Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Jorgensen Is Hoping to Leave Basement One Step at a Time

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Jorgensen Is Hoping to Leave Basement One Step at a Time

Article excerpt

For the Cardinals to finish over .500 would require a streak that would make the 1927 Yankees proud.

If the Cardinals won 33 of their final 49 games - better than two out of every three - they would finish 72-71. But more likely the Cardinals will win about 60 or 65 games.

Downsizing by a goal or two, manager Mike Jorgensen just wants to beat out anybody. "We'd like to catch Pittsburgh and put some distance between us and them," he said. "That's No. 1."

The Cardinals were trying to take the first step on a long road to respectability Tuesday night. They jumped ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 after six innings as they attempted to give Donovan Osborne his first win in nearly two years.

The Cardinals started Tuesday night's play 1 1/2 games behind the Pirates for fourth place in the National League Central Division.

"If you don't finish first, it really doesn't matter where you finish," Jorgensen said, "except for the wild-card thing. But just from a pride standpoint . . . I don't have any affinity for last place at all.

"I don't see gaining anything by finishing there, whether it's a draft pick, or anything."

The Cardinals, who have the second worst record in the National League after the New York Mets, would be in line for the first draft pick in 1996 if they finished behind the Mets. But Jorgensen said he didn't aspire to that. "I don't think that's anything to be real proud of," he said.

"Where we are right now, you just play day by day. But I'd rather be playing a team like the Dodgers. That will bring up the level of our play. Even if you're just playing as a spoiler, the adrenaline will be flowing."

*****

Brian Barber, a 1991 first-round draft pick who hasn't quite measured up to expectations, might get his first taste of the big leagues for the Cardinals on Friday night in San Diego.

Lefthander Danny Jackson, who sprained his ankle running the bases on Sunday, might miss a start and the Cardinals would need a pitcher to work one game of a twinight doubleheader. …

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