Matheny's decision to stick with Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma as his regular middle infielders continues to cost Skip Schumaker playing time. And that dearth of at-bats seems to be showing in the results. Schumaker, out of the lineup again on Wednesday, has just one hit in his last 15 at-bats. This month, he is 8-for-46.
"Skip is a huge part of this club. We need to get him right," Matheny said. "There's no question. But once again, we've really got to go with what we feel is going to give us our best chance today, and some guys are going to wind up on the short end of that.
"I think it's a balance of the two. We know what Skip can do, and it's just a matter of getting him the opportunity. Right now, we've got a nice thing going with Danny and he's done a real nice job."
The Cardinals will face starters Edwin Jackson (9-10, 3.77 ERA), Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 2.90 ERA) and Ross Detwiler (10-7, 3.28 ERA) during the Nationals' upcoming visit to Busch Stadium.
Washington manager Davey Johnson has already stated that he will rest several of his starting position players should the Nationals clinch the National League East title with games remaining on their schedule. That scenario could come into play over the weekend.
The Cardinals' 10-game winning streak over the Astros entering Wednesday is their longest against one team since winning 10 in a row over the Dodgers from 2005-07.