Showing posts with label Cards Win. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cards Win. Show all posts

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Get Outta Town!

I must have done something really awesome in a previous life to deserve this lovely bouquet of karmic glory that I'm enjoying right now. My cell phone essentially had a seizure last night, as the texts and calls poured in to share the news that Carlos Zambrano's reign of terror has been temporarily suspended, as he has been removed from the Cubs starting rotation and relegated to the bullpen. He is now, in all liklihood, the highest paid human to ever babysit Jeff Samardzija. It's a fantastic turn of events, though. Just think of all the new stuff he can beat up out there! The dugout watercoolers had to be getting a little rote for the guy. This new gig presents him with a tremendous opportunity to display his creativity and take his temper tantrums to the next level. Carlos Marmol, you best take note! You don't know if he's going to use you as a punching bag or a WEAPON!

In other news, Carp fanned ten over 7 plus innings last night in the Cards 9-4 win over the D'backs. Colby Rasmus couldn't keep the ball in the yard if he tried, while Skip Schumaker busted his slump with a three run homer in the ninth. This capped off a 5 run 9th inning, which gave the Birds a lead that the bullpen was miraculously able to maintain. Woohoo!!! This series victory keeps the hot streak alive, as the Cards now sit 2.5 games in first place, maintain the best record in the national league and lay claim to all five of their series this season. I have to keep telling myself that it's only going to go downhill from here, otherwise I'd probably start being nice to Cubs fans or something equally reprehensible. And I just don't think I want to live in a world where that kind of thing happens.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Could Get Used To This Winning Stuff

After the first four series of this young season, I have to admit I'm pretty tickled about the state of affairs in Baseball Land. This weekend we got to see the Chicago Scrubbies lose two of three to the hapless Astros, which was especially satisfying after all of the crap my boss gave me on Friday afternoon. After what would end up being the Cubs lone win of the weekend, he proceeded to heckle me incessantly about the Cards losing to Houston the day before. His twisted logic was that because Houston earned their first win of the year against the Cards (9 games into the season, mind you,) that the Redbirds were destined for failure and early season obliteration. What that reasoning says about the Cubs losing the next two in a row to Houston? I don't like to speculate, but I'd guess a team wide outbreak of spinal meningitis. I like to be conservative with stuff like this.

In other happy news, the Cardinals took two of three from the Metropolitans of New York this weekend, improving their record to 8-4. They have now won two of three in all four of their first series, which is encouraging to be sure. Carpenter pitched a strong seven innings on Friday and allowed Felipe Lopez's seventh inning grand slam to seal the deal and send us to bed happy. Enter Saturday night's epic 20 inning showdown, where Johan Santana, Jaime Garcia and what seemed like every single member of every bullpen in the National League battled it out for 18 scoreless frames before St. Louis finally succumbed 2-1. Position players were pitching, pitchers were in the outfield, it was SHEER BEDLAM!!! I'm surprised Big Mac didn't play a couple of outs. Or one of the announcers. Or maybe even my great aunt Betsy. I actually thought my brain was going to catch on fire just trying to keep track of it all. "Joe Mather is doing WHAT? Kyle Lohse is WHERE?" Even more impressive is that Yadier Molina caught that entire damn game, which you'd think would require him to have immediate reconstructive knee surgery. Then again, he's probably made of tougher stuff than most of us. I would have passed out halfway through the second inning, although that probably doesn't say as much about his vim and vigor as it does about my athletic limitations. I'm quite the delicate creature, you know.

Finally, Adam Wainwright pitched a complete game last night and picked up the W on the heels of Colby Rasmus and Ryan Ludwick homeruns, himself scoring a run after an 8th inning double. He was positively terrifying as the night wore on. I swear, he could have pitched another five innings, he just was that in control those last few at bats. In any case, Brad Penny takes the mound tonight in Arizona, so hopefully these guys keep it up. The bullpen should be rested again, so hopefully Waino's performance will allow Penny a few innings of relief if he needs it. Although wishing for a Jason Motte appearance is sort of like hoping to get a canker sore. By which I mean, nobody actually does that.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Predictable Happenings Often Happen In Baseball

Just when I think he can't do anything more absurd, Big "Ball Scratcher" Zambrano does something like this and totally reaffirms my complete disdain and disgusted amusement. In the Cubs win against the Pirates today, my old buddy Carlos threw himself another one of his legendary hissy fits and found himself ejected and faced with a probable suspension. It all started with a wild pitch that found him attempting to make a play at home, which caused him to make contact with the umpire, which caused him to throw a ball into the outfield, toss his glove and proceed into the dugout where he promptly beat the water cooler with a bat. My sweet heavens. He makes my job of hating him with the red hot fire of a thousand suns INCREDIBLY easy.

