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Word Of The Day: Sweep

Posted on May 24, 2012 at 7:15 AM
Filed Under: Heroes and Goats | Philadelphia Phillies | San Diego Padres | St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals got to see an old friend last night.  Then they showed him why he was an old friend and not a current one.

I think it was key that the Cards were able to bounce back from that three-run deficit in the first to immediately tie it up.  Lance Lynn had a very rough first--indeed, though he didn't give up any more runs, he struggled quite a bit all night long--but the Redbirds didn't allow Jeff Suppan to settle in.  They got one run before any were out, then two more when they were down to their final out of the inning.  

Those two-out runs were huge, in my opinion.  We've seen in the past pitchers like Suppan get settled in and become hard to hit.  Indeed, the Cards really weren't able to do anything more with Soup until the fifth, when Matt Holliday singled and Carlos Beltran homered.  Suppan was eventually forced out of the game then, but it might have been a different story had he gone into that inning with a 3-1 lead.

Hero goes to David Freese, for his RBI single in the first and his home run in the seventh.  Great to see Freese actually hitting the ball and hitting it well.  He'd been in such a slump that he got a couple of days off to clear his head.  Apparently, that was pretty effective, though we'll have to wait and see if he continues to produce or this was just one good game.

I was glad to see Matt Adams getting a couple of hits and he was achingly close to getting his first home run on a couple of occasions.  This game is all about making adjustments and apparently Adams noted how people were pitching him the last couple of games and modified his approach quite successfully.  I look forward to seeing how he's able to do against some of the better pitching we'll see this weekend.

Every starter got a hit last night and the bullpen did its job as well, so it makes it difficult to pick out a Goat.  (By the way, really glad to see Marc Rzepczynski come in and have a fairly clean inning.  He's been struggling lately as well and the Cards need him to be strong.)  I guess I'll go with Rafael Furcal.  He got a hit in his first at-bat, but then went 0-4 afterwards including two strikeouts.  Again, it's a tough call.

Another day, another DL stint.  This time it's Matt Carpenter, whose side was more damaged than he thought from yesterday's injury.  It's been a rough few days for the Cardinals, having to consistently put players on the disabled list, but hopefully they are through it and they'll still be able to play good baseball.  If nothing else, it's given us a chance to see Adams, which is a silver lining.  Steven Hill got the callup, so that may free up Tony Cruz to play some first base or outfield if necessary.

Speaking of hurt people, Lance Berkman has his knee surgery today and we'll find out whether it will be just meniscus or if the ACL needs work as well.  Berkman's having the surgery in Houston, which Joe Strauss gives a lot of import to since it was originally planned for Colorado.  I'm not sure what Strauss is getting at, though.  Berkman lives in Houston, so it makes it reasonable that he'd want to do it close to home if possible.  Maybe Strauss is implying a rift between Berkman and the organization (which, honestly, wouldn't be the first time a player and the club have had a difference of opinion on a medical procedure--see Scott Rolen) or if Berkman is looking to maybe rejoin the Astros next year as a DH.  Or, always a possibility, Strauss is just trying to rile up the fan base.

The first four game series of the year starts tonight in Busch Stadium as the Cardinals welcome in the Philadelphia Phillies.  The Phillies have not been the team that we are used to or the team most expected them to be this season.  Instead of cruising along in first place, they sit in last in the NL East, though granted just a game under .500.  While they hit for a high average, most of the other offensive stats place them in the middle of the National League.

Jake Westbrook gets to see if he can contain an offense that doesn't include Ryan Howard or Chase Utley.  Here's what he's done in the past:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Placido Polanco 30 28 9 0 0 0 1 1 2 .321 .345 .321 .666 0 0 0
Juan Pierre 17 16 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 .063 .063 .125 .188 0 0 0
Ty Wigginton 15 15 5 1 0 0 2 0 4 .333 .333 .400 .733 0 0 1
Hunter Pence 14 12 7 1 0 0 1 2 1 .583 .643 .667 1.310 0 0 0
Carlos Ruiz 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 1
Shane Victorino 5 3 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 .333 .500 .333 .833 0 0 0
Mike Fontenot 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0
John Mayberry 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 1
Pete Orr 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Kyle Kendrick 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Cliff Lee 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0
Brian Schneider 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .500 .000 .500 1 0 0
Total 101 93 25 3 0 0 5 5 10 .269 .306 .301 .607 1 0 3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/24/2012.

Kinda middling results. Placido Polanco has done some damage, but Polanco's been having a rough year.  Keeping Hunter Pence in check might be the biggest key toward winning this ballgame.

Phillies counter with Joe Blanton.  Blanton is 4-4 with a nice 3.74 ERA this season and has seemingly traded good starts with bad starts.  Which, if the pattern keeps up, doesn't bode well for the Cards since he gave up six runs in 4.1 innings against Boston last time out.  The career numbers:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS IBB HBP GDP
Carlos Beltran 18 16 3 0 0 0 1 1 2 .188 .278 .188 .465 0 1 1
Skip Schumaker 17 17 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 .235 .235 .235 .471 0 0 0
Yadier Molina 12 10 3 0 0 0 0 2 1 .300 .417 .300 .717 1 0 0
Rafael Furcal 11 10 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .100 .182 .100 .282 0 0 0
Matt Holliday 10 8 3 2 0 1 2 1 3 .375 .400 1.000 1.400 0 0 0
David Freese 4 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .250 .250 .250 .500 0 0 0
Jaime Garcia 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Tyler Greene 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Daniel Descalso 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0
Kyle Lohse 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 0 1 0
Total 81 72 15 2 0 1 3 5 13 .208 .275 .278 .553 1 2 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/24/2012.

He's one of those pitchers that the Cards have struggled with in the past. Holliday's about the only one that's hit him real hard, so we'll see if that continues tonight.  Cards need a win to make sure they stay in first place.  Here's hoping they get it!

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The cards are just amazing, even without pujols they are still this good! and because of this i did an article on them right here http://baseballpitboss.com/2012/05/st-louis-cardinals-remain-class-of-nl-central/

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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%


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