In a preview of a potential postseason matchup, the Cardinals topped the Nationals 10-9 on Sunday afternoon in Washington, D.C., snapping a four-game losing streak while moving 1 1/2 games ahead of the Pirates (who lost) and the Dodgers (who won) in the National League Wild Card standings.
David Freese, the big hero from last October, went 3-for-5 with a home run to center field and three total RBI. Jon Jay finished 3-for-4 and made two great grabs in center field. Jason Motte closed it out with a perfect 10-pitch ninth inning for his 32nd save of the season.
The Cardinals lost 9-0 to the Pirates on Tuesday, 5-0 to the Pirates on Wednesday, then 8-1 to the Nationals on Thursday and 10-0 on Friday. But the offense seems to have found new life, and the schedule gets easier when the Redbirds return home on Monday for a six-game homestand with the Mets and Brewers.
St. Louis has six games left against the Astros.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Orioles 3, Yankees 4
Giants 5, Cubs 2
Rays 5, Blue Jays 4
Angels 5, Mariners 2
Phillies 5, Braves 1
Cardinals 10, Nationals 9
Twins 3, Royals 1 (Game 1)
Rangers 3, Indians 4
White Sox 1, Tigers 5
Reds 1, Astros 2
Pirates 2, Brewers 3
Mets 5, Marlins 3
Twins 8, Royals 7 (Game 2)
Padres 1, Rockies 9
Red Sox 1, Athletics 7
Diamondbacks 1, Dodgers 2
The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that outfielder Dexter Fowler has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left forearm. Outfielder Harrison Bader was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take Fowler’s spot on the roster.
It’s not clear when Fowler suffered the injury, but he went 0-for-12 since a three-hit performance last Friday. He’s hitting .241/.333/.452 with 14 home runs and 37 RBI in 333 plate appearances this season.
Bader, 23, is the Cardinals’ No. 6 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. This season, with Memphis, Bader hit .297/.354/.517 with 19 home runs and 48 RBI in 381 PA.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.