Monday, June 30, 2008

bogg(s)les the mind

Mitchell Boggs, another product of the Cardinals' farm system--drafted in the fifth round in 2005--and otherwise unknown hard-throwing righty, has been nothing but impressive since making his first ML start for the Redbirds this season.

June 10 at Cincinnati pitched 5 innings, allowed 2 runs on 4 hits/3 walks/no strike-outs earned his first W (1-0) 

June 15 vs Philadelphia pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowed 4 runs on 6 hits/2 walks/3 strike-outs no-decision, but the team won 

June 21 at Boston pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowed 3 runs on 5 hits/2 walks/1 strike-out picked up his second W (2-0) 

June 28 at Kansas City pitched 6 innings, allowed 1 run on 4 hits/4 walks/6 strike-outs earned his third W (3-0) His last start (Saturday), he seemed to be struggling at first (allowing 3 walks in the first two innings), but recovered and improved as the innings wore on. 

That seems to be his pattern over the season, as well. He made his ML debut as a reliever and wasn't sharp for that outing, but every time he takes the mound he seems to get better. Maybe he's just more comfortable as a starter, or maybe he needed time to find his rhythm. Either way, he's been a terrific addition to a rotation that hasn't turned out like anyone could have foreseen.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

all's well that ends well

Poor Looper. That tenth win eludes him still. He had a rough outing and got laid into pretty good in the fourth inning before being replaced on the mound by (shudder) the bullpen. Against all odds, however, five relievers threw for the Redbirds and held on to win (Pérez picked up the W). 

The Cards went 5-4 for the road trip and 2-4 on the season against KC. 

And it was Jason LaRue day at Kauffman Stadium. He was involved in a HUGE collision at the plate (in which he held onto the ball and got the out), and then hit a 2-run homer and later a 2-RBI triple.

Chris Duncan had two hits and and an RBI in the game. 

Albert hit home run #19, leaving him now ONE shy of 300 for his career. 

Schumaker did his best Rick Ankiel impression by throwing a bullet to LaRue to get the runner trying to score. 

Aaron Miles has now gotten hits in 11 consecutive games.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

let's try that again







He was available in the bullpen last night, but not used. Ron Villone pitched instead, and gave up 2 runs, effectively sealing our fate. But that's okay, and not just because the Cubs lost yesterday, too. 

KC is on some kind of tear through the National League. They've won 13 now. I hate interleague play. 

I feel bad for Piñeiro. He can't buy a win lately. Either he pitches well and the offense fails him, or he pitches like dirt and the offense fails him. Anyone else sensing a pattern here?
The only thing worse than our hit-or-miss offense, though, is our give-'em-up 'pen. And the latest bad news from our "bad news bullpen"? You guessed it, looks like Izzy is headed back to the DL. Said he felt something "pop" in his knee while pitching the other night. 

Dan mentioned during the last series that the bullpen owns HALF of our losses this season, and Bernie Miklasz says that we've lost 11 games in which we had 7th inning (or later) leads. Bernie (who is fast becoming my go-to for innovative suggestions regarding the team) would put Kyle McClellan in against lefties (until a better LOOGY can be found), and has little faith in Mulder's abilities in a relief position. All I know for sure is this: as a fan, it's depressing enough to watch the team lose, but it's even harder to watch the bullpen tear apart a hard-fought lead. I can live with a hard nine, just not a late inning collapse.

Friday, June 27, 2008

asg (the g is for "gag me")

I did my part. I have three e-mail addresses and I voted my 25 allowed times for each. As difficult as it was, I did not vote for Chris Duncan. I love him and would love to see him in the ASG, but he's just not playing like an all-star right now. So instead, I wrote-in Skip Schumaker.

I hope everyone out there in Cardinal Nation does his or her part as well. Honestly, I'd prefer not to see any of our guys wasted on the all-star sham (for two reasons, actually*), but by the same token, it's an honor for them to be selected. So until I can come up with the solution to this problem, I'll pretend it's just an award ceremony and hope to see some Redbirds representing the NL.

