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May 2008

Duncan Down, Mather Up

Posted on May 30, 2008 at 2:25 PM
Per Bernie, who should know, it appears that Chris Duncan is heading down to Memphis and Joe Mather will be replacing him on the Cardinal roster for a time.  (EDIT: It's up on the PD main site as well.)

Mather's had a fairly successful season at Memphis and we all probably remember how well he looked in spring training.  It was definitely time for him to get a shot at the bigs, and it probably would have come sooner if the Cardinal outfield had performed as many thought it would.  With the relative success of most all the outfielders, though, it was going to take some kind of break for him to get up to St. Louis.

It's interesting that there didn't seem to be this drumbeat to send Duncan down until the last couple of days, then all of the sudden it happened.  Maybe it was because I was out of the loop last week.

As Bernie shows in his post, getting Duncan on track could provide huge benefits for the Cardinals.  When we looked at this season, I think most of us expected the production that Ryan Ludwick is having coming from Duncan instead, that he'd be the extra power source behind Pujols and Troy Glaus.  That hasn't happened, for whatever reason.  If it's because he needs reps after the injury last year, then sending him to AAA to get into the lineup basically every day could be of great use.

But what if it's not?  VEB has shown that everyone tends to pitch Duncan inside more this year.  If he can't make that adjustment, the Cardinals may regret not actively trying to move him last offseason.

I expect that the Cards were hoping he'd have a positive game like last night's to ease the sting of being sent down.  So they could legitimately tell him, "Look, we know you can do it.  See what you did against Oswalt?  You just need more playing time, and we don't have that here right now.  Go down, get straightened out, you'll be back up here before you know it."

It's interesting that the first outfielder called up this year is Mather and not Colby Rasmus, but there are obvious reasons for that.  Besides the fact that Rasmus is only hitting .202 (though coming on--reading the daily reports at Future Redbirds made me see that was happening and now I see he's hitting .303 over his last ten games), the idea is that this is a stop-gap, fill-in measure.  The Cards have said they don't want to bring Rasmus up until he can play every day.  Right now, that's not happening.  Mather is going to be more of a bench guy than they want Rasmus to be.

I wonder if Mather will get the start tonight.  Lefty on the mound, a home game, and the fact that LaRussa has thrown the pitchers called up into their first game to get their feet wet makes me think that he might be.  It could be a lineup like:

Barton
Mather
Pujols
Ludwick
Glaus
Molina
Izturis
Wellemeyer
Ryan

I was way off the last time I tried to guess a lineup, so I probably will be again, but that could be an interesting one to throw out there.

It's been fun seeing young players come up to contribute so far this year, hasn't it?  Much better than bringing up retreads or signing DFAs to fill gaps.

Oh, and in case you wanted to know, the CCH Pittsburgh series preview is up.

Continuing the Trend

Posted on May 30, 2008 at 10:11 AM
The Cardinals, after last night's victory, have won four series in a row, all by a 2 games to one count.  They've at least mixed up the game they lost, though, losing the first one twice, the second once and the third once.  That's winning baseball for almost two weeks, which was very good to see after the mini-meltdown (3-7) in the middle of the month.

Lots of people going on about Chris Duncan's at-bat last night.  It was a good sign to see Duncan battle back and drive the runs in.  However, I'm still giving the Hero tag to Albert Pujols.  First off, it was his two-out single that kept the first alive, leading to Duncan coming up (after a couple of walks).  Second, his home run proved to be the difference in the game.  If he doesn't hit that and Berkman ties it up in the ninth, you think as much talk about the first inning is going on?  You also have to fit Kyle Lohse into the Hero conversation, but no strikeouts is something that can come back to bite you eventually.

With not a lot of offense going on, it's a little tougher to find a Goat.  Ryan Franklin could have gotten consideration if he'd struggled after the home run to Berkman, but getting three straight outs after that soothed things.  So I think I'll go with Rick Ankiel, who went 0-4 including a strikeout hitting ahead of Pujols.  This shouldn't have been too unexpected, however.  He's hitting .232 in the #2 hole.

The Cards now face the last team they lost a series too.  Pittsburgh came into Busch May 13-15 and won the first and last game of the series.  Now, they come in for a four game set having settled back into the cellar that they are accustomed to.  As far as I can tell, this is the last series against the Pirates in St. Louis for the year.

