Saturday, April 29, 2006

Pujols sets new record!

The Cardinals lost the game on Friday but not before Pujols tied the MLB record with 13 home run. Pujols was not satisfied as the Cardinals lost. The Cardinals just didn't rally for the win. The final score was 8-3 as the Nationals won the game. Jason Marquis went five innings, giving up seven. Josh Hancock, Randy Flores, and Brad Thompson combined for four innings of relief, giving up a total of one run.

The home run aside, there was not much scoring action in the game for the Cardinals. In the bottom of the second, Skip Schumaker doubled to left center and brought home John Rodriguez. Pujols hit a single in the fifth inning, bringing home David Eckstein.

Carp (3-1, 1.91) took the mound today for the Cardinals against Livan Hernandez (1-3, 6.68). It was very much a pitcher's duel as both went seven innings and gave up one run each. Carp lowered his ERA to 1.80 while Hernandez lowered his to 5.49. Braden Looper pitching an inning of relief and picked up the win. Jason "Izzy" Isringhausen loaded the bases in the top of the ninth but managed to convert the save opportunity for his seventh save of the season.

Saturday saw Albert Pujols set a new MLB/NL/team record for long balls in the month of April with his 14th home run. He also matches the club record for RBIs with 32, set by Mark McGwire in 1998.

The Cardinals won on Saturday for the 16th win of the month, and that is a new club record. The Cardinals are currently one game behind Cincinnati in the division and I expect that to change on Monday when the Cards play a two-game series with the Reds.

Attendance facts
In 14 home games, all of them were sold out as 565,549 people entered the stadium.
Additional tickets go on sale on May 3rd as 65,000 seats will be opened up in time for the May 29th homestand.

Milestone watch:
Mark Mulder needs 1 win for career #100.
Albert Pujols needs 5 home runs to tie Mark McGwire at 220.
Jim Edmonds needs 6 home runs to tie Big Mac.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Game Preview

The Cardinals (15-7) take on the Washington Nationals (7-15) for the second game in the series. Jason Marquis (3-1, 3.55) will take the mound for the Cardinals against Tony Armas, Jr., for the Nationals.

In four starts against the Cardinals, Armas is 0-2 and has a 5.75 ERA. Marquis is 3-2 with a 2.97 ERA in sixteen starts against the Nationals. The Cardinals are 3-1 when Marquis starts.

In transaction news, Ricardo Rincon was placed on the DL. John Gall was called up from Memphis to take the spot on the roster. Gall was batting .383 with Memphis

Game Recap

Jim Edmonds powered the Cardinals to a 6-2 victory as he moved a home run closer to #220 with the Cardinals. He now has four on the season. Sidney Ponson picked up his third win of the season and is now 3-0.

In the seventh inning, Scott Spiezio doubled to deep center, bringing home Juan Encarnacion and Albert Pujols. Spiezio is still filling in for Scott Rolen as Rolen battles with bronchitis. In the 8th inning with bases loaded, Aaron Miles pinch hits for Hector Luna and hits a sac fly to center. So Taguchi scored on the sacrifice fly.

Ponson strikes out four, gives up 5 hits, two runs, and two walks. Brad Thompson picks up his second hold of the season.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Dakoda Dowd, an amazing story

Dowd, 13, keeps pace with pros

  • Playing for her mother, Dakoda Dowd shot a first-round 74 in the LPGA's Ginn Clubs & Resorts Open.

Kerr leads by two shots Scores

Harig: Great story Sirak's take

The story of Dakoda and Kelly Jo

Game Preview

Sidney Ponson (2-0, 3.31) takes the start for the St. Louis Cardinals (14-7) while Mike O'Conner makes his season debut for the Washington Nationals (7-14).

All-time, the Cardinals are 268-262 in the series. Last season, the Cardinals took four of six from them. This season is the first since 1969 that the Cardinals did not have to take a trip across the border, the longest streak in baseball.

Jason Marquis is presented his Silver Slugger before the game. Bill DeWitt, Jr., will honor Albert Pujols with a specially designed watch.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Game Blog

The first national game on TV for the new Busch Stadium. Commentators are Steve Stone, Gary Thorne, and Steve Phillips. Erin Andrews is the sideline reporter.

Starters
Cardinals
Eckstein SS
Luna LF
Pujols 1B
Encarnacion RF
Spiezio 3B
Taguchi CF
Molina C
Miles 2B
Mulder P

Pirates
Duffy CF
J. Wilson SS
Bay LF
C. Wilson RF
Randa 3B
Hernandez 1B
Castillo 2B
Paulino C
Duke P

First Inning: Duffy. 1-2. That gets passed Miles for a base hit. Wilson. Sacrice bunt to advance the runner. Bay. 3-2. Walk. Wilson. 1-1. 6-4-3 Double play!

Eckstein. 3-0. Walk. Luna. 2-1. Sacrifice grounder to the catcher. Pujols. Will they pitch to him? Intentional walk, the fourth of the season for the Great Pujols. Juan. 2-2. Fouled out to catcher for a strikeout. Spiezio. 1-0. Base hit to score Eckstein but Pujols stuck in a rundown for the final out. Cards lead 1-0.

Second inning: Mail call and I miss the first two outs. Encarnacion takes care of Castillo and they go down 1-2-3 in order.

So. 0-1. Base hit to right field. Yadier. 2-2. Strikeout and So steals second. Miles. Base hit to center and So scores. Cards 2, Pirates 0. Mulder. Sac bunt to advance the runner. Eckstein. 1-1. Grounded to first and Eck does not beat the throw.

Third inning: Paulino. 2-1. Fly out to center. Duke. 1-2. Grounded to Pujols. Duffy. 2-1. Grounded to the pitcher.

Luna. 2-1. Grounded to third and he beats the throw for a base hit! Pujols. 1-1. Grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Juan. 3-2. Grounded out to third.

Fourth inning: Wilson. 0-1. Flies out to right center. Bay. 3-2. Walk. Wilson. 0-1. Tie game with a home run. Randa. Base hit to left. Hernandez. 0-1. 6-4-3 Double play but the damage has been done.

Spiezio. 3-2. Base hit to right. Taguchi. 2-0. Base hit, runner advances to second. Molina. 0-1. Double play at third and first. Miles. 2-2. Walk. Mulder. 2-0. Grounded out to second.

Fifth inning: Castillo. 0-2. Strikeout. Paulino. 3-2. Base hit. Duke. Grounded to first. Duffy. 3-2. Walk. Wilson. Force out at second.

Eck. 3-2. Smashed to right for a double. Luna. 2-1. Grounded to short, Eck advances to third. Pujols at the bat. Intentional walk. Juan Encarnacion. Sacrifice fly to center. Eck tags and scores, Pujols stays at first. Cards 3, Pirates 2. Spiezio flies out to center.

Sixth inning: Bay. Straight to Luna. Wilson. 3-2. Walk. Randa. 3-1. 6-4-3 Double play.

So. Video is messed with all thanks to Steve Stone. 3-2. Walk. If I wanted radio play by play, I'd listen to Mike Shannon and John Rooney call it. Molina. Base hit to left, So stops at second. Miles, and the picture is back. Activity in both bullpen. 2-2. Flyout to right, no runners advance. Mulder. Sac bunt to the pitcher, both runners advance. Eck. 3-2. Grounds to short.

Seventh inning: Hernandez. 1-1. Grounds to Eckstein. Castillo. Base hit. Paulino. 1-0. 4-6-3 Double play.

Salomon Torres relieves Duke. Luna. 1-2. He goes down swinging. Pujols. 1-2. Base hit. Juan. 1-0. Infield fly. Spiezio. 3-2 (Pujols advances on a passed ball). Strikes out looking.

Eighth inning: Freddy Sanchez pinch hits for Torres. 1-0. Foul ball. Duffy. 0-1. Pujols tags the bag. Wilson. 3-1. Walk. Mulder exits the game as we have a pitching change. His ERA on the season is now 3.53. Braden Looper is now in for St. Louis. My guess is that they will bring in Jason Isringhausen for the save. Bay. 3-2. There's a fly to left but Hector Luna catches it.

The new Pirates pitcher is Matt Capps. My guess is that someone will pinch hit when we get to the nine spot. Taguchi. 0-2. Strikeout. There's an argument in the booth about Jason Bay and all the trades he's been involved with. Molina. 1-2. Flies out to center. Miles. 1-0. Flies out to left and now I'll never know how the Jason Bay saga ended.

Ninth inning: Izzy, a former Met traded by then-GM Steve Phillips, comes in for the save. Wilson. 2-2. Strikeout. Randa. 3-2. Grounded out to "Just Enough" Eckstein and we are two away. Hernandez. 1-1. Izzy blows the save with a home run that Luna couldn't reach at the left field wall. Mulder will not get his 100th career victory today. He'll try again in five days. Castillo. 2-2. Juan takes care of the ball in right but the damage has been done.

Roberto Hernandez takes the mound for the Pirates as we start the bottom of the ninth. Wilson goes to first and Nate McLouth goes to right. John Rodriguez will pinch hit for Izzy. 1-2. Caught looking. Eck. 1-2. Base hit. Luna. 2-2. Base hit to center, runner advances. Pujols at the bat. 2-2 (ball gets away on 1-2 pinch, runners stay). Ripped down the line and it's fair. Eckstein scores and the Cardinals rally to win 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth and that's a winner!

Isringhausen picks up a win and Roberto Hernandez gets the loss. Pujols picks up his 6th game-winning RBI on the season.

Apparently, Steve Phillips did not cut it as a general manager. The players play better than they did for Steve Phillips and they all go up to him at games he calls. Now that they never finished the Jason Bay saga, I've been forced to look it up online.
June 5, 2000: Drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 22nd round of the 2000 amateur draft.

March 24, 2002: Traded by the Montreal Expos with Jimmy Serrano to the New York Mets for Lou Collier.

July 31, 2002: Traded by the New York Mets with Josh Reynolds (minors) and Bobby Jones to the San Diego Padres for Steve Reed and Jason Middlebrook.

August 26, 2003: Traded by the San Diego Padres with a player to be named later and Oliver Perez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Brian Giles. The San Diego Padres sent Corey Stewart (minors) (October 2, 2003) to the Pittsburgh Pirates to complete the trade.

Pregame Post

The Cardinals play during the day on ESPN against the Pittsburgh Pirates as they complete the series. The Cards are a win away from the second sweep of the season (first was against the Phillies).

Yesterday, Juan Encarnacion was a hit away from going for the cycle. Will he be as good as he was yesterday for the rest of the season or was it just a fluke?

Mark Mulder takes the start as he looks for his 100th career win. Against the Pirates, he is 5-0 with an impressive 2.23 ERA. For the season, he's 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA. Mulder starts against Zach Duke (1-2, 4.50). Mulder has had the most wins for a pitcher (90) since the decade/millenium/century started in January 2001. When Mulder pitches this season, the Cardinals are 4-0.

Since last week's depressing 12-4 loss, the bullpen has not allowed a run in 16 innings.

In the farm, John Gall is tearing up the Pacific Coast League with .397 in 19 game.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

In-game Update

Juan Encarnacion is a single --yes, a single -- away from hitting for the cycle today.

