the Redbirds have picked up their game. For a moment there it looked pretty bad
as we went from being ranked 1st in E.R.A. in April, to 3rd
in May, to a couple of days ago a heartbreaking 20th. Currently we
are 12th in June and moving down the rankings with less then ten
days to go in this month.
pitchers are doing great. I have to admit that I’m getting as excited to see
Jaime Garcia on the mound as I am to see Wainwright or Carpenter. Not only that
but our bats are warming up as well. Matt Holliday seems to been hitting the
juice (cool your jets, the new Gatorade G series, not the dreaded ‘S-word’)
hitting 4 home runs in the past 3 games. God it feels good to be a Cardinals
will say I was worried for a minute there. Talking to my cousin, a Chicago
native Cubs fan (I think he is adopted), he told me a week ago welcome to the loosing
teams. I didn’t want to start nothing by maybe saying something about his
mother, my aunt and godmother, so I decided to just keep quiet until the Birdos
came out of that slump.
Brendan Ryan and Matt Holliday playing like Cardinals
we are crossing the border to Toronto for a series against the Blue Jays. I
know crossing the border to Mexico for a series in the beach might be more
interesting, but I have no say in the team’s schedule. But I will say this,
leading the division by a game and a half, with one of the meanest bullpens in
the league and a scary lineup, its easy to see why,
With these Cards, I’m all in
Yesterday’s game was not a pretty sight for Cardinals fans who prefer pitching. It just wasn’t our night. The worst off was Kyle Lohse who seemed as if he could not get anything right. After the game he went on to say “It was one of those games where, from the first batter on, it was a battle”. Leads were handed over from team to team through the game with the Diamondbacks holding the last one in a 9-7 win.
I don’t know how many apologies my two fans will accept, but I will still offer them. I fell asleep at the beginning of the season and did not show my enthusiasm on this humble page. Yet, if your willing to keep reading, I’ll try not to disappoint you.
First of all, apologizing is a little too much to ask for. If you are still reading this, and are one of my two loyal fans, thank you, I really appreciate your time. I’m looking to write more about the Cardinals and the Major League this off-season. I know we are still in the playoffs, but for me the season is over (does not mean I’m still not following the remaining games).
This weekend was fall break for my university and my grandparents came to visit. As extreme baseball fans as they are, we had to visit Busch Stadium. I have to say, that even for fans that frequently go to games, like myself, the $10.00 per person tour is definitely worth the money. I always seat in the cheapest seats I find in the bleacher sections behind our bullpen (yep, I’m a college student). Discovering and learning about the stadium as much as possible was awesome. Seeing the field from the radio room, and the TV room motivates me to become a sports broadcaster. Standing on the field, and looking around, imagining being Albert Pujols or Yadier Molina or Jim Edmonds or Matt Holliday or Brendan Ryan or any Cardinal, getting up the plate under the cheers and shouts of about 46,000 fans. The experience rocked my world. I still left with the hope of running the bases and entering the locker room, but its off limits during these tours. Even though I couldn’t try to imagine myself running the bases for a triple (which is hard given that I’m probably as slow or slower then Yadier Molina), the Busch Stadium was worth every penny.
Our tour guide was perfect. He kept on talking and talking about the Cardinals, which was music to my ears. He mentioned the greats and all the facts about the great Redbirds. I now know the story of how they became the Cardinals and the St Louis Browns and everything that has happened in this city regarding baseball. I also saw the luxury boxes and the party rooms, the press box and the radio room, and the restaurant for those humble fans that purchase the annual $14,000 tickets; after seeing the stadium from their seats, and knowing they have valet parking and a restaurant better then many in St Louis for every game, these people get a lot of bang for their buck. Only thing I regret is, that since I was in awe, I forgot to take pictures. I only took some pictures with my phone on the field, and I wanted to share them with you.
With these Cards, I’ll go all in.
