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. 🙂
It doesn’t seem to matter who we play these days: White Sox, Tigers, Indians. We’ve lost to all 3 of these teams over the course of the last week and are in the midst of a seven game losing streak.
It is a good thing that we won enough games before this to take that 5 game lead over the Reds in the Central. Otherwise, we would be in 2nd place right now. As it is, we’re barely hanging on to 1st.
I don’t even have anything new to write anymore. We aren’t pitching ever and occasionally not hitting. That’s about it.
Tonight our favorite new, young pitcher with the flat cap is on the schedule. Can he live up to the hype surrounding him (at least temporarily) taking Mulder’s spot? This will be his first game in the Majors where it’s at least somewhat permanent and considered more than just a spot start.
Let’s hope him and the bats come through tonight,
Houston has gotten a dose of what the Cards have experienced the last few days. They were up 5-1 on the Sox behind a good pitching performance by their young rookie Taylor Bucholz. He only let 2 runners cross the plate during his 6 1/3 innings pitched. But, he was charged with 4 runs total, because Houston reliever Chad Qualls gave up a grand slam in the 7th inning. The Sox would go on to win it in the 10th inning.
Watching the Sox the last few days against the Cardinals and then against the ‘Stros tonight they seem a far more competitive ball club than they have at any other point this season. I don’t know why that is.
The other good news is that the Reds lost, so we can’t lose another game to them in the standings. And even better, we have the chance to gain a game to push our lead back up to 4.
The opportunity for that starts shortly as the Cardinals are playing 5 minutes against the Tigers. I’m glad that Luna is in left tonight instead of J-Rod, but it’s disappointing that Edmonds is still out.
Also in 5, mighty Mark Prior takes the hill again. You know, I think a good Prior bashing would put me in a rather good mood.
In his toughest test of the season, Cardinals top prospect Anthony Reyes was as good as you could hope for from ANY pitcher, let alone a rookie. He had a no-hitter going into the 7th inning. And, at the end, he threw a complete game, one-hitter on just 90 pitches, striking out 6 and walking none. Every pitcher in the world would kill for that line just about every night.
The problem? That one hit was a ball sizzled off the bat of Jim Thome for a home run. But when you consider that Thome has 24 homers to the league leading 25, can you fault Reyes?
It sure would have felt good to win this game after getting pounded the last couple of days. But instead we were swept, which of course, feels lousy. Where were our bats?? Even though we got smoked the last couple of games, at least we were hitting. Then we finally have a pitcher give us every chance in the world to win and we can’t do anything except scratch out a few measly hits. The Redbirds just couldn’t put any of them together to drive one across home.
It’s bad enough that we’ve done this to Carp over and over again. I hope we don’t continue to not support Reyes with the runs. We will find out though, because apparently this time he’s here to stay. At least for awhile.
Pitcher Mark Mulder who his year is aka Mark "Give up everything in sight for hits and homers" Mulder was put on the DL. Is something seriously physically wrong? Or is he blaming his mental concentration on a physical ailment? No one knows apparently, but time will finally tell. Whatever it is, I hope it gets fixed and quick. I want the Mulder that we traded for back doing his thing, winning us games. Until then, I’m ready to watch Reyes show us why he deserves to stay in the Majors long term.
Edmonds was still out after leaving early with a concussion the day before. Maybe one of these days we’ll have all of our guys back and in top form. Can anybody remember the last time that happened? We do have Pujols back and that’s exciting. I’m nervous that he might re-injure himself, but it sounds like he’s been smart and careful, so I will hope that’s the case. He lost his number one spot in RBIs (trails by 1) and is tied for the lead in home runs. I’m ready for him to take back both of those leads.
Thank goodness the Reds have starting slowing down and even after getting swept we still hold a 4 game lead in the Central.
The things we learned tonight at U.S. Cellular Field
- Thome is bad news. Here’s his line for the last 3 years vs. the Redbirds.
- I cannot stand the White Sox announcers.
- Great pitching beats outstanding hitting.
- 1-0 loss feels just about as bad as 20-6 when you’ve just been swept.