Juan Encarnacion through five innings:
First at bat: Ground rule double, 1 RBI (Pujols)
Second at bat: Home run, 2 RBIs (Him and Edmonds)
Third at bat: Triple, 1 RBI (Pujols)

Through five innings, the Cardinals lead 5-3 with Juan driving in four of those runs!

Our best wishes to Jasper, Ind. native Scott Rolen who was kept away from the park with a case of bronchitis.

Pregame Post

Just how valuable is Wainwright's arm?

Bernie seems to think that the clubhouse has as many holes as the batting order.
Which brings us to the second issue: the lineup.

As manager Tony La Russa repeatedly reminds us, it's only April. Still, the numbers being posted by Cardinals outfielders are alarmingly weak. And that must change.

Overall, Cardinals outfielders are batting .210 with four homers and 18 RBIs.

Edmonds has 12 RBIs, but he's batting only .185 with 19 strikeouts in 54 at-bats.

The corner outfield spots are feeble, with one homer and five RBIs in 144 at-bats. How bad is it? Well, in 36 at-bats, Cardinals pitchers have one homer and four RBIs.
The Cardinals no longer have Reggie Sanders or Mark Grudzielanek. Larry Walker retired. Sanders is doing fair with the Royals but his numbers are not quite that impressive but he's better than Juan--who is improving. How does Bernie feel about the outfield?
In right field, Encarnacion is off to a terrible start. He has one RBI in 65 at-bats and is at the Mendoza Line with a .200 batting average. . There's nothing else to say. The Cardinals are still waiting on him to deliver.

In left field, So Taguchi is batting .209 with a woeful .279 on-base percentage. Larry Bigbie came over in a trade with Colorado, but he was a nonstarter after injuring a foot in spring training. In a rehab assignment at Memphis, Bigbie is three for 16 with seven strikeouts. Young Chris Duncan made a lot of noise with his power ball in camp, but he's struck out 22 times in 62 at-bats at Memphis. John Gall is batting .387 in Memphis with an OBP of .410 and 14 RBIs, but can't get a call-up to St. Louis. Meanwhile, Skip Schumaker (.171) remains with the big club.
Be worried. Jeff Suppan is starting today. He has struggled all season long. Suppan goes into the game with an 0-2 record and a 9.00 ERA. When Suppan pitches this season, the Cardinals are 0-3.

Pujols leads the majors with 12 home runs and 28 RBI's after 19 games. His 12th home run tied Ken Keltner with taking 19 games to hit 12 out of the park in 1948. It took Mike Schmidt only 15 games in 1976.

Milestone watch:
Mark Mulder needs 1 win for 100 career wins.
Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols need 7 home runs for 220 Cardinal homers (4th)

Sports news

SLU's Vouyoukas to declare for NBA draft

  • Center Ian Vouyoukas will submit his name for the upcoming NBA draft, but he won’t hire an agent, leaving open the possibility he will be back with the Billikens next season.

Donigan Adds Hadican, Hayes and Long to Recruiting Class

  • Saint Louis head men's soccer coach Dan Donigan today announced that Patrick Hadican (St. Louis, Mo. / Chaminade), Kyle Hayes (St. Louis, Mo. / Christian Bros.) and Sean Long (Schaumburg, Ill. / Schaumburg) have all accepted the University's written offers of admission and will join the Billikens' program. All three will have four years of eligibility beginning with the 2006-07 academic year.
New Busch vs. old Busch
  • While a bit of show-me skepticism is to be expected regarding new Busch, some Cardinals fans feel they've already been to baseball heaven. Strangely enough, it looks a lot like old Busch.

Monday, April 24, 2006

That's a winner!

The Cards took care of Pittsburgh today beating them 7-2. As I said in an earlier posting during the game, Pujols took care of the lead in the bottom of the first when he smashed a 0-1 pitch to deep left field with his NL-leading 12th home run of the season. Pujols can tie the NL record for April with his next home run.

In the second inning, second baseman Hector Luna singles to center, scoring right fielder Juan Encarnacion and advancing catcher Yadier Molina to second. So Taguchi singles to right field and brings home Molina. Luna advances to third. Finally, David Eckstein sacrifices to the pitcher and brings home Luna. So goes to second.

In the fifth, Albert "the Great" Pujols doubles and Jim Edmonds scores. Luna singles scoring Pujols and advancing Juan Encarnacion. So singles to right, scoring Juan, and advances Luna to third.

Chris Carpenter went 6 innings, striking out only 3, and gave up eight hits and two earned runs. His season ERA is now 1.91. Rookie pitcher Adam Wainwright, coming out of the pen, pitched a solid inning, striking out two and lowering his ERA to 0.91 on the season. Josh Hancock pitched the final two innings, fanning two and giving up two hits.

What does this mean to you? Juan Encarnacion is not as bad as originally thought. He just had a bad start to the season.

Pujols goes yard again...

Albert Pujols hit his 12th home run of the season and tied Jim Edmonds for all-time Cardinal home runs with 213 home runs. They are racing to tie Mark McGwire for 4th all time as a Cardinal.

For what it's worth, Juan Encarnacion is hitting a little better after struggling the first part of the season. He's had seven hits since April 13th.

Full recap after the game.

Billikens and other stuff

Adam Knollmeyer Signs NLI with Billikens
  • Saint Louis head men's basketball coach Brad Soderberg today announced that 6-foot-8 forward Adam Knollmeyer (Linn, Mo. / Linn HS) has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University and play basketball for the Billikens. He will have four years of eligibility beginning with the 2006-07 academic year.

Not everyone raving about the new Busch

  • It's not surprising a Chicago columnist would take a few shots at the new Busch Stadium, but for the most part Paul Sullivan is correct in his assessment of the new ballpark. Heck, we said most of the same things weeks ago, so we definitely concur. Yes, it's an improvement over the old Busch Stadium -- but then again, almost anything would have been an improvement on the old Busch Stadium. The Cardinals had to meet minimal expectations, and they met them minimally.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Catching up on the Cards

Sorry for the light posting this weekend but schoolwork, work and Thunder Over Louisville kept me busy. Expect things to stay that way for the next few weeks.

Sidney Ponson took the start on Saturday against Glendon Rusch. Ponson picked up the win and Izzy converted his fifth save. No home runs from Albert "The Great" Pujols. The Cardinals did not see much offensive action until the 5th inning when David Eckstein singled to center, advancing John "J-Rod" Rodriguez, and brought home So Taguchi. Two batters later, Pujols found a gap when he singled to center, advancing Hector Luna, and scoring Eckstein and Rodriguez. In the bottom of the sixth, Yadier Molina hit a ground rule double to left field and brought in Jim Edmonds to score.

Defensively, Ponson gave up six hits and two walks. Both Adam Wainwright and Braden Looper picked up a hold. Jason Isringhausen pitched a solid ninth inning, minus an error on a catch, to pick up his fifth save. After struggling the first few days of the season, Izzy is lowering his ERA to where it should be but it's not quite there yet.

Sunday was not a pretty game as the Cardinals went down 7-3 in St. Louis against the Cubs. Marquis pitched six innings but gave up seven runs. Four of them were earned. He struck out two and walked two. Brad Thompson, Josh Hancock, and Randy Flores each pitched an inning of relief.

The Cardinals rallied late in the game but it just was not enough to win. In the eighth inning, Hector Luna, pinch hitting for Juan Encarnacion, doubled to second, scoring catcher Gary Bennett. In the ninth, Edmonds hit a double to center. JRod singled to third base. So Taguchi pinch hit for Flores and struck out. Aaron Miles went down swinging. Gary Bennett, the last hope, doubled down to deep right field and brought home both Edmonds and JRod for an overall three Cardinal runs. It was not enough as Skip Schumaker grounded out to third base.

The Cardinals are now 11-7.

Here are Matthew Leach's notes.

Some things that I missed on Friday: Albert Pujols became the sixth youngest player to reach 1,000 hits and 200 home runs at the age of 26 years, 95 days. However, he was the fastest to reach that feat, breaking Willie Mays' record of 825 games. It took Pujols 806 games to 1,000. He's on pace to finish up with over 3,000 hits.

"Pujols is unreal." -- Chris Berman on Baseball Tonight, April 23, 2006

What's next for St. Louis
Pittsburgh Pirates
April 24: Carp vs. Oliver Perez
April 25: Suppan vs. Victor Santos
April 26: Mulder vs. Zach Duke (ESPN)
Washington Nationals
April 27: Ponson vs. Ramon Ortiz
April 28: Marquis vs. Tony Armas, Jr.
April 29: Carp vs. Livan Hernandez
April 30: Suppan vs. Billy Traber

Milestone watch:
Mark Mulder needs 1 win for 100 wins.
Albert Pujols needs 8 for 220 home runs.
Jim Edmonds needs 7 for 220 home runs.

Friday, April 21, 2006

St. Louis vs. Chicago: Let's Try Again

Starters
Cardinals
Eckstein SS
Rodriguez LF
Pujols 1B
Rolen 3B
Edmonds CF
Encarnacion RF
Molina C
Miles 2B
Mulder P

Cubs
Pierre CF
Hairston 2B
Walker 1B
Ramirez 3B
Barrett C
Jones RF
Murton LF
Cedeno SS
Williams P

First inning: Pierre. Bunt 1-3 for the first out of the game. Hairston. 0-2. Grounded to Pujols who tags the base for the second out. Walker. 0-1. Grounded to Miles on the edge of the dirt for the third out of the inning.

Eckstein. 0-1. Grounded to short. JRod. 1-2. Base hit to shallow center. The Great Pujols at the plate. 1-0. There is a swing and a deep, fly ball, and that one is outta here! A home run to the visitor's bullpen for his 1,000th career hit and his 212th home run. He tied Todd Helton for the second fastest to 1,000 hits. That's his 11th on the season and a new Cardinal record for April. Cardinals lead 2-0. Rolen. 2-2. Flies out to Jones in right. Edmonds. 3-1. Flies out to Juan Pierre, who almost collided with Jacque Jones.

Second inning: Ramirez. 0-1. Lines out to JRod. Barrett. 2-0. That goes to the wall to break up the no-hitter and he gets a double. Jones. 3-2. Goes down swinging. Murton. 1-0. Grounded to short.

Juan. Roped passed Ramirez for a base hit. A base hit! He sure proved us wrong! Molina. 2-2. I swear that's 10 foul balls. Finally, a base hit and we have two men on. Miles. 3-0. Walk. Bases loaded for Mark Mulder (3-7). 3-1. The Cubs have some activity in the bullpen (Roberto Novoa) as Mulder is walked and it's now 3-0. That's Mulder's third RBI. Eckstein is back up. 0-1. Base hit to right center. 4-0 Cardinals and bases are still loaded. JRod is up with no outs and Pujols is on deck. 3-2. Sac Fly. Miles scores and the others don't tag. 5-0. Pujols is back. 1-2. Base hit passed the third baseman. Pujols gets a double and Mulder and Eckstein score. Pujols advances to third on the throw. Cardinals 7-0 as Williams is taken out of the game after pitching 1 and a third innings. Rolen. 2-2. Popped out to first in foul territory. Edmonds. 1-2. Called strike for the end of the inning. Wow, would would have thought Juan would lead off two innings in a row?

