Cardinal baseball, from the girls
Category Archives: Skip Schumaker
April 14, 2011Posted by on
The Cardinals stomped all over the Diamondbacks yesterday in a 15-5 blow-out that included a Grand Slam from Lovable Lance (Berkman) and a 3-run blast by Skip “SkipperDoodle” Schumaker. Last night was game 6 of a 10-game West coast road trip (late night games make for sleepy mornings) and the trouncing came as a welcome relief to tired Cardinal fans. Truth be told, sleep won the fight in the 6th inning for me; but with a hefty15-5 Cardinal lead, I easily drifted off to happy dreams.
This morning I fired up the DVR to watch the rest of the game unfold. After 6 innings of heavy hitting, a scoreless 3 innings piqued my curiosity. Sure enough, there was a diamond hidden in those zeros…
Enter baby bird, Eduardo Sanchez! This rookie, called up from Memphis when injuries during Tuesday’s game sent Cardinal relief pitchers Bryan Augenstein and Brian Tallet to the disabled list, had a night to remember in his Major League debut!
Sanchez took the mound at the start of the 8th and stayed through the 9th to shut it down. Facing a mere 7 batters to get the job done, Sanchez struck out 5 with ease. Total pitches: 18,13 for strikes. Confidence, delivery and strength from a 155 pound, 5’11” rookie in his big league debut – that was MUST SEE baseball!!
Welcome to the club, Eduardo Sanchez! We’ll be looking forward to seeing you again soon!
The Cardinals head to LA to face the Dodgers tonight, in the first of a 4-game series. Here’s to the theory that hitting is contagious and the Cardinal confidence continues to build… 😉
March 30, 2011Posted by on
With only hours left until Opening Day at Busch Stadium and a full season of Cardinals baseball ahead of us, here’s the final part of my Spring Training report with highlights of my time in Jupiter watching our boys.
Some tidbits of Spring Training Magic. Enjoy!
Luck of the Late Arrivals
After driving the 4 hours from Tampa, we arrived at Roger Dean Stadium less than 2 hours before game time on Friday. We hit the team store briefly, then headed to the backfields as the small crowds were dispersing. Figuring we’d missed the fun, we weren’t expecting much. But we caught some pitchers taking batting practice, having fun competing for total distance, etc. Kyle Lohse, Jake Westbrook and Kyle McClellan were taking turns in the cage and after they were finished, all three signed autographs for the fans that were still hanging around.
In camp for approximately 30 minutes and getting autographs from three starting pitchers? Why yes, I do believe in fairy tales! 😉
Pujols Smacks TWO!!
Albert Pujols is ……. Well, he’s Albert Pujols. What more can you say? The Spring Training crowd that Saturday went wild when Albert led off the 4th inning with a solo blast to left center field. Next inning, Pujols decided to do it again, with another homerun. We felt honored to be watching. Nothing magic about this one…. Just Pure Pujols. 😉
Morning Frivolities on the Back Fields
On Sunday morning, Lance Berkman was good-naturedly terrorizing Skip Schumaker in the batting cages. Yadi, Ryan Theriot, Skip and Berkman were taking turns in the cage. The sun was hot and the crowd was sparse when Berkman decided to have some fun. He started smacking the cage with his bat when pitches came in to Schumaker. This progressed to full-fledge cage rattling to distract him. Pretty soon Yadi and Theriot were joining in and all four were laughing. It was one of those behind-the-scenes moments that makes me smile. Nice to see Cardinal clubhouse chemistry alive and well. 😉
“Look! It’s Carp!!”
That’s what I said to Hubby on Sunday, pointing up the sidewalk. He mumbles something like “How can you see with that guy in the way?”
