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Gutting Some Fish

Posted on September 7, 2008 at 11:00 PM
Filed Under: Baseball | Florida Marlins | Heroes and Goats | St. Louis Cardinals
This isn't the main entry for Monday--the UCB Project will get top billing--but I wanted to go ahead and do the normal quick wrapup of the weekend series.  If it wasn't for one pitch, it could have been a possible sweep for the Cardinals and again putting them within sight (a very small sight, but still) of the wild-card.  Normally, two out of three ain't bad, but this time of year, it doesn't help a whole lot.  At least it kept Houston from passing them, though.

Hero: Braden Looper.  With the offense not denting home plate much and after his last disasterous outing, getting into the eighth with a shutout was very impressive.
Goat: Chris Perez.  There's still a learning curve with the rookie.  Though if the culture of blown saves hasn't been cleared out of the bullpen yet, it might not be the best place to learn.
Notes: The young guns in the bullpen still have a lot of promise, but they are going to take their lumps at times as well.  And apparently Pujols doesn't plan to go quietly into the offseason, does he?

Hero: Albert Pujols.  The two run home run was, of course, the big blow.  But his typically aggressive baserunning paid off again, as he tagged up on a fly ball to right field and went to second, where he scored on Yadier Molina's double.  Pujols gets busted by some fans when he gets caught doing crazy things on the basepaths, but it does seem like it works out more times than not.
Goat: Cesar Izturis.  0-4 from the leadoff slot.
Notes: Great work by Todd Wellemeyer in this game too, getting through eight innings.  120 pitches is on the high side, though, especially with a guy that's had a few arm troubles this year.  It'll be interesting to see how Wellemeyer pitches the rest of the season.  He could be a guy that gets skipped if the schedule works out right for him in the next week or so.

Hero: Adam Wainwright.  Eight innings, one run, six strikeouts.  Solid work for the ace.  I seriously am geeked, if you will, about him and Carpenter being healthy for next season's rotation.
Goat: Ryan Ludwick.  0-4 with 3 K.
Notes: Pujols goes yard again on Downs Syndrome day.  No matter what he says, there are things that inspire him to step his game up, and this seems to be one of them.  And it was great to see Perez finally get back on the horse and get the save.  Lends credence to the fact that he has a closer mentality.

At least according to the stories at the PD site, there's not much going on off the field.  Which has helped them focus on the fact that tomorrow (probably today when you read this) is the 10th anniversary of Mark McGwire's 62nd home run.

I can remember where I was for most of the last 10 home runs for that season.  60, I was at a friend's house and we had the TV on while we were doing something on the computer.  I remember the Cincinnati pitcher Reyes (Dennys, I believe?) leaving one basically in the middle of the plate and knowing that it was gone.  I remember jumping off my couch when McGwire hit 61 on Labor Day.  And I remember being out at my parents and just watching 62 fly in pretty much complete silence, just taking in the pictures, sights and sounds.

Obviously, most people look back at that day with a totally different perspective now, what with the whole steroid cloud and the infamous "I'm not here to talk about the past."  I still remember the thrills, though, of the whole nation watching Cardinal baseball.  Being so involved with the daily pursuit.   I'm still one that gives McGwire the benefit of the doubt--especially because of that magical season.

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2011 Top Hero: Lance Berkman (24)
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2009 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (28)
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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%)

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%)

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%

Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%

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