Monday, October 31, 2011

Tony La Russa announces retirement

After 16 seasons as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, Tony La Russa retired following 33 years managing in the big leagues. La Russa retires as one of only two managers to win a World Series in both leagues.
There isn't one [factor] that dominates [my decision]," La Russa said. "They all just come together, telling you your time is over.

"We went through the season, and I felt that this just feels like it's time to end it, and I think it's going to be great for the Cardinals to refresh what's going on here."[...]

For the time being, La Russa does not have a next job in line. He does not expect to return to the organization but indicated that he had some interest in continuing to work in baseball.

Mozeliak acknowledged that he has a preliminary list of people in mind to be the Cardinals' next manager, but he made it clear that he expects that list to change in the coming days. Mozeliak did not rule out any possibility for the next skipper, from internal candidates to managers not currently with a team to coaches or managers with other teams.
As Matt notes, La Russa joined Billy Southworth as the only Cardinal managers with more than one World Series championship.

In 16 seasons with the Cardinals, La Russa won 1,408 games, and led the Cards to 9 postseason appearances, including winning the NL pennant in 2004, 2006, and 2011. La Russa retires with 1,408 wins over all, good enough for second place behind Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763). While many of us Cardinals fans thought the skipper would have decided to manage to the point where he would finish second all-time, it was never in La Russa's plans as Matt notes here:
La Russa said that he did not consider continuing in order to get the 36 wins he would have needed and pass McGraw on the all-time list.

"I'm aware of the history of the game," La Russa said. "But I would not be happy with myself if the reason I came back was to move up one spot. That's not why you's not something that motivates me. Wherever you finish, you finish."
La Russa finishes with the following numbers:
Postseason wins: 70 (2nd)
Games: 5,097 (2nd)
Losses: 2,365 (2nd)
Years: 33 (2nd - tie)
Wins: 2,728 (3rd)
Playoffs: 14 (3rd)
World Series titles: 3 (6th - tie)

You can send a note of thanks to Tony La Russa here.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Hey, why not?"
--Albert Pujols when asked about repeating as World Champs next year, Victory Celebration, October 30, 2011

The Cardinal Way

Derrick covered it in his book but Dan O'Neill had a great article in the P-D on how the "Cardinal Way" is the foundation for this team.
The Cardinal way was pioneered by Branch Rickey, Rogers Hornsby and Frankie Frisch. It's been adopted by Gas House Gangs, Coopers and Deans, "Country" and "Cha-Cha." It is muscular like Joe Medwick, imposing like Bob Gibson, dynamic like Lou Brock and acrobatic like Ozzie Smith.

It has had oracles like George Kissell and Red Schoendienst, keepers like Billy Southworth and Whitey Herzog, deities like Stan Musial and Albert Pujols.

The Cardinal way covers 11 World Series championships and 24 playoff appearances, more ground than any other franchise in the National League covers. During Tony La Russa's 16-year tenure, the Cardinal way has averaged 88 wins and advanced to nine postseasons. In the last eight years, it has included three World Series appearances and two championships. The only franchise with a more illustrious trail is the New York Yankees. The Pinstripe way has led to 27 World Series championships, 47 pennants and 50 playoff appearances. The Pinstripe way has lots to brag about.

The Cardinal way boasts a fraternity of red jackets and Hall of Fame names, congregating at home plate on special occasions, closing ranks around "Baseball's Perfect Knight." The Cardinal way is a code La Russa embraced when he came to St. Louis in 1996. He experienced it as a young player, he espouses it as a Cooperstown-bound skipper. He believes in it.

"There is something to the history and the tradition of the Cardinals that as soon as you sign on you feel," La Russa said. "And those guys remind you. During my first year, they came into spring training and they're there, and you know they're pulling like hell for that year's edition to add something.

"I think it helps year in and year out. I think our guys feel it and they want to live up to it as best they can. So that's what it is here."

Meanwhile, here's Joe Strauss' gamer from Friday night.

Postseason Award Predictions

My preseason picks can be found here.

