Blogs By FansC70 At The Bat
Sponsor
Cardinals_WideSkyscraper.jpg

Baseball Schedule is your best source for the latest St Louis Cardinals Schedule information as well as keeping up with division rivals including Cubs Schedule, Reds Schedule, Brewers Schedule and Astros Schedule.

Bet on the Cardinals with Sports Interaction's MLB betting lines


Slots Galore Casino Tournaments

Get your tickets from Bubba! Cheap St. Louis Cardinals Tickets and more, including tickets for the next MLB All-Star Game. Bubba's got Boston Red Sox Tickets and New York Yankees Tickets

Subscribe
RSS Feed

Archives

Players

Categories


Alliance tickets has an extensive inventory of St. Louis Cardinals Tickets , Colorado Rockies Tickets, San Francisco Giants Tickets and Seattle MarinersTickets.

With all of the St Louis tickets out there, Cardinals tickets and Rams tickets make for great presents. GoTickets.com can fill all of your sports tickets needs, just check out our testimonials

A Successful Cardinal Weekend

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 6:44 AM
Filed Under: Cincinnati Reds | Milwaukee Brewers | St. Louis Cardinals
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend.  I had a very nice holiday and, for the most part, the Cardinals did as well.  Quick recap, then we'll get into a few things from the Milwaukee series.

Friday (11-5 win)
Hero: David Freese.  There were a lot of Cardinal hitters to choose from, but I like Freese's two-for-five, home run, three RBI day.

Goat: J.C. Romero.  This initial foray for the lefthander didn't bode well, as he allowed hits to both men he faced and was yanked out of the game.

Saturday (6-0 loss)
Hero: Adam Wainwright.  There wasn't much on the offensive side to cheer for, but Wainwright was back and pitched better than his final line appeared.

Goat: Fernando Salas.  Two outs and three extra base hits allowed.  That's not exactly how the Cards drew it up, even though the game was pretty much already over.

Sunday (9-3 win)
Hero: Shane Robinson. Three hits, including his first big league home run.

Goat: Matt Carpenter.  The only starter who didn't get a hit, though he did walk and score a run.  Tough day to figure out a goat, honestly.

While these were the highlights, there were a lot of noteworthy things that happened this weekend in Milwaukee, more than anything the series win.  After dropping the game on Saturday, the Cards were in real danger of losing the series as Randy Wolf went Sunday and we've seen him be hard on the Cards.  Instead, they got to him for three runs in five innings, then worked over the Brewer bullpen.  Resiliency and a strong work ethic seem to have carried over from the latter half of 2011 into this season as well.

It's amazing the difference we see between the first four games of last year and the first four of this year.  This point in the season the Cards were just 1-3, with Jaime Garcia's shutout on UCB Weekend being the only high point.  (Speaking of, still only one winner in the DVD giveaway.  Get your answers in today!)  We've seen no blown saves, though the bullpen hasn't looked quite as lockdown as we'd like.  We've seen few double plays and even fewer are the traditional groundouts.  The new-look aggressiveness is about as likely to get a lineout-double off type.  No drama, no surprise injuries, just some solid baseball.  We can only hope it continues.

We did see some good work on the mound this weekend.  Garcia went in the first game and struggled early, giving up two in the first, but then settled down enough to string up five more zeros.  On the positive side, you could say that Garcia didn't let his early troubles rattle him as much as he has in the past, that he was able to push through them.  On the down side, he still only went six innings (though he pitched to two batters in the seventh).  It wasn't a shutout like last season, but I think most will take that for Garcia's first outing.  Hopefully we are going to see a more consistent Garcia as the season goes along.

As I noted, Wainwright could have had a much better line than three runs in 5.2 innings.  He came within a pitch of getting out Aramis Ramirez for one run allowed in six innings and he didn't get helped out when Victor Marte allowed Ramirez to score on the home run by Corey Hart.  On the whole, though, it was wonderful to see Wainwright again.  The curveball was working and while the fastball wasn't as fast as it used to be, there's still time for that to come around.  Wainwright threw 88 pitches and I don't think it'll be long before we see him out there for 100 or so and basically have the staff take the gloves off.  He may not have any 120 pitch outings like he did in the past, but other than that he may have no limits.

Finally, Sunday saw Lance Lynn make his first fill-in start in place of the injured Chris Carpenter.  If Lynn can duplicate these results most times that he's out there, the loss of Carpenter isn't going to be as huge as we thought.  Lynn allowed one run in 6.2 innings, striking out eight batters.  You have to put the caveat in there that, last season, the injury fill-in guy looked pretty well for a couple of months as well.  However, by the All-Star Break the Cards were trading for Edwin Jackson in part because Kyle McClellan couldn't keep that early start going.  I am not saying Lynn is that way, just that we have to temper expectations after this one start.  That said, any strong starts he gives while Carpenter is gone lessens the loss of the ace that much more.

Offensively, it was a power-packed weekend in Milwaukee.  Not just on the Cardinal side--the Brewers went yard six times in the series, three by Hart--but it was good to see the Redbirds have a lot of offense.  Four home runs in the opener and two in the finale, with Carlos Beltran hitting two of those six, showed that the power didn't leave town when Albert Pujols did.  There are threats up and down this lineup and it's going to be very dangerous for opposing pitchers to challenge just about anyone.

Then there were the lineups, which actually was a minor story here in the Mike Matheny regime.  Of course, under Tony La Russa we rarely saw the same lineup twice.  However, Matheny had the exact same lineup for the first three games of the year.  It was like he made out his lineup for the Miami game and when it won, he said, "OK, I'm going to let this ride."  As soon as they lost on Sunday, he made the wholesale changes.

