Tagged: Home Runs

And the race continues……but not just for division winners

Yes, the divison races continue, with no team having clinched yet.  And of course the Wild Card races will be continuing for some time.

But, I’m talking about the race for the MVP and Cy Young Awards.

Pujols tried to amp up support for voting him the NL MVP a 2nd year in a row the last couple of games.  Before Sunday’s game Pujols’ 39 homers was good enough to be tied for 3rd in the NL and his 109 ribbies also ranked him 3rd.

Then on Sunday, he went deep 3 times and came up just short of making it four.  (Mark Whitten anyone??)  That brought him up to 42 as well as 2nd place and within 6 of Big Ryan Howard who has been pounding the stuffing out of the ball all year long.  Then, what happens?  Howard also decides to go deep 3x.  Unbelievable.  It’s a crazy night in the majors when A-Rod going deep twice seems like small potatoes.

So, today after Miles spoiled the (apparently elusive) no-hitter of Ortiz, Pujols also decided to spoil the shutout (and as a result, the complete game) by going deep again.  But, Howard is refusing to be gained upon.  He matched Pujols once again and now is sitting at 53.  Wow.  He leads Pujols by 10 homers and 19 RBIs.

In my opinion, if Pujols finishes within striking distance of Howard in terms of the long ball and RBI total, he’s definitely got the MVP wrapped up.  I still think he’s likely to get it anyway because Howard has two things going against him.  One, his team might not make the playoffs and there is a definite bias against guys whose teams don’t end up in October.  And, two, he is nowhere near the well-rounded player that Pujols is.  Pujols is a candidate for his first ever gold glove and has played great defense this year.  Plus, he’s a great base runner and just an all around excellent baseball player.

Plus, some people casting their ballot may be of the school of though that says, "Experience is worth consideration."  Some people don’t look at just 2006, but of the career of a player.  And Pujols has proved to be the man year in and year out.  Something I think is definitely worth pointing out is that Howard, while leading in home runs, is also 2nd in the NL in strikeouts.  Well, all great sluggers strike out a lot, right?  Wrong.  Howard has 154 Ks.  You know how many Pujols has?  40.  That’s right.  40.  Howard has a strikeout for nearly every game played this year.  And Albert strikes out every four games or so.

Some are talking about the Carlos’ (Beltran or Delgado) as potential threats to win the MVP.  While they’re putting up good numbers, I just don’t think they’re quite good enough.  Pujols leads them in every category that matters.  He’s first in the NL in average, on base percentage and slugging.  Howard comes in 2nd in all those categories, with Beltran and Delgado bringing up the rear.  Have I mentioned that Pujols has done all this with less at-bats?  He missed a couple weeks early in the season and has 12 less at-bats than Delgado, 16 less than Beltran and a ******** 63 less at-bats than Howard.  You have to figure with Pujols averaging a homer for every 10 at-bats, he’d have around 6 more putting him quite close to Howard’s numbers.

So I think it comes down to Pujols and Howard.  If you’re voting on power alone, right now Howard’s your guy and some people will vote based on the two categories of homers and RBI total alone.  So I figure he will garner some first place votes.  But, I think more people will vote on the complete package, which is what the MVP represents.  So, for my money, Pujols is the winner.

Of course, any one of these guys could go on a complete tear in September and shake things up a little bit.

Of course, you might think I’m a St. Louis fan and therefore, bias towards Pujols.  If that’s the case, I’d love to hear your argument for who should be MVP.  Howard?  Beltran?  Someone else?  I’m totally open to a well reasoned argument.  Also, any suggestions for the AL Cy Young?  I don’t follow the AL as closely so I’m interested in what AL fans think.

Well, I was going to touch on the prospective NL Cy Young Winner, but it’s late and I’m tired.  So I will try to get around to that tomorrow night.

Stay tuned,

Tiffany

P.S.  As I type this, the Giants just pulled ahead 5-4 in the 10th inning.  Hopefully, they’ll win and the Reds will stay back 6 games and far away from the Redbirds.

A story about a baseball player named Bennett

I just finished watching the Cardinal game. Unbelievable! My heart is still pounding.

For anybody who needs a recap, I’d love to give you one.

His name is Gary Bennett.  In over a decade of professional ball, he has played for 7 different clubs and is in his first year as a Cardinal.  He’s the backup catcher to one of the best defensive catchers in the game, Yadier Molina.  Before this year, he had a total of 15 home runs, the most being 4 in one year back in 2002, when he was with the Rockies.  Big surprise there……Coors field.

