Cardinals have no plans to fade away

Updated: July 20, 2008

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Aaron Miles' grand slam in the ninth inning finished off a series sweep of the Padres.

FLYING HIGH

After a surprising first half, the Cardinals made it quickly apparent they are not going away after the All-Star break. St. Louis finished off a sweep of the Padres with a dramatic win in the bottom of the ninth, thanks to Aaron Miles' game-ending grand slam. The Cardinals were behind in all four games against San Diego, yet came back to win each time.

MONDAY NIGHT BASEBALL

Brewers at Cardinals, 7:05 p.m. ET, ESPN

While the Cubs and Brewers have made deals to bolster their chances, St. Louis has rolled along. The Cardinals have now won five in a row and are in second place, two games behind the Cubs in the NL Central as they head into a series with the third-place Brewers.

Inside Cardinals' sweep
Padres Cardinals
Runs 20 30
BA .284 .326
HR 6 8
Runs (7th-9th inning) 3 14

Past Baseball Tonight Clubhouses: July 17 | July 14 | July 13 | July 9 | July 8 | July 7

FORWARD THINKING: MONDAY

Joel Pineiro • Brewers at Cardinals, 7:05 p.m. ET, ESPN: Joel Pineiro (3-4, 4.52 ERA) has given up at least 10 hits in three of his past four starts, a stretch in which he has given up 20 runs and watched his ERA jump up from 3.86. Seth McClung (5-5, 4.16 ERA) is 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA in July.

Nick Blackburn • Twins at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. ET: After posting a 5.89 ERA in June, Nick Blackburn (7-5, 3.65 ERA) has turned things around in July with a 1.74 ERA through three starts this month. Sidney Ponson (5-1, 3.96 ERA) has recorded a pair of solid performances against Minnesota this season, allowing only two runs in 14 1/3 innings. He has a win and a no-decision in those two starts.

Rich Harden • Cubs at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. ET: Rich Harden makes his second start for the Cubs. He struck out 10 in 5 1/3 innings in his debut, but walked away with a no-decision. After losing six straight starts, Randy Johnson has won his past two times out, giving up eight total hits in those two games. In his four previous starts, he gave up at least eight hits in each outing.

Complete list of pitching probables for Monday's games

NEWS AND NOTES

Johnny DamonJohnny Damon, out since crashing into the outfield wall July 4, is scheduled to begin throwing on Monday … Hideki Matsui, out since June 23 with a sore left knee, will be examined Monday.

Cole HamelsCole Hamels pitched eight innings in the Phillies' 3-2 loss against Florida. It was the ninth consecutive start in which Hamels has gone at least seven innings, the longest streak for a Phillies pitcher since Curt Schilling did it in 11 straight in 1999.


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BBTN ON THE AIR: MONDAY

TIME WHO'S ON?
10 p.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Karl Ravech
Analysts: John Kruk, Eric Young, Buck Showalter
12 a.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Karl Ravech
Analysts: John Kruk, Eric Young, Buck Showalter

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BASEBALL TONIGHT MINUTE: BIG WEEK AHEAD

SUNDAY'S NOTEWORTHY PERFORMANCES

GOOD
Ryan DempsterRyan Dempster got the Cubs their first win of the second half, tossing eight shutout innings against the Astros. He struck out seven and issued just one walk in a 6-0 win.
BAD
Octavio Dotel• Moments after being handed the lead, Octavio Dotel and Matt Thornton gave it right back in the top of the eighth as the Royals beat the White Sox.
UGLY
Kenji JohjimaKenji Johjima went 0-for-4 and left four runners stranded in a 6-2 loss to Cleveland. He is 2-for-30 in July, dropping his season average to .210.

SUNDAY DOUBLE PLAY

Every Sunday on the 12:30 p.m. ET "Baseball Tonight" show, Karl Ravech, John Kruk and Steve Phillips take part in the Sunday Double Play competition. Each of them selects a starting pitcher and a hitter to play for Sunday's games. They compete in three categories -- wins, hits and home runs -- based on the results of their selections. The results are cumulative for the season.

This Sunday's pitcher selections and results:

John: John Danks (no-decision vs. Royals)
Steve: Cliff Lee (win vs. Mariners)
Karl: Justin Verlander (win vs. Orioles)

This Sunday's hitter selections and results:

John: Jason Giambi (2 hits, 1 HR vs. A's)
Steve: Grady Sizemore (2 hits, 0 HR vs. Mariners)
Karl: Jim Thome (2 hits, 0 HR vs. Royals)

Here are the standings after the first 15 Sundays:

Wins Hits HRs
John 5 19 4
Steve 7 17 0
Karl 8 14 3

Tune in to "Baseball Tonight" at 12:30 p.m. ET Sunday for the latest Sunday Double Play selections.

FANTASY: PREVIEW OF MONDAY'S GAMES

Adam Morrison examines the pitching matchups in store for the 13 games on Monday's schedule.

Morrison also looks at current injuries and details player reports that could help shape the way you put together your roster for Monday's games. Daily Notes