*Reason #1: they could possibly get hurt and then have to miss REAL games that count for their team; and reason #2: the ASG is the biggest load of horse-$@&% in the history of organized sports.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

not-so-fond farewell

Mike Parisi is getting on my nerves again. If I were his wife, I'd divorce him. If I were his manager, I'd send him down to AAA (or maybe even AA). 

Kyle Lohse did not pitch his best game yesterday, but we fought back and had the lead four different times before McClellan finally surrendered the winning run on an RBI base hit after a no-out double. 

Today was supposed to be different. Wellemeyer was back, ALBERT was back (in the DH role), and we had a score to settle. 

Well, Todd pitched a gem, Albert had four hits and a walk, and our defense was sharp. Unfortunately, Parisi loaded the bases and walked in the winning run in the bottom of the tenth, and that was all she wrote. 

We lost the game, lost the series, and now head off to Kansas City to face a team that is dominating interleague play (and swept us at home not too terribly long ago).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

don't get a big head

You know what's fun to do after winning? Read the opposing team's press. It's funny how complimentary the writers can be about the team that beat theirs. The Cards are a good team, but to hear David Mayo of The Grand Rapids Press talk, you'd think Tony LaRussa was the second-coming and the Cardinals some kind of underdog golden boys.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

don't assume anything

Once again, I spoke too soon. Our starting rotation is far from predictable, and every time I presume I know how things are going to go, I am proven wrong.
Mark Mulder has back spasms and won't make his rehab start (the one that would have determined whether he was ready to start in Kansas City).
The good news, though--and maybe I shouldn't even say it--is that Todd Wellemeyer is probably going to start Thursday for game three at Detroit. (Don't get your panties in a twist, I said probably.)

Monday, June 23, 2008

holding my breath








Against Kansas City.   

Mark Mulder.    


Joe Strauss said so. 

Here's the history: Mulder was acquired by the Redbirds between the 2004 and 2005 seasons in a trade that sent Dan Haren to Oakland. (This was later regretted by everyone in the Cardinals organization.) 

He pitched well in 2005, posting an overall ERA of 3.64 in 32 starts. He spent a lot of time on the disabled list in 2006, then returned to the majors and gave up nine runs over three innings in what was to be his second-to-last start of the season. 

After rotator cuff surgery, he came back in late 2007 and once again pitched terribly, going 0-3 in three starts. 

He had more surgery (with everyone keeping their fingers crossed), hoping to be ready to go in 2008, but has had numerous setbacks in the minor leagues. 

At this point, he claims to have a found a better, more effective release for his pitches, and Dave Duncan seems optimistic about the possibility of Mark contributing at some point before he dies.

mmm, meaty

David Brown has a way of putting my thoughts into his articles. Time to break out the aluminum foil hat. Anyway, here's what he wrote about the series in Boston (which the Cardinals dominated):

"It figures that a Kennedy would make good in Massachusetts...."

"...add the '2008 Cardinals' to the list of things that could survive nuclear war."

"Mike Parisi did pretty well in relief, then the Cardinals lost about 12 guys so he had to start a couple of games, and ever since then he's become 'the guy Redbirds fans don't want to see come in because the game's about to end badly.' He's now 0-3 with an 8.06 ERA, and the Cards are 3-8 when he appears."

"Aaron Miles went 5-for-6. All singles. No runs, no RBI. Reached second base once. Weird!"

Sunday, June 22, 2008

two outta three ain't bad

I'm trying to stay positive in the face of a heartbreaking 13-inning loss, but it's hard. 

Piñeiro was sharp. 

Our bullpen (with one glaring exception) looked terrific.

Izzy found his groove. Maybe he's on the path back to the place where he doesn't have to load the bases before striking out two in a row. 

Our offense faltered just a little, but if you really want to zero in on the play that defined the game, you have to go back to the "triple" (that was really an error) when Ankiel literally fell down on the job. If that catch gets made, the run doesn't score and the Cards don't have to play catch-up. 

