Mar 12, 2012; Jupiter, FL. USA; St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong (89) heads to first base with a game winning RBI single against the Atlanta Braves at Roger Dean Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Braves 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

Rants Daily: Win some, lose some

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The St. Louis Cardinals won a split-squad game against the hapless Atlanta Braves 5-4 yesterday at Roger Dean Stadium. Their counterparts didn’t fare as well in Viera, Fl., where Cardinals Part 2, lost to the Washington Nationals 8-4.

Mar 12, 2012; Jupiter, FL. USA; St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong (89) heads to first base with a game winning RBI single against the Atlanta Braves at Roger Dean Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Braves 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

Garcia, more than Miller, will be an important factor for this season. With Adam Wainwright still working his way back from Tommy John surgery and the neck issue facing Chris Carpenter, the 25 year old lefty is going to need to step up his game. Miller is expected to be in Triple-A Memphis all season, so while the results are discouraging, they have little impact on the Cardinals season.

There were several positive notes from the games from the hitting side of the ledger. In the game versus the Braves, Carlos Beltran was at DH in his second start of the spring and recorded two hits. Daniel Descalso continued to produce with a hit and two runs scored. He is hitting .462 this spring with a .611 OBP. Second base prospect Kolten Wong was inserted as a replacement late in the game and made the most of his opportunity. In his first appearance at the plate he laid down a sacrifice bunt and in the second at-bat he stroked the game winning single.

In the game against the Nats, the hitting star was David Freese, who hit his first home run of the spring. Matt Carpenter had three hits and Yadier Molina collected two.

CARPENTER MAY NOT BE READY FOR SEASON OPENER

According to Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Carpenter may end up missing his first start of the season. He has yet to resume a throwing program and wasn’t exactly pushing it hard prior to the injury. He is weeks behind the rest of the group now, not days. The Cardinals have invoked their plan B which is stretching Lance Lynn out in anticipation of Carpenter missing time.

BELTRAN STILL NURSING SORE RIGHT SHOULDER

While Beltran enjoyed some time at the plate yesterday and is in today’s lineup, he has yet to play an inning in the field. He has been nursing a sore shoulder which according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, he claims is something he deals with each season. One thing is for certain, Beltran deals with a multitude of injuries to the point that they’re expected and that is not going to just go away. Further, once the regular season begins, there are zero opportuntities to be a DH. Also, if he’s had shoulder issues each season, what’s to say there is not an underlying problem here? Lingering shoulder soreness would also preclude him from manning center field.

SANCHEZ FANS FIVE

Eduardo Sanchez struck out five Nationals’ batters yesterday which accounted for each of the outs he recorded. In 3.2 innings this spring he has 9 strikeouts and has yet to allow a run.

MOTTE BLOWS SAVE OPPORTUNITY

Jason Motte came into the game in the top of the ninth inning to try and notch his first save of the spring. He gave up a one-out walk and then a triple which knotted the score at 4. He got the next two batters to end the inning. Wong picked him up in the bottom of the inning to give Motte the win.

TODAY’S GAME

Thanks to Langosch, here is today’s lineup and pitching schedule.

  1. Daniel Descalso (SS)
  2. Skip Schumaker (CF)
  3. Carlos Beltran (RF)
  4. David Freese (DH)
  5. Matt Adams (1B)
  6. Yadier Molina (C)
  7. Matt Carpenter (3B)
  8. Tyler Greene (2B)
  9. Erik Komatsu (LF)

Pitchers: Adam Wainwright, Maikel Cleto, Brandon Dickson, Marc Rzepczynski, Victor Marte, J.C. Romero

Descalso is outplaying Greene and Schumaker in every facet of the game so far. I still don’t think that Schumaker is a viable permanent option at second base considering his ability to play the outfield. Lance Berkman and Rafael Furcal are noticeably missing. Berkman has a total of 6 plate appearances in three games this spring and Furcal has played in two games. There is no word as to why they are not in the lineup again. Wainwright is set to make his second start this spring. If the other starters are any indication, Wainwright will get anywhere from 40-50 pitches today.

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Tags: Adam Wainwright Brandon Dickson Cardinals Carlos Beltran Chris Carpenter Daniel Descalso David Freese Eduardo Sanchez Erik Komatsu J.C. Romero Jaime Garcia Jason Motte Kolten Wong Lance Berkman Lance Lynn Maikel Cleto Marc Rzepczynski Matt Adams Matt Carpenter Rafael Furcal Shelby Miller Skip Schumaker St Louis Cardinals Tyler Greene Victor Marte Yadier Molina

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