ST. LOUIS CARDINALS NOTES:
RECENT REDBIRDS: The St. Louis Cardinals are playing a nine-game, three-city road trip through Atlanta (2-1), Cincinnati (2-1), and Baltimore (Sept. 11-13). Tonight, the Cardinals play the middle game of a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles, owners of the best record in the American League at 91-52. The Cardinals won five of their last eight games and are 4-3 on the current road trip after an 11-5 loss last night.
FLIGHT PATTERN: The Cardinals enter today in 5th place in the N.L. Central, 17.5 games out of first. St. Louis has spent 126 of 161 days in last place on the MLB schedule (April 26-May 19, May 29-July 7 & July 28-present). The Cardinals 63-81 record is their lowest at the 143-game mark since 1995 when they were 62-82.
DANGER ZONE: The St. Louis would need to go undefeated over its remaining 18 games to avoid finishing under .500 for the first time since 2007 (78-84). Major League Baseball has the Cardinals elimination number from the National League Central at two and postseason at six.
STREETCAR SERIES: The series between the Cardinals and Orioles dates back to when the Orioles were an intercity rival as the St. Louis Browns from 1902-53. The two clubs faced off in the 1944 World Series dubbed the “Streetcar Series” with the Cardinals rallying to win the series 4-to-2 after trailing 2-1. It was the 3rd World Series to be played entirely in one ballpark (Sportsman’s Park) and the most recent until the 2020 World Series was played entirely at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ONE LAST HURRAH!: Tonight marks Adam Wainwright’s final Interleague start of his career. His 22 career interleague wins rank T-17th all-time in MLB history (6th among active pitchers) and 2nd-most by a National League pitcher behind the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (29-6). The 42-year old Wainwright is facing Baltimore for just the second time in his career. His one career regular season start vs. the Orioles (June 17, 2017) is his fewest against any team. Aside from his own St. Louis Cardinals, the Orioles are one of three MLB teams (Texas Rangers & New York Yankees) that he has zero career wins against.
FREE WILLY!: Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras has multiple RBI in four straight games, a career-best and matches the best in Cardinals franchise history by a catcher with Darrell Porter (1985) and Walker Cooper (1942). The last Cardinals player to record multiple RBI in five straight games was Dexter Fowler (Sept. 17-22, 2017), which is also tied for the franchise record with Mark McGwire (2000), Brian Jordan (1996), Reggie Smith (1975), Del Ennis (1957), Jim Bottomley (1929 &1927), Chick Hafey (1929) and Rogers Hornsby (1922). Currently, Contreras and Atlanta’s Matt Olson both have four straight multiple-RBI games which is tied for the longest streak in MLB this season.
WHAT A LONG STRANGE TRIP IT’S BEEN: The current road trip the Cardinals are on is nine games, their second-longest trip of the season (10 games at SEA, SF & LAD in April). With a win tonight, the Cardinals would have a winning road trip of nine games or more since going 6-4 on a 10-game trip in April 2022 (MIL, MIA, CIN).
INTERLEAGUE IGNITOR : Nolan Arenado leads all National League players and ranks 2nd in MLB to Alex Bregman (37, HOU) with 36 RBI against American League opponents in his 42 games. Prior to the schedule expanding games against Interleague opponents, Arenado held the previous single-season mark with Colorado driving in 29 over 20 games in 2019.
MR. SEPTEMBER: Cardinals infielder/outfielder Tommy Edman has always increased productivity in the final month of the season. Since making his MLB debut in 2019, Edman leads all players in games played in September with 120 and trails Trea Turner (144) and Marcus Semien (131) with 130 hits in the month.
TONIGHT’S STARTING PITCHER: RHP ADAM WAINWRIGHT (3-11, 8.19)
- Makes his 20th start of the season & 477th career appearance (410th career start). Is seeking an end to his career-high 10-game losing skid (June 24-present) and career high 11-start span without a earning a win. Tonight is Wainwright’s final Interleague start of his career. His 22 career interleague wins rank T-17th all-time in MLB history (6th among active pitchers) and 2nd-most by a NL pitcher (Clayton Kershaw, 29-6). Is facing Baltimore for just the 2nd time in his career. His one career regular season start vs. the Orioles is his fewest against any team. Aside from his own St. Louis Cardinals, the Orioles are one of three MLB teams (also Rangers & Yankees) that he has no career wins against. Is one of three active players age 40+ with Rich Hill (43) and Miguel Cabrera (40). Adam is currently the 11th-oldest pitcher and 6th-oldest starting pitcher in Cardinals history. Has made 57 starts since turning age 40. Has received seven total runs of support in his last seven starts. Received 26 runs of support in his initial six starts and just 20 runs in last 15 starts since. Wainwright is one of 13 pitchers (two Cardinals) in MLB history to make 400 or more career starts exclusively with one organization. Clayton Kershaw (419) joins Wainwright as the two active. Bob Gibson ranks 6th, while Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators leads at 666. Is two wins shy of 200 for his career. With 2.1 innings pitched tonight, will reach 2,658.2 for his career and tie Bob Forsch 2,658.2 for 3rd all-time in Cardinals history. Celebrated 18.000 years/days of Major League service on August 21, the same day Joey Votto hit the 16.000 MLS milestone. Miguel Cabrera (20.074) and Zack Grenike (19.030) are only other active players to have hit that mark. Has pitched 5.0+ innings in 13 of 19 starts, with three quality starts. Has missed a total of 48 games this season. Missed the first 33 games of the season (March 30-May 5) due to a groin injury suffered while working out during the WBC Finals and another 15 games (July 5-23) due to a right shoulder strain.
