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...

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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 at ESPN.com, 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, then told the club that issues had flared up with the hip.

“It’s just gradually gotten worse and worse,” Isringhausen told the St. Louis 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.”

The Cardinals plan to treat the problem this weekend, then the pitcher will meet with the team physician 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 earned-run average, but the 10 blown saves leads baseball.

Atlanta: The Braves need to go 16-7 in their final 23 games to finish over .500 and keep manager Bobby Cox’s streak of winning seasons alive. Cox has guided Atlanta to 15 straight winning seasons.

Cincinnati: Closer Eddie Guardado will be sidelined well into next season after having surgery Friday to repair a torn ligament and tendon in his left elbow.

Houston: Roger Clemens will not make his scheduled start today against Milwaukee. He left Monday’s game at Philadelphia after five innings with a strained right groin. “He’s just not ready to go,” Astros manager Phil Garner said after hearing from Clemens, who is in Kentucky to watch his son, Koby, play for the Astros’ Class A Lexington Legends in the South Atlantic League division series.

Milwaukee: Damian Miller was hit in the head by a pitch from Houston’s Roy Oswalt in the seventh inning. Miller dropped to the ground but soon walked off the field under his own power. … The Brewers claimed RHP Chris Spurling off waivers from Class AAA Toledo, and transferred Matt Wise from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.

San Diego: The Padres purchased the contract of INF/OF Jon Knott from Class AAA Portland and made room on the 40-man roster for him by transferring INF/OF Ryan Klesko (shoulder) to the 60-day DL.

Washington: OF Austin Kearns returned to the lineup after missing two games with a strained groin. “He’s not OK, but better,” manager Frank Robinson said. “We wanted to wait to avoid possibly blowing it out and him being out for a long time.”

Seattle Times news services