Tonight's matchup is Todd Wellemeyer against Zach Duke.  Wellemeyer, as we say every time he comes around in the rotation, has been the pleasant surprise of the pitching staff.  He's solid proof that Dave Duncan does know what he was doing.  The last couple of years of Walt Jocketty's reign, he tended to grab anyone on the scrap heap and let Duncan tinker.  It didn't always work, but when it did, it worked big.

Wellemeyer has faced the Pirates twice this year.  The first outing, in Pittsburgh, was one of his worst of the year.  He had an almost identical line his next time out, then did not give up more than two earned runs again until his last time out against the Dodgers.  That included facing Pittsburgh in Busch, where he gave up one run in seven innings in a win.  He's got good career numbers against most of the hitters as well.

Duke, on the other hand, has never really fulfilled the promise he showed in 2005 as a rookie.  His ERA has always been high and he's only one five games in the last two years.  He's actually pitched much better on the road than at home this year, with an ERA under four.  However, no matter where he's at, his K/BB ratio is close to one and he gives up over a hit an inning.  If the Cardinals are patient against him, they may be able to continue their good numbers against him.

The YNOT for this series is up at the Clubhouse and the series preview will be soon as well.

Other news and links: Mark Mulder will retire rather than have another surgery.  It may come down to him retiring anyway, as neither he nor the team now thinks he'll be ready by the All-Star Break.  I was really hoping the Cards would get something out of him, especially after all the players were raving about him in the spring.  Now it really looks like his career is probably over.

And, if you are a big Lost fan like I am, you'll get a kick out of this one.  (And don't say a thing about the finale--I've still not watched the hour from a couple weeks back, much less last night's episode!)

Reading the T-Shirts

Posted on May 29, 2008 at 4:10 PM
I have a lot of Cardinal red in my closet.  In fact, it's pretty rare not to see me in some sort of St. Louis regalia.  And, in the last few years, I've started accumulating a number of the T-shirt jerseys.  You know what I'm talking about, the shirts with the Cardinal logo on the front and the player name and number on the back.

A few days ago, while trying to decide which one to wear, I started thinking about what the player on the back says about the person wearing it.  I'm not much good at this, but I'll give it a try.  (Oh, and the starred ones?  Those are the ones I have hanging in my closet right now!  I wouldn't necessarily lay claim that the descriptions fit me, though.)

Albert Pujols #5*: Having Pujols on your back could say a number of things.  It could say that you appreciate greatness.  It could say you know that he is this generation's Stan Musial.  Or it could say you are a front-runner who only knows Pujols on the current roster.  If you see this guy talking on the phone at the ballpark during the sixth with runners on and the game in the balance, count it as front-runner.

Rick Ankiel #24*: You are big on redemption.  You love the Hollywood movies.  You know, the one where the hero is knocked down but eventually makes a dramatic return and earns the standing ovation.  You teared up when he hit his home run in his first game back.  It's OK, you can admit it.

Rick Ankiel #66: You still pine for what could have been.  You remember the devastating curveball and the blazing fastball.  You get a little sick when you think of the 2000 playoffs.  Make that a lot sick.  And, also, you need to update your wardrobe just a bit.

Jim Edmonds #15: You are a little flashy.  You appreciate diving catches and dramatics on the field.  You tend to rush into the bank at 4:59 just ahead of the closing doors, even though you probably could have been there five minutes earlier if you wanted to.

Jim Edmonds #15 (Cubs): You are either obsessed with Jimmy Radio or just mentally deranged.  Either way, please seek professional help.

J.D. Drew #7*: You always thought J.D. was the whipping boy in St. Louis, that he was more productive than most gave him credit for and not quite as injury-prone as everyone made him out to be.  You also have sprained your shoulder patting yourself on the back and must miss a couple of days of work.

Chris Carpenter #29*:  You love seeing gambles pay off.  You'll put down $5 to win $500.  You remember 2005 and figure if a guy can be mentioned with Bob Gibson, he's good enough for your back.

Scott Rolen #27*:  There are a couple of options here.  You either love defense, remembering the leather Rolen flashed fondly, or you are one of those who formerly took LaRussa to task about most everything (though less loudly since 2006) and you wear 27 as a silent protest.