Third inning: Cedeno. 0-1. Flies out to right field. Novoa. 0-2. Strikes out swinging. Pierre. 1-2. 1-3 ends the inning.

Juan. Another base hit pased second base. He's got two hits today. Molina. 1-1. Flies out to Pierre. Miles. Swings at the first pitch he sees but flies out to left field. Two outs for Mark "Fox" Mulder. 3-2. Strikes out to end the inning after a check swing.

Fourth inning: Hairston. 2-2. Base hit goes passed Eckstein. Walker. Walker grounded to second and advances a runner. Ramirez. 3-1. That gets passed Rolen as runners are now on the corners. Barrett. Three run home run unfortunately. Cards 7, Cubs 3. Juan hustled but there was just no way he could have catched that. Jones. 1-2. Strikeout. Murton. 1-1. Base hit to right. What is going on here?!? Cedeno. 3-1. Grounds to Rolen to end the inning. Restovich was about to pinch hit so is Novoa still pitching when the game resumes.

Novoa stays in as Eck leads off the bottom of the fourth. 2-2. There's a high throw and Eck just missed the bag before getting tagged out. JRod. Flies out to left. Pujols. 1-1. Grounds to short to end the inning.

Fifth inning: Novoa Carlos Zambrano pinch hits. 0-2. Goes down swinging. He's no Jason Marquis. Pierre. 0-1. Popped a bunt to Miles for the second out. Hairston. 0-1. Lined to Pujols.

The new pitcher is David Aardsma. Rolen. 3-2. Walk. Edmonds. 3-2. Rolen goes to second on a wild pitch. Two-run home run as Edmonds hits his third of the year. He is now seven home runs away from having the chance to tie Mark McGwire for 220 Cardinal home runs. Cards 9-3 lead. Juan. 1-2. Strikes out. He's having a much better day than he usually has. Molina. 1-1. Grounded out to second. Miles. 2-1. Grounds to Cedeno to end the inning.

Sixth inning: Walker. 3-2. Walk. Ramirez. Straight to JRod in deep left field. Barrett. 1-1. Pujols unassisted. Jones. 0-2. Strikeout to end the inning.

Mulder. Flies to left field. Eckstein. 2-2. Blooper up the middle. JRod. 3-1. Take your base. Pujols is back with two runners on. 1-1. Flies out in foul territory to Jacque Jones. Two outs and Scott Rolen comes to the plate. 3-1. Grounds out to second.

Seventh inning: Three times, they have shown the Jimmy Fallon Pepsi commercial. Murton. 2-0. Grounded to short. Cedeno. 1-0. Grounded to Rolen. Two outs. Pinch-hitting for Aardsma, the former Twin Michael Restovich (Will Ohman warming up for Chicago). 1-1. Grounded to Pujols for the third out.

We have a slight delay in the game as there is a choir that was performing in the batter's eye in the middle of the seventh. I wonder if those two kids knew that they were on television. Edmonds. 2-2. A bit short as Pierre catches it. Encarnacion is 2-3 with a walk. 2-1. Long run for Jones who gets the second out of the inning. Molina. Hairston catches the fly ball.

Eighth inning: Mulder is still in with about 90 pitches. Pierre. 1-1. Back to Mulder for the first out. Hairston. 0-2. Edmonds takes care of the out. Two outs. Walker. 1-0. Lined to Pujols for the final out of the inning.

Bynum is in right field. Miles. 3-2. Walk. Mulder, 0-2 with a run and a RBI, will not be hitting so he's done. He lowered his ERA this evening from 4.05 to 3.90. Had he not given up the home run to Barrett, it would have been even lower. So Taguchi will be pinch hitting as Braden Looper warms up in the pen. 1-2. Called strike out. One out. Eckstein. 1-1. Blooper to left for a single. JRod. 1-0. Flies out to Pierre. Ohman is done and Dusty maks a double switch. John Mabry, who recieves an ovation, is brought in to play first and Scott Williamson is brought in to pitch. Pujols is up as 41,379 on hand. 0-2. He goes down swinging as WGN loses their signal and it's back.

Ninth inning: Looper is now in. Ramirez. 1-2. There's a fly ball to shallow right and Juan takes care of it. Barrett. Blooper to center. Bynum. 3-2. Base hit to left. Murton is up with runners on. 0-1. Popped up to Rolen who throws to Miles at second for the double play and that's a winner!

The Cardinals demolish the Cubs 9-3. The Cardinals had nine runs on ten hits. Mulder goes eight, strikes out five while giving up three runs and five hits but gets the run support to pick up the win. Looper relieves for one winning and gives up two hits. Offensively, Edmonds and Pujols both go yard as the Cardinals win 9-3 with much thanks to the five runs in the second inning. Pujols also became the fifth youngest to get 200 home runs and 1,000 career hits.

Pregame Preview

With the news that Derrek Lee is out for 8-10 weeks, the Cardinals have the edge this weekend as they should, unless Jeff Suppan is pitching. I hope Suppan proves me wrong but I wouldn't boo him.

For what it's worth, Sunday is the seven year anniversary of Fernando Tatis hitting two grand slams in one inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cardinals won that game 12-5 and Tatis set the record for grand slams in one inning (2) and RBI in one inning (8).

Mark Mulder (1-0, 4.05 ERA) has the mound today against the Cubs' Jerome Williams (0-1, 2.45 ERA). Today's game is the fourth of nineteen games against the arch-rivals from the north side. All-time, the Cardinals trail in the series 1,056-1,020.

Albert Pujols is looking for his 1,000th career hit today and if he gets it in his first at-bat, he will tie Todd Helton for being the second fastest (3,003). Jim Edmonds and Pujols are having a race of their own as they expect to pass Mark McGwire's 220 Cardinal home runs this season but it's a matter of who gets there first. Edmonds has 212 home runs and Pujols has 211 while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Milestone watch:
Mark Mulder needs 2 wins for his 100th career win.
Albert Pujols needs 1 hit for his 1,000th career hit.
Albert Pujols needs 9 home runs to tie McGwire for Cardinal home runs (220).
Jim Edmonds needs 8 home runs to tie McGwire.

Starters
Cardinals
Eckstein SS
Rodriguez LF
Pujols 1B
Rolen 3B
Edmonds CF
Encarnacion RF
Molina C
Miles 2B
Mulder P

Cubs
Pierre CF
Hairston 2B
Walker 1B
Ramirez 3B
Barrett C
Jones RF
Murton LF
Cedeno SS
Williams P

I may or may not live blog.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cards have edge this weekend

Derrek Lee is out for 8-10 weeks with a broken wrist.

You can add Lee to the Cubs injured list which already consists of: Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Wade Miller, and Angel Pagan.

Pitching this weekend:
Fri, Apr 21 8:10 pm EDT: Mark Mulder vs. Jerome Williams
Sat, Apr 22 2:15 pm EDT: Sidney Ponson vs. Glendon Rusch
Sun, Apr 23 2:15 pm EDT: Jason Marquis vs. Greg Maddux

NHL & NBA news

Worst goes first: Blues win NHL draft lottery

  • The St. Louis Blues won the NHL draft lottery Thursday, getting the first overall pick for the first time in team history. Pittsburgh will pick second, followed by Chicago, Washington and Boston. The draft is June 24 in Vancouver.

Mavericks fans given plane tickets

  • Fans got vouchers that can be converted into tickets by April 30. Trips must be completed by Nov. 12. American operates in North Texas mainly at sprawling Dallas/Fort Worth International airport and only recently started Love Field service. It flies from Love Field to four destinations: Kansas City, St. Louis, Austin and San Antonio.

Off Day Rant

Since my beloved Cardinals are off today, and my weekend starts in three and a half hours, this rant needs to be said.

I watch a lot of sports shows, mainly Around the Horn, Pardon the Interruption, Sportscenter, Baseball Tonight, as well as the Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday Night Baseball, and MLB baseball whenever I have a chance. Granted I may not be the best sports expert out there but I'm one who thinks that Goose Gossage and Lee Smith should be in the Hall of Fame for their numbers as a reliever.

The big story this season has been one name: Barry Bonds. Please tell me that Bonds on Bonds is not airing all season long. It is the worst show to come around since American Idol on FOX. The only record he will likely get is the all-time walk record, which he's most likely already broken. Pitchers are pitching around him because no one wants to see him break Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron's record. I know that I don't. The guy did steroids. How else could you explain a guy that averages 32 home runs in 15 major league seasons hitting 73 home runs in 2001? It's impossible unless you are on steroids!

Now if you want to look at a once-in-a-generation player, you need to look no further than one Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals. In his first five seasons, he hit 201 home runs averaging 40 home runs per season. If he keeps on that pace, and judging from this season--you know that he will, Pujols will hit 201 home runs over the next five years for 402 major league home runs in 10 seasons. Fifteen seasons sees him hitting 603 home runs at an average of 40 home runs per season. With the way, this season has started, expect those numbers to be closer to 700 if not more. Currently, he is on pace to break Mark McGwire's team record of 70 home runs in 1998. At an average of 45 home runs per season, Pujols will be at an estimated 426 and 651 in ten and fifteen major league seasons overall, respectively. If he can put up these sort of numbers for 20 seasons, he will, without a doubt, break the record set by Hank Aaron. Unlike Barry Bonds, he is a team leader.

Okay, that's enough ranting for now.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Game Recap

Carp picked up his 2nd win and 6 strikeouts. Also, he fanned his 1,000th batter today when Nate McLouth pinch-hit. Pujols was walked much of the time. For the Cardinals, Jim Edmonds and David Eckstein hit home runs. Edmonds also had a double today as the Cards move past Pittsburgh with a score of 4-0. While not a save situation, Jason Isringhausen was brought in for relief in the ninth inning.

The Cardinals are off tomorrow and resume play at Busch Stadium this Friday night against the hated arch-rivals from the north side. For those of you not within the FSN Midwest viewing area, you can watch biased broadcasts of the game on WGN.

Almost game time

St. Louis (8-6) takes on Pittsburgh (5-11) for the final game of this series before an off day to travel back to Busch to play the Cubs for the first time in the new stadium. Chris Carpenter (1-1, 2.37 ERA) takes the start against Pittsburgh's Victor Santos (1-2, 7.07 ERA) in the afternoon game starting at 12:35 PM at PNC Park. Carp is starting so that brings some good news after yesterday's heartbreaking loss.

Albert Pujols goes for his 1,000th hit this afternoon and his 11th home run this month. So far, he has tied the April home run record set by Mark McGwire in 1998. It also surpassed his own rookie record of eight home runs. Pujols has homered in four straight games. For the Cardinals, this places him with Jim Edmonds (2004), Rip Collins (1935), and Jim Bottomley (1929). The franchise record for a five game span is seven home runs by Bottomley set in 1929. Pujols owns PNC Park having hit 18 home runs there and batting .386. Against Santos, Pujols only has six hits but no home runs.

Chris Carpenter is looking for his 1,000th career strikeout this afternoon which should happen in the next hour. In 19 innings, he's fanned 19 batters.

The other day, Walt Jocketty had the chance to watch Chris Lambert play.