This year he was homer-less until August 18th, when he belted a rather meaningless home run against Chicago Cub hurler Roberto Novoa in the Cardinal’s 11-3 rout of the Cubs.  To me, it was just proof of how bad the Cubs were playing.  You know, the "even Bennett hit one out" argument.  Little did I (or probably the rest of Cardinal nation) know that this was the beginning of one very very hot streak.  In the 10 days since that game, Molina has been sidelined with an injury and Bennet has now caught 5 games in that timespan.

In those five games, he has hit .692 and is slugging 1.286.  In those same five games, he has hit 3 more home runs and has been the walk-off hero twice.  If that’s not a ‘hot streak,’ I don’t know what is.

I thought it couldn’t get any better than beating the Cubs on Saturday walk-off style in the 9th.  And then there was Sunday.  Bases loaded, bottom of the 9th, one out.  Miles grounds into the fielder’s choice at home and just barely beats out catcher Michael Barrett’s attempt to turn two at first.  So, now you have the bases loaded with 2 out.  And, as hot as he’s been going, there is no Cardinal I’d rather see stride to the plate than Gary Bennett.  But, still you think….he wouldn’t dare do it again, would he?  And, then he did.  His first ever big league grand slam.  And the celebration happened all over again.

Bennett has the Cardinals 3 games up in the standings and riding high.  If the team wanted to feel motivated, I can’t think of anything that would do it better than someone hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the 9th to beat the Cubs.  And, someone other than Albert.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Albert.  We’d be nowhere this high in the standings without him.  But, I think that had he led off the inning with a homer, it would be easy to think, "Well, that’s Albert.  That’s what he does."  Instead, it was a team effort: moving runners up, hustling out throws.  When you have a true championship-caliber team, everyone pitches in.  One game it’s your big 3-4-5 knocking the stuffing out of the ball and other games it’s someone winning it was a squeeze or a tremendous pitching peformance.  And many many times, someone unexpected comes through when nobody else could.

One more thing and I’m done.  Scott Rolen is my favorite player for a lot of reasons, but tonight he was exceptional.  (And that’s saying a lot for the human vacumn cleaner over at 3rd.)  One of the best plays of the game was his single into right in the first.  Jaque Jones misplayed the ball and Rolen, hustling all the way, turned an already RBI single into a run that tied the game up.  If that had been anybody else, they would have trotted to first, then seeing that the ball had gotten past PIerre gone to 2nd and MAYBE third.  But, because Rolen hustles everything (even his home run trot), he scores on that play.  Eckstein is the only other guy I see scoring in a similar situation.

In the 2nd, he made a great diving catch for the third out in the inning.  He doesn’t make that play, it’s a fair ball that results in at least one run and maybe 2 and keeps the inning alive.

Rolen wasn’t the only one who played well.  Belliard had a very nice play up the middle and other guys as well.  But, Rolen really stands out because of his hustle and his drive.  You don’t have him being that consistent and Bennett never gets the chance to play the hero.

What a game, what a series.  A friend I played softball with back in school and I were talking today about what it’s like to be in that situation.  Bottom 9 and your team has the chance to win a big game.  The sick sinking feeling of every pitch as you watch it play out or even more gut wrenching, if you’re in the batter’s box.  And then the absolute thrill of victory.  And, I’m talking mere high school/college ball.  I can’t imagine the feeling these guys must have on the MLB level, how Gary Bennett must be feeling right now.

He and his teammates have one day off to enjoy it before coming back, tackling the Marlins and hopefully adding something to their lead in the NL Central.

Bennett_pujols_2

I don’t know about you guys, but it’s starting to feel like October.

Feeling the October magic,

Tiffany

It took Duncan one inning and one at-bat to mess up my numbers.

Ok, I just posted this long message about Chris Duncan before the game, his home run frequency and then in the first inning he goes and hits another home run.  That’s 3 games in a row.

So, I have to correct my numbers, but that’s okay with me.  I’ll take a home run any day.  So, his home run tonight has lowered his frequency to a homer every 11.86 at-bats.  Still not at Albert Pujols level, but definitely impressive.

Of course, he is likely to get another 4 or 5 at-bats tonight and assuming he doesn’t get ahold of another one, that will be pushed back up over 12.