It'll be interesting to see if Sundays are always like that.  Tony Cruz, Tyler Greene and Shane Robinson all saw their first starts of the year and, for Cruz and Greene, it was their season debuts.  (If you are keeping score--and I know the Pitchers Hit Eighth crew is--Daniel Descalso has started three times at second to Greene's one.  Some believe that will continue.  Some don't.  Some just want to see Nick eat a hat.)  This early in the year, you want to find the time to get them into a game and a Sunday getaway day was a good opportunity.  Whether that will continue or not, we'll have to see, but I bet it happens less frequently than it did under TLR.

Looking at the series as a whole, the Cardinals hit anyone that wasn't named Zack Greinke.  That's going to happen--Greinke's a good pitcher, though I expect Brewer fans would have swapped this Saturday's outing with the last one he had against the Cardinals, when it would have meant more--and, sadly, you can't win them all.  While TLR is gone, his philosophy of "winning series" should stick around and the Cards did that this weekend.  We'll have to see if they can do it again on the road in Cincinnati.

Jake Westbrook gets to go today against the Reds as the Cards play their first night game since the opener against the Marlins.  Westbrook had a very strong spring--the "biggest surprise" of the spring, according to the manager--but has had to wait due to off days and other considerations until now to get on the mound.  Here's a look at what these Reds hitters have done against the righty.

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Willie Harris 14 12 2 0 0 0 1 2 2 .167 .286 .167 .452 0 0 0
Brandon Phillips 14 14 6 2 1 0 2 0 1 .429 .429 .714 1.143 0 0 0
Joey Votto 11 7 1 0 0 0 0 4 0 .143 .455 .143 .597 1 0 0
Ryan Ludwick 10 8 2 0 0 0 1 2 1 .250 .400 .250 .650 0 0 0
Scott Rolen 10 10 4 1 0 1 1 0 2 .400 .400 .800 1.200 0 0 0
Jay Bruce 9 9 2 1 0 1 2 0 1 .222 .222 .667 .889 0 0 0
Miguel Cairo 6 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0
Ryan Hanigan 6 6 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 1
Chris Heisey 6 6 3 0 0 3 3 0 0 .500 .500 2.000 2.500 0 0 0
Drew Stubbs 5 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000 .200 .000 .200 0 0 0
Zack Cozart 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0
Wilson Valdez 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Bronson Arroyo 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Johnny Cueto 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Total 101 91 25 4 1 5 11 9 10 .275 .340 .505 .845 1 0 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/9/2012.

Old friend Scott Rolen, who seems healthy to start the 2012 season, is likely looking forward to this game, as is the 2010 foil of the Cardinals, Brandon Phillips.  (Note to those covering the game, can we leave the '10 stuff behind now?  We had no brawls, hostilities, or even issues with the Reds and/or Phillips last year.  I think we can safely say both teams have moved on.)  Corralling those two--and, no matter what the line says, Joey Votto is going to be tough--will be key for Westbrook's survival tonight.

On the flip side, the Reds run out Homer Bailey.  Once a top prospect in the organization, Bailey's never really lived up to those expectations.  He had a stretch last August where he was pretty good, but it looks like he's just an average pitcher instead of a future star.  Bailey also had a rough spring, so we'll see if that carries over or if it meant anything.  The career numbers:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Matt Holliday 17 15 6 1 0 1 3 2 4 .400 .471 .667 1.137 0 0 0
Rafael Furcal 12 12 5 0 0 0 2 0 2 .417 .417 .417 .833 0 0 0
Lance Berkman 8 7 2 1 0 1 3 1 1 .286 .375 .857 1.232 0 0 0
David Freese 8 8 2 1 0 1 1 0 2 .250 .250 .750 1.000 0 0 0
Yadier Molina 7 7 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 .286 .286 .429 .714 0 0 1
Jon Jay 6 5 2 1 1 0 0 1 0 .400 .500 1.000 1.500 0 0 0
Tony Cruz 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 .000 .333 .000 .333 0 0 0
Jaime Garcia 3 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0
Kyle Lohse 3 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .667 .667 .667 1.333 0 0 0
Mitchell Boggs 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Total 69 63 22 5 1 3 10 5 12 .349 .397 .603 1.000 0 0 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/9/2012.

There have been rough times for Bailey against the Redbirds.  Nobody has struggled with him save Cruz, and that's only three at bats.  Bailey probably needs to really be on his game, especially in the offense-first stadium that is Great American Ballpark.

6:10 PM is first pitch as the Cards try to keep the wire-to-wire possibility alive.  A loss tonight would kill that minor goal, so let's hope for a Cardinal winner!


Leave a comment




Leave a comment





Cardinals_MediumRectangle.jpg

UCB_11_trans_dark_sm.png

Search

 

You can also hear Conversations With C70, along with other great podcasts, at Baseball Podcasts.net.

BallHyped Best Sports Blogs Book
This blog was featured in the Best Sports Blogs of 2010 Book! (As well as the 2012 version!)
Pick up the limited print edition
Free Best Sports Blogs ebook 



United Cardinal Bloggers

FRIENDS OF THE UCB


Some Guy Named Robb--The Music of Conversations With C70 (coming soon!)

Check out the UCB Network over at LockerDome!
lockerdome-share_63x63.png
  


Other Cardinal Blogs

Recommended Cardinal Forum

Other Cardinal Sites

General Baseball Blogs/Sites

Get a Cardinal theme for your browser!

Cardinals banner.jpeg


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%


Looking for St. Louis Cardinals Tickets?  TicketCity is your source for New York Yankees Tickets and World Series Tickets.

Looking for Cardinals tickets? Stop by OnlineSeats. We’ve got Blues seats and even Rams games. Go to the coasts as well and catch a Celtics game or get Dodgers tickets.

Referrals