Starters
Cardinals
Eckstein SS
Spiezio 3B
Pujols 1B
Edmonds CF
Encarnacion LF
Rodriguez RF
Molina C
Miles 2B
Carpenter P

Pirates
Duffy CF
Sanchez SS
Bay LF
Burnitz RF
C. Wilson 1B
Edwards 3B
Castillo 2B
Paulino C
Santos P

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Pujols goes yard

Pujols hits his tenth for 211 overall and his 999th career hit. At this point in the 1998 season, Mark McGwire only had seven home runs.

Jeff Suppan picks up the loss--his second on the season. The Cardinals need to do something about Jeff Suppan and Ricardo Rincon. They aren't doing anything to help their ERA. Put Suppan in the pen and either place Adam Wainwright in the 5th starting position or call up Anthony Reyes. It's that or every fifth game will be a loss for the rest of the season.

Chris Carpenter goes tomorrow for his third start this season as Albert Pujols looks to hit his 1,000th career hit.

Other than that, two days ago, I officially nicknamed the new Busch as "The House that Pujols Built" or "The House that Albert Built."

Pregame Post

The St. Louis Cardinals (8-5) take on Pitt (4-11) for the second game in this three game series at PNC Park. Jeff Suppan, a fomer Pirate, is starting for the Cardinals and like many of us Cardinal bloggers, I get concerned when he is starting but I do not boo him. Suppan is 0-1 this season with a 4.09 ERA. He's thrown only four strikeouts in 11 innings. In 11 games against Pitt in his career, he is 6-1 with a 3.09 ERA. He has struck out 40 Pirates in those 11 games and had a complete game. Suppan has been struggling this season but given his history against the Pittsburgh Pirates, I am hopeful that that will change.

Left hander Oliver Perez (0-2, 8.10 ERA) takes the mound for the Pirates. Just for what it is worth, Albert Pujols Pujols has hit .333 (6/18) with one home run against the lefty. Pujols owns the Bucs with 26 career home runs against them. In his career, he has batted .359 against them. In related news, Juan Encarnacion has a six game hitting streak.

Let's Go Cards!

Milestone watch:
Mark Mulder - 2 wins for 100 career wins.
Albert Pujols - 2 hits for 1,000 career hits, 10 HR for 220 HR to tie for 4th all-time for the Cardinals

Lineups are out.

Cardinals
Eckstein SS
Taguchi CF
Pujols 1B
Rolen 3B
Encarnacion RF
Molina C
Luna LF
Miles 2B
Suppan P

Pirates
Duffy CF
J. Wilson SS
Bay LF
Burnitz RF
C. Wilson 1B
Randa 3B
Hernandez 2B
Cota C
Perez P

Pujols on the fans

I admit that I have been upset with the early performance of Juan Encarnacion this season but I have never once booed our closer, Jason Isringhausen, this season. In light of Pujols the Great's comments that are over at Matthew Leach's blog, I apologize to Juan Encarnacion for booing him.
This is all one statement from Pujols.

"It's good. It's good to see. I told him to relax. It's a long season. Everybody goes through some slumps. Same thing with Juan Encarnacion. I've seen these guys for seven years in the league, and they know how to do it.

"For the fans in St. Louis to be booing Encarnacion, I don't think that was right. I didn't say anything the other day because I respect our fans, but I think that's not our fans, booing a player like that. Because he's trying just as hard as we're trying to win games. The thing is, you're booing a guy right now, but when he gets his approach, everybody's going to love him. And I don't think that's right.

"I got really mad at our fans the other day for booing Encarnacion. Because the guy is frustrated right now. The guy is trying to do as much as he can to help us out to win, and the last thing you want to do is have our own fans, 45,000 people, booing a poor guy like that. I know he's going to get out of his slump.

"Same thing with Izzy, they were booing him at our place, and I'm telling you, I don't know what's going on with our fans, but I don't think that's the right way to approach it. It's a long season and that's why you play 162 games, so you can make your adjustments. We'll win some games. That's the key."
Albert, thanks for speaking up on the situation.

MLS to St. Louis?

MLS for STL? Expansion planned in 2008


  • St. Louis, which has been on the outside looking in at Major League Soccer since the league began in 1996, could be close to landing a team.

Twenty questions with Commissioner Garber

  • St. Louis: Another great soccer market ... we continue to have discussions with a few potential owners for an expansion team in St. Louis, and each prospective owner realizes that a soccer-specific stadium is needed to bring an MLS team to the area.

ST. LOUISANS IN MLS

  • Brad Davis, Chaminade, SLU (Dynamo)
  • Jack Jewsbury, SLU (Wizards)
  • Will John, SLU (Wizards)
  • Chris Klein, DeSmet High (Real Salt Lake)
  • Steve Ralston, Oakville High (Revolution)
  • Bobby Rhine, Hazelwood Central (FC Dallas)
  • Pat Noonan, DeSmet High (Revolution)
  • Matt Pickens, Borgia High (Fire)
  • Taylor Twellman, SLU High (Revolution)
  • Tim Ward, SLU (Crew)

Also changes coming to the Busch:

Foul poles at Busch to be replaced

  • It's barely two weeks old, but already, two key features of the new Busch Stadium will soon be coming down. During opening week about 300 fans found themselves in full priced seats but with prime views of a foul pole.

Game Recap

Jason Marquis pitched eight solid innings of work for the Cards winning his third game this season. Albert Pujols connected for his ninth home run this season. Jason Isringhausen picked up his fourth save despite giving up a hit.

Albert Pujols is now two hits away from 1,000 career hits and advances to 210 career home runs. Note to the Cardinals front office: Commission someone to make a Pujols statue as soon as possible. He's earned it.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Albert Pujols Collage

Here is this collage of Albert Pujols that I made from AP photos and other photos online:

Albert Pujols Collage
originally uploaded by kydem

What could come to Ballpark Village?

More than a new name will sit atop Pavilion hotel
  • With Ballpark Village to rise between his hotel and the stadium, does he have any guarantee that he will still have the same view two years from now? "The Cardinals tell me there will be an ESPN Zone and a residential tower no more than 13 stories high," O'Loughlin says.

Breaking: Griffey on DL

Just in: Ken Griffey, Jr. has landed himself back on the DL.

On the Ballpark

Backward, march
  • David Moretti, the architecture critic of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, looks at the new Busch Stadium and comes to the same conclusion that we did: it's not that great a facility, despite what the ecstatic crowds think. True, there was a lot of value engineering to ensure the project stuck to its $365 million price tag, but there also was a lack of inspiration: the Cardinals wanted a tired retro design, and that's what HOK Sport+Venue+Event delivered. More on the new ballpark and how the players are reacting.

Here's a ballpark figure: There's been too many of them

  • Ballpark history can be a tricky thing, especially in the case of St. Louis, where a plethora of old facilities and teams in both the National and American Leagues have made the task of ballpark history more complicated than it needs be. For the record, the Cardinals are now currently playing in Busch Stadium III: the first Busch Stadium was also the second (or third, depending on who you ask) Sportsman's Park, which also hosted the St. Louis Browns. Some baseball historians, such as Phil Lowry, argue that there have been four Sportsman's Park facilities (though the Cards don't agree with that assessment), but we're not convinced: a remodeling job does not a new ballpark make.

Cardinal news

How is everyone doing on this sunny Monday afternoon?

Izzy is groping for solutions to the crazy start this season. In five games this season, Isringhausen has two losses and three saves. His 15.00 ERA this season is not so impressive. Going into this season, he has a 3.60 ERA in ten years of MLB ball.

Pittsburgh writers believe that the Cardinals are one of the best in the NL Central, if not THE best.
It doesn't seem to matter whether Mark McGwire or Albert Pujols is manning first base. Whether Edgar Renteria or David Eckstein is playing short. Whether Mike Matheny or Yadier Molina is squatting behind the plate. Or whether Darryl Kile, Matt Morris or Chris Carpenter is anchoring the pitching staff.

The names change, yet the St. Louis Cardinals continue to remain the class of the National League Central.

Since 2000, the Cardinals have won four division titles, qualified for the playoffs once as a wild-card entry and appeared in four National League Championship Series and one World Series. Throughout that run, they have averaged 95.8 wins, totaling 205 over the past two seasons alone while winning the division by 11 and 13 games, respectively.[...]

These Cardinals are coming off another offseason makeover. Larry Walker retired, Reggie Sanders, Mark Grudzielanek, Abraham Nunez and Matt Morris left via free agency, and Ray King was traded.

Finding shelter under the Gateway Arch were right fielder Juan Encarnacion, second baseman Aaron Miles and relievers Branden Looper and Ricardo Rincon.

Those new pieces will complement cornerstone players such as Pujols, third baseman Scott Rolen, center fielder Jim Edmonds, ace pitcher Chris Carpenter and closer Jason Isringhausen.
Players have delivered mixred results this season says Gordo.

In PNC Park's five years, the Cardinals have a 30-10 record. Pujols the Great has 16 home runs at PNC and a .382 average. Pujols needs four hits for 1,000 career hits. Interesting tidbits: Pujols has more or the same amount of home runs as the San Diego Padres (8) and the San Francisco Giants (5).

Marquis is 2-3 with a 4.34 ERA against Pittsburgh.

Milestone watch:
Mark Mulder - 2 wins for 100 career wins.
Albert Pujols - 4 hits for 1,000 career hits, 11 HR for 220 HR to tie for 4th all-time for the Cardinals

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Back in business!

I hope you enjoyed the time off. I know I did. We're back in business and taking no breaks until Shavuos in June.

The Brewers managedment looks up to the Cardinals. Larry Bigbie has begun a rehab assignment with the Memphis Redbirds.

The Cardinals split the Brewers series by winning two and losing the last game. Marquis picked up the win on Wednesday as the Cards won 8-3. No Cardinal home runs but Jim Edmonds stole a base. The bullpen did no damage on Wednesday. On Thursday, Suppan picked up the start and gave up 3 runs. Eckstein had a big game going 3-5 with a double and a triple. Marquis even pinch hit. Tied at three through 10, the Cards lost in the 11th when Jason Isringhausen gave up a solo shot to Carlos Lee of the Brewers.

The Reds came in to town for a weekend series at the new Busch Stadium. The Cards lost the first game but won the next two. Carp picked up a loss despite six strikeouts as the offense did not back him up. The Cards lost by one run.

Saturday saw a blowout with a winning score of 9-3. Sidney Ponson picked up his first win of the season. In the bottom of the first, Yadier Molina singled to center scoring both Albert Pujols and So Taguchi. Scott Rolen advanced to third. Hector Luna singled to left scoring Rolen and advancing Molina to second. In the bottom of the second, Pujols hit his 5th home run and brought home Eckstein. In the bottom of the third, Hector Luna hit his first home run of the season. The Cards did not score again until the 7th when H. Luna singled to right center and Juan Encarnacion actually scored for a change. Scott Spiezio homered to deep right center and Hector Luna had another run. Spiezio became a member of the first father-son duo to homer for the Cards as Ed Spiezio was a member of the club from 1964-68.