Turns out that guy was Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals’ Ace and starting pitcher for Opening Day. He was heading out for a run in shorts and a t-shirt. Nobody else was around. It was eerie and exciting all at the same time. Carp wasn’t stopping to chat though, and I didn’t bother him to ask for an autograph. Memories of the Carp temper and flashbacks to the icy glares he shot Brendan Ryan that time last season kept me from invading his personal space. I did grab my camera though. Carp in shorts?? I had an obligation to document that leg art. 😉
Blessed Are the Happy Autograph Givers
In my opinion, the best part of Spring Training is the accessibility to the players. (For autographs as well as great photo opportunities) The environment is welcoming and the smaller venue affords a better chance to interact with these players we watch from a distance during the regular baseball season. I adore observing Cardinals interacting with fans, especially with kids. Some of the guys are admittedly better about it than others, but those brief moments when a favorite ballplayer stops to take a picture or sign an autograph often will be more poignant memories for fans than the action on the field that day.
|Skip Schumaker making kids happy|
We certainly didn’t camp out for hours or pester players for autographs. Several players voluntarily made themselves available to sign for fans after practice and before or after games. I know some players are jaded by the fact that autographs may end up on Ebay instead of as treasured spring training mementos. However the players who take the time and spread some joy with a pen on a baseball make long-lasting, positive impressions on fans. Those moments are priceless, no matter how old you are.
Well, those are a few of my highlights from Spring Training. Game One of the 2011 Cardinals season is tomorrow!!! We here at Cardinal Diamond Diaries look forward to sharing the season with you all!
March 5, 2011Posted by on
Wow! This seemingly harmless little poll adventure caused quite its share of drama and controversy. Apparently some of the UCB bloggers (not naming any names…. Mr. Ivie) were hoping to see their names on the ballot. (We love you, but this was just for the Cardinals players, guys…)
Franky was awesome about it, and you really gotta love a Cardinal player who actually, you know…. tweets with fans. (ahem… @MattHolliday7? where you been???)
So in the fashion of Will Leitch (in his hilarious baseball book “Are We Winning?”…. which I highly recommend, by the way) let’s take a look at what we have learned:
1. Even playful crush polls, much like junior high, can ruffle some feathers.
2. Write-ins and options for “other” will not cover you.
3. Men DO vote in crush polls but get more fun from stirring up trouble.
4. Ryan Franklin (and his goatee) are both very good sports. 😉
But enough about that….
|Courtney presents Freese with the trophy!
Dave is speechless but beams with pride. 😉
The results of our 2011 Ultimate Cardinal Crush:
1st place ( 34% of the votes) — DAVID FREESE (the hot hotcorner with the delicate ankles)
2nd place (14% of the votes) — Yadier Molina (it’s YADI!)
3rd place ((11% of the votes) — Skip Schumaker (aw, it’s Skipperdoodle!)
4th & 5th place (tied with 9%) — Jaime Garcia and Daniel Descalso
Honorable mentions go to Lance Berkman (7% of the votes), Chris Carpenter (5%), Matt Holliday (3%), Ryan Theriot (2%) and Jason Motte (2%).
Thank you for voting!!!
And Congratulations to David Freese. I promise I did not stuff the ballot box. 😉
Cardinal Fans: if you haven’t chimed in on the Cardinal Approval Ratings for our friend Daniel at C70 At The Bat, get on over there! This is his third year to take the pulse of Cardinal Nation, getting our opinions on key members of the team and organization. It’s a quick poll, no crush questions involved. 😉
August 25, 2010Posted by on
When I got up this morning, I didn’t bother reading any headlines, articles or blogs about the Cardinals because I already knew what they would say. It is what the weary beat writers and naysayers spout every morning after a loss and I am just plain tired of the complaining about how the Cardinals can’t hit or the managers can’t manage or how our postseason chances are slipping away.
I may be one of the few Cardinal fans who will say this today, but I actually enjoyed yesterday’s game. Sure, the final score was crummy, but right down to the very last pitch, I knew we had a chance. And the game was full of moments that made me smile. Albert may not have hit his 400th homerun, but he had a 3-hit night. Matt Holliday sent one flying out of the park in the first inning. Jon Jay may have only gotten one hit, but I love that he tears out of the batters box and down the line to 1st base trying to beat the throw on an easy infield hit. Even Yadier Molina and his catcher’s knees had some extra energy as he ran the bases. And of course there is Adam Wainwright and the way his determined piercing eyes give him an entirely different (scary) demeanor on a night he’s pitching.
In the 9th inning when the boys came off the bench and sparked a rally, I thought “we are going to WIN this one!” Skip Schumaker, Randy Winn and Aaron Miles all made things happen. Then Jon Jay’s RBI brought the Cardinals back within one run of tying the game. Even as Felipe Lopez stood in, switch-hitting at the plate with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the final countdown, I was glued to the television, firmly believing I would be witnessing a come-from-behind Cardinal victory.