My hero of the game: Adam Kennedy. He seems so much more at-home in AL ballparks. He drove in the run that put us back in a tie game, he made a couple of really important defensive plays, and tried to drive in the go-ahead run (when Duncan was tagged out at home plate). Well, we won the series. On to Detroit.

Troy speaks

"You take the best hitter out of any lineup, it's going to leave a big mark, I don't care what team it is. But the last two days were examples. The home runs are great, but we moved runners, we got hits when we needed to get hits, we drew walks, we did things we needed to do to be successful."

Saturday, June 21, 2008

more minor league talent

Nick Stavinoha is hitting .346 and slugging .519 at AAA. He has 10 home runs, 15 doubles, and 50 RBI.
 He was selected in the 7th round by the Cardinals in 2005.
He will be the ninth player to make his ML debut for St Louis this season. (Kyle McClellan, Rico Washington, Brian Barton, Mike Parisi, Chris Pérez, Joe Mather, Mark Worrell, Mitchell Boggs.)

the eternal question

Another home run day for the Redbirds. Miles hit his first of the year, Ankiel went deep as well, and Glaus hit the Cards' first grand slam this season.
Mitchell Boggs continues to surprise me with his ability to get batters out. The way he pitches gives you the sinking feeling that something bad could happen at any moment, but for the most part, it doesn't.
My question of the day: How do you get swept by the Royals at home (last place team in their division and second-worst record in the whole AL), and then go to Boston and take the first two against the Red Sox (the team with the best record in the AL and the second-best in MLB), not to mention get over them by a 6-run margin in the second game? Don't think too hard about it, though. It's going to be a long road trip.

take 'em deep

Jim-jam hit two home runs in the fourth inning today against the White Sox. That's one way to ease the strain on a sore foot--just jog it off. The Cubs as a team scored NINE in that inning. They went on to win 11-7. They apparently have some sort of witch doctor-voodoo thing going on that prevents any visiting team from winning at Wrigley. It's getting harder and harder to balance being a Cardinals fan with being a Jim Edmonds fan.


It was fairly frustrating not to see the game last night. FSN Midwest, usually reliable, failed me by being out-of-service for the duration of play. I watched the gameday play-by-play on (thank you,, and I guess I could have listened on the radio (even though that didn't occur to me until the eighth inning or so), so I knew what was going on, but missed all the actual game action.

Yadi was the Cards' DH. It sounds funny, but (1) it's a good way to get him in the game without risking him behind the plate, and (2) who else ya got? Miles? Barton? Both are good hitters, but not any better than Yadi. In other words, he's as good a choice as anyone.

Duncan has GOT to get this figured out. A ground-out RBI is not the ideal way to score, especially from a guy who hit 22 home runs last year, but his last two RBIs have been exactly that. I can't tell if he's just not seeing the ball, or if his swing is different than what's worked for him in the past, but something's wrong. I love you , Duncan, which makes it even harder to watch you continually strike out and miss good pitches.

Three home runs (LaRue, Schu, and Yadi) and a ground-out/fielding error RBI (Duncan) provided all the offense for the Cards. Kyle Lohse pitched an exceptional six innings, only giving up 2 runs, and left the game with a 4-2 lead. Randy Flores loaded the bases in the seventh and had to be pulled before he retired a single batter. Then Springer came in and rescued him with a double play and a strike-out, and only allowed one run to score. Franklin pitched two innings for the save, and while he did give up a run in the bottom of the ninth, he was able to hold onto a one-run lead for the Cardinals' win.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

just one problem

Looked at our DL lately? With the recent addition of Anthony Reyes, we have an entire--and pretty sharp--five-man rotation on the "disabled team".

1. Chris Carpenter
2. Mark Mulder
3. Matt Clement
4. Adam Wainwright
5. Anthony Reyes
(Kelvin Jimenez as a back-up in case anyone gets healthy)

And with Albert Pujols there for a few more days, I'd pick our 15-day DL over, say, the Seattle Mariners any day.

wow . . .

How do you get swept by the Royals? I'll tell you. Don't score more than 2 runs in a game, then make sure your bullpen bends over and lets them score.