Sunday defined the new Busch Stadium era as it shall now be known as "The House that Albert Built" or "The House that Pujols Built." Pujols went yard for not one, not two, but three home runs for # 6, 7, and 8 on the season. Two of them with one on base. Not to be out done, Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns both went yard. Braden Looper was credited with the win though Pujols hit a walk-off home run to win it. In the first inning, John Rodriguez tripled to deep right scoring both Albert Pujols and David Eckstein. The fifth inning saw both Pujols and Rolen hit back-to-back home runs (Aaron Miles scored on the Pujols blast). After seven innings, it was 6-3 Cardinals. The eighth inning saw three Reds runs thus giving them a 7-6 lead. In the ninth inning, Jason Marquis pinch hit for Braden Looper and singled to center. Pujols was next at the plate and went yard for a walk-off home run as the Cardinals bring home the win 8-7.

What's next: Pittsburgh
April 17: Jason Marquis vs. Paul Maholm
April 18: Jeff Suppan vs. Oliver Perez
April 19: Chris Carpenter vs. Victor Santos
April 20: OFF

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Light blogging this weekend

Hello, fellow Cardinal fans! Due to Pesach, there will be no postings on this blog due to the holiday weekend. Posting will resume Saturday night or Sunday morning.

The Cards were off yesterday.

Articles on the home opener:
Seattle Post Intelligencer
MLB.com, another article
KSDK
Springfield State Journal Register
Gordo's Zone

Jack Buck has been honored by the Hall of Famous Missourians.

See you this weekend and Go Cards!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Since the Cards are off, this is about another animal

'Cheeta' The Showbiz Chimpanzee Turns 74
  • Cheeta, the chimpanzee will be celebrating his 74th birthday, Hollywood-style, complete with the acceptance of an award before an entourage and paparazzi.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Now that's CARDINAL baseball

Albert Pujols and Mark Mulder hit home runs at the home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers. Mulder helped himself by going 2-3 with a double and his first career home run in the majors. Mulder picked up the win and Izzy got his third save of the season. Tomo Ohka picked up his first lost of the season. The Cards do it right and won today 6-4.

The last starter in BS2: Mark Mulder. The first starter in BS3: Mark Mulder.
Here's excerpts from the ESPN recap:
The Cardinals' left-hander threw eight strong innings and hit his first career home run to help the St. Louis beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-4 Monday in the first major league game at the $365 million ballpark.

Scott Rolen's two-run double in the fourth off Tomo Ohka (0-1) gave the Cardinals the lead for good and Albert Pujols hit his fourth homer, a drive to the left-center power alley estimated at 445 feet.

The day began on a festive note, with Pujols and Chris Carpenter, the NL MVP and Cy Young Award winners, throwing out dual ceremonial first pitches to retired Cardinals greats Willie McGee and Bob Gibson. It stayed festive most of the day for a sellout crowd of 41,936.[...]

Mulder allowed seven hits in eight innings, struck out five and walked one. He also was 2-for-3 with a double on a hop off the center-field wall and a walk -- coming in he had a .119 career average in 84 at-bats with four RBI.

His home run, a two-drive off Jose Capellan in the seventh, put the Cardinals ahead 6-2.

Mulder also started the final home opener at the old Busch Stadium last year in addition to pitching the final game at the 40-year-old park last fall in a Game 6 NLCS loss to the Houston Astros.
Today is a true example of how you play St. Louis Cardinal baseball.

The Countdown begins

Despite an exhibition game played already, the Cardinals OFFICIALLY open up Busch Stadium the 3rd today with the home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Brewers manager Ned Yost on BS3: Where's the clubhouse?

Rich Lederer agrees with many of us Cardinal fans on the signing of Juan Encarnacion.
Speaking of the Redbirds, Juan Encarnacion is 4-for-23 with no XBH or RBI, and he has left 20 runners on base during the Cardinals first six games. I've seen him on TV twice with the bases loaded, and he grounded out to second on a feeble swing with a 2-0 count and struck out on a breaking pitch that was out of the strike zone.

I thought Walt Jocketty made two mistakes with respect to Encarnacion. Number one was signing him. Number two was giving him a three-year contract. I feel badly reminding St. Louis fans that Encarnacion won't be Juan Gone for a long time.
Thanks for the reminder as if we didn't already know that.

Expect Walt Jocketty to resign Mark Mulder for a few more seasons.

USA Today previews the series as I await my press pass game notes.

This just in!

I have secured tickets to Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati to see my beloved St. Louis Cardinals play on May 2, 2006, at 12:35 PM Eastern. It may not be Busch but it's the best I can do for now.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

A new reason why Detroit is Death City

Boy's 911 calls dismissed as jokes
  • Five-year-old Robert Turner's mother had collapsed on the floor, and he was scared, but he knew what to do. He called 911 for help.

St. Louis vs. Chicago: Sunday Edition

The game is televised on ESPN with commentary by play by play man Jon Miller and analyst Joe Morgan. Or you could listen to it on KTRS or GameDay Audio with play by play man John Rooney and analyst Mike Shannon.

Starting Lineups:
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein SS
Juan Encarnacion RF
Albert Pujols 1B
Scott Rolen 3B
Jim Edmonds CF
Yadier Molina C
So Taguchi LF
Hector Luna 2B
Sidney Ponson P

Chicago
Juan Pierre CF
Todd Walker 2B
Derrek Lee 1B
Aramiz Ramirez 3B
Michael Barrett C
Jacque Jones RF
Matt Murton LF
Ronny Cedeno SS
Sean Marshall P

First inning: Eck leads things off. 0-1. Ground out to third. Juan Encarnacion is due up. 0-1. Ground out to second. Two outs for Albert Pujols. Pujols is 0-7 for the series. 3-1. Walk. I stand corrected with the lineups. Rolen is batting cleanup, not Edmonds. I've corrected that. 3-2. That is deep down the left field line and that ball is outta here! Rolen just hit his second home run of the season. The Cards lead 2-0. Edmonds. 2-2. Pops up to Aramis Ramirez. That ends the inning but the damage has been done.

Ponson throws a strike for his first pitch during the regular season. Pierre. 0-2. Grounder to second base for the first out. Walker. 1-2. Base hit up the middle. Derrek Lee is up and G-d willing, they pitch around him. 0-1. 4-3 Double play! Cards 2, Cubs 0

Second Inning: Yadier Molina leads off. 2-1. Grounder to third. So Taguchi. Flies out to right field. Two outs. Hector Luna. 1-2 (broken bat). Strikeout.

Ramirez. Swings to Edmonds on the first pitch. One away. Barrett. 3-2. Drilled to Eckstein. Two away. Jones. 1-0. Grounds to second.

Third inning: Ponson. 0-2. Strikeout. Eck. 0-1. Grounds to Derrek Lee at first. Encarnacion bats with two outs (sound familiar?). 1-1. He grounds out to third for a too-quick inning.

Murton. 3-2. Eck to Pujols for the out. Cedeno. 2-1. In the outfield for a double. Marshall in his first major league at-bat. 0-2. Strikeout. Two outs. Juan Pierre. 3-2. Grounds to second to end the inning.

Fourth inning: Pujols. 2-2. Grounds to third. Rolen. Flies out to Pierre. Two away. Edmonds. 3-2. Base hit to left center. Molina due up. 1-2. Grounds to third. Still leading 2-0.

Walker. 2-0. Base hit. Lee. 0-1. 5-4-3 double play! Two outs. Ramirez. 0-2. Hit to Scott Rolen and Eckstein backs up but it wasn't enough. Barrett. 3-1. Base hit to right. Runners on the corners. Jones. 3-2. Dang it! He hits it over Jim Edmonds for a 3-run home run with two outs. Murton. 2-1. Hit to Luna, who drops the ball, and gets to Pujols just in time for the third out but the damage is done. Cards 2, Cubs 3.

Fifth inning: Taguchi. 2-2. Fair ball hit down the left field line and So is in there for a double. Luna. Base hit to center and we now have runners on the corners. Ponson up with no outs. Bunts to the pitcher and Luna moves to second. Runners on second and third for David Eckstein. Eckstein loads the bases and we have one out for Juan Encarnacion. Michael Wuertz is coming in from the pen as Sean Marshall exits the game. Juan will be up after the pitching change. 3-2. Strikeout. Two away. Pujols at the plate. 2-2. Base hit to short and into left field. Taguchi and Luna score. Runners on first and second and the Cards take the lead again 4-3. Rolen. 2-1. The ball gets to Cedeno and he throws home since there is no play. Edmonds is up with two outs and the bases loaded. 2-0. He grounds to Derrek Lee but the damage is done. Cards 4, Cubs 3.

Sidney Ponson is still in the game for the Cards. Cedeno. 3-2. Grounds to Eck but the throw is not in time. Tony La Russa is out to argue. He was clearly out. He was out by a mile on the replay. That should have been an out per Joe Morgan and Cardinal fans. Pinch hitter for the pitcher and it is Freddie Bynum. 1-2. Grounded to Rolen to Luna for the first out and a fielder's choice. Pierre. 1-0. Grounded to Luna to Pujols for the second out. Walker. Flies to Taguchi for the third out.

Sixth Inning: Jerome Williams takes over for the Cubs. Molina. 2-0. Grounds out to short. Taguchi. 3-1. Walk. Adam Wainwright is warming up. Luna. Base hit to right field and runners on first and second. Ponson is done for the night after five innings as John "J-Rod" Rodriguez pinch hits for S-Pon. 4-6-3 Double play ends the inning.

Wainwright is now in. Lee. 1-2. Strikeout! Ramirez. 1-1. Grounded to Luna, who fumbles the ball, to Pujols for the second out. Barrett. 2-1. Popped out to Pujols to end the inning.

Seventh inning: Eckstein leads off just like the first inning. 0-2. Base hit up the middle. Encarnacion. 3-2. Lined to Todd Walker who catches it and throws to Lee for the double play. The Great Pujols at the bat. 1-2. Strikeout. Cards 4, Cubs 3.

Jones. 3-1. Drilled right to Jimmy Edmonds. Murton. 1-0. Flies out to Juan Encarnacion. Cedeno. 1-2. Base hit to left center. Ricardo Rincon is warming up. John Mabry the former Cardinal. Base hit to right field. Runners on the corners with two outs for Juan Pierre. Tony brings in Ricardo Rincon to face Juan Pierre. 3-2. Strikes out on what I thought would have been ball four. Pierre argues with the umpire. Braden Looper is throwing in the bullpen and is likely to enter the game in the eighth.

Eighth inning: Scott Williamson is now in the game for the Cubs. Rolen. Base hit to left field. Edmonds. 2-2. Strikeout but not before Scott Rolen stole second. Molina. 2-2. Rolen picked off trying to steal third. Molina goes down with a strikeout. Cards 4, Cubs 3.