But the victory celebration would have to wait. The Redbirds lost and that’s the way it goes sometimes. The Cardinals record will show an L for the August 24th game against the Pirates, but that loss certainly does not tell the big picture for me.
If you haven’t figured out by now, I love baseball. Warning: I am one of those fans who will occasionally cheer for the opposing team – not by mistake because I’m not paying attention, but because the hit or the play was just too good not to applaud.
So, even after a Cardinals loss like last night, I can smile because I saw some wonderful baseball. Sure the wins and losses matter – they matter A LOT – but this is the game of baseball. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. Anything can happen and that is why they play 9 innings and why teams like the Pirates and the Cubs and the Brewer even bother to take the field. And that is why each game has the potential to provide countless individual moments of baseball magic that keep us coming back for more, that give every fan hope and that make us believe our team can still win… right down to the very last pitch.
The boys are back at it again for the last game of the series against the Pirates tonight at 6:05 PM! Albert will hit that 400th homerun and the Cardinals will win – I just know it! 😉
FYI: Today you can catch my article “What Is It About Aaron Miles?!” over at i70baseball.com. Love him or hate him, Miles is certainly an interesting Cardinal issue. Here’s the link – and thanks for reading!
GO CARDS!! =)
August 18, 2010Posted by on
Yesterday I was bragging on darling Jon Jay (you can see the lovefest here) and he responded with an 0-for-4 night, striking out 3 times. Today, I am avoiding any potential jinx by switching gears and bringing you a public service announcement instead. Well…. a public service that gets you a face-to-face with some Cardinal ballplayers! WIN!!
I know where you can find starting pitcher Adam Wainwright and Cardinal cutie Skip Schumaker on Saturday October 2nd! =)
Do not miss this great opportunity to meet some of our St. Louis Cardinals, snag some autographs and help a great cause. The event is to support Operation Jack, a charity to raise money for autism. Our Twitter friend Scott, who is also a big Cardinals fan and writes for the wonderful Cardinals/Royals baseball website i70baseball.com, has helped coordinate this event.
If you would like more information, please visit the Operation Jack website at www.operationjack.org
or to find out more information about the autograph event, click here.
Thanks for reading, spread the word and buy some tickets to meet Waino and Skippy!
And GO CARDS!!
August 10, 2010Posted by on
First, and most importantly, the Cardinals beat the Reds 7-3 thanks to their most productive inning all season: six straight hits (including an infield single from Yadi!) in the fourth that was capped by the first-ever grand slam from Skip Schumaker to give them six serious runs before there was even an out. During his second at-bat of the inning, Albert singled again to drive in the seventh run. And, with Chris Carpenter pitching, those were more than enough runs.
Ah, yes, Carp. No, there’s not (yet!) a feud here over his displeasure with Brendan Ryan delaying the bottom of the first inning. (Thanks, C70!) But, really, haven’t there been plenty of comments made throughout this season about a lack of fire and spark on the team, how they’re just business-like out there and act like they don’t really care? Then how can you complain when Carp understands the importance of this particular game and series, is all amped and ready to go, gets ticked when he has to wait because the guy who’s always the last one to the field anyway (based on our observations last week) delays his start of the inning and Carp lets him know about it later? Angela made a good point during the game: that it might not have been noticed at all were it not for the ESPN cameras focused on the dugout. But the look of fear on Brendan’s face that the camera did capture … yeah, the Hyperactive Puppy won’t be doing that again!
I could go on and mention the Jim Edmonds trade (who’s next, Walt?) or Brandon Phillips (think he’ll be regretting those comments?) but instead will switch gears a bit to talk about tomorrow afternoon’s starter, Adam Wainwright. After his brilliant two-hit shutout last Friday against the Marlins, he’s continuing to reassert his position as one of the top National League pitchers. So what are his chances for winning a well-deserved Cy Young Award this season? That’s exactly what I explored for Baseball Digest, which you can find here.