I've been thinking about the Albert situation. All the national sports shows talk about how lackluster our offense is without him. Heck, even our local broadcasters go on and on about what we're going to do while he recovers. And I admit, Albert is a great ball player. In fact, he's the best we've got. Besides having a .330 lifetime average and close to 300 career home runs, he can field, he's an excellent team leader (and he gets paid more than anyone else on the team). But the way everyone talks, you'd think he'd been hitting .500 or .600 with 185 home runs on the season before he went on the DL. Obviously that's not the case. So why is it that without him we can't scrape together enough runs to beat KC even once? 

Here's my theory. Albert is el hombre. He (as I may have mentioned) has a .330 lifetime average and close to 300 career home runs. And while he hasn't necessarily been carrying the team (we do have some other players who can hit the ball), opposing pitchers worry about Albert waaaay more than they worry about Ryan Ludwick or Troy Glaus, even if Ludwick and Glaus happen to be swinging hot bats. Albert, being Albert, throws pitchers off their game just by standing in the batter's box, in the on-deck circle, or even on the top steps of the dugout. Just knowing that Albert will pick up a bat against him at some point is enough to get inside the opposing pitcher's head. Therefore, when you put Albert on the DL and take the bat out of his hands, pitchers can focus on the hitter in front of them without the distraction. And when you add to that the fact that the KC pitching staff isn't all that bad to begin with, you put hitters in a different situation than they're used to, and the Cardinals just haven't made the adjustment yet. Maybe they should get a cardboard cutout of Albert to set behind the on-deck circle. Just a thought.

why they play the game

As Dan so eloquently put it last night, on paper the Royals don't beat the Cardinals. Unfortunately, the two previous games were played in real life on a real field and not on paper, and the Royals did in fact beat the Cardinals. We haven't lost a lot of series this season, so it was kind of a shock when we dropped the first two of this three-game set. Our bullpen really screwed the pooch, and our offense was nowhere to be found.

On a positive note, Chris Duncan had two hits in last night's game!


Brad Thompson on the mound for the Redbirds today. Anybody remember what was wrong with him?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Okay, so maybe I spoke too soon. I hopped in the car and turned on the radio, and what did I hear? A-Rey has had some soreness/tightness in his elbow and won't start tomorrow after all.


Mulder (ha ha).
Parisi (HA HA).
McClellan (not likely).
Wellemeyer (less likely).
Miles.... (?)


What else is going on?

Yadi was released from the hospital Monday morning with the diagnosis of a mild concussion. In other words, he'll be fine, but Tony's keeping a close eye on him and most likely won't put him in the lineup for at least a few days. ¡Te amo, Yadi!

Izzy pitched a shut-out inning last night against KC. It was so good to see him back on the mound. Hopefully this will be the beginning of the beginning.

Ron Villone is slowly getting on my nerves. I like his stuff, and it's always nice to have a lefty specialist (or two), but many more games like last night (and the laugher against Philly) and I may have to have a few not-too-pleasant words with the "big guy." And believe me, he doesn't want that.

about time

Hello: Anthony Reyes will get the start on Thursday as Wellemeyer skips a turn.
You can't see me, but I'm doing a little dance.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

it's time for a change

Get this, the 2008 All-Star Game, scheduled to be played in July at Yankee Stadium, could very well feature an AL lineup straight from the Boston clubhouse. As it stands right now, the Red Sox lead in five of the seven categories (if you count the OF as one), with New York leading in the other two. That can't be good news for superstitious Yankees fans (or players, for that matter). 

1B-Youkilis-BOS (pronounced "you-kill-us" for Yankees fans) 
OF-1. Ramirez-BOS .....
       2. Hamilton-TEX .....
       3. Ichiro-SEA 

Now, I realize that the point is to compile a team of the best players with the best chance of winning, but are we really comfortable saying that Boston IS that team? Whatever. I'm still boycotting the game on principle. Here's how the NL team is shaping up (for anyone who cares): 

OF-1. Soriano-CHC .....
       2. Fukudome-CHC .....
       3. Griffey-CIN 

Lance Berkman is probably the only player who really deserves to be on the list, with the possible exception of Fukudome who has his moments in the field. 