Rookie of the Year: Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
Most Valuable Player: Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
Cy Young Award: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay Rays
Most Valuable Player: Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees
Cy Young Award: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

It's interesting to note that Kershaw and Verlander both led their leagues in Wins, Strikeouts, and ERA. It's the first time since 1924 that two pitchers have won the Triple Crown in their league respectively.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

2011 World Series Champions

What a ride it has been for the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals. Due to Shabbas, I could not tweet, facebook, or any of the social media type stuff but we had our TV on Fox. I DVR'd SportsCenter and ESPNEWS for postgame highlights, etc.

David Freese earned the World Series MVP by saving our season not once but twice on Thursday and getting the game-tying RBI with a double in the first inning last night. After Allen Craig hit the home run to take the lead at 3-2, I thought we're going to need some more runs. I did not think those runs would come by way of a Texas Rangers meltdown by walking in the runs or hitting players to bring runs in that way. It was in the 5th inning when all that happened and I started to think that we're destined for the championship now.

For this team, it's destiny. A year when we were not supposed to win the World Series, let alone even try to contend for the series, we won it all. Down 10.5 at the end of August, what a wonderful ride it was. Watching the Braves collapse and looking at the standings, I thought maybe we make it in and get crushed by Philly. We made it alright. Thank you, Atlanta.

Carlos Marmol of the Cubs should be thanked as well for blowing a save in the bottom of the 9th on a Saturday afternoon game.

In my lifetime, the Cards have won the NL pennant 5 times: 1985, 1987, 2004, 2006, and 2011. We won it all in 2006 and 2011.

What a marvelous ride it has been.

FSN Midwest will be live-streaming the parade online along with It should have been earlier in the day but blame the Rams game for that.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Freese and Berkman on Edmonds

Via Tim McKernan
Freese: "As I was rounding the bases, I was thinking of Edmonds, because he did that same thing. I remember that." Berkman: "So do I."
Is it ironic or pure coincidence that Freese was acquired for Jim Edmonds?

What a game!

David Freese saved the St. Louis Cardinals twice tonight. In the bottom of the 9th inning, he tripled to bring in Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman.

In the 11th, he scores the game-winning walk-off home run to win the game for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Freese joins postseason lore with Kirk Gibson, Carlton Fisk, and Joe Carter with a walk-off home run to end the game.

This is an unbelievable season. Down 10.5 at the end of August, the Cards were thought to be out of the postseason. Nope. Atlanta started losing while the Cardinals started winning.

Like in 2006, I'm not getting any sleep.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Getting ready for Game 6

I'm watching ESPNEWS and Tony's presser was just on. He commented about Moneyball, and all he really said was "good acting." One has to remember that the movie really leaves out much of the star players on the Athletics such as Tejada and Chavez.

Tonight's St. Louis lineup for Game 6:
1. Rafael Furcal, SS
2. Skip Schumaker, CF
3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Lance Berkman, RF
5. Matt Holliday, LF
6. David Freese, 3B
7. Yadier Molina, C
8. Nick Punto, 2B
9. Jaime Garcia, P

I don't have problems with that. It's obvious Jon Jay has struggled as well as Matt Holliday.

I'm with every P-D writer in that Chris Carpenter has to start on Friday if the series goes to 7 games. Carp says he is ready to start.

Aaron Boone just called the Cardinals to win tonight.

Redbird Roundup

Jon Heyman writes why he thinks Albert Pujols will stay a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
One person who knows Pujols well suggested he could not envision the superstar leaving St. Louis for even $20 million more in total dollars. Pujols, who attended high school and community college in the Kansas City area, has his home and his foundation in St. Louis and perhaps most important of all, he has his legacy wrapped up in being a Cardinal. (He also wants to win and couldn't reasonably make the case he's going somewhere else to win more, as the Cardinals have more postseason wins than any National League club since he arrived.)