With all the drama and entertainment that the first game of this series provided, it’s hard to know what to expect tonight. Here’s to Jaime bouncing back from his outing-we-want-to-forget last Tuesday and providing another dominating performance again tonight. Because a win will bring those magic words “first place” back once again …
July 24, 2010Posted by on
Yesterday’s game was frustrating. The offense is obviously frustrating, but for some reason I was fixating on the defense, so today you’re getting a little middle infielders by the numbers. Erika and I (along with several other diehards in Cardinal Nation) had a collective heart attack when we heard that Brendan Ryan and Jon Jay were the two names that had been potentially offered to the Astros in return for Roy Oswalt. Now, I don’t think this is actually a true offer, just a rumor, sent out into the world to make fans spaz out and scribes scramble to find out whether or not it is actual fact or fiction. We won’t go into that one any more today…
After seeing a couple of botched double plays yesterday afternoon, and hearing one of our middle infielders dropped into trade talks made me wonder what this team has looked like with our various fielders in and out of the games.
I’ll admit – I didn’t go too in-depth on this one. I think you will see that it wasn’t particularly necessary. All I did was look at sheer numbers – did the team win or lose on any given day with any given player playing at various positions. So here it is – Aaron Miles, Tyler Greene, Felipe Lopez, Skip Schumaker and Brendan Ryan by the wins and losses:
- starting at 2B: 3-4
- starting at 3B: 0-1
I’ll admit, this is a very small sample size. Fair enough. Moving on.
- starting at 2B: 2-2
- starting at SS: 6-7
This is still a small sample size. Let’s keep going.
- starting at 2B: 6-5
- starting at SS: 6-10
The numbers are getting bigger, and they are starting to paint a picture.
For Schumaker and Ryan I looked at it a little differently. They both have started in just the one position (in the middle infield at least), and I was curious as to how they fare with and without each other. Let’s look at Skippy first.
- starting at 2B: 43-29
- starting with either Lopez or Greene: 12-13
- starting with Brendan: 31-16
- sitting on the bench at the start: 11-14
The number line to catch here: Skip and Brendan in the lineup together has produced a Cardinals team that is 15 games over .500. Yes, I did contact Erika when I found that out. She and I thought the same thing, ‘No way and HECK YES!‘ But we’re just getting started…
- starting at SS: 42-20
- starting with either Lopez, Greene or Miles: 11-8
- staring with Skip: 31-16
- sitting on the bench at the start: 12-23
This absolutely blew my mind. Brendan Ryan in the lineup equates to 22 games over .500, and out of the lineup is 11 games under.
|Scott Rovak – US Presswire|
I think the answer is simple. Put Brendan and Skip in the lineup and let them play. Just by observation (read: don’t yell at me for the next sentence – it’s my observation), it looks like Brendan and Skip have the easiest camaraderie on the field. I don’t know if it’s because they have played together more than any of the other pairings (although that would make sense) or if they just blend the best. Obviously they have both had their share of errors, miscues and otherwise ugly plays this year. The fact of the matter remains – Brendan and Skip in the lineup together has produced winning baseball.
Wins and losses don’t lie.
July 21, 2010Posted by on
7 wins in a row. Beautiful feeling, isn’t it?
We’re switching things up here on Cardinal Diamond Dairies and moving our photo day to Wednesday. Today instead of just random pictures I’m trying something out – a photo from each day of the 7 game streak (plus a bonus shot – you’ll see)! Hope you enjoy it!
7/11/2010 – Cardinals 4, Astros 2
Matt Holliday provided almost all of the offense with this 3 run blast the day before the All-Star break began. I don’t know how to point out the packet of sunflower seeds in his pocket that made me laugh without sounding like a #chickcomment… so there you go.
|David J. Phillip – AP Photo|
7/13/2010 – NL 3, AL 1
I couldn’t help but put in a shot of the Cards’ All-Stars together at the game in Anaheim. Hey, our team won that night too, so it fits!
|Kirby Lee – US Presswire|
7/15/2010 – Cardinals 7, Dodgers 1
The Cardinals jumped right back in after the break, putting up seven runs against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers, who had been very effective against the Cards… until this night. After a day in which we were treated to no baseball at all, it was nice to be back seeing scenes like this one of Chris Carpenter pitching in the fifth inning.
|Chris Lee – Post-Dispatch|
7/16/2010 – Cardinals 8, Dodgers 4
You can’t help but enjoy a game that features runs and flashy defensive plays like this one Albert Pujols made from the seat of his pants! Two games after the break we were seeing what looked like a team that was putting things together. Solid pitching, scoring runs in bunches and defense? We love it!
