PITTSBURGH — Cardinals offensive and defensive stars Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado were out of the starting lineup together for the first time this season, except July 26-27, when they didn’t go to Toronto because weren’t allowed to enter Canada because they weren’t vaccinated against COVID-19.
Some managers wouldn’t have had the courage to do so on Sunday with a club’s season result still at stake. But manager Oliver Marmol said: “I think we’re going to score a lot of points today.
“Obviously you tend to score more when ‘Goldy’ and Nolan are around, but you also enjoy the rest and those two guys have been extremely tough with no days off (other than designated shots). If they can all two recharge for 48 hours (Monday is a scheduled day off) and run another run, I think that benefits us more than having one today.
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“We looked at the situation a lot and thought that regardless of how (Saturday) went (7-5 win), both would be off today.”
The Cardinals, without those two pivots, were held to three singles for eight innings before Albert Pujols and Tyler O’Neill managed to score a rally in the ninth inning.
“It was a gamble,” Marmol said afterwards. “I felt good in this composition. But I’m happy that Albert played today.
Goldschmidt and Arenado had cleats and jerseys on, just in case.
“But we didn’t get to the part where I would have used them,” Marmol said.
Arenado said he should be ready to play the remaining 21 games.
“I hope it will be the last (day off),” he said. “Getting two days can only help me from a physical point of view and from a mental point of view for this last push.
Wainwright celebrates his birthday
The date of 9/11 will forever be etched in the minds of Americans because of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. On a much more modest note, Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright made his major league debut four years earlier. late September 1. 11, 2005.
Wainwright, caught by Mike Mahoney for the only time, pitched the ninth inning of a 7-2 loss to the New York Mets at Busch Stadium II. It was Wainwright’s only appearance at this stadium. Victor Diaz hit a two-out, three-run homer against Wainwright to put the game aside.
As 9/11 activities unfolded at PNC Park on Sunday, with Wainwright as a spectator, he was asked if this would be the last 9/11 we would see him in uniform.
“I don’t know yet,” Wainwright, 41, said, offering his standard line. “If it was, I wouldn’t tell you. It seems like a lot of the hype comes with telling people.
Does it seem so long ago that his esteemed career began?
“Some days I think, ‘My God, that’s really overflown,'” he said.
There are days like Thursday and Friday when he flew to his home in Georgia for his daughter Bailey’s Sweet 16 birthday party. He missed Friday’s game here.
“I remember holding her like a Cabbage Patch doll on the World Series stage in 2006,” Wainwright said. “It’s amazing how quickly it disappeared. There are certain moments when I throw around when I think, “It’s been a long, wonderful career.”
But there are those many times Wainwright remembers when he was unable to return home and be with his family on special occasions. He remembers going home to Georgia only once during the season – when he injured his Achilles tendon in April 2015.
Bailey was celebrating her 16th birthday with her high school friends in Georgia, where she often lives with her grandmothers during the season.
“You know how high school friends are. I don’t want to take her out of this,” Wainwright said. “I’ve already made (his children) miss a lot of things, so I can’t do that anymore. I’m not going to make them miss anything else.
Nootbaar saves the game – before Pujols wins it
Right fielder Lars Nootbaar broke an 0-for-20 skid with a single and walked twice. He also made back-to-back stellar catches in right field to avoid damage in the eighth inning. On the first, he dove to take a hit off Ke’Bryan Hayes, avoiding a collision with center back O’Neill. On the second, he backed up and grabbed Michael Chavis near the wall.
“Those two games – that’s the game right there,” Marmol said.
Game-winning pitcher Chris Stratton, who only faced those two hitters, said, “I gotta (Nootbaar) a steak dinner or something. He’s been doing it since I’ve been here. The score doesn’t matter. The situation doesn’t matter. He just goes full throttle. As a pitcher, you have to respect that.
O’Neill, discussing the first take, said: “We both had a pearl on that ball. But I saw it out of the corner of my eye and got out of there right away.
Nootbaar said the first take was the most difficult due to O’Neill being there.
“He’s a brick,” Nootbaar said.
“(Nootbaar) played outfield at Gold Glove for us,” Pujols said. “If any of those balls had landed, it would have been a huge round for them.”
Quintana holds the club record
Jose Quintana, despite allowing only one run and throwing only 82 pitches, was replaced with two outs in the sixth inning by Jordan Hicks. He continued his streak of allowing two or fewer earned runs in eight games, which is a team record (since 1912) for a pitcher making his first eight starts with the team. In two of those games, however, he failed to pitch five innings.
Quintana was a popular player with the Pirates, and in his honor, other Pirates starters in this series have taken the mound to Quintana’s music since he played here.
“I was surprised,” he said. “I really enjoyed it.”
Hudson exceeds 100 shots again
Dakota Hudson made his second minor league start for Memphis on Sunday, going 7⅓ innings, giving up six hits and three earned runs in a 9-2 loss to Norfolk, which he beat 12-0 with an 8⅔-inning effort at 109 locations on Tuesday. Hudson, who threw 106 shots on Sunday, is then expected to throw a doubleheader Saturday at home against Cincinnati.
Marmol said he has yet to see video of left-hander Steven Matz’ one-inning and 35-pitch out Saturday night at Class AA Springfield. Matz allowed three hits and two runs and walked one on his second rehab outing while recovering from a torn knee ligament.
“I like to see where the misfires were and where the contact was,” Marmol said. “Sometimes you go out there and get beaten up and it doesn’t matter. Sometimes you go down there and you do well and you get up here and you get beat up. So I don’t attach much importance to the result itself.
Matz is scheduled for another rehab outing on Tuesday, either in Springfield or Memphis.
Meanwhile, left-handed reliever Genesis Cabrera, trying to get back to Memphis, allowed five hits and three runs in 1⅔ innings on Sunday.
Burleson gets the first shot
In his ninth major league game, Alec Burleson, who was tearing up the International League, got his first hit – a line-in single – in the eighth. He said his grandfather, who had come from the family home in North Carolina, was there to see him.
Burleson said it took a weight off his shoulders.
“It looked like a thousand pounds,” he said.