Cards' Isringhausen could be done for year

If the St. Louis Cardinals are going to seal the deal in the tight NL Central they may have to do it without their closer.

According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Jason Isringhausen will not pitch this weekend and could be done for the year due to pain and inflammation in his arthritic left hip.

The right-hander blew his 10th save on Wednesday and then told the club that issues had flaired up with the hip.

"It's just gradually gotten worse and worse," Isringhausen told the Post-Dispatch on Thursday. "I've never had this much problem with my control. The other day [Wednesday], I had no idea where the ball was going.

"It's frustrating because even the outings when I don't give up runs it seems I really struggle to get my three outs. Just my body makes it hard to get three outs consistently."

The Cardinals plan to treat the problem this weekend and then the pitcher will meet with team physician George Paletta on Monday. Isringhausen told the newspaper he expects to get a cortisone shot and discuss his options for the rest of the season.

Isringhausen had surgery to repair the lining of the joint after the Cardinals' 2004 World Series appearance. He had lubricant injected into the problem area earlier this season, but it's become increasingly more difficult to pitch.

Isringhausen has a 4-8 record with 33 saves and a 3.55 ERA, but the 10 blown saves leads baseball.

"It's hard to be part of something for this long and then not be a part of it at the end," he told the Post-Dispatch. "If my not pitching helps the team out, then that's what I need to do. If I go out there and stink every time, then, yeah, I shouldn't be pitching.

"I don't need to be going out there and wasting games for a team that has worked so hard. I'm not going to jeopardize all that we've worked for just to try and make a comeback. I have a lot of things to think about."

In the meantime, either Braden Looper of Adam Wainwright appear to be the leading candidates to close out games. Looper was the closer with the New York Mets before signing with the Cardinals as a set-up man.

Looper has an 8-1 record, while Wainright leads the team with 16 holds.