"If he stays, he's Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and Red Schoendienst all wrapped up in one," one National League executive said, naming four other Cardinals icons. The person who knows Pujols agreed, saying he's not giving that up for 10 or 15 percent more money, which could only amount to $1-to-2 million dollars more per year after taxes.
Meanwhile, Chris Carpenter has called himself available to start a potential Game 7 for the St. Louis Cardinals. It's amazing just how many fans prayed for a rainout for the sole reason to see Carp start a Game 7.

Bernie writes that the delay has a mixed effect.

Albert Pujols has defended the botched hit-and-run play.
"I don't have a problem with that play," Pujols said during an impromptu news conference at his locker. "I know there was a lot of discussion about 'If he put the play on why didn't he swing?' Look at the pitch. It was high and away and I wouldn't have been able to touch it. If I would have been able to put the bat on it, I would have swung at the ball.''

Pujols called the play on an 0-1 pitch and recognized that flailing at it would have left him in an inferior count.

"You don't want to be in that situation with a great pitcher on the mound," he said. "It was one of the things that didn't go our way. If he had thrown the pitch down, I probably would have put a good swing on it and it would have been a different story."
Dan O'Neill notes that there are a number of Cardinals who may not be playing for the team next season.
Albert Pujols stands foremost in a crowd with an uncertain future, a shadow that has been discussed at length, a topic that will get more attention in the days ahead. Pujols' pending free agency also is integral to a conversation regarding the rest of the group.[...]

Besides Pujols, the Cardinals will make hard decisions on whether to retain or abstain on pitchers Edwin Jackson, Arthur Rhodes, Octavio Dotel and Kyle McClellan, infielders Rafael Furcal, Nick Punto, Ryan Theriot and Skip Schumaker, catcher Gerald Laird and outfielder Corey Patterson. If a 25-man roster is the denominator, and Pujols is included, that represents a 44 percent slice of the pie.

The particulars involved vary from player to player. The Cardinals have options to honor contracts on some, such as Furcal, Rhodes and Dotel. They can choose to tender or non-tender arbitration offers to others, such as McClellan and Schumaker. They would have to negotiate new deals with others, such as Jackson, Punto, Theriot, Laird and Patterson.[...]

"But with that said, our rotation should be intact. You have two young pitchers that might look to compete for a spot, with (Marc) Rzepczynski and Lance Lynn in the rotation. In terms of just dramatically reshaping this club, I think we're pretty fortunate as we look to 2012 that we have a lot of the key components that we can just put into play."

Mozeliak made preemptive strikes to extend veteran pitcher Chris Carpenter and slugging outfielder Lance Berkman before winter arrived. The Cardinals are sure to have Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, David Freese, Allen Craig, Jaime Garcia, Mitchell Boggs and comeback-minded Adam Wainwright aboard. Reliever Jason Motte is first-year arbitration eligible, but his salary scale will not be prohibitive.[...]

Dotel, who turns 38 in November, is completing his 13th big-league season with his 12th big-league team. Only 29 of his 695 major league games have been spent as a Cardinal but they have been some of the most rewarding games of his career. He'd like a few more.

"I do want to come back," said Dotel, who was 3-3 with two saves and a 3.28 earned-run average for St. Louis. "I love it here; it's great. I feel good that I helped this team to be where we're at now. It makes me proud."
If I'm Mo, I'd want to field the best possible team to contend next season. I would pick up the option on Furcal and Dotel for sure. Dotel has shown that he can take care of Ryan Braun.

Whether or not they do play for the Cards next season, I especially thank them for their time spent wearing the Birds on the Bat. Especially this past season, which has taken one of those turns that nobody saw coming. Not with Wainwright out for the year.

Adam Wainwright looks back on the past and looks ahead to the future.
"I feel like I'm the guy who only has one job and that is to make sure the bench doesn't go silent," Wainwright said Wednesday, a few hours after Game 6 had been postponed to tonight because of the threat of rain. "I have to make sure we're up for every moment of the game. I haven't had to do that much because everybody was top-stepping (standing at the dugout rails) the entire time.

"I've tried to be a motivator," he said. "I've tried to be inspirational."