In other predictable news, I was speaking with my sister's fiance tonight and he was regaling me with a tale of one, Mr. Jason Isringhausen. Evidently, he worked his magic against the Cleveland Indians on Monday and successfully helped the Tampa Bay Rays choke up a ten run lead and the all-but-sure win. In total, the bullpen gave up 7 runs in the bottom of the ninth, including a trademark game losing two run single from Izzy. Oh, how I miss those retina shattering, brain blasting, soul crushing moments! As a running joke in our family, this will no doubt provide endless hours of entertainment.

As for the Redbirds, well those plucky little fellows keep right on keeping on. After taking two of three from the Royals and two of three from our beer swilling rivals in Milwaukee, they have officially taken the first place spot in the NL Central. However temporary this may be, I am really quite pleased. After a tumultuous day at the office, I needed some good news to keep me from jamming a pen in my eye. As it stands, I'm still tempted to pull a Zambrano and club someone over the cranium with a bat. It's either that or have six or seven Black Russians. The jury is still out.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

No One Is Safe!

I'm starting to think I might be a jinx on poor Alfonso Soriano. I was there to see him sustain both of the injuries that have put him on the DL this year. First was the leg injury he incurred while doing that little hoppity bop thing he does after making a catch and last night I saw him get drilled by a pitch that broke his finger. Yeesh. It was kind of a shooting gallery at Wrigley Field last night anyway, as fly balls ricocheted into the stands all night at incredible rates of speed. Mr. Sucky Dome actually drilled some guy in the side of the head sitting about fifteen rows behind home plate on the third base side. I'll tell you, I was happy to escape the night unconcussed! Adding insult to injury, (pun intended because I'm cheeky!) the Cubs beat up on the Braves and won 7-2, improving their home record this year to 27-8. That's just disgusting. I mean, if I have to hear "Go, Cubs, Go" one more time, I think I'm going to rip off my ears and fill them with concrete.

ANYWAY...over in Cardinal Land, things are equally as interesting. Despite whooping up on the Cincinnati Reds last night in a 10-0 assault, one can't help but sob uncontrollably and curl into the fetal position over the news that Albert Pujols is going to be out for at least three weeks with a calf strain. WHY GOD, WHY??? With all of our best players on the DL, I'm surprised I haven't had a complete mental breakdown. That certainly wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility, although we've actually still been playing well enough that I've resisted the urge to skip rope with a downed power line. We'll see how long that lasts in Pujols' prolonged absence. Things seemed to go well enough last night with Chris Duncan getting the call up to fill in for Big Al and Braden Looper pitching out of his mind, but we shall see. You know how I feel about optimism! Joel Pineiro is getting the nod today for the finale against Cincinnati and it ought to be interesting considering I don't think anyone actually believes he's healthy.

With that said, it looks like the next month is going to be just one big giant mystery. Will the Redbirds be able to stay on track and put the pressure on Chicago? Will Ankiel, Ludwick and Glaus be enough power to compensate for Pujols' injury? Will I recognize anyone in the rotation by July? I have no clue. What do I look like, a fortune teller? I'm guessing Professor Plum, in the library with a candlestick. That seems just as reasonable as anything else at this point.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

We're Winners!!!

Over the last several weeks it has become glaringly obvious that the quality of my posts are inversely related to how well the Cardinals are playing. Without the proper inspiration to formulate new and creative ways to kill myself, this blog lacks the pizazz and sassiness I'm just SURE it's known for. Some of that "je ne sais quoi", if you will. This is to say that when the Cardinals are winning, it puts me in such a good mood that I don't even feel the need to make fun of Carlos Zambrano. (And let's get serious. I mine a LOT of content out of that shitbag.) What am I supposed to write about all summer if things keep going like this? I'm starting to get nervous that my stylized homerism is being rendered obsolete, as my creative brain matter only functions when I'm pissed off and borderline psychopathic. What on earth can I talk about with any kind of conviction when it's all unicorns and rainbows in Cardinal Land? At 21-12 the Birds are in first place with a 2.5 game lead over the Scrubbies, who they took 2 of 3 from over the weekend. After Albert Pujols blazed around the base paths last night to score the winning run in the ninth against the Rockies, I'm really getting concerned. It's almost like these guys actually ENJOY winning baseball contests. Where in god's name did this come from?

