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News » St. Louis Cardinals Inside Pitch 2009-04-11

St. Louis Cardinals Inside Pitch 2009-04-11

St. Louis Cardinals Inside Pitch 2009-04-11
The Cardinals had three pitchers who won in double figures last year returning to their rotation this season: Kyle Lohse (15-6), Todd Wellemeyer (13-9) and Adam Wainwright (11-3). The other two pitchers they hoped would complete the rotation, Chris Carpenter and Joel Pineiro, totaled seven wins, all by Pineiro, who was bothered by two injuries.

Carpenter hadn't won a game in two seasons because of elbow and shoulder problems, but in the last two days both he and Pineiro have posted impressive victories. The Cardinals might have that strong five-man rotation they had envisioned.

After Carpenter one-hit Pittsburgh for seven innings Thursday, Pineiro got a hard-hitting Houston lineup to hit groundball after groundball Friday night, posting a 5-3 victory with 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball.

Last year, Pineiro, who never really overcame shoulder and groin issues, lost a dozen or so leads that often became losses for a beleaguered Cardinals bullpen. But Pineiro seems intent on not letting what happened last year happen again.

"Going into the sixth or seventh inning and having a two-run or three-run lead and not being able to hold it, it's tough for a pitcher and for the guys playing behind you who get you a nice lead and you kind of blow it," said Pineiro. He said talking to Carpenter helped, with Carpenter advising Pineiro he should take every inning late in the game as if it were the ninth inning.

"You've got to lock down and bear down," said Pineiro.

CARDINALS 5, HOUSTON 3: RF Ryan Ludwick extended his hitting streak to 15 games covering two seasons with his second homer and a run-scoring double. The Cardinals never trailed but it took them three relievers, with RHP Kyle McClellan nailing down his first save of the season and second overall by retiring the final two hitters.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 11, 2009

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