During this postseason run, the Cardinals officially notified Wainwright and his agent that the options for 2012 and 2013 on the righty's contract have been exercised. The promised move recently became an official move, general manager John Mozeliak confirmed Wednesday, and it will pay Wainwright $21 million over the next two seasons. The club expects Wainwright to have a normal offseason and be cleared for full workouts come next spring training.

Must read article

Tim McKernan wrote a must-read article on what it is all about. If it does not bring goosebumps to your body, then you must have some sort of problem getting goosebumps. Seriously though, you need to read it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

That answers that question....

This answers why Lance Lynn came in to walk a batter intentionally.
"Well, what happened was that twice the bullpen didn't here Motte's name. they heard Rzepczynski and they didn't get Motte. I looked up there and Motte wasn't going. So I called back for Motte and they got Lynn up. That's why he wasn't supposed to pitch today, so I wasn't going to let him throw to that hitter. He just threw the warmups and walked him and Motte was ready. I don't know if it was noisy, probably real noisy. They just didn't hear the second time.

"They heard Rzepczynski and they didn't hear Motte and when I called back I said Motte, they heard Lynn. So I went out there, wrong guy. He's not going to pitch today. I said, 'Go back, get Motte ready.' We'll walk the guy because I don't want Lynn to -- he's not supposed to pitch. I didn't want to hurt him. And then Motte came in. That's why -- it must be loud. I give the fans credit."
Dan Caesar thinks that Holland's Harry Caray was a hit. I beg to differ. His Caray was more of Will Ferrell's Caray than the actual legendary broadcaster.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Quote of the Day

"I'm into tradition. I want to see Pujols remain with the Cardinals. I think he's a great, an all-time great. They have Stan the Man and they have Gibson and he's in the class of Hornsby. He should stay a Cardinal."
--Reggie Jackson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 23, 2011


The morning after...

It's the morning after. Like many of you, I couldn't exactly fall asleep last night after watching something historic. Pujolsian as it may be, we may never see a performance like that ever again. To the guys in the press box, it was a chance to be there to report on history. It's amazing how social media like twitter has changed that. I don't get FSN Midwest where I live. The Saturday FOX games mean keeping my TV on FOX for 25 hours because of Shabbas.

Even then, nothing makes a game better than looking at twitter and seeing what my fellow friends in Cardinal Nation are saying.

Matthew Leach did justice to what happened last night. Others covering the historic night: Joe Strauss, Bernie Miklasz, Bryan Burwell, Reid Laymance, and Dan Caesar. Meanwhile, Derrick Goold covers Ron Kulpa's mistake.

In other news, Tony La Russa is not commenting on next season. Not yet, anyway.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pujols sets World Series history

Albert Pujols has had hits in four consecutive innings to set a new World Series record.

Meanwhile, the 16 runs are a new St. Louis Cardinals postseason record.

With his home run in the 9th inning, Albert not only tied Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson with his third home run in a World Series game but he became the first player since Paul Molitor to have a 5-hit game in the World Series.

As for the 6 RBIs tonight, Pujols became only third player in World Series history joining Bobby Richardson in 1960 and Hidecki Matsui in 2009.

Pujols set a new record with 14 total bases.

A weekend recap

The New York Daily News profiles the role that Jason Motte is playing in the World Series.
Motte has become one of the more recognizable faces of this baseball postseason, his furry mug getting close-ups on national television as he's closed out games during the St. Louis' Cardinals run to the World Series. But when he played at Iona from 2001-03, Motte wasn't a pitcher. He was just a college kid who always got his uniform filthy, who loved catching and hoped to make it to the big leagues, but wearing a mask instead of a Grizzly Adams-beard.[...]

Brian Beyrer, the sports information director at Iona who attended the school at the same time Motte did, says in the postseason he's been "getting texts from college friends asking, 'Were we in school with this guy?'" Al Zoccolillo, the longtime Iona coach who ran the program when Motte was there and retired in 2005, says he's been watching Motte in every game this October.

