in his four-year managerial tenure, Mike Matheny would begin a season with a defined long man in his bullpen.
Villanueva's presence was crucial in an April 12 extra-inning win, as he threw 45 pitches to save the bullpen from being overtaxed. He was called upon again in Tuesday's extra-inning game, though that outing didn't last nearly as long as he had hoped. Yunel Escobar ended the Nationals' 2-1 win with a two-out homer in the 10th.
WASHINGTON -- With the ease-in period for Major League Baseball's new pace of play initiatives winding down, the Cardinals continue to alert players who violate various parts of the new rules so that they can be cognizant of those infractions before they will be subject to fines.
Those fines will begin in May, which is why MLB has been providing clubs with the names of players not in compliance since the start of Spring Training games. The intention was to offer everyone a chance to adjust old habits before there were consequences. The new rules include restrictions on when a hitter can step out of the batter's box and how long a pitcher has to warm up between innings.
ST. LOUIS -- Left-hander Marco Gonzales will miss his next start due to tightness in left shoulder, general manager John Mozeliak said on Wednesday. As a result, Gonzales has been placed on the seven-day Triple-A disabled list.
Mozeliak described the move as "precautionary," and added that Gonzales felt the discomfort while playing catch, not during his most recent start on Monday. Gonzales, who was competing for a place in the Major League rotation a month ago, threw 91 pitches over six innings in that outing and allowed two earned runs and six hits. He is ranked by MLB.com as the organization's best pitching prospect.
WASHINGTON -- Last week at Fenway Park, Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts made a spectacular catch to rob Nationals batter Bryce Harper. The broadcasters couldn't do much more than ooh and aah and show the replay as many times as they had time for.
Those limitations began to dissolve Tuesday night at Nationals Park with the official unveiling of Statcast, Major League Baseball Advanced Media's bold leap into a high-tech future, when previously unimaginable aspects of the game will be measured, compiled and compared.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
WASHINGTON -- Halfway through the month-long voting period for the Franchise Four campaign, four Cardinals Hall of Famers have taken the early lead as fans choose the most impactful players in franchise history.
Of the eight Cardinals on the ballot, Stan Musial has received the most support. Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and Ozzie Smith round out the top four vote-getters to this point. Also up for consideration are Dizzy Dean, Rogers Hornsby, Albert Pujols and Red Schoendienst.
WASHINGTON -- Yunel Escobar's home run in the 10th inning helped the Nationals defeat the Cardinals, 2-1, at Nationals Park on Tuesday night.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Tuning into MLB Network on Tuesday night was a given based on the fact that the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals opened a series in the nation's capital and offered a possible preview of an intense postseason matchup that was capped with Yunel Escobar's 10th-inning walk-off homer, lifting the Nats, 2-1.
The fact that it marked the live television debut of Statcast made it simply historic. And a lot of fun.
Statcast was off and running during Tuesday night's 2-1, 10-inning Nationals win over the Cardinals, and so was Jon Jay.
The revolutionary technology that tracks just about everything and everyone on a baseball field made its televised debut on the MLB Network showcase game between the Cardinals and Nationals in Washington, D.C., and Jay, the fleet-footed St. Louis center fielder, made the most of the statistical spotlight with a defensive game to remember.
It marked the 26th four-hit game of Holliday's career and the sixth time he's reached base in a game five times while tallying four hits. The last of his knocks was the biggest, as it capped the Cardinals' comeback against closer Drew Storen by driving in Matt Carpenter as the tying run.
WASHINGTON -- On a night when the Cardinals scored just once despite establishing a season high in hits and placing at least one runner aboard in every inning, manager Mike Matheny, following his team's 2-1 loss to the Nationals, struggled to pinpoint many obvious missed opportunities.
Sure, there was a bases-loaded chance in the fifth that went untapped, but the rally had been entirely concocted with two outs. And aside from Matt Carpenter scoring the tying run in the ninth, it actually marked the only time the Cardinals advanced a runner to third.
WASHINGTON -- Under the shadow of the Washington Navy Yard and approximately 30 miles from the United States Naval Academy from which he graduated, Mitch Harris added another title to his name on Tuesday. He is already a lieutenant. Now, he is also a Major Leaguer.
A day after learning from his Triple-A manager that he had been called up to the big leagues, Harris joined the Cardinals in Washington. The fact that the summons brought him back to the nation's capital was noted by many, though general manager John Mozeliak emphasized that this wasn't merely about filling a narrative.
ST. LOUIS -- When the Cardinals open a three-game series in Washington on Tuesday, they'll do so with a Lieutenant in the bullpen. How fitting a setting for Mitch Harris' first big league callup.
Nearly seven years after graduating from the United States Naval Academy and a little more than two years removed from wrapping up five years of service in the U.S. Navy, Harris received a new summons. This one was to the Majors.
ST. LOUIS -- Long after the fireworks had gone off and the Cardinals had offered their congratulatory high fives following Saturday's win, the Busch Stadium grounds crew prepared the field for the second game of the day's doubleheader.
There was a fresh set of player introductions, another rendition of the national anthem and new video board material. All this for a pair of local high school programs -- in this case, Marquette Catholic (Alton, Ill.) and Hillsboro (Mo.) -- whose day would be highlighted by playing on the same field as the city's Major Leaguers.
Matt Carpenter's hot bat at the top of the Cardinals' lineup earned the third baseman National League Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career.
Carpenter led the Majors with seven doubles, and he hit .480 last week. The third baseman was tops in the NL with 22 total bases and second with a .880 slugging percentage. Carpenter also collected five RBIs and scored four runs.
Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
What is art? Is it a pretty painting of fruit hanging in a museum? An assembly of forms and shapes on a canvas? Those three people soaking in blue Jell-o outside your apartment and yelling about "THE FUTURE?"
Well, we can put that debate to bed now, because we just found the only thing that anyone will ever consider art again: This guy's chest.
ST. LOUIS -- A half-inning after the Reds squandered a bases-loaded opportunity against Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals capitalized on a leadoff double by Jon Jay in the eighth to break a tie and position themselves for a series-sweeping 2-1 win at Busch Stadium on Sunday night.
Kolten Wong's one-out sacrifice fly was plenty deep to score Jay, who had moved to third on a productive groundout by Yadier Molina. Those eighth-inning at-bats represented the Cardinals' only ones with a runner in scoring position against Reds starter Mike Leake, who had retired 20 of 22 after allowing a leadoff homer to Matt Carpenter.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
ST. LOUIS -- Having used closer Trevor Rosenthal in five of the team's last seven games, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny decided before the first pitch was thrown on Sunday that someone other than Rosenthal would have to throw the last.