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Cards Beat Nationals, Tie Mother Nature

Posted on July 24, 2009 at 8:01 AM
Filed Under: Heroes and Goats | Philadelphia Phillies | St. Louis Cardinals | Washington Nationals
Sometimes the elements just won't be denied.

The Cardinals, playing a one game series in Washington to make up a rainout from early May, dodged the raindrops last night and sat through rain delays before giving up and taking the 4-1, six inning win.  At least Mother Nature doesn't have a line in the NL Central standings.

The Hero of the game has to be Adam Wainwright, getting credit for a complete game.  It was really big that he was able to come back after the first rain delay, making sure that his start wasn't wasted and that his bullpen wasn't taxed.

Another positive sight was Rick Ankiel smashing a home run.  There are least a few signs that maybe, just maybe, Ankiel is starting to come out of his season-long slump.  The last seven days have seen him put up a .286 average with a double and a home run.  Compare that to the seven before, where he hit .063.  Before this last "hot streak", his last extra base hit was June 28.  If his bat is returning for the stretch drive, that's a huge thing for the Cardinals.

Colby Rasmus gets the Goat tag for last night.  Zero for three with five left on is a tough night, especially out of the two hole.  At least the rain kept him from making it worse--he was at bat when the second rain delay was called.

This time of year, what happens off the field is sometimes more intriguing that the actual games.  Yesterday the rumor continued to persist that the Cards were close to trading Brett Wallace for Matt Holliday.  You know what I think of that.  Most everyone I have heard from was outraged by the idea.

Not so much Post-Dispatch columnist Brian Burwell, who advocates making the trade.  Burwell's contention is that Holliday makes the Cards almost a lock for the World Series.  I'm really not sure how you can figure that one out.  Holliday's not a top level hitter.  He's good, but he's not a person that can carry a team.  Burwell says don't worry about tomorrow, do it today.  Which is a darn good way to make sure that, when Albert Pujols's contract is up, the Cards are a middle division team that won't be able to resign him.

There's talk that the Cardinals want Oakland to pay Wallace's signing bonus.  (Is that repay to the Cards?  Surely he's already received it?)  There's also talk that this deal really isn't that close to happening, which makes me feel better.

Cards head to Philadelphia today.  Joel Pineiro goes for the 'Birds.  Pineiro hasn't faced the Phillies this year and hasn't faced them just a ton in his career.  They've held their own against the Cardinal hurler, though nobody has taken him yard.

J.A. Happ goes for the Phillies.  Happ has put together a very solid season for Philadelphia and, though he hasn't faced the Cardinals this year, he did pretty good against them in his one outing last year.  Could be another tough game for the Cardinals as they kick off this stretch against division leaders Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

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Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%

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