Yadier Molina #4: Defense is your passion.  You love seeing runners thrown out or picked off.  You love testing your reflexes by having people toss you items, just to see if you can catch them. (Usually, you can't.)  Or, perhaps, you just like to say Yadier Molina (which, I believe, is why my three-year-old son is so fond of him.)

Adam Wainwright #50*: You believe that pitching wins pennants.  You remember the curveball to Beltran more fondly than your wedding day.  You think the trade with Atlanta was just as good as the trade with Oakland was bad.

Jason Isringhausen #44: You live life on the edge.  You drink milk two days past the expiration date.  You renew your car tags on the second of the next month.  Adventure, excitement, these are your companions.  Unfortunately, they often leave you at the ER waiting for the on-call doctor.

Brendan Ryan #13: You love the scrappy guy.  This is the latest in a long line of shirts for you, starting with Joe McEwing and then Bo Hart, which you still break out occasionally.  Whether they have talent or not, it doesn't matter.  You also don't feel like it's a good day until you've gotten your clothes dirty in some form of exertion, even if it's just diving off the couch for a loose chip.

Colby Rasmus #?: You are always looking ahead.  As Yoda said, "All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was."  The present is nice and all, but you continue to plan and hope for a better day.

Jamie Garcia #?: You are actually Erik Manning.

Mark Mulder #30: You believe in miracles and you think the best bandwagons are the ones with plenty of room.

Of course, these are in all the traditional team colors.  You hate to see people of the female persuasion decked out like this.

Any more suggestions?  Post them in the comments!

On the Wagonmaker

Posted on May 29, 2008 at 9:37 AM
I've probably complained before about my cable system.  It's my blog, though, so I'm going to do it again.

Actually, the system really is good.  We, for some reason, here in this part of Arkansas are considered part of the Houston market, so that's the FSN that we get.  My cable company, though, runs the pregame and game feed from FSN Midwest on an unused channel for the Cardinal fans.

This works out great except when the Cardinals play Houston.  Then, we are forced to have the Houston feed, which is how it was Tuesday night.  That's not too bad, though I prefer the pregame show and getting the Cardinal announcers.

What irritates me is situations like last night.  Houston's FSN wasn't televising the game, but we still didn't get the FSN Midwest feed.  So it was televised, but we couldn't get it down here.  It's a rare thing and I know I'm blessed to be able to see as many games as I do, but it still gets a little irksome.

And, apparently, it was a heck of a game to watch.  I love to see good pitching, especially from the Cardinal side, and Adam Wainwright provided that.  Three hits in eight innings?  Very nice.  Especially against a resurgent Houston team that had put the wood to the Cardinals the night before.

Getting that early lead surely helped, and I see we have the Houston defense to thank for that.  I knew that Rodriguez has been tough on the Cardinal hitters, so I was surprised to see that the Cards jumped on him early.

Another rough night for Troy Glaus.  0-4 with 4 left on. Glaus seems to be a streaky hitter in the line of Edmonds.  When he's going, he's going well.  When he's not, it's not pretty.

Back to Wainwright for a minute, though.  It was about this time last year that things started to click for the Wagonmaker and he became the pitcher we've grown accustomed to.  Since the end of May last year, he's 15-10 with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.  His H/9 is 8.0 and K/9 is at 6.1.  All in all, he's the ace, whether Carpenter comes back or not.

Cards look to win the series tonight, but it'll be a challenge.  Roy Oswalt is on the mound for the Astros.  Oswalt isn't having a typical year for him, but he's still a tough pitcher to face.  The Cardinals were able to beat him the one time they faced him this year and some Cards do have pretty decent numbers against him.

Kyle Lohse goes for the Redbirds.  If he pitches like he did against Houston earlier in the year or how he did last time out, the Cards will be in good shape. However, if he pitches up to his career numbers against Astro hitters, well, it'll be a long evening.

Losing Momentum

Posted on May 28, 2008 at 7:41 AM
The glow from a nice road trip was quickly erased last night as the Cards lost their second in a row and their third straight Tuesday game (for what that's worth).

Braden Looper easily gets the Goat tag.  Four runs down before the Cardinals even come to bat?  You knew it was going to be a rough day when that happened.  When Houston kept piling on, it's time to start thinking about the next game.

A 4-4 game with a HR is classic Hero stuff, even in a game like this, so Albert Pujols adds to his total.  However, I did really like seeing Brian Barton get the first home run of his career.  In a game like that, you take your joy where you can get it.