But, the Cardinals are already looking good tonight.  The top of the first just ended and the Cardinals sent 8 men to plate and scored four runs on 2 homers.  When you give Chris Carpenter at least four runs of support, he won’t waste it too often.

It’s good to be a Cardinal fan.

Tiffany

Losing in 10 to the Cubs is not fun

Yesterday was one of those roller coaster rides that does not end on a happy note.

I was gone last night at game time, so I watched last night’s game today.  The Cardinals jumped out to a lead then the Cubs tied it up.  Then, they went ahead and the Cardinals tied the game.  And so it went.  The lead went back and forth and the game got all tied up 3 separate times.

And when the Cardinals tied the game in the 8th on an Edmonds walk and a Ronnie Belliard belt out to center field and in the 9th on a Chris Duncan home run, it felt like somehow some way, we were going to win the game.

Especially when Albert Pujols stepped up with the bases loaded.  With nowhere to put, the Cubs were forced to pitch to him and he drove the ball real deep.  So deep that Pierre was literally shrouded in ivy as he leaped up against the wall.  That was very upsetting.  You get so used to Albert doing heroic things, it almost becomes automatic.  But, this time it was not meant to be.

The Cubs would take the lead again for the last and final time in the 10th inning when Nevin hit a walk off single.

The only consolation I have is that tomorrow will be our last game this year at Wrigley.  We’ve won exactly ONE game there this year (on Friday) and I couldn’t be happier to see the place go.  The Cubs are nowhere even close for the division race or the wild card race for that matter and yet they continue to be the thorn in our side.  Especially when we play them away.

The worst part is that the pesky Reds won last night against the Pirates.  I still don’t see them overtaking us for the division, but I would feel a lot better if we just lost them completely.  The earlier the Cardinals clinch their division the better.  I don’t want to be in a race down to the last week of baseball.

In the series finale, we have Carpenter going tonight.  And always, when Carp is on the mound, we have a pretty good chance of winning.  Taking 2 of 3 isn’t perfect, but it’s sure a whole lot better than losing 2 of 3.

The Pirates and Reds are already playing.  The Pirates threatened pretty well in the first inning, but were held off by Harang.  He struck a couple of batters out and then everything was pretty quiet until the bottom of the 3rd.  The Reds hit a couple of homers and now lead to 5-0.  Ugh.

Last but not least, I would just like to say something about Chris Duncan.  He is tearing up opposing pitching right now.  It’s been quite a surprise.  He was hitting decently when I left a month ago, but he is on fire now.  He is patient at the plate and when he makes contact the ball is traveling a long distance.

And that make his home run frequency quite impressive, especially for such a young player.  He’s got 13 home runs in just a mere 165 at-bats.  That’s a frequency of at every 12.69 at-bats.

Want a comparison?  He’s second on the team behind only (who else) Albert who hits one out every 10.72 at-bats.  Not a bad guy to come in 2nd to.

The NL league leader in home runs is Ryan Howard and he hits a dinger every 10.39 at-bats.  AL HR leader David Ortiz has hit one deep every 10.35 at-bats.  So while Duncan’s not quite at this territory, he is much higher than a lot of his teammates.

Edmonds and Rolen are 2nd and 3rd on the Redbirds for home runs and their frequency is every 21.78 and 18.33 respectively.  Obviously, the more at-bats you have, the harder it is to try to keep up that sort of pace.  Which is why it makes seasons like McGwire had in ’98 (a homer every 7.27 at-bats) and Bonds in 2001 (every 6.52) even more unbelievable.

All that said Chris Duncan is turning into a very fine hitter.  He’s been improving all season and this last month especially has performed quite well.  He started hitting .200 in May, then .286 in June, up to .324 in July and is now hitting a crazy .421 in August.  He also as an OBP of .477 and is slugging .842.

I admit, I was an early critic of Duncan due to his lack of plate discipline and not so impressive fielding.  But, for now, I’m content letting him hit into the 2 spot  and watch him continue to pound the ball.  His fielding is still not AMAZING, but there’s time for that if he’s willing to try to improve.

Does anyone remember how bad Albert Pujols was in the outfield when he first started?  They tried him in a few different places, but outfield was by far the worst.  He looked awful chasing pop flies.  He finally found a home at first and every season his fielding has improved.  Almost every game, an announcer predicts he will win a gold glove and he’s made some impressive plays this year.  Dunc can do the same.