The two that really jump out at me are Junior and Chipper. Each is really something at the plate, but has shown dreadfully average (if not below-average) defense this season. It drives me crazier than anything to watch players like them get voted to the game. 

Obviously it's not based on anything but offense, and it's really a shame for players who provide quality both at the plate and on the field. The fans that vote are obsessed with averages and home run totals. They overlook key factors like whether a player can actually catch the ball (Soriano) or run to first (Jones) or throw with any accuracy (Utley). 

The All-Star Game is a joke. I've said it before. If it were just an exhibition game played for fun, I would have no problem with it (besides the fact that players are getting hurt and pitchers are wasting a turn in their regular rotation to compete). The problem I DO have is that it carries this catch with it, that whichever league wins gets home-field advantage for their representative in the World Series. This turns it into a serious competition. It burdens us with the responsibility. Because the fact is, the players that play in the ASG may or may not be the best choices. 

Teams are not equally represented in the voting because there are 14 bazillion New Yorkers and only about 900 St Louisans (and the other teams are somewhere in the middle). So what I suggest is that either (1) the ASG should be JUST FOR FUN, and things can carry on as ususal, or (2) it should be a competition based NOT on what the idiotic fans decide, but rather on which players have the best numbers, both offensively and defensively, and in which each team is EQUALLY represented.

what an idiot

Instead of just posting a link, I decided to display the entire AP article. It's just chock-full of idiotic goodness.

Published: June 17, 2008

The Yankees’ loss of their ace, Chien-Ming Wang, for up to 10 weeks prompted the team co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner to chastise the National League for playing without a designated hitter.

“My only message is simple,” Steinbrenner said in Tampa, Fla. “The National League needs to join the 21st century. They need to grow up and join the 21st century.”

Steinbrenner said he was angry and added: “I’ve got my pitchers running the bases, and one of them gets hurt. He’s going to be out. I don’t like that, and it’s about time they address it. That was a rule from the 1800s.”

Making a rare appearance on the bases at an N.L. park in Houston on Sunday, Wang pulled up rounding third and hobbled home on a Derek Jeter single.

“This is always a concern of American League teams when their pitchers have to run the bases and they’re not used to doing it,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s not just us. It’s everybody. It probably should be a concern for National League owners, general managers and managers when their pitchers run the bases. Pitchers have enough to do without having to do that.”

I was watching Baseball Tonight on ESPN last night, and John Kruk (while biting his tongue about the DH issue) made what I thought was an appropriate comparison when he suggested that "if one of his pitchers slipped in the shower, is he gonna shut off the water in all the stadiums?" I think that's a fair question.

Maybe Mr Steinbrenner and his front office staff should petition for the end of interleague play. That's one even I would get behind. Better yet, maybe the AL should secede from MLB and form their own, separate league where they could do whatever the hell they want.

One more thing to Mr Steinbrenner: Pitchers are athletes just like position players. They SHOULD be able to swing the bat, run the bases, and slide under a tag with some semblance of competence. They do have a special role, I agree, but the fact that they are pitchers does not excuse them from learning the rest of the game and contributing to their team's success when they step off the mound. My suggestion is that you encourage the rest of your pitchers (and other AL pitchers) to do warm-ups and take batting practice with the rest of the team even when they're not in an NL park. It will strengthen the team and make the pitcher a better all-around player, not to mention loosening him up so that he can avoid injuries when he's walking in from the bullpen or lifting a bottle of Gatorade.

credit where credit's due

Many people, especially those who aren't familiar with the inner-workings of baseball, are unaware of the quiet genius at work behind Cardinals pitching. Dave Duncan is recognized by those-in-the-know as one of the all-time greatest pitching coaches, primarily for his ability to turn around pitchers (and careers) on the downslide. Cardinal Nation knows how valuable Duncan is to the organization and to the pitchers he has instructed, but it's always nice to have people on the outside give accolades where they are so richly deserved and often neglected. Bradford Doolittle recently did just that. Have a look here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

another big blow

Espero que te recuperes rápidamente, Yadi, y que sepas cuánto te amo y te ama todo el Cardinal Nation.