Anyway, while this has obviously been a fun and fantastic start to the season for Cardinal fans, the natural pessimist in me can't help but brace myself for a mid/late summer implosion. Winning sure is fun, but when the season lasts for what feels like 19 centuries, one can never get too comfortable. It's a little something I like to call "Defensive Fandom". Plan for the worst, hope for the best and prepare to become a raging alcoholic in the process. So while I obviously cheer for the Cardinals to continue their success, I think I'd better go stab myself in the leg with a letter opener just to remember what it feels like. You just never know when we might offer a contract to someone like Kip Wells or Mike Maroth. It's best to already be appropriately disgruntled.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

So, wait...WHAT?

Holy crap. Holy FREAKING crap. As I write this, the St. Louis Cardinals are leading the Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 going into the 8th inning of the last in this three game series. Of which they've won the previous two. Deductive reasoning therefore suggests that the Cardinals are on their way towards sweeping the Brewers. Adding to that, the Birds were 11-4 going into this game and tied with Arizona for the best current record in major league baseball. I'm not even sure how to properly process this information. Am I dead?

Some highlights: Wainwright pitched 7 2/3 innings last night, giving up two runs on five hits in a 5-4 win. He also hit a solo home run and a single. He is apparently awesome at everything. Also, Ricky Ankiel forced a 1st inning, 17 pitch plate appearance into a walk. SEVENTEEN PITCHES. That is, I believe, a pretty solid at-bat. It should therefore be noted that he is ALSO awesome. Then, the Cardinals extended their collective awesomeness into Tuesday with a 6-1 win. According to the recap, "The Cardinals won with 12 hits, 11 of them singles, from eight different players. Seven different Redbirds either scored a run, drove one in, or both." Also, even though Braden Looper gave up five walks, he only allowed a single run. So even when he kind of sucks, he is STILL awesome.

In summary, to my complete and utter surprise, the Cardinals are winning lots of baseball games. I did not see this coming. However, in case I have not made it abundantly clear, this is...well, AWESOME.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

This is Sort of Fun

Good grief, what's with all this WINNING? The Cardinals are alone in first place for the first time since the end of the 2006 season. And this team is supposed to be ABYSMAL. I'm so confused I don't even know what to do with myself.

Even more bizarre, is that EVERYONE appears to be contributing. The starting rotation isn't giving up 37 runs a game and the relief corp (including Anthony Reyes, who had another strong day yesterday) is doing a solid job of holding off the late inning surges. Ricky Ankiel leads the team with 3 homers and 8 RBIs this year, although Mr. Albert Pujols lit up last night with two homeruns against the Astros and will no doubt continue to carve a path of destruction through the rest of the season as long as he can stay healthy. Meanwhile, Troy Glaus, Yadier Molina, Ryan Ludwick and even Adam Kennedy are consistent threats at the plate. These guys have combined for 28 hits and 18 RBIs with the entire team collaborating to outscore their opponents 39-25. After nine games, the Redbirds have won seven and taken all three series.

You know...I'm rather enjoying this. I was completely unprepared for such early season satisfaction. What on earth do I do with all of this leftover sarcasm and bitterness? God knows I can't just start going around being nice to people.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Little Brad Is All Growed Up

I'm not quite sure what to make of Brad Thompson. I mean, it's really hard to take a pitcher seriously when he looks like he probably spends his weekends watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and picking on his eight year old sister. Anytime he plays well, I find myself utterly shell shocked. And when he doesn't, I just hope that the media is nice to him. (Leave the kid alone! He's so fragile and innocent!) I know this isn't fair. He is, after all, a fully grown man that has been successful enough thus far to justify his place in the starting rotation of a major league baseball team. But still. That youthful face belies his abilities, which now that I think about it, isn't such a bad thing. Maybe, like Braden Looper was last season, Little Brad Thompson will be a surprise weapon. After pitching 6 2/3 shutout innings against the defending National League Champions yesterday afternoon, he appears to be a surprisingly consistent and potentially dominant part of our rotation. At no point did he make me nervous or cause an increase in my heart rate. I'm telling you, I could get used to that.

Someone else that surprised me in yesterday's game was Anthony Reyes. First of all, he came in relief of Little Brad and struck out the first and only three batters he faced. Second of all, he came in relief of Little Brad. Since when is he in the bullpen? Apparently I need to keep a closer eye on our roster. Anyway, I don't know how that will work out in the long run, but it appeared to be an effective move yesterday. Honestly, it was just nice to see him pitch well, period. That should do wonders for his confidence. That flat-billed cap and goofy socks? Not so much.

