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Broom Me!

Posted on August 8, 2011 at 6:49 AM
Filed Under: Florida Marlins | Heroes and Goats | St. Louis Cardinals
Wow, how nice is it to be able to talk about a Cardinal sweep?  You've got to go all the way back to the end of June to find a series where the opponent didn't win one at all.  The sad thing was, the Cards needed every bit of that sweep just to edge 1/2 game closer to the Brewers, who were taking care of their own business down in Houston.

We've already discussed Thursday's game, so let's take a quick look at the weekend action.

Friday (3-2 win)
Hero: Lance Berkman.  Two hits, a double and a triple.  A run and a RBI.  Just another night at the ballpark for the focus of the LB Fan Club.

Goat: Jon Jay.  0-4 hitting in front of Albert Pujols doesn't necessarily help out the offense much.

Notes: Matt Holliday is starting to get his stroke back, smashing a home run.  A solid outing out of Jake Westbrook, who gave up two in six.  That's about the extent of what you can expect out of Westbrook.  Occasionally he'll give you more than that, but you shouldn't expect it.  The bullpen did their job as well.  Jason Motte was the only really efficient one and Lance Lynn pulled a Jason Isringhausen in route to his first save, but they all held the line long enough for the offense to scratch across another run.

Saturday (2-1 win)
Hero: Chris Carpenter.  It was either honor Pujols for his first inning two-run home run (and he tacked on another hit as well) or Carpenter for making that stand up.  Carp threw a good number of pitches, but that was mainly because he struck out seven over his six and two-thirds.  He limited his hits allowed, which seems to be the difference between Good Carp and Bad Carp.  If the balls get caught, he's golden.

Goat: Tony Cruz.  The only starter to not get a hit, which is pretty surprising when you realize that they only scored two runs.  Lot of wasted opportunities in this one.

Notes: Daniel Descalso had a big day with three hits, including a double.  Holliday and Berkman also had a couple in what would be a big series for the Big Three.  Again, the bullpen did a stellar job, with Marc Rzepczynski coming in and getting his biggest out as a Cardinal.

Hero: Albert Pujols.  Pujols seems to be heating up as well, with home runs in three of the four games.  He's got his average up to .283, which is right about his season high.  It's still going to take an incredible run for him to get back to .300 though.  Still, it's nice to see the old Albert again.

Goat: Mitchell Boggs.  One of the issues with pitcher wins was highlighted here, as Boggs gave up a two-run home run that tied a game where the Cards had just taken a lead, but when they put up three runs in the next frame, he got the victory.

Notes: After getting 14 hits and just two runs the day before, the Cardinals were more efficient with their scoring here, getting eight on nine hits and six walks.  It was very good to see the Cards come out and seal the deal after so often taking the first games of a series and laying an egg in the last one.  Jaime Garcia didn't look great, only giving up two runs but leaving after five innings.  As Bill and I discussed last night, it seems like it doesn't take but one thing to go wrong and Garcia starts to snowball downward.  He's got to be able to mentally put that behind him, something that will hopefully come with experience.

The stat that might mean the most from the weekend was the combined production of the guys in the middle of the lineup.  Pujols, Holliday and Berkman put up a line that included a .438 average, five home runs and 13 RBI.  While not to that level, that's an idea of what we thought we'd get out of the big thumpers this year, especially after Berkman proved he still had a lot of life in his bat left.  They've just not all been on the field and clicking at the same time yet this season.  If that's starting, there's a lot more hope in Cardinal Nation.

It was really key to get the sweep because of Milwaukee's success in Houston.  Getting 4-5 games behind at this time of year is very, very hard to come back from.  We'd have to hope that the Cardinals starting winning consistently (something they've not done all year) and hope that Milwaukee stumbled along the way.  The Cards do have a number of games left with the Brewers, it's true, but you don't want to pull all of your eggs in that basket.  I think St. Louis really needs to take two of three in this series starting tomorrow to be competitive without being under a lot of undue pressure.  We'll talk about that tomorrow, though!

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1 Comment | Leave a comment

I agree that this sweep was absolutely necessary. They will need to win series the rest of the season to have any chance at all. The Brewers look strong. The K-Rod trade might have been the best deal of the trade deadline.

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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)

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%)

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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