Yadier Molina lay motionless at home plate while his teammates rushed toward him. Tony came out of the dug-out, and everyone froze when they realized that the catcher was hurt. Yadi had blocked the plate in the top of the ninth as Eric Bruntlett tried to score on a one-out ground ball to first. He and Bruntlett collided (hard) at the plate, but Yadi was able to apply the tag and hold on to the ball for the out. 

The entire stadium held its breath while Yadi was immobilized by the medics. Then, as he was driven to the outfield gates, chants of "Ya-di, Ya-di, Ya-di," could be heard through the applause. The game continued, and the Cardinals were able to pull out a 10th inning win, but every soul at Busch, fan and player alike, was praying and wishing for good news about our Yadi. 

My favorite line from Bernie Miklasz' article: "And when Molina wouldn't budge, that was the play of the summer, the play that told you all you needed to know about what drives the 2008 Cardinals." 

Tony said this about his catcher: "He got forearmed. It's a wonder he held on. We've seen him do it before. That baby smile (is deceiving). He's a tough mother."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

bouncing back

It seems like every time someone drops the ball, someone else comes back and picks it up for the Cards. Kyle Lohse did the picking up today. He pitched 8 innings and only gave up 2 runs. He retired the last 12 batters he faced. He saved the bullpen and picked up his 8th win on the season. He brought peace to the war-torn countries of the Middle East. Okay, so maybe not that last one, but it was still a good game and a much-needed win for the Redbirds.

Tony called it, "a hell of a ballgame," and I agree.

In other news:

  • Adam Kennedy hit his first home run of the year.

  • Joe Mather and Mark Worrell hopped the bus back to Memphis.

  • Jason Isringhausen and Anthony Reyes rejoined the Daddy-Birds in STL.

  • Chris Carpenter's rehab hit a pothole.

  • Mark Mulder and Matt Clement are both scheduled to start today at Springfield.

shellacked: see Cardinals vs Phillies

shel·lack (v.
a. To strike repeatedly and severely; batter. 
b. To defeat decisively. 

I'd say that about covers it. 

Although it may have felt otherwise, the Cards actually only lost ONE game last night. 

Of course, Russ Springer was ejected for "intentionally" hitting Ryan Howard (since there's no other possible explanation for a fastball that got away inside than wanting to pummel a player who hit two home runs in the game); Tony and José both got ejected (for arguing in a situation where any reasonable human being could and should be expected to argue); Miles pitched the only scoreless frame of the evening for the Redbirds (which I'll be eternally sorry I missed); and the clubhouse may have lost more than a few morale points over the course of the game. 

Other than that, it was just an ordinary loss. 

One positive thing that happened last night (though it didn't happen in St Louis) was that the Cubs lost, too. 

And at the end of the year, what's the difference between a 3-2 loss and a 20-2 loss? That's right, nothing

Go Blue Jays.

Friday, June 13, 2008

if you dream it . . .

I had a dream about Randy Flores last night. 

Seriously. I was driving home from St Louis and he was walking down the highway in the same direction. The odd part was that he was walking as fast as I was driving. 85 miles an hour or so. 

I wasn't surprised in my dream (it was a dream, after all) because as I told Randy, last year I saw Ryan Franklin doing the same thing. Of course Ryan was only walking 70. Boy, did he blow it last night. (In the game, not in my dream. It wasn't that kind of dream.) But I'm inclined to forgive him seeing as he usually does so well.


Piñeiro looked super, but only got to go five since it was his first start back from the DL. We still won the series, so all is not lost. The Cards come home tonight to host the Phillies and then the Royals before heading back on the road to Boston, Detroit, and Kansas City. 

Wellemeyer starts tonight after mising his last start with elbow inflammation. (Personally, I think he just didn't want to miss the Dave Matthews concert.) Oh, and it sounds like Izzy may get a chance to work an inning or two (most likely not a ninth inning save situation) in the upcoming series with KC. Yay! I miss you Izzy! 