Offensively, it was just more of what we've seen the past few days. By which I mean, Rick Ankiel and Troy Glaus consecutively finagling their way on base and tacking on back-to-back RBIs. Little Brad knocked in that very last run (his first RBI of the year), which probably made this the best day of his life, second only to the time he ramped over that really big pile of dirt on his Huffy and then bought a cherry dip cone with extra sprinkles. Which I think was actually on Monday.

Monday, September 24, 2007

It's Lights Out At Busch Stadium

After last night's bittersweet victory, I'd be happy not winning another game this season. (And let's face it folks, there's a chance we won't.) Even though it technically didn't have any value, it was poetic to have the very last home game of the season play out the way it did. By the time the Cardinals return from their seven day, seven game road trip to end the year, the divisional and wild card races will have been decided and the sporting world will have all but forgotten the wacky, bi-polar and ultimately disappointing 2007 Redbirds. However, weary fans will have one last happy memory to cling to in the long months leading up to spring training. Last night after Jason Isringhausen gave up a two run homerun in the top of the ninth to break a 1-1 tie, Miguel Cairo, Albert Pujols, Rick Ankiel and Brad Lidge combined to help the Cardinals come back in the bottom of the frame for an unlikely 4-3 win over the Astros. After Cairo singled and Ryan Ludwick walked, Pujols pinch hit in place of David Eckstein and cracked a high pitch against the wall in left-center for his 99th RBI of the season. Then Rick Ankiel stepped to the plate, fought himself out of a jam and skipped a shot along the first base line, which brought in Ludwick and pinch runner Brian Barden. (I don't know who that Barden guy is, but he tore around the bases like he was being chased by wolves.) It was ruled a 2 RBI triple. End of game. Like I said, a beautiful way to close out the year at Busch. (Although I'm pretty sure Brad Lidge disagrees, poor guy.) After the tumultuous 2007 season, both the players and the fans deserved it. A happy taste is left in our collective mouths as we enter the long offseason and begin looking forward to a new and promising blank slate.

Anyhow, it's nearing the end of what has turned out to be a wild ride. Heck, I don't even know if I'll post again before the year closes on Sunday. I can't imagine anything noteworthy happening, considering none of the upcoming games really matter much. So what does that mean for this little blog? It's difficult to say. I imagine I'll check in from time to time in the offseason to ruminate over the coming year, comment on significant trades and personnel shifts and whine about it actually NOT being baseball season. Aside from that, who knows. I suppose anything is possible! No matter what goes down, I'm already looking forward to spring, the fresh season and all of the new material that will provide. In the meantime, enjoy the playoffs everybody. It's looking more and more likely that my worst fears will be realized and the Cubs will take the division. (It's perverted, but I'm kind of hoping we lose to the Brewers over the next three days. Imagining the Cubs in the postseason is nightmare fuel.) At any rate, I'm sure I'll stop by to express my displeasure/delight over how they fare. Thanks for your patronage this summer, friends, and please be sure to tip your waitress.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Weekend Got Progressively Better Until It Actually Blew My Mind

Good grief, I take a few days off and look what happens! The NL Central is a mess! The Cubs are in first and hanging on to a precarious 1.5 game lead over Milwaukee, the Cardinals have charged within 2 games of the lead and even jumped into second place for a brief minute yesterday, the Astros fired Phil Garner, Roy Oswalt did that thing he does by shutting out the Redbirds in his return on Wednesday, Carlos Zambrano warmed the cockles of my heart by blowing another game, Alfonso Soriano returned quietly to the Cubs lineup on Tuesday, Adam Kennedy had knee surgery, Scott Rolen missed a few games because of that nagging shoulder injury of his and amongst it all, I made my annual pilgrimage to St. Louis for the Braves series and what would turn out to be one of the greatest weekends of my summer.

When I left on Friday the Cards had just taken two of three from the Marlins and were 3 games back in the division. Spirits were high, my gas tank was full, my iPod was charged and I was ready to go! Upon arriving in St. Louis it became clear that Mother Nature wasn't NEARLY as excited about baseball as I was. It rained and rained and poured and stormed for what felt like an eternity before the game actually started. And then it only got worse as the Birds fumbled around committing a handful of errors and failing to generate nearly enough runs to support an average Kip Wells performance. Plus, a big obnoxious Cubs fan was sitting directly in front of me. Seriously. It's like these people follow me around or something. What are the freakin' odds? But anyway, my Dad and I were Crabby McCrankypants when we left Busch Stadium after that hot mess.

