Ugh

Well, this was a pretty forgettable game.  Masterson dug us into a 5-0 early that we just couldn’t climb out of.  This was Masterson’s 2nd start for the Redbirds and it was as pitiful as the first start, except this time the Cardinal bats didn’t bail him out.

But here’s the thing about Masterson.  He has some incredible sink to his pitches.  Even his fastball has big-time movement on it.  You saw that in the first inning when after getting into a bases loaded, no out jam, he escaped by striking out the 4 and 5 guys and then inducing a ground out.  Unfortunately, he continue to get himself in trouble and he wasn’t able to pull the Houdini routine again.  His Kryptonite is not being able to get the ball over the plate.  In just the two innings of work, he walked 3 and hit one guy.

Granted, he’s only a few starts removed from the DL.  So we will have to see if he can right the ship.  (Anyone else missing Dave Duncan right about now?)  At the very least, I’m hoping he can at least keep us in ballgames until we can get Michael Wacha back.

The bottom line is this: losing 12-2 is never fun, but whether you lose by 1 or 10, a loss is a loss.  So with this blowout, we lost 1 game in the standings, not 5 games.  If we can come back and take the next 2 of 3, this game won’t bother me at all.  On the other hand if we get swept, I will….well, I don’t know what I’ll do, but it won’t be good.

Moving on,

Tiffany

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That’s more like it

Ask and you shall receive?

In my last post, I said I wanted to see vintage Wainwright and the offense to continue to bust loose.  And this is exactly what happened.  It wasn’t exactly from the guys I expected, but I will definitely take it!  Wong went deep TWICE, which was a nice little added bonus in this rubber match that was solid all the way through.

Star of the game has to go to Adam though.  In the 7th inning, he had 2 on and 2 outs with the very dangerous and brand new Red Sox acquisition at the plate, Yoenis Cespedes.  Matheny came out to the mound, but I was confident he wasn’t going to take his ace out.  This is where LaRussa would drive me mad.  He would have yanked Waino without batting an eye.

Matheny told him….well who knows what.  The announcers speculated it was, “Get ’em out with the breaking ball.”  In any case, once he had 2 strikes on Cespedes, I was ready for the big, sweeping curve.  And I got it.  Cespedes was frozen, as somewhere Carlos Beltran was saying, “I feel your pain, buddy.”  It was beautiful.

Here’s a look at both of the K’s.  The Cespedes one you will have to click on to see.

Cespedes’ K

Equally beautiful was the raw show of emotion from Wainwright after the K.  I never think there’s a reason to show up the other team, looking at their dugout or pointing at them.  But I need to see the guys on my team show that they are passionate about the game.  This is what I think drives fans nuts about Matt Holliday sometimes.  He is always non-expressive (minus his mini-tirade on the called third strike a couple days ago).  Matheny even got passionate in the dugout and I love seeing that.  Obviously, you don’t want to let the emotions overtake you or become bigger than the game, and cause you to not play up to your potential.  But in a situation that big, I enjoy seeing the same emotion from these guys that I am expressing at home as a fan.

The only downside is a win from the Brewers keeps us once again 1 game back.

Love that curve ball,

Tiffany

Needing a rubber match win

This was one of those games that was painful to lose, but there’s not a lot to be upset with.  Kelly simply outpitched Miller.  Honestly, my only complaint is wondering where that Joe Kelly was when he was still suiting up in a Cardinals uniform.

But these games happen.  That’s why we play 162 of them.

Luckily, the Crew lost as well, so we didn’t lose any ground to them.  Rosenthal blew a save for his 6th loss of the year, but since he’s also leading the league in saves, I’m giving him a pass.

Tonight’s game is HUGE.  Wainwright has been very hit and miss this year.  He has a lot of wins, but when he loses, he loses BIG.  Usually, that only happens when he’s not right.  I’m hoping that’s not the case and it’s just a fluke.  I’d love to see a vintage Waino outing coupled with a lot of offense.  Holliday has been really heating up.  And coupled with the offense we are getting from Pierzynski, Adams, and even Jon Jay, things are definitely looking up for our Redbirds.

But it starts with a big win tonight!

Come on Waino,

Tiffany

Let’s try this again

I started this blog in 2006.  I was living in Europe, with little to no baseball contact.  It was my way of keeping in contact with the sport I loved most in the world.  Coincidentally, this was also the year the Cardinals won the World Series.  I blogged it every step of the way that year and had a decent number of readers.  I blogged the rest of my time in Spain, but once I moved back to the States, and was around baseball a lot more, I stopped.

With all that being said, it’s been a few years since my last blog.

However, I have missed writing about baseball and most importantly, the Cardinals.  So I decided to give it a shot again.  I’m sure none of my former readers are still around.  But maybe some new people will find my blog and hopefully you will like it!

So let’s talk Cardinal baseball!

We have a little less than 2 months to play in the season and it’s a very close race.  The Redbirds sit one game out in the division behind Milwaukee and the Wild Card race is tight as well.  The Cards are tied with San Fran at the moment, but the Pirates, Braves and Reds are all within 5 games.  So, as they say, this is baseball and anything can happen.

