Posted on April 3, 2012 at 8:00 AM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals
You know, when you drop into the middle of one of these games on the radio, it's a bit confusing to figure out who is winning and, honestly, who is playing on what side. That doesn't mean that it wasn't great to hear some of the Cardinals' 3-2 win over Springfield
last night, though.
I'm not sure how they figured out who was playing on what side, though. You had Trevor Rosenthal
, who will start the year at Springfield, going for the big club. Rosenthal gave the fans he'll be playing in front of a tantalizing taste of what could be this season, going four perfect innings against some of his to-be teammates, striking out four.
Then again, you had Kolten Wong
and Oscar Taveras
playing for the team that they'll suit up for starting later this week. Tavares had a big RBI triple and scored the second run of the game. Taveras did that off of Carlos Martinez, who threw four innings for the major league squad. The only major league pitcher that got into the game was Kyle McClellan
, who gave up a couple of hits in his inning of work.
There were a few names in this game that I didn't know, perhaps pointing to a significant deficiency in my minors knowledge. Am I supposed to know Vance Albitz
? Adam Melker
? Mike O'Neill
? I was glad that I recognized a lot of them, though, and it sounds like it was a great chance for the Springfield folks to not only get a glimpse of the big leaguers--and glimpse is about right, as McClellan threw his inning and Matt Holliday
and David Freese
each got just two at-bats, though Jon Jay
, Daniel Descalso
and Erik Komatsu
did get three apiece--but to also see some of the great talent in the system.
Now the big leaguers make the return flight to Florida to get ready for tomorrow night's opening matchup with the Florida Marlins. Many of them stayed down there, including Saturday's starter Adam Wainwright
, who had his final spring tuneup yesterday
. He threw 75 pitches to some minor league hitters and pronounced himself happy with the results, having corrected some of the problems from his last time out, which was a bit rockier than normal. As Waino notes, it's not likely he'll be out there for 100 pitches on Saturday, but it won't be long until that comes into view. Figures I have a family Easter get-together on Saturday, but I'm hoping it'll be done in time for the 3:05 start so I can at least hear Wainwright on the radio on my way home.
Tomorrow is opening day, so before we get into all the hype and excitement of that, I thought I'd take the time to tell new readers what you can expect here. I don't know if any of you have started reading this blog since the end of last season, but in case you have, here's a couple of things you should know.
The biggest one is about my feature called Heroes and Goats. You'll notice on the right-hand side of the blog that there's a section with that title. Every game, I pick out a player for each of those roles. It doesn't have to be the player that had the biggest game. Could easily be a player who only got one hit, but it was a key one. On the flip side, the Goat could have made a bad play or key error to get the title. It's my own system that is somewhat box score based and somewhat based on what I see, so take it with a grain of salt. Just note that I've done this for four years. No Goat has returned to St. Louis for the next season--call it a jinx or whatever you want. For a while last year, I was afraid Albert Pujols
was going to get the Goat, but he came in second--and left anyway. Even the year when there was a tie, Rick Ankiel
and Todd Wellemeyer both
left the team. It's a powerful thing, I'm telling ya.
The other major feature you'll find around here is the career numbers of hitters vs. the starting pitchers. I try to do this before every game (though there's no guarantees) and I embed the information from the invaluable Baseball-Reference
. You'll see that tomorrow, when I highlight what Kyle Lohse
and Josh Johnson
have done in their careers against their respective opponents. I've always felt that "So-and-so is 5-1 against the Marlins" is fairly misleading, since rosters turn over so much. Seeing what success the pitcher has had against each batter he'll be facing seems much more informative to me.
I don't typically write on the weekends, though I occasionally do, so Monday is usually a recap of the weekend games. Once June comes around and I'm not working on Fridays, I'll probably be hit or miss in writing on those days as well.
Also, I don't get to watch many complete games. With two young kids in the house, the time most games are on is filled with dinner, baths, and all of that. I have it on and watch as much as I can, but you know how it goes. So when you are reading the recaps and see me say something that doesn't jibe with what you saw, it may be that I'm just picking out of box scores and game stories and I missed that part of the game.
This will be the fifth Opening Day that I've been blogging. I'm looking forward to another fun-filled year and I hope you'll be around with me, leaving comments and enjoying what you see. Thanks for the support. It's almost time for real baseball!
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