Fortunately, things got better on Saturday. The weather cleared up considerably, Joel Pineiro pitched well and we were able to put together a strong inning against Tim Hudson and squeak by with a 5-4 win. Plus, our seats were a little bit better and the game got over with early enough that we could go out partying with Missouri's finest until the wee hours of the morning. We even got our picture taken with Captain Morgan and saw a woman wearing a banana clip. A BANANA CLIP! I don't think I've seen one of those since 1986! Beautiful stuff, I tell ya.

However, it wasn't until Golden Day Sunday that I became positively euphoric. Those Cardinal Club tickets I mentioned a couple weeks ago? Yeah, they were the coolest seats I've ever sat in. It was physically impossible to eat and drink all the free food and beverages that were being offered and we were close enough to the field that my Mom was calling balls and strikes. If I were so compelled, I could have confessed my undying love to Albert Pujols and he would have been able to hear me. The weather was perfect, Adam Wainwright looked awesome, Jason Isringhausen didn't give me a stroke and Juan Encarnacion even hit a homerun. It was quite literally a perfect day and I don't throw that term around loosely! Add that to a couple Cubs losses over the weekend and I actually wanted to cry. If I would have been crushed by a Clydesdale that night, I could have died a happy woman. Plus, we got to pose with Fred Bird! I dare you not to be jealous.

In summary, I'm high on Cardinal fumes right now. Also, I'm kind of thinking that after Sunday, my wedding and the birth of my first born have a lot to live up to. Make of that what you will!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Was It Good For You?

Well, we finally won a game against the Scrubbies yesterday. There were homeruns (Ankiel, Pujols), solid defensive plays (Ankiel, Pujols), some reasonable relief pitching (Franklin, Isringhausen) and a great all around performance by Scottie Rolen (3-4, 3 RBIs), yet somehow it all felt a little bit anti-climatic to me. After the emotional roller coaster I rode off the tracks on Saturday, the Monday afternoon contest left me asking, " that it?" I think this reaction is a solid testament to how different these things are when you're actually there in person or otherwise 100% engaged in the action. When you are watching each and every pitch and muscle twitch surrounded by others that are just as emotionally invested in the results as you are, it changes things. Suddenly, that particular game becomes infinitely more important. A win provides unparalleled jubilation, while a loss makes it feel like you had your insides removed, rearranged and stuffed in backwards. I think this is why it's been so hard to watch the Cardinals play games at Wrigley Field over the past few years. I've had seats at four of them and watched another handful among the ticketless in Clark Street watering holes. (Which is practically like being at Wrigley Field anyway, except the beer is marginally less expensive.) Of these, I've witnessed just one victory and I'm telling you, I've never wanted to win SO BADLY as I did on those days. (In the regular season, anyway.) It has been utterly GUT WRENCHING to keep getting that same result every time I venture out on the Chicago streets in my Cardinal red. It goes so far as to skew my perception of the team and its abilities when I ONLY get to watch them lose and merely read about the wins on the internet. No matter how talented the sportswriter, there's no way to relay the intensity of any given inning. Baseball is meant to be watched with full and undivided attention because it's just more awe inspring that way. The magic gets lost in translation otherwise.

This extends to games at Busch Stadium, as well. Instead of being something that would be kind of nice, winning games I'm physically there for becomes something I NEED! I'm gearing myself up for this, as I drive down to St. Louis on Friday afternoon for the weekend series against the Braves. Do those particular games, win or lose, become any more relevant to the team then the ones played earlier in the year? No, absolutely not. But dammit, they matter more to me! And I think we all know that's what TRULY matters.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Welcome Back, Rick!!

Congratulations to Rick Ankiel today after his triumphant return to Major League Baseball last night. In his first start since 2004, Ankiel slapped a three run homerun 384 feet over the right field wall to put the Cards ahead 5-0 and secure the win. Not bad for a (former) pitcher, huh? Disney couldn't write a better feelgood comeback story then this one, although I doubt Joel Pineiro feels quite as thrilled about it. His impressive performance was largely overlooked, despite pitching seven shutout innings, striking out four and not issuing a single walk. Maybe next time, Joel.

In other news, it appears as though Scott Spiezio is being placed on the restricted list as he is treated for an undisclosed substance abuse issue. I wish him the best in his recovery, although I'll honestly be a little disappointed to find out he's addicted to anything other then red hair dye.