Things should turn around tonight, as Adam Wainwright goes against Wandy Rodriguez.  Wainwright only has one start against Houston this season, but it was a complete game in which he allowed three runs.  In fact, until his last outing in LA, that game was his last win.

Rodriguez is coming off the DL, but does have a start against the Cardinals this year.  He has even a better line than Wainwright, going 7.1 and allowing only three hits, no runs.  He's been tough on the Cardinals in the past, especially Pujols.  Maybe I spoke too soon about things turning around.

Delay In Transmission

Posted on May 26, 2008 at 10:41 PM
Sorry I've not been around.  Work and holiday weekends have conspired to keep me out of cyberspace for the most part.  I've got some interesting (to me) blog ideas, if I can ever just get around to writing.  Sadly, it looks like this week will be another where there won't be much regular correspondence from this corner.

Let's briefly hit the Heroes/Goats of the Los Angeles series.  All in all, a very good series.  Two wins and a strong chance for the sweep.  A 4-2 road trip out to the Coast is about all you can ask for and it got them back into first place before the Cubs win today.

(And, personally, I'm glad it's not just me that thinks it's crazy the Cards don't have a game on Memorial Day.  All the summer holidays--this one, the Fourth, Labor Day--should be games for every team.)

Friday
Hero: Adam Wainwright.  7 innings, five hits, one earned run.  The team needed every bit of that and he stepped up to make those rough outings history.  Honorable mention: Ryan Ludwick, for providing basically all the offense.
Goat: Adam Kennedy.  0-5 in the leadoff slot doesn't help, though there were many that could have been chosen here.
General notes: I didn't get to see very much of this one.  How about Chris Perez, though?  I know that LaRussa won't have him closing soon, but he sure looks ready for it.  And don't you hate rain delays in the bottom of the ninth?  I wanted to see the end of the game, but I wasn't going to wait up for it by that time.

Saturday
Hero: Kyle Lohse.  An even better line than Wainwright, with no runs in six innings.  Again, exactly what the team needed.  Got to love those pitcher's parks.   Honorable mention: Adam Kennedy, for drawing the two-out walk that led to all the scoring.
Goat: Kinda tough to find one.  Molina went 0-3, but threw out Pierre trying to steal.  I guess we'll give it to Troy Glaus, because he stranded the most runners (2) with an 0-for night, but you hate to pick on the guy that leaves with abdominal problems.
General notes:  They might still be playing if Penny hadn't been wild with two outs.  It was a pretty fun game to watch, if you are into the pitching thing.

Sunday
Hero:  2-5 with a RBI will give the tag to Albert Pujols, but kudos to Brian Barton going 1-3 with 2 runs.
Goat: Skip Schumaker, for his 0-4 in the leadoff slot and the stranding of three runners.
General notes:  I had my daughter's first birthday party during this time (I didn't do the scheduling) so I saw only the 10th.  Can't blame Parisi too much, but it'd been nice if he'd gotten that out and sent it to the 11th.

Houston comes to town tomorrow.  The scheduled starters are Braden Looper vs. Shawn Chacon.  Chacon has already faced the Cardinals twice this year, posting a 2.76 ERA against them, though he got no decision in either outing.  In fact, it took Chacon 10 starts before he finally did get a decision, a win against the Cubs.

Looper has a win and a no-decision against the Astros, but proves the futility of win-loss records.  In the win, he gave up three in 5.2 innings.  In the no-decision, he threw seven scoreless innings.  Note that in the no-decision, he was matched up against Chacon.

Containing Berkman, as always, will be the key to the series.

I'll try to post some later in the week, even if it's just a short thought on the previous night's game.  But be looking for my special blog posts, including what your Cardinal T-Shirt says about you.

SD Victory II: The Wrath of Pujols

Posted on May 22, 2008 at 7:37 AM
What a dangerous third inning.  Very rare you take out both sides of the battery within a couple of plays!

I was very impressed with Albert's behavior, though.  I don't think I've ever seen a batter come and huddle with the opponents on the mound like that and, as a fellow Christian, was glad to see him praying with Adrian Gonzalez as the trainers tended to Chris Young.

I'm not sure why things were different for Josh Bard.  All I can figure is that Pujols didn't think that his slide hurt him that badly and, by time the extent of the injury was known, it was really too late to go back out and check on him.  I was hoping the PD story would say something about that, since I've only heard his comments about Young, but no such luck.

