October 15, 2019

Redbirds Roll Through Weekend

May 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It was a very busy weekend for me, but the Cardinals did a lot of working as well.  By now you know all about the games, but let’s take a quick look at Thursday through Sunday to get our Heroes and our Goats.  (If you want a more in-depth look, my Week that Was column will be up at Baseball Digest soon.)

Thursday (Cardinals 10, Braves 4)
Hero: David Freese. Six RBI as a rookie had never been done before.  A wonderful game all the way around for the third baseman.
Goat: Skip Schumaker.  0-5 in the leadoff slot on a day when the team scores 10 is not exactly a resume enhancer.
Notes: Colby Rasmus had a solid game as well, with two hits and two walks and four runs scored…nice to see Tyler Greene go yard as well….Adam Wainwright might not have had his best stuff, but I still wonder if the results had been different if he had been in a closer game.  Not that he was pitching to the score, but that has to allow you to experiment a little bit.
Friday (Reds 3, Cardinals 2)
Hero: Matt Holliday.  Two hits and drove in the two Cardinal runs.
Goat: Colby Rasmus.  Not completely for the 0-4, but more for the strikeout in the eighth with runners on second and third and nobody out.  Almost anything would have tied the game up, but a strikeout allowed for a walk of Yadier Molina to set up the double play possibility, which Mr. Freese then hit into.
Notes: Freese probably should have gotten the goat, what with his double play and getting picked off of second the inning before….Brad Penny was not as dominant as he has been, but you wonder how much the weather affected that, especially since it was raining during the inning the Reds took the lead.
Saturday (Cardinals 6, Reds 3)
Hero: Skip Schumaker.  Scored the first tie-breaking run, then drove in the second tie-breaking run.  Good day for the Schu-man.
Goat: Dennys Reyes.  Blake Hawksworth may have put them on, but Reyes was unable to do anything with the hitters he faced, blowing Kyle Lohse’s chance at his first win.
Notes: Lohse looked like he did figure something out in his Atlanta start, allowing just one run over seven innings….I was pretty surprised when the Reds still pitched to Pujols in the seventh after Schumaker “stole” second, but I’m glad that they did….Freese hit another home run, just part of his big weekend.
Sunday (Cardinals 6, Reds 0)
Hero: Chris Carpenter.  Two hits in seven innings and the fastball is back.  You know the rest of the NL just groaned a little bit.
Goat: Yadier Molina.  0-4 with a passed ball.
Notes: Pujols had a big three-run double to break the game open…another home run by Freese, who could be NL Player of the Week…wonder if Rasmus is slumping a bit, another two strikeout, zero hit day for him.
After that weekend, the Cards remain on top of the NL Central, a big 4 1/2 games ahead of the Cubs, who had to have a big weekend just to get to .500.  You hate to say anything, but this has the possibility of being one of the least dramatic pennant races in a long while.  Just for reference’s sake, the 2004 team (that won 105 games and the division by 13) was at .500 and 2.5 games back at this point, while the 2005 team (100 wins, won by 11) was 17-8 and led the division by 5.  So maybe Fox Sports Midwest should be taking a look at the fifth anniversary of the 2005 team as well as the 1982 and 2000 teams!
This upcoming series, though, will provide the truest test so far of the quality of this club.  Before the season started, it was my opinion (as well as many others) that the two best teams on paper were St. Louis and Philadelphia.  Not much has changed that assessment so far, though the Mets have made the NL East a much more interesting race than expected.  Still, it’s going to be great to get the measure of both sides during the four game set that starts tonight.
Jaime Garcia goes for the Cardinals against Joe Blanton for the Phillies.  Here’s Garcia’s limited exposure to the Philadelphia squad:
PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
Ryan Howard 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0 0 0
Chase Utley 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .500 .000 .500 0 0 0 1 0
Jimmy Rollins 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Shane Victorino 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Total 6 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .200 .333 .200 .533 0 0 0 1 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/3/2010.

Not much there for Philadelphia.  Ryan Howard has a hit and that’s it.  It’s really going to be interesting to see how Garcia holds up when teams have seen him before, but I’m glad that’s not going to be the case this time around.

When I was planning this entry, I thought that Cole Hamels was scheduled for the opener.  Instead, the Phillies are going to go with Joe Blanton and I can’t get to B-R to pull up another table.  Suffice it to say that, as bad as the Hamels numbers were, Blanton has to be an improvement, especially since he’s not pitched yet this season.  Besides, I think it works much better for St. Louis to match up Wainwright with Hamels instead of Garcia.
Mike Lynch, who is the head guy at Seamheads, where I also contribute, wanted to pass along this tragic story.  Stories like this make me hug my son and daughter just a little tighter, knowing just how fragile life really is.  If you feel moved to contribute, there’s a spot over at Seamheads to do just that.
YNOT is up over at CardsClubhouse, if you are one that likes to play that.  Looking forward to a great week of baseball!

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