"I knew he would succeed because of his determination in this game," Zoccolillo says. "You have the talent, go for it. He had the drive. He was Mr. Baseball. This kid was meant to play baseball, he really was."

Just not as a catcher, at least in the major leagues. He was terrific at Iona, so good that opposing coaches would come up to Zoccolillo and ask, "Where did you get that catcher?"

Zoccolillo clocked Motte's throws to second as low as 1.76 seconds – most major leaguers do it in 1.9-2.0 seconds. His arm was so strong that when Iona trained a radar gun on Motte's throws from his knees, he threw 85 miles per hour.[...]

Motte excelled behind the plate in the Cardinals' system, throwing out 49% of the runners trying to steal against him over four seasons. But he didn't hit enough – his career OPS in the minors is only .453, and he struck out 205 times in 614 at-bats. A thumb injury also helped push the Cardinals toward asking him to pitch, and he converted to the mound during the 2006 season, though he hadn't pitched since he was in Little League.

Two years later, Motte made the majors and he's been a key cog in the Cards' bullpen, even taking over some closing duties this season, though, despite saving Game 1 of the World Series with a perfect ninth, he got the loss in Game 2 when he blew the save. He's now the first Iona pitcher to appear in the World Series since the Royals' Dennis Leonard - a three-time 20-game winner - did in 1980.
Bernie offers his thoughts on the Cubs' hiring of former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein.

The NBC affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth has all the bets made for the World Series.

The USA Today covers the playoff beard.
"I have a beard," says Cardinals reliever Mitchell Boggs, "because I hate shaving every day. My facial hair grows at an incredible rate. It's easier to deal with."

Indeed, what chafes the players more than a dull Gillette blade is the notion that there is some metaphysical connection to their beard and their success. St. Louis closer Jason Motte says he tires of outsiders remarking on "his playoff beard."

"Well," he said, "I've had a beard since 2008. People on this team have never seen my face."

Another simplistic reason for why ballplayers rock the beard: Because they can.

Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn says minor league players in the organization aren't allowed to grow beards, so it's seen as a bit of freedom.[...]

Motte acknowledges he's let his go a bit in the postseason, but won't soon be achieving Wilson-esque length or color. "That's a little too long. I'm au naturel, man," he said. "I've got reds, grays, browns. I'm good with right where I am."

100 Things...

If you have not read Derrick Goold's book, 100 Things Cardinal Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die, you really should.

By the time I finished, I did not have a dry eye. I laughed, I cried, I cheered.

Published in early 2010 by Triumph Books, Goold covers just about every important player and event in St. Louis Cardinals history be it the Stan Musial Society or all the numbers retired in team history.

One of the things I plan to do over the offseason is read some of the books that Goold mentions in the bibliography, starting next with Rick Hummel's book, Commish and the Cardinals: The Most Memorable Games, as Covered by Hall of Famer, available via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch store.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The experts are wrong

Remember that sign from the 2006 postseason? Guess what? They're back!.

Of all the ESPN experts, very few have the Cardinals winning the World Series. Only Matt Meyers and Eduardo Perez have the Cards winning in 6 games. Both Karl Ravech and Gene Wojciechowski have the Cardinals winning in 7.

Everyone else has Texas.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

10 reasons...

Paul Sullivan writes 10 Reasons why a Cardinals World Series win is good for baseball. Check it out here.

A World Series Poem

This was written by Jason Motte's glove, SirGloveAWilson:
Twas the night before the World Series, when all through the clubhouse
Not a player was stirring, not even a Lohse.
The championships were hung by the flagpoles with care,
In hopes that Bud Selig will soon put another one there.

The mascots were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of 3 run homers danced in their heads.
And La Russa in his glasses, and I on Jason’s hands,
Had just settled our minds for all the Cardinals Fans.

When out on the field there arose such a clatter,
It was Albert Pujols, our team’s best batter.
Away to the dugout I flew like a flash,
Made sure I was not where one of those balls crashed.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen sod
Gave the lustre of mid-day of this Glove’s great bod.
When, what to my two eyes should appear,
But a great ballclub who the Rangers should fear.