The feeling… you know what I’m talking about? That feeling
that’s in the air as you leave the stadium, turn of the T.V., log off MLB.TV,
and your team is getting away from the series sweep. Everyone is smiling, funny
jokes are heard on the parking lot, everyone is a gentleman in the subway, and
it’s all because their team won three games in an exciting sweep. Yeah, I don’t
have that feeling. Last night was a heart-breaking, soul-crushing, moral-killer
loss against the Houston Astros. My feelings of revenge for the Astros reach an
intensity strong enough that I ended up boycotting my Minute Maid juice this morning
and go with a Budweiser (actually I just had a glass of water, but the
Budweiser would be nice).
Tuesday’s game didn’t hurt as last night’s game did, we lost and had no chance of getting back those runs we trailed,
finishing the night in a 11-6 loss. Last night we lost 4-3 in a nail biter
ending in a walk of RBI for Miguel Tejada. If it came down to pitching alone,
the Cards won the game. Chris Carpenter threw an amazing game, going eight
strong innings allowing only two runs on eight hits and two walks. He struck
out five and said: “These guys over here can play.” He added later on that it
was going to be a tough battle the rest of the season. I strongly agree with
Mark DeRosa put up the first run of the game with a solo homer off Roy Oswald in the fifth; that was his third home run in two nights.
Two innings later with the game tied 1-1, Molina hit an RBI double bringing in
Ryan Ludwick that scored when Iván Rodriguez couldn’t hang on to the ball. As
the game went on the ninth inning, the Cards had a one run lead; which Chris
Coste quickly tied when Rodriguez came in on his RBI double. Then with Coste on
third and Jeff Kepinger on first, came Kaz Matsui to the plate. He hit a grounder
to second base, where Joe Thurston was playing as a defensive substitution.
What came up next was the decision that produced the outcome of the game. If
you see the play, when Thurston gets the ball you notice that Brendan Ryan
moved up to second base, waiting for the double play, Kepinger stopped mid way
afraid of being tagged, and Matsui was starting to run towards first. In my
opinion Thurston had the double play in the bag. Instead he threw towards home
to get the sure out; however, that brought Miguel Tejada to the plate that went
on to hit a walk off RBI to end the game.
Molina hits an RBI double to take the lead 2-1 in the 7th
After the game Thurston said “it looks like we might have
had a chance at two.” He went on to add to his explanation of his decision,
“but when I got it I kind of bobbled it a little bit. And I wanted to make
sure. If we don’t turn it, game over. I just wanted to make sure I got the sure
out.” Thurston was in the best position to make that decision, and one of the
reasons we can’t criticize him is, if baseball where so easy, why aren’t you
out there in the Majors. He did get the out, in a moment of doubt he made the
decision that surely kept the game going and giving his team a chance in extra
Coming into the series everything was A.O.K. perfect. We had
a ‘strong’ two game lead and little to no fear of seeing that lead wiggle away.
Currently with 51-46 record, we have a one run lead on the Chicago Cubs (48-45)
and the Houston Astros (49-46). The only positive thing I can think of right
now, is that we are playing one game tonight against the Nationals (28-66).
After that it scares me heading into Philadelphia for an away series against
the defending champs. Adam Wainwright (10-6, E.R.A. 3.01) faces rookie pitcher Collin
Balester (3-7, E.R.A. 5.51) tonight at 6:10 CT. The Nationals have lost seven
of their last ten; I’m hoping it is rather easy to win the game. Like Carpenter
said, it will be a tough battle to win the division. The Redbirds have a good
team, and if we could afford to get swept and still be in the lead we must be
doing something right, that’s why,
With these Cards, I’ll go all in.