Well, no matter how hard they try, the Cubs just can't catch a break. 

Oh wait. 

That's right, the Cubs are winning this year. So no matter how hard they try, the Cubs can't LOSE. Nobody swinging, trying to get a pitcher--any pitcher--to throw a strike so they could finally give one up in extra innings, and with the bases loaded, the batter gets hit by pitch. Jeez. Who do you have to know to get struck out? Maybe this whole hand thing with Fonzie will turn their luck around. Or maybe they'll just keep on winning through September and then embarrass the NL Central in October by getting swept in the DS.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

it's musical starting rotation!

Here's where it stands right now. But be ready if the music starts again, and grab your spot before someone else does!

Piñeiro (2-3)
8 GS
44 IP
4.50 ERA
K:BB 23:13
.273 BAA
The Cards are 4-4 in his starts.

Wellemeyer (7-1)
13 GS
80 IP
2.93 ERA
K:BB 62:25
.221 BAA
The Cards are 8-5 in his starts.

Lohse (7-2)
14 GS
80.1 IP
3.92 ERA
K:BB 37:19
.268 BAA
The Cards are 8-6 in his starts.

Boggs (1-0)
1 GS
5 IP
3.60 ERA
K:BB 0:3
.269 BAA
The Cards are 1-0 in his start.

Looper (8-5)
14 GS
83 IP
4.34 ERA
K:BB 39:21
.289 BAA
The Cards are 8-6 in his starts.

Tony apparently toyed with the idea of Kyle McClellan getting the start when Wainwright went on the DL, but wisely thought better of it. The St Louis native is far too valuable in the bullpen to waste him (and possibly even set him back) for one or two starts when he's doing so well where he is.
Oh, and the Post-Dispatch's Jeff Gordon made some good points about why now is the right time to give A-Rey another shot at starting. Have a gander here.
Sounds like Izzy may be days away from returning to his closer role. Derrick Goold reports that everything seems to be falling back into place for the veteran down in the minors, and he could possibly even be ready this weekend.

he's a complete man

I guess Looper was worried about the chili situ as well, and decided it would be safer if he just took matters into his own hands.
9 shut-out innings, 3 hits, 4 strike-outs, and didn't walk anybody.
"It was a good, solid game, but the guy that deserves most of the credit is the pitcher," manager Tony La Russa said. "He set the tone."
Of course, he batted before he ever threw a pitch, and his teammates gave him a 5-run lead to take to the mound in the bottom of the first. That can certainly help a guy have a good game. But Tony's right. Braden was on his game and very sharp all night.

Albert's going to miss at least three weeks with a strained calf. We'll see if he's back for the ASG. Actually, if the Cards can keep things going without him, I wouldn't expect anybody to hurry him back before he's ready. Anybody but Albert, that is.

Did you see Soriano get clipped by that pitch last night? I was worried about his face, but apparently it broke his hand. He's going to miss 6 weeks....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

mmmm, chili

I swear to all that is holy in the game of baseball, if Ryan Franklin or Mark Worrell pitches tonight and pukes "Skyline" chili all over the mound, I will hunt Jim Hayes down and beat him with a mackerel.

break out the party hats

Am I over-eager to see Big-D in the lineup?

1. Schumaker-LF
2. Miles-2B
3. Ludwick-RF
4. Ankiel-CF
5. Glaus-3B
6. Duncan-1B
7. LaRue-C
8. Looper-P
9. Ryan-SS

How can you say that? I am exactly eager enough, thank you.

try to keep up

Wow. Everything happens when I'm sick. Let's see if I can recap it all.

Franklin made me eat my words. He pitched a stellar 9th inning in game 3 at Houston, striking out the side.

Wellemeyer and Wainwright are both hurt. Adam will probably go on the DL, Todd will probably be back in the rotation for his next start.

The Cards capitalized on a bunch of errors/mistakes by the 'Stros and reminded everyone that a win is a win is a win.

Pujols is hurt. And it's terrible. But Duncan will most likely be back up to replace him on the roster when he's officially DLed. As upset as I am to lose Albert, you gotta know how excited I am to have Chris back.