Monday, July 30, 2007

If AWESOME Were A Color It Would Be RED

Now that I've had a day to reflect on the weekend without the influence of Sauvignon Blanc and Captain Morgan, I can safely say without any reservation that IT TOTALLY KICKED ASS. No, I wasn't just tipsy and delirious, we really DID win three in a row against the division leading Milwaukee Brewers. Two of these were even taken in dramatic late inning comebacks that would have certainly inspired me to make out with strangers if I'd witnessed them in person. I don't even know what to say. You know the feeling when out of no where someone surprises you with an extremely thoughtful and unexpected gift? That's how awesome it is in my head space right now. I'm all aflutter with affection, adoration and utter disbelief that I can possibly be so fortunate. I'm so numb with joy I don't even care that Carlos "Big Z" Zambrano won his major league leading 14th game yesterday. And THAT'S saying something considering I usually can't even think his name without wanting to slam my hand in a door.

The euphoria that comes with realizing we aren't completely hopeless is as welcome as it is unanticipated. Directly responsible for this glorious resurgence are the guys in our bullpen. Randy Flores, Ryan Franklin, Russ Springer and Jason Isringhausen combined for 13 shutout innings and gave up only 4 hits in those three games. With our starting rotation being questionable at best, it's comforting to know that our relief corp can come in and be untouchable in the late innings. I mean, we're still giving up 5, 6, 7 runs a game, but at least the hemorrhaging stops when Wells, Maroth and Company get yanked. That's gotta count for something, right? Especially when the eight inning turns Scott Rolen into a clutch RBI addict and makes Albert Pujols a bullpen devouring monster. I don't even know why we bother playing the first six frames anymore.

So now that we've effectively eliminated Milwaukee's lead over the Cubs in the NL Central, (double edged sword if I ever saw one,) I'm going to Wrigley tonight to cheer on the Phillies and encourage the late season collapse I know the Cubs to be capable of. If ever there were a more perfect time to hope for a rabid squirrel attack at the Friendly Confines, I've never heard it. Would Alfonso Soriano cry like a sissy and run screaming into the clubhouse? Frankly, I think believing anything else is unpatriotic.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Break Out The Champagne!!!

Holy hell, we just won two games in one day. TWO GAMES. Math is hard, but I'm pretty sure we just beat the Brewers twice. Someone needs to break out a calculator or something. It blows my mind to even begin to think about it. We are AWESOME at baseball. Just incredible. If we can just keep doing this, we'll win the World Series again for sure. I can feel it.

Dammit, I love the Cardinals.

Friday, July 27, 2007


I don't know who's responsible for what happened last night, but thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I needed that win DESPERATELY. This enables me to preserve the tiny ounce of dignity I have left after the preceding days. I know it is nothing more then a blip on the radar, but it felt sensational to clobber Jason Marquis and win JUST ONE against the Scrubbies. The relief I'm experiencing is unbelievable. We are still atrocious at the game of baseball, but the tension in my stomach has magically (although I'm sure only temporarily) evaporated. It's like we just took the division, which is pathetic in its own right. Generally, it's not a great sign when you become delirious over avoiding a sweep. We're languishing deep in third place and I'm behaving like we just simultaneously cured cancer and saved Darfur. Heaven help me, but I think I've lost my damn mind!

No matter. Last night was a fun distraction from the realities of the season and the impending series against Milwaukee. I only saw the highlights since during my pity party on Wednesday night I decided to avoid it entirely, but after prompting from my father I finally turned it on late in the game to see for myself that we had a convincing lead. After watching SportsCenter on loop a few times, I'd satisfactorily seen Chris Duncan's grand slam approximately thirteen times and let me tell you, it got no less thrilling in each subsequent viewing. It was also nice to see Pujols and Rolen get in on the action, as it's been disappointing to watch them struggle the past two days. Until now, I kind of thought they both needed a big hug and a swift kick in the rear. At this point, I'd offer them my first born.

Plus, how about that Braden Looper? I had serious misgivings about putting him in the rotation earlier this year, but as much as it pains me to say it, he's our freakin' ace! I have absolutely no issue with eating my words as long as he keeps tossing games like that. In fact, do you think it'd be appropriate to send him flowers?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Wait...What Just Happened?

Okay, someone help me out here. Who was our starting pitcher last night? Because I'm PRETTY SURE it wasn't Kip Wells. No, the REAL Kip Wells would not have held an opponent to just two runs in eight innings. (In fact, I'm pretty sure he has no idea what pitching into the eighth inning feels like.) Is this a joke? Did we acquire an alien byproduct of some genetic engineering experiment that just LOOKS like him? Is this still July of 2007? So many questions, so few reasonable answers. All I know is that Kip Wells (!!!) led the Cardinals to a 6-0 shutout of the Marlins last night with his most brilliant start, well, probably EVER. (Seriously. He has not won a game since May 23rd.) I'm not quite sure what to make of this development, but I can't help but think it's only temporary. He's been the stuff of nightmares all summer, so unless he's had some miraculous physical transformation, I'm not convinced I should be too terribly excited about it. Nonetheless, it made my morning to hear he didn't fall off the mound or accidentally chuck a curveball into the dugout. I do usually have to brace myself for the worst.