LAST TIME OUT
- Suffered his career-worst 10th consecutive defeat, allowing six runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings in an 8-5 loss to the Braves last Thursday at Truist Park. Four of his runs came from solo homers by Acuña (2), Harris II, and Olsen.
DATE vs. RESULT DEC IP H R ER BB SO HR NP-S
9/7 @ATL L 8-5 L-11 5.2 8 6 6 3 4 4 104-66
BUSCH STADIUM III (2006-present)
- Has made 213 career starts at Busch Stadium III, 17th-most at a single stadium in MLB history. Clayton Kershaw (214 at Dodger Stadium) ranks 16th, while Tim Wakefield (216 at Fenway Park) ranks 15th. Has 1,201 regular season strikeouts at Busch Stadium III, tied with Dazzy Vance (1,201 at Ebbets Field) for 12th-most all-time at a single stadium. Chuck Finley (1,236 at Angel Stadium) ranks 11th. Has thrown 1,430.1 innings at Busch, tying Tommy Bridges (1,430.1 at Tiger Stadium) for 34th all-time at a single stadium. Roger Clemens (1,443.2 at Fenway Park) is 33rd.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES NOTES:
A GRAND VICTORY: The O’s defeated the Cardinals, 11-5, in last night’s three-game series opener…The Birds have scored 10+ runs in four of their last five games and a total of 48 runs in that five-game span for an average of 9.6 runs per game; marks the most runs the Orioles have tallied in a five-game span since also plating 48 from June 25 (G1)-29, 2016…Marked Baltimore’s 46th comeback victory of the season, most in MLB…Their 82 comeback wins since the start of 2022 are second in MLB, behind only the Dodgers (84). Cedric Mullins launched a grand slam off Andre Pallante in the fifth inning to give the O’s an 8-5 lead; marked his third career slam and second this season, having also hit one off Kaleb Ort on April 25 vs. Boston. Baltimore has hit six slams this year, fifth-most in MLB and their most in a season since also hitting six in 2017; the last time the O’s hit at least seven slams in a single season was 1998 (7), and the record since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954 is 11 in 1996. There have been eight grand slams hit at Oriole Park this year, tied with Busch Stadium in St. Louis for the most in MLB.
SOMETHING IN THE ORANGE: The O’s have won eight of their last nine games, 10 of 13, 14 of 18, 17 of 22, 20 of 27, 25 of 35, 28 of 39, 34 of 49, and 42 of 59…Baltimore (3x) and Atlanta (4x) are the only teams with three winning streaks of at least seven games this season…The Birds have won seven series in a row, eight of nine series, and 11 of 13 series…At 91-52 (.636), the Orioles have the best record in the AL and second-best in MLB (see box at right)…The Birds are 43-20 (.683) since the start of July, the best record in MLB during that time…The team is 153-101 (.602) since June 2022, the second-best record in the AL and fourth-best in MLB during that time. The O’s hold a 3.0-game lead over the Rays in the AL East. Baltimore’s magic number to clinch a Postseason berth is four.
SWEEPLESS IN BALTIMORE: With tonight’s game, the Orioles will have gone 86 consecutive series of at least two decisions (no ties) without being swept…According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the fourth-longest streak in MLB history, trailing the 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals (124), 1906-09 Chicago Cubs (115), and 1903-05 New York Giants (105)…Baltimore’s current streak is the longest in O’s history, ahead of 46 consecutive sweepless series from 1971-72…The Birds have not been swept in a series of at least two games since May 13-15, 2022 at Detroit (0-3), and not at home in a series of at least two games since August 27-29, 2021 vs. Tampa Bay (0-3).