Another quick post.  I don't know if I'll be back until Tuesday.

Hero:  Troy Glaus, again.  2-4, 3 RBI including the go-ahead one (that Bard is really wishing hadn't happened).
Goat:  Braden Looper.  Yes, he got the win, but he was continually bailed out by his fielders and only lasted five innings.  If the game had been closer or the Cards hadn't had the off day today, that could have been disastrous for the bullpen.

No game today.  Cards get back at it tomorrow with a late one against the Dodgers.  I'll see if I can't sneak some computer time and get it previewed before it happens!

Disappointing Defeat

Posted on May 21, 2008 at 7:41 AM
I'm out of the office the next couple of days, so I don't know how much posting I'll get done between now and Tuesday.  But let's throw up a quick one.

Went to bed with the Cards up 2-0 and the Pads really not doing much.  Was pretty stunned to see the 3-2 loss when I woke up this morning.  That really was a game the Cards needed to win, with the Cubs already losing.  The offense looked pretty solid early, but apparently never could get it done late.

Hero: Troy Glaus.  2-4, drove in a run, scored another.
Goat: Brian Barton.  0-4 in the leadoff spot.  He needs to show a little more to keep from being buried on the bench.

Tonight's game is Braden Looper vs. Chris Young.  Looper hasn't faced San Diego much.  He's done well, save against Adrian Gonzalez, in his limited exposure.  Young's done even better against the Cardinals (assuming I've pulled the right Chris Young, that is!)  Hopefully the Cardinals will be able to pull out the series win tonight.

Sand, Surf and Slugging

Posted on May 20, 2008 at 9:13 AM
Hey, isn't Petco supposed to be a pitcher's park?

I have to admit, I was a little concerned about last night's game.  All the pieces seemed to be in place for a Cardinal win, but those are the kind of games that tend to come up and bite this team.  From the get-go last night, though, it was apparent that neither the travel or the team was going to hold the Cardinals back.

Honestly, I wanted to give the Hero award to Cesar Izturis.  There was plenty of shock when I saw Gameday record his first home run of the year.  I personally savaged this deal in the spring, when Izturis was flubbing a ball a day and recording more errors than hits.  Even now, he can be a whipping boy for some fans.  But he's posting a .263 average right now, which is well more than most of us expected on the year.  He was hitting .186 on April 27.  Since then, he's gone 18-54 (.333) and now with a surprising home run.  You figure he'll slow down soon, but he's already proven that John Mozeliak might have a little idea what he's doing.

Still, when a guy slugs two home runs, both moon shots and one of which may not have landed yet, you gotta go with him.  Albert Pujols continues to show that he isn't to be challenged, though Ryan Ludwick is making it difficult for teams to bypass him.  Any surprise, then, that Pujols has three home runs in three games?

A little tough to find a Goat in yesterday's battle.  Wellemeyer pitched another stellar game and the bullpen kept everything in line.  Most everyone contributed something to the game.  (Gotta love--well, he might not--Yadi's bases-loaded HBP.  Takin' one for the team!)  So, for his 0-4 (even though he did draw a walk), the Goat goes to Adam Kennedy.

Not only is the press starting to rip on the Padres, the GM is getting into the act as well.  Which may mean a fired up squad comes out to play tonight.  The Cardinals will do well to not take them for granted, especially with the future Hall of Famer on the mound.

Greg Maddux has faced the Cardinals, as a team, numerous times.  Compared to the recent starters the Redbirds have faced, they are old friends with Maddux, but even then there are a number of players that haven't faced him or have faced him less than 10 times.  Pujols has been able to hit him well and surprisingly both Jason LaRue and Izturis have good averages against him as well.  It's always good to see Maddux play--he's been one of my favorites for years--but hopefully the Cards can get to him early.

Going for St. Louis is Joel Pineiro.  Pineiro has a solid body of work against the current Friars, but nothing dramatic.  Josh Bard will probably get the start as he's hit Pineiro well in the past.   Pineiro hasn't be quite on top of his game the last couple of outings, but hopefully the big park will help him keep the score down.

Some general notes:  I was half-watching highlights last night when I saw a Cubs outfielder make a great play with his back to the infield on Tal's Hill there in Houston.  I thought, "Hey, that's kinda like a play that Edmonds made for the Cardinals."  It didn't register with me until they showed him jogging off that it actually was Edmonds.  Having him in Cub blue is just so terribly wrong.