Someone I actually am kind of excited about is this Brendan Ryan kid. Filling in for an injured Scott Rolen, he had five assists last night and appeared to be completely comfortable at third base. With Rolen back in St. Louis investigating discomfort in his left shoulder and his usual backup Scott Spiezio out with a finger infection (what??), it's nice to know we don't have to resort to starting one of the ball boys. As my Dad pointed out this morning, if we somehow come back and take the division, we might be the first minor league team to ever make the playoffs. Of course the likelihood of that happening is about the same as me piloting a space shuttle to Mars, but it's fascinating to think about nonetheless.

On another note, does anyone else find it suspicious that Scott Rolen and Scott Spiezio keep coming down with injuries and diseases at the same time? I mean, first it was simultaneous food poisoning and now this whole "infected finger" and shoulder injury thing. Suuuuuuuurre. My bet is that they're actually back in St. Louis playing video games, eating Taco Bell and giving each other wedgies. That or they're moonlighting as mysterious super heroes out saving the world from evil forces. Both of these explanations somehow seem wildly more realistic then an infected finger. What does that even mean? I'm no doctor, but I'm highly confident that's not a legitimate injury. Does it need amputated or require extensive physical therapy? No? Then get your glove and get back on the field, you big pansy.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

It's Bedlam!!!

Okay, so much good stuff right now. First of all, Derrek Lee went all Carlos Zambrano today and attempted to beat the crap out of Padres pitcher Chris Young. This resulted in a bench clearing brawl that the real Carlos Zambrano CLEARLY could not resist. It is seriously something I usually only imagine in my head, except it really happened. So freaking funny.

Secondly, the Cardinals decided to have an offensive orgasm and scored ten runs in the fifth inning today. This almost makes me forget that they gave up 14 last night. Almost, but not quite. As thrilled as I am, how is it that a team gives up 17 runs one game and 14 the next??? Sweet mother of Jesus.

Anyhow, I do not want that to take away from the fact that tonight was AWESOME. I would probably make out with Chris Duncan right now if the opportunity presented itself. I also saw a Cubs fan get hit by a car on my way home this afternoon. I was far more sympathetic then I ever thought I would be. This was strange, considering I really always wanted one for a hood ornament. I don't know what this means, but I imagine I'll spend the rest of the evening drinking rum and cokes and listening to Van Halen. It seems like the only appropriate response to a day of such magnitude. You might as well JUMP!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

How Many Fingers Am I Holding Up?

In my excitement over the Cubs misfortune this past weekend, I failed to comment on the sudden resurgence of the St. Louis Cardinals. By golly, these scrappy little fellas have won 6 of their last 7! We're only four games under .500 and five games out of first place! Most remarkable is that all of this has been accomplished despite the fact that people are getting beaned in the head, breaking their wrists and having knee surgery. Pujols has smacked a few more home runs bringing his total to 12 and it even looks like Chris Carpenter is taking the first steps to recovery from his elbow surgery by playing some catch. Well, well, well!! These Redbirds are making fatigue, famine and all other assorted handicaps and injuries look good!

The most disturbing of these is the blow Gary Bennett took to the head during an at bat against the Reds' Aaron Harang on Wednesday. (Gary Bennett, of course, is the backup catcher who is taking Yadier Molina's place while he sits on the DL with a broken wrist. Jesus. At this rate, I'm not going to recognize anyone on this team by July. Bring on the backups of the backups!) How he walked away from that with all motor and verbal skills in tact, I'll never know. Anyhow, Tony LaRussa is NOT happy about it and wants Harang to be suspended.

"He didn't mean to hit him, but he meant to throw up and in. It's a very
dangerous thing. If you're a big league pitcher, you should be able to get the
ball below the shoulder. If you don't, you should have big consequences, because
that's a dangerous thing."

Now, I agree that getting a 90 mph fastball to the skull is probably no picnic. However, I don't think it's necessary to punish a guy for a pitch that CLEARLY got away from him. Can you imagine how awful it would feel to be directly responsible for giving someone potential brain damage? Anyone who intentionally does that is a depraved miscreant lacking any semblance of a moral compass anyway. Unfortunately, an automatic suspension isn't going to change that.