Walker. 3-0. Walk. Jason Isringhausen is warming up in the pen. I guess that Looper was getting some time in the pen since Rincon is still in. Tony sends in Skip Schumaker to center field for Jim Edmonds. Hairston is being sent to first base in lieu of Todd Walker. Jaon "Izzy" Isringhausen is at the mound. Lee. 3-0. Hairston advances on the wild pitch. Izzy walks Lee. Ramirez is up as Izzy is trying to give us heart attacks again. Skip moves to left and So to center. 3-0. Dave Duncan goes to visit Izzy. The third straight walk of this inning. Barrett. 2-2. Holy crap. Izzy gives up a grand slam after three straight walks to begin the inning. The Cubs now lead 7-4. Jones. 2-2. Over Izzy and the throw is not in time. Pitching change. Josh Hancock in the game. Murton. 0-2. Strikeout. Izzy has damaged his ERA although he gave up two walks so only one run was earned. Cedeno. 1-1. Right past Rolen and into left field. That's two balls with bad hops. Scott did not field that good. Batting for Williamson is Angel Pagan. 6-4 for the one out but Pagan beat the throw. Two away with runners on the corners. Pierre is up as the Cubs have almost batted around. 3-2. Jones scores on a curveball that gets passed Molina. The score is now 4-8. Grounded to Pujols who tags first to end the inning...finally!.

Ninth inning: The Cubs send their closer Dempster in. Miles pinch hits for So. 1-1. Flies to a diving Murton for out #1. Scott Spiezio pinch hits. 1-0. He grounds out to first. Skip Schumaker is our final hope to get a rally started. 1-1. That's a fair ball and for the first time in five years, the Cards are swept by the hated Cubs of Chicago.

W - Scott Williamson (1-0)
L - Jason Isringhausen (0-1)

The Cardinals start the first week on the road 3-3 before playing at Busch Stadium III for the first time ever tomorrow.

Home of the Marlins gets a new name, again

Dolphin Stadium gets new look
  • Two giant scoreboards, logo unveiled MIAMI GARDENS -- The Dolphins' home entered a new era Saturday when team officials unveiled their new high-definition video scoreboards and "Dolphin Stadium" name and sleek logo.

Pregame Post

This is the third game this season that is being televised nationally, so that means I will be live-blogging it like usual.

The Cardinals go into the game with a 3-2 record and have not been swept by the Chicago Cubs since June 5-7, 2001. Sidney Ponson makes his regular season debut playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. Sean Marshall makes his major league debut for the Chicago Cubs. All time, the Cubs lead the series with a record of 1,055-1,020.

Tomorrow, the day of the home opener, marks the 53rd anniversary of the Cardinals playing in Busch Stadium. In 1953, Sportman's Park, located at Grand and Dodier, was renamed Busch Stadium. From 1966-2005, the Cardinals played in Busch Stadium II located at Walnut and Broadway. The 2006 season opens up a brand new Busch Stadium at Clark and Broadway.

Milestone Watch:
Albert Pujols needs 13 hits for 1,000 career hits
Mark Mulder needs 3 wins for 100 career wins

What's up next with the Milwaukee Brewers:
April 10 - Mark Mulder (0-0, 3.86) vs. Tomo Ohka (0-0, 1.29)
April 12 - Jason Marquis (1-0, 3.38) vs. David Bush (1-0, 1.29)
April 13 - Jeff Suppan (0-1, 7.20) vs. Doug Davis (0-0, 4.91)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Cards lose again

It is not a good day when St. Louis loses to Chicago. The Cards were winning until the bullpen came in to the game. With two outs in the top of the ninth, who else but Juan Encarnacion is brought in to pinch hit. Note to Coach Tony La Russa, expect Juan to be the player that the fans don't want into the game.

Stan "The Man" Musial finds his place at the new Busch Stadium.

Brad Thompson picked up the loss after giving up a home run to Derrek Lee.

At 11:00 AM eastern, the new Busch Stadium will have it's formal dedication featuring Bill DeWitt Jr., Mark Lamping, Bill DeWitt III, Red Schoendienst, Stan "The Man" Musial, Gov. Matt Blunt, Mayor Francis Slay, and Charlie Dooley.

Post Dispatch quotes TLR on Juan Encarnacion.

Friday, April 07, 2006

St. Louis vs. Chicago

St. Louis will play the Chicago Cubs at 2 PM Eastern on WGN and FSN Midwest. I get WGN so I will be live-blogging the game. The temperature at Wrigley is 45 degrees.

Starting Lineups (not online yet):
St. Louis
David Eckstein SS
Juan Encarnacion RF
Albert Pujols 1B
Jim Edmonds CF
Scott Rolen 3B
So Taguchi LF
Gary Bennett C
Aaron Miles 2B
Jeff Suppan P

Chicago
Juan Pierre CF
Neifi Perez 2B
Derrek Lee 1B
Aramiz Ramirez 3B
Jacque Jones RF
Michael Barrett C
Matt Murton LF
Ronny Cedeno SS
Greg Maddux P

First inning: Warmup pitches are just about over. It's time to dominate against the Cubs as the Cards make their way back to the playoffs this season. Eckstein at the plate. 0-1. Flies out to right field. Juan Encarnacion is up with none on. 1-0. Grounds out to short. Two outs. That brings up Albert Pujols the Great. 2-1. Flies out to center.

Pierre. 1-2. Popped up to Scott Rolen at third base. One out. Perez. 2-2. Grounded to Aaron Miles for the second out. Lee. 0-1. That's a deep fly ball and sadly, a home run. Two outs and the Cubs lead 1-0. Ramirez grounds out to Rolen to end the inning.

Second Inning: Edmonds at the plate. 3-2. Grounds to Maddux for the first out. Rolen due up. 1-0. Fairball to left field for a double. Rolen "might be the great third baseman ever." So Taguchi. 0-1. Grounds to second and advances Rolen to third. Gary Bennett gets his first start. 3-2. Strikeout. That ends the inning with Rolen left on base.

Jones. 1-0. Flies out to Miles. Barrett. 2-1. Grounds out to 3B. Murton. 3-2. Walk. Cedeno. That's deep to right field. Cedeno triples thus driving in Matt Murton. Two outs. Maddux. 1-2. Strikeout. Cardinals give up another run and the Cubs lead 2-0.

Third inning: Miles due up. 0-2. Pop up to short. Suppan. Grounds to short. Eckstein back up. 1-2. Grounds to second. That was a quick inning.

Pierre leads off the third inning for the Cubs. 1-0. Grounds to Rolen. Perez. 1-1. That was a blooper to center. Lee. 3-1. Walk. Ramirez. 0-1. Eckstein stops it but throws the ball over second and Perez advances to score. Runners in scoring position and the Cubs now lead 3-0. Get someone warming up in the pen NOW. Jones is being intentionally walked with one out. Barrett. 1-2. Blooper to center and the Cubs get another run. Play some good defense and start stopping those runs. Dave Duncan makes a trip to the mound. Bases loaded with one out. Murton. 2-0. Eck to second to first for the double play to finally end the inning.

Fourth inning: Juan leads off for the Cardinals with the heart of the lineup due up. 0-1. Encarnacion is safe on an infield hit that should have been an error. The Mighty Pujols at the bat. 2-2 (That foul ball should have been fair). Flies out to left field. Edmonds. 2-0. Flies out to Murton and and Juan doesn't beat the throw to end the inning. I'd say had it not been for the wind, that hit would have been a two-run home run.

Cedeno leads off for the hated rivals. Juan missed the ball in the sky and Cedeno gets a double despite a bad throw by Juan. Maddux grounds out to Pujols. Murton advances to third. One out. Pierre. 2-1. Blooper to right scores Murton for a Cubs 5-0 lead. Still one out. Perez. A fly ball to left center and Taguchi is not there in time and the throw was a bit late. Lee. 2-2. Rolen to Miles to Pujols for a double play.

Fifth inning: Rolen to lead off the fifth inning. 3-1. Walk. Taguchi. Grounds out into a 4-6-3 double play. Bennett. 1-1. Grounds out to short.

Ramirez. 0-1. Blooper to left field. Please take out Suppan. Jones. 0-2. Atta boy! Strikeout. Barrett. 3-2. Miles to Eck to Pujols for the double play. Through the end of five, the game has gone on for just about 1 hour, twenty minutes.

Sixth Inning: Miles leads off. 2-2. Grounds out to short. Good news, J-Rod is on deck and Braden Looper is warming up. J-Rod. 2-0. There's a deep fly ball and the wind keeps it in play for the second out. The wind is going at 25 MPH from the northeast. Eck at the plate with two outs. 2-2. Blooper to center and Juan is up--please hit productively! 2-2. Eckstein steals second and we have a runner in scoring position. Again, Juan gets the last out of an inning. Pujols to lead off the seventh inning.

Braden Looper finally sees some activity this season. After signing a three year deal for $13.5 million, it's about time! Welcoem back, Braden! Murton. 2-1. Grounds out to David "Just Enough" Eckstein. Cedeno. 1-0. Grounds out to Scott Rolen. Maddux. 1-2. There's a grounder to second and the inning is over. What a welcome back to the Cardinals for Braden Looper!

Seventh Inning: Pujols at the plate. 1-2. Popped up to second. Edmonds due up. 1-0. There's a deep fly ball and that ball is out of here! Home run for Jimmy Edmonds! The Cards are finally on the board with a run. Let's get a rally started. Rolen. 3-2. Walk. Taguchi due up. Maddux exits and Bob Howry comes in from the bullpen. 2-0. Popped out to second. Bennett. 1-2. There's a fly ball and Jacque Jones will be on Baseball Tonight this evening. It's stretch time!

Pierre. 0-1. Grounds to second. Perez. 1-1. Insight flips on the bad weather screen. That ball got away from Pujols and Perez gets a double. Lee. 0-1. Grounder to Rolen. Ramirez. 1-2. Taguchi makes the catch for the last out as Adam Wainwright warming up in the pen. Bad weather in Cincy means I am switching channels in between innings.

Eighth Inning: Miles. 1-2. Strikeout. Scott Spiezio pinch-hits for Looper. 1-2. Strikeout. Eckstein. 0-2. Strikeout. This game has now gone on for 2 hours, 1 minute.

Wainwright is now in and replaces Looper. Jones. 1-1. Fly ball to right field and Juan drops the ball while jumping and Juan throws to second and Jones is thrown out. There is an error on the play. Barrett. 1-0. Grounder to short. Two outs for Matt Murton. 2-1. There's a grounder to Eck and the inning is over.

Ninth inning: Ryan Dempter comes in and hope is fading for Cardinal fans but I still have faith and believe. Angel Pagan moves to left field. Encarnacion leads off. 0-1. Grounder to short. Pujols. 2-2. He grounds out to Aramis Ramirez to get the second out of the inning. Edmonds is likely to be the last Cardinal to bat until tomorrow...unfortunately. 1-2. Jimmy goes down swinging in front of 40,369.

W - Greg Maddux
L - Jason Suppan

The Cardinals move to 3-1 overall.

Approximated Official time: 2 hours, 12 minutes

Pregame News

Look at what the Chicago Tribune is saying about the payroll numbers. Even though we are spending less than last season, we will still be in the playoffs come October.

Last season against the Cubs, the Cardinals lost ten of sixteen games. Jeff Suppan takes the start today. Last season, he went 16-10 for St. Louis with 3.57 ERA. In four starts against the Cubs last season, Soup went 1-1 with a 1.71 ERA. Soup is six wins away from picking up his 100th career win.

Pregame ceremonies on Monday will start fifty minutes before the 4:10 Eastern opening pitch to open the new Busch Stadium.