Did you see this part of the PD article about Stan the Man?  Personally, I think it's pretty neat:

Asked if Pujols, an avowed fan of Musial's career, could break his records, Musial said, "He has a chance to. He loves baseball, he's a good first baseman. ... You know the first time I saw Albert Pujols? He gave me a big hug and kissed me on the forehead."
Congrats to Jon Lester on his no-hitter.  Very impressive, especially considering where he was just a couple of years ago.   The only downside: more Boston talk.  I mean, c'mon, let's spread the no-hitters around, can we?

Note that Mark Mulder is having his rehab delayed.  At least it looks like it was something instead of just the Cardinals playing around with technicalities. Don over at The Redbird Blog talked about the injury situation with the Cardinals and how it is such an unnecessary mess.  It appears that Rick Ankiel might be ready to go tomorrow, but if not, it seems like the Cardinals are doing one of their trademark moves, playing short for a long length of time when it'd be better for the player to go on the DL.  He's missed three games so far, so it's not a big deal.  If he's not back in the lineup by Friday, though, it might have been better to bring up Joe Mather.

If you are enjoy the blog and want to add it to your personal site, use this widget and, boom, C70 headlines will be there.  And if anyone out there has an extra Stan Musial statue from this Sunday and would like to part with it, e-mail me and let me know if we can work something out!

Rays-ing Spirits

Posted on May 19, 2008 at 11:29 AM
Let me get this out of the way: I'm no fan of interleague play.  I think of it as a cheap promotional gimmick that causes more controversy and issues than it's worth.  Listening and watching the games this weekend, it was hard to think of them as games that count.  It was more like the team was back in spring training, playing some exhibitions.

Still it's always good to win a series, no matter who you are playing against.  It wasn't easy, but the fact the Cards were able to take two of three from the then-first place Tampa Bay Rays should give them some confidence as they head on the yearly West Coast road trip.

There's not much point to recap--everyone's pretty familiar with the games by now, I'd figure--but we've got some hardware to hand out.

Friday, the only Rays win of the series, you'd have to go with Chris Duncan as the Hero, since he was pretty much the only bit of offense out there, capped off by his fourth homer.  Troy Glaus did have a couple of hits and Chris Perez was outstanding in his first outing.

For the Goat, you might choose a number of players, but with an 0-4 ending his 42-game on-base streak and an error to boot, it's one of those rare nights off for Albert Pujols.  I almost went with Skip Schumaker after his fourth-inning at bat resulted in a double play after two were on with none out, which was a big blow to the Cardinals' chances.

Saturday was a wild one, from what I can tell.  I was at the zoo with the family and missed most of it, but obviously when you have a two home-run day (including a walkoff) like Ryan Ludwick had, well, that's Hero material.  The Goat is a little up in the air.  Duncan had an 0-5 and left five men on base on a day where everyone was getting hits.  Another shaky outing by Adam Wainwright almost gives him the tag.  Thirteen baserunners in less than six innings is a recipe for disaster, though it's possible conditions affected him as well.  If not, the Cardinals have problems, because if Wainwright starts struggling, this team is in a lot of trouble.  But Randy Flores allowing three runs in a third of an inning really takes the cake.  The whole bullpen seemed to struggle on Saturday.

The last game was a pretty interesting one as well.  I got to watch most of it and didn't think the Cards were ever going to mount the rally they needed.  It would have been fitting if Pujols would have driven in a number of runs with the bases loaded in the sixth, being the closest thing to Stan Musial the team has, but that wasn't to be and I thought that'd be their last chance.  This team plays the hard nine, though, and it was good to see.

Obviously, Skip Schumaker could have gotten the Hero tag for his walk-off hit and Aaron Miles could have gotten it for his game-tying double.  But I want to go a different direction and give it to the newest Cardinal, Chris Perez.  In only his second game, he was given the ball after the team had tied it up in the eighth.  Not only was he able to keep the game tied, he didn't even make it that agonizing, throwing five strikes and turning it over to the offense.

Our final Goat would be Troy Glaus, who went 0-4 and had a big strikeout in the fifth, ending another potential rally.  That said, Glaus has been coming on of late and it's very good to see.

