I haven’t watched a game in over a week now, but I manage to check the scores now and then and I have noticed that the Redbirds are 6-1 since I’ve been gone. If this keeps up, you guys are going to have to take up a collection for me not to come back. 🙂
I’ve met some local people who are into cricket, so we’ve been discussing that and baseball. One girl didn’t know anything about baseball, so I was trying to explain the rules. It was quite amusing, because when trying to explain something I would use a baseball term, which of course she didn’t know. The thing that they were most surprised about was when I said the most runs you could get out of one swing was 4….and THAT is only if the bases are loaded. Which of course I had to explain what "loaded" meant.
Well, the Cardinals are doing well, 5 1/2 games ahead of the closest competition and almost twice that to the 3rd closest team. So, that all makes me quite happy. But, we are getting ready to play a 4 game series against Chicago. As good as we are and as bad as they are, for some reason, this is a team that can give us problems. A 4 game sweep would be great, but I’m not picky….I’d settle for 3 of 4.
Also, since I’ve been gone, I see that Detroit has lengthened the gap even more between them and ChiSox. And, Minnesota continues to be hot, because they’re not tied for 2nd place in that division. Being that I was a Minnesota resident for over 4 years and attended a lot of games at the dome, I am definitely pulling for the Twins. They’re only a half game back for the Wild Card and if they can’t catch the Tigers, then I would love to see them get the AL Wild Card.
And of course the Cubs are 2nd to last in terms of the run for the NL Wild Card. So basically, all is well in the world.
Weaver starts it off tonight. Maybe he’s a secret Cubbie killer. 🙂
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. 😉
- 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.
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.
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.
Yay for afternoon games. I spent most of my day today watching the Cards game yesterday, so I’m glad for the chance to watch their game live today…..that is assuming that I don’t get blocked from MLB.TV. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
My main comment is rather obvious, but I’m still happy about it. Everyone knows the top part of our order (well, Encarnacion is a little iffy right now….how are you going to leave that many guys on base??) is the best their is. You face Eckstein, Pujols, then Edmonds or Rolen in some order and that’s tough even for the best of pitchers. But, sometimes the bottom half of the order isn’t what you hope. The Cards got better with this as the year went on last year, but I feel that this year the bottom half of the order has the potential to win a lot of ballgames for us. Last night was a prime example. Yes, Pujols went deep, but he also got cut down at the plate on a play that shouldn’t have happened. Molina came through huge. At the beginning of last year, I dreaded having guys on base and someone like Molina coming up. More often than not, he didn’t come through. Towards the end of the last year, my trust in him went way up and now I feel that he is just as trustworthy as most of the other guys to have up in the clutch. And, I think we all can agree that Skip is getting better all the time. He wants to be a big leaguer and it’s obvious he’s anxious to show everyone why deserves to be. This is going to provide for some great competition and is only going to make the team stronger and the bench stronger. And, Miles is obviously not letting us down.
It was tough to see Mulder not get the win though. He pitched six really strong innings and only made that one mistake to give up the homer in the 7th. Keep in mind, Carp did the same thing, in fact more than once, but got a lot more run support than Mulder did. But, a win is a win. Hopefully Marquis can keep the momentum going and start us off right with a sweep. That momentum going into the Chicago series can only help. Now, if only Izzy can not give me a heart attack, every time he pitches. He saves more than he loses, but it’s often a lot more scary and interesting that I can handle.
The only other game I caught from yesterday was the Twins game, but I’m glad I did. I didn’t know the end score when I started watching today, but was disappointed to see them get down 4-0 early. Then they tied the game and it only got better from there. Even though I said in my last post that I would like to see the Blue Jays do well (and I still do), my loyalty lies with the Twins and they have gotten off to a rough start. So, it was nice to see Hunter do his thing (at the plate and on the field…he made a great running catch in the outfield) and the other guys pitch in.
I’m posting this late, so I don’t know if anyone will read this before the series, but here’s my question. Molina was the hero last night, but what about tonight? Who will drive in the winning run? I’m assuming the Cards are going to win of course, so I’m going to say Rolen. I don’t think he’s done beating up on his former team. (To the fans who boo him, I say, go ahead. It just makes me appreciate him that much more…..we really missed him at 3rd last year.)
So, who do you think will drive in that winning RBI? If you’re a Phillies fan reading this, feel free to answer the question with someone from your team.
Game time = 25 minutes.
Hoping for a sweep,