Postcard from Cardinals camp for Wednesday, March 1

By Rob Rains

Weather: 81 degrees, partly cloudy

Result: Cardinals 6, Mets 1

JUPITER, Fla. – Carlos Martinez made what could be his only start of the spring for the Cardinals on Wednesday before departing to join the team from the Dominican Republic for the World Baseball Classic.

Martinez faced the minimum number of batters, nine, in his three innings of work thanks to a strikeout-caught stealing double play after a walk and a groundball double play after a single. He threw 40 pitches, 22 of which were strikes.

Martinez will leave Sunday to join the Dominican Republic team, which manager Mike Matheny admitted is a little disconcerting because the Cardinals won’t be able to control his schedule.

“It’s more his workload, being in contact with the team, just to make sure,” Matheny said. “You always have that balance of not enough work or too much. As long as they know where he is and he is going to have to be smart.

“But when he gets out there and competes it’s hard for him to dial anything back. You are going to get everything he’s got. … You put him in those situations where there’s that kind of attention you are going to see a guy that’s all in. Hopefully he just continues to get his work in.”

When Martinez will return to the Cardinals’ camp will be determined by how long the Dominican Republic stays alive in the WBC.

Yadier Molina and Matt Carpenter also are set to leave camp within the next week to join the teams from Puerto Rico and the U.S.

Other news and notes from Wednesday:

High: Randal Grichuk hit a three-run homer in the third inning after driving in the Cardinals’ first run with an RBI double in the second. He is now hitting .500 (3 of 6) for the spring.

Pitcher Luke Weaver had to leave the game in the eighth because of a lower back spasm, a move Matheny said was precautionary. “It was better to get him out of there than try to pitch through it,” he said. Weaver said after the game his back already was feeling better following treatment, but more will be known about his status on Thursday.

At the plate:
Grichuk’s homer came in a five-run third inning. Only one of the Cardinals’ six runs was earned, with a fielding error allowing the other two runs in the third to score … The Cardinals had only five hits in the game … Dexter Fowler drew two more walks, giving him four walks in seven plate appearances so far this spring.

On the mound: Four relievers – Brett Cecil, Jonathan Broxton, Jake Woodford and John Gant – each threw a scoreless inning of relief following Martinez to the mound … Weaver retired two hitters before having to come out of the game while facing his third hitter … Austin Gomber got the final out of the inning but gave up the only Mets’ run on a home run in the ninth.

Looking ahead:
Adam Wainwright will make his first start of the spring on Thursday as the Cardinals host the Atlanta Braves.

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