STATING HIS CASE: Gunnar Henderson leads MLB rookies with 5.2 bWAR and leads AL rookies with 3.7 fWAR, 25 home runs, 87 runs, 75 RBI, seven triples, 57 extra-base hits, 239 total bases, and nine game-winning RBI, while ranking among AL rookie leaders in hits (2nd, 125), doubles (2nd, 25), and walks (3rd, 50)…According to STATS, he ranks among qualified AL rookies in OPS (2nd, .820), slugging percentage (2nd, .492), and on-base percentage (3rd, .328). His 5.2 bWAR is tied with Adley Rutschman (2022) for the best by an O’s rookie; Henderson ranks among rookie leaders in team history in several offensive categories (see box at right). He’s the third rookie in team history to record 25+ doubles and 25+ home runs, joining Cal Ripken, Jr. (1982) and Eddie Murray (1977), both of whom won AL Rookie of the Year. He is one stolen base shy of becoming the first rookie in team history with 20+ doubles, 5+ triples, 20+ homers, and 10+ stolen bases; he would be the 20th Rookie in MLB history with such a stat line, joining Arizona’s Corbin Carroll this year, and the first in the AL since Kansas City’s Bobby Witt Jr. last season. Henderson leads the team with 87 runs scored this season; only three previous rookies have led the O’s in runs – Cal Ripken, Jr. (1982, 90), Willie Tasby (1959, 69), and Tito Francona (1956, 62); the runs scored are the second-most by a rookie in Orioles history behind only Ripken, Jr. He leads the O’s with 10 Defensive Runs Saved, per Sports Info Solutions; eight of those are at shortstop, ranked seventh in MLB despite playing over 300 fewer innings at the position than anyone ahead of him. Henderson is tied for the MLB lead with four runner runs, a metric designed to evaluate the performance of runners taking extra bases, per Statcast.
FEELS GOOD TO BE HOME: The Orioles opened up a seven-game homestand last night with the first of three games against the Cardinals through tomorrow…The Orioles will host the Rays for a four-game set Thursday through Sunday, the final regular-season meeting between the AL East rivals. The O’s are 43-26 (.623) at Oriole Park, the second-best home record in the AL behind only Tampa Bay at 50-25 (.667), and fourth-best in MLB.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER: The Orioles and Cardinals are meeting for their first and only series of the season this week…It is the first meeting between the squads since the O’s took two of three at Busch Stadium from May 10-12, 2022…The last time the O’s hosted the Redbirds in Charm City was June 16-18, 2017, when they also took two of three…The Orioles and Cards have faced off 16 times since the franchises first met in 2003…The Orioles own an 8-8 record in those games, 5-5 in Baltimore and 3-3 in St. Louis.
RUN IT UP: The O’s have a +104 run differential in 63 games since the start of July, the second-best in MLB during that time behind only Atlanta (+109)…The team’s run differential is +74 in 37 games since the start of August, the third-best in MLB over that period, trailing only the Braves (+90) and Dodgers (+81)…Baltimore was +20 in the first 80 games through June 30.
BIG TIME RUTSCH: Adley Rutschman has reached safely 226 times on base (143 H, 81 BB, 2 HBP), the most by a primary catcher since Milwaukee’s Yasmani Grandal reached safely 240 times (126 H, 109 BB, 5 HBP) in 2019, per STATS…His times on base this are the second-most by a primary catcher in O’s history (since 1954), trailing only Javy López (236 in 2004)…The 81 walks are the second-most by an O’s primary catcher behind Mickey Tettleton (106 in 1990).
ROSTER MOVES: The Orioles today reinstated left-handed pitcher John Means from the 60- day Injured List (left elbow UCL surgery) and optioned right-handed pitcher Joey Krehbiel to Triple-A Norfolk…The Orioles’ 40-man roster currently has 40 players.
HAPPY JOHN MEANS DAY: John Means is scheduled to make his first Major League start since April 13, 2022 tonight against the Cardinals…After making his second straight Opening Day start on April 8, 2022 at Tampa Bay, Means left his second start of the season on April 13 vs. Milwaukee with left forearm tightness…He was placed on the 10-day Injured List with a left elbow sprain on April 14 and transferred to the 60-day Injured List with a left elbow strain on April 17…Means underwent UCL reconstruction surgery (Tommy John) on April 27, performed by Dr. Keith Meister, and missed the rest of the 2022 season…Prior to his reinstatement today, Means made six rehab starts between Double-A Bowie (3) and Triple-A Norfolk (3), pitching to a combined 1-1 record with a 3.74 ERA (9 ER/21.2 IP) and 22 strikeouts to eight walks. In 70 career appearances (65 starts), Means has gone 20-24 with a 3.81 ERA (151 ER/356.2 IP) and 308 strikeouts. From 2019-2021, he led O’s pitchers in starts (63), innings (345.1), strikeouts (297), and wins (20). Means threw the sixth no-hitter in Orioles history in a 6-0 victory on May 5, 2021 at T-Mobile Park against the Mariners; was the first O’s no-hitter since a combined effort by Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson, and Gregg Olson on July 13, 1991 at Oakland, and the first individual no-hitter by an Orioles pitcher since Jim Palmer on August 13, 1969 vs. Oakland.
