Posted on June 3, 2009 at 8:04 AM
Filed Under: Cincinnati Reds
| Heroes and Goats
| St. Louis Cardinals
Few were harder on Brad Thompson than I was, either on here or Twitter, when it was announced he was going to start last night's game. While I wouldn't take much of that back, I will say that he did a wonderful job
, especially for a guy that hadn't thrown in forever. So, as usual, I was wrong. Not that I'm hoping Joel Pineiro hits the DL so Thompson can linger around.
Thompson's ground ball ratio
still wasn't what you'd want to see (eight grounders, seven fly outs) for his skill set, but he got it done
and the Cards were able to move back into a tie for first with the Brewers. (And, as a side benefit, keep Jay Bruce's boast from coming true
.) Speaking of being in first, I found it interesting that the Cards are second in the NL in run differential. The Dodgers are pounding that with a +87, but the Cards have a nice +34. The Phillies (+29), Mets (+21) and Brewers (+14) round out the top five.
While Thompson is, of course, in the running for the Hero tag, I think you have to again give it to Nick Stavinoha
(with an assist to Willy Tavares). Nick's two-run double
, which looked to be just a sacrifice fly until Tavares misplayed it, broke the game open and put a lead into the hands of the Cardinal bullpen, who have been very good about protecting those lately.
Of course, you have to also give some credit to Albert Pujols, who tied up the game with a double, and to Skip Schumaker and Joe Thurston, who both had two hits. It was nice to see the Cards put together a solid game from pretty much all facets.
On the flip side, Ryan Ludwick
had a real rough night. Zero for three and he left four men on base. I'm sure he's still getting his legs under him from the time off, but the Cards are going to need his bat to wake up soon.
Rick Ankiel actually broke through with a hit last night. I found it interesting that Tony LaRussa was complaining that Ankiel is just taking the same at-bat over and over again
. Ankiel's adjustments since he came off the DL have been minimal at best. Maybe getting that double will help light a fire on him and we can get the Good Ankiel back. Or maybe sometimes a double is just a double.
Tonight, Kyle Lohse goes for the Cardinals. I think a lot of Cardinal Nation will be holding their breath early, trying to figure out if the effects of that HBP are still lingering on Lohse, as it'll be his first start since then and, well, you know the reputation Cardinal trainers have on injuries. The Reds have been tough on Lohse in his career
, hitting .256 against him, though Bruce is the only one to have taken him yard.
Johnny Cueto goes for the Reds. The career numbers
look very favorable for the Cardinals, but those are mainly functions of the two games last year where they pounded him, especially this one
. St. Louis faced him earlier this year in Cincinnati and he allowed only one run and five hits in seven innings, so he's likely to be tougher than the numbers indicate on the Birds tonight.
Remember that UCB Radio Hour
is on this evening! You get a break from me as the bloggers from Pitchers Hit Eighth
and Redbirds Row
are hosting. Give us a call after the game!
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