Before I do anything, I've got to give major thanks/props/kudos/whatever the kids are saying these days to Mike
for filling in for me. I really appreciate him filling in and keeping things running while I was up in Reds country. It was great yesterday to get into Arkansas and be able to easily find Mike and John on the radio. I listened to the last couple of innings and knew I was home again.
I'll catch up the Hero/Goat leaderboard soon with Mike's selections, but let's take a look at the last two wins by the Cardinals, insuring a winning homestand.
Saturday, looks like the hero was Rick Ankiel
with a two-run homer. Mitchell Boggs was in the discussion, though four walks was a little on the high side. Good to see him get a solid game in, though, especially with the state of the pitching staff. Goatishly, you'd probably look at Brendon Ryan
, who went 0-4 and left four on base.
Sunday, it's a surprise hero in Jason LaRue
. A home run, a triple, and four RBI, plus getting the best of a collision at the plate? Gotta give him the award (wind-aided), even with an AP two-for-five, HR day. (Sounds like he would have had two homers on a different day, with the wind holding one up at the track.) In my mind, the goat has to go to Braden Looper
, because when you know the bullpen needs some rest, to go out there and not get through the fourth is a terrible thing.
Last year it was a little busy during my Ohio trip
. Sorting through, it looks like there were a few things that happened the last 10 days as well:
- Jason Isringhausen looks like he's going on the DL, then doesn't. Pretty decent outing yesterday against the Royals, save the back-to-back doubles.
- Yadier Molina returned from his concussion.
- Cesar Izturis goes on the DL, exposing the weakness of the middle infield.
- Mark Mulder gets activated and put in the bullpen, but doesn't pitch. And, apparently, there's not a lot of confidence in him since apparently Brad Thompson is returning because "we need innings."
- To make room for Thompson, Nick Stavinoha goes back down after being promoted during the week. Wish I could have seen him play.
- And, last but not least, El Hombre returns, with Randy Flores going on the DL. And obviously Pujols didn't forget how to hit in his time off.
The Cards return to Busch today (their road trip just perfectly coincided with mine) and take on the so-far disappointing New York Mets for the first time this year. The Mets sit a game under .500 and in third place in the NL East, though that's only 3 games out of the top spot. The Cards continue their run of missing ace pitchers as they won't see Santana in this four game series.
Kyle Lohse goes for the Redbirds, looking for his tenth win of the season. There are a couple of Mets that are excited about renewing acquaintances
. Walk Beltran every time up, Kyle. And as hot as Delgado has been, think about it with him as well.
John Maine goes for the Metropolitians. The Cards haven't seen a lot of him
, though Pujols has liked what he has seen. (Both of those home runs were in a game in 2006, though.) Maine's most famous game against St. Louis was probably Game 6 of the 2006 NLCS
, where he kept the Mets alive and set the stage for a classic.
This is a big series for the Cards. Winning this one against a quality (if scuffling) opponent would give them a lot of momentum for the weekend series against the Cubs.
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