May 13: Cubs (13-24) @ Cardinals (19-20)

Jenifer Langosch/

wpid-0513141545.jpgBoth general manager John Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny offered candid comments about the Cardinals’ sluggish start to the season today in separate sessions with the media. The Cardinals enter Tuesday below .500 and having had only one winning streak of more than two games this season.

The default explanation of small sample size doesn’t work anymore either, as the Cardinals will have played nearly one-fourth of their season after tonight’s game.

“I think the record reflects how we’ve played, certainly,” Mozeliak said. “We’ve lost a handful of one-run games or close games. These blowouts have been outliers. But the fact we’re not winning baseball games is concerning.”

Matheny went a step further.

“I think our record might be a little better than what the product looks like,” he said. “I think we’re fortunate to be where we are record-wise with how we’ve played and the guys would agree with that. We’ve seen some really good. I still don’t think we’ve seen as good as we can be. What matters to us is the consistency of good, and that we certainly haven’t seen.”

The Cardinals have who they would want on the mound the day after a 12-run loss, though Adam Wainwright also still has to prove himself capable of dominating the Cubs. Of the 13 runs Wainwright has allowed this season, 10 have been scored by Chicago.

Other quick pregame items of note

  • Jaime Garcia and Tim Cooney are candidates to start on Saturday, in place of injured lefty Tyler Lyons. Before settling on Garcia, the Cardinals want to see how he rebounds from last night’s rehab start.
  • Jason Motte threw 14 pitches (10 strikes) in a rehab outing today. He’ll throw next on Thursday.
  • Sam Freeman and Jorge Rondon are here to provide fresh relief for a weary bullpen. Eric Fornataro was a victim of circumstance (he threw 39 pitches last night) and was sent down despite pitching well during his time here.
  • Lyons does not believe his injury to be too serious, but does have an MRI scheduled. He said discomfort began in the third inning last night.
  • Reading between the lines, it sounds like Kolten Wong will soon be back with the big league team. He’s swinging a hot bat in Memphis and, according to Mozeliak, has basically made his way through the to-do checklist the organization sent him down with.

Much more on all of these topics in the notebook tonight.

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