Reds Vs. Cardinals: St. Louis Falls Short Of The Sweep, Takes 2 Out Of 3

The St. Louis Cardinals see their win streak end at four games after losing 6-3 to the Reds.

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15 Total Updates since April 17, 2012
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Jon Jay Injury: St. Louis Cardinals Outfielder Sprains Right Shoulder

The St. Louis Cardinals lost their starting center fielder on Thursday afternoon as CF Jon Jay left the game with an apparent shoulder injury. According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the injury will put Jay on the sidelines for the time being:

Jay, the starting Cardinals center fielder for the second straight season, has hit 2 home runs to go with a .402 weighted on base percentage (wOBA) so far this season. In 2011, he hit 10 homers with a .333 wOBA through 503 plate appearances.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more coverage, check out SB Nation's Cardinals and Reds blogs, Viva El Birdos and Red Reporter. News and notes from around Major League Baseball can be found on Baseball Nation.

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Lance Berkman Injury: Matt Carpenter Replaces Berkman Mid-Game Vs. Reds

The St. Louis Cardinals could have another Lance Berkman injury problem on their hands: The slugger was removed from their Wednesday night game vs. the Cincinnati Reds in mid-inning, with Matt Carpenter coming in as a pinch hitter. Carpenter, the current rookie sensation, struck out against Mat Latos and came in to play first base in the sixth.

According to BJ Rains Berkman slowed down on his first-inning run following David Freese's double:

Berkman's been dealing with a small tear in his calf since legging out a perhaps-inadvisable triple early in the season; he had just returned on Tuesday. Berkman played 145 games last year, his most since 2008, while hitting .301/.412/.547; in seven games so far, he's hitting .348 with two doubles, a triple, and six walks, for a .348/.500/.522 line.

Matt Carpenter, who will be the first line of defense at first base until Allen Craig comes back, has hit .409/.400/.818 in 22 at-bats; he hit the game-winning sacrifice fly Tuesday.

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Mat Latos: What's Wrong With The Cincinnati Reds' Ace Import?

Two starts into his Cincinnati Reds career and we're already asking the question: What's wrong with Mat Latos? The awkward answer to these questions, in the middle of April, is usually: Nothing much. They were asked about Matt Holliday, they're being asked about Albert Pujols now, and usually it ends up not mattering. The right question is a variant: What could be wrong with Mat Latos, whose peripherals are bad and his results worse?

1. Home field disadvantage. Latos began his career in the San Diego Padres' Petco Park, which falls only a little short of its reputation as an authentic recreation of the Deadball Era, sans racism. Latos wasn't especially outstanding at Petco—his career ERA there, in 31 starts, is 3.11, and at 0.8 per nine innings his home run rate isn't particularly low. It's unlikely that the park didn't help him at all, but it hasn't had an enormous impact on his numbers to date; his career road ERA is still 3.57.

What else could be to blame?

2. He could be hurt. His velocity is hardly changed from 2011, so if he is we don't know about it, yet.

3. It's probably nothing and Reds fans are worrying over nothing. Oh, and Cardinals fans are exalting over nothing. Latos—like Adam Wainwright, set to pitch for the Cardinals the next day—is probably just fine. He was unlucky enough to have two bad starts in a row right after they reset everybody's numbers for the season.

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David Freese Injury: Freese Back In St. Louis Cardinals' Lineup Tuesday Vs. Reds

The St. Louis Cardinals will get their World Series totem back on Tuesday: After an irritated finger left him unable to properly grip the usual baseball implements David Freese is in the lineup Tuesday vs. the Cincinnati Reds, according to Rick Hummel. Freese is perhaps the only third baseman on the team hotter than Matt Carpenter—in addition to his 2011 playoff heroics, Freese was hitting .404/.424/.688 over his first eight games of the season. He'll bat fifth, behind fellow returnee Lance Berkman.

Since the postseason began last October Freese has been on the run of a lifetime, hitting .400 across 95 at-bats with eight home runs after hitting .297 with 10 home runs in 333 regular season at-bats. It's left Cardinals fans wondering just what a healthy David Freese really looks like, and Tuesday he'll get four or five plate appearances closer to showing us.

For more up-to-the-minute St. Louis Cardinals overanalyzing and neuroses, visit Viva El Birdos, where you'll find like-minded Cardinals fans, if you also like worrying too much and talking about the St. Louis Blues' playoff run.

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Lance Berkman Injury: Berkman Starting For Cardinals Vs. Reds Tuesday

Lance Berkman's injury was especially dramatic—he injured his calf legging out a triple—but it looks like it wasn't too serious: The St. Louis Cardinals' first baseman, who's appeared in five of their 10 games so far, will be back Tuesday vs. the Cincinnati Reds. Rick Hummel has the lineup; Berkman's batting fourth, behind Matt Holliday, for their 7:00 matchup against Johnny Cueto.

The Cardinals, thanks to rookie third baseman and batting glove conscientious objector Matt Carpenter's incredible start, haven't missed Berkman yet; they're 7-3, atop the National League Central. But with the Reds in town it's good to have the veterans back on their feet. Berkman was hitting .375/.565/.625 himself when the injury occured; he's got two doubles and the responsible triple already in his second year as the Cardinals' surprise offensive focal point.

If you're interested in chatting with Cardinals fans during the game, and thus overthinking Berkman's every jog, hop, and limp, visit SB Nation's St. Louis Cardinals blog, Viva El Birdos.

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Carlos Beltran Injury: Beltran Due Back Tuesday Vs. Reds

Carlos Beltran is likely to come back Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds after the St. Louis Cardinals removed him from Sunday's game as a precautionary measure following a forearm injury.

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David Freese Injury: Cardinals Third Baseman's Finger Leaves Him Day To Day

The St. Louis Cardinals might have lucked into the first ever not-very-serious David Freese injury.

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