Tonight, we watch one of the “trade deadline stories,” unfold as two best friends and former teammates go against each other.  Shelby Miller (Cardinals) and Joe Kelly (Red Sox) were the best men in each other’s weddings last year.  But after Kelly was unexpectedly traded at the deadline, he now will have to go against his former team.kelly miller  You can’t write movie scripts this dramatic.

They’re trying to keep it light though.  Don’t tell Pete Rose, but they have a $100 bet about who will get a hit off of who first.  My money is on Kelly.  He’s the better hitter of the two.

On another note, how great has Pat Neshek been?  Yeah, he was an All-Star, but I would wager that most people outside of Cardinal fans don’t know who this guy is.  If you’re one of them, allow me to explain.

St. Louis Cardinals v Kansas City RoyalsNeshek didn’t have a team this spring, but the Cardinals signed him to a minor league deal.  He made the team as a righty specialist and man, has he been good.  He earned his 5th W of the season last night, making him 5-0 this year, with a miniscule .078 ERA.  .078!!  Are you kidding me?  He also has 2 saves to boot.  All this in 46 1/3 innings pitched in 51 games.  The Cardinals have a long line of success stories of pitchers who were okay with other teams and come to St. Louis and are great and do big things in the postseason.  He’s looking like he will be next.  And I can only hope that Masterson will be another one.

 

Miller over Kelly,

Tiffany

Me and the Cards: Back with a vengeance

So the website was down for awhile, while MLBlogs was switching over to WordPress.  So this is my first attempt to post with the new blog.  I know it basically looks the same now, with a couple of minor changes, but if I can figure this thing out, I’ll add stuff as we go along.

Too much has gone on to catch up on, so I’ll make this short and sweet and just pick up where the Cardinals are now.  And where they are is just having completed a two game sweep of the Phillies.  Not too bad considering their mammoth rotation and that we had one of our worst starters (Jake Westbrook) going.  But solid performances out of him and Garcia got the job done, together with a little bottom of the 9th excitement from Berkman.  How many times has he done that against us in his career?

The only blemish on the game was once again poor defense.  With the exception of a couple of guys, this is not a team that is going to be routinely making stellar plays.  Which means making the routine plays is all that much more important.  But that, too, has been a struggle this year.  Tonight’s culprit?  Tyler Greene.  He booted the most routine pop-up ever in the 8th inning, which led to the game being tied up.  Being that we won, I’m not as upset as I would normally be.  Although these moments make me have visions of Matt Holiday dropping the ball in the postseason.  Something needs to be done about this defense.

But in the end, it was another day, another win.  Need another one tomorrow.

Let’s go ‘Birds,

Tiffany

Cardinals vs. Cubs: Bring it on

After an off day, it’s back to work for the boys in Red.  And no better team to compete against than the Chicago Cubs.  It’s usually a pretty good series with a lot of intensity.  It doesn’t matter that the Cubs are playing under .500 and completely irrelevant this year.  It’s ALWAYS fun to beat the Cubs.

I think Brandon Phillips was jealous of the rivalry we’ve had with
most of the division besides the Reds, which is probably why he’s always
trying to start crap.  He’ll soon realize that the Reds are not here to
stay and will fade away just as quickly as they came on the scene.
cardinals_vs_cubs.jpg A Votto-less Reds team beat the the Astros yesterday, meaning they were able to pull up a half game on the idle Redbirds.  So it’s time to turn the engines on full force.  You don’t want the Reds pulling even and thinking they have a chance.

And it starts today with sweeping or at least getting a series win against the Cubbies.  Let’s go Cardinals!

First pitch in an hour,
Tiffany

The two big keys are coming through

I’ve never watched a perfect game or even a no-hitter live.  And while I watch partial innings or games of various teams, I normally only watch complete Cardinal games.  So I probably never will unless a Cardinal tosses one.  Jaime Garcia sure thought about it last night.  In the end he threw a 2-hit complete game, but I’ll take it.

One of the big keys this year for the Cardinals to be successful was Garcia being the same guy this year that he was his rookie year.  And he has yet to disappoint.  The southpaw has been nothing but dominant for the Redbirds this year, tied for 3rd in wins, 3rd in ERA and 9th in strikeouts in the NL.  Not to mention being only one of two guys to throw to complete games and the only one to throw 2 shutouts.

The other big key was Lance Berkman.  Could he stay healthy?  Could he be the threat he once was?  Check and check.  Berkman has been tearing up the league, leading in RBIs (32), 2nd in average (.392), tied for 2nd in home runs (10), and 4th in runs scored (25) and the season is barely a month old.  He easily has to be one of the most feared hitters in the NL right now.  And it doesn’t hurt that the guy who is leading the league with a .410 average is hitting right in front of him.  In fact the these two are also 1-2 in slugging percentage as well.  What pitcher wants to face that?  Albert’s not hitting like he once was, but having him be the 3rd best hitter on a team isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  And at the end of the year, his numbers will be right there.  The offense has been absolutely torrid.

Watching this team this year has certainly been frustrating at times (nearly every 9th inning), but it has also been a lot of fun, watching them hit well, score runs and have fun themselves.  I rarely saw that last year.  They are winning series after series (except when they split a 4 gamer with the Fish) and leading the league by 1 1/2 games.  Time to sweep the Brew Crew and hope for a few more Cincinnati losses.

Having fun,
Tiffany