For now, we really need a win tonight over Chicago.  And Carpenter is just the guy I’d like to have on the mound to do it.  Let’s see if he can repeat his last performance, a 4-hit complete game.

Ok, game time.

Temporary Pirates fan,

Tiffany

What a week to be gone

If you keep up with my blog, you will know that I am an American currently living in Madrid, Spain.  You would also know that I have been out of the country (meaning Spain) for a little over a week.  My job doesn’t require me to travel extensively, but once in awhile, it comes up where I need to.

I am in the communications/video field and we find we are able to film most of our stuff here.  We’re pretty low-budget and traveling can get quite expensive.  But, this trip was necessary so me and the rest of the crew drove with all of our equipment from Spain, through France, through Belgium and into Holland.  I do a little bit of everything, but for the purposes of this trip, I mostly operated our new HD camera, which was a lot of fun.  But, as I said, we’re small budget.  So, I defintely do a lot of the grunt work too.

We had one day off, which I spent in nearby Germany, which as most of you probably know, is where the World Cup is being held.  And, believe me, they are well aware of this fact.  It’s all over the place.  I bought a Coke at McDonalds in the shape of a soccer ball.  They had one for six diferent countries.  Holland’s main color is orange, so you saw that everywhere.  I have some orange in my wardrobe because I’m an Illini basketball fan, so I wore that to support the country we were in.  So, it was fun getting a little bit into the soccer spirit, even if I’m not a big fan.

On to the bad news.

While I was gone, I wasn’t able to watch any Cardinals baseball.  But, I did check on the scores evey few days.  And, the news just got worse and worse.  Overall, while I was gone, the Cardinals went 2-6, including losing a series to Chicago.   Not to mention the loss of Albert Pujols.  Talk about devastating.

You can say the Cubs lost Derrek Lee or that the Yankees lost Matsui.  But, this is ALBERT PUJOLS.  Even with all the great players the Cardinals have, Albert is not only the best, but he’s the best in the league.  He crushes home runs like they’re nothing, but is still a hard guy to strike out because he plays small ball.  He’ll get a base hit or take a walk and let Rolen or Edmonds be the hero.

And, of course, being a baseball fan, as well as playing softball in high school and college, I’m extremely superstitous and I’m well aware that the 2-6 record and Albert’s injury is mostly my fault. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’d like to think that the Cardinals have enough star power to get them through this (hopefully short) stretch of Albert’s absence.  And, while I believe that to be the case, I’m not very optimistic.  I’ve been saying all year that the rest of the team needs to pick it up and that it seems we only do great things when Pujols has started it off.  And, I said quite recently that I felt the Cardinals were becoming too dependent on a Pujols home run.

Before, I left, I figured up our win ratio when Pujols goes deep.  I didn’t have time to write the intended post then, so I’ll share it with you now.

Overall, the Cardinals are 18-4 in games that Pujols has hit a home run.  And, they are 16-17 in games he has not.  That is extremely significant.  Not even playing .500 ball when the opposing team keeps Albert in the park to playing .818 when he goes deep?  That’s a huge difference.  These stats are through June 3, the last time Pujols played.  And, of course, everyone has noticed that we are 1-3 since that time his last game.

We start a series against the Brewers tonight and there’s no time like the present to get this thing turned around before it becomes too out of control.  They’re talking July as the "worst case scenario" for Albert’s return and there is absoutely no reason why we can’t still be in contention at that time or even in first place.  Getting Albert back should simply be a tremendous bonus, not our sole salvation.

The Brew Crew has slipped considerably after being the talk of the NL Central at the beginning of the year and we should be able to hopefully handle them with no problem.  The Reds, who just swept us, begin a series against the Chicago Cubs.  I know this is practically blasphemy, considering how anti-Cub I am, but I almost don’t know who to root for.  As a Cardinal fan, it’s a hard and fast rule that you NEVER root for the Cubs, under any circumstance.  But, then again, the Reds edged their way to a half game lead over us.  Chicago is so far buried they don’t have a chance, but the Reds getting swept now wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.  So, I guess I will just have to abstain and not root for anybody for that series.

Two more things.

1) Roger Clemens signed with the Astros.  Yes, I realize it’s old news, but I was gone, so I’m going to mention it now.  I expected him to return and I’m happy he has.  I think he’s a great pitcher.  I’m sorry it’s with the Astros because they will only be better with him, but I am also sorry because I think the Astros will not be a major contender this year and it would be great for Clemens to play on a top notch team as he drifts towards full retirement.

