for this game

Wainwright, Cardinals put Diamondbacks on thin ice

Sep 25, 2008 - 4:40 AM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Adam Wainwright did not have his typical control, his everyday lineup was not behind him and, unlike the team he was facing, his club had nothing for which to play. Still, the 6-7 righthander was just good enough to get the job done.

Wainwright overcame major control problems to win his sixth straight decision as the St. Louis Cardinals edged the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-2, on Wednesday.

The loss put the Diamondbacks (79-79) on the brink of postseason elimination, cutting the Los Angeles Dodgers' magic number to clinch the National League West to just two. The Dodgers (82-75) are facing the San Diego Padres.

"We have to win and they have to lose," Arizona's Mark Reynolds said. "That's the bottom line. We definitely are hurting ourselves by losing this late. That's the kind of year it's been. I know personally it's a struggle to try to score runs and give your pitcher something to work with."

Wainwright (11-3) went six innings, yielding two runs and seven hits while striking out two and walking a career-high five. Adding to his self-inflicted adversity was the fact that the Cardinals fielded a makeshift lineup with a number of big names missing.

"It was a curious game for him," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "He really didn't feel like he was as aggressive as usual. He threw a lot of pitches, he walked batters, but he never collapsed. It isn't easy out there. Some days it all comes together, but today was a very difficult game."

All-Stars Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick got the day off along with fellow starters Troy Glaus and Yadier Molina.

Instead, St. Louis' lineup featured the likes of Nick Stavinoha in Pujols' customary third slot, Felipe Lopez hitting cleanup, Josh Phelps at first base and Mark Johnson catching. It came as no surprise, then, that the Cardinals had to manufacture their runs in unorthodox ways.

They scored two runs on an error following a sacrifice attempt and another on a sacrifice fly set up by another fielding miscue.

"The key was the defensive miscues," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "They capitalized on every one of them. It's a different game if we field the ball cleanly and throw the ball and catch the ball. It's a lot closer game at the end if we field the ball cleanly and don't throw it around."

Wainwright played a major role in the Cardinals' offense. With two on in the third, his sacrifice attempt netted a pair of runs as Arizona starter Max Scherzer's throw to third base sailed wide.

"I think it just kind of sailed out of my hand just enough for (second baseman David) Eckstein not to be able to make a great play on it," Scherzer said. "That's one of those things you have to battle."

Cesar Izturis drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning and Adam Kennedy added an RBI single in the fifth St. Louis' bullpen cruised through the final three innings to preserve the win, with Ryan Franklin working a scoreless ninth to pick up his 17th save.

Scherzer (0-4) gave up four runs - two earned - and seven hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked two.

"I was disappointed that we didn't get the win," Scherzer said. "This time of the season, it really hurts. We really needed the win tonight. Early in the game, I wasn't as sharp as I would have liked to have been, but later in the game, I felt that I made some pretty good pitches. They put the bat on the ball and they got some hits off it. I can't be too upset with myself."

Stephen Drew had three hits and Chris Young added an RBI single for the Diamondbacks.

Wainwright who missed 2 1/2 months earlier this season with a torn tendon in his right middle finger, returned to the rotation in late August and has not lost yet. However, he only has been able to get past the sixth inning once in six starts since rejoining the club.

Wednesday's effort was one of his most erratic, although he managed to make the most of it.

"I was kind of battling my mechanics all night again," Wainwright said. "I think since I missed so much time there in the middle of the season, this is sort of like my middle of the season."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ARIZONA 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 8 2
    ST LOUIS 0 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 x 4 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: ARI - MAX SCHERZER, JUAN CRUZ (6TH), BRANDON LYON (8TH) AND CHRIS
    SNYDER
    STL - ADAM WAINWRIGHT, RON VILLONE (7TH), RUSS SPRINGER
    (7TH), JASON MOTTE (8TH), RYAN FRA

    Sep 24 10:59 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ADAM KENNEDY SCORED AARON MILES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A KENNEDY ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 2
    ST LOUIS 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: J PHELPS (.276, 1-FOR-2)

    Diamondbacks 2, Cardinals 4  Bot 5, 0 OutsSep 24 9:47 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY CESAR IZTURIS SCORED JOSH PHELPS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M JOHNSON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 2
    ST LOUIS 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S SCHUMAKER (.306, 2-FOR-2)

    Diamondbacks 2, Cardinals 3  Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 24 9:25 PM
  • 15
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Diamondbacks 2, Cardinals 2  Bot 3, 0 OutsSep 24 9:06 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    CONOR JACKSON HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING STEPHEN DREW.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 2
    ST LOUIS 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: A DUNN (.235, 0-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks 2, Cardinals 2  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 24 9:03 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHRIS YOUNG SCORED MAX SCHERZER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C YOUNG ON FIRST, S DREW ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    ST LOUIS 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: C JACKSON (.303, 1-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks 1, Cardinals 2  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 24 9:00 PM


  • NL
    AT ST LOUIS - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY MAX SCHERZER ALLOWED JOSH PHELPS TO SCORE, ERROR
    BY MAX SCHERZER ALLOWED MARK JOHNSON TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A WAINWRIGHT ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 0
    ST LOUIS 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: C IZTURIS (.258, 1 HR, 19 RBI)

    Diamondbacks 0, Cardinals 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 24 8:49 PM
  • 10
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    DDrake Added 10 roots

    Diamondbacks vs. CardinalsSep 24 6:01 PM