STARTING PITCHER – #47 JOHN MEANS LHP
QUICK HITS: Means is scheduled to make his 2023 debut after being reinstated from the 60-day Injured List (left elbow UCL surgery) prior to tonight’s game…Left his last MLB start on April 13, 2022 vs. Milwaukee with forearm tightness; was placed n the 10-day IL on April 14 with a left elbow sprain and transferred to the 60-day IL on April 17 with a left elbow strain…Underwent UCL reconstruction surgery (Tommy John) on April 27, performed by Dr. Keith Meister, and missed the rest of the 2022 season…Made 26 starts for the O’s in 2021, pitching to a 6-9 record with a 3.62 ERA (59 ER/146.2 IP) and a 1.03 WHIP…Set career highs with 134 strikeouts and 12 quality starts…Threw the sixth no-hitter in team history on May 5, 2021 at Seattle…Named to his first career All-Star team in 2019, the lone Orioles representative…Was the fifth O’s rookie (since 1954) to be selected to the All-Star team, joining RHP Chuck Estrada (1960), 1B Jim Gentile (1960), INF Ron Hansen (1960), and C Andy Etchebarren (1966)…Finished second in American League Rookie of the Year voting, the first Orioles runner-up in the Rookie of the Year voting since 2002 (RHP Rodrigo López)… Originally selected by the Orioles in the 11th round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of West Virginia University.
ON THE MEND: Prior to his reinstatement today, Means made six combined rehab starts between Double-A Bowie (3) and Triple-A Norfolk (3), pitching to a 1-1 record and a 3.74 ERA (9 ER/21.2 IP) in those games…In three outings with the Tides, Means went 1-0 with a 2.51 ERA (4 ER/14.1 IP) and 12 strikeouts…Surrendered three earned runs-or-fewer in each of those outings…Did not factor into the decision in his most recent start with Norfolk on September 6 vs. Jacksonville…Permitted three runs on six hits with two walks and four punchouts in 5.0 innings…Threw 67 pitches, 45 strikes.
UNFAMILIAR FACES: Making his first career start against the Cardinals and second against the NL Central…Did not factor into the decision in his lone outing against the division on April 13, 2022 vs. Milwaukee, his last MLB start…In 12 career Interleague starts, Means owns a 2-4 record with a 3.86 ERA (26 ER/60.2 IP) and five quality starts.
HOME SWEET HOME: Is slated to make his first home start since April 13, 2022 vs. Milwaukee…In 37 career appearances (35 starts) at Oriole Park, Means is 10-13 with a 3.96 ERA (80 ER/182.0 IP), a 1.08 WHIP, 12 quality starts, and 153 strikeouts…Has allowed three earned runs-or-fewer in each of his last six home starts since August 22, 2021…Set a career high with 12 strikeouts on September 20, 2020 vs. Tampa Bay; later matched this mark on May 5, 2021 at Seattle.
OPENING ACT: Means made his second straight Opening Day start with the O’s on April 8, 2022 at Tampa Bay (4.0 IP, 6 H, R, BB, 5 K)…Became the first O’s hurler to
start back-to-back Opening Days since Chris Tillman started three straight from 2014-16, and the fourth O’s southpaw to start multiple Opening Days in team history (since 1954), along with Dave McNally (1969-71), Steve Barber (1963, 65-66), and Mike Flanagan (1978, ’86).
HE MEANS BUSINESS: Means threw the sixth no-hitter in Orioles history on May 5, 2021 at Seattle…Marked the first Orioles no-hitter since a combined effort by Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson, and Gregg Olson on July 13, 1991 at Oakland, and the first individual no-hitter by an O’s hurler since Jim Palmer on August 13, 1969 vs. Oakland…It was the first complete game of his career, while he became the first southpaw to throw a no-hitter in team history (since 1954)…Means’ only baserunner reached on a dropped third strike, wild pitch, and was later caught stealing by Pedro Severino; according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Means was the first pitcher to throw a non-perfect no-hitter in which the opposing team did not record a walk, hit-by-pitch, or error…His 12 strikeouts were the most by an O’s hurler in a no-hitter and tied a career high (also: 9/20/20 vs. TB)…Became the second pitcher in AL history to toss a no-hitter with 12-plus strikeouts and zero walks, joining Félix Hernández, who worked a perfect game on August 15, 2012…Named the American League Player of the Week on May 10, the first Orioles winner since Trey Mancini on September 23, 2019, and the first Orioles pitcher to accomplish the feat since Arthur Rhodes in August 1994.