|Scott Rovak – US Presswire|
7/17/2010 – Cardinals 2, Dodgers 0
With Adam Wainwright on the mound, thankfully the Cards didn’t need more than two runs on this day. Close games like this mean turning solid double plays like Skip Schumaker does here. Note where his feet are. Where is second base? (I’ll spare you all from the “Who’s on First?” joke I almost made here.)
|Scott Rovak – US Presswire|
7/18/2010 – Cardinals 5, Dodgers 4
The Cards were rather rude hosts to the Dodgers, running them out of town with ninth inning heroics on Joe Torre’s 70th birthday no less! Allen Craig didn’t care about Torre. He had his own 26th birthday to worry about, and he did it in style, making the hit to tie the game in the ninth inning and set up Matt Holliday for the game winning hit in the next at-bat!
|Chris Lee – Post-Dispatch|
7/19/2010 – Cardinals 8, Phillies 4
Back to back days of come from behind wins. This is a treat we were not privy to in the first half of the season. The team started chipping away at an early 3-0 hole behind Blake Hawksworth, scoring a single run in both the first and second inning before exploding for three home runs (including Allen Craig’s first big league HR!) and five runs in the fifth to blow the game open. This photo? Yadier Molina picking Jason Werth off first in the third inning. I like Albert sticking his tongue out at Werth. ‘Nana nana boo boo. We got you!’
|Scott Rovak – US Presswire|
7/20/2010 – Cardinals 7, Phillies 1
After a couple less than Carp-like starts towards the end of the first half, Carpenter has been a rockstar since the break, throwing 62 strikes over 90 pitches in eight dominant innings last night against the Phillies. Randy Winn kicked off the fireworks in the third inning with his second home run in as many days, and Matt Holliday put the game away for good with his three run blast in the fifth that put the Cards up 6-0.
|Chris Lee – Post-Dispatch|
Winning is fun. How about we keep it going tonight, say 7:15? Jaime Garcia will be there…
July 20, 2010Posted by on
Last night when I turned off the television and my computer for the evening, the Cardinals had just won their 6th straight game. And what a game it was! FOUR homeruns! Albert Pujols kicked off the long ball party in the bottom of the 5th inning. Then Allen Craig followed suit with his first Major League homerun. The very next batter, Skip Schumaker, stepped to the plate and hit his 3rd blast of the season. Then in the 6th inning Randy Winn added his own dinger over the right field wall to make the score 8-4. Throw in some spectacular defense from Brendan Ryan and I was a very happy baseball fan!
Want to watch the highlights again? Click Here
Winning – I could get used to that!
Even more amazing is that the Cardinals are winning with our substitute starting pitchers Jeff Suppan and Blake Hawksworth. Plus manager Tony La Russa has rested several key players in the past two games, getting creative with starting lineups that have scared many fans. But those beloved Baby Birds up from AAA are filling in quite nicely. Jon Jay continues to tear it up with a .372 batting average.
The Cardinals have stepped up their game since the All Star break and are playing some amazing baseball. Whatever is in the water, I hope they keep drinking it, because THIS is the team I was expecting to show up in April.
More Good News! Ryan Ludwick is returning from the DL, heading to Memphis for a quick rehab stint before rejoining the Cardinals possibly this weekend (at least that is what Luddy thinks.)
Bad News of the Morning: David Freese has apparently broken his left big toe by dropping a weight plate on it during a workout. Are you kidding me??? I am very thankful the Cardinals have figured out how to win without their complete starting roster, because Freese seems to be accident-prone. If we were losing games, that news would have hit me a lot harder, but with the way things have been going lately it is hard to complain. Hurry back David, before we forget why we loved you so much!
Maybe somebody should wrap him in bubble wrap for a few weeks to keep him safe!
Have you read the rumblings about the lack of clubhouse chemistry? Apparently GM John Mozeliak even commented that a midseason trade might add more personality to bring a positive vibe to the clubhouse.
You probably can imagine how I feel about it, but just in case you want to read more of my rant, check out my post today at Baseball Digest.com. Just click here.
And over at i70baseball.com Angela has a great look at the resurgence of our Cardinals. Here’s a shortcut for you!
Have a great day, Cards Fans! Tonight our boys are working on their SEVENTH STRAIGHT WIN! Maybe they can crush those nasty Phillies again with another Cardinal HomeRun Derby?!
GO CARDS! =)
July 10, 2010Posted by on