With Big Mac as a coach, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he can still swing the stick.
More rapid than eagles his hitters they came,
And he flexed, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Descalso! now, Freese! now, Berkman and Craig!
On, Holliday! On, Punto! on, on Theriot and Jay!
To the top of the stands! to the top of the wall!
Now smash away! Crash away! Blast away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild Adron Chambers flies,
When they meet with an obstacle, harder Don Tony tries.
So up to the ballpark the balls they flew,
With the bucket full of seeds, and and Cracker Jacks too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the speaker
Shannon and Rooney calling each Cardinal squeaker.
As I drew in my mitt, and was turning around,
Down the steps Fredbird came with a bound.

He was dressed all in feathers, from his claws to his head,
And his jersey was white with birds in Cardinal Red.
A bundle of Bats he had all in his hand,
And he looked like Stan Musial, or Stan the Man

His eyes-how they were round! his beak so yellow!
His hat was huge, his demeanor not so mellow!
His pointy little beak was drawn up like a gasp
In awe of the Machine’s sky scraping blasts!

The stump of a tree is what Pujols swings,
And when he hits one out, Shannon always Sings.
Get up get up, get out of here ball!
Out of the stadium, see you later, over the wall!

He was happy and jovial, a right jolly old man,
And I laughed when I saw him, because I know he’s a fan !
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Means a pickoff by Yadi, runner’s caught dead.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his room,
A sweep of Texas and we’ll bring out the broom.
And laying his hand on every ball game,
This manager is going to the Hall of Fame!

He sprang to his step, to his team gave a shout,
Game 1 is tomorrow; LEAVE NO DOUBT.
I heard him exclaim, yelled in all of his might,
"The World Series is ours, and it starts tomorrow night!"

Don't talk free agency

There's a key subject that Pujols does not want to talk about. It's free agency.

USA Today:
"Lets talk about something else," said Pujols, bristling from beneath his backward Cardinals cap as news reporters asked him about his future with the team. "I don't think about (being a) free agent right now. Let's talk about the World Series and how I can help the Cardinals to win it. That's my main goal."

The Cardinals have won the World Series four times since 1946, and Pujols in his his prime helped bring the title back to St. Louis in 2006.[...]

"Last week, I was able to rub on him and (ask) him to give me some of those postseason hits he's still got left in him," Pujols said. "I don't think anyone in this organization is ever going to be compared to him. Stan is 'The Man.'"[...]

USA TODAY has reported Pujols spurned a nine-year offer for roughly $195 million last offseason before ending negotiations with the club during the season.

"When our season ends, we'll touch base with all our free agents," general manager John Mozeliak says. "I'm not really prepared (to discuss it). Right now, he's still very much a part of this organization.

"If we end up at a point where (he's) not, I think we have a very high quality of core players in place."

Arrive early!

Fellow fans, if you are attending Game 1 tomorrow night, make sure to arrive early!

Things to note, via the MLB press release:
The gates open at 4:00 p.m. Central
On-field ceremonies begin at 6:20 p.m. Central[...]

Do not bring anything that you would not be allowed to bring on a plane.
The rules for what items you can bring into the ballpark will be the same
as TSA restrictions which you can find at as gov. Any items
surrendered at the gates will not be returned.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

That's a winner!

That's a winner! 2011 World Series, here we come! Go Cards! It's time to mess with Texas!

Magic Number: 5

The Cardinals' magic number this season is 5, as that is the number of wins remaining to take home the 11th World Series championship.

They have a chance to win their 18th NL pennant this evening in Milwaukee, where they have won 5 of their last seven at Miller Park.

Bernie notes:
The Cardinals were, and are, the top-hitting road team in the majors this season. They rank first in MLB in runs per road game (5.14), road batting average (.277), road on-base percentage (.341) and extra-base hits. They rank second in road slugging percentage (.443) and fourth in homers per road game (1.15.)

