Cardinal baseball, from the girls
*Not an NFL Draft Post*
May 9, 2014Posted by on
Oh, the pervasiveness of the stupid NFL draft…
Let’s talk baseball instead, shall we?
Last night, the Cardinals’ AAA Redbirds of Memphis faced the local Oklahoma City Redhawks in Bricktown for the 3rd match of a 4–game series. The Redbirds struck first with an Oscar Taveras triple, scoring Shane Robinson and then Taveras scored on a wild pitch. However, the lead was short-lived as Memphis’ starting pitcher, Scott McGregor had a rather messy outing, giving up 5 runs in just the first 2 innings, leaving Memphis with a differential their bats simply could not overcome. Hard-throwing Memphis pitcher Jose Alamarante entered the game with two outs in the 2nd inning, pitched a 3-up, 3-down third inning and then gave up a double and a homerun in the 4th inning to give OKC a 2-7 lead.
A spark of hope was ignited at the top of the 5th when Kolten Wong hit a lead-off single, but Shane Robinson followed with a pop out and Oscar Taveras then flew out to CF. Kolten Wong bit back and stole second, with Stephen Piscotty’s rbi single then scoring the speedy Wong (Memphis 3, OKC 7). Piscotty, not to be outdone, followed up his single by stealing second and then got a bonus bag after a throwing error by OKC’s first baseman, Jon Singleton. However Scott Mooore (walked in the 1st, singled in the 4th) struck out to end the inning and strand Piscotty at third base.
Submarine pitcher Heath Wyatt took the mound for the bottom of the 5th and faced just three batters – striking out two and inducing a pop out to Scott Moore at first. In the 6th inning, our old pal Pete Kozma smacked a double on a line drive to left field, but the Redbirds couldn’t bring him home. Wyatt returned with his mesmerizing sidearm throw to strike out two more in the 6th (with a single and a pop out as well). Lefty Nick Greenwood entered the game throwing for Memphis in the 7th, hit a batter and gave up two singles (one run scored) before getting OKC to hit into a double play and a groundout to end the inning. (Memphis 3, OKC 8).
Memphis bats failed to get anything going in the 8th inning, but Nick Greenwood returned for a clean bottom of the 8th – 3 up, 3 down with two ground outs fielded quickly and cleanly by second baseman, Kolten Wong.
Good ol’ Kozma drew a walk to kick off the top of the 9th, but was erased on the double play ball off the bat of catcher, Ed Easley. All of our hope for a two-out Redbird rally was then quickly dashed as Luis Mateo grounded out to first.
That being said, it was a perfect night for kicking back and watching baseball.
Some observations from a Cardinal fan:
- Shane Robinson (recently sent down from St. Louis) was visibly frustrated at the plate. He did draw a walk (and scored) to start the game, but grounded out, popped out and had a knee buckling strikeout in the 7th.
- Oscar Taveras tripled (scored), walked, flew out to CF, and grounded out to 2nd. I had hoped to be able to report on something impressive defensively, however I was disappointed. Curiously Shane Robinson appeared to be covering far more outfield grass from LF than Taveras in CF. And on the one occasion I watched Taveras field a hit (bottom of the 7th), a run scored easily from 2nd as Taveras did little to challenge, nonchalantly scooping the ball and holding onto it as the runner raced home.
- Kolten Wong flew out, grounded into a double, singled (stole 2B, scored), and grounded out- a rather mediocre performance offensively. Defensively, he started off a bit shaky, with a little trouble getting a ball out of his glove (but still making the out at first.) However by the end of the game, Wong was flashing the leather quite well and giving us reason to ooh and aaah.
- Ed Easley made some young fans, tossing both of my kiddos baseballs during the game – and I have to give him credit for catching a crazy first couple of innings when McGregor couldn’t find the plate!
- Stephen Piscotty was hit by a pitch, ground into a double play and smacked 2 singles (one rbi), but his show-stopping moment came late as he chased a Matt Holliday-esque linedrive/almost-homerun to far right field line and caught it on the run with outstretched glove, looking over his shoulder.
- But my absolute highlight of the night was watching Heath Wyatt take the mound. I LOVE to watch the mechanics of sidearm and submarine pitchers, and Heath was brilliant.
After the final out, Heath came out of the dugout just as we were leaving – serendipity, I tell you! He signed a ball for us and I’m going to add it to my collection of favorite baseball mementos. I’ve been hoping to catch a game when Heath Wyatt pitches for a couple of years now. And last night, a baseball wish came true.
Sometimes, it’s not getting the win that makes a baseball night special…
Thanks for reading.