Further aiding our quest to become the gimpiest team in major league baseball is Preston Wilson's recent announcement that he will undergo knee surgery. He's suffered from cartilage damage and fluid build up in his right knee since spring training and is consulting with doctors to ascertain whether he will simply undergo a clean-up procedure or a more serious microfracture surgery that would keep him out for the remainder of the season. I think his backup is actually my sister, so we'll see how this goes.

Anyway, since this whole injury thing seems to be working for us, I recommend that all remaining players on the roster either go play patty cake with a grizzly bear or juggle a chain saw this weekend. The more maimed the better! Heck, as a sign of solidarity I've even given myself a paper cut. I mean, it didn't bleed or anything but it still hurt like hell. Take that, Gary Bennett!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

PSA: I Apologize For Being Totally Bonkers

This post is an effort to apologize for being a suicidal lunatic. I'm a terrible loser and have been fortunate to have experienced back-to-back seasons of wild Redbird success. Clearly, I'm misguided and totally delusional. That aside, I would like to say that there is something to be said for my team not being so fantastic. It's called PERSPECTIVE. I'm not completely deranged. I know that we can't have 100 plus wins each and every year. I'm spoiled rotten. (True story. Ask my parents.) It's humbling, in an "I wanna run people over with my car" kind of way. So....sorry to be a wet blanket. I can't help it. I'm hardwired to complain about things that do not agree with me. (True story. Ask my boss.) However, I am making a resolution to be more positive. As well as my self imposed Cardinals blackout has worked, I really can't live like this. I have a trip to St. Louis to brace myself for, after all. And you can't hide behind a computer when you're sitting there watching a game live. I mean, you can try to hide behind a beer guy, but usually you just end up looking like a big creep. Trust me. It doesn't go very well. So, I'm shaking it off by thinking of my most favorite live game experience EVER.

I'm in St. Louis with my Dad and one of his old buddies from work. It's Friday night and absolutely UNBEARABLY hot. I mean, sweating your guts out HOT. Add to that the fact that I had driven four plus hours to St. Louis that afternoon and had been desperately trying to keep up with the beers that kept being put into my sweaty hands and I was one big hot mess. The Cards were losing 0-4 going into the ninth. Somehow, (and the details are fuzzy due to the aforementioned beers,) Yadier Molina ended up capping off an unreal comeback in the bottom of the ninth to win the game 5-4. I have never in my life been such a drunken, delirious, sweaty mess of a human. There was lots of jumping around, high fiving and slurring. Meanwhile, my Dad's friend was snoozing peacefully in his seat. (WHA???? Yeah, it didn't make sense to us either.) I ended up back at our hotel calling everyone I knew to tell them about a game that no one knew or cared about. Meanwhile, it's a memory I will never forget. That's why I love the game. It truly isn't over until it's over. So, while I get frustrated, angry, upset and a few other words that aren't really appropriate, I can handle the losses believing that at some point, even if it is just for one night, I'll get to see something like that again.

Don't Look Now...

Unless I've completely lost my mind and started hallucinating, I think the Cardinals just finished a three game sweep of the Pirates. Is this right? Is this possible? Have we actually won THREE consecutive games in a ROW??? I don't believe it!! It seems as though my little "vacation" from Cardinals baseball has finally performed it's karmic duty. You can all thank me later. I mean, we have people hitting home runs now!! Jimmy Edmonds even crushed a 425 footer to right field on Wednesday!! This is fantastic!!

Okay, so I realize I may be totally blowing this out of proportion, but even if this series was only a temporary flash of competency, it was absolutely necessary for my health and sanity. This ought to keep me from strangling myself with my Albert Pujols T-shirt until AT LEAST July. I've been walking around with the thing tied around my neck looking for a strong tree branch since we left Detroit. Can you blame me? Prior to Tuesday's game, the Redbirds were in the middle of a five game losing streak and had lost seven of their last nine. We'd sunk 10 games out and back into last place. Now, we're only one game back from the Astros and Cubs and a much more respectable 7.5 out of first. (Keep in mind, the benchmark for adequacy is still well below sea level at this point.) Dare I say, this season may have hope for us after all!! Assuming we don't crap the bed against the Nationals this weekend, I may be able to return from my self imposed hiatus and start listening to live games again. Of course, I would do this in a padded room under heavy sedation, but that's really only for the safety of the children. Turns out the young folk get really upset when you kick the dog and yell the F word repeatedly. Who knew?