Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Tag Archives: sweep

First by Force

The Cards are back in first! Just writing that sentence brought a smile to my face. But that fact alone is not the best part.

Happy Cards! Our favorite!
Getty Images

The Cards are back in first… and they deserve it! The team has been on fire the first four games out of the gate after the break, sweeping a Dodgers team that is duking it out in the brutal NL West and kicking them out of town in style with a late inning comeback win that featured tough pitching, smart baserunning, key hits and solid defense. We haven’t seen this much of a cohesive unit since I don’t know when.

What’s brilliant is that on his Sunday morning radio show Tony LaRussa admitted that this lineup has basically been triaged together. Can I just say that I love listening to the Sunday morning chats on KTRS? Tony takes every question, and the people that suck up to him with a ‘Thank you Mr. LaRussa, you’re a great manager and I hope you stay here for a real long time,’ always make me laugh. This week’s best caller tag has to go to the guy that requested that TLR not have any more C-team lineups. Tony was trying not to laugh when he said that although he didn’t think there had been any such lineups this year, the caller might not appreciate the lineup for that game. Oops!

People were ready to fight when they saw a lineup that had no Colby Rasmus, no Albert Pujols, no Yadier Molina and no Tyler Greene, but the truth of the matter is that every one of those guys is dinged up, battered, bruised and all around not feeling great! Matt Holliday almost didn’t make it into the lineup yesterday either after fouling a ball sharply off his ankle on Saturday. It was definitely a patchwork lineup that no one expected to play tough, especially not with Jeff Suppan on the mound. I’ll hand it to Sup though, he pitched a very nice game yesterday. (Someone better write that down, because I don’t say things like that often.)

The fact of the matter is that the team isn’t back on top because the Reds finally started to fizzle. In all honesty the Reds just got better by bringing back Edinson Volquez from the disabled list. They have more starting pitching than they know what to do with, and the Cards are running a M*A*S*H unit in and out of the training room. These Cards have been battling lately, and fought tooth and nail to make it back on top. They weren’t handed first, they took it by force. That’s what we like to see.

I wonder what will happen when we get all our boys back? Last I heard Ryan Ludwick is very close and David Freese is still a week or two away. Maybe when they return some of the unwelcome veterans on the team will be given one way tickets to the retirement home (oh, I was going for no snark today… sorry).

Chris has challenged all of us to be Mo and make some plans for the rest of the year. So check it out and make your voice heard!

Speaking of voices, tonight is the second broadcast for i70baseball.com. It starts at 10PM, and for some unknown reason the team has invited me to be the chat host. Head over to BlogTalkRadio and hang out in the chatroom!

We Really Needed That Sweep!

The Cardinals started out STRONG in their last series – winning two games against Seattle.  But the brooms went back in the closets on Wednesday night – unused – when once again, the Cardinals offense failed to provide run support to get Jaime Garcia the win. Garcia pitched a great game, going 7 innings, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs in the 2-1 loss to the Mariners. Jaime’s ERA is 1.59, yet a record of 6 wins and 3 losses hardly reflects that – the blame lays entirely on the Cardinal bats.  
Matt Holliday’s head-scratching impotence at swinging a bat with runners on base is achieving a Brendan-Ryanesque quality. However I don’t see Mr. Holliday growing a quirky mustache or wearing the high socks to swing himself out of this slump. Matt will do it his own way and fans will just have to wait this one out.
Brendan on FSMW postgame show June 16
Brendan has recovered from his slumpitis. Remember when he was batting under .200? In the last 4 weeks Brendan has hit .311 with 2 homeruns. Those are some positive trends! 

But Brendan, can we talk about the lucky facial hair? We here at CDD think you might be letting it get out of hand.

Life was sweeter for a day or two with the Cards beating the Mariners. The potential for a sweep washed some of the worries under the rug. But the reprieve did not last long enough.
Lucky for the Cardinals, the Cincinnati Reds – our cohosts at the top of the National League Central – have been kicked around a bit by the Dodgers and also dropped 2 out of 3 games to the Royals. Sometimes it is just nice to be reminded that other teams are struggling too.
Tonight Chris Carpenter takes the ball against the Oakland A’s – Matt Holliday’s former club.  Could a desire to impress his old team be the match that lights Hunky’s fire?

The Cardinals had Thursday to rest up. Tony had an extra day to fiddle with the lineup. And Brendan had a day to visit a barber – or at least we can hope.

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