And, last but not least,
5. Cardinal fans everywhere need to start ironing their hats because Reyes is the man.
And, of course the number one thing we learned from this series? The Cardinals need better pitching. We will need a big mid season trade in that department if we even want to think about what October ball feels like.
If we’ve ever needed Carp to come through, we need him now. The 1st place Tigers are tap and we despertley need to start winning ballgames. It’s less than 3 hours ’till game time.
Ready for a Pujols blast,
P.S. It seems very crazy to me that Reyes is only about a month younger than me.
The title of my last post was, "Well, at least it can’t get worse." Technically, that was true. Yesterday, was not as bad as Tuesday’s game. The Sox scored 13 compared runs compared to 20 on Tuesday. We lost by 8 runs as opposed to 14 runs. But, when it comes right down to it….we got smoked. Both games.
Normally, if we lost by 13-5, I would say, hey, no big deal, it happens. But, it’s kind of hard to say that "it happens" when you just gave up 20 runs the day before. It’s not like this is just one bad pitching performance, one bad game or even one bad series. Those things DO happen. This is getting killed to the point of being embarassing.
Enough talk about yesterday’s game. Let’s move on to tonight.
Tonight’s starter has now been declared to be Anthony Reyes. Now, Reyes has a very interesting story. Reyes got a look last year as well as a couple of times this year filling in for injuries. He’s pitched well every time he’s been called upon. He’s pitched well in the minors. Yet, he can’t seem to earn more than a look here or there.
When reporters speculated that Reyes was the obvious choice for Thursday’s game, especially after Ponson was sent to aid the bullpen, LaRussa tried to steer conversation away from Reyes. He had pitched one so-so game in the minors and LaRussa suddenly declared him "not ready." But, now Reyes is starting. LaRussa said he didn’t want to do the "soap opera thing" with Albert and his injury, but he’s sure turning Reyes into one. Do you want the guy to pitch or not? His strikeout rate at Triple A is phenomenal. Why not let him try his hand against the big boys?
This certainly will be his toughest Major League assignment though. In his past starts, he has faced the Brewers, the Royals and the Astros. None playing great at the time he faced them.
But, tonight he will face the ChiSox. And, we all know their story. 2005 World Series Champs and playing extremely hot right now. In the past two days they have tore up Mark Mulder, Jason Marquis and our bullpen.
There are two possibly outcomes.
- He will pitch poorly and give up a lot of runs.
- He will pitch great and not give up a lot of runs.
If it’s option number 1, can you really fault him? After watching an already struggling pitching staff finally completely fall apart the last two days, do we expect less from a rookie? Yet, the way it’s taken forever for him to seemingly get noticed, I hope that if has a bad performance, it won’t be held against him too strongly.
If it’s option number 2, then everyone will pretty much be blown away. To have a rookie come up and in his 4th Major League start, do what the veterans could not? That would be huge.
So, let’s all hope for option number 2.
In other news, The Rocket is back. I’m happy that he’s coming back because I love watching him pitch. Of course, I wish it was with someone else than our constant NL nemesis, the Houston Astros. But, can even Clemens save the ‘Stros this year? They’re 6 games out of first place and playing 2 games ahead of .500. It’s not a terrible record, but it won’t be enough to get them to the NLCS this year. Not only do they have to compete with a tougher Reds ballclub this year (although don’t expect the Reds to still be playing this well come August/September), they also have to compete with the other teams around the NL making some noise this year. It’s still early and the Astros certainly have a lot of time to improve and Clemens will help in that regard. But, I don’t think he alone will save this club from finishing 3rd or maybe 2nd.
Hoping for some luck in the straight billed cap of Reyes,
Remember a few posts back I talked about the momentum we had on our side after sweeping the Rockies? Well, apparently there’s one surefire way to kill that kind of momentum. Give up 20 runs in your very next game.
For a White Sox fan who was at the game, they will be probably never see another more fun or exciting game in their lives. The thing is…..I’m not a White Sox fan. Therefore, it was nothing but 9 innings of cruel torture and agony. Well, not really because I knew how it was going to turn out.
