(BaseballStL) -- After using two starting pitchers in Wednesday’s 13-4 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals will rely on their depth at the minor league level to help in a major way.
Hours after Carlos Martinez was called up from the Memphis Redbirds, manager Mike Matheny let it be known he will be dipping into the youth well again for more help for the weekend series against the Chicago Cubs.
“Lance (Lynn) has the first day (Friday), second day we're going to try and help out our guys a little bit so we're going to throw Michael Wacha,” Matheny said.
Wacha will make his fourth start for St. Louis and first since June 11 on Saturday. He is 1-0 with a 4.58 ERA in his previous three starts with the Cardinals. The 21-year-old right-hander is 5-3 with a 2.65 ERA in 15 starts for Memphis this season. Adam Wainwright was previously projected to start, but will be pushed back to presumably start in next week’s series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Joe Kelly will start on Sunday.
Matheny insisted the call-up isn’t a one-and-done deal either. There will be serious consideration of keeping a starting pitcher with the club even after the aftermath of Wednesday’s mess is cleaned up.
All of this is a result from the second pitch thrown in Miller’s start. The 93-mph fastball was hit back up the middle off the bat of Carl Crawford before it caromed off Miller’s right elbow over the left side infielders for a double. Miller was taken out of the game which kickstarted a snowball effect.
The good news is Miller said he feels better than he would have felt after a full start and doesn’t expect to miss his next start. The bad news is the team relied heavily on four pitchers, including Thursday’s expected starter Jake Westbrook.
“Yesterday we were in a bind, and Jake knew it,” Matheny said. “If we weren't able to do what we did, we would be in a world of hurt today. We could have paid for a week.”
Despite allowing nine runs on 13 hits, Westbrook’s 4.2 innings pitched might have been the life preserver the Cardinals’ immediate future needs.
One day after Westbrook filled in with 108 pitches on a whim, Matheny backed off the notion that it’s expected of the next day’s starter to be ready if that day’s starter gets ousted from the game early. Such was the case on Wednesday.
“There's no policy, there's no rule. It's something that we can stay pretty fluid with.”
Let’s just hope there won’t be a next time.
JJ Bailey contributed to this story.