2) Who do you think will grab the NL 1st base votes for the All-Star game?  Lee has been out and with Pujols out, votes will drop considerably for him.  Pujols has over a million votes so far and leads his next closer rival Carlos Delgado by a huge margin.  But, Pujols will probably not be back by the break.  So Delgado is in 2nd, with Lance Berkman not too far behind him.  Nomar Garciappara and Ryan Howard round out the top 5.  Any guesses who the All-Star 1B will be?  My money is that Delgado will widen the gap between him and Berkman and win.  Not only is he a good player, but I think the Mets have a big enough following to lift him easily ahead of Berkman.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on that or on the All-Star game in general.  And I would love to hear your thoughts on Pujols as well.  We survived without Rolen, but we didn’t make it to the World Series.  What will happen without Pujols?

As I said earlier I’m not a soccer fan, but I think the World Cup is a lot more fun to follow than just regular games.  Plus, I’m loyal to my country and of course, to my current home for the last year.  So, go U.S.A. and go Spain.  I hope they both do well in the Cup.

And, I really hope the Cardinals crush the Brewers tonight as they make their way back to the top of NL Central.

Badly needing a Cardinal win,

Tiffany

This is why we let pitchers bat in the NL

What happens with your Cy Young pitcher can’t make his scheduled start?  Fill in with pitchers who can pitch AND hit.

Pitcher Jason Marquis hit a triple in a pinch hit at-bat in the 3rd inning.

Pitcher Adam Wainwright hit a home run in the 5th inning.

Pitcher Braden Looper hit a double in the 9th inning.

And, we currently have a 10-4 lead in the 9th and hopefully still adding to it.  All is well.

Good-hitting pitchers are awesome,

Tiffany

Matty, I love you….but I’m glad we won.

I was just finishing up my post about yesterday’s game and I lost it.  I hate that.  Tonight’s game has already started because the Cards are playing early (yay!), so I will briefly sum up what I said in the post.

Basically, if you look at this game compared to Monday’s game that we dropped to the Giants, there was a huge difference.  During Monday’s game we continually frustrated any positive attempts that had been made.  Hitting into double plays, botching hit and runs, not taking advantage when we could.

Yesterday was the complete opposite.  We stacked up on the hits and took major advantage with the help San Fran gave us in the way of walks and errors.  When a team makes mistakes like that, it is key to make something happen.  You never know when you might get another chance.

And, of course Pujols went deep.  Number 23!  And, Bonds…..well, he hit nada out of the park.

The only thing that bothers me in our wins lately is that it seems that we need Pujols to start the scoring.  If he’s having an off night, we don’t win as often.  I understand he’s a great player, but when he’s on, it seems the other guys are also.  It would be nice if they were on when he has a bad night.  Luckily for us, he’s Pujols and doesn’t have too many bad nights.

So, we’ve now hit 30 wins.

I turned the game on a little late, so I have no idea why Thompson is starting tonight instead of Carpetner.  Hopefully, it’s nothing serious and just the flu or something.  But, I’m going to see if I can find out.  (EDIT: I just found out that he has an inflamed something on his right side.  Apparently, he thinks he will be ok, but until they can find out more, Thompson gets the start tonight.  He definitely has big shoes to fill, but I think he’s up for it.)

And, because I decided I can’t be too mean to the Royals (I really do like them), I’m going to start playing Pujols vs. the Cubbies instead.  So, tonight’s score:

Pujols – 23     Cubs – 18

Also, a BIG happy birthday to my niece who is 3 today.  I miss her tons and wish I was there to help her celebrate.

Well, we’re losing so far tonight, so I better go start cheering harder.

Number 24 for Pujols,

Tiffany

Bits and pieces, plus a sweeeeeep

Thanks to everyone who came and read the liveblog as it was going on yesterday and to everyone who has come to read it after the fact today.  I noticed that yesterday (and today is on pace to be the same) I had about 3x as many hits as I had been averaging.  So, apparently people like to read live blogs.  My counter website recorded that I now have had 750+ total visitors to my site, but the counter you see on my site has only recorded barely 600.  So, I’m not sure why the discrepancy.