Usually, when there’s a late game I watch it the next morning and no matter what is happening or how bad we are losing or winning, I refuse to see what the final score is. Until last night. After a few innings, I had to look. I simply couldn’t take it anymore. And, once I knew the outcome, I didn’t have to go on the roller coaster ride of, "Will we come back?" I just knew we got pounded and that was the end of it.
I actually didn’t have time to watch the whole game, but I might do that tomorrow. Despite the fact that we lost, I still like to watch the games to see how the team is doing in general. Good and bad.
What I can tell you about is Mulder. He’s terrible lately. I said in a previous post that this was a pivotal turning point for him. And, it was. He could have buoyed himself off the other starting pitchers and got himself on the right track. Instead, he pitched the worst start of the season and probably his career. Ponson has got to be asking why he’s being sent to the bullpent when Mulder doesn’t even know how to pitch anymore apparently. Oh, yeah…except that he gave up 6 runs in just one inning of relief work.
It’s so ridiculous because aren’t a team that should be losing 20-6. It’s not like we’re the Royals. We’re in first place in our league, playing .600 ball and have a great team. I’m interested to see how we fare the rest of the series with the other guys pitching.
It begins with Marquis tonight. Marquis, who has been red hot recently. It would be nice if he could get something going right for us tonight. The entire team has to be disappointed and discouraged after such a huge blowout. It takes guys who are professionals and dedicated to go out there, forget about it and win this one. That’s not easy to do. And, if the Redbirdds can pull it off, I will be very impressed with them.
Their hitting wasn’t bad at all. Every starter, save Eckstein, had a base hit. The Cards punched out 16 hits and 6 runs. Not a bad night offensively. Over half the lineup had multi-hit nights including Taguchi (2-5), Edmonds (2-3), Encarnacion (2-2), Spiezio (2-5) and Miles (2-5). Rolen hit .500 and so did two guys off the bench, Duncan and Perez.
The pitching is definitely where it broke down. But, can you give all the blame to Mulder? A bullpen’s job is one of two things. If the starter carries you into the late innings, then you finish off the job and get him the win and yourself possibly a save. If the starter has to leave early, then the ‘pen’s job is to minimize the damage and stop the bleeding. And, that is what they failed to do. Thompson came in and let the Sox score a couple more runs before he closed out the inning and ended up giving up 4 runs overall. If the bullpen would have done their job, we would have still lost 9-6, but then you’re talking a closer game and who knows what might have happened differently. But, if Mulder had done his, then we wouldn’t have had to use the bullpen extensively yet again.
It’s over now and that’s the end of it. Time to focus on getting behind Marquis tonight for a win.
Save us Jason Marquis,
I wanted to go into town last night to watch Spain play in the World Cup with the locals, but it ended up not working out. So, instead I opted to go tonight to a local hangout to watch the England-Sweden game. Having no preference for either team, I rooted for Sweden since my roommate was rooting for England. I figure it’s more fun that way.
There wasn’t a whole lot going on….it is soccer after all. But, I guess it was probably about as exciting as it’s going to get because there were 4 goals scored in all. So, we at least had the chance to cheer for our respective teams. The one thing that bothers me most about soccer is the fact that games can end in a tie. They play all that time, work really hard and still neither team gets to walk off the team being the winner.
I came home and read Dave’s liveblog of the whole event, where I learned that since they tied, both teams will advance. It was also helpful to read a soccer fan’s point of view.
As you may have noticed, I still have not converted into a soccer fan, but I’m trying to at least follow along because it is so huge here in Europe.
The best part of this game is the fact that I work with a guy from England who is married to a lady from Sweden. So, tomorrow at work I’ll be giving them a hard time. Maybe it’s good it ended in a tie. Now, neither one will be mad. 🙂
Well, after doing the soccer thing tonight, I am very ready for some good baseball. Less than 2 hours until interleague action starts for the Redbirds. Looking forward to a great series with the ChiSox.
Going to beat last years Champs,