St Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty.

(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports)

Cardinals Offense, Bullpen Can't Support Flaherty Who Earns His Keep

Flaherty's emergence could be a key factor for the Cardinals with Wainwright and Carlos Martinez on the disabled list. ​

May 16, 2018 - 8:31 am

By BRIAN HALL ,  Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP/KMOX) - The St. Louis bullpen wasted another quality outing from rookie right-hander Jack Flaherty on Tuesday night, who was recalled from Triple-A earlier in the day with Adam Wainwright going on the disabled list. Flaherty had the longest outing of his eight career major league starts with one run allowed in 5 2/3 innings, but Minnesota beat the Cardinals 4-1.

Flaherty's emergence could be a key factor for the Cardinals with Wainwright and Carlos Martinez on the disabled list. Flaherty was cruising until the sixth when he surrendered three consecutive two-out hits to tie the game.

"It's not about proving, it's about going out and no matter what the situation is putting the team in position to win the game," Flaherty said. "I'm not trying to prove anything."

Miles Mikolas, the Cardinals most consistent starting pitcher this season, will start Wednesday's day game in Minnesota, Luke Weaver will follow him on Thursday against the Phillies when the Cardinals return home and Michael Wacha following on Friday. But Saturday is where things are still up in the air. Martinez may not be ready to pitch after the right lat strain in his last start, if that stays true then John Gant will likely get the call to come to St. Louis and make the start.

Beyond that, Flaherty has seemingly proved that he belongs to stay in St. Louis. He has a 2.87 ERA, which trails only Martinez and Mikolas in the Cardinals starting rotation, through four starts this season. Each apperance he's lasted at least five innings and only once allowed more than a single run (three earned runs against Pittsburgh on April 28). 

St. Louis has lost five of their past seven games and scored more than three runs once during that span.

"It's just a short run here, and we haven't clicked this season," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "We really haven't for an extended period of time. It's not July, it's still early in the season. It's going to come around. And until it does, it's just going to make us keep having to answer questions like these."

The Cardinals are in a tie for third in the NL Central with the Chicago Cubs, both teams have identical 22-17 records.

Tuesday night, St. Louis reliever Brett Cecil (0-1) allowed a double to Logan Morrison to start the seventh. Morrison scored on Buxton's bunt attempt when Gregerson threw the ball wide of first and into foul territory, then Bobby Wilson's two-run home run off Gregerson capped off the Cardinals third loss in three games against Minnesota this season.

The Cardinals placed Gregerson on the 10-day DL Wednesday morning with a right shoulder impingement. John Brebbia was recalled from Memphis. The Cardinals have had four pitchers go on the disabled list in the past week: Carlos Martínez (right lat strain), Tyler Lyons (mid back strain), Adam Wainwright (right elbow inflammation) and now Gregerson.