Anyway, the live blog was a lot of fun.  Reid did a fantasic job of the Royals side and I hope to do one again soon.  Is your team playing the Cardinals soon?  If so, let me know and we’ll talk about doing a live blog.

I previously mentioned some things that happened around the league yesterday, but let me elaborate on a couple of them now that I have some time.

  • The Cubs/Sox boxing match

I still haven’t gotten to see the whole thing, because for some unknown reason, I am still being blocked by MLB.TV for yesterday’s game.  That’s right…..YESTERDAY’S GAME.  These games are supposed to be free of blackout restrictions shortly after the games are over, so whatever.  But, from the quick highlights that I saw, I was pretty amused.  A.J. was pretty worked up afterwards and was cracking me up.  I hope all the Cubs players are suspended indefinitely.  Maybe then they will lose.  Oh, wait.  They’re already doing that.  Poor Cubbie fans. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Bonds hitting #714

First, here’s the best post his home run that I’ve seen so far.  Second, I’m glad this part is over.  I know it won’t happen, but I just want him to go away.  I mentioned in a post about Barry that on MLB’s ‘milestone tracker’ page Barry was due to hit #715 against the Cardinals in the upcoming San Fran series.  It took him so long to get to 714, they have sinced moved back the estimation for 715 to May 26 vs. Colorado.  The fact remains though, that he could hit 715 at any time.  And, it very well could be against the Cardinals, but I hope it’s not.  Clearly, he won’t be able to DH against us, so we will see how many of the series he participates in.  I imagine all since he will want to break the record in front of a home crowd.  I watched the post game interview.  He said, "Now you all can go watch Albert Pujols."  Thanks, Barry.  We will.

  • Minnesota/Milwaukee game

Both teams put up some high numbers with Minnesota coming out on top of the free-for-all.  Here’s the line score from the game.

  Minnesota 6 0 0 5 1 0 1 2 1 16 15 1
Milwaukee 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 3 10 13 3

16 runs on 15 hits for MN and 10 runs on 13 hits for Mil and 4 errors total.  Pretty unbelievable.  The even bigger fact is that Minnesota only hit one home run.  But, they had plenty of singles, sac flies and Milwaukee errors to eventually bang home 16 runs.  In addition, every Brewer pitcher used gave up at least one earned run.  That’s a problem.

Last, but not least, the Cardinals/Royals.  As I’m sure most people know by now, we swept them.  That in itself is not a big accomplishment, because as one astute Cardinal fan pointed out….Albert Pujols has more home runs than the Royals have wins.  (22 Pujols homers to 10 wins.)  I enjoy this stat so much that I think it may become a regular feature around here.

Regardless, we swept them and played some good baseball along the way.  We also played some not-so-good baseball, but since we won, I’ll skip that part.  Pujols went deep in all 3 games.  The thing with Pujols is that I try to talk about other guys a lot because everyone contributes and plays hard and everyone else talks enough about Pujols, but you can’t help it.  The guy is amazing and his numbers beg to be talked about.  He is literally crushing everyone in the home run and RBI categories.

The lineup was also a bit unorthodox for this 3rd game of the series.  According to the Royal announcers yesterday, even though Spiezio was DH-ing for the 2nd straight day, LaRussa had promised a "surprise DH" in the lineup today.  Well, it was certainly a surprise to me.  I had been gone and hadn’t even read about Chris Duncan’s callup, so it was quite a surprise when I turned on the game and saw he was in the lineup.

And, he came through with a home run in the 5th.  That was after Pujols jacked his 22nd homer of the year and before Luna also went deep.  Edmonds was also inches away from the long ball, but it was brought down at the fence by the left fielder.  He came through later, however, when they intentionally walked Pujols.  He hit a 2 RBI single to right field.  Later, the Royals would walk Pujols again.  I know he’s a dangerous hitter, but the Cardinals are doing a great job of making pitchers pay when they dare to intentionally pass Albert.  But, they keep walking him.  I guess it’s kind of a lose-lose situation for the opposing pitchers.

Going back to the unorthodox lineup for a minute.  This probably looked less like a typical Cardinal lineup than any game thus far.  Getting a day off were Eckstein (with Luna in his place) and Rolen (wiht Spiezio in his) and Encarnacion (with J-Rod in his), and Molina (with Bennett in his).  On the other side of the outfield was Bigbie and then, as already mentioned, Duncan was the DH.  Some of these reserves get more playing time than others with Spiezio filling in just about everywhere and Bennett playing more and more for Molina these days, but of what is considered the "typical Cardinal starters," the only ones in the lineup were Miles, Pujols and Edmonds.