So the Cardinals head out to San Diego trailing the Cubs by two games.  And, as a gift, they miss Jake Peavy, who is out with an elbow issue.  Instead, they'll face Will Ledezma.  Ledezma has only started one game this year, usually working out of the pen, so it's not that likely he'll be around much past the fifth if the Cardinals are able to get the men on that they usually do.  However, the Cardinals seem to struggle against pitchers like this, especially when they've not seen them much before.  They'll possibly have to continue their patient at-bats, because that ballpark in Petco isn't usually that conducive to hitting.

The Cardinals throw Todd Wellemeyer at the Pads.  If you thought the Cardinals didn't know much about Ledezma, that's a wealth of first-hand knowledge compared to the Padres and Wellemeyer.  I don't think we'll be able to make many judgment calls there.

The Padres have definitely not had the season that people expected, as they have the worst record in baseball, but they still can be a dangerous team.  Hopefully the Cardinals will be able to extend their misery for a few more games.  And there's still time for the Padre YNOT!




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Heroes
Carlos Beltran (6)
Yadier Molina (5)
Matt Holliday (4)
Jon Jay (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Pete Kozma (3)
Shelby Miller (3)
Adam Wainwright (3)
Allen Craig (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Tyler Lyons (2)
Edward Mujica (2)
Jake Westbrook (2)
David Freese (1)
Joe Kelly (1)
Seth Maness (1)
Trevor Rosenthal (1)
Michael Wacha (1)
Ty Wigginton (1)

2012 Top Hero: Matt Holliday (17)
2011 Top Hero: Lance Berkman (24)
2010 Top Heroes: Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols (24)
2009 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (28)
2008 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (25)

Goats
Jon Jay (6)
David Freese (5)
Mitchell Boggs (4)
Joe Kelly (4)
Pete Kozma (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Allen Craig (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Yadier Molina (3)
Matt Adams (2)
Carlos Beltran (2)
Matt Carpenter (2)
Matt Holliday (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Seth Maness (1)
Shane Robinson (1)
Fernando Salas (1)
Adam Wainwright (1)
Jake Westbrook (1)

2012 Top Goat: Rafael Furcal (11)
2011 Top Goat: Ryan Theriot (12)
2010 Top Goat: Brendan Ryan (14)
2009 Top Goats: Rick Ankiel and Todd Wellemeyer (13)
2008 Top Goat: Troy Glaus (13)

Cardinal Nation Approval Ratings (March 2013)
Yadier Molina 96.2% (up 8.8%)
Chris Carpenter 89.8% (down 0.3%)
Derrick Goold 89.1% (up 6.3%)
Matt Holliday 88.4% (up 0.9%)
Allen Craig 88.3%
Adam Wainwright 88.2% (down 3.7%)
Jose Oquendo 87.1% (up 2.4%)
Jason Motte 86.9%
John Mozeliak 86.5% (up 1.1%)
United Cardinal Bloggers 85.2% (up 6.3%)
Bill DeWitt 85.1% (up 5.3%)
Mike Shannon 85.1% (down 0.2%)
John Rooney 84.5% (up 3.0%)
Mike Matheny 84.4% (up 3.3%)
David Freese 82.9% (down 2.6%)
Jon Jay 81.8% (up 10.7%)
Lance Berkman 80.6% (down 8.0%)
Jenifer Langosch 79.5%
Lance Lynn 79.5%
Dan McLaughlin 76.0% (up 8.0%)
Jim Hayes 73.0% (up 1.1%)
Ricky Horton 65.5% (down 2.0%)
Jaime Garcia 64.1%
Albert Pujols 59.2% (up 4.3%)
Ballpark Village 58.3%
Joe Strauss 54.3% (down 13.4%)

2012
Tony La Russa 88.2% (up 17.4%)
Mark McGwire 82.6% (up 20.1%)
Skip Schumaker 73.3% (up 9.2%)
B.J. Rains 69.5% (down 0.9%)
Kyle Lohse 68.9% (up 13.8%)
Al Hrabosky 66.4% (up 3.2%)
Colby Rasmus 46.5% (down 35.3%)

2011
Dave Duncan 87.9% (up 0.9%)
Matthew Leach 85.5%
Pop Warner 76.7%
Ryan Franklin 72.8% (up 3.1%)
John Vuch 68.9%
Jeff Luhnow 66.4%
Dan Lozano 58.7%

2009
Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%


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