Aaron Miles is proving to be a great pickup this season. Juan Encarnacion is still stranding runners on base left and right despite the occasional hit.

Milestone Watch:
Albert Pujols needs 13 hits for 1,000 career hits.
Mark Mulder needs 3 wins for 100 career wins.

Carp starts tomorrow.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Article Up

My BaseballBias.com article is now up. Please check it out and Baseball Bias in general.

Should St. Louis get a MLS team?

With new Blue's owner also owning the Salt Lake MLS team, should he become the owner of a new MLS team in St. Louis, or should the Lou even get a team.

MLS plan for stadiums, expansion on pace

  • Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., will lease 600 acres to a real-estate developer to fund a project estimated at $1billion. The Home Depot Center sits on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills. The third expansion team will be in the Midwest, and Garber said St. Louis would not be a bad guess.

Staying Power Assured, a League Looks to Grow

  • The 12-team league will grow to 13 next year with the addition of Toronto; to 14 in 2008 with a team in St. Louis, Milwaukee or Cleveland; possibly to 15 in 2009 if Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., is able to find financing for a $1 billion development project; and to 16 in 2010 with the addition of a team in New York City.

Army coach Dixon hospitalized in critical condition

  • Army women's basketball coach Maggie Dixon suffered an arrhythmia heart episode Wednesday at West Point, N.Y., and is in critical condition.

Cardinals’ DeWitt outlines firmer plans for Ballpark Village

  • With the Cardinals soon to begin play in their new stadium, team management is continuing to promote the Ballpark Village component of the new facilities

2 more sign with the Billikens soccer team

Steward and Viviano Align with Billikens
  • Saint Louis men's soccer head coach Dan Donigan today announced that Simeon Steward (Redlands, Calif. / Redlands) and Rob Viviano (Orange, Calif. / Redlands) will join the Billikens' program. Steward has accepted the institution's written offer of admission, while Viviano signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University and play for the Billikens. They will have four years of eligibility beginning with the 2006-07 academic year.

Side note: The men's soccer team has won 10 national titles (1959-60, 1962-63, 1965, 1967, 1969-70, 1972-73), the most in NCAA Men's Soccer Championship history. Also, they will be hosting the 2006 NCAA Men's College Cup.

Final game with Philly

The Cardinals are currently tied with Philly with a score of 0-0 at the end of the top of the second inning. I'm following the game on yahoo right now since I don't have FSN Midwest. If I had the Dish or Direct TV, I would definitely be watching the game. Until I get GameDay Audio, that's the way things will be.

Jason Marquis pitches against Cory Lidle as the Cards hope to move their record to 3-0. The longest winning streak to open the Cardinal season was 7 games in 1962. The worst was 0-6 in 1997.

So far, Jimmy Rollins is 0-4 today and is at 8th on the consecutive games hitting streak. Rollins had a good run but just couldn't get any good hits today. St. Louis leads 4-2 through nine innings. Barring any miracle come back, the Cardinals win 4-2 against the Phillies as they sweep the series and move to 3-0. Jim Edmonds' single in the fifth inning brought in a run for his 1000th career RBI.

W - Jason Marquis
L - Cory Lidle
S - Jason Isringhausen

It's not even October and Gordo is already wondering what things will be like next April.

What's next for St. Louis:
The team travels to Chicago for a three game series starting tomorrow at 2:20 eastern. All-time, St. Louis trails 1,053-1,020. Friday's game can be viewed on WGN. Sunday's on ESPN.
Friday: Jeff Suppan vs. Greg Maddux
Saturday: Chris Carpenter vs. Carlos Zambrano
Sunday: Sidney Ponson vs. Sean Marshall

Cards, baseball news and Rams

Ticket prices climb, payroll drops in St. Louis
  • Redbird Nation ain't gonna like this: average ticket prices at the new Busch Stadium are the third-most expensive in the majors (behind the Red Sox and the Cubs), while the team's payroll took a little cut, from $90.42 million in 2005 to $88.89 million in 2006. Now, in the Cards' defense, both are easily explained. The ticket prices are there for two reasons: someone has to pay for the new ballpark, and the market will bear the prices. In terms of payroll: the Cards had some major talent that deserved significant pay raises, and if you take away Larry Walker's 2005 salary of $12.6 million, you can argue the team is spending a little more on salaries, relatively speaking.

Mets unveil model of new stadium

  • The Mets, unveiled on Thursday plans for their new ballpark, which will offer sight lines as impressive as any in the Major Leagues while providing vastly improved access, comfortable accommodations, restaurants, suites and clubs and other attractions.

Have a St. Louis Dawg (foot-long with BBQ pork, fried onions, chopped green onions and cheddar cheese.) It is one of the What's new at PNC Park?

Devil Rays may play name game

  • The Devil Rays have until May 31 to pick a new name to use starting next season. What will it be?

Is Texas big enough for three MLB teams?

  • One big issue for the folks working to bring the Florida Marlins to San Antonio: whether the state is big enough for three MLB teams. The Rangers' Tom Hicks has partially signed off on the deal, but the Astros' Drayton McLane -- whose team actually does draw from San Antonio and Austin -- isn't so sure. Technically, the Astros won't have a say in whether the Fish move to San Antonio, but it's hard to see consensus-seeking Bud Selig approving a move over the objections of McLane when the city's questionable economic standing and the likely lack of a big TV contract are also in play. Meanwhile, MLB COO Bob DuPuy assured Mayor Phil Hardberger and County Judge Nelson Wolff on Wednesday that MLB soon would announce whether it believes San Antonio is a viable market for the Florida Marlins.

Rams 2006 schedule release today

  • Now working for Detroit, former Rams coach Mike Martz returns to the Edward Jones Dome on Oct. 1, according to the NFL 2006 schedule released today.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

St. Louis vs. Philadephia

Blogger will be out for 45 minutes starting at 5 PM PST but aside from that, I will be blogging the game. Here are Matthew Leach's Cardinal notes.

Starting Lineups:
St. Louis
David Eckstein SS
Juan Encarnacion RF
Albert Pujols 1B
Jim Edmonds CF
Scott Rolen 3B
Skip Schumaker LF
Yadier Molina C
Aaron Miles 2B
Mark Mulder P

Philadelphia
Jimmy Rollins SS
Aaron Rowand CF
Bobby Abreu RF
Patt Burrell LF
Chase Utley 2B
Ryan Howard 1B
David Bell 3B
Mike Lieberthal C
Brett Myers P

Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser are calling the game for ESPN. The game is blacked out in the St. Louis and Philly markets. The Philly market can see the game on CN8. Cardinal fans can watch it on FSN Midwest.

First Inning: First pitch to Eckstein is in the for a ball. Strike. Eck grounds out to second for the first out. Juan Encarnacion takes a strike and a ball. 3-2. Larry Walker is the interim bullpen catcher. Walk for Juan. Pujols at the plate. 0-2. Strikes out looking. Two outs for Edmonds. 3-1. Walk. Two on, two out. Rolen is coming up to a lot of booing. 3-2. Flies out to center.

Rollins at the plate. First pitch is a ball. There's a hit to left field that slides behind Scott Rolen. His streak extends to 38 consecutive games. Rowand sacrifices to Mulder but Rollins advances. Abreu is up. 1-2. Flies out to left as Rollins scores from third. Pat "The Bat" Burrell at the plate. 1-2. Burrell keeps the inning alive by hitting a grounder towards center. Utley takes a strike. 1-2. Molina drops the ball but throws to first for the third out.

Second Inning: Skip leads off the second. 1-1. Hits a grounder to left field. Molina takes a strike as Skip steals second. 0-2. Base hit to left. Miles is up. Runners on the corners. 1-1. Drops in front of Abreu and the Cards tie it at 1. Mulder up. 3-1. Pop-up. Eck lines to second for the 2nd out. Encarnacion is up. 2-2. Grounds out to second for the final out.

Ryan Howard grounds out to Pujols. Bell is up. 0-2. Bell grounds out to Rolen. Lieberthal grounds out to Rolen. That's the end of the second inning.

Third Inning: Pujols. 3-1. Pujols could go down "as one of the greatest players to ever live." Pops up to center. Edmonds up. 3-2. Finally, he walks. Rolen back up to the boos. 0-1. Double play.

Myers comes up. 3-2. Ground out to second with a broken bat. Rollins is back up. 2-0. Off the wall in left and that's another double. Rowand is up. 2-0. Grounds out to Rolen. Rollins stays at second. Abreu at the plate. 0-2. Grounds to Albert to end the inning.

Fourth inning: Skip leads off the 4th. 1-1. Adios, senior pelota, a home run! 2-1 lead. That was his first major league home run. Molina. 2-2. Strikeout. Miles. 3-1. Grounds out to third. Two outs. Mulder back up. 3-1. Walk. Eck. 3-2. Walk. Juan E. 1-1. Pops up to center with a broken bat.

Burrell. 3-2. Flies out to Skip Schumaker. Utley. 2-2. Lined into right for a base hit. Howard. 2-2. Double play!

Fifth inning: Pujols at the bat. 0-2. HOME RUN!! That's his third this season. Edmonds flies out to left. Rolen flies out to right center. Okay, how many updates with Scott and Tino do we need? Skip 0-2. Skip ends the inning on a grounder to the pitcher.

Bell leads off the inning for the Phillies. 2-2. He hits it to Mulder who gets the out. Lieberthal due at the plate. Right past Mulder into center. Geoff Geary warming up in the bullpen. Alex Gonzales pinch hits for Myers. 1-0. Rolen to 2nd to 1st. Double play to end the inning.

Sixth inning: Molina. 1-2. Flied out to right field. Miles. 1-2. Strikeout. Two outs for Mark Mulder. 2-2. Base hit to left. Eckstein. 2-2. Base hit to left field. Rheal Cormier is warming up in the Phillies bullpen. Two outs for Juan. 0-2. Juan strikes out this time to end the inning.

Rollins flies to Encarnacion. Rowand. 0-1. Eck to Pujols. Two out. Abreu. 2-0. Grounds to Miles who misfields the ball and still manages to make the play.

Seventh Inning: Ryan Franklin now pitching. Pujols leads off the inning for the third time tonight. 1-2. Grounds out to Rollins. Edmonds. 1-0. Grounds to first. Rolen. There's a ball close to his chin. 3-1. Grounds out to David Bell. It's stretch time.

Burrell pops up to second. Mulder still in the game. Utley hits a grounder to first. ESPN2 is starting to have feed problems with the audio part of the feed. Howard. 1-1. Base hit. Bell. 1-1 Home run for Bell and he has tied the game up at 3. The same kid has caught the ball from the Bell home run as the Pujols home run. He gives it to a Phillies fan. Lieberthal. 0-1. A bouncer to second ends the inning.

Eighth inning: Skip to lead off the inning. 1-2. Flies out to center. Molina. 0-1. Grounds out to third. Miles. 3-0. Walk. J-Rod pinch hits for Mulder. 3-1. Brad Thompson is warming up in the bullpen and will most likely enter the game in the bottom of the eighth. Walk for J-Rod. Eck at the plate. Two outs. 1-2. Rollins makes a diving stop but the bases are now loaded sinc ethere was no play. Juan at the plate. He's 0-3 with a walk this evening and has made the last out the past few innings. Arthur Rhodes warming up. 2-0. There's a broken bat with a grounder to second. Three left on. Juan is not doing so well this evening.