Boggs held his own in both first starts and will undoubtedly be a huge asset to the team depending on how things go with (insert name of most-recently injured pitcher here).

Speaking of Piñeiro, he's going to start Thursday. Hopefully it'll be a good thing.

♥ In other news, Michael Strahan is retiring. Football will ne'er be the same again. ♥

Friday, June 6, 2008

two more pitchers I'm thoroughly fed up with

Ryan Franklin.

Mike Parisi.

Mike got sent down today. How much longer will Franklin be allowed to close? However long it is will be too long. What a heartbreaking loss. The Cards were down 7-0, came back to take the lead in the top of the tenth, and then gave it all back with one pitch. One stupid pitch from a guy that does not belong out there in a save situation.

And the damn Cubs won again.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

big guy in a little suit

The NL Pitcher of the Month for May will take the mound tonight for the Cards (that's fun to say). Wellemeyer is 6-1 with a 3.16 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.
Lannan, a lefty, will start for the Nationals. He is 4-5, but has a relatively low ERA (3.52).

"They gave me an opportunity and I’m going to make the best of it. I’m not trying to think too much out there, just pitching." -Todd Wellemeyer on his success with St Louis.

missing you

What I think the fans need to remember is that here’s a guy who sparked us in his first two years. I don’t understand this impatience with this guy. It’s atypical for the way they act.
Manager Tony La Russa, on the Busch Stadium fans’ treatment of optioned OF Chris Duncan.

I love you and miss you, Duncan. No matter how good Mather is, he'll never take your place.

Chris is hitting .214 (3 for 14) in the 4 games he's started at Memphis. Not great, but at least he's playing. He also has 4 walks and 3 strike-outs.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

first ever game at the new Nats' stadium

Lefty Odalis Perez on the mound for the Nats, so we're sporting our right-handed version of the line-up:

1. Barton-LF
2. Mather-RF
3. Pujols-1B
4. Ludwick-CF
5. Glaus-3B
6. Molina-C
7. Miles-2B
8. Lohse-P
9. Izturis-SS

I like Glaus better in the five-hole than batting fourth.


on one hand . . .

...I'm hoping for the Cubbies to lose so that the Cards can catch up and re-take 1st place in the NL Central.

On the other hand, it must have been such fun for Jimmy to hit 2 doubles and get 2 RBI against the team that released him not quite a month ago. I wish I had seen it. (Actually, I wish I'd been watching any game other than the one I watched, but that's beside the point.)

So now that he's had his revenge, I need the Padres to step up and take the next 2 against Chicago. Is that really too much to ask?

got his game on

If you ever get the chance to sit in section 371, row 2, seat 17 at Busch to see a Cardinals game, decline. Don't do it. I don't care if it's free (or even if someone offers to pay you to sit there). You won't see any of left or center field (including the left and center fielders), and instead of watching the batter and the third base line, you'll be watching the left field foul pole, although you'll have a great shot of the home plate umpire and the ball/strike calls.
Yes, I sat there last night, and I have absolutely no doubt that my terrible seat and inability to follow the game had everything to do with the late innings meltdown that I heard about and watched replays of on the jumbo-tron (since I couldn't actually see). Regardless of the bad luck associated with my situation, though, this loss is totally on Tony. Even from my ridiculously pitiful vantage point, I could tell that Adam was tired and on the verge of giving up a big hit. So one would assume that Tony, from the far better position he was in, should have known. Now I'm sure that when Dave went out to the mound to talk to Wainwright, Adam told him that he was fine and could definitely get this last guy out, no problem. However, since when does Tony listen to the pitcher? Even Adam. For that matter, when does Dave?
Wainwright looked so good early. The offense had it turned on early. And I was definitely enjoying the game early (the blocked view and annoying neighbors notwithstanding). So I guess it wasn't a total loss. I still really enjoy going to games. The atmosphere, the food, the thrill of seeing my idols in person (if not quite so up-close). The next time I go, though, I'll see you on the first base line. No binoculars required.