Showing posts with label Ryan Ludwick. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ryan Ludwick. Show all posts

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.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I may have nearly died of a heat stroke, but I returned from St. Louis a VERY happy woman. Three days, three games and three exciting wins make this another doozy for the record books. With a win on Thursday night before we even arrived, the Cardinals were able to complete a 4 game sweep of San Diego and catapult themselves within 2 games of the Scrubbies. (Who lost two of three to Houston over the weekend. So sad!) Not a bad way to kick things off after the All-Star break, eh?

We kicked the weekend off in true Trumbull fashion on Friday night by attending the Champion's Club at Busch Stadium, where we were encouraged to drink excessively. With a license to eat and drink whatever we wanted, you best believe we were prepared to get our money's worth! As it turns out, we needed all the sustenance we could get, as the game lasted for what felt like 9 hours. When it was all said and done, there were 24 combined base hits and 18 runs. Ryan Ludwick smacked a 3 run homer in the 4th (his 22nd) and Ricky Ankiel fought through a 12 pitch at-bat in the 7th for his 22nd dinger of the year. Plus, a ton of other stuff happened, including Braden Looper looking anything but inspiring. He was as sharp as a doorknob right out of the gate and ultimately capped off his gem of a performance with a two-run homer to Jody Gerut in the 4th. Fortunately, five relievers were able to combine for six innings and gave up only one additional run on four hits. In fact, despite some cynical prognostications from my mother, even Jason Isringhausen didn't totally embarrass himself. (No, he saved that for Sunday. More on that later!) After 4 more runs in the 8th, the Cards won it 11-7 and we stumbled back to the hotel drunk on victory.

Without a doubt, the coolest thing that happened on Friday night was me skyrocketing to inevitable fame after being flashed on the Jumbotron. My Dad and I participated in a pre-taped segment before the game in which they asked us what we thought the Padres were named after. I mumbled and stuttered like an idiot without a clue, which was apparently amusing enough to use in the final piece. We're still trying to figure out what they must have done with the footage they shot of Dad, as he carried on for a good few minutes about monks, robes and the color of his own eyes. We came to a joint conclusion that it's being used to entertain the vendors in the breakroom.

Saturday began with a trip to the Cardinals Team Store, where I purchased more crap I most certainly do not need. Following a light lunch of cheeseburgers, fries and pizza at J. Bucks, we hauled our buns back to the ballpark for the 2:55 start. And let me tell you was HOT. We were naturally sitting right in direct sunlight and it got so toasty by the third inning that I was actually running out of places to wipe my sweat. It also got downright depressing as Todd Wellemeyer gave up 5 runs in the first two innings before finally settling the heck down. (He was able to then pitch scorelessly until he was removed in the 7th and retired 14 of the final 16 batters he faced.) Albert Pujols hit a three-run double in the 5th to pull it within 2. After RBI singles by both Rick Ankiel and Skip Schumaker, Big Al knocked in one more in the 6th to put the Redbirds ahead for the 6-5 win. Seriously...that man is a freak of nature. I don't remember what they're paying him, but I'm sure it's nowhere near what he's worth. He's like a superhero or something.

Anyway, the crew was getting a little weary by Sunday. We'd gone out for a celebratory Italian feast on Saturday night that had left a few of us a bit, shall we say...dehydrated. Combined with the impending 96 degree heat we'd been promised for that afternoon, pretty much all of us were convinced we were going to pass out and die by the 4th inning. Luckily, that didn't happen or we would have missed one of the most awesome endings to a game that I've ever seen. None of us had great expectations going in, as both Pujols and Yadier Molina were resting and Jaime Garcia was on the mound for his first major league start EVER. However, it ended up being a wild game in which the Cardinals came from behind in the 8th, saw the lead evaporate courtesy of Jason Isringhausen in the top of the 9th and surged back for good in the bottom of that same inning with an Aaron Miles walk-off grand slam. Albert Pujols was brought in to scare the crap out of people in the 8th, which is when Troy Glaus hit a 3-run bomb to put the Cards in front. This being the Cardinals bullpen (leading the Majors with 23 blown saves!) that wasn't going to be nearly enough run support. Izzy and Little Brad Thompson proceeded to cough up enough meatballs to tie things up, which actually made things far more exciting in the end. So, thanks for being so frustratingly poor at throwing baseballs, gentleman! Anyway, after Pujols drew a walk and made it to third on a failed pick-off attempt, both Yadi and Skippy were intentionally walked. Enter Mr. Miles and his big fat grandie! WOOHOO!!!!! I needed multiple martinis, a big steak AND some cheesecake in order to adequately celebrate that ridiculous hot mess of an afternoon. (I should mention that I also desperately required a SHOWER.) St. Louis now has 24 come-from-behind wins and 12 final-at-bat wins this year. I'm being told that means these guys are a scrappy bunch of ballplayers. I'm personally inclined to think it means they're a bunch of damn drama queens, but either way I hope they keep it up.

So, now...despite dropping two in a row to Milwaukee (including the game Monday night in which we nearly came back AGAIN!), we are still resting just 2 games behind the first place Scrubbies and 1 behind the now second place Brewers. This ought to make the rest of this season a complete and total NIGHTMARE. I'm tired of hearing about the wild card race already! Anyway, I'm headed back to Iowa this weekend, which means I'll be able to catch a couple more games on TV. (I'm not terribly concerned with seeing any of the people that live there, considering I ran into three different groups of people from my hometown at different times over the weekend. To be honest, it kind of creeped me out.) It would be really special if we could split this series with the Brew Crew and go into the weekend with some momentum. I suppose the good news is that either way, I'll be able to watch those games without having to deal with sweat and sunblock running into my eyes or my legs sticking to the bottom of my seat. See, that's just how I am, people. Always looking on the bright side of things! It's amazing how delusional you can get with the right amount of sun and alcohol poisoning.