Monday, April 30, 2007

Cards vs. Brewers

The rest of the season will be tough and very reminiscent to that of the events that followed June 22, 2002, when we lost Darryl Kile. An emotional Jeff Suppan gets the start for the Milwaukee Brewers while the St. Louis Cardinals will start either Braden Looper or Kip Wells.

April 30, 2007
St. Louis 1, Milwaukee 7
Losing pitcher - Kip Wells (1-5)

Monday's game was more about just playing the game than a win or a lose, given the weekend's tragedy for the second time in five years. The Cardinals finished the month of April with a 10-14 record.

May 1, 2007
St. Louis 2, Milwaukee 12
Losing pitcher - Braden Looper (3-2)
HR: Chris Duncan (5)

Looper was effective until about thr 4th or 5th inning when the wheels fell apart completely. I can't explain the performance other than there is usually one or two innings that just go bad while the rest of the game from a defensive standpoint is fine. Our offense just isn't performing and as such, Skip Schumaker led off the game unlike David Eckstein. This was the first start since joining the Cardinals that Eckstein batted in a slot other than leadoff.

May 2, 2007
St. Louis 0, Milwaukee 4
Losing pitcher - Anthony Reyes (0-5)

Four runs on four hits. I can't explain this five game losing streak. I honestly cannot. While I want to give the team a free pass given the tragedy over the weekend, I can't. It's hard to follow these games with a Royals-esque losing record. It's not like the Cardinals to be playing this poorly.

Milestone watch:
Adam Kennedy needs 24 23 hits for 1,000 career hits.
Scott Rolen needs 1 stolen base for 100 career stolen bases.
Scott Rolen needs 27 hits for 1,500 career hits.
Jim Edmonds needs 43 hits for 1,000 hits as a Cardinal.
Jason Isringhausen needs 1 save for 256 saves to tie Todd Worrell for 24th on the all-time list.
The St. Louis Cardinals are 6 wins shy of 9,000 franchise wins during the regular season.

Tuesday notes:
St. Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers
Miller Park (indoor/retractable roof) 8:05 p.m. ET
Braden Looper, RHP (3-1) versus Ben Sheets, RHP (1-2)
Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: If the Kip Wells experiment has been a bust so far, the Looper one has been a smashing success. Looper has kept the ball down and has a .200 BAA. The last time he held batters to that kind of average was & uh-oh. Yeah, he never has come close to those numbers, which makes me leery of his success. Milwaukee will be a good test as the Brewers hitters have been successful against Looper, especially Rickie Weeks (4-for-7). Start your Brewers. Sheets is healthy, but all Cardinals hitters except Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds have hit him hard. Start all the other guys, especially Chris Duncan (5-for-9, 1 HR).
Wednesday notes:
St. Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers
Miller Park (indoor/retractable roof) 1:05 p.m. ET
Anthony Reyes, RHP (0-4) versus Chris Capuano, LHP (4-0)

Notable Injuries: Rickie Weeks, 2B (finger, day-to-day)

Game Story: Reyes has ace-starter upside in the long term, but let's stress the word long. He has fallen short of a quality-start effort in each of his four starts, though just short each time. The Brewers' Geoff Jenkins (4-for-9, 3 HRs) positively owns him, and is a must-start. So are Bill Hall and J.J. Hardy, as Reyes has struggled against right-handers (.283/.886 rates). Capuano, meanwhile, should capitalize on a home start; he's 10-4 with a 3.63 ERA in his last 19 turns at Miller Park. Plus, he'll be facing the struggling Cardinals, who might still be distracted and should be without Chris Duncan against a left-hander. Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen should be about it for fantasy.

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