Brad Thompson now in the game. David Dellucci pinch hits. 1-0. Grounds to short. Rollins. 3-2. Flies out to Edmonds. Two outs. Rowand due up. Tom Gordon throwing in the pen. 1-2. Lined back to Brad Thompson.

Ninth inning: Gordon to come to the mound. Pujols leads off yet again. 3-1. Walk. Edmonds. 1-2. Strikeout. Rolen gets booed again. One on, one out. 1-1 Jason Isringhausen is warming up in the bullpen. Pujols steals second and the throw gets away from Aaron Rowand! The center fielder misplays the ball and Pujols advances to third! 2-2 to Rolen. Fielder's choice and Albert is out. Rolen on first. Two outs. Skip due up. 11 players left on, mainly due to Juan Encarnacion. 3-1. Walk. That's the ninth walk of the night. Two on, two out. Yadier due up. He's 1-4 with a single. Base hit to left field as the ball drops just in front of Pat Burrell. Rolen scores and it's 4-3. Miles due up. 0-1. Grounds out to the first base man.

Jason Isringhausen heads to the mound to pitch to Abreu, Burrell, and Utley. Abreu. 3-1. Grounder to Eckstein and that's "just enough" for the out. David "Just Enough" Eckstein. Burrell. Burrell is 2-7 against Izzy with 2 K's. 2-2. Burrell lines to center for a base hit. Utley due up with one on and one out. Shane Victorino is pinch running for Pat the Bat. 0-1. Pujols beats Utley to first for the second out as Victorino advances to second. Ryan Howard, the 2006 Rookie of the Year, is at the plate and David Bell is on deck. Two out. Runner on. 3-1. Walk. That brings up David Bell who tied the game in the seventh inning with a home run off of Mark "Fox" Mulder. He's 3-7 against Izzy. 3-2. Bases loaded as Lieberthal heads to the plate. Anything could happen. Lieberthal is 3-10 against Izzy. 0-1. Pujols throws to Izzy for the win!

W - Brad Thompson
L - Tom Gordon
S - Jason Isringhausen

Home runs: Skip Schumaker (1), Albert Pujols (3)

As the late legendary broadcaster Jack Buck would say, that's a winner!

Pregame Post

Taking advantage of my six hour break between classes, I thought I would get some Cardinals blogging in before the game--I may be liveblogging the action tonight since ESPN is airing the game. I've updated the blogroll to reflect The 26th Man's new blog URL and I've the blog listed at the bottom, Royalties and Cardinalate.

The AP article on yesterday's exhibition game is up. Look for the Scottrade.com ad at the stadium and you found where GM Walt Jocketty watches the game from. How can we not forget KSDK?

Scott Spiezio is not forgotten anymore. He's currently the utilityman for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Now it is time to preview tonight's game against the Philadelphia Phillies airing on ESPN at 7 p.m. eastern. Jimmy Rollins can expect to see plenty of good pitches to try and hit. The Cardinals are 4-3 at Citizens Bank Park. Mark Mulder has made two starts against the Phillies in which he had a loss and a no-decision. Mulder did not give up a home run this past spring. This past spring, he went 3-1. Brett Myers starts for the Phillies.

Monday's opener was the fourth time in Cardinal history that there were 3 home runs on the season opener (Pujols, Rolen, Pujols). It was the second time in consecutive seasons (2005, 2006) and it also happened in 1941 and 2000. Last season, it was Jim Edmonds, Reggie Sanders, and Larry Walker. J-Rod is listed as day-to-day.

Milestone watch:
Jim Edmonds needs 1 RBI for 1,000 career RBI.
Mark Mulder needs 3 wins for 100 career wins.
Albert Pujols needs 16 hits for 1,000 career hits.

Happy belated birthdays to Scott Rolen (31) and bullpen Coach Marty Mason (48) who celebrated yesterday. Dave Duncan is in his 27th season as the pitching coach.

After the final game tomorrow, the teams will play again August 1-3, 2006, at the new Busch Stadium. On Friday, the Cardinals play the Cubs in their season opener at Wrigley.

Kansas City Royals are here to stay and Busch Review

Vote cements Hunt’s legacy as Chiefs will stay at ArrowheadBy RANDY COVITZ, The Kansas City StarThe biggest cheer in the room was for Lamar Hunt. By far. Several hundred people erupted in applause for Hunt when he stepped up to a microphone on Tuesday night after Jackson County voters approved a sales-tax measure to help pay for renovations at the Truman Sports Complex.

Ballpark Visit: Busch Stadium, St. Louis Cardinals

  • The new Busch Stadium is a utilitarian ballpark, a vast improvement over the old Busch Stadium: the views of downtown and the Arch are superior, the concourses and concessions are better, and the seats are more comfortable. In the end, improvement was all the Cardinals brass had to deliver -- and they succeeded. But Busch Stadium isn't a very flashy ballpark, and in the end it's not in the top echelon of MLB ballparks. We suspect the Cardinals and Redbird Nation really don't care: they're worried more about what happens on the field than attracting casual fans to the ballpark.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

First Game at Busch

The Memphis Redbirds and Springfield Cardinals played an exhibition game at the new Busch Stadium today. Springfield won 5-3.

Some firsts:
Pitch: Sidney Ponson at 7:10 eastern
Run: Chris Duncan (He scored the last run at old Busch)
Home Run: Shaun Boyd
Attendance: 32,255

MLB.com writeup is here. The article says that Springfield is now AAA and Memphis is now AA. Did I miss that change over the offseason? I think it may be a typo. Turns out that the Brian Doolittle who wrote that has a blog. Not only did FSN Midwest carry it but you were able to stream it live on MLB.com for free.
An hour before the game, crowds were scanning the pavement outside the stadium in search of bricks with their name on it. As part of a promotion, people were allowed to purchase in advance small bricks that displayed one or more names. However, it seemed the specific location of these bricks was unknown.

Despite the Cardinals being in Philadelphia, managing partner and chairman Bill DeWitt and GM Walt Jocketty were on hand and before the game could be seen proudly showing folks around the field.

Also adding to the big-event atmosphere was the abundance of TV cameras. Though FSN, the Cardinals' primary television network, originally planned to use the game as a rehearsal, it decided to go ahead and televise the game. High ratings are expected for the broadcast, which could not even be set up until game day because of ongoing construction.

FSN hopes everything will be smoothed out by next Monday.

"That will be the largest single production in the history of FSN Midwest," said Mark Hulsey, FSN's executive producer.

Before heading on their current road trip, the Cardinals took batting practice on Sunday. Albert Pujols launched a homer that cleared the bleachers in left field and reportedly landed somewhere near Clark Street.

"It might have bounced there, sure," La Russa said on Sunday. "If it bounced much, it certainly did. ... We just had a perfect workout. The field was -- spectacular, really."

The Cardinals end April with 17 of 20 games at new Busch.
Cardinals GM Walt Jocketty is breaking his cardinal rule this season when it comes to negotiating.
"We have so many free agents, particularly in pitching, that we're going to have to take a different approach," Jocketty said Monday before the Cardinals took the field for opening day. "I'm not sure what we're going to do. We're going to wait a period of time before we do anything. We have a lot of things to address, because if we do one, what does the other guy think?"

Particular deftness will be required with four of the five-man starting rotation playing on contracts that expire. Only Monday's starter, Chris Carpenter, is signed through 2007. And each of the four is a far different situation: Jason Marquis is set to be a free agent for the first time; Sidney Ponson is working to gain career traction; Jeff Suppan has excelled on a winning club; and Mark Mulder has the stuff and resume of a bank buster.
Jocketty spivey'd big time and my fantasy baseball roster shows that. Spivey has since been DFA'd.

Tony La Russa shows that it is not just the fans but the Cardinals organization as a whole is a class act. You remember how it was with Big Mac in 1998? Well, Jimmy Rollins is going to be going through the same thing for the next several games.
Tony La Russa watched too many teams pitch around Mark McGwire to let it happen to Jimmy Rollins.

Rollins' hitting streak was on the line when he came to the plate with two outs in the eighth inning and the Philadelphia Phillies trailing the St. Louis Cardinals 13-5 in the season opener Monday.

Reliever Adam Wainwright's first three pitches were out of the strike zone, and those remaining among the sellout crowd of 44,614 at Citizens Bank Park booed each one.

Before the next pitch, La Russa got catcher Yadier Molina's attention and signaled for a strike. The right-handed Wainwright threw a fastball down the middle and Rollins ripped it down the right-field line for a double to extend his hitting streak to 37 games.

"You have to play the game. We can't walk him in that spot," La Russa said.[...]

La Russa was in his third year managing the Cardinals in 1998 when McGwire hit 70 homers to break Roger Maris' single-season record of 61. It was frustrating for La Russa to see McGwire often get nothing to hit from pitchers, especially in tight games. He didn't want Rollins' streak to end with a walk when his team had an eight-run lead.

"Some of that is him, but mostly it's about us," La Russa said. "I wouldn't want the St. Louis Cardinals to walk him in his last at-bat. That's not what we represent."[...]

"Obviously a guy who plays as hard as he does and gets a streak going like that, I respect that," Wainwright said. "It's kind of a pitcher's duty if a guy has something going like that to give him a chance at it."

A three-time All-Star shortstop, Rollins ended the 2005 season with a 36-game hitting streak, the ninth-longest over one season in big-league history and the longest in the majors since 1987, when Paul Molitor hit safely in 39 consecutive games.[...]

DiMaggio accomplished his feat in the same season in 1941. The major-league marks for longest hitting streak in one season and longest hitting streak spanning two seasons are separate records.

DiMaggio holds both with his 56-game streak in 1941, but there is a difference in the NL records: Pete Rose (1978) and Willie Keeler (1897) share the NL mark at 44 games. However, Keeler got a hit in his final game of 1896, so his run of 45 games overall is the first record Rollins is chasing.
In Kansas news, don't expect a final four anytime soon.
Jackson County voters split Tuesday on a pair of tax measures to fund upgrades to Kansas City's sports stadiums, approving a sales tax for renovations and refurbishments but rejecting a separate business tax for a rolling roof at the Truman Sports Complex.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, the three-eighth-cent sales tax passed 49,362 votes to 44,300. A $200 million plan to install a rolling roof at the complex failed by a narrower margin, 48,673 votes to 44,778.

The sales tax is expected to raise $425 million over 25 years to renovate Arrowhead Stadium, home of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, and Kauffman Stadium, where baseball's Kansas City Royals play. That money also would fund such new amenities as a pavilion behind Kauffman Stadium, similar to the one behind Arrowhead.

The rolling roof would have moved between the two stadiums, providing climate control.

The NFL had said Kansas City would get the Super Bowl in 2015 if voters approved the rolling roof, and baseball had also promised the city an All-Star Game sometime after 2010 if both measures are approved.

Supporters argued that passing both questions was the only way to guarantee Kansas City's sports future, while opponents said the teams' owners should not be asking for so much public money.
That's all for now.