Miles, 2B

Rodriguez, RF

Pujols, 1B

Edmonds, CF

Spiezio, 3B

Bigbie, LF

Duncan, DH

Bennett, C

Luna, SS

Yet, a look at the ending score doesn’t tell you that story.  Crushing the Royals 10-3 was more of how I felt a 1st place team vs. last place team score should look than the feeble numbers we put up yesterday.  It’s also important to know that the RBIs for those 10 runs were passed around, with 7 different guys racking up at least one.

Soup turned out a solid outing to raise his performance to 5 wins and Flores and Thompson both contributed from the bullpen.

All in all, a good day, a good series to raise our record to 29-15.  We would have the best record in baseball if it wasn’t for those pesky Detroit Tigers who keep winning.  They have won 9 of their last 10 and we remain a half game behind them in the standings.

I look forward to playing San Francisco tomorrow, where we will see several old familiar faces playing in Giants uniforms and where we will hopefully keep Bonds at bay.

Soccer fan?? Nahhh.

MLB.TV isn’t working at all now, not even for games that have already finished.  So, I finally gave in and just read the recap of the Cardinals game.  I have a little patience to watch games in their entirety even after they’ve been played, but it’s not unlimited and after waiting all day for MLB.TV to get their act together, I couldn’t wait any longer.

Looks like it was a decent game, so I’m sorry I didn’t get to see it.  I did see Albert’s home run though on stlcardinals.com’s front page.  That now makes 12 for the man.  Awesome.  It seems like he could easily break the April record now, but of course, who knows what will happen.  Slumps happen to even Albert.  (Remember the first Chicago series anyone?)  The thing with him is that they seem to be shorter and less frequent.  So we will see.

Side comment: I found a quote today that Albert made back on April 10.

               "In April, the ball doesn’t jump in any park."

Reading this amused me because clearly the ball is definitely jumping off of Albert’s bat.

My family is going down to see the new Busch for the first time this Sunday and they’re right behind the bullpen.  So, who knows?  Maybe they will get to catch a Pujols record breaking homer.

Well, since I can’t really intelligently discuss the game since I didn’t watch it, I will discuss something else.  On Sunday night I went to mSergio_1Zidane_1y first ever professional soccer game.  (Or football as it’s called here.  That can be very confusing sometimes.)  I watched the home team, the Madrid Real, squash Mรƒยกlaga 2-1.  The two goals were scored by the guys on the right.  On the left is Zinedine Zidane from France and the other is Sergio Ramos, from Spain.  The game was reasonably exciting because the Real won in the last 60 seconds of the game by Sergio’s goal.  Other than that though, it was quite boring.  All the running around in between with nothing happening.  I will definitely just stick to baseball!

Praying I will be able to watch tonight’s game,

Tiffany

Homers and stuff

There was an article on MLB.com that talked about Pujols and some of the other MLB sluggers breaking the HR record for most homers in April.  It was funny, because I had noticed that Pujols is on McGwire pace from his 1998 season.  Yet, when I read the article I realized that McGwire is not the home run leader for the month of April.  This just goes to show you that what McGwire did is phenomenal and that it doesn’t take one month of 13 homers to break a single season record.  It takes many months of doing the same thing consistently.  I don’t think it will happen for Pujols this year, but I will not be surprised if someday he does challenge the record Bonds set when he broke McGwire’s record.

So, here’s a summary of the fun home run facts that I was curious about myself and able to find online.  Gotta love the internet.

So, speaking of homers, what’s up with Chris Shelton?  He had a good start to the season and I kept figuring it would just die down.  But, now he’s up to 9.  I’m willing to wager that most baseball fans couldn’t identify him last year in a lineup and now he’s all you hear about.  There’s not a lot of talk though about his 3 triples, although I’m as equally impressed with that.  I don’t know a lot of catchers that have that kind of speed.  I know Molina sure doesn’t! ๐Ÿ™‚  Granted, I don’t watch a lot of Tigers games, so maybe it’s a lot of luck.  After all, it took him over 100 games last year to get 3.

Anybody know the record for triples by a catcher in a single season?  I think that Bench holds the RBI record, but don’t know about triples.  Maybe I’ll look into that.

Hoping Pujols breaks the April record in homers,

Tiffany