One likes to think that my team is better then yours and
that there is no way you can beat me with that talent on your team. Sometimes I
make this mistake. But the thing is, a team’s victory-winning streak-loosing
streak does not really come from great players. Look at the Yankees this past
couple of years, I’m not saying their a bad team, just that with the kind of
names on that roster, they should have at least won once, maybe this year is
their year. Still, a team with heart and that’s hungry for the title will get
it. Just like the Astros are doing moving up the standings and threatening the
first place Cards. I want to present to you a video, made by the writers of Red State Blue State, an awesome blog
you should all check out. They did this video called JESUS HATES THE CUBS which is pretty funny, you should watch it when you want a good laugh.
Carpenter doing work
Before I speak about last night’s game, I’ll give a brief
summary of the games I haven’t written about. I apologize to my four loyal
fans, but I’m getting better at what I do, at least trying. I’m reading a book
about Tony La Russa, and another about Roger Angell’s work. Hopefully I will be
done by the end of this week and there is some improvement to be seen in my
writing. It all takes time, I’m new at this and I’m no expert, just a humble
amateur baseball enthusiast.
Since the All Star game the Redbirds have won and lost two
games. We started the series against Arizona with a great victory, Pujol’s
hitting two home runs and Carpenter pitched eight shutout innings ending in a
6-1 victory. Saturday’s game did not go as planned, with the Diamondback’s ace
pitcher Dan Haren on the mound, there was little offense the Cards could
produce. They fell 4-2 to Arizona and lost the second game of the second half
of the baseball season. Sunday’s game was an incredible performance for the
Puerto Rican pitcher (nice!) Joel Piñeiro, who helped his own cause by hitting
a 2 RBI double to get some runs on the scoreboard. On the mound he was nothing
but heat, allowing one run on five hits and striking out three in seven
Last night was bad luck for the Redbirds, as all their
chances of getting back that one run lead failed. But they did not fail
horribly or it wasn’t the case that they had no chance. They were close; it’s
just that the Astros played a better game. The Cards lost 2-3 in a
heartbreaking failed attempt to score in the eight, and the last inning ending
in a double play. Kyle Lohse couldn’t keep the runs down allowing three of them
on five hits. The Cardinal’s attempts to get the offense running weren’t strong
enough and came short. The good thing is that the Astros were four games
behind, and the Phillies, allowing the Cards some wiggle room with their loss,
pulverized the Cubs.
Mark DeRosa is back from the DL and the Cards are still
leading the NL Central followed closely by the Chicago Cubs with a two game
deficit and the Astros and Brewers with a three game deficit. With so many
games left, the division is still up for grabs with four teams so close to each
other. I would say this is what we want to see in baseball, obviously with your
team the one who comes out number one, but it is still great to see a race for
winning the division.
Tonight we face the Astros again with pitcher Todd
Wellemeyer (7-7, E.R.A. 5.56) facing Wandy Rodriguez (9-6, E.R.A. 2.81). Pujols
is still the leader in home runs and RBIs and the Cards still have an amazing
lineup. Mark DeRosa was a great addition and with Troy Glaus recovering in the
minors I am interested to see how Tony La Russa handles having both players on
the team. We have a great manager being one of three that have 2,500 victories
under their belt, and the leader in the Bigs with 34 HRs and 90 RBIs, that’s
With these Cards, I’ll go all in.
There are a few things that tingle me up and make me feel all warm and fuzzy. Two of them are the Home Run Derby and the All Star Game. I don’t mean it as if I get warm and fuzzy watching all the players, not that there’s anything wrong with that; but I like sitting back, opening a beer, and watching the best ball bombers hit the balls like the ball was Jimmy who stole their lunch money in the fourth grade. It was obvious who the crowd was rooting for. When Pujols was introduced Busch Stadium was going nuts! It’s awesome to see your number one guy representing your team as one of seven players in the whole league chosen to participate. The players on tonight’s home run derby were:
Yesterday was one of the rare beauties baseball has, double headers. Do you know that feeling of not getting enough baseball for one day, then God blesses you with a second game to watch. Today was one of those days, with the two final games of this Cubs Cards series. The series ended in a tie, the first game won by the Cubs 7-3, and the second by the Cards 4-2.