Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cards vs. Reds

Thankfully, I can watch the games in this series since two of three are televised on FSN Ohio.

Albert Pujols record set last April is now the National League record as I fully expect that Alex Rodriguez will break it sometime this week.

Next Monday's game has been moved an hour earlier as ESPN will be televising it on Monday Night Baseball.

April 24, 2007
Cincinnati 10, St. Louis 3
Losing pitcher - Kip Wells (1-4)

April 25, 2007
St. Louis 5, Cincinnati 2
Winning pitcher - Randy Flores (1-0)
SV - Jason Isringhausen (5)

Braden Looper has been very effective and he should have gotten the win had it not been for the lack of run support. All but one run came in the eighth inning. Who in the right mind was thinking that Braden Looper was going to be the staff ace with Carpenter on the mound?

Other key things to point out: Chris Duncan is the real deal going 2-3 with a run (.333), Jim Edmonds went 1-3 with an RBI but made some great catches, and Scott Rolen's average is where it should be by now but it could be a bit higher. Pujols always said that Yadier Molina could hit. Albert Pujols batting average is getting back up to par.

April 26, 2007
St. Louis 7, Cincinnati 5
Winning pitcher - Randy Flores (1-0)
SV - Jason Isringhausen (6)

Skip Shumaker had a great day going 3-5 with 2 RBI. As I expected, David Eckstein had a day off, probably due to low career numbers against Kyle Lohse. Cardinals with more than one hit: Miles, Skip, Pujols, Spiezio, Kennedy. Rolen has two walks. Duncan and So had pinch hits leading to runs. Except for our pitchers, not a single player right now is hitting below .200! Izzy managed to get a save despite a rain delay. Bring on the Cubs!

Milestone watch:
Albert Pujols needs 1 home run to take sole posession of 2nd place all-time with 256 on the Cardinals home runs list.
Adam Kennedy needs 29 28 26 hits for 1,000 career hits.
Scott Rolen needs 1 stolen base for 100 career stolen bases.
Jason Isringhausen needs 3 2 1 save for 256 saves to tie Todd Worrell for 24th on the all-time list.

ESPN's fantasy watch for Tuesday's game:
Busch Stadium (outdoor) 8:10 p.m. ET (60 percent chance of thunderstorms, low of 60 degrees)
Aaron Harang, RHP (2-0) versus Kip Wells, RHP (1-3)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: When I say big Cardinals' bats, you of course automatically think Albert Pujols and David Eckstein, and you should start both against Harang. However, think seriously about sitting everyone else, especially Scott Rolen (3-for-31), Yadier Molina (3-for-25) and Jim Edmonds (6-for-28). Anyone else waiting for Ken Griffey Jr. to contribute positively to their team? Yeah, me, too. Perhaps this is the day he does it (9-for-23, 5 HRs against Wells). Also, Scott Hatteberg (5-for-6) likely starts over Jeff Conine (2-for-18). And yes, I was kidding about David Eckstein, but not about starting him.
Here is what ESPN says about the Wednesday night game:
Busch Stadium (outdoor) 8:10 p.m. ET (80 percent chance of rain, low of 55 degrees)
Bronson Arroyo, RHP (0-2) versus Braden Looper, RHP (3-1)

Notable Injuries: Ken Griffey Jr., OF (illness, day-to-day)

Game Story: There's a running theme today, and it's bad weather, with this game the one I'd call most likely to be washed out based on the forecast. If it gets in, though, this should be a nice matchup for Chris Duncan, 3-for-6 with a home run against Arroyo. Beyond your regular Cardinals and Reds, though, don't go crazy. Looper and Arroyo are both pitching well, and the main thing to exploit here is Looper's historical tendency to struggle against lefty sluggers. Adam Dunn, Josh Hamilton and Ken Griffey Jr. could each be in for big games, assuming Griffey is healthy enough to play.
Thursday's notes:
Busch Stadium (outdoor) 1:10 p.m. ET (70 percent chance of thunderstorms, high of 66 degrees)
Kyle Lohse, RHP (1-0) versus Randy Keisler, LHP (0-0)

Notable Injuries: none

Game Story: The trick to Lohse's season has been that although he's been hittable, he hasn't been issuing walks. Whether he continues this remains to be seen, but trust me, as the weather heats up, Lohse's fly balls will leave the park. So yes, when Lohse kills your ERA, you might commiserate with Al Gore. Start your Cards, and in particular Adam Kennedy (9-for-22) and Scott Spiezio (5-for-16, 1 HR) and sit David Eckstein (1-for-10). The Reds have been bottom-of-the-league awful against lefties, which makes Keisler a nice stealth spot starter. The only Reds worth considering are Jeff Conine and Alex Gonzalez.

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