Moreover, the Cardinals have a respectable starting-pitching ERA of 3.98 on the road, which puts them sixth in the NL.

The Cardinals became a more formidable road unit after GM John Mozeliak acquired significant bullpen help in the trade that sent outfielder Colby Rasmus to Toronto. Relievers Octavio Dotel and Marc Rzepczynski came to St. Louis as part of the deal, and Mozeliak later signed free-agent reliever Arthur Rhodes.

Mozeliak's in-season bullpen makeover was extreme.

When the Cardinals opened the season, the bullpen had five righthanders: Ryan Franklin, Jason Motte, Mitchell Boggs, Bryan Augenstein and Miguel Batista.

Today their six-man righthanded relief group consists of Motte, Boggs, Kyle McClellan, Dotel, Fernando Salas and Lance Lynn.

The early-season lefthanded relievers were Trever Miller and Brian Tallet; both were shipped off in the Rasmus deal and replaced by Rzepczynski and Rhodes.[...]

The restructured bullpen has made a tremendous difference in the Cardinals' road form. Before the Rasmus trade, the Cardinals' bullpen had a 4.73 road ERA and allowed an average of 1.58 runners per inning. After the trade and the Rhodes signing the bullpen's road ERA is 2.41. And there's been an enhanced strikeout rate and fewer runners allowed per inning (1.26.)
What a difference a trade makes.

Joe Strauss takes a look at Edwin Jackson's past performance this season against the Milwaukee Brewers.
ackson has seen the Brewers four times since the Cardinals acquired him from the Chicago White Sox on July 27. Since surrendering 14 hits and 10 runs in a take-one-for-the team setting Aug. 3, Jackson has allowed the Brewers five earned runs in 21 1/3 innings. The Cardinals have won his last seven appearances, including a ninth-inning cameo against the Houston Astros on Sept. 27 and two postseason starts. Jackson stopped short of saying familiarity with the Brewers works in his favor.

"There's neither an advantage for a pitcher or the hitters," he said. "There's no secret what I have. There's no secret what they can do. It's just a matter of execution. I'm not going to change up my game plan. I'm going to go out and attack the strike zone and take my chances with them putting the ball in play."
Skip Schumaker plans to be available for the World Series.

As for the ratings? St. Louis wins them in a knockout.
St. Louis beat Milwaukee in NLCS television ratings for the fourth consecutive time, with Game 5 on Friday being seen in 28.9 percent of area homes with a TV according to The Nielsen Co. The Milwaukee rating was 21.4. The overall number for the series now stands at 29.4 in St. Louis and 24.5 in Milwaukee.
Chris Narveson has praise for the Cardinals.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rally time

I just got word of this so I thought I would share it:
The Cardinals will host the Milwaukee Brewers for Game 3 (Wednesday), Game 4 (Thursday) and Game 5 (Friday). Each game will start at 7:05 p.m. CT and the gates will open two hours before the game.

Before each game, fans can enjoy a pre-game rally at Clark and Broadway outside Busch Stadium starting at 4 p.m.

Fans will also have the opportunity to take photos with the 1982 and 2006 World Series trophies and meet former Cardinals players such as Mike Matheny and Jack Clark. And of course, Fredbird and the Cardinals Rally Squirrel will be in attendance.

A pre-game ceremony will start at 6:35 p.m. on Wednesday prior to Game 3. The Budweiser Clydesdales and Cardinals Hall of Famers will be part of the ceremony and former Cardinal pitcher Jeff Suppan will throw the first pitch.
Word has it that Jim Edmonds will be honored before Game 4.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Let's do this!

I won't lie. I wrote the team's playoff chances off when Wainwright went down but you can bet that I'm rooting my ass off for the Cards to get to the third World Series trip in the past decade.

Let's do this, guys!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Quote of the Day

"We are here to talk about re-elections, but if we can sign Albert Pujols for four more years, that would be good, too.”
--Missouri Governor Jay Nixon speaking downtown in St. Louis at a fundraiser for President Barack Obama during the Cardinals game, October, 2011