I thought this was behind us.
Whatever corner the Cardinals turned after the All-Star break, they’ve turned another one or two and seem to be back where they started from–a frustrating team that can’t get anything going. Â And when the big gunÂ has an off night, you know things aren’t going your way.
I guess you could see it coming, though. Â There was a lot of talk about the return ofÂ Adam Wainwright to New York for the first time since the ’06 Series. Â There was also the possibility that he could set the record for best ERA ever in the month of July. Â With enough hype and focus, it seems like things come crashing down, which is what happened last night.
Sounds like Waino just couldn’t get comfortable last night, and I guess nights like that are going to happen. Â They aren’t anything to distress over, save the fact that it means the Cards have now lost four out of five since their eight-game winning streak and there’s a good possibility they’ll lose this NY series as well. Â Jaime Garcia goes tonight, which is good, but then Blake Hawksworth is Thursday and you never feel completely confident when it’s not one of the big three on the mound.
There wasn’t much to write home about with the offense, either. Â Albert Pujols went 0-5 and dropped his average to .297. Â I’m still about 50% certain that AP’s streak ends this year and he doesn’t hit .300. Â If heÂ does read this blog, maybe that’ll get him fired up, but he’s not looked quite himself at all this season. Â He’s still putting up good numbers, but if the year ended today, would you necessarily give him the team MVP award?
WhenÂ Brendan Ryan is the hero of the game, odds are it wasn’t a great offensive night. Â Ryan, though, went 2-4 and got that average back up over .200, which is pretty impressive since just three days ago it was around .185. Â He’s been streaky all year, though–getting up to over .200, then slumping off. Â He was at .220 at the middle of June, then tailed off. Â Still, that’s his third multi-hit game, all coming since that trade rumor of him to Houston came out. Â Maybe that lit a fire under him.
There doesn’t seem to be much stirring on the trade front, here just four days before the deadline. Â John MozeliakÂ went on record as saying they don’t want a band-aid solution in the middle infield, so that would seem to rule out much of a deal there, though I guess they could still target Stephen Drew if the Diamondbacks are willing to move him. Â They might get a innings-eater type of pitcher, but it doesn’t sound like anything too exciting.
The best news out of the whole thing is that they are pretty close to signing Seth Blair, their second pick (first of the supplemental round) in this most recent draft. Â Blair isn’t the most exciting name that people are looking at–Zack Cox and Austin Wilson fit that bill–but he’s stillÂ a very good arm and it’s always good to have young pitching in the minors. Â I think we are seeing the results of what happens when you don’t have that right now.
The newest Sports Illustrated comes out today andÂ Stan Musial graces the cover. Â I am very interested in reading the article, especially since it is written by the greatÂ Joe Posnanski. Â It’s unfathomable to me that this is the seventh Musial cover but the first that he hasn’t had to share with someone. Â Then again, that seems to be Musial’s lot in life on the national stage, always sharing, always being overshadowed. Â Baseball is going to lose a lot when he goes.
Cards and Mets try it again tonight. Â Jaime Garcia goes against the Mets for the second time this year, both times on national television. Â Hopefully this time heÂ doesn’t have to wait 13 innings after he leaves the game to see how it turns out. Â He’s facing off against Hisanori Takahashi, who also pitched in that 20 inning game as a reliever. Â He’s gone back and forth between the rotation and the pen, but last time out allowed two runs in seven innings against the Dodgers. Â Could be another long night for the bats.
It’s Wednesday, which meansÂ United Cardinal Blogger Radio Hour! Â Tune in tonight to hear me talk with Dave Doyle fromÂ The Mets Report about the series, what the Mets needÂ to do, and how long until they start talking about The Curse of Yadier Molina. Â Always appreciate having callers, so if you are around from 9:30 to 10